youtube.com/SpoilerTV | instagram.com/annaleighashford
Source: youtube.com/SpoilerTV | instagram.com/annaleighashford

Inside Annaleigh Ashford's Marriage — She Wasn't 'The One' Woman for Her Husband at First

Laura Beatham
Jan 28, 2022
06:50 A.M.
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"B Positive" star Annaleigh Ashford's son with her husband Joe Tapper is a carbon copy of his theater performing parents. The pair welcomed their son in 2016. 

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TV and stage actress Annaleigh Ashford is blessed with a loving husband offscreen. However, Joe Tapper was not sure Ashford was "the one" when the couple first met. 

Tapper is a stage performer like his wife and has been in productions such as "You Can't Take It With You," alongside Ashford and guest-starred in "B Positive" and "Master of Sex."

Annaleigh Ashford as Gina in "B-Positive" 2020 [Left] Ashford's son, Jack and husband, Joe Tapper, posed together on Instagram, 2021 [Right] | Photo: YouTube/SpoilerTV & Instagram/annaleighashford

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Before meeting and eventually falling for each other, Tapper and Ashford were unlucky in love. Ashford has not done a lot of dating through her college days as she wanted to find the right one and be with them forever. 

While Tapper was more cynical in relationships, as he told The Times, he did a great job picking the wrong woman and never had a relationship work out. However, that would change when he fell Ashford.

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Ashford and Tapper met through their manager, Beth Rosner. Ashford was touring with the musical "Wicked" while Tapper was in his third year of Yale's Master of Fine Arts program in acting.

Rosner has set up a lunch for them to meet each as she believed they were amazing people who needed someone else to "illuminate the parts of them that didn't glow as brightly as they could."

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After meeting, Tapper thought Ashford was beautiful and unusually ground for an actress. However, he admitted that he did not believe she was "the one." In contrast, Ashford found herself falling for him:

"Joe has really magical eyes and an amazing face. Right away, he sparkled and smiled at me. When we are away from each other for a long time, I can always see his eyes."

Rosner's match-making seemed to have failed for a while as the pair did not go on another date. But they did occasionally bump into each other, once in at the Beauty Bar and twice on the train. 

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Eventually, Rosner persuaded Tapper to watch Ashford perform "Legally Blonde" songs at Birdland, the New York club. Although he was not a fan of musical theater, he was impressed with her singing skills. 

The "Master of Sex" actress and Tapper went out to dinner afterward and spent the night talking and connecting about their lives and passions. Everything was going well, and Ashford found herself thinking, "This is it."

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However, Tapper was still on the fence. Following their wonderful evening together, Tapper canceled on her several times and was not very communicative via text. However, in reflection, the actor noted his feelings for Ashford made him nervous about pursuing her:

"I was like an idiot revolting. Sometimes, it’s scary to meet the person you love who will make you start to grow up."

Fortunately, Tapper finally figured out that Ashford was the one for him. The two enjoyed a sweet dating relationship, including going to Six Flags each year, and later, he proposed. 

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Tapper chose to use their tradition of going to the Six Flags theme park in Jackson, N.J, each year on June 25 (Ashford's birthday) to get on one knee and ask for Ashford's hand in marriage. 

For the bubbly Ashford, the proposal was perfect as she explained the moment was "really funny, not glamorous" in any way, which perfectly matched the couple's childlike sensibilities.

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Later, Tapper and Ashford swapped "I dos" at Devil's Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colorado, on a Monday when theaters are closed. Their wedding combined the theater world and the Old West.

Although the wedding scenery could have been taken straight off a stage production, the weather conditions were less magical as it rained on and off during the ceremony. However, bridesmaid Stephanie Kornich noted the beautiful bride took it in her stride:

"She takes the bumps and just rides them and makes it into something she can work with, makes it magic."

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Three years later, Ashford and Tapper were pregnant with their first child together. At the time, Ashford was filming the televised musical version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show for Fox. 

She told Playbill that she was four months pregnant during production. However, it did not slow her down as she continued to tap dance and do stunts such as jumping off a piano. 

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Ashford explained that she was fortunate to feel good throughout filming, but she did not do it alone. The production staff was with her every step of the way, making sure she was okay. 

She portrayed Columbia in the cult classic film and hid her growing baby bump through William Ivey Long's costume magic. 

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Ashford and Tapper then welcomed their son, Jack Clark Tapper, on September 8, 2016. The new parents told People Magazine that they were overjoyed with Jack's arrival:

"There are no words to describe our joy when we first met our Jack."

The now six-year-old Jack makes regular appearances on his mother's Instagram account, where she shares updates on her live and current TV and stage projects. 

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For Christmas 2021, Ashford shared an adorable photo of Jack with the family dog. The young boy seems to have an infinity for Marvel as he wore superhero pajamas and had many Marvel action figures around him. 

Ashford has not let motherhood slow her down in any way. Shortly after giving birth to her son, Ashford flew from her West Coast home to New York to begin rehearsals for "Sunday in the Park With George." 

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The new mom explained baby Jack was helping her rehearse as she would go through all the lyrics when she was feeding him, and he would burp when she got a line wrong. 

She is now juggling parenthood while starring in "B Positive," where she plays Gina, a party-loving friend of the main character, Drew, who needs a new kidney and tries to help wean Gina off her bad habits so she can donate her kidney to him.  

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