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Richard E. Grant cuddles up to wife Joan as they celebrate 37th anniversary

The couple have been happily married since 1986

Gemma Strong

Richard E. Grant has taken to Instagram to share a sweet snapshot showing him embracing his wife, Joan Washington. The Withnail and I star posted a picture showing him wrapping his arms around Joan in a warm embrace, writing: "37 years together", along with a series of love hearts. Richard, 62, and Joan – a voice coach – married in 1986, and share one daughter, Olivia, while Richard is also a stepfather to Joan’s son Tom. The couple first met at the Actor's Centre in London, with Richard telling the Independent in 1994: "She was wearing a boiler suit and had fairly short, cropped hair and Kicker shoes, and was chain-smoking, which I thought was insane. She was teaching an accent session with a bunch of actors, and I thought she had the most wonderful voice and huge, sort of monkey eyes. She seemed fairly frenetic. I thought that she was really cute and all that. It was December 1982."

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Richard E. Grant shared a sweet photo showing him embracing wife Joan

Richard - who was born in Swaziland - continued: "I went to learn a Belfast accent from her and I then met her in this house, but she was still married to someone else. She was doing a play at the Royal Shakespeare Company and needed a black African accent. She told me that I was the only person she knew in London who could do this, and that I should come and make some tapes for her. I didn't go home that night. We found that we had a fair amount in common, and that we liked speaking a huge amount. She seemed very un-English in that way. We just got on instantly."

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Joan, meanwhile, recalled: "I used to take a class of about 20 people and I actually used to find him quite annoying because he'd get the giggles at quite the wrong moment and I was a strict teacher. He was hyper-energetic, very enthusiastic, incredibly open. I thought he was very talented - when I see somebody read and practise dialect, I have a good idea if they've got talent as an actor. I thought his hairy arms were fabulous. I found him good-looking, and very funny!

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Richard pictured with wife Joan and their daughter, Olivia

"Then he came to me for private lessons to learn a Belfast accent. I was married at the time to somebody else, but I think the second time I taught him - it sounds ridiculous to say this - I looked at him and thought: 'I'm madly in love.'

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"My previous marriage was extremely bad at the time; my ex-husband was working elsewhere, and living elsewhere. I said to him: 'I've met the man I'm going to marry.' Soon afterwards, I was doing a South African play at the RSC and some of my clients had to speak some Zulu. Richard speaks Zulu, with all the clicks and so on, so he came round to dinner one night to run through a few things for me, and that was when we started to get together. I do believe that there's one person on the globe that's meant for you."