We were pushing for 2016 to be over before it claimed another famous life, as that year seemed to have a disproportionately high number of deaths of beloved celebrities. 2017, on the other hand, is the year of Hollywood break-ups, with some even calling it “the year that love died.”
The die-hard romantics among us had our belief in true love shaken as we watched couples we idolize fall apart before our very eyes. Even those with the most jaded of hearts had to feel just a little disappointed when seemingly perfect couples like Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced the end of their marriage. We also watched other struggling couples we were rooting for finally throw in the towel, such as longtime couple Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, who announced this past March that they were separating for good, three years after having optimistically called off their previous divorce plans.
Of course, there were also relationships that shocked nobody when they came to very messy conclusions. This is nothing new: watching famous couples old and new, beloved and troubled, come to endings both bittersweet and downright nasty as been happening for decades. We will continue to keep our fingers crossed for the couples we like and enjoy the schadenfreude of those we don’t.
Here are 10 Hollywood Couple That Ended In Disaster (And 10 We Hope Last Forever).
20. Ended in Disaster: Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards
Following Charlie Sheen’s brief mid-90s marriage to Donna Peele– which came to an end following the revelation that he was one of Hollywood Madame Heidi Fleiss’ best customers– the longtime Hollywood bad boy began almost exclusively dating adult film stars. Any woman who can get a guy like that to settle down and marry her definitely deserves some props, but did Denise Richards know what she was getting into?
For a fleeting moment, it seemed as though Richards and Sheen might have actually had a real shot. But three years and two children later, Richards was filing for divorce and accusing Sheen of violence and drug use. Soon after, Sheen was back to dating adult film actresses, though that would be the least of his personal issues in the 2000s and beyond…
19. Hope They Last: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith
Most high-profile Hollywood couples seem to get together very early in their careers, though sometimes, two existing A-listers will meet and get married and become an instant power couple.
The latter was the case when, in 1997, Will Smith married Jada Pinkett. Smith, having already conquered music and television, was two movies — Bad Boys and Independence Day— into his long reign over of the summer blockbuster season. Pinkett had several acclaimed blockbusters under her belt as well, including Menace II Society, Set it Off, and The Nutty Professor.
Speaking on their marriage, the couple say they’ve agreed that divorce simply isn’t an option, and Pinkett once told an interviewer, “I would throw my career away before I let it break up our marriage.” Daughter Willow has two hit singles under her belt, and son Jaden has appeared in The Karate Kid (2010) and Netflix’s The Get-Down.
18. Ended in Disaster: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard officially began their relationship in 2012 following his break-up with girlfriend of nearly 15 years, Vanessa Paradis. Not wasting any time, the couple were engaged within two years and married in three.
It didn’t take long before reports of Depp’s allegedly violent behavior against his new bride began to surface. Just a month into the marriage, sources alleged that Depp’s broken hand was the result of him punching a wall during an argument with Heard. In May of 2016, Heard filed for divorce, at which time the extent of Depp’s alleged physical and verbal abuse against her throughout their short relationship came to light in court documents– including the infamous photos of Heard’s bruised face that she said was the result of Depp hurling a phone at her “like a baseball pitcher” and a video of his behavior towards her.
17. Hope they last: Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively
Some celebrity couples like to keep their relationships private, even in the age of social media. Others, like Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, can’t seem to go an hour without saying or doing something adorable to demonstrate their love for each other on Twitter or Instagram.
From gushing about each other one minute to hilariously– but affectionately– trolling one another the next, it is because of couples like Reynolds and Lively that #RelationshipGoals became a thing. They’re like that one couple we all know; the one you and all your other friends roll your eyes about because they make your relationship look bad, yet you still can’t help but to try and emulate.
16. Ended in Disaster: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
With accusations of Angelina Jolie being a homewrecker who seduced Brad Pitt away from then-wife Jennifer Aniston, her and Pitt’s new relationship was initially tough for many people to root for.
Eventually, all of that changed. As Pitt and Jolie proved to be more than just an affair, people began to warm up to “Brangelina.” The pair would eventually have five children together– as well as Pitt adopting Jolie’s previous son, Maddox. Their charming red carpet appearances, coupled with their tireless humanitarian work, soon made Brad and Jen a distant memory.
Unfortunately, only two years into the couple finally tying the knot in 2014, things went sour. Jolie filed for divorce, citing not only irreconcilable differences but also a mysterious plane incident that implied possible child abuse by Pitt (which a formal investigation cleared him of). The actual divorce is still pending, but seems very much on track.
15. Hope they last: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell
If there is a celebrity couple out there right now making marriage look fun and utterly effortless, it’s actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell. Their cute talk show appearances, goofy social media posts, and commercials together wearing ugly Christmas sweaters paint the picture of a couple who doesn’t even have to try.
