Terry Crews’ hilarious on-screen performances have had us in stitches over the years. But he’s equally renowned for his inspirational real-life personality, too. The star constantly preaches self-improvement and is something of a national treasure at this point. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been bumps in the road. And in 2020 Terry composed an incredibly moving message for his wife when she was going through a particularly difficult time.
In 2019 Men’s Health wrote about Terry’s marriage to wife Rebecca King-Crews – referring to their union as “marriage goals.” They’d met when he and a group of college friends had gone to her church and he saw Rebecca playing a keyboard. This musical talent would be something she would continue to pursue, as the matriarch is now a singer-songwriter.
Apparently, Terry initially felt some insecurity about Rebecca, who was a single mother three years older than him. Would that throw a spanner in the works of a relationship? No chance: any and all worries disappeared after the couple went on a date. And Terry knew they were right for each other.
The couple have supported each other through thick and thin over the course of their marriage. For instance, it was Terry who encouraged his wife to continue pursuing her music career under the moniker Regina Madre. Rebecca told Men’s Health, “I didn’t jump off the cliff like he would. He’s made me brave. My husband’s made me go after things that I was afraid to do.”
But how did Terry rise to fame? Well, he is someone who has actually excelled in several fields. As a university student in Michigan, he played football and won all-conference honors, according to Biography.com. This led to an NFL career in 1991 when the Los Angeles Rams drafted him. At 245 pounds and standing 6 feet 2 inches tall, the physically impressive star played there for two seasons.
Terry’s football career then took on a wandering quality, as he played for three different teams in as many years in the mid-1990s. He even spent time with Rhein Fire – a German outfit in the World League of American Football. In 1997 he called time on the sport and began to focus his attention on making the transition to acting. And it would prove to be a smart move indeed!
In the 2000s Terry’s profile as a movie and television actor began to grow. He appeared in comedies such as White Chicks, Get Smart and The Longest Yard, as well as action films like Terminator: Salvation and The Expendables franchise. He also enjoyed a starring role in the sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, which ran for 88 episodes across four seasons.
Terry has also starred on the beloved sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine since 2013 and appeared in the superhero film Deadpool 2. Not only that: his move into television hosting has been hugely successful, too. Terry has had gigs on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Ultimate Beastmaster and America’s Got Talent.
What about Terry and Rebecca’s relationship, though? Well, the couple met in the late 1980s when they were both students at Western Michigan University. Terry was a star football player, while Rebecca was studying music and theater. Interestingly, the latter once told E! News that it wasn’t love at first sight. She said, “He almost got stuck in the friend zone. He was a little too nice.”
Luckily, Terry won Rebecca over and in 1989 they got married. The TV personality revealed in an Instagram post that despite being only 20 at the time, he knew that she was the one. Terry added, “Twenty-eight years later – I’m glad I was right. I love you Rebecca King-Crews!”
Then, on their 29th wedding anniversary, Rebecca made her own Instagram post. She wrote, “Twenty-nine years ago in Kalamazoo, Michigan, I said ‘I do’ to the sweetest, goofiest, artist/football player to ever walk into my church. Can’t believe I’ve been with you the majority of my life! It’s like you’re my arm and my leg and I couldn’t imagine life without you. You are my everything. Dang it! Love you forever.”
The couple’s first child Azriel was born in 1990. She joined Naomi – Rebecca’s daughter from a previous relationship. The latter and Terry then welcomed three more kids over the years: Wynfrey, Tera and Isaiah. Amazingly, though, the couple seemingly don’t want to stop there. In fact, in 2016 they told Us Weekly that they’d long considered adopting a sixth child.
“It’s something we discussed back when we were first married,” Rebecca revealed. “It was something that I always kind of felt called to do. I would see ads in magazines, and I would just stare at them like, ‘I’m going to do that one day.’” Fittingly, the couple’s children are 100 percent behind the idea.
“We got to number five and decided we were done making our own,” Rebecca admitted. “Our joke is we’re going to get one from someone else. Our kids are harassing us. They are like, ‘When are we going to do it?’” With a laugh, Terry added, “Literally, one day we’re just going to have to do it!”
The couple have been together for more than 30 years by now, but it hasn’t always been plain sailing. In 2014 Terry released a book entitled Manhood: How to Be a Better Man – or Just Live with One. And within its pages, the star revealed that he had been addicted to watching pornography. Apparently, the obsession was so all-consuming that it nearly derailed his marriage.
In 2016 Terry spoke about his addiction in a series of Facebook videos. He confessed, “My wife was literally like, ‘I don’t know you anymore, I’m out of here.’ That changed me. I had to change because I realized this thing is a major, major problem.” Terry subsequently attended therapy and proved to his wife that he wanted to change, so they reunited.
During a 2018 interview on Dr. Phil, Rebecca admitted it took three long years for her to fully believe that she could trust Terry again. But either way, they worked through their issues. The latter said, “When someone knows you from good all the way to the rottenest, dirtiest part of you, and loves you anyway, that’s the rarity. That’s where you want to be.”
Rebecca and Terry told Us Weekly that, to them, the key to a successful marriage is simple: forgiveness. The former said, “You have to let things go, or one brick becomes a wall, and the wall separates you. You have to talk it out. You’ve just got to decide within yourself to let it go.”
Then in 2020 the couple were faced with a major health scare. People magazine published an interview with Rebecca in which the singer spoke about discovering that she had stage-one breast cancer. By that time, the singer had already gone through double mastectomy surgery and breast reconstruction. She revealed, “Though it was stage one, you’re overwhelmed with fear, like cancer is this all-consuming, all-powerful evil entity.”
