Lea Thompson, best known for starring as Lorraine Baines-McFly opposite Michael J. Fox in the Back to the Future films, has a lot to be thankful for as she celebrates another year married to film director Howard Deutch, whom she met in the 1980s.

Closer takes a look at her relationship with Howard, including the sweet way the two met and fell in love.

How Did Lea Thompson and Howard Deutch Meet?

Lea and Howard met working on the 1987 teen rom-com Some Kind of Wonderful, in which the actress starred alongside Eric Stoltz and Mary Stuart Masterson. Howard, who directed, wanted Lea for the film — but she initially turned him down!

Around the same time Some Kind of Wonderful began production, the 1986 movie Howard the Duck — starring Lea alongside Jeffrey Jones and Tim Robbins — was released and became an epic flop.

Howard Deutch and Lea Thompson
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“I was 26 when I made Some Kind of Wonderful. Right before, I had made Howard the Duck, which got terrible reviews. I thought my career was over,” Lea previously told Salon.com. “Eric Stoltz, whom I had become friends with while working together on both Back to the Future [Stolz was the original Marty McFly] and The Wild Life, acting as a messenger for Howard, delivered the script to my house. Howie saw me as right for [the role of] Amanda even though I had already turned it down because I thought Watts [the character played by Mary] was the better part. I needed a job. Amanda was my second chance.”

In that same interview, Howard revealed, “Of course, how sexy Lea [is] was part of why I wanted her in the movie; I had a crush on her that all of my friends teased me about. But there’s also something grounded and relatable about her on screen.”

Looking back, Howard said Lea’s casting not only impacted the film — it also changed his life. “She had a lot to do, as far as I’m concerned, with the tone changing of that movie as well as some of the other casting,” he explained, per People. “It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

“We met that way and we eventually married,” he added, referring to their 1989 wedding ceremony. “But that’s another story.”

Lea Thompson Was Previously Engaged to Dennis Quaid

Dennis Quaid
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Before Lea married Howard, she was engaged to Dennis Quaid from 1984 to 1987. When she and Howard met, she was actually still in a relationship with the Far From Heaven actor.

On an episode of Justin Long‘s “Life Is Short” podcast, she explained that Howard “had a crush on me,” adding, “But at this point still I was engaged to Dennis Quaid. So, I had to kind of get out of that before … but it was a crazy time, I mean, I did like 900 movies in a row.”

Do Lea Thompson and Howard Deutch Have Children?

Lea and Howard have two daughters, who are both actresses. Their daughter Madelyn was born in 1991, and Zoey was born in 1994.

Howard previously said that he thinks Madelyn and Zoey take after their mother. “Lea has always been the artist in this family,” he told Salon.com. “Our kids got that from her. Just as she did from her parents and how they valued creativity and her gift.”

Lea has been supportive of their respective careers, telling Parade, “I think that in a lot of ways we just feel as if they’re going into the family business, and that is lovely. It’s kind of sickening sometimes at the dinner table because all we talk about is work, but I have a wonderful, collaborative relationship with both of my daughters.”

However, she did offer her daughters one piece of advice when it comes to the entertainment industry. “It’s really not okay to hook up with your director,” she told Entertainment Weekly, “even though I did.”

Madelyn Deutch, Zoey Deutch, Howard Deutch and Lea Thompson
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Lea Thompson and Howard Deutch Still Celebrate Their Love With Sweet Instagram Posts

After decades of marriage, Lea and Howard still appear to have a lot of love for one another. On Valentine’s Day in 2022, she shared side-by-side photos taken years apart of them both.

She captioned the post, “I hope you had a healthy lovely #valentines day. I like to think of it as a day of grace generosity and self love [two hearts emoji] Howie and I celebrate this as our 35th anniversary of dating. We started dating when #somekindofwonderful came out. Lots of ups and downs. But thanks for sticking with me @howiedeutch you are my everything. And a night in with a friend cooking and watching #callmyagent with the dogs is my kinda night [red heart emoji] oh and ya we are starting to look alike.”

And for their 30th wedding anniversary, she shared a photo of them having dinner in New York City, writing, “Howie Deutch thanks for sticking with me and being so funny.”

For his part, Howard doesn’t share much on social media. However, one sweet Instagram post is dedicated to his wife. “Happy 34th Anniversary to the love of my life Lea!” he captioned a photo of the actress. “Saves me in so many ways every day! So grateful to know, adore, and love her every day!”