Reba McEntire has been dating actor Rex Linn since 2020, but their love story didn’t begin in the most traditional way. The two began their relationship in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in a recent interview with People, McEntire says that hurdle — being apart — only strengthened their connection.
McEntire reveals that she first met Linn, a longtime CSI: Miami actor, in 1991 on the set of The Gambler Returns starring Kenny Rogers. They reunited in January 2020 when she made a guest appearance on Young Sheldon, on which Linn stars.
“He said, ‘Let’s have dinner when you get through,'” she recalls. “And I said, ‘OK!’ He made me laugh my butt off on our first date, which we didn’t even know was a date.”
Although the first “date” was a success, the pandemic soon set in, and McEntire and Linn lived in separate states for three months. During this time, however, the country star says their relationship only grew stronger through daily chats on Zoom or FaceTime.
“He was in Los Angeles, and I was in Oklahoma because my Mama had just died,” she tells the publication. “We didn’t get to see each other from March to June, but we’d talk over Zoom and FaceTime four to five times each day. We created a bond and an intimacy that was getting to know each other without being physical.”
These days, that strong bond continues, as McEntire says Linn is “the love of my life.”
“We’re pretty much inseparable,” she admits.
The country superstar also delved into their everyday life together, which includes McEntire making coffee for Linn every morning. “He’ll offer to make it, and I’ll say, ‘Nope. I want to do that for you.’ I know I could easily say, ‘Yeah, you go get it. I’m tired.’ Nope. I always do the coffee camp.”
She shares that her actor boyfriend will offer to “rub my feet or rub my shoulders,” and she has learned a great deal since being in the new relationship.
“The little things mean so much to me,” she says. “It’s also important to be attentive and listen to your partner’s stories, even if you’ve heard them 100 times. I’ll watch couples who have very successful marriages, and that woman will sit there and listen and smile at her husband’s stories, and I’m like, ‘How many times has she heard that?’ I learned a lot from that.”
This year, McEntire and Linn became coworkers, as they both star on the ABC drama, Big Sky. They play a husband and wife, which of course is “natural,” per McEntire, and they always make time to rehearse before coming to set.
“Rex and I rehearse all the time to make sure that when we step on that set, we’re not wasting anybody’s time,” she says. “We’re professionals. We have our stuff together, we show up on time, we’re ready. We’re not holding up anybody because time is money on the TV set.”
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