It doesn’t take a mathematician to add or average numbers for us to all realize that high profile marriages seldom last long, let alone last at all. However, as a society we usually are more likely to be informed about the negative statistics rather than the positive. If you haven’t yet heard about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes five year union coming to an end: Congratulations, because you are likely the only one, and it is becoming old news for those of us who are being reminded of it everywhere we look. Along those same lines, one of the most “shocking” splits prior to this one, was Seal and Heidi Klum. Now, I’ll admit it wasn’t completely shocking to me, but I was a little surprised, because they did seem like a marriage that could possibly beat the red carpet odds.
We all know about the pre-nups, the divorces, the custody battles, the rumors, the so called facts, the fabrication of the media, and all the drama, but where is all of the positive news about the high profile marriages that actually work? Oh that’s right, it doesn’t really exist in too many places, does it?
Contrary to popular belief though, some marriages do survive the paparazzis, the magazine rumors, and all the stresses that go with being in the spotlight. As a Nashville resident, I have to honestly say that country stars seem to have a somewhat respectable record in this arena. There are several that have only said their vows once, and seem happy with that. Let me note that there are currently MANY celebrities on marriage #1, but right now I’m focusing on those who have made it past the 7 year mark, and way beyond. I’m definitely not saying all marriages survive the rollercoaster of stardom, but I smile at the ones who do and they think deserve some recognition.
1. George Strait & wife Norma: One of my personal favorites! Not sure if it’s because George reminds me so much of my Dad, or that he’s the definition of country music, but I think he and his wife are one of the world’s cutest couples. They eloped in Mexico in 1971, and repeated their vows a few weeks later for family, and friends. They went on two have two children: Bubba and Jennifer. Unfortunately Jennifer was tragically killed in an accident at the age of 13, but this family is one that has beautifully stuck together. If my math is correct, their marriage has been going strong for 41 years.
2. Alan Jackson & wife Denise: This is a celebrity marriage that strikes me as a very “real” one as they have been faced with much that could tear them apart, but they persevered. Denise was Alan’s high school sweetheart and they married in 1979. I think their relationship is especially cute, because like Norma, these women married their men as non-country stars. Prior to Alan becoming a superstar, he was a forklift driver for K-Mart. The couple has been very public about the real struggles they have endured in their marriage such as Alan’s infidelity at the peak of his career. They did once separate for a few months in 1998, but refused to divorce, and worked it out. More recently Denise fought and overcame breast cancer with Alan at her side. They have been very open about their reestablished commitment to each other and their relationship with Jesus Christ, and Denise has written two book to date. The first “All about him: Finding the love of my life” became a New Times Best Seller. Together this popular couple has 3 daughters: Mattie, Alexandra, and Dani.
3. Brad Paisley & wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley: Yet another one of my favorite celebrity couples. They just seem genuinely happy together, and I love the sweet story that goes along with them. The first time Brad seen Kimberly, it was on the movie screen as he had went to see “Father of the Bride” with his girlfriend at the time. He returned to see “Father of the Bride: Part 2,” but this time alone as he and the previous girlfriend had parted ways prior to its release. He can remember watching this movie and being a personal fan of Kimberly stating that he thought: “She seems like a great girl…smart and funny and all those things that are so hard to find.” The pair began dating in 2001, and she appeared in his “I’m Gonna Miss Her” video in 2002. They married in 2003, and have two children: William Huckleberry and Jasper. Nine years into it, I see a marriage of longevity.
4. Candace Cameron Bure & husband Valeri Bure: She was the popular Full House Star DJ Tanner that we all knew and loved, and she has grown to be a beautiful person both inside and out, being one of Hollywood’s most noteworthy role models. In 1996, she married Russian Hockey player Valeri Bure, whom she met after co-star Dave Coulier (Joey) introduced them. She and husband Valeri have also been very open about their Christian faith, and Candace finds her love in speaking at churches, authoring books, and being a spokesperson. She is also a part of the ABC Family Series: “Make it or Break it” show. While they are still young, they have already been married for 16 years, and had three children in the process: Natasha, Lev, and Maksim.
5. Denzel Washington & wife Pauletta: Denzel met his bride on the set of his first screen work, the television film: Wilma. The two married in 1983, and have been going strong ever since. They renewed their vows again in 1995. This multi-talented actor, film director, and film producer, who is also a devout Christian said in 1999 that a part of him still considers being a preacher. He has also known to be a good humanitarian, and to actively involve himself in donations and good causes. Together, he and Pauletta have four children: John David (a professional football player), Katia, and twins Olivia & Malcolm.
6. Billy Crystal & wife Janice: This talented writer, actor, producer, comedian, and film director who is known to make a joke out of things sure knows how to take marriage and commitment seriously, as he has been married to Janice since 1970. They have two children: Lindsay and Jennifer. They are now enjoying life together as Grandparents!
7. Ron Howard & wife Cheryl: After landing a few roles here in there, Ron was cast as “Opie Taylor” for the Andy Griffith Show in 1960. He played the role for all eight seasons, and understandably grew to view Andy as a fatherly figure to him. The two kept closely in touch until Andy’s death this month. Ron married his high school sweetheart Sheryl in 1975, and has been with her ever since. The couple has four children: Bryce, twin daughters Jocelyn & Paige, and son Red. It was reported in the June 2006 issue of Vanity Fair magazine that he was questioned: “What do you consider your greatest achievement?” Howard answered, “Forty-eight consecutive years of steady employment in television and film, while preserving a rich family life.” Awww!
8. Bill Cosby & wife Camille: I don’t know who wouldn’t love Bill Cosby. This actor, comedian, author, producer, musician, and activist is just a fun guy, and is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in. I have been a fan of him since I was a child. I’m also a fan of the fact that he seems like a true family man. He married wife Camille in 1964, whom he met while he was performing stand-up. Yet another comedian who takes marriage very seriously! This long last marriage has consisted of five children: Erika, Erinn, Ensa, Evin, and Ennis (who was tragically shot and killed while a changing a flat tire in 1997). The Cosby family is another example of one that has stuck together during some extremely difficult times. Congrats to Bill & Camille for winning the longest running marriage on my list as they have been married somewhere in the ball park of 46 years.
9. Danny DeVito & wife Rhea: Once again, we have another comedian on the list. Hmmm…kind of an interesting fact, huh? Maybe comedians and country stars are where the commitment is at? In 1982 DeVito wed actress Rhea Perlman, and they have since had 3 children: Lucy, Grace, and Jacob.
10. Sarah Jessica Parker & husband Matthew Broderick: One of Hollywood’s most raved about celebrity couples have recently celebrated 15 years of marriage proving that an actress can marry a fellow actor and go the long haul though it is rare. While she was popularly known as “Carrie Bradshaw,” the famously single girl on “Sex and the City,” she remains taken in real life. The couple share a son James, and twin girls Marion and Tabitha. Hmm…several of the above successful marriages contain twins too? I’m seeing a pattern here.
Now, I acknowledge there are probably many more celebrity couples in both Hollywood and Nashville that have long lasting marriages, and I say kudos to them! This is just a short list of some of the most popular ones that stood out to me. In a world where we always tend to hear about negativity and failure, I thought I would share some positivity and success with my readers. I think it is refreshing to occasionally be the messenger of good news.
Who did I miss? Who are your favorite celebrity couples? Give me some feedback!