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.
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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.”