Taxi's Marilu Henner Marries College Crush
And to add further drama, Henner, 54, married former college classmate Michael Brown, also 54, after he had proposed to her from his hospital bed when he awoke from an operation for cancer.
Henner and Brown, whose handsome face and blue eyes she said she could never forget, first met when they were both students at the University of Chicago. He was dating her roommate, and even once those two broke up Henner steered clear of him – unwillingly – because she didn't want to break the "girlfriend code," she told The New York Times.
But the couple's paths crossed again in 1980, when he was a merchant seaman and she was about to marry the actor Frederic Forrest. She invited Brown to the wedding but never called him with the details. By then Henner was a big TV star, but Brown, married and living in Brazil, had no idea of her celebrity.
Leap ahead 21 years. In 2001, both of them now divorced (in Henner's case, twice), Henner got Brown's phone number from a mutual friend, and their dinner date ended well – kissing in Henner's home in the Hollywood Hills.
Within a week, they were in love. But two months later, Brown was diagnosed with bladder and lung cancer.
When a groggy Brown awoke from surgery to remove the lower lobe of his right lung in November 2001, Henner was sitting at his bedside, smiling and holding his hand. "With all the emotion I could muster," Brown told the Times, "I proposed."
His cancer now in remission, Brown and Henner wed before 100 people. The groom's twin brother, a Universal Life minister, officiated, and the bride, who wore a pale peach Escada gown, was given away by her sons Nicky, 12, and Joey, 11. Brown has three children.