Hollywood Actor Shares Secrets for a Successful Marriage
By Dan Wooding
ASSIST News Service
BEVERLY HILLS, CA (ANS) -- Actor Eric Close plays FBI agent Martin Fitzgerald in the CBS TV series, “Without a Trace”, but in real life his passion is to see marriages built up in and around “Tinsel Town”.
In an interview with Close and his wife Keri at 14th Annual MovieGuide® Faith & Values Awards Gala, the couple spoke about their desire to see marriages work.
Close began by saying, “My wife Keri [whom he married in 1995] and I have taught a marriage class through our church for four years running and I have got to really take my hat off to my wife because she really does the bulk of the work in research."
“She’s a therapist by trade, so she has a great understanding of marriage and counseling, and I go kind of go along for the ride. We both have a passion about marriage and love to see people work hard at their marriage and love for each other, and it’s great when it does work out.”
Keri stood by her husband on the Red Carpet – they have two daughters, Katie (born in October 1998) and Ella (born in April 2001) -- so I asked her what advice she would give to people in Hollywood whose marriages seem to be breaking up all of the time.
“Marriage is work and it’s great when you are working at it,” she said. “So really people should make that their priority because all the other stuff goes away and doesn’t necessarily last. But if you put your faith in God and your spouse and your relationship, I think that keeps you grounded.
“It’s good for me that I am not in the industry, so Eric can leave work at work and come home and he is there as part of his family.”
Eric Close then rejoined the conversation. “I think it is important, as Keri said, to have to priorities and I understand the pressures that a lot of these people are under. When you have a $50 million film on your shoulders every six months or every eight weeks, whatever it is, and you are jet setting all over the world, it’s hard to find quality time to nurture your relationship and so it is unfortunate. It’s really tough to make a relationship work if you are not with each other, so right now I am very fortunate to be in a situation where I am working, but I do get to spend quite a bit of quality time with Keri and our family.”
Eric then spoke about how he became a committed Christian. “When I was about 13 years old I went to a private Christian school, but I really solidified my choice to follow Jesus when I was about 20 years old. That’s when it really started to make sense to me as an adult. It was the greatest decision that I ever made in my life.”
I then asked Close, who was born in Staten Island, New York on May 14, 1967, if it was tough being a Christian in Hollywood.
“No, not at all,” he replied. “I find that people are very respectful. Look, I work alongside my Jewish brothers and sisters, and we have a great time. We respect each other’s faiths, which are not too dissimilar. The other thing that is great is that we love to tell stories. You have a big group of storytellers getting together. It’s a lot of fun.”
He concluded by saying, “I love you Hollywood; you’ve been good to me. That’s all I have to say. Keep telling great stories.”
Dan Wooding is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. Wooding is the author of some 42 books, the latest of which is his autobiography, From Tabloid to Truth, which is published by Theatron Books.
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