The Truth About Jamie Lee Curtis' Marriage To Christopher Guest

Hollywood has had its fair share of celebrity couples — and though not all of them have worked out, there are a handful of long-lasting relationships that have stood the test of time. From Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn and Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick to Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham, these famous couples' flames have been burning bright even after decades together. Another twosome to add to this list is Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest, who have been happily married for over 35 years.

In a 2004 essay, Curtis described her relationship as a "wonderful, complicated, imperfect life. And a very real marriage." It turns out, she knew he was the one from the moment she first laid eyes on a photo of him in Rolling Stone. "I'll never know why I thought we'd understand each other when I saw his photograph," she wrote. "Hidden in that smirk, I think, was a little secret that only I knew." Though the two wouldn't seem to work out on paper, it seems Curtis knew something, and the truth behind their marriage might just reveal the secret to how Christopher Guest and Jamie Lee Curtis have stayed together for so long. 

Jamie Lee Curtis knew she'd marry her husband before she even met him

Jamie Lee Curtis revealed she knew she was going to marry Christopher Guest while flipping through a magazine. "I met my husband by seeing his picture in a magazine and saying out loud to a friend of mine, 'I'm going to marry that dude,' and married him four months later," she told Hoda Kotb in March 2021 as part of the "Quoted By ... With Hoda" series on the Today show. "So the truth of the matter is, life hinged for me on a couple seconds that I didn't see coming." Curtis added, "Our lives do hinge on a couple seconds that we don't see coming. And what we do in those seconds ultimately determines the rest of our lives."

She also talked about the moment in a 2004 essay she penned for O, in which she said she first laid eyes on her future husband in Rolling Stone (he was featured in the magazine to promote his film, "This Is Spinal Tap"). Curtis was with her friend at the time, who told her Curtis and Guest shared an agent. "The next day I called the agent, gave him my number, and told him to have Chris call me if he was interested. I waited. Chris never called," the "Scream Queens" star explained. So she moved on with her life until one night, she ran into Guest at a West Hollywood restaurant. 

Jamie Lee Curtis shared the secret to her long-lasting marriage

Jamie Lee Curtis recalled the specific moment she first met Christopher Guest in person. "He waved to me as if to say, 'I'm the guy you called.' I waved back: 'I'm the woman who called you.' A few minutes later, he got up to leave," she wrote in her essay. "Standing 20 feet away, he shrugged his shoulders and put up his hand as if to say, 'I'll see ya.' As he left, I looked down at my plate." He called her the next day and they had their first date a few days later. It didn't take long for the two to fall madly in love, leading Curtis to actually "marry that man" in December 1984, six months after manifesting her intention into reality. 

As for the secret to their long-lasting marriage? "Don't leave. There's a recovery phrase that says, 'Stay on the bus ... the scenery will change,'" she told Good Housekeeping in 2018. "You think you're having a bad week, but stay on the bus, because one of these days you'll look out the window and it'll be beautiful. I think it can apply to almost anything where you feel unhappy in that moment. I'm not a wild romantic. I'm a realist. I respect him. And I just don't leave." It sounds like these two have it figured out. 

Jamie Lee Curtis feared divorce

Short Hollywood marriages are commonplace, and few high-profile couples stand the test of time. Actor Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband, Christopher Guest, have been wed for nearly four decades, making them a Tinseltown rarity. The pair have found a way to stick together, but before laying eyes on her future hubby, Jamie Lee had her fair share of reservations regarding love. Looking at her family history, it's easy to understand why the "Knives Out" actor might've shied away from spending forever with someone. She explained in an Instagram post how she had 13 divorces in her immediate family alone, which caused her to question the concept of love. Her parents parted when she was just 3 years old, and her father, the famous Tony Curtis, wed six times in his lifetime, while her mother, actor Janet Leigh, became a bride four times. 

