Hollywood marriage

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A Hollywood marriage originally meant a glamorous high society marriage between celebrities involved in the U.S. film industry; the word "Hollywood" is often used to represent the US film industry. However, the term has grown to also have strong negative connotations of a marriage that is of short duration and quickly ends in separation or divorce.[1] The term developed the negative connotations fairly early; by the 1930s, a "Hollywood marriage" was a marriage both glamorous and short-lived.[2][3] This connotation may also have related, at times, to moral panics over Hollywood's influence on the culture.[4]

Issues[edit]

Sympathetic views of celebrities point out that in Hollywood, it is mostly the bad marriages that are documented by the media, giving a skewed perspective that might make "Hollywood marriages" appear to have a worse success rate than they have in reality. In 1972 Bob Thomas of the Associated Press remarked specifically about the tendency to ignore lasting celebrity marriages with the examples he gave including Bob Hope's marriage to Dolores Hope and Rosalind Russell's marriage to producer Frederick Brisson.[5]

Negative views of Hollywood marriages take the position that the divorce rates are indeed unusually high among celebrities and that this is caused by faults within Hollywood as a culture or by personal faults of the celebrities themselves. They point to the usage of weddings as publicity stunts, the egotism or immaturity of celebrities or "celebrity culture", and high rates of infidelity or promiscuity. Bee Wilson, in an article for The Daily Telegraph, critiqued "Hollywood marriages" for often being based on the unrealistic dreams of what she termed "permanent children," although she points to some classic Hollywood couples, like Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart or Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, as exceptions to these criticisms.[6] While the introduction to the Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia edited by Robert E. Emery specifically mentions Hollywood divorces as epitomizing a "consumerist, throw-away-marriage view found in the West."[7]

The actors and entertainers themselves vary in perspective on the commonality or reason for divorce in Hollywood. In 1961 Anne Baxter stated Hollywood was "the most difficult place in America for marriage" due, in part, to the "terrible extremes of success and failure" both spouses may face.[8] In a 1964 interview Mitzi Gaynor, who would remain married to the husband mentioned in the interview until his death, took the more "defensive" position that "Hollywood" couples look different mostly because "everything we do is magnified." Although she conceded they might be slightly different because "you have to be a little off-center to get into this business in the first place."[9]

Beyond anecdote or opinion the actual evidence on the matter is complicated by differing definitions of who qualifies as a "celebrity" or "Hollywood." That stated a study from Radford University placed "dancers and choreographers" as the occupations having the highest percent currently divorced[10] with "Entertainers and performers, sports and related workers, all other" still being above average at tenth. That placed them between "Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides" at ninth and "Baggage porters and concierges" at eleventh.[11] In 1900 "actors, professional showmen" were listed as having the highest divorce rate of occupations, but as this predates even the incorporation of Hollywood it refers to the profession itself rather than "Hollywood" or "celebrity culture" as we know it.[12] A Forbes article placed "professional athletes and entertainers" together and with a high divorce rate.[13]

Entertainers married a year or less[edit]

The idea that the term "Hollywood marriage" equates to something short-term is sometimes displayed by citing celebrities who had marriages that ended in divorce, separation, or annulment within approximately one year. The following examples of that are primarily restricted to marriages involving a notable actor or director linked to "Hollywood" in some way.