The cancer was discovered when Rebecca was having her yearly physical. The matriarch had asked for a mammogram and the results were clear, but she decided to request an ultrasound as well. Rebecca said, “I had this gut feeling, like, ‘Better safe than sorry.’” The matriarch’s instinct was proven correct, as a small lump was found in her right breast.
Rebecca had actually undergone surgery 12 years prior to remove a pre-cancerous radial scar from that breast. And this – coupled with the fact that her mom had a cancerous lump removed in 2019 – must have made her keen to cover all bases. Once the ultrasound had highlighted the lump, a biopsy was conducted. Yet Rebecca told People that she felt unusually calm about it.
Terry’s brave wife said, “I just thought to myself, ‘Okay, if they find something, Rebecca, just cut it off and reconstruct it.’” There then followed a tense period of waiting for the biopsy results. Rebecca revealed that she got them while in her car in the driveway. The lump was indeed cancerous.
Rebecca didn’t feel sad or frightened, though. She told People, “After the call I had this clear vision of myself stepping through a door, and on the other side of this door, the sun was shining brightly, and I was very happy. I just had this sense that I was going to be okay.”
Naturally, the first person Rebecca talked to was Terry. But his initial reaction wasn’t quite as serene as hers. She admitted, “My husband has watched me go through a lot, but the look on his face… He looked at me like I was going to die. He told me it felt like his insides were melting.”
Rebecca was clear on what she needed from her husband. The matriarch told People, “I said, ‘I need you to be strong for me,’ and he said, ‘Okay’ and he hugged me, but I think he needed that hug.” Rebecca had double mastectomy surgery on March 3, with her pastor, Terry and best friend Muriel alongside.
Following the surgery, Rebecca went home to begin her recovery. She told People that Terry proved invaluable to her, revealing, “I have to give him his props because he’s been cooking for me, helping me bathe, and just really stepping up. I tease him all the time, I’m like, ‘Did I have to get cancer to be treated like this?’”
On a more serious note, though, Rebecca did reveal that she’d used her recovery time for some personal reflection. She said, “I’m doing a little soul searching and asking myself what’s important to me.” Rebecca added, “My life is in good balance, and I have so many happy, exciting things to focus on.”
Terry’s perspective was revealed in May 2020 when CNN published an article he had written as a Mother’s Day tribute to Rebecca. The actor wrote, “It was a February morning, and I was on the treadmill when Rebecca walked into the room, looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Terry, it’s cancer.’”
“It’s hard to put into words how much this woman means to me,” Terry continued. “Over the course of our marriage, we’ve had to overcome many challenges, setbacks and periods of defeat. We’ve endured multiple miscarriages, the loss of a home, addiction and other personal trials that test relationships. But nothing could have prepared me for hearing those words.”
The news came as a huge shock to Terry, as he and his wife are extremely health-conscious people. The former wrote, “Rebecca and I always prioritize our health; we eat right, stay active and get full body check-ups every year.” In the end, it was because they are so diligent in this regard that the cancer was caught early.
As we know, Rebecca scheduled a routine mammogram in the early months of 2020, and this is when doctors made their discovery. Terry wrote, “I figured it had to be a benign tumor, like the one she had removed 12 years earlier. That wasn’t the case.” The news also made the actor think about his late mother as well.
Terry’s mom Patricia had lymphoma and was in remission when she sadly died from an infection in 2015. And the memory played on his mind. He wrote, “I watched cancer tear my mother apart five years ago and all I could think about now was: is this going to happen to Rebecca?”
Even though Terry felt like his world was crumbling, he was glowing with praise about how strong Rebecca was in the situation. He wrote for CNN, “Rebecca looked at me with courage and confidence, like a warrior ready to go into battle, and told me, ‘No matter what, I’m going to do whatever I have to do to handle this. I want to face this thing head-on right away.’”
In the end, it was Rebecca’s strength that made Terry rally. He wrote, “From that moment on, I was emboldened by Rebecca’s spiritual strength. She quickly got a second opinion, and when the diagnosis was confirmed, she set an appointment for a mastectomy on March 3 – the soonest date possible.”
Cancer had been found in one of Rebecca’s breasts, but she asked doctors if it could come back in her other one. If that was ever a possibility, the matriarch opted to take decisive action at an early stage. To that end, she requested a double mastectomy, which was the most aggressive approach available.
In fact, the surgeons did find some cancer in Rebecca’s second breast during the procedure. But right when the family was looking toward her at-home recovery, the world threw a curveball. Terry wrote, “Less than two weeks after her surgery, America became engulfed by a pandemic.”
The worry over Rebecca’s compromised immune system became ever-present. Though Terry was able to see an unexpected benefit to the family being confined in their home. He wrote, “The silver lining amid all of the uncertainty right now is because my world stopped, I had the time to take care of Rebecca – my resilient wife, and the centerpiece of our family.”
Terry then paid tribute to his wife on Mother’s Day 2020. He wrote, “I am so proud of the woman who raised our children and showed me what true strength looks like. It’s that strength that made all the difference in our cancer story.”
“During times like these, there’s a temptation to freeze and pretend everything is going to be okay,” Terry went on. “Rebecca did not freeze. She stood her ground and faced her fears. She was David, and cancer was Goliath.” Terry then went on to thank all the mothers in the country who are frontline workers.
“Rebecca and I are so grateful for you, and for organizations like Stand Up To Cancer, who are working around the clock to help cancer patients and their loved ones navigate this unprecedented time,” Terry added. He concluded his emotional message with, “Happy Mother’s Day, Rebecca. I love you with my whole heart and soul, and I’m humbled to stand by your side.”