Social media keeps us clued into the latest hookups between — and seemingly immediate breakups of — the young and famous. There’s much less focus on the Hollywood love stories that quietly flourish and unfold over years of careful tending.
Long term relationships are rare, and in show business, out of the ordinary. But some couples have kept their love tanks full for decades. Some chose marriage, others never swapped rings, but all in all these 20 lovers discovered the secrets to making it work…
1. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell: They’ve kept the spice alive since 1983, claiming the secret ingredient to their love is never getting married! Other than not tying the knot, the couple attributes a healthy intimate life to their long-lasting relationship.
2. David Furnish and Elton John: Laws prevented the longtime lovebirds from officially marrying until 2014, but David and Elton started their courtship way back in 1993. They devote much of their time to raising their tiny dancers, Zachary and Elijah.
David Furnish / Instagram
3. Michelle and Barack Obama: Long before the White House, the former president swooned over Michelle when she was assigned to mentor him at a Chicago law firm. Despite their seemingly perfect relationship, they’ve been open about using couples’ counseling to work on their marriage.
4. Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy: It took 15 years of on-and-off dating for Felicity to agree to marry her husband. Over 20 years later, the couple has relied on their love for acting to push each other creatively. Besides their shared careers, they bought and rebuilt Felicity’s childhood home, where, in 1997, they wed in the backyard.
5. Steve and Nancy Carell: As an improv student in Steve’s class at the Second City, Nancy must have made quite an impression. The couple has been married for 23 years, wedding the same year Nancy started on Saturday Night Live. Together, they briefly played a perfectly awkward pair on The Office, as Michael Scott and his real estate agent Carol Stills.
6. Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond: Like the Carells, Tina and Jeff met at the Second City in Chicago back in 1994. Instead of competing for laughs, Jeff made sweet music to accompany every comedy project Tina has made.
Jason Chin FTW
7. Julia Louis Dreyfus and Brad Hall: Julia “knew almost immediately” that her husband was the one. They met in at Northwestern University and went on to land roles on SNL together. Now the couple snuggles up at NU basketball games to watch their son Charlie play on the court.
Superstar Floral UK
8. Snoop Dogg and Shante Broadus: Totally smitten since puppyhood, Snoop and Shante were textbook high school sweethearts. The late Tupac Shakur advised Snoop to put a ring on Shante’s finger. They divorced in 2004, but they rekindled their love, remarried, and became grandparents in 2015.
Shante Broadus / Instagram
9.Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness: Few husbands are as openly smitten with their spouses as Hugh is for his wife Deb. The pair met on the set of the Australian TV show Corelli and married in 1996. Hugh attributed being madly in love with his wife, and their stability, for his career success.
10. Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon: Married in 1988, Kyra and Kevin celebrated their 30th anniversary this year. Together they recorded and shared a precious duet of themselves crooning the Bee Gees hit “To Love Somebody.” There may be 6 degrees to Kevin Bacon, but Kyra will always be the closest.
Kevin Bacon / Instagram
11. Kelly Preston and John Travolta: Love at first sight was real for Kelly and John when they met in the 1987 on the set of The Experts. The couple married in 1991 but had a second ceremony to make their union valid under the church of Scientology.
12. Denzel and Pauletta Washington: After 35 years of marriage, Denzel claims being friends with your partner is a key. He also boasted, “I married up!” Pauletta certainly has been a strong force in their marriage — and for their kids. Her son, actor John David Washington, credited his mother for teaching him “how to love.”
Black and Married With Kids
13. Joel Cohen and Francis McDormand: In 1983, Francis auditioned for Joel’s film Blood Simple. Ever since they’ve been united in quirkiness — and matrimony. Throughout their marriage, they’ve kept a notoriously private life, focusing on their craft and adopted son, Pedro.
14. Tina Turner and Erwin Bach: In her second marriage, The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll found the man she deserved. Her relationship with Erwin has been going strong since ’85, though they waited until 2017 to tie the knot). Proving his love in the most tangible way, he donated a kidney to Tina shortly after their nuptials.
15. Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos: Hot and heavy soap opera scenes between Kelly and Mark on All My Children blossomed into the real deal. The fun couple stayed true to their romantic playful side and eloped in Las Vegas back in 1996.
Kelly Ripa / Instagram
16. Angela Bassett and Courtney B. Vance: Acting powerhouses Angela and Courtney had their meet-cute at the Yale School of Drama, where they both earned their MFAs. No doubt these brainy sweethearts were perfectly matched. They wed in 1997.
17. Meryl Streep and Don Gummer: In 1978, Meryl’s boyfriend John Cazale died of cancer. Overcome with grief, Meryl’s brother came to help her move out of their shared apartment. Little did her brother know, the friend he dragged along to help, Don, would marry Meryl just six months later.
18. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson: “We learned the secret of happiness with each other a long time ago,” Tom said, “and that’s always telling the truth.” When they met on the set of Bosom Buddies, Tom was married, but he couldn’t deny the immediate connection he had with Rita. Tom and Rita have kept their marriage strong for 30 years!
Tom Hanks / Instagram
19. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick: Some couples just fit together, and like PB & J, SJP & MB are a classic combination. After over 20 years of marriage — and three kids — they’ve said time apart from each other due to their hectic schedules benefits their relationship and gives them independence.
Trattoria Al Gusto
20. LL Cool J and Simone Smith: Happy couple LL and Simone swapped vows in 1995, but their love began back in the halls of their high school. Over the years, they’ve weathered storms, like Simone’s bone cancer diagnosis in 2005. During that time, LL put projects on hold to be by his wife’s side.
Simone I. Smith / Instagram
21. Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston: Forty years of marriage is no small feat, but romantic Jeff Bridges said he loves his wife more each year. “If you change your partners every time, it gets tough or you get a little dissatisfied, then you don’t get the richness that’s available in a long term relationship.”
It may seem like the rich and famous are only interested in rubbing elbows on the red carpet, but that isn’t always true. Celebrities, like the rest of us, make romantic connections and fall in love, sometimes in unexpected ways — and with unexpected people…
1. Nicolas Cage and Alice Kim: Cage met his future wife when she was waitressing at a local restaurant and he was a big Hollywood star. The two exchanged phone numbers and were married in 2004. They have one son, Kal-El.
2. Steve and Marjorie Harvey: At a Memphis comedy show, Steve Harvey noticed Marjorie and made a point of letting her know. “I don’t know who you are,” he said to his future wife, “but I’m going to marry you.” In 2007, the two wed, 17 years after their meeting.
All That’s Fab
3. Corey and Susie Feldman: Susie, a former Playboy model, said she knew she’d marry Feldman when she saw him in Stand By Me. The two eventually met and tied the knot in 2002, though they filed for divorce seven years later.
4. Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest: After seeing a photo of Guest in Rolling Stone, Curtis made up her mind to marry him, despite never having met him before. Guest and Curtis were married months later, and they’ve been together for the past 30 years.
5. Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth: When this couple met, Toth worked as co-head of motion picture talent at Witherspoon’s agency. It’s fair to say he once admired her from afar, but soon the feeling became mutual. They were married in 2014.
6. Amber Rose and Wiz Khalifa: Though only married for a year, they got together in a very sweet way. When asked to describe his perfect woman in an interview, Wiz gave Rose’s name. She was flattered, and took to Twitter to thank him — the rest is history.
Thy Black Man
7. Danny Bonaduce and Amy Railsback: Bonaduce reportedly met Railsback, his third wife, at a coffee shop. She was a fan, and the two exchanged information and began dating. They married in 2010 — and Railsback is now Bonaduce’s manager.
8. Julia Roberts and Danny Moder: Roberts met Moder while shooting The Mexican, where he was a cameraman and she was starring in the film. Although Moder was married at the time, the two quickly fell in love. Moder filed for divorce and a short time later, in 2002, married Roberts.
9. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon: Cannon revealed Carey was his dream girl for many years, as her posters hung on his wall when he was younger. After meeting and marrying in 2008, the couple had twins, but their happiness was short-lived. They filed for divorce in 2014.
10. Adam Sandler and Jackie Titone: Former model Titone was already a fan of Sandler when he offered her a role in his film, Big Daddy. It proved to be favorable move on the part of Sandler, as the two ended up marrying in 2003 and now have two daughters.
11. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin: Martin reportedly admired Paltrow for some time before ever having met. He called her his “girlfriend” at a Coldplay gig, so his crush was not so secret. Although sparks flew and the two spent 11 years together, they announced the “conscious uncoupling” heard around the world when they split in 2014.
12. Jessica Alba and Cash Warren: In 2005, Alba was shooting the Fantastic Four movie that would lead her to her future husband. Working as a production assistant, Warren caught Alba’s eye and they got together. Married in 2008, they now have two young daughters.
13. Fergie and Josh Duhamel: In 2004, Duhamel told a magazine interviewer that he sometimes dreamt about the Black Eyed Peas singer. When the two actually met, she quipped, “How was I in your dream?” Duhamel regained his composure enough to ask her out. They wed in 2009 and have one son together.
14. Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman: Dabbling in acting himself, Shulman had a huge crush on Hathaway, but didn’t want to ask her out because he assumed she was already dating someone else. Once he discovered she was available, they hit it off instantly.
15. David and Victoria Beckham: International soccer star and sex symbol Beckham admitted to being a fan of the Spice Girls in the 1990s — in particular, a fan of Posh Spice. Victoria later met him at a soccer match, and sparks flew right away.
16. Ringo Starr and Maureen Cox: Chasing The Beatles with other girls, Cox faced stiff competition for Ringo’s attention. However, her persistence paid off when the drummer finally noticed her at a gig. They were married in 1967 and divorced eight years later.
17. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes: The highly publicized divorce and custody battle shouldn’t overshadow TomKat’s origin story. Holmes, 16 years Cruise’s junior, had been a fan since she was a little girl. She dreamed of marrying Cruise, and it came true a few years after Dawson’s Creek wrapped up.
18. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West: Like many relationships, Kimye began with a crush — except it came to light during a tiff with Kanye’s then-girlfriend, Amber Rose. She accused West of trading explicit images with Kardashian, to which he replied, “I wish.”
19. John Travolta and Kelly Preston: After seeing the Grease star on a poster, Preston claims she had no doubt that she would “marry that man.” While it might sound strange, the two have been together for 25 years and welcomed three children into the world.
20. Elvis and Priscilla Presley: Priscilla seemed like the luckiest girl in the world when the two met by chance in Berlin and developed a slow-burning romance. It resulted in a marriage when Priscilla was only 21, but, sadly, they divorced five years later.
21. Matt Damon: Damon had been shooting the movie Stuck On You in Miami, Florida, when he visited a local bar where Luciana Barroso was working behind the counter. They struck up a conversation, which led to a date, which led to a marriage. They’ve been together since 2005!
22. George Clooney: This notorious ladies man swore off marriage after getting divorced at a young age. He stayed true to his word… until he met renowned attorney and human rights activist Amal Alamuddin. The couple wed in 2014.
23. Tobey Maguire: Jennifer Meyer, Maguire’s wife since 2007, has been a constant fixture in the star’s life. That’s why fans were shocked to learn that the couple filed for divorce in 2017. However, that was a year ago, and neither has tried to move forward with filing. Maybe there’s still hope that normal love can conquer all?
24. Zoe Saldana: In 2013, Saldana married Marco Perego, and no one was surprised that she kept quiet about it. For Saldana, privacy is paramount. That’s why she doesn’t use any form of social media, and why she would rather be married to an average Joe—or in this case, an average Marco.
25. Lisa Kudrow: In 1995, this Friends star married her long-time boyfriend, Michael Stern, who was otherwise an outsider in the celebrity world. To Kudrow, it was more important to marry someone who knew her before she was famous than to bag a celebrity hottie spouse.
26. Britney Spears: Spears seemed to have learned her lesson about dating famous men after a rough breakup with Justin Timberlake. Unfortunately, her rebound marriage from 2004 to 2007 with Kevin Federline is widely rumored to have contributed to her mental breakdown in late 2007.
27. Jimmy Fallon: The really beautiful thing about Fallon’s marriage to Nancy Juvonen is that, while she’s not a household name, she’s still in the business as a film producer. Their shared background must contribute to their marriage lasting since 2007.
28. Kevin Jonas: In 2009, Jonas stunned the world when he married Danielle Deleasa. Why all the shock and cause for concern? Because instead of marrying a celebrity, Jonas wed a hairdresser. Two kids and many years later, Jonas wouldn’t change his choice for all the world.
29. James Corden: In 2012, when Julia Carey said “I do” to this British talk show host and comedian, she had no idea she would have to pack up her life and move from Great Britain to the U.S.A. Luckily, she was happy to do it!
30. Christian Bale: Sibi Blazic, Bale’s wife since 2000, was working as a stunt coordinator on a movie when they met. With her actor hubby raking in more than $20 million per picture, Blazic has long since waved goodbye to the stunt coordinator game!
31. Ja Rule: Though rumors have long swirled about Ja Rule having a romance with singer Ashanti, Aisha Atkins—his wife since 2001—is the woman who has always had his heart. It just goes to show you don’t have to be famous to catch a celeb’s eye!
32. Gal Gadot: The beautiful thing about Gadot’s marriage to real estate developer Yaron Varsano is that his job, like hers, often requires him to travel. This means he can often visit Gadot on set without having to worry about taking any pesky vacation days. He’s done just that since they tied the knot in 2008.
33. Gucci Mane: Though Mane has dated famous folks in the past, his name didn’t turn into a major million-dollar brand until his wife Keyshia Ka’oir came on board in 2017, managing his merchandising agreements and other parts of his business. Normal, yes, but also business-savvy!
34. Scarlett Johansson: When Johansson married French journalist Romain Dauriac in 2014, no one thought it would last… and they were right! The couple split in 2017. Some normal men just can’t handle being married to a celebrity lady!
35. David Schwimmer: Though Schwimmer and Zoe Buckman announced their split in 2017, the duo enjoyed seven years of marriage after a secret ceremony took place in 2010. It turns out that Schwimmer’s frantic schedule was just too much for this normal gal.
36. Prince William: When Prince William married “commoner” Kate Middleton in 2011, it was a fairy tale come true. No one could believe that this so-called normal girl was about to get a happy ending with a prince—and her own royal title of Duchess to boot!