Mark Hamill is just cool all-around. We all know this. He was cool then (and is now again!) as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars (Episodes IV, V, VI, VII). His brilliant voice acting work as The Joker is beyond cool. What few know, though, is that Mark Hamill has been married to the same woman, Marilou, for more than thirty-seven years. And relationships that make it, and make it well, over the long-haul are really cool! And are especially rare in Hollywood.
When asked how they met, Mark explained, "You know, she was my dental hygienist. I went in to get my teeth cleaned and that's where we met."
A 1981 People magazine article reports, "Star Wars almost ruined Mark's budding romance with Marilou York... At the time they met, she was working as a dental hygienist in Westwood. "She came into the waiting room in jeans, white coat... looking like a Vargas painting. I said, 'They let you dress like that at work?' She said, 'Yeah. Next.' " On their first date, Mark adds, "I took her to [the Woody Allen movie] Annie Hall to see if she had a sense of humor. I dropped women if they didn't." Soon after, they saw an early Star Wars screening. "There was this one close-up of a minor character, curling his lips back from his teeth. She leaned over to me and whispered, 'Bad caps.' "
"It was love at first laugh. But when Star Wars took off, they broke up. "I had to taste groupies and fame," he claims. "I went to Las Vegas to date 38-year-old showgirls. I wanted to scale all these women. That was exciting for about the first 10 minutes. Eventually, I wanted something to hold onto—and a family."
"Marilou remembers the change in Mark. During his oats-sowing period she "kept busy. I ran my own life. But all the time I thought I was good for him, so I was hoping we'd get back together." The couple married in December 1978, in the backyard of their Malibu home with only a few friends present."
Mark Hamill had an AMA (Ask me anything) on Reddit in 2014 where, among other things, he gave some solid relationship advice and insights. Here are some excerpts:
Someone asked Mark, "What would you consider your biggest accomplishment?"
Mark replied, "I always think of more personal than professional [accomplishments]. I'm so proud of my three children and so happy with my wife and dog and little house and acre of land. I always think a day when you never get out of your pajamas is a win."
Another person asked, "You've been married since 1978—and to the same person! What's the secret to having such a successful marriage?"
Mark replied, "Well I just was lucky I found the right person. If you're lucky enough to find your soulmate, you have to keep your fingers crossed. A really short manual would read "Don't cheat", because that seems to be where people break up. When you go through tricky periods you have to work on it and having children helps because you know you're trying to find a way to make everyone happy."