Advice From Hollywood’s Longest-Married Couples

Long, and more importantly, happy, marriages seem to be few and far between, which is why these stories are all the more shocking. Everyone loves a good love story… so take a look at these long-running Hollywood marriages.

Burns & Allen: 38 Years

It’s one of the most romantic (and saddest) love stories of all time. George Burns and Gracie Allen married in 1926 and went on to become an infamous comedy duo. Whether vaudeville, film, radio, or television, the duo found success in every medium they tried. The couple was most famously known for their TV classic, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. Gracie played the crazy one while George was the straight-man comic.

Although the show was a success, Gracie’s health declined. She suffered a mild heart attack in the 1950s, a major heart attack in 1961, and passed away in 1964. Following her death, George Burns wrote one of his most famous scripts in which he famously said, “All of a sudden, the audience realized I had talent. They were right. I did have a talent—and I was married to her for 38 years.”

Johnny Cash & June Carter: 35 years

Johnny Cash and June Carter met backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in 1956. Although Johnny was married at the time, he and his first wife divorced in 1967 because of his rampant the drug abuse, touring, and his infatuation with June. After divorcing, Johnny wasted no time asking June to be his wife, and they married on March 1, 1968.

Johnny still struggled with drug addiction after remarrying, but June was stabilizing force in life through rehab and relapses. When asked what made their marriage strong, Johnny said, “There’s unconditional love there,” adding, “She loves me in spite of everything, in spite of myself. She has saved my life more than once. She’s always been there with her love, and it has certainly made me forget the pain for a long time, many times.”

McGraw & Faith Hill: 21 years

Tim McGraw first toured with Faith Hill on their 1996 Spontaneous Combustion tour, and the two hit it off immediately. Faith recalls that she “wasn’t about to let Tim slip through [her] hands.” They married that October and announced that they were pregnant in December. The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, Tim and Faith have been inseparable.The two continued to tour together and even named their tour bus, The Love Bus, saying “a lot goes on in that bus.”

When asked about what makes a good marriage, Tim said, “Look, there is no secret. Either you like one another or you don’t. You want to stay married or you don’t. You work at it, or you don’t. Simple as that. It is not always easy and there are moments that are rocky.” He added, “You never walk away.”

Danny DeVito & Rhea Perlman: 35 years

Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman are another duo whose romance has spanned decades. In a romantic whirlwind, the two met and moved in together in in just a two-week span. The It’s Always Sunny In Philadephia star married the Cheers actress in 1982 and raised three children together. The duo became one of Hollywood’s longest lasting couples and even appeared as husband and wife in the 1998 film, Matilda.

Despite their successful marriage, Danny and Rhea announced they were taking a break in 2012, saying that while they were living apart they were still “together.” There were lots of rumors circulating around Danny about his reputation for cheating. In the episode that reportedly ended it all, Danny promised a female extra that he’d make her a star. While Danny and Rhea got back together after that split, they announced another separation in March 2017. Although they are currently split, Danny affirmed the two are still great friends and support each other.

Hanks & Wilson: 30 years

When asked about the secret to his long and happy marriage to Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks said, “We just like each other. You start there.” Although Tom was still married to Samantha Lewes when he and Rita met, he found something in Rita Wilson that he said that he needed.

The couple tied the know in 1988 and both feel so strongly about their relationship that they went after The National Enquirer when the tabloid printed false divorce stories about them in 2016. The couple said, “Our marriage is the foundation of our family, is sacred to us and we couldn’t allow such nonsense as we are about to celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary.”

Jamie Lee Curtis & Christopher Guest: 32 years

When Jamie Lee Curtis was flipping through a magazine, she stumbled upon a picture of Christopher Guest. Although she’d never seen him or even knew who he was, she pointed her finger to him and said, “I’m going to marry that man.” The two eventually connected through Hollywood friends and began dating and married a few months later.

Jamie Lee Curtis says that the secret to a long marriage is simple: “Don’t get divorced.” In another recent interview, she gushed about her husband saying, “Chris and I have a wonderful, complicated, imperfect life. 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.”

Michael J. Fox & Tracy Pollan: 28 years

Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan started out as boyfriend and girlfriend on Family Ties, but that later grew into much more. On having a successful marriage, Tracy says it’s important to give each other the benefit of the doubt, adding, “You just have to have the perspective that you’re behind each other’s back—and it helps if you can make each other laugh.”

