Emmy award-winning actor Sterling K. Brown was first introduced to mainstream audiences with his role in FX drama The People v. O.J. Simpson Story: American Crime Story and later, Black
Panther. He, like his actress wife, has been steadily working to gain roles that capture the hearts of the everyday American viewer. With their roles in network drama This Is Us, the couple has had the opportunity to accomplish just that. Meet Ryan Bathe, wife to Brown and mother to their two young sons.
1. She’s in 'This is Us,' too.
Bathe — who has appeared in Girlfriends, ER, How
I Met Your Mother and Private Practice — also joined Brown on the set of NBC’s popular family drama This Is Us. The network drama’s unique approach to intergenerational storytelling features characters at different stages of their lives and has garnered a cult following. Still, the show’s intricate chronology means Brown and Bathe’s characters don’t regularly appear on the screen at the same time. The actress, who began working in 2001, found her first starring role in 2011 on Retired at 35.
2. She's the 'best scene partner a brother's ever had.'
Bathe, who would later earn her MFA with New York University’s class of 2001, met Brown at Stanford while they were undergrads. The year was 1998 and the college students would be performing in the same play. This was a dynamic that would come to define Brown and Bathe’s relationship.
“You're the best scene partner a brother's ever had,” Brown said in his acceptance speech at the 2018 SAG Awards. “I love actors so much, I decided to marry one.”
The couple, who married in 2007, has two children.
3. They have two sons.
The St. Louis native was raised in Stanford, Connecticut. It was there, Bathe explained in a soul-baring essay penned for People, that she experienced the childhood trauma that guides her parenting today.
“I have been beaten for staying up late doing homework that I left to the last minute, not washing dishes, talking back, sticking my tongue out at my cousin, breaking a flower pot … and many other infractions that I can’t even remember,” Bathe wrote.
She and Brown are in agreement: Andrew, 8, and Amaré, 4, will not have the same stories.
“And then I had kids. And everything changed. I was exposed to articles about discipline and the science around corporal punishment. It rocked me to my core,” the mom-of-two said. “The good news is that my husband and I are in agreement about corporal punishment. So we [are] … praying for guidance. Hoping that love will be enough.”
4. Bathe stars in BET+ series 'First Wives Club.'
Premiering last fall on new streaming platform BET+, Bathe plays Ari alongside singer Jill Scott and comedian Michelle Buteau in a remake of the classic film.
The film was created and executive produced by Tracy Oliver, co-writer of the 2017 film Girls Trip, according to IMDb. In the remake, Scott, Buteau and Bathe are cast in roles originally filled by Diane Keating, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler, as an attempt to better represent the network’s audience O Magazine reports. A former lawyer and current campaign manager to her husband, Bathe’s character represents the challenge of balancing personal passion with spousal obligations.
5. She and Brown aim for a marriage others can “see God in.”
Bathe and Brown have been married for over a decade. In a conversation with Essence last year, Bathe shared a few of the couple’s joint values.
“Sterling told me he wanted a relationship that others could ‘see God in’ and that ‘inspired people to love each other and want to be married,’” the actress explained.
Today, Brown admits, the couple is aware of the online perception of their bond as aspirational, much like the one shared between his character on This Is Us, Randall Pearson, and his wife Beth.
“We’re honored and flattered,” the husband and father of two said. “We know what it takes to make a relationship work, but when you find somebody who’s worth it, it doesn’t feel like a chore.”