Alan Alda Shares Witty Secret to His 61-Year Marriage

How has Alan Alda sustained his 61-year marriage to wife Arlene Alda? The legendary actor spilled his secrets to Us and revealed how his and Arlene’s romance has stood the test of time.

The 82-year-old actor spoke exclusively to Us Weekly on Monday, December 3, about his successful relationship and revealed the couple’s hilarious trick for making it work. “[My wife] says the secret to a long marriage is a short memory,” Alda teased to Us at the Paris to Pittsburgh premiere in New York City, later adding that his wife is the “best present” he ever received during the holidays.

Alan-Alda
Alan Alda attends Bloomberg Philanthropies & RadicalMedia Host The New York Premiere Of ‘Paris To Pittsburgh’ at Walter Reade Theater on December 3, 2018 in New York City. Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Alda previously shared the sweet story behind meeting Arlene at a party and knowing instantly the they were meant to be. “The hostess of the evening had made a rum cake and she put it on the refrigerator to cool. The refrigerator shook and the cake fell off the refrigerator and hit the floor,” the West Wing alum explained to Today in April 2015. “Arlene and I were the only two people who went in with spoons and ate it off the floor. That’s how you know. When two people eat a cake off the floor, that’s it for life.”

But their romance isn’t as rare as some might seem. “We have friends who have been married as long or longer,” the Golden Globe winner told The Sydney Morning Herald in April 2015. “I think in Hollywood, it gets talked about more.”

Earlier that year, Alda starred in The Longest Ride, a Nicholas Sparks flick showcasing two iconic love stories. “It was one of the few parts I played where — let me see if I can find the most accurate way to say this — the emotions I feel in real life were as close as I ever felt to the emotions of a character,” he told the publication of playing Ira Levinson, a man married for decades to his first love, Ruth. “What I like about the movie is that it is about long-term love. Most movies end when the long-term love is about to being. Most movies deal with the excitement of new romance, which can be translated into long term, but that takes some doing. I think this is kind of a realistic look at a relationship.”

With reporting by Nikaline McCarley.

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