When Bo Derek was widowed, she didn't think she'd find love again. Then she met John Corbett.

When Bo Derek lost her actor husband of 22 years - John Derek - she "didn't expect to end up with anyone again".

It was 1998, and he had died from heart failure. 

"Some women want to pair up again right away. I didn't," Derek said to Fox News. "I remember consciously fashioning myself after some girlfriends that I have [who] are single and led very full, fantastic lives with friends and family and projects that they do. And that gave them happiness."

Then in 2002, something changed when she met Sex and the City actor John Corbett.

The pair were set up by Corbett's talent agent when Corbett told him he had no one to take to an Oscars party. 

Corbett said he "was very intimidated" before first meeting Derek.

But once they got to know one another, Derek said "it was just an attraction, a comfort."

"The air just gets sucked out of the room when you lose your partner. So I wallowed in that for a while. I kept saying to my friends, 'I'll wait until all the sparks and all that get going.' And it finally happened."

Corbett first heard of Derek during her breakthrough role in the romantic comedy film 10, not to mention her iconic celebrity Playboy cover in 1980.

As for Derek, she told Entertainment Tonight that she was a fan of Sex and the City before she met Corbett, who played Aidan on the show. 

When asked if she was #TeamBig or #TeamAidan, the actress said: "I think I was Team Big - for Carrie, not for me, but for her."


Image: Getty.

Neither Corbett nor Derek had kids from previous relationships, and decided not to pursue that path together either.

"I thought about it at one time, but my life was so unconventional. There were times I wouldn't have a dog because my life was so crazy, let alone a child," Derek said to Variety recently. 


Corbett said they had considered adopting a child or teenager together, but in the end felt their work schedules and travelling wouldn't align.

And since that fateful date in 2002, the pair have been together ever since. For years when asked in interviews if marriage was on the cards, they both said it wasn't a priority for them.

"I think when you're beginning a young family and you're going to have children and set up this new family tree branch, it's obviously a wonderful commitment and it's meaningful," she said to Fox News

"But for us in our lives, it hasn't been yet."

Then in 2020, they surprised everyone and decided to get married, 18 years into their relationship.

Explaining the decision, Corbett announced the news on CBS' The Talk.

"Around Christmas time we got married. Bo and I got married. We're pretty private people, we didn't make an announcement," he said.

"We decided to get married. We didn't want 2020 to be that thing that everybody looks back at and hated. We thought let's get one nice thing out of it."

As for the secret of their long-lasting relationship, Derek said it comes down to lots of love and lots of humour.


"I think the secret is to just enjoy being together," Corbett told the Huffington Post when asked about their marriage.

Today, Derek, 66, and Corbett, 62, live on a ranch in California with their two German Shepherds and four horses.

"He makes me laugh all the time. He's full of life, full of joy. I became attracted to him and I still am," Derek said about her now-husband.

"It's that twinkle in his eye, that humour. He has a lot of joy in him and I feed off of it. I just love it. And the simplest things can make him so happy, so he makes my day brighter because of that."

Feature Image: Getty.

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