Blythe Danner has remained faithful to her late husband, Bruce Paltrow. The mother to famed actress Gwyneth Paltrow and an awarded actress herself, Blythe still misses Bruce. The Danner-Paltrow family, which includes Gwyneth’s brother, Jake, emulates both tremendous talent and true love.
Blythe Danner’s Career
Blythe Danner was born on February 3, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduating from George School and then Bard College in the 60s, Blythe went on to star in many on- and off-Broadway theatre productions, She was in the 1967 musical Mata Hari, the 1968 Broadway production of Cyrano de Bergerac, Molière’s The Miser in 1969 and Butterflies Are Free in 1970. She won a Tony for Butterflies Are Free as Best Featured Actress in a Play.
Blythe Danner started appearing in film and TV in 1968 and has continued until present day. She has 115 film and TV acting credits to her name over the course of over 50 years.
Blythe won a Saturn Award for Best Actress in 1976 (Futureworld). She won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2006 (Huff). Blythe won a Theatre World Award for her role as Elise in The Miser in 1969. And Blythe has been nominated for many more awards for her work over the years.
Most recently, Blythe is starring alongside Hilary Duff in What They Had. Blythe Danner plays an Alzheimer’s patient and Hilary plays her daughter. She is also well known for her role as Dina Byrnes in Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers.
Blythe Danner and Bruce Paltrow’s Love Story
Bruce Paltrow was born on November 26, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York. Before his death, he was the same age as his now-widowed wife, Blythe. He was an American film and television director and producer. Bruce was known for works such as Fargo, St. Elsewhere, and The White Shadow. Like Blythe, Bruce went on from University (he studied painting at Tulane) to working in theatre.
Bruce Paltrow and Blythe Danner met on set of the 1969 theatrical production Someone’s Comin’ Hungry. They married the following year and remained together until Bruce passed away from oral and throat cancer in 2002. In his New York Times obituary, Bruce was quoted as describing his and his wife’s relationship.
“We’re not Andy Hardy types, but we’re also not Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero… We’re more like Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman,” Bruce had once said. The obituary then noted what Blythe Danner’s correction was. “Oh no, honey. We don’t even know those people. We’re just us.”
When Bruce’s cancer finally took over, he didn’t have long to live.
“There was no lying in bed for months; he just went,” Danner told AARP. She added that she thinks of him often and misses him to this day.
“As I get older, when I’m out gardening, I think, You know, it wouldn’t be so bad to die — I think I would see Bruce again,” she said. “But then I’d miss the grandchildren, and I want to see them grow up.”
Blythe Has Remained Faithful to Her Late Husband
Since Bruce Paltrow’s passing, Blythe has remained faithful to him. She once told Today that her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, has tried to set her up with guys but she’s never really been interested.
“I would date usually lovely gentlemen, a couple (of them), but I thought, ‘Oh, I’d rather be home watching television!’” she told Today.
“Isn’t that awful?” she continued. “(It’s because) Bruce was a character, he was constantly laughing all the time, and Gwyneth says, ‘You can’t expect to find Daddy again!'”
Blythe echoed the same sentiments in 2015 while speaking with People. She was promoting her film I’ll See You In My Dreams. In that film, Blythe shared an on-screen kiss with legendary actor Sam Elliott. They did a table reading and then were filmed doing the kiss scene the following day. Blythe said she was nervous.
“I was a little nervous,” she told People. “That was probably the only scene I was a little nervous about … because my husband has been gone for 13 years. “I’ve had a couple of blind dates, but I haven t had a [serious] date and I’m not really shopping for another relationship.”
She added, “As June [Squibb] says [in the film], ‘When you’ve had the best, the heck with the rest,’ and that s kind of my attitude about it all.”
Blythe recently announced that she is also in remission from cancer. Eerily, like Bruce, she was diagnosed with oral cancer. After three surgeries, radiation treatment, and chemotherapy, she is officially clear of cancer.
Blythe and Bruce’s Progeny: Jake and Gwyneth Paltrow
Over the course of their marriage, Blythe Danner and Bruce Paltrow had two children. One was daughter and prolific actress, Gwyneth Paltrow. The other was their son, Jake Paltrow.
Jake, like the rest of his family, is involved in Hollywood. However, although he has one acting credit, he prefers to stay on the other side of the camera. Jake works as a director and has 11 credits to his name, including NYPD Blue, Young Ones, and the documentary De Palma.
Jake has two children as does Gwyneth. Together, that makes four grandchildren for Blythe Danner, who she says she enjoys visiting on both coasts of the United States.
Gwyneth and Blythe are often seen together doing interviews and it’s clear that the two share a close bond. Blythe has been known to step up to defend Gwyneth in the face of online heckling. And she’s also helped promote Gwyneth’s health and beauty line, Goop.
Gwyneth also loves her mom dearly, as is clear from the way the two interact together. For her mom’s 78th birthday, she wrote the most endearing, heartfelt message on Instagram.
This beautiful creature fills our hearts with so much warmth. She gets words and names mixed up in the most hilarious and unique of ways. She is full of life and incredibly strong. She loves her grandchildren more than anything in the world. She loves Bill Evans, eating leftovers and keeping her own company. I admire so many things about her and today is her birthday. Happy birthday from the bottom of our hearts, your family loves you so much mommy.Gwyneth Paltrow, via Instagram