Things You Didn’t Know About Sterling K. Brown And Ryan Michelle Bathe’s Relationship


Sterling K. Brown has always been a fantastic actor, but fans have taken notice now more than ever thanks to his role as Randall Pearson on NBC’s hit drama, This Is Us. On the show, Randall has an enviable relationship with his wife Beth, but in real life, Brown’s love story is just as intriguing. Brown has been married for more than a decade to actress Ryan Michelle Bathe, and fans have seen more and more of the incredible pair since they began gracing the red carpets as Brown swept awards shows for his role on This Is Us. Get to know more about the adorable couple and their romance with these 12 things you didn’t know about their relationship:

12. How They Met

Brown and Bathe are college sweethearts! The two first met when they were both attending Stanford University together! “We were in the same dorm freshman year…that’s kind of how we met,” Bathe told Entertainment Tonight. While they lived in the same dorm, they officially met through a college play which they were both cast in, and Bathe knew right away that Brown was special. “You were 18 years old, and the things that this man could do at 18,” she continued. “Everybody’s like, ‘Oh, Sterling is amazing. He’s amazing.’ And I’m like, ‘He hasn’t even scratched the surface.’ At 18 years old, he got on the stage, and wasn’t even off book, and was Joe Turner. He was 18!”


11. Friends At First

Although Brown was immediately attracted to Bathe, their friendship blossomed first as they got to know each other by riding bikes together to rehearsal for the play. They soon discovered they had a lot in common, but Bathe was dating someone, so they remained just friends. “She got cast in the play as well, and we would ride bikes to rehearsal, and we would just talk. We found out that we were both from St. Louis. We didn’t know that we were both from St. Louis, like, our parents went to rival high schools. We were born in the same hospital. Like, we were friends,” Brown explained. “She was dating somebody. Of course she was, she’s gorgeous. So we were just buddies.” He added, “We were homies before everything else, and then it grew.”

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10. Ups and Downs

Although the two might seem like the perfect couple, it certainly hasn’t always been that way. The This Is Us star has been open about the fact that things were not always easy for the pair and they went through many ups and downs before they could come together and stay together. Brown explained that the two ended up dating “off and on” for several years and eventually broke up completely. For three years the two didn’t even talk but eventually came back together and tried to give a long distance relationship a try; Bathe had moved to Los Angeles, which was also a trying time for the couple before Brown picked up and moved to L.A. as well.

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9. Working For It

Despite knowing that Bathe was the one he wanted to be with, during an interview on The Talk, Brown revealed that his wife did not make it easy for him when he decided to tell her she was the one. “She was on a treadmill working out, and I had this epiphany, ‘I have to go tell this woman she’s the love of my life.’ I go to her apartment, I tell her, she’s like, ‘Well I’m working out right now’ and I was like, ‘No, I can see that — I’ll just talk to you while you’re on the treadmill,’ and she’s like, ‘Well, I feel like going outside. So I’m going to go on a run.’ So I’m like dressed [in a suit] and she starts running through Koreatown, and I start running along with her. Brother had to work. But it was work worthwhile,” he told the hosts.

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8. Love and Laughter

As is the case with all successful relationships, especially in Hollywood, the two often get asked what their “secrets” to a happy marriage are. Brown said it is pretty simple: communication, love, and laughter. “Number one, never stop talking. Problems arise when people stop talking to each other,” he explained. “Laugh a lot, we crack each other up constantly!” He added, “I do the best I can and I feel like that’s the way most people are. We do the best we can until we know how to do better. And Sterling Brown prides himself on putting his best foot forward.”


7. Together Forever

Ryan Michelle Bathe and Sterling K. Brown are one of those couples who truly seem to be in it for the long haul, and after their June 2007 wedding, no matter what happened they knew they would always be there for each other. As Brown’s success only gets bigger and bigger, he said, “Any time you find yourself too self-involved, then you’re doing something wrong. You’re supposed to be living a life of service. And I wish to be of service to this amazing woman who makes my life possible to that end.”


