By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Books and Books recently asked CBS4’S Lisa Petrillo to moderate a virtual interview with celebrity couple and authors Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue about their book, “What Makes a Marriage Last.”

Joining them on the virtual interview was a couple, you’ll surely recognize.

“We didn’t go out as reporters, Lisa, like you. We went out as a married couple to meet with another married couple to talk about marriage,” said Thomas.

“Once we started, we talked about our own situation and the drama and once that happened, we just started to roll”, said Donahue.

Forty couples from all walks of life from award-winning actors to athletes, newsmakers, comedians, even a former President and First Lady share the journeys of their marriages. Some stories were astounding.

“We didn’t know that Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon had lost all their savings 30 years of savings to Bernie Madoff and they came out if and they never blamed each other. So one of the things I think it’s very important is that these people didn’t blame each other for what went wrong,” Thomas said.

Gloria and Emilio Estefan, are featured in the book. Married 41 years, they say they simply work well together in every way, since day one.

“I had no doubt that I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life. We’re very different personality-wise, but the things that really matter like your like priorities, your values we are we’re on the same page. He’s very absent-minded and I love that,” said Gloria.

“To me, communication and respect has to be first. It’s also about making the other person happy. As long as you make the other person happy you’re gonna be happy,” said Emilio.

For Marlo and Phil, it was love at first sight when she went on his talk show in 1977.

“I noticed her right away when she walked into the green room she was all there. If you’re Catholic you understand it, she was an impure thought!!” Donahue said laughing.

That’s not to say they haven’t had bumps. Phil said he was constantly the jealous type. He had to work through it. Marlo said she was only jealous once.

“I was jealous when Sophia Loren called him for lunch. I said, lunch with Sophia Loren? That’s not going to happen,” Thomas said laughing.

In the end, all the couples including the authors found out it’s the commitment to the commitment of marriage that makes it work most of all.

“I must tell you I’m more excited about marriage including our own and doing this book and meeting all these people I got a great width of positivity,” Thomas explained.

You can purchase “What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with US the Secrets to a Happy Life,“ at Books and Books.

For more info, click here.

Lisa Petrillo