Courtney B. Vance Sums Up Secret to Angela Bassett Marriage in 2 Words

Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett have been married for more than 25 years. Find out what the actor said regarding the secret to the success of their relationship.

By Corinne Heller Mar 20, 2024 5:41 PMTags
Watch: Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance Couple Up at 2019 Oscars

For more than 25 years, Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett have been doing the marriage thing.

And for the two-time Emmy winner, the secret to a long one can be summarized in two words.

"'I'm sorry,'" Vance told E! News' Francesca Amiker at the 2024 NAACP Image Awards. "It starts with me. The humility and the forgiveness start with the man. 'What can I do to help? I messed up? I'm sorry. Do you forgive me? No. OK, I'll wait for you.'"

The couple, who celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary in October, met in the early 1980s when they both attended Yale University as drama students. And now, their twins Slater and Bronwyn, 18, are getting ready to start their own college careers.

"My daughter's going to go to Harvard," said Vance, who had completed his bachelor's degree at the university. "[Slater] got in early to Yale but he may, he's looking at UPenn. It still may happen. We are waiting to see. They're got to go back to their final visits. We've done all the things that we can do. Now it's on them to see where it's the best match for them."

Celebrity Couples Together for 50+ Years

For the duo, their kids have only strengthened their bond.

"Throughout all the problems that we go through in terms of having children, she's first," he said on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2007. "And I wanted her to know, it's not about the babies for me, it's about her. Because when the babies come, it just means we've got to be more clear in terms of what we're about, and the decisions that we have to make."

Christopher Polk/WWD via Getty Images

What also helped? Premarital counseling.

Unique Nicole/FilmMagic

"So every day I was being counseled, and he asked me what it cost when she asked me—if we were in a car—'Which way do we go?' to say, 'Which way do you want to go?'" Vance previously said on Rachael Ray that year. "I want peace in my home. I want that smile every day. What I had to realize was that she's first and when the queen is happy, the land is happy."

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