The duo has faced their share of in sickness and in health” hardships. Michael’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s was a shocker for the couple, as it was his fans. But, it also has made them stronger. They have used that diagnosis to advocate for research and awareness via their Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Beatty & Bening: 25 years

Warren Beatty was once considered one of Hollywood’s most notable bachelors. But that all changed when he and Annette Bening married in 1992. Now with 25 years of marriage under their belts, Warren says, “The most important thing that’s ever happened—the best thing that’s ever happened to me—was Annette and having four kids.”

As for their marriage secrets, both say that the key to their last relationship is avoiding familiarity. To do this, they’re always trying to surprise each other. Beyond surprise, both Warren and Annette have said respect and having a shared purpose are keys to a healthy relationship.

Stiller And Meara Launched Laughter: 62 years

Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara were a husband-and-wife comedy duo who rose to fame in the 1960s and 1970s. While the two found success on stage, they also found success in the romance department.

Jerry and Anne take the cake for having one of the longest-lasting marriages in Hollywood history. They married 1953 and the couple never parted until she passed away from natural causes in 2015. While Jerry is best known for his hilarious role on Seinfeld, Anne was also a comedic powerhouse in her own right. It’s easy to see that the talent runs in the family—their son, Ben Stiller, has had a successful acting career.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Brad Hall: 29 years

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall may both be in the acting industry, but they didn’t meet that way, which may be part of why the duo is still together. Both attended Northwestern University and were members of the comedy troupe before they appeared side-by-side on Saturday Night Life and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Julia’s secret to a loving and successful marriage is very simple. She says that she “chose the right man.” While so many want to dig for more reasons, her answer is in line with what many other Hollywood celebs have experienced in long-term relationships too.

Newman & Woodward: 50 years

The names Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward are synonymous with one another, largely in part to The Long, Hot Summer, which hit theaters in 1957. The two continued their relationship off the screen and married in 1958. Joanne claimed: “Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, that’s a real treat.”

Paul passed away from lung cancer not long after the couple celebrated their 50-year anniversary, but he was forever haunted by the loss of his only son, Scott, who died from a drug overdose. While the death was officially accidental, Paul believed his son may also have had suicidal thoughts, given his psychological state. That tragedy also inspired Paul to found the Scott Newman Foundation to discourage kids from drug abuse.

Brooks & Bancroft: 41 years

Mel Brooks met Anne Bancroft when she was at a rehearsal for The Perry Como Show. She said that at the time when they met that men were afraid of her and never approached her after her success with The Miracle Worker and Two for Seesaw. Anne said that Mel was so brazen that he must be “a combination of Clark Gable, Robert Taylor, and Robert Redford.” He never left her side and the two married in 1964.

Mel would later say: “You know, it took because Anne and I both grew up during the marriage, we both grew up, we both knew what was really important, and what love meant, and…what doing for each other meant.”

Streep & Grummer: 38 years

The connection between Meryl Streep and Don Gummer rose out of the tragic loss of her beloved boyfriend and Godfather star, John Cazale. Don comforted Meryl during a time when her life felt completely shattered and the two married just six months after Cazale’s death.

While some people questioned whether the relationship was a rebound for Meryl, the two are still happily married 38 years later. Meryl says, “Our marriage and our children and their wellbeing inform all the decisions we make,” and that her secret to her long marriage is, “goodwill and a willingness to bend—and to shut up every once in a while.”

Bacon & Sedgwick: 28 years

Here’s another acting team. Kevin Bacon was at a low point when he met Kyra Sedgwick. “The time I was hitting what I considered to be the bottom was also the time I met my wife, our kids were born, good things were happening,” Kevin said. “And I was able to keep supporting myself; that’s always given me strength.”

The couple has been through a lot together, co-starring in films together, but also sharing in the devastation when they discovered they were victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. Even through those all-time lows, they just moved forward. They focused on the positive. Kevin told The Washington Post, “We knew we were going to have each other and our kids were OK. [Our kids] were through school, almost. We both felt like we would work.”

Keith Richards & Patti Hansen: 33 years

Rolling Stones Keith Richards had an infamous reputation as a bad boy and hardcore partier, which is why his future wife, Patti Hansen, wasn’t really that interested when the two first met. Eventually, she looked past his bad boy ways and the two married in 1983.

