It’s accepted as a fact that marriages don’t last in Hollywood, but that’s not really the case. Sure, you might hear about a lot of celebrity couples divorcing after what seems like a short time, but maybe it’s just the fact that we’re hearing the news at all that makes the separations stand out. After all, regular people are getting divorced from their short marriages everyday, too. On top of that, if a couple is doing just fine and happily passing the years together, then there’s not much to report. The following 11 couples, who have some of the longest-last marriages in Hollywood, fit that description. (Well, other than Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, there’s been a lot of news about them over the years, but they’re still sticking it out.)
The famous couples in this list have marriages that have lasted decades. They’ve starred in movies together, recorded duets, welcomed children, and gone through good times and bad. Some of their relationships started on set, some on stage, and in one case, two actors decided to have a kid together on their very first date.
On one hand, these pairs’ stories are relatable for anyone who has been in a long marriage of their own, and on the other, their stories are also extremely Hollywood. Not many of us can say we spotted our future spouse in an issue of Rolling Stone magazine and then left a message with his agent, now can we? To get a look at star couples in their early days, check out these 13 Photos of Celebrity Couples When They First Got Together.
There are famous couples whose theoretical split would absolute devastate fans, and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are definitely one of them. The couple got married in 1988 after initially meeting in 1981 on the set of the TV series Bosom Buddies, according to Harper’s Bazaar. But, even before that, Hanks had spotted Wilson guest starring on an episode of The Brady Bunch when they were both teens. “I was actually at a friend of mine’s house when it aired and I remember thinking ‘that girl’s cute,'” he told People in 2016. Never break up!
For pairs who didn’t get along quite as well on set, check out 11 Beloved Movie Couples Who Clashed Behind the Scenes.
Another couple who’ve graced the red carpet many times over the years is Denzel and Pauletta Washington. The Washingtons first crossed paths when they were both acting in the TV movie Wilma in 1977. They reconnected a year later, as Denzel explained on Live with Kelly and Ryan, and got married in 1983. The couple appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show together in 1996, and Pauletta explained of falling in love with her husband, “I thought he was cute, but I fell in love with his spirit. That I saw first, and then I thought, hmm, not a bad package.”
Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick got married in 1988 after meeting on the set of the movie Lemon Sky. But while they got married quickly after meeting, Sedgwick wasn’t sure she was interested at first. As she explained on Conan, Bacon kept asking the cast of the film out to dinner and she would be the only one to say no. She soon found out that she was the only person he really wanted to see. Bacon told People of their relationship in July 2020, “Her partnership is invaluable. I found someone I was meant to be with.”
For one secret of marriage success, check out 80 Percent of Couples With This in Common Stay Together, Study Finds.
The way actor Jamie Lee Curtis and writer/director Christopher Guest got together is pretty unbelievable. As Curtis explained in an essay for Oprah magazine, she spotted a photo of Guest in an issue of Rolling Stone and told her friend he was the man she’d marry. The friend then got Curtis the phone number of Guest’s agent and she left a message, but Guest never called her back. Not long after, the Halloween and Spinal Tap stars ran into each other in a restaurant, started dating, and got married six months later in December 1984. “Chris and I have a wonderful, complicated, imperfect life,” she wrote. “And a very real marriage. I’ll never know why I thought we’d understand each other when I saw his photograph. Hidden in that smirk, I think, was a little secret that only I knew.”
Like many of the couples on this list, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall worked together before they got married. But, they first crossed paths before they were professional actors. As reported by Country Living, they met when they were both students at Northwestern University and Louis-Dreyfus auditioned for a play Hall was producing. They then went on to both star on Saturday Night Live together, before getting married in 1987. In honor of their 30th anniversary in 2017, Seinfeld star Louis-Dreyfus posted a photo from their wedding on Instagram and captioned it, “30 years ago today this happened. So far so good.”
For relationship advice from those who know what they’re talking about, check out The 50 Best Marriage Tips From Couples Who’ve Been Married for 50 Years.
It might have been a very tough road, but Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne are still married. The couple first met when Ozzy’s band Black Sabbath was signed by her music executive father, Don arden. Then, Sharon became Ozzy’s manager when he went solo, they hit it off, and the pair got married in 1982. They’ve been through a lot since then, including substance use disorder, health issues, infidelity, and briefly separating as recently as 2016. In July 2020, Sharon posted on Instagram, “40 years together, 38 years of marriage, why did it go so quickly? Wasn’t it yesterday our kids were babies, we were young and thought we knew everything. Your love makes me feel safe and brave, you are a part of me, you’re in my soul forever my darling.”
Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson met in college, when he was attending Morehouse University and she was at Spelman College. The acting couple married in 1980, and Richardson spoke to Essence in 2018 about the things that have kept their relationship strong. “You have to have a big heart and the Lord,” she said. “You can’t do this without the Lord. You’re going to have to turn to somebody, something—because men, they are different.” She also said they live by the idea that their family is revolutionary: “We used to say the most revolutionary thing was to keep a Black family together. So that became our mantra.” Lastly, they follow the classic mantra, don’t go to bed angry. “No matter what: don’t let the sun go down on your wrath,” the actor said.
For star pairings that may have slipped your mind, check out Celebrity Couples From the 2000s You Totally Forgot About.
Annette Bening and Warren Beatty got together thanks in part to a very risky move from Beatty. While working on the 1991 film Bugsy together, Beatty and Bening went out to dinner and then went back to his house. “So we’re in his kitchen, and he’s like, ‘Do you want to have a baby with me?’,” Bening explained while being honored at the Museum of the Moving Image in 2017 (via Vulture).
She said yes. “Now some people, they do things differently,” the Kids Are Alright actor said. “They get to know each other, they date, they have a fight, they get back together. Then they get engaged, they get married, or maybe they live together. Then they have children. We didn’t do that. We just did it other way, which is: Do you want to have a baby, yes I do. Then he looked at me, and I got pregnant. Not really … something else happened.” And, yes, they really did have a baby together soon after, now have four kids, and have been married since 1992.
Another Hollywood couple, another story of meeting on set. Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson met on the set of the movie Pontiac Moon, and as Danson explained on The Off Camera Show, he fell for her during a dinner before shooting even began. “That dinner, I was just, Oh my god, look at her,” he said. “She had this 1,000 watt bulb going off behind her eyes. She was so light and so interesting.” Steenburgen, on the other hand, was worried at first that Danson was too much like his Cheers character. “I actually believed that he was sort of superficial and slick,” she said on CBS This Morning. “But as I said to somebody, slick guys don’t say ‘gosherooni’ after making love.” Danson joked, “They will now.”
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Country singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw fell in love when she was opening for him on tour in 1996, and they got married that same year. For their 24th anniversary in October 2020, they both shared sweet Instagram posts about each other. His is full of old photos of them, and Hill wrote on hers, “To my guy… The one that stole my heart 24 years ago today. Happy Anniversary my love.” But according to McGraw, in a sense, they’ve been together much longer than that. “We figure in our industry, it’s like 82 years,” he joked to IS! News. “It’s kind of like dog years, you have to count each year as seven.”
Meryl Streep has been married to her husband, sculptor Don Gummer, for over 40 years. As reported by the Independent, the couple first met because Gummer was a friend of Streep’s brother, and the Academy Award-winning actor ended up renting a room in Gummer’s apartment while he was away traveling. He came back, they fell in love, and six months later they got married. When Streep won her Oscar for The Iron Lady in 2012, she thanked Gummer, saying, “First, I’m going to thank Don, because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech they play him out with the music, and I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives, you’ve given me.” That includes their four children.