But if anything makes Shepard and Bell a couple to envy, it’s actually the amount of hard work they put into their relationship. Shepard recently admitted on Today that marriage isn’t easy, and that “it’s often uncomfortable work, but it needs doing.” Bell echoed that sentiment in an earlier US Weekly interview by saying, “Our marriage… takes a lot of work. I don’t think people realize.”
14. Ended in disaster: Sean Penn and Madonna
When two boundary-pushing artists come together, the results are often predictably volatile. That same passion that results in a steamy love affair also has the potential to manifest in negative ways. Unfortunately, keeping bad boys away from bad girls is like trying to keep magnets apart.
One infamous example of this is when Hollywood bad boy Sean Penn began dating– and eventually married– controversial pop star Madonna in the ’80s. From the beginning, their relationship was marred by Penn’s violent outbursts against the press, and many speculated he might express anger at his wife in the same way.
Madonna spoke out against such speculation, stating: “Sean has never struck me, ‘tied me up,’ or physically assaulted me, and any report to the contrary is completely outrageous, malicious, reckless and false.” Regardless, the pair divorced in 1989.
13. Hope they last: Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi
It’s poetic justice that Ellen DeGeneres gets to be one half of one of the world’s most famous same-sex couples while also being one of the biggest stars on television, as her sexuality had resulted in her TV show being canceled in the ’90s.
After coming out in 1998, DeGeneres retoooled her sitcom, Ellen, to focus on navigating the world as a recently-out lesbian. The world was not ready for such a show at that time, and ratings quickly plummeted and the show was canceled. After spending a few years letting the world get a bit more tolerant, DeGeneres made her triumphant return to television in 2003 with The Ellen DeGeneres Show, an award-winning smash hit for 15 seasons and counting.
12. Ended in disaster: Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva
Few A-list Hollywood stars have ever had a faster, harder fall from grace than Mel Gibson’s mid-2000s breakdown. It started in 2006 when Gibson went on an anti-Semitic tirade against a Jewish police officer who pulled him over for a DUI. Despite going on an apology press tour and dutifully completing all the terms of his probation, Gibson essentially spent a decade blacklisted from Hollywood.
During the lull in his career, Gibson was accused by then-wife, musician Oksana Grigorieva, of domestic assault. She obtained a restraining order against Gibson, also keeping him from their daughter. Alleged leaked phone calls between Grigorieva and Gibson revealed further anti-Semtitic remarks by the actor, in addition to rants against Grigorieva that include him using the n-word and suggesting she would deserve it if she were assaulted.
11. Hope they last: Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn
At 34 years and counting, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn currently have one of the longest-running relationships in Hollywood. They’ve also never been married, which may or may not be the secret to their longevity. All we’re saying is, look at other failed relationships on this list that seemed like they were doing just fine until a wedding happened…
There was a collective gasp this past September when a story broke over an alleged split between the longtime lovebirds, but that ended up just being a tabloid rumor and nothing more. However, that prompted Hawn to reveal that in the mid-2000s, the couple did indeed separate for a time, but they reunited stronger than ever and things have been great since.
10. Ended in Disaster: Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger
When we think of Alec Baldwin in terms of being a husband and family man today, we immediately go to his seemingly sweet relationship with current wife Hilaria Baldwin (née Thomas) and their three precious toddlers.
What’s easy to forget is his tempestuous relationship with– and very bitter 2002 divorce from– actress Kim Basinger, or that cringe-worthy leaked phone call where he called then-11-year old daughter Ireland a “thoughtless little pig.” In fact, custody over Ireland became a major battle between the pair for many years after the divorce was finalized, with Baldwin claiming that Basinger was actively trying to make it as difficult for him as possible to have a relationship with his daughter.
Baldwin would go on to say that he blamed Basinger “least of all” for the extended litigation between them and instead asserted that her lawyers were opportunists perpetuating the lucrative “divorce industry.”
9. Hope they last: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
Tom Hanks, one of the most acclaimed and beloved actors in movie history, has been happily married to fellow actor Rita Wilson for nearly 30 years. It wouldn’t be a big stretch to say that Hanks’ affable everyman persona and three decades as one of Hollywood’s top leading men are thanks in large part to his stable, seemingly idyllic marriage to Wilson.
It doesn’t hurt that Hanks and Wilson have also been a powerful professional pair as well, as the couple have co-executive produced such hit films as My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mamma Mia!
When asked what the secret was to he and Wilson’s enduring marriage, Hanks’ answer was as succinct and obvious as you might expect: “We learned the secret of happiness… and that’s always telling the truth.”
8. Ended in Disaster: Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan
One of the most popular Hollywood couples of the ’90s naturally involved two of the most popular actors of the 90s: Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. During their second movie together– 1988’s D.O.A.— the pair fell in love and were married three years later.
As the ’90s ended, so did Quaid and Ryan’s marriage. At the time, Ryan’s relationship with her Proof of Life co-star Russell Crowe was presumed to be the catalyst for the divorce, and the resulting damage to her reputation significantly affected her career. However, after years of silence and letting the public believe that version of events, Ryan claimed in 2008 that Quaid had been unfaithful for much of their marriage.
