The Real Life Partners Of The Cast Of 1883

As viewers of Paramount Network's ratings mega-hit "Yellowstone" know, the series revolves around several generations of the Dutton family, ranchers trying to maintain the power they have amassed in a small city in Montana. The series is about generational wealth, changing attitudes in American society, and the moral failings of the American Dream... or, as series creator Taylor Sheridan put it to Esquire, "Our country's model has been: When full up here, go that way and reinvent yourself. That has been our business policy. It's like a parasite: Devour this region and then move to the next."

It makes sense, then, that the show's first spinoff, "1883," would go back in time to contrast the modern West of "Yellowstone" with more traditional Wild West storytelling. The show centers on the Duttons' ancestors, traveling across the country on a wagon train. This series, too, explores familial relationships and how they hold up under a sense that a generational shift is occurring. Sheridan explained to the New York Times, "I don't know if it's a uniquely American fear or just a human fear: the fear that a way of life is ending.... I think it's a massive theme, this fear of losing someone that you love or a place that you love. That's pretty universal."

Because of the deep interest the franchise has in family, fans may be wondering about the stars' off-screen relationships. Read on for a look at the real-life partners of the cast of "1883."

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson go way back

Tom Hanks is a massive "Yellowstone" fan, so he jumped at the chance to appear in the prequel series, "1883." Co-star and longtime friend Tim McGraw told Cinemablend, "I knew that there was this part in there, and I gave him a call and said, 'Hey, would you be interested in showing up and doing a cameo in this show that we're doing?' And he goes, 'Tell me when to be there,' and he just showed up."

Hanks has been in a relationship with actor and singer Rita Wilson for decades. The two married in 1988 and have several children. Hanks and Wilson were famously two of the first celebs to announce their COVID-19 diagnoses, while working in Australia in the early days of the pandemic, according to CNN; a Penn State study found that the power couple's public diagnosis "likely shaped behaviors, thoughts toward virus."

Tom isn't the only member of the family to appear on "1883;" Wilson announced on Instagram in January 2022 that she would have a cameo on a first-season episode of the show, too. "The secret is out!" she wrote, making sure to mention that she's friends with the country-music supercouple who lead the cast.

Sam Elliott loves working with his wife

On "1883," Sam Elliott plays Shea Brennan, a Civil War vet who leads the wagon train taking the Duttons across the West. He told Wide Open Country that the character is far more complex than he's used to. "There's a lot more going on in Shea's head than other cowboys I've played," he reflected. "I don't think I've ever had a role like this. The look of it, the expanse of it, the size of it, it's just not typical television by any means."

Sam Elliott has been married to actor Katharine Ross since 1984, who is best known for playing Elaine Robinson in "The Graduate." They starred together in the horror movie "The Legacy" back in 1978 and have been together since, and he loves working with his wife as often as possible. He told the Los Angeles Times, "I think we just like making movies and having that creative experience together is the best. It's just fun. It's a whole different kind of energy to go home with some you're working with rather than go home to somebody who isn't working. It's a totally positive experience." 

Their family life hit the spotlight in 2011 when Ross sought a restraining order against daughter Cleo Elliott for stabbing her with scissors, according to People. They appear to have worked everything out; according to Country Rebel, Cleo accompanied her mom and dad to the premiere of her father's film "A Star is Born."

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are music royalty

"1883" follows the Dutton family heading West for Oregon; viewers of "Yellowstone" know that they will eventually settle in Montana instead, because that's where their descendants live on the original show. Jim and Margaret Dutton are the ancestors of Kevin Costner's John Dutton, and while Costner was of course a major star before "Yellowstone," in casting the prequel the producers upped the stakes. They selected a real-life power couple to play the earlier Duttons: country-music superstars Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.

When they first met, Hill was engaged to someone else. She defended her decision to leave him for Tim McGraw, telling People, "If someone is going to judge my character because I was engaged to somebody and then I left him for somebody else — 'Oh, okay, now she's a slut and a bad person' — I can't control that. But I wasn't about to let Tim slip through my hands."

It seems to have been a good choice, as the two have been together for decades. McGraw even credits Hill with helping him get sober. He told Esquire that he had reached a point where he was taking shots of liquor at 8AM. "I went straight to my wife and said, 'This is where I'm at.' I was scared," he recalled. "She just grabbed me and hugged me and changed my life." They have released numerous duets together, proving themselves as a powerhouse duo even before moving into acting.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw love working together on 1883

Because both stars are each other's real-life partners, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw have earned two spots on this list; they can't seem to stop talking about how great it is to work together on this show. It seems that acting on "1883" has allowed them to work through their relationships in brand-new ways, according to McGraw. In particular, he told People about a scene where Hill's character had to hit his. "I was expecting a finger slap but it was a paw to the jaw," he quipped. "There was 25 years of pent-up aggression going on!"

Hill, on the other hand, told Rotten Tomatoes that she was nervous about being intimate with her husband on screen, describing a bath scene in the first episode as particularly strange. "I'm a modest person. That kind of thing, I kind of like to keep in my own house, you know what I'm saying?" However, Hill was ultimately happy with the way things went. "It was a beautiful bathtub, nice beautiful copper bathtub and it was done very tastefully. It actually turned out to be a beautiful scene."

