In an exclusive new interview with Closer Weekly, Mary Steenburgen candidly opened up about how her husband, Ted Danson, has helped her find happiness after enduring a dark childhood.

In fact, the 64-year-old actress said Ted was her rock even before they met! “I always thought Ted was brilliant,” Mary told Closer after a recent SAG-AFTRA Foundation screening of her new film, Dean.

MORE: Mary Steenburgen Reveals 35-Year-Long Battle With Anxiety (EXCLUSIVE)

“When I was going through sad times, I’d watch Cheers at the end of the day to make me feel better. Then I discovered it was easier to just sleep with Sam the bartender,” she joked.

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Mary and Ted in August 2014.

Years before Mary tied the knot with Ted, 69, in October 1995, the Oscar winner was an aspiring actress facing unimaginable hardships during her Arkansas childhood.

“My dad had a series of heart attacks when I was a little girl, and our world was shaped by these huge traumatic events. I spent my childhood waiting for my dad to die. From the age of eight, my response to that insanity was to bury myself in books, where if people died, they could get back up again,” she told Closer.

MORE: Mary Steenburgen Is “Obsessed” With The Accordion — Find out Why!

Two years after landing her breakout role in the 1978 film Goin’ South, Mary married her first husband, English actor Malcolm McDowell, in September 1980. The actress then won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar — for 1980’s Melvin and Howard — just after giving birth to her daughter, Lilly McDowell.

“I had Lilly, my first child, two and a half months before that,” she recalled to Closer. “I was so crazy in love with my daughter that it slightly eclipsed the Oscar — which in Hollywood is an almost sacrilegious thing to say.”

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Mary, Ted, and their family in December 2009.

Today, Mary — who is also a mom to son Charlie McDowell — is happier than ever with her “ridiculously talented” husband, Ted. “He inspires me to be a better actor,” The Proposal star said in a previous interview.

MORE: Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen Reveal Why They’re Perfect for One Another! (EXCLUSIVE)

Though the two are set to co-star in an upcoming Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, Mary confessed their busy work schedules unfortunately often keep them apart.

“I shoot [Fox’s] The Last Man on Earth from August to February, and Ted shoots [NBC’s] The Good Place from February to August, so there’s never a time when we’re both free,” she said. “We help each other learn lines every night.” How cute!

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