Harry Connick Jr., the Grammy award-winning vocalist, and Jill Goodacre, former Victoria Secret model, have been married for almost 25 years. In Hollywood terms, that is almost unheard of.
The couple met in 1990 through a mutual friend and were married four years later.
"I think it’s different for everybody but I love my wife and I know she loves me," the crooner said. "We’re best friends. We’re just lucky to have found each other. It takes a lot of work but I just feel very blessed that I found the right person. It’s a very fortunate situation and not everyone has that."
“I genuinely want to know what she thinks," he continued. I want to know what she’s doing and there’s a lot about her that I still don’t know. I married up!”
The couple shares three kids together, Georgia, 21, Sara Kate (who goes by Kate), 20, and Charlotte, 15.
After 23 years together, it's fair to say Connick Jr. and Goodacre have been through their share of struggles.
But neither of them could have expected what's hit them in the last five years.
In October of 2012, Jill Goodacre went in for her routine mammogram.
“They said, ‘Okay, looks good. Since you have dense breasts, just go across the hall for your sonogram,’ ” Goodacre told People. The sonogram revealed an abnormality, and a biopsy revealed that Goodacre had Stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma and would need to immediately undergo a lumpectomy, followed by radiation.
“I was scared I was going to lose her, absolutely,” says Connick Jr., whose mother died of ovarian cancer when he was 13. “I wasn’t going to let her see that, but I was. I know from losing my mom that the worst can happen. She’s my best friend, and I really don’t know what I would do without her.”
Chemotherapy wasn't required, but Goodacre still had some grueling times ahead of her.
“The lumpectomy didn’t come back with clean margins,” she explains. “So I had to go in for a second surgery the very next day. And then radiation absolutely wiped me out. And since then there’s been the Tamoxifen, which I’ve now been taking for five years.”
Tamoxifen can have some difficult side effects, including weight gain.
“I’ve always been a pretty fit person, and so to be just rounder and heavier and not to really be able to do much about it — that’s been hard. It’s taken a lot out of my self-confidence,” she says.
“It’s a part of how the cancer and the treatment impacted her, and it was a real issue, even though she will always be the most beautiful woman in the world,” adds Connick Jr.
It's coming up on 5 years of remission for Goodacre, so why did the couple wait so long to disclose her illness?
“It wasn’t like we were superstitious, like if we said something about being in the clear we’d somehow jinx it,” Goodacre says. “But we wanted to be well on the other side of things before we told everybody. The doctors all say that after the five-year mark, things look optimistic, so we’re starting to feel pretty good.”
“All I wanted to do was grow old with you and have as many years as possible as I could with you,” Connick Jr. told Goodacre.
“You always used to say that: ‘I just want to grow old with you,’" she responded.
You can watch the full interview when it airs here.