For close to 40 years, Woody Harrelson has been charming audiences on both the big and small screens. He’s played a wide variety of captivating characters, from the bumbling Woody Boyd on the hit show Cheers to psychopathic serial killer Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers. But the one role he’s not as well-known for is that of husband and family man. Here’s the lowdown on Woody Harrelson’s wife, Laura Louie, and the family they share.
How Woody Harrelson Met His Wife, Laura Louie
Woody Harrelson met Laura Louie back in 1987, when she visited the Cheers set as part of media workshop group. Harrelson needed a personal assistant, so he asked the group if anyone was qualified. A young Laura Louie raised her hand.
“We had one of the greatest conversations I ever had, so she became my assistant,” Harrelson recalls in a 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “She was so great that every other person in Cheers got an assistant after that. She became my assistant the day after I met her and for the next three years.”
At first, the actor was afraid to pursue a relationship with his new hire. “It was one of those things I wouldn’t admit to myself: I didn’t want to be attracted to my amazing assistant,” he told THR. But after three years and much soul searching, he came to terms with the fact that he was in love with his employee. Harrelson declared his love and the duo have been together ever since.
They Have Three Daughters Together
Harrelson and Louie have three children together, all of whom were born before the longtime couple tied the knot. They had their first child, a daughter named Deni, in February of 1993. In 1996, they became parents once again to a girl they named Zoe. And in June of 2006, Louie gave birth to the couple’s third daughter, Makani.
The White Man Can’t Jump star says he loves being a dad—and that his perspective on life changed the minute his first child was born. “I think it’s the best thing going, parenthood,” Harrelson declared in a 2008 interview with Esquire. “I remember my daughter Deni coming along, and she was so pure and caring of everybody and everything. And somehow, this little being managed to get around all the obstacles—the gun turrets, the walls, the moats, the sentries—that were wrapped around my heart. My heart at that time needed her.”
They Finally Got Married In 2008
Even after becoming parents, Harrelson and Louie did not make things official. They waited until 2008 to finally tie the knot, after being together for more than 15 years. Unlike many high-profile Hollywood couples, the pair decided to keep things simple when it came to their wedding, despite Harrelson’s hefty net worth.
“We didn’t feel the need to shell out a ton of cash and do anything over the top,” the Solo actor explained in a 2017 interview. “It was basically just a bunch of good friends getting together in Maui. I paid for some food and drinks, a few hundred bucks, and that was about it. At the end of the day, it ain’t about how much it costs. It’s about having great people in a beautiful place and just … celebrating.”
One of the reasons Harrelson may have been hesitant to walk down the aisle sooner was the fact that his marriage to Louie was technically not his first. Back in 1985, he married Nancy Simon—daughter of famed playwright Neil Simon—on a whim while vacationing in Tijuana.
The pair were not at all serious and planned to have the union annulled the next day. But getting the marriage dissolved ended up being more complicated than they thought it would be. As a result, Harrelson and Simon were married for 10 months before they were finally granted a legal dissolution.
Today, Harrelson credits Louie and his children for keeping him grounded and preventing him from getting too caught up in the craziness of fame and fortune. “I went through a period of arrogance and having my head up my ass,” the Indecent Proposal star admitted in a 2018 interview with the Guardian. “But, luckily, this life and my family—my wife and my daughters, they kind of loved me into a better human being.”