When she decided to pursue a TV career on shows like Friends and St. Elsewhere, Christina Pickles knew she had to move elsewhere — from NYC to LA, to be exact.

“My late friend Bruce Paltrow, who produced St. Elsewhere, said, ‘You have to live in [the LA neighborhood of] Brentwood or Santa Monica!’” Christina shares with Closer. “So I said, ‘OK.’ I didn’t know anything about LA!”

Fortunately, Christina and her husband fell in love with the first and only home they saw in LA’s Brentwood area — a four-bedroom, four-bath cottage she decorated in the “shabby chic” style she loves.

christina pickles 'friends'

Christina with costar David Schwimmer on Friends.

Unfortunately, their love didn’t survive the renovations. “It was only four tiny rooms, so we opened them up, raised the ceiling, changed the floors…and it’s true, that ruined my marriage!” she says with a laugh. “But that’s all right. I think doing a house tells you who you are.”

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And 36 years later — after raising her kids, Oliver and Rebecca — the impossibly young-looking 80-year-old actress found love again with her husband, broadcast journalist Ian Masters, with whom she’s been together for 10 years.

“He’s Australian and recently became an American citizen,” says Christina. “We had a big party at the house with tables outside by the pool.”

To read the full story on Christina, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!