Eric Braeden and Dale Russell Gudegast have been married since 1966
Eric Braeden and his wife, Dale Russell Gudegast, have been married for over 50 years.
The longtime The Young and the Restless star married the interior designer in 1966 after they met in college. They share one son, writer and director Christian Gudegast, and three grandchildren.
“I adore them,” Braeden told PEOPLE of his family in 2020. “Nothing makes me more happy than seeing them.”
Braeden, born Hans-Jörg Gudegast, has starred on the soap as Victor Newman for the majority of his marriage, having joined the cast in 1980. Through it all, the Emmy Award winner has remained grateful for the support of his wife and family.
“I’m deeply grateful to having worked with such great colleagues over the years and having had such great support from my family, from my wife,” he told PEOPLE. “You know, I consider myself very fortunate.”
The actor also has no intention of retiring soon, sharing with PEOPLE in 2021, "I love my life. ... love my colleagues. I love my family and friends. So do I see myself retiring anytime soon? Hell no! My life has been enriched by having been introduced to so many things."
So, who is Eric Braeden’s wife? Here’s everything to know about Dale Russell Gudegast and her relationship with the soap opera star.
She and Braeden met in college
While studying economics and philosophy at Santa Monica College, Braeden met his future wife, who was enrolled as an art major.
“She went to a Catholic school,” he told The Montanan, adding that she “was well-educated, very steeped in European literature ... so there was an affinity.”
Since their college sweetheart days, Gudegast has worked as a pillow designer and interior designer but tends to keep her life and career out of the spotlight.
They welcomed their son Christian in 1970
Braeden and Gudegast’s son, Christian, was born in February 1970.
Christian is a screenwriter and filmmaker. His writing credits include A Man Apart (2003), London Has Fallen (2016) and Den of Thieves (2018), which he also produced and directed. According to Deadline, Gudegast wrote and directed the upcoming sequel, Den of Thieves 2: Pantera.
“My son is arguably the greatest gift of my life and always has been," Braeden told PEOPLE in 2021. “We talk to each other almost every night.”
The actor also said of his wife, “My wife is beautiful. She’s a forgiving, understanding woman and a wonderful mother to our son Christian.”
In 2009, Christian married his wife Natasha, a jewelry designer.
She has three granddaughters
Braeden and Gudegast are the proud grandparents of their son Christian’s three daughters.
Christian has one daughter, Tatiana, from a previous relationship and shares daughters Oksana and Angelika with his wife Natasha. Braeden frequently shares photos and updates about Tatiana on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter), keeping his younger two granddaughters more private.
The soap star told PEOPLE in 2021, “There’s nothing like being a grandpa to my three granddaughters: Tatiana, Oksana and Angelika. Anything they want, boom.”
He added, “My family is the world to me, because in the end, who else do you have?”
Braeden consults with her before making decisions
Despite Braeden's high-profile career, Gudegast has stayed largely out of the spotlight, aside from a few rare appearances. She celebrated Braeden's 25th anniversary on The Young and the Restless in 2005, supported her husband when he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007 and attended a book signing with the actor in 2017.
Behind the scenes, Gudegast has always been a trusted influence on her husband.
"Because Dale is so private, people don’t realize how much she influences what I do or don’t do," Braeden wrote in his website bio. "I make many decisions only after consulting her. She has been a supportive and calming influence in my life."
As for how Gudegast would describe her husband, she told PEOPLE in 1997 that he is as "endearing as no one else can be."
She’s supportive of her husband
Gudegast has been by her husband’s side since before his Hollywood career even began.
"My wife has been supportive of me since we first knew each other, long before I became well known," Braeden told Coming of Age magazine in 2011. "I have an enormous sense of deep loyalty to her and we've been very supportive of each other. She's been especially supportive of me and given me a wonderful family."
In addition to her support of him, Braeden also revealed their secrets to a healthy and happy relationship. "I would say that the most important thing is that you not only love the person, but that you really like the person."
He added, "That means that you like who they are, that you like being with them. You like having conversations with them. You obviously share the most extraordinary things in life with them."
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.