6. Could Be a Movie

While Brown is in one of TV’s best romances as Randall to Susan Kelchi Watson’s Beth, he thinks his real-life love story with Bathe could rival the drama of some series or TV shows. The actor joked that their love story could very well be a movie itself. “We need to actually put pen to paper and get it produced because people wouldn’t believe it,” he told ET. The multitude of ups and downs that we went through before we finally got together and figured it out. [We] have been together solid since April 2004, [but] all the stuff that happened before that, it’s a good movie.”


5. Biggest Fan

Whether they are working together or tackling separate projects or simply just making things run smoothly at home, Sterling K. Brown and Ryan Michelle Bathe are each other’s biggest fans. During his acceptance speech at the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Brown said, “I love actors so much, I decided to marry one. Ryan Michelle Bathe, you’re the best scene partner a brother’s ever had.” Brown has also said that one of the most important parts of their relationship is not only supporting each other but surrounding themselves with people who support them both. “One thing that I’ve learned for any relationship to be successful is the people who are part of your life, they have to champion your union,” he said. “Not just you, not just her. They have to champion y’all.”


4. Family First

Despite both being in the busy and often chaotic entertainment industry, both Brown and Bathe put their family first. The two welcomed their first son Andrew in 2012 and welcomed their second son, Amaré, in 2016. Despite their parent’s success, it seems their kids aren’t too fussed by their dad’s sudden surge in popularity thanks to roles in The People v OJ Simpson, This Is Us, and Black Panther. “Your kids keep you grounded, right?” said Bathe in an interview at the SAG awards. “Because our 6-year-old has no idea what’s going on — today he goes, ‘Why is hair and makeup here?’ I said, ‘Well, we’re going somewhere tonight.’ ‘No you don’t, you already have the Golden Globe,’” she recalled of the reply she received from the couple’s older child Andrew. “[I said], ‘SAG is tonight,’ and he was like, ‘(groans).’ He literally said, ‘Another one?’”


3. Home Delivery

It seems that the couple’s son Andrew was dramatic right from the beginning. A couple scenes from Randall’s life on This Is Us have mimicked Brown’s real life, including Beth’s unexpected home birth of their first daughter Tess. When Ryan Michelle Bathe went into labor with their son Andrew, there was no time to get to the hospital. “She comes crawling out of the bathroom after a while and she’s like ‘I think I’m crowning,’” Brown recalled in an interview.  “I’m asleep kinda, I’m like, ‘Sweetheart, you can’t be crowning. It’s your first baby. Just try to relax.’ I’m mansplaining what’s happening to her body.” He continued, “She’s like, ‘This joker knows nothing.’ She dials 911 and is trying to get the paramedics, and I’m on the phone with the midwife.” “Basically, she’s on all fours, I look down, the baby’s head is out,” Brown said of the hectic birth. “The midwife’s like, [soothing voice] ‘That’s fantastic, just wait for Mommy to push again. Catch the baby so you can put him on Mommy’s chest and they can start bonding.’ And sure enough, my wife pushed a second time, [and] his body just wriggled out. I had a hand on the back of his head and on his bum. He cried immediately, so I didn’t have to rub him to make sure that he was breathing.” The actor explained, “I got him, I [undid] the umbilical cord from around his leg, put him on Mommy’s chest and then within seconds he’s bobbing around, looking for the breast.”

2. Working Together

While many couples in Hollywood tend to want to separate their careers, some take on the challenge of working together which Bathe and Brown have done a few times. The two both appeared in Army Wives, where Brown played the only male military spouse among the main cast of the show. Then in the show’s sixth season, Bathe played the partner of an active duty soldier. They have also appeared together in an episode of Harry’s Law, and most recently, Bathe made an appearance on This Is Us. The actress appeared as Yvette, a mother who befriends Rebecca Pearson as she struggles with Randall seeking out a connection to his biological parents and other black people in the community.


1. Not Rehearsal Partners

Although the talented duo has shared the screen or at least been on the same show more than once, Bathe revealed that they have discovered that rehearsing together is not a good idea. “We’ve learned that there are certain minefields and pitfalls in our relationship, like a slalom, we just move right past them,” Bathe told E! News. “Rehearsing together is one of those things.”


Telisa Carter

Telisa Carter

Telisa enjoys learning and writing about all things entertainment in the world of Hollywood. When she isn't catching up on her favorite TV shows, she likes to read, and obsess over all things football.