Even with a background steeped in splitsville, Jamie Lee had sturdy relationship role models. The actor revealed in an interview at the ICG Publicists Awards (via Closer Weekly), "My mother and stepfather [Robert Brandt] were married for 43 years, so I had a very good role model for that." Those role models likely played a part in Jamie Lee and Guest navigating the often rocky terrain of maintaining relationships in the public eye and helping the famous couple — who Jamie Lee swears came together because of the few seconds it took to glance at Guest's image in a magazine — stay together this long.

Christopher Guest has an unusually common nickname for his famous wife

Couples sometimes call their partners by their given names, and other times they grab their attention with cute and meaningful nicknames. Celebrity pairs prove they are just like everyone else, and when in love, they develop pet names for their partners. Taylor Swift used to date Calvin Harris, and, per Us Weekly — when in private — the pop princess would call him Adam, his real name. According to Jezebel, Jennifer Anniston called her ex-boyfriend Justin Theroux "hey," while Robert Pattinson called his ex FKA Twigs "Twigs." Kim Kardashian used to call Ye West "Ned," a name the rapper was seemingly not super fond of. 

Christopher Guest also has a nickname for his wife. When behind the closed doors of their bedroom, he sometimes calls her Janie. So where does the equally common yet also quirky nickname stem from? Curtis explained to James Corden, host of "The Late Late Show With James Corden" that when she was younger, she started calling herself Janie instead of Jamie. She felt her birth name was not feminine enough for her liking, nor was she a fan of three-word names. Hence she dropped the "Lee," changed a middle letter, and went by Janie Curtis for a short time. Her family respected her moniker wishes for roughly a week, but decades later, her husband still whispers that pet name from time to time. 

Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest prove opposites attract

You know what they say: Opposites attract, and this timeless old wives' tale holds true even in Hollywood. Longtime lovebirds Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest prove that forever is possible even when you have little in common. Curtis and Guest might share a deep love and respect for one another, but it turns out they don't share a ton of common hobbies or interests. Curtis explained their differences to Good Housekeeping: "My husband and I are opposites. We have been for 33 years, and we always will be. He's an intellectual, and I was from the movie star/alcoholic/drug addict side, where ­education was not the most important thing. We don't listen to the same radio station; we don't read the same paper, we don't go to bed at the same time. But we read the same history books."

Differences aside, Curtis and Guest share some key commonalities that have helped them achieve marital bliss. From an entertainment standpoint, both are wickedly talented, witty, and funny. Anyone who has seen a Curtis interview or movie can discern this fact. Guest's credits include films like the funny comedy "Best in Show," mockumentary "Mascots," and "This is Spinal Tap," so he clearly loves comedy. Both are also devoted parents. Curtis referred to Guest in an Instagram post as a source of steady strength in their family, expressing pride for their kids, and speaking candidly about Ruby's journey as a transgender person. 

The couple proudly celebrates their children

Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband, Christopher Guest, have many combined accomplishments to be proud of. Their greatest, however, is likely their two children. The couple welcomed Annie and Ruby via adoption in 1986 and 1996, respectively. They watched their eldest child, Annie, grow into adulthood, marry, and excel at her dance career. Their second child, a gaming editor, transitioned to Ruby and, in the process, completely changed the way Curtis viewed gender. She told AARP that she previously believed gender to be set in stone, but Ruby changed all that. The actor explained that she and Guest "have watched in wonder and pride as our son became our daughter Ruby." 

Since Ruby's announcement, Curtis has made sure to love and advocate for her child and be brutally honest in sharing her personal journey in parenting a transgender child. She explained to People, "It's speaking a new language. It's learning new terminology and words. I am new at it. I am not someone who is pretending to know much about it. And I'm going to blow it, I'm going to make mistakes. I would like to try to avoid making big mistakes." Curtis continued on in the interview, saying, "Ruby, I am proud to be your mother. Today more than ever." Recently, Ruby wed in the backyard of her parents' home (the same place Annie wed years ago), and Curtis did the honors of officiating the beautiful affair.

