While the character of Eric Forrester has had approximately half a dozen wives, the actor that portrays him has been happily wed for 27 years.
Soap Opera Digest recently asked John McCook what the secret to such a relationship is...
Soap Opera Weekly: Congratulations on your "happily ever after"!
John McCook: Thank you. We're very proud and very happy people. All three of our kids are wonderful and have their own lives. Our youngest is 16, and she's still at home, of course. We've been very lucky, but we've worked hard at it. It's taken a lot of effort.
McCook: Laurette and I have not had very many big crises in our relationship, but we've had had a few. Many years ago, when our first big crisis started, we were going to talk about it and the first thing that we said was, "This is not the end of anything. When we finish talking about this, we're going to be together and everything's going to be fine, but now we're going to talk about this." That's really important to say to one another. We're committed to each other.
Weekly: Do you feel like your happiness is a rarity in show business?
McCook: I don't know. We know a lot of people who have successful marriages - not only in show business, but the parents of kids who go to school with our children. Most of our friends are not in show business. Most of our friends are out there in the education system and out there in our suburb. Yes, I see a lot of divorce. I know how hard it is for people to be together for years and years. It's a challenge, so I respect anybody who's in a relationship and works at it and makes it a priority.
Weekly: Was it love at first sight when you met Laurette?
McCook: Yeah, pretty much. I had been through a marriage before. Laurette had not, but we were both really ready to commit to this thing. We came to a place where we thought we would be terrific together. We decided to fall in love.
Weekly: How is she doing these days?
McCook: We have been very lucky that when we first were married Laurette was still working a lot. She did a lot of episodic television, and I had just finished doing The Young and The Restless. When Laurette was pregnant with Jake, our first baby, she didn't want to work anymore. The lucky thing is that I worked enough that she didn't have to, and that's the way it's been all these years.
She has taken great pride in her skill as a mom and as a wife and as a homemaker. At the time, she knows that she did do what she did, which is leave high school and go to the American Academy in New York and come out here and do a lot of television. She accomplished a great deal.
Weekly: Has she ever talked about getting her feet wet again?
McCook: Yeah, she's thinking about it right now. It's truly funny because Molly, our youngest, just got an agent; she's starting to work a little bit and wants to be an actress. Laurette is right to the point where she's going to throw her hat in the ring to have representation for commercials. She doesn't want to do a series or try to get a big brass-ring job like that, but she thinks that she can go out and get some commercials here and there because she's that right age: The attractive, energetic mom you see in commercials a lot.
Weekly: How has grandfatherhood been treating you?
McCook: Oh, that's been wonderful! Becky's little girl is beautiful. She's going to be a year old next month. She stays with us a lot on weekdays when Becky's working, so we're spending a lot of time with that baby and it's a blessing. It's really wonderful.
Weekly: Has being a grandparent gone as you expected?
McCook: No, it's totally different. I thought I would be a doting old [man] who held the baby on his knees, but it's much more active than that!