7. Hope They Last: Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
After breaking out with Doogie Howser, M.D., Neil Patrick Harris spent much of the ’90s and early-2000s in lower-profile roles. In 2004, he re-entered the mainstream consciousness when he played a hilariously skewed version of himself in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. The following year, Harris began his nine-year run on acclaimed sitcom How I Met Your Mother.
Around the time of Harris’ big comeback, he also met his future husband, actor David Burtka. The pair waited until 2011’s Marriage Equality Act to make their five-year engagement public. They married in 2014, and are the parents of twin daughters.
Opponents of same-sex marriage often say that gay people ruin the sanctity of marriage– so as long as we have prominent, happily-married gay couples like Harris and Burtka, especially in the face of so many crumbling straight marriages, it will help to weaken such bigotry.
6. Ended in Disaster: James Cameron and Linda Hamilton
One of the most successful filmmakers in history, James Cameron is not only responsible for the two highest-grossing movies of all time– Titanic and Avatar— but he also wrote and directed Aliens and created the Terminator franchise.
As often happens with directors, Cameron would eventually go on to marry one of his greatest muses, Terminator star Linda Hamilton. The couple even dated for six years before finally pulling the marriage trigger. Well, Cameron would then let another muse catch his eye, actress Suzy Amis, whom he was directing in Titanic— leading Hamilton to file for divorce.
5. Hope they last: Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker
While Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker are one of Hollywood’s most well-known couples, they’re also one of the most private– and according to Parker, that’s exactly why they’re also one of Hollywood’s longest-lasting couples. The Sex and the City actress told Daily Mail last year, “My secret is that I don’t talk about it. I don’t talk about my marriage,” explaining that keeping her relationship with Broderick free of public scrutiny helps perpetuate private happiness.
Parker’s marriage to Broderick– most famous for his titular role in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off— hit the 20-year milestone on May 19, 2017, which she marked with a charming Instagram post captioned, “It flew by Baby. Good golly I love you.” How can you not root for a couple whose love for each other elicits a “good golly” in 2017?
4. Ended in Disaster: Tom Sizemore and Heidi Fleiss
Heidi Fleiss may only have three film credits to her name, but as the infamous “Hollywood Madam” who made millions running a prostitution ring servicing Hollywood, she arguably contributed plenty to the industry.
Not caring about her past– or maybe because of it, who knows– actor Tom Sizemore began dating Fleiss in the early 2000s. Despite finally bringing her to prominence in Hollywood for reasons other than providing illicit services, Fleiss’ relationship with Sizemore never seemed functional. In 2003, Sizemore was convicted of domestic violence against and making obscene phone calls to his now-ex-girlfriend.
If only Fleiss had known about his past, maybe she never would’ve bothered with Sizemore in the first place: this past November, it came to light that he had allegedly assaulted an 11-year-old actress on the set of Natural Born Killers.
3. Hope they last: Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa
Typically, if someone compares a relationship to being like a soap opera, it isn’t meant in a positive light. For All My Children co-stars Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa, their “soap opera romance” has led to 21 years (and counting) of real-life wedded bliss.
In addition to their two decades of matrimony– and the three children that spawned from it– Consuelos and Ripa have also had fruitful careers beyond their soap opera roots. After starting out as Regis Philbin’s co-host and replacement for Kathie Lee Gifford, Ripa has gone on to be one of the most powerful figures in daytime television– so much so that even Ryan Seacrest is her second banana on Live! with Kelly and Ryan. And Consuelos has remained a steadily working actor, recently appearing on American Horror Story, Kingdom, Alpha House, and beeoming a series regular on Riverdale.
2. Ended in Disaster: Prince Charles and Princess Diana
It was the wedding of the century that turned into the divorce of the century. When Prince Charles married 20-year-old Diana Spencer in 1981, nearly 750 million people across the world tuned in to watch the apparent future king and queen of England tie the knot.
The fairytale union wasn’t happy for long. As early as 1985, tabloids had already began to take note of the couple’s marital problems, citing apparent infidelity on both sides. Transcripts and recordings of conversations between both Charles and his mistress Camilla Parker Bowles, and Diana and alleged boyfriend James Gilbey were leaked to the press, who had a field day with the content– especially with Charles and Camilla, whose conversations were of an especially “personal” nature.
1. Hope they last: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Despite how seemingly little happiness existed in the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, it nevertheless produced two children to carry on the British Royal Family– Prince William and Prince Harry. As of just this November, both princes have apparently found their princesses.
Prince William has been married to Kate Middleton for over six years now, and the pair are currently expecting their third child. Younger Harry took a few years of partying to settle into a more “princely” life, but he has finally seemed to do so, evidenced by the recent announcement of his engagement to American actress Meghan Markle.
While some people are more infatuated with England’s royal family than others, we are talking about real-life princes finding their princesses here– it would take some pretty steely cynicism not to be on board with that.
Which Hollywood couples are your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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