Twenty years ago, Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts found her real-life leading man: cameraman Daniel "Danny" Moder. The 55-year-old actress wed the now 54-year-old cinematographer on July 4, 2002, and they've been living happily ever after since.
Long before finding fame, Julia dreamed of simple pleasures — a loving husband, children, and a cozy home. Her wish came true with Danny. "He's the kind of person who really enjoys simple things," Julia once said of her hubby. "He grounds me and gives me balance in my life."
Danny's unassuming and lighthearted nature was a perfect match for Julia's adventurous and vivacious spirit. While the Pretty Woman star was accustomed to lavish Hollywood affairs, Danny preferred quiet nights at home. He helped Julia rediscover life's little treasures outside the spotlight.
The couple met in 2000 on the set of Julia's film The Mexican. At the time, Julia was still dating Benjamin Bratt, while Danny was married to makeup artist Vera Steimberg. Nevertheless, sparks flew between Julia and Danny. Though risky, they followed their hearts — Danny divorced Vera, while Julia split from Benjamin.
Julia and Danny married in a secret wedding ceremony in Taos, New Mexico. The low-key affair was everything Julia wanted, surrounded by just close friends and family. Their marriage has withstood the test of time thanks to their steadfast commitment to shared values like loyalty, trust, communication and independence.
Over the years, the couple has worked hard to maintain a balance between successful careers and a nurturing family life. They have three children together: 17-year-old twins Hazel Patricia and Phinnaeus "Finn" Walter, and 15-year-old son Henry Daniel.
While raising their kids, Julia scaled back on work to focus on parenting, while Danny continued working as a cinematographer. They made the mutual decision to live away from Hollywood on a secluded ranch in New Mexico.
Though they lead a simple life, Julia and Danny's enduring love is an inspiration. After 20 blissful years, Julia still gushes over her man: "Danny is a wonderful human being," she says. "It was worth waiting for the right one."
The secret to their lasting marriage is really no secret at all. At the core, it's about marrying your best friend, sharing life's ups and downs together, appreciating each new day as a gift, belly laughing often, and maintaining a sense of fun and adventure. Most of all, it's about openly loving, supporting and accepting each other completely.
Julia and Danny remind us that true love stories can exist — even in Hollywood. Their fairy tale romance is a testament that patience, friendship and shared values are the foundation of a forever marriage.