Bernadette Peters Called Ex-Boyfriend Steve Martin a "Very Serious Guy"

The actors dated in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s

Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters
Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters. Photo: Robin Platzer/Images/Getty Images

Who: Emmy and Honorary Oscar-winning actor Steve Martin, 76, and two-time Tony award-winning singer and actress Bernadette Peters, 73.

How They Met: According to Martin's "oldest friend" Morris Walker, who wrote the biography Steve Martin: The Magic Years in 2001, the comedian first met Peters in 1977, through his agent at the time. Their paths crossed again when they both joined Kenny Rogers's celebrity softball league.

TBT: Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters
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As fate would have it, Martin and Peters met once more when they both appeared on Hollywood Squares — Martin kept "throwing little things at her" (?) and ultimately asked her out.

Why We Loved Them: Their airport style? Aspirational.

TBT: Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters
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Martin and Peters rarely spoke publicly about one another, but the few soundbites we have paint a compelling picture.

In 1982, presumably not long before the pair split up, Martin told Rolling Stone that he was attracted to Peters's independence. "I liked her because she was independent," he said. "I respected her for it, and I knew it wasn't going to be, you know, 'Oh, Steve, what are we going to do no? Where're you going?' She was in show business, we could talk."

TBT: Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters
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Decades after their breakup, Peters would describe her ex as a "comedic genius."

In 2019, the Broadway star gave a surprising read on Martin. "He can be wild and crazy, but basically, he's a very serious guy," she told The Guardian.

When They Peaked: The performers found ways to collaborate on screen as well as off. Martin allegedly wrote Peters's role in 1979 cult comedy The Jerk with her in mind. And OK, the chemistry speaks for itself:

After The Jerk, Martin and Peters teamed up once more for musical Pennies from Heaven.

The Breakup: According to Walker, there was discussion of Peters moving in with Martin (and his many cats). But "something ended it." By about 1982, the relationship was over.

Neither party has publicly revealed what came between them, but Peters has spoken about her feelings toward marriage.

In 1987, Peters told Tonight Show host Johnny Carson that she hadn't married yet because she "was not ready."

TBT: Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters
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Where They Are Now:

Martin wed actress Victoria Tennant in 1986 — they divorced eight years later. The actor went on to marry writer Anne Stringfield in 2007. The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Mary, in late 2012.

Martin currently stars in Hulu dramedy Only Murders in the Building opposite Martin Short and Selena Gomez, new episodes of which will be released on the streaming platform weekly.

Peters wed, too, marrying investment adviser Michael Wittenberg in 1996. Wittenberg was killed in a helicopter crash in 2005.

The multi-hyphenate was most recently seen on NBC musical comedy Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.

#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.

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