He makes her feel safe

Solid, healthy relationships are supposed to make a person feel secure and safe. In love, Jamie Lee Curtis counts herself as one of the fortunate ones, putting her emotions and feelings regarding her longtime husband into words. In honor of the pair's 35th wedding anniversary, she penned a song straight from the heart to her "one and only." One of the lyrics read, "I feel safe when I drive up and see that you are home." She expounded on what that meant in an interview with AARP, saying, "That's the long marriage. It's the safety of knowing his car is in the garage, that I'm not alone, and that he's here." 

Feeling this type of love is something Curtis, a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, doesn't take for granted. She revealed in the interview that, while reading "No Great Mischief," she came across an excerpt about being loved. "That killed me. Because I don't think I've really felt that much. As a child, I didn't really feel that." Curtis knows she is adored and safe with her husband, and because she never had that sense as a child — she told The Talk (via the Daily Mail) that her own famous father was never interested in parenting and the pair were not close — she holds it dear during this stage in her life.  

She's chosen family over career

If you haven't seen a Jamie Lee Curtis movie, you have likely at least seen her in everyday yogurt commercials, sporting a tub of Activia. The question begs: Why would one of the world's most famous actors choose to do gut restoration commercials instead of the more big-budget flicks everyone is used to seeing her in? The answer is simple: Family. In an interview with Scott Wampler of "The Kingcast" podcast, Curtis explained that, while she is ever grateful for her career, it comes at a price, and that price is having to be apart from her husband and children. "It's the reason that I sold yogurt that makes you s**t for seven years. Part of the reason why I've done commercials ... I've been doing commercials for a very, very, very long time, partially so that I could ameliorate all of that distance from my family, because it allowed me to earn money and stay home."

It was the right choice for Curtis and her family, but not everyone was thrilled about her decision to take on commercial work. A tweeter once commented the actor needed money, to which Curtis responded: "You are a grumpy goat. I sold Activia yogurt for seven years. I wasn't broke." From major motion pictures to yogurt commercials. The things parents do for their loved ones.   

They are titled royalty

Jamie Lee Curtis is the child of two of Hollywood's most famous actors, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. She grew up pretty darn privileged, surrounded by people in the industry and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Curtis then went on to create her own mega-film career for herself, starring in massive box office hits like "A Fish Called Wanda," "True Lies," and "Halloween." She is certainly an established screen queen, but she and her husband, Christopher Guest, are another type of royalty as well.

They are Baron and Baroness Guest, holding a royal title much like other notable entertainers you'd never guess held a royal title. Guest discussed his title with The Guardian: "I'm a baron. I'm Lord Haden-Guest. And yes, that's a novelty. Born into it by accident, obviously. And then your dad dies, and you're the next one." Guest even sat in on the House of Lords for several years. Through marriage, Jamie Lee Curtis is an official baroness. When the title is ready to be handed down to the next generation, however, the Guest kids will miss out, as they are both women and adopted, preventing them from inheriting the family's title.

They love each other and they love their home

Jamie Lee Curtis and her husband, Christopher Guest, love each other, love their children, and they love their home. The couple has resided in the same 1920s West Los Angeles home since 1992. Both actors fell in love with the property, being drawn to varying aspects of the abode. Per Architectural Digest, Guest loved the park-like setting upon first sight. Curtis has worked endlessly over the years to put her design stamp on every nook and cranny of the sprawling pad. "My goal for the house was to bridge something old and tired with a much more contemporary aesthetic, which is the way we live. It's the blending of these two elements — an old traditional Mediterranean house with a sort of Zen. The thing I'm proud of is that blending, which is very much a part of me," the actor explained. 

Revamping a home like theirs isn't cheap, but considering the duo has a combined net worth of $60 million, they can afford to redecorate every year if they choose. One thing they did decide to throw money at was the home next door to theirs. Per the Los Angeles Times, they purchased their neighbor's house for a cool $2.2 million. Now they have two homes they love, in the neighborhood they have called home for years, with no neighbors to bother them and all the love and money in the world. Life as Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest is good.