Steve Martin is no stranger to the big screen, having starred in classic films like Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Father of the Bride, along with newer television series like Only Murders in the Building. But there is one aspect about Martin's life that fans know little about: his marriage to writer Anne Stringfield.
The couple met in the mid-2000s when Stringfield was a fact-checker for The New Yorker, and they eventually wed in 2007. Martin and Stringfield welcomed a child a few years later, but have managed to keep the details of their relationship under wraps. Even their wedding was a surprise for both their guests and the press.
Martin previously told PEOPLE that meeting Stringfield was "an important episode" in his life. "She makes it all possible. She has one of the most important qualities a person can have, and that's kindness," he added.
So who is Anne Stringfield? Here's everything to know about Steve Martin's wife.
She's from Florida and went to college in North Carolina
Stringfield was reportedly raised in Pensacola, Florida, but moved to North Carolina after high school to attend Davidson College, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree. Stringfield was also a member of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, America's "most prestigious academic honor society."
She's a writer and former staffer for The New Yorker
She met Martin over the telephone
Speaking of The New Yorker, Martin has written for the magazine's Shouts & Murmurs section, among others — and that's exactly how he and Stringfield met. During her time as a fact-checker, Stringfield was asked to check one of Martin's comedy pieces and the rest was history.
"We talked on the phone for a year before we even met," Martin told AARP in 2017. The outlet also noted that "on first acquaintance [Stringfield] is deeply shy," which may have attracted Martin, who often refers to himself as an introvert.
She and Martin had a surprise wedding at their home in Los Angeles
On July 28, 2007, Martin and Stringfield wed in a surprise ceremony at the couple's L.A. home. Approximately 75 guests were in attendance and former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, who is also a friend of Martin's, officiated the ceremony.
According to Martin's publicist Alan Nierob, there was a star-studded guest list that included Eugene Levy, Tom Hanks and Diane Keaton. All guests were told they'd been invited to the Martin home to attend a "party," only to be surprised by the couples' nuptials.
Stringfield reportedly wore Vera Wang and Martin chose Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels as his best man.
She has a remarkable resemblance to comedian Tina Fey
In 2015, Stringfield made a rare appearance at the Dolby Theater to support Martin as he received the 43rd American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. During the ceremony, Tina Fey — who is a longtime friend of Martin's — commented on the similarities between Stringfield and herself.
Martin married "a woman who is, I think a younger, thinner, smarter version of me," Fey said. To which the actor responded, "She does look like my wife!"
She and Martin are avid art collectors
"I never talk about our art collection, because it's our private sanctuary, but I am so enthused about the Indigenous art," Martin told Australia's ABC that year. "There is no doubt these [desert paintings] hang well with others and that one day they will be in the company of great contemporary art at auction and not culled out as a special field."
She welcomed her first child with Martin in 2012
The Cheaper by the Dozen star may be known for his role as a fun-loving on-screen father, but it wasn't until 2012 that he and Stringfield had a child of their own.
A year after their daughter's birth, Martin gave an emotional speech about becoming a first-time dad at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governors Awards. "My wife alone would have been enough reward for my life … but now she's brought me a wonderful child," he told the audience.
In 2017, Martin spoke with AARP about parenting a young child at 71 years old, calling it "fantastic." He added, "I think if I'd had a child earlier, I would have been a lousy father because I would have misplaced my attention on my career. I am very forthcoming with her, and it's great. She's giving me way more than I'm giving her."
She's never walked the red carpet with Martin
Despite Martin's fame, he and Stringfield prefer to keep their relationship private. In fact, in 1990 Martin told The Oklahoman that he wasn't a fan of interviews. "I don't really have a tabloid life," Martin said. "I really don't like to talk about it [his personal life]. I think most people are this way."
In 2015, he also admitted that his wife prefers to stay out of the spotlight and has "never walked a red carpet." She has accompanied her husband to a few industry events, however, including the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2013 and 2015. Most recently, the couple attended the American Museum of Natural History Gala in November 2021, where they were seated with musician Dave Grohl and Lorne Michaels.