Inside Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick’s Unusual Love Story

Watch: Sarah Jessica Parker on Secrets to a Successful Marriage

Sarah Jessica Parker is always so busy with her fashionable appearances and her fragrances and her shoes and her charity work and the upcoming Sex and the City revival

And Matthew Broderick is always busy doing a play or a movie…

It can be easy to forget that these two award-winning actors go home to each other at the end of those long days. But now is not the time, with their 24th wedding anniversary happening in May, to take one of the most enduring couples in show business for granted.

"I love Matthew Broderick," Parker declared in Harper's Bazaar in 2013. "Call me crazy, but I love him. We can only be in the marriage we are. We're very devoted to our family and our lives. I love our life. I love that he's the father of my children, and it's because of him that there's this whole other world that I love."

photosSurprising Secrets of the Longest Celebrity RelationshipsKevin Mazur/WireImage

And what of this whole other world, the one that complements the world in which SJP wears a glittery nativity scene on her head to the Met Gala?

The actors met in November 1991 when Broderick directed a play for the Naked Angels Theater Company, which was founded by Parker's big brothers Pippin and Toby (she's one of eight siblings). He was best known to the masses then as the sweet-faced but wily class-cutter in Ferris Bueller's Day Off but was already a veteran star of the stage. Parker, who once dated John F. Kennedy Jr., had recently broken up with Robert Downey Jr. after a storied tumultuous relationship (RDJ takes full credit for the rocky bits) and Broderick's past girlfriends included Helen Hunt and Jennifer Grey.

Parker has said that her relationship with Downey taught her "the difference between loving and taking care of people and what's necessary, and what grown-ups should and shouldn't do for one another."

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Some months went by, though, before he finally drummed up the nerve to call her for a date on Feb. 1, 1992. "Then he left a very charming, very self-effacing message on the machine," Parker told the NY Times. "You know, 'Hi, it's Matthew Broderick.' You had to use your last name."

After which she and Broderick set off together, armed with their mutual love of New York, the stage (Parker played Annie on Broadway and Broderick won his first Tony at 21 for Brighton Beach Memoirs), baseball and each other.

"I do remember first meeting her…we went to a movie together," Broderick, who grew up in Greenwich Village, told the YES Network in 2012. "And I still remember very clearly seeing her walk down the street toward the movie theater…it's very unique, because I wouldn't remember most people the first time I saw them come down the street. [But] I remember it as clear as day." (It didn't even matter that he grew up rooting for the Mets and she was a Yankees fan.)

As Parker gushed to the Los Angeles Times in March 1996, "He's probably the funniest fellow I've met in my whole life. He's so bright, so handsome, I think he's the most handsome man I've seen in my life. And he inspires me. I'm mad for him, totally."

She was about to star opposite Broderick in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway, her first time singing onstage in 16 years.

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