Keith says the secret to a long and successful marriage is “quite simple.” He says, “We happen to love each other and she can put up with me, which is very difficult to find a woman, especially one as beautiful as that that will put up with me.” Patti is a fashion star, with appearances on Vogue, Esquire, and Harper’s Bazaar, and you’ve no doubt got a pretty good idea who Keith Richards is. He also published a memoir, Life, detailing the ups and downs, as well as his relationship with Patti.

Denzel & Pauletta: 33 years

Denzel Washington met Pauletta Pearson on Wilma in 1983, and they married a year later. Asked about his secret for a long marriage, Denzel said, “I think that you have to work at it and not give up on each other. It’s not all the honeymoon, it doesn’t last forever, so you work at it. And hopefully you’re good friends first, that might help.”

Now, 33 years later, the couple has four children together, who have each graduated from college. Despite reports of a cheating scandal involving Denzel and a blond which led to reports that the marriage was on the rocks in 2013, the couple is still going strong today.

Russell & Hawn: 33 years

Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn have one of the most interesting love stories in Hollywood history. On their first date, the two ended their evening by stopping at Goldie’s recently-purchased home, which she was still empty as she was planning on revolting the space. The actress couldn’t find her key so they entered through a window. The police soon showed up thinking they were part of a break-in. Luckily, both avoided jail but walked away with a crazy story.

The couple has now been together for 34 years although they’ve never been officially married. Goldie has said, “A lasting relationship isn’t about marriage, it’s about compatibility and communication.”

Harmon & Dawber: 29 years

Pam Dawber says, “I don’t think two people can work all the time in show business and stay married.” Both she and Mark Harmon have found fame and fortune in Hollywood, but Pam took a step back from acting when she had children.

She says, “I wanted to drive my kids to school. I wanted to be there for their birthdays and bring cupcakes and donuts and do the school festivals and all that, and I did.” She believes it’s important to stay out of the tabloids, to keep her kids out, and she also said that her kids haven’t seen the work she did as an actress.

John Travolta & Kelly Preston: 25 years

Like Tom Hanks, John Travolta has been subjected to false divorce rumors by the tabloids. John met Kelly Preston on the set of The Experts in 1989, and they’ve starred in a series of blockbusters ever since. They’ve experienced a lot of up-and-downs, including their son’s autism diagnosis and subsequent death from a seizure when they were vacationing in the Bahamas. John was also charged with sexual assault and battery, although the allegations were later dropped.

Despite hardships, the two continue to make it work. According to John, the secret is simple: “We really care deeply about each other and we protect each other—and we keep [our relationship] up to date.” Kelly adds, “Keep checking in and keep growing and changing.”

David Bowie & Iman: 25 years

English Rock star David Bowie was a music sensation, with charm and money to tantalize men and women alike, but he fell in love with Iman, a Somalian supermodel. She, in turn, clarified that she fell in love with David Jones, saying, “Bowie is just a persona. He’s a singer, an entertainer. David Jones is a man I met.”

The couple married in 1992 and had two children together, Duncan and Alexandria. On the secret to a lasting marriage, Iman has said that “you have to be at the right time in your life that you’re ready for an everlasting relationship.” She added that marriage needs to “first and a priority in your life.”

Hume Cronyn & Jessica Tandy

Robin Platzer/Getty Images
Robin Platzer/Getty Images

Actor Hume Cronyn and actress Jessica Tandy married in 1942 and stayed together for over 50 years. The couple had undeniable chemistry and shared a love for acting. In 1983 they appeared together in the Broadway production of Foxfire, for which Randy received an Emmy and a Tony Award. The couple also had roles in the films including The Green Years, The Seventh Cross, The Gin Games, and Cocoon. The power couple has two children together, a daughter named Tandy and a son named Christopher.After fighting ovarian cancer for several years, Tandy passed away. They were truly a remarkable Hollywood couple of their time.

Ron & Cheryl Howard

Mike Coppola/VF17/Getty Images for VF
Mike Coppola/VF17/Getty Images for VF

Ron Howard and his wife Cheryl were married in 1975 and their relationship has gone on strong for more than 40 impressive years. Howard is an extremely successful actor and filmmaker, having started his career as a child actor. Cheryl is a writer and has worked on A Beautiful Mind, Angels & Demons and more. The couple has four children together. Of their marriage, Ron told Huffington Post, “I felt really lucky when we met. It’s crazy — we were teenagers, it shouldn’t have worked. We got married young, that shouldn’t have worked either, and yet it really and truly has.”

