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William Daniels and Bonnie Barlett are still ‘surprised’ by each other after 73 years (exclusive)

William Daniels and Bonnie Bartlett Daniels have reached a new milestone in their relationship, celebrating their 73rd wedding anniversary. But even though they hold the record for Hollywood’s longest marriage, it’s not such a big deal for the longtime couple.

“It seems like we’re breaking records. I mean, we both broke a record when we won the Emmys on the same night for the same show. That was a record-breaker, no one had ever done that,” Bonnie, 95, tells PEOPLE exclusively in a joint interview with William, 97. “Now it seems like there are no 73-year marriages in Hollywood, so we seem to be breaking records.”

Bonnie continues, “We never thought about it. For us it’s pretty unimportant, but for other people it’s important.”

The couple they both share Life and I as a professional qualification, they met while both studying at Northwestern University. After dating for a few years and finally marrying in 1951, they became parents of sons Michael and Robert. (Their firstborn, William Jr., died shortly after birth.)

Even after all these years, the long-time couple learns more about each other every day.

“You never stop learning. You never stop being surprised. I never know,” Bonnie says. “Every once in a while he’ll do something and I’ll think, ‘Where did that come from? Where did that come from?’ Or it’s the same with him and me. We never stop being surprised by what someone does.”

Bonnie Barlett and William Daniels.

Michael Daniels


Williams praises his wife of seven decades, saying, “She is a very competent woman. She is smart and I leave a lot of things to her.”

“She is, so to speak, responsible for the whole business, all the money, all that,” said the Here I am again the author adds: “She takes care of it.”

The actor also notes that it is “important” that Bonnie is “very approachable” and calls this one of his favorite things about the In the middle of the rainbow Author.

William Daniels and Bonnie Bartlett.
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection

What Bonnie loves most about Williams is “his sense of humor. It’s just incredible. He says funny things all the time, it’s always been that way,” she says.

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The couple plans to spend their 73rd wedding anniversary with their family.

“Our oldest son is a great cook, so he’ll probably cook. Or we’ll go out,” she says. “It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s family. My granddaughter is here, Grace is here. My son’s new girlfriend is here, so we’ll have a good time with all of them, with all of the people we love.”

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