Who Is Annie Potts’ Husband? All About James Hayman

'Ghostbusters' star Annie Potts fell for her husband, James Hayman, at an unexpected moment in her life

<p>Annie Potts Instagram</p> Annie Potts and James Hayman.

Annie Potts Instagram

Annie Potts and James Hayman.

Annie Potts and her husband, James Hayman, have spent decades in Hollywood.

The Young Sheldon actress’ lengthy career includes beloved roles as Molly Ringwald’s cool-girl mentor Iona in Pretty in PinkGhostbusters secretary Janine — who Potts has also reprised in recent reboots — and Mary Jo Shively in the sitcom Designing Women.

Hayman is no stranger to Hollywood either, though the Emmy-nominated director and producer is on the other side of the camera. In fact, Potts and Hayman met on the set of the early 1990s film Breaking the Rules, where Hayman served as cinematographer, and Potts starred alongside Jason Bateman and C. Thomas Howell.

When she met Hayman, Potts was raising her son, Clay Senechal, whom she shares with ex-husband and director B. Scott Senechal. In a 2018 interview, Potts said that as a single mother, she knew Hayman was special because of his instant bond with her child.

Potts and Hayman got married in 1990 and have since welcomed two children together and two grandchildren. After more than 30 years of marriage, they keep their relationship largely private except for the occasional heartfelt shout-out on social media and interviews.

So who is Annie Potts’ husband? Here’s everything to know about James Hayman and his relationship with the actress.

He’s a photographer, producer and director

<p>Skip Bolen/CBS/Getty</p> James Hayman on the set of "NCIS: New Orleans'.

Skip Bolen/CBS/Getty

James Hayman on the set of "NCIS: New Orleans'.

Hayman's Hollywood career producing and directing includes episodes of The Sopranos, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty and the entire seven-season run of NCIS: New Orleans. Outside of his day job in the TV and film industry, though, Hayman also has a passion for photography and has made a name for himself in the art world.

The producer and director first started taking photos at the age of 16 after his uncle gave him a camera, he told Lens Magazine in 2021.

While studying photojournalism in college, Hayman’s first assignment was to photograph President Richard Nixon at the White House in 1973, but he was disenchanted by the frenzy of press at the event. Instead of pursuing news photography as he intended, Hayman decided to study film at the University of California, Santa Barbara and New York University.

Despite Hayman diving into producing and directing professionally, he still practices street photography, taking his images through a “humanist” lens and interacting with his subjects.

“When I first started taking pictures, I thought the role of the photographer was to be invisible, to document moments unbeknownst to the subject,” Hayman told Ninu Nina in 2021. “But in the past 6 or 7 years, I’ve melded my interest in narrative as a director with my photography practice. I began allowing the moments to become a two-way street: me observing and my subjects responding to me.”

When the publication asked about his greatest influences and inspirations, he listed Picasso, Gordon Parks, Steven Spielberg and “my wife, Annie Potts.”

They met on set

Potts and Hayman met on the set of Breaking the Rules, an indie film they both worked on in the late 1980s. Potts talked to Glamour in 2022 about their meeting and how she bonded with Hayman over a shared love for the work they were doing.

“It’s all we talked about. He was very inclusive to me about his process and made me interested in the work he was doing,” she said. “I’d always felt people were like, ‘You don’t need to know about that stuff,’ whether it was lighting or the cameras, but I was interested in it. So we meshed over that.”

Although Potts told the outlet that wasn't looking for a relationship amid a successful career and fulfilling parenthood journey, she decided to give Hayman a chance. The two married in 1990, and have been together for over three decades.

In February 2023, Hayman shared his love for Potts on Instagram, posting a black-and-white photo of himself kissing Potts on the cheek with the caption, “My one & Only, Happy Valentine’s Day Darlin.’ ”

They have two children together

<p>Frank Trapper/Corbis/Getty</p> Annie Potts and James Hayman with their kids Harry and Doc.

Frank Trapper/Corbis/Getty

Annie Potts and James Hayman with their kids Harry and Doc.

After Potts and Hayman married, they welcomed two children together, their sons James (who goes by “Doc”) and Harris, whom they raised alongside older brother, Clay. All three have followed in Potts and Hayman’s artistic footsteps — Clay and Harris are writers and Doc is a musician.

