It’s a hard job being a celebrity wife. If you’re not famous, you get endless articles in the media questioning whether you’re attractive enough or successful enough to be the wife of a famous person. And if you are famous, you get… well, actually, you get pretty much the same.
Luckily, the love of a good husband is usually enough to make it through the privacy invasions and press intrusions. If it’s not, though, then a million-dollar divorce settlement usually does the trick. And it goes without saying that over the years you’re going to age and change – just like these 20 spouses of famous men have done.
20. Diandra Luker
Before Catherine Zeta-Jones was Mrs. Michael Douglas, that title belonged to a woman called Diandra Luker. She was just 19 when she married him in 1977; sadly, though, it didn’t last. Still, when they divorced in 1995 she was awarded $45 million, which has to help with the grieving process at least a little bit…
19. Deborra-Lee Furness
Before X-Men made him a household name, Hugh Jackman wed Deborra-Lee Furness in 1996 after they worked together on the Australian TV drama Correlli. And two decades and two adopted children later, they’re still together and both looking great. Furness apparently doesn’t always know best, though, as she actually advised him to turn down the part of Wolverine in X-Men at first.
18. Susan Geston
The story of how actor Jeff Bridges met Susan Geston sounds straight out of a fairy tale: she was a maid at a ranch he was filming at. They wed in 1977 and now have three daughters and one granddaughter. And in 2010 Bridges even said to British newspaper The Sun, “The relationship just keeps getting better and more intimate.” Aww.
17. Maggie Johnson
Clint Eastwood married Maggie Johnson in 1953, and to say it was a complicated relationship would be an understatement. During their marriage, in fact, Eastwood had multiple affairs – one of which resulted in a baby. Johnson finally filed for divorce in 1984 and received a $25 million settlement in the process. What’s more, later in life she also has the satisfaction of seeing that she’s aged a great deal better than he has.
16. Rita Wilson
Though Rita Wilson is actually an accomplished actress and producer in her own right, many people still recognize her first and foremost as “the wife of Tom Hanks.” Which is a shame, but still her partnership with Hanks has brought great things into her life – including two children and two stepchildren. Not only that, but it seems to have kept her young-looking as well.
15. Shakira Baksh
Actor Michael Caine married model Shakira Baksh in 1973 and has been with her ever since. And in 2016 he even revealed that she helped save him from alcoholism, saying to the Radio Times, “Without her I would have been dead long ago.” Even more adorably, he added, “I was famous when I met her, but I couldn’t have got this far without her.”
14. Tracy Pollan
Tracy Pollan’s first encounter with husband-to-be Michael J. Fox came on the set of Family Ties, although they didn’t get together until their paths crossed again a few years afterwards on a film set. They got hitched in 1988, however, and are still together. And of course she’s supported him throughout his battle with Parkinson’s disease, which first affected him a few years after their wedding.
13. Joanne Woodward
Actress Joanne Woodward married fellow Hollywood star Paul Newman in 1958, the same year she won an Oscar for The Three Faces of Eve. Indeed, Newman would later joke that he always feared people would think he was “hanging onto the coattails” of her success. Sadly, their long and loving union ended when the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid star died of cancer in 2008.
12. LaTanya Richardson
Actress LaTanya Richardson met Samuel L. Jackson at college in 1974 and married him in 1980. Of course, Jackson went on to be one of the biggest movie stars in the world, although his career might not have been as successful as it is without his wife by his side. Indeed, the veteran actor has even said that he wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for Richardson and their daughter Zoe helping him to get off drugs and into rehab.
11. Keely Shaye Smith
James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan lost his first wife to cancer, but ten years afterwards he married U.S. TV host Keely Shaye Smith. She’s often subjected to body-shaming both online and off, but – to her credit – she’s never changed. And no doubt that’s one of the reasons Brosnan so often talks in interviews about how much he loves and admires her.
10. Annette Bening
Warren Beatty was a massive playboy and most definitely not the type to settle down. At least, that was the case right up until he met Annette Bening on the set of Bugsy in 1991. The pair got hitched in 1992 and have had a hugely successful marriage since then – and it didn’t hurt either of their careers, either.
9. Micheline Roquebrune
Sean Connery, a man who spent much of his life being a global sex symbol, was already once divorced when he met French-Moroccan artist Micheline Roquebrune. Unlike his previous relationship, though, this one lasted – they married in 1975 and are still together today, with Connery continuing to describe her as the love of his life.
8. Marilou York
Hardcore Star Wars fans will know the name Marilou York – she’s the wife of Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill and used to hang out with him on the movie sets. Hamill married York, a dental hygienist, in a private civil ceremony in 1978, and she’s kept her looks very well indeed in the intervening decades.
7. Loni Anderson
Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson married in 1988 and became one of the hottest couples of that era. Sadly, however, it didn’t last long: they were divorced by 1993. “I should have known that you don’t marry an actress,” Reynolds lamented to People in 2015. Anderson, though, tied the knot again to fourth husband Bob Flick, who she’s still with.
6. Lisa Hoffman
Lisa Hoffman has been married to famous actor Dustin Hoffman since 1980, but throughout that time she’s been determined to create her own successes without the help of his fame. “I am so far from a celebrity, I just happen to be married to an actor,” she told The Daily Telegraph in 2016.
5. Jennifer Flavin
Sylvester Stallone’s third wife was model Jennifer Flavin, who he married in 1997 and now has three daughters with. And while it hasn’t always been smooth sailing – there have been what appear to be serious feuds between Flavin and other members of Stallone’s family – there’s fortunately no sign of any split on the horizon yet.
4. Pauletta Pearson
Denzel Washington wed Pauletta Pearson in 1983, after meeting her on – guess where – a film set. And their union has endured ever since. Washington, meanwhile, has given some sage words of wisdom on just why other Hollywood marriages don’t seem to last. “I don’t know if it’s show business that has a monopoly on divorce, it’s just that you hear about it,” he said to Reddit in 2014. “I just think that you have to work at it.”
3. Kelly Preston
Kelly Preston married John Travolta in 1991, only to have to marry him again a week later because their Scientology ceremony was believed to be not binding. Since then the pair have suffered the death of their son and been through a million-dollar extortion plot, but they’ve stayed together through it all.
2. Camille Grammer
Kelsey and Camille Grammer probably would have been better off not getting married – they wed in 1997, just after the actor had been through rehab. “It was pretty much over as soon as it began,” Kelsey explained on Oprah in 2012. Now Camille is a reality TV star, and she and her ex-husband are certainly not friends.
1. Priscilla Presley
Priscilla Presley remains perhaps the most famous celebrity wife of all, as her former spouse was music legend Elvis Presley. The pair’s 1967 wedding and 1973 divorce both went down in history, and Priscilla as a person did, too. Now she keeps herself young with plastic surgery and occasionally acts on stage.