Cameron Diaz has been playing romantic leads since her early 20s. But her love life off-screen hasn’t always been quite so successful. In fact, she didn’t get married until she was 42. Here’s a look at why the blonde bombshell took so long to tie the knot.
Born in 1972 in San Diego, Cameron Diaz began her career in modeling aged 16. And after landing a contract with Elite Model Management, she featured in adverts for brands including Levi’s, Calvin Klein and Coca-Cola. Then, despite never having acted before, she landed a starring role opposite Jim Carrey in 1994’s The Mask.
One of the highest-grossing films of the year, The Mask turned Diaz into one of Hollywood’s hottest new stars, and she subsequently landed roles in indie movies Feeling Minnesota, She’s the One and The Last Supper. Diaz then made her first of many rom-coms when she featured alongside Julia Roberts in 1997’s My Best Friend’s Wedding.
Then Diaz got to truly showcase her comic timing a year later in one of her most celebrated films, There’s Something About Mary. In 1999, meanwhile, a visually transformed Diaz played a frumpy wife in Spike Jonze’s mind-bending Being John Malkovich. Both performances were recognized with award nominations at the Golden Globes.
Her winning streak continued into the new millennium with Charlie’s Angels, Gangs of New York and the Shrek series. She cemented her status as a rom-com queen with The Sweetest Thing, The Holiday and What Happens in Vegas. And there were also leading roles in My Sister’s Keeper, The Box and In Her Shoes.
Furthermore, Diaz remained just as prolific in the first half of the following decade. There were major roles in Knight and Day, The Green Hornet, Bad Teacher and What to Expect When You’re Expecting, for example. However, after the 2014 triple whammy of Annie, Sex Tape and The Other Woman, she suddenly went quiet.
This was the same year that Diaz began dating Good Charlotte frontman Benji Madden. The actress had known his brother Joel and sister-in-law Nicole Richie for several years but was only introduced to Benji at a dinner party in 2014. Diaz later admitted that she was attracted to him from the moment she first saw him.
But Madden wasn’t the first celebrity with whom Diaz had entered into a relationship. She’d previously dated her former co-stars Matt Dillon and Justin Timberlake, and she was engaged to actor/rock star Jared Leto for three years. Other ex-boyfriends include video producer Carlos de la Torre, model Paul Sculfor and baseball legend Alex Rodriguez.
In an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine in December 2014, Diaz talked about why she’d previously been so unlucky in love, saying, “We girls sometimes do the thing where we pick the same person over and over again. They look and seem different, but deep down, they’re the same. And that’s on us.”
Diaz and Madden first went public with their relationship in June 2014. The pair were spotted holding hands while walking around New York and shortly after embarked on a romantic getaway to Europe. Rumors that things had got much more serious, however, surfaced in October when Diaz was pictured wearing a beautiful new bejewelled ring.
Then in January 2015, just seven months after they first met, Diaz and Madden walked down the aisle together. The pair got hitched at their Beverly Hills home in front of 90 invitees. Drew Barrymore, Nicole Richie and Diaz’s sister Chimene Cain took on the role of bridesmaids, while Benji’s nephew Sparrow Madden served as ring bearer.
The nuptials came as something of a surprise to most, not only due to their whirlwind timing, but also because of Diaz’s previous comments about the institution of marriage. For instance, the actress had told Maxim in 2011, “I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.”
Rumors that Diaz had fallen pregnant surfaced shortly after their wedding, although the pair have so far yet to add to their family. However, in a 2015 interview with Australian magazine WHO, Madden hinted that he might be ready to become a dad.
Diaz, on the other hand, had previously expressed doubts about raising a family; she had told Esquire in 2014 that she hadn’t yet been drawn to being a mother. “It’s so much more work to have children. To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for… A baby – that’s all day, every day for 18 years,” she explained.
And while attending Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop health and wellness conference in 2017, Diaz was asked directly by the Oscar winner why she’d waited so long to get wed. Diaz replied, “I just hadn’t met my husband, you know? I had boyfriends before. And there’s a really, really distinct difference between husbands and boyfriends.”
Diaz added that while previously she had often been made to feel like an “object” by her partners, Madden had shown her that it was possible for a couple to exist as equals. She also admitted that it had been very much a case of opposites attracting, saying, “We are so different from one another, but we share the same values… we’re totally two peas in a pod.”
And despite Diaz’s incredible Hollywood success, the star also revealed that she’s still in awe of Madden and his brother’s work ethic. “Where he and Joel came from and what they’ve accomplished in their lives… just the drive, for the purest reasons. They push themselves. I look at him every day and he inspires me,” she explained.
The pair also appear to have their very own personal relationship coach in the shape of Nicole Richie. The reality star-turned-actress told Watch What Happens Live, “I’m going to take responsibility for everything. I am a devoted sister-in-law. I’m happy for anyone who is happy and I want everyone to be surrounded with love.”
Not that they seem to need much help in that department. In June 2017 Benji posted an Instagram picture of him and brother Joel sitting at a restaurant table full of empty plates with the caption, “When we miss our wives, we eat our feelings.”
Then, two months later, Madden also posted a happy 45th birthday message to Diaz which read: “I feel like I am the LUCKIEST guy ALIVE. I don’t think anyone could ever know the Depth, Kindness, and Compassion that I get to experience everyday thanks to My One and Only.” Aww.