Ted Danson Talks About Amazing In-Flight Surprise From Wife Mary Steenburgen On ‘Ellen’

Everybody loves TV legend Ted Danson but not as much as his wife Mary Steenburgen who pulled off the ultimate romantic surprise while the actor was flying to New York.

Appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” this Friday, “The Good Place” star told Ellen about a sweet surprise his wife planned during a recent flight to New York, where he was doing press for “Inside The Actor’s Studio.”

Disappointed that his Academy Award-winning wife couldn’t join him on the trip, Danson left for the airport alone. After being harassed by paparazzi and posing for photos, by the time he eventually got on the plane he was “a little tired, and a smidge grumpy.”  Then to make matters worse, a guy started filming the former “Cheers” star while he was trying to find his seat.

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Danson shared the video with Ellen as he continued to explain what happened next. Not only was he being video recorded, but someone was sitting in his seat. “I think ‘oh great, some diva is sitting in my seat’,” he recalled. “And she’s wearing dark glasses and a hat. What a bore! And she’s not moving.”

But as Danson held his phone in his mouth while trying to take off his jacket, he realized the woman in his seat wasn’t “some diva,” it was his wife!

“How did you not know it was her?!” Ellen asked. “My brain is going ‘I know where she is; she’s at home baking bread in her bathrobe. I know that for a fact,” Danson answered. “And I’m also slightly trained in life to, err, if there’s a beautiful woman I only kind of peripherally note. Beautiful woman, eye’s straight ahead.”

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The actor also talked to Ellen about having to postpone his 70th birthday celebrations due to the recent California wildfires. “As far as I’m concerned I’m still 69,” he joked. The fires badly affected the surrounding areas of Ojai neighborhood, where Danson lives in what used to be Ellen’s old house. “It survived,” he told Ellen of the house. “But it was scary. A lot of people lost their homes.”

He also told Ellen that he loved her testimony to her dad who recently passed away at age 92. “That was so sweet, I loved that,” he said.