“Now that they’re proper grown ups, they’re really close. Honestly, their relationships are everything I’d hoped — they love each other, they support each other, they make each other laugh,” Potts said on the Really Famous podcast in 2019. “The youngest and the oldest are both writers, and they always put their work past their brother first.”

Potts has worked with her son Clay on one of his projects, voicing a character in the animated Netflix movie Arlo the Alligator Boy, which he co-wrote. She teased the movie in a birthday post to her son in 2021.

Along with a slideshow of throwback and present-day photos of the two together, Potts captioned the post with the message, “My wonderful son Clay turns 40 today. He is everything I dreamed he would be. ❤️❤️ (PS Watch his movie Arlo the Alligator Boy now streaming on #Netflix! I’m one of the voices... 😍).”

They have worked on multiple movies

<p>Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty </p> Annie Potts and James Hayman attending a party for 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' on July 30, 1992 in Los Angeles, California.

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Annie Potts and James Hayman attending a party for 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' on July 30, 1992 in Los Angeles, California.

Potts and Hayman met on a film set, but they have also worked on several projects together since.

Hayman produced the show Dangerous Minds, starring Potts — which was based on the eponymous movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer. After the show ended, Potts told the Tampa Bay Times in late 1997 that Dangerous Minds was the work she was most proud of, though it lasted just one season.

“I think that you just have to get yourself in the mindset just to enjoy the process of it,” she said. “It's like life: you can't think about how long it's going to last. It's living every day to the fullest."

Hayman also directed multiple episodes of Any Day Now, a Lifetime drama about two childhood best friends and the early-aughts CBS show Joan of Arcadia — both of which featured Potts in significant roles.

They live in Los Angeles

In 2019, Potts and Hayman bought their home in the Toluca Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles from actress Kirsten Dunst, according to the Los Angeles Times. The biggest draw for Potts was that the bones of the home reminded her of the couple’s former home in New Orleans, she told Architectural Digest in 2023.

Starting in 2014, Potts had been splitting her time between New Orleans — where Hayman was living while filming NCIS: New Orleans — and a rental property in L.A., where she was filming Young Sheldon.

“One of the reasons that our relationship works long distance is that we’re both workaholics,” Potts said on the Really Famous podcast in 2019.

After five years of back and forth and a few years into her Young Sheldon role, Potts decided to put down more permanent roots in L.A. The couple bought and renovated the home in Toluca Lake, and Potts told Really Famous that Hayman joined her there after NCIS wrapped in 2021.

As homage to their former city, Potts redecorated the home with elements inspired by The Big Easy.

“What I love the most about New Orleans is that everybody cooks real good, and most people have got the design thing down,” she told Architectural Digest in 2023. “They love to mix the modern with the old and it just rocks. It’s like eye candy.”

They give back to their community

<p>Annie Potts Instagram</p> Annie Potts and James Hayman take a selfie.

Annie Potts Instagram

Annie Potts and James Hayman take a selfie.

Potts and Hayman both use their platforms for good, giving back through multiple different organizations.

Through his photography, Hayman works to benefit the communities and people he photographs. He shot images during the time he spent time in Guatemala assisting with disaster relief for the United Nations in the late '70s, and more recently used his photographs to shed light on underserved groups in New Orleans. while also donating his time to local nonprofits like Pack Essentials.

In October 2022, Hayman held an NFT exhibition to raise awareness on struggling communities, with all processed benefits The Heart Channels, a nonprofit founded by Potts that provides support for individuals at major crossroads in their lives. According to the organization's website, it was inspired by the philanthropy the actress saw in her local Kentucky community while growing up.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Potts and Hayman joined another couple to found the now-inactive All Are One Fund, which collected donations of COVID-19 pandemic stimulus money and redistributed it to families in need.

“We’re all in this crazy world together, and people are falling off the cliff right in front of us,” Potts told The Washington Post in 2020, discussing why they started the project. “How can you not be moved to respond?”

For this part, Hayman told The Overview magazine in 2021 that All Are One was the philanthropic project that he is “most proud of.”

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