James Garner & Lois Clarke

Earl Leaf/Getty Images
Earl Leaf/Getty Images

On the subject of marriage, Garner said, “Marriage is like the Army; everyone complains, but you’d be surprised at the large number of people who re-enlist.” Garner and Lois Clarke married after having known each other for just 14 days. Their union turned out to be a great one, as they stayed together for 60 years, until Garner’s death in 2014. Garner starred in the popular TV series Maverick and was awarded the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2005. Garner and Clarke have two daughters together.

Bob & Ginny Newhart

Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage
Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage

Stand-up comedian and actor Bob Newhart had an amazing career, but what he takes the most pride in is his family. “I’m most proud of the longevity of my marriage, my kids, and my grandchildren. If you don’t have that, you really don’t have very much.” Bob and his wife Virginia “Ginny” Newhart have been married since 1963, spanning five decades, and share four children together and 10 grandchildren. Although Ginny admitted she felt that she couldn’t measure up to some of Bob’s love interests on set, she had a great impression on her husband’s career, and they supported one another a great deal.

Bill & Camille Cosby

George Napolitano/FilmMagic
George Napolitano/FilmMagic

Here is a marriage that is by no means perfect, but has stood the test of time and scrutiny. Bill and Camille Cosby married in 1964 and still remain married, 50 years later. Bill Cosby has been under allegations of sexual assault, but his wife stands by him. “The man I met, and fell in love with, and whom I continue to love, is the man you all knew through his work. He is a kind man… and a wonderful husband, father and friend.” In the deposition, when asked if he’d been faithful to her, Camille opted to use her spousal privilege and stay silent.

Christopher & Georgianne Walken

ABDELHAK SENNA/AFP/Getty Images
ABDELHAK SENNA/AFP/Getty Images

This Hollywood couple has been married since 1969, and live happily without children. Christopher Walken is a successful actor, while Georgianne is a casting director, and has worked on more than 80 television shows and films. Georgianne says of being married to Christopher, “It’s very interesting being married to a man who is constantly playing a different person. You’re always living with a different person. He never tells me what part he’s playing when he’s getting ready. It just descends on me one day. Very interesting.”

Regis & Joy Philbin

Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images
Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images

Everyone recognizes the voice of Regis Philbin. The actor has been married to his wife Joy since 1970. While Regis was the host of Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, Live! with Regis and Kelly, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and America’s Got Talent, Joy hosted a show on HGTV and occasionally filled in on her husband’s show. They have two children together and split time between their three homes. Of their marriage, Joy says, “There’s just something about Regis. There’s always something new on the horizon and it keeps our lives active and fun. I’d rather be with Regis than any other person in the world.”

Jeff Bridges & Susan Geston

Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox
Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Twentieth Century Fox

Actor Jeff Bridges and his wife Susan have been married since 1977. They met on the film set of Rancho Deluxe and have three daughters together. Speaking on their marriage, Bridges said, “This industry is tough on relationships. I’ve always thought that my wife should have a credit up alongside mine, because I couldn’t do what I do without her support. We’ve been married since 1977, we knew each other for 2 years before that, so she’s been able to do all these films with me and we’ve managed to get through them all together.”

Samuel L. Jackson & LaTanya Richardson

Robin Marchant/Getty Images
Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Samuel L. Jackson & LaTaynya Richardson met in Atlanta, Georgia while attending Morehouse College and have been married since 1980. The couple has one daughter together and are very dedicated parents. Jackson joked with People magazine, “We actually thought we were going to be the black Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, but we were going to stay together!” They’ve said their connection was strong when they met, and that hasn’t changed. “She’s had a good career. I’ve had a good career. So it’s worked.” LaTanya is an actress and sports channel producer.

Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne

Greg Doherty/Getty Images
Greg Doherty/Getty Images

Musician Ozzy Osbourne and TV personality and host Sharon wed in 1982 and have three children together. They were married on the Fourth of July, Ozzy claims, so he would never forget their anniversary. Ozzy has had his struggles with drugs and alcohol and has publically apologized to his wife and kids for his actions. Through it all, they’ve stuck by each other, and have been married for 35 years. Ozzy now says, “Me and Sharon are fine, on solid ground and our marriage has never been better.”