"You have to have a big heart and the Lord. You can’t do this without the Lord," says LaTanya Richardson of her marriage.
If anything, Samuel L. Jackson is known for his hard work and diligence towards his career and this has resulted in him becoming one of the most prominent names in the entertainment industry. But what most of us don't know about the Pulp Fiction actor is his dedication that extends towards his beloved family, especially his wife, LaTanya Richardson. And while the story behind their love is desired by many, the lucky pair have been sharing it for nearly than 50 years.
The two first met in 1970 when Jackson was attending Morehouse University and Richardson, a fellow student actor, was studying at Spelman University. Initially, she felt he was "flamboyant, self-involved and emotionally detached," according to CBS News. However, she managed to stare into his soul and realized the mammoth potential he had hidden beneath it all. Even when he was at his worst, she stuck by him and that's why even after nearly four decades of marriage Jackson prioritizes her over anything else.
Like any other couple, they too underwent a rough patch when they got separated for a brief time. But their love for each other got them back together as the pair got hitched in 1980 and started their journey together, according to The Insider. Sure, they had a rocky married life but it was balanced out with the love and respect had for each other. "Oh God, oh God. It's a ride. It's been a ride. It's fun. It's sad. It's happy. It's creative. It's a conversation," said Richardson of her marriage with her 70-year-old husband. If it wasn't for Richardson, Jackson would have thrown his fruitful life away and submerged himself in his addictions.
According to The Guardian, he suffered from substance abuse of drugs like LSD and it wasn't until his 8-year-old daughter found him having a drug-induced meltdown, in their kitchen that he got himself clean. His wife could've easily walked out on him but she chose to stand by him and admitted him to rehab. " I credit her because she could have just taken Zoe and walked out and been done with me. But she didn't. That's a greater love than I will ever know. Because I don't know that I would've done that," said Jackson of his wife's significance in his life. When asked if she saved his life, Jackson confessed, "Yeah. Yeah. No doubt."
Both survived the tough times by trying harder to make it work. The one mantra that Richardson followed throughout her life was, "No matter what: don’t let the sun go down on your wrath." And no matter what went down between them they made sure to say, "OK goodnight, I love you. I love you," at the end of the day even through gritted teeth, according to Essence. And surely, it worked because even after all these years she simply cannot stop loving her husband. "When I think about what love is I think about when he’s away and when I think about him my whole body smiles; when I look at my daughter and she’s okay or just watch Sam and see how he really works to take care of me and her even still at 26 years old," said the actress.
Even though Jackson, has a rough exterior, he sure is a marshmallow when it comes to his wife and daughter. Richardson kept her husband grounded and now he the best version of himself. "I’ve always had my wife LaTanya, who’s my harshest critic," Jackson told The Guardian. The Oscar-nominated actor also believes that the two of them have an unbreakable connection that has kept them going all these years.
"The secret to our success? Well, I guess we still love each other," revealed Jackson to US Weekly. "We understand the bond we have, the commonality of experiences, the commonality of joy of the theater and of our lives and of our daughter’s life, so it’s easy for us to stay connected," he added. As for his wife, Richardson, she genuinely understood that holding on to a relationship took a lot of work and patience. "You have to have a big heart and the Lord. You can’t do this without the Lord. You’re going to have to turn to somebody, something — because men, they are different," she said adding, "They’re cut from a different cloth."