Eric Nelsen's wife got him into Yellowstone

Eric Nelson has had small roles on a number of television shows, such as "The Good Wife" and "iCarly." The decorated actor is also a producer, having won four Daytime Emmy Awards (for producing "The Bay"), and he even has a Tony (for producing "The Inheritance").

He talked to Wide Open Country about the preparation that went into his role on "1883," where he plays a cowboy named Ennis. In particular, Nelsen recalled the strict training showrunner Taylor Sheridan put them through. "​​He sent us to a multiple week cowboy camp before we started filming," Nelsen revealed. "[It was] horses all day, every day. We roped, we cut cattle, we shot guns and we ate the food that cowboys would eat back then."

He also talked about being a "Yellowstone" holdout. "It's interesting because my wife was a massive fan and she kept saying, 'Watch the show, watch the show, watch the show.' And I just hadn't had time," he said. Said wife is actor Sainty Nelsen (nee Reid). She herself is a multiple Emmy winner and also has a Tony, and she describes herself as a "cowboy wife" on Instagram. She's very supportive of her husband's success, in other words. Alongside a photo of the two at the premiere of "1883," she wrote, "I kept crying watching Eric on that big screen. 11 years of self tapes, auditions, roles... and this is it baby!!!!"

Billy Bob Thornton has been married six times

Billy Bob Thornton plays Marshal Jim Courtright on "1883," a former outlaw now on the side of the law. "There was a very thin line between a bad guy and a good guy, and a lot of times they would wanna hire a bad guy as the sheriff because they knew he knows how to do it," he told People about his character.

His romantic history is the stuff of pop culture legend, including his ill-fated marriage to Angelina Jolie. The tabloid sensations wore each other's blood in lockets and showed up to awards shows bragging about having just had sex in the limousine; they didn't last past 2003.

Thornton had a child with his girlfriend, special effects artist Connie Angland, in 2004. However, a few years later, he told Maxim that he didn't plan to marry again. "​​I told Connie I didn't want to put her through that. We do fine. We've been together for four years now. We have a child together. If we get married, then the press will start calling her "Number Six." However, they did marry in secret in 2014. According to People, the news didn't break for several months, until a rep sent the magazine a statement revealing that they had married "during a private ceremony before family." He told James Corden that they'd done it for his daughter, clarifying, "We just didn't want her to think it was funny" that they weren't married.

Marc Rissmann's partner is an artist

On "1883," Marc Rissmann plays Josef, a German-born man who becomes a leader of the immigrant contingent on the wagon train. In a behind the scenes video from the set, Rissmann described his character, focusing on Josef's empathy. "I think the leadership role, I think he took it because he's a natural leader, and because he cares about people, but it creates conflict for him."

Rissmann, who has appeared on "Game of Thrones" and "The Man in the High Castle," appears to be in a relationship with fellow actor Ana Ularu. They attended the premiere of "1883" together, and they have been photographed together on red carpets going back to Berlinale in 2020. Ularu seemed to confirm their relationship when she shared Rissmann's character portrait for "1883" on Instagram, captioning it, in part, "#love."

In an interview with Tekdeeps, Ularu refers to being into creative photography with her "partner." They have worked together on numerous projects, including making music together and modeling together in multiple fashion shoots. While promoting their work as models for Entrance, the interviewer asked whether they plan to star in a movie together because of their chemistry; Rissman replied, "Working on it," while Ularu said, "Hold my beer..."

LaMonica Garrett's wife is in real estate

LaMonica Garrett has had starring roles on a number of hit television shows, including "Sons of Anarchy," "Designated Survivor," and the CW's Arrowverse, where he plays the Monitor. His role on "1883" is that of a cowboy named Thomas, and Garrett is particularly proud of the way his role reflects real-life Black cowboys often left out of Wild West narratives. Describing the character, he told Wide Open Country, "He's fiercely loyal. To me, when I read it, Thomas is the humanity of the show. He's the soul of the show."

Garrett is married to Mina Ivanova, a Los Angeles real estate agent who sells luxury homes. While they married in 2019, they have been together a lot longer; Ivanova wrote on Instagram in mid-2021, "Today we celebrate 14 years together. In Hollywood/LA relationship years, I think that's like 55 years? Cheers to many more. You're amazing! I love you forever. And infinity."

They had a baby boy together in 2019, and Ivanova frequently shares heartwarming snaps of their family on Instagram. She is also very supportive of her husband's role on "1883." In addition to sharing photos of herself on set with other stars like Sam Elliott and Faith Hill, Ivanova wrote, "So very proud of this role and amazing show for @lamonicagarrett who's absolutely killing it!"

Gratiela Brancusi has a famous ex

Romanian actor Gratiela Brancusi's first major role is Neomi on "1883," a woman who has joined the wagon train heading West along with her children. Brancusi described her character's motivations to Slashfilm, explaining, "She's coming from a land that's been hard on her and her ancestors and she's just looking for a more forgiving place where she can just be. Just be free as we all deserve." 

Brancusi is currently single, but she has a very famous ex-husband... and, in fact, their marriage was a secret! No one knew that she had wed "The Shawshank Redemption" star Tim Robbins until they announced their divorce. After TMZ broke the news about their split in early 2021, People obtained documents showing that they got married all the way back in 2017 and never told anyone. The two reportedly filed for divorce due to "irreconcilable differences." Her private Instagram profile still lists her as being affiliated with The Actor's Gang, a nonprofit founded by none other than her ex-husband.