Names Length Marriage Notes Source
Britney Spears and Jason Alexander 56 hours January 2004 Annulled [14][15][16]
Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman 6 days November 14—20, 1998 [16]
Michelle Phillips and Dennis Hopper 8 days October 31 – November 8, 1970 [17][18]
Patty Duke and Michael Tell 13 days June 26 – July 9, 1970 Annulled. [19][20][21]
Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds 2 weeks January 2008 [16]
Mario Lopez and Ali Landry 18 days April 24 – May 2004 [16][22]
Drew Barrymore and Jeremy Thomas 19 days February—March 1994 [23]
Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman 32 days June 27 – August 4, 1964 [24]
Kim Darby and James Westmoreland 47 days 1970 [25]
Ethel Merman and William Smith 2 months
Milla Jovovich and Shawn Andrews 2 months 1992 Annulled. [26]
Chris Kattan and Sunshine Deia Tutt 2 months [27]
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries 72 days 2011 [28][29]
Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson 121 days July 29 – November 27, 2006 [16]
Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley 108 days 2002 Divorce took over a year to be finalized. [30][31][16]
Colin Farrell and Amelia Warner > 4 months July 17—November, 2001 [16]
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Esposito 4 months [16]
Renée Zellweger and Kenny Chesney 4 months May 2005—2005 Annulled. [23]
Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray 5 months April—September 2005 Separated (September 2005). Bush unsuccessfully petitioned for annulment (February 2006). Divorced (December 2006). [16]
Charlie Sheen and Donna Peele 5 months September 1995—1996 [32][33][16]
Drew Barrymore and Tom Green 163 days July 7 – December 17, 2001 [34][35][16]
Shannen Doherty and Ashley Hamilton > 6 months 1993 – March 1994 [36][37]
Kim Darby and James Stacy 7 months [25]
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley 9 months [16]
Rick Salomon and Shannen Doherty 9 months 2002—2003
Elizabeth Taylor and Conrad Hilton 205 days May 6 – November 27, 1950 [38]
Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd 218 days September 2001 – June 2002 [16][39]
Jim Carrey and Lauren Holly 10 months September 1996 – July 1997 [40][41]
Woody Harrelson and Nancy Simon 10 months Married in Tijuana with the intent of getting a Mexican divorce afterward. The divorce did not occur until ten months later as the "divorce stand" was closed. [42]
Rick Salomon and Pamela Anderson 10 weeks
> 1 year
Married and remarried [43][44]
James Caan and Sheila Marie Ryan > 1 year 1976—77 Son: Scott Caan [45]
Angela Lansbury and Richard Cromwell > 1 year September 27, 1945 – September 1946 [46][47]
Lana Wood and Jack Wrather, Jr. > 1 year Annulled. [48]
Kelsey Grammer and Leigh-Anne Csuhany 1 year [49]
Lorenzo Lamas and Victoria Hilbert 1 year His second marriage, to Michele Smith, did not last two years but did lead to children.[50] [51]
Martin Scorsese and Julia Cameron 1 year 1976—77 [52]
Mickey Rooney and Ava Gardner: 1 year+ [53]

Entertainers married 50 years or more[edit]

Entertainment couples that last for decades, and/or life, are occasionally used as a counterpoint when referring to "Hollywood marriage".[54] In relation to that, here is a selection of entertainers who have or had marriages that lasted over 50 years.

(Note that in a few of these cases, the entertainers were not necessarily in faithful marriages. Tom Jones, for example, was widely known to effectively be in an open relationship and had many extramarital affairs throughout his marriage.)

Legend:
  Living couples, still married

Names Length Marriage Source
Irving Benson and Lillian Waldowsky 79 years, 105 days November 19, 1936 – March 3, 2016 (her death) [55]
Norman Lloyd and Peggy Lloyd 75 years, 65 days June 26, 1936 – August 30, 2011 (her death) [56]
Art Linkletter and Lois Linkletter 74 years, 172 days November 25, 1935 – May 16, 2010 (his death) [57][58]
Johnnie Wright and Kitty Wells 73 years, 332 days October 30, 1937 – September 27, 2011 (his death) [59]
John Glenn and Annie Castor 73 years, 267 days April 6, 1943 – December 6, 2016 (his death)
Karl Malden and Mona Greenberg 70 years, 195 days December 18, 1938 – July 1, 2009 (his death) [60]
Monty Hall and Marilyn Doreen Plottel 69 years, 260 days September 28, 1947 – June 5, 2017 (her death)
Stan Lee and Joan Boocock 69 years, 214 days December 5, 1947 – July 6, 2017 (her death) [61]
Chuck Berry and Thelmetta "Toddy" Suggs 68 years, 141 days October 28, 1948 – March 18, 2017 (his death) [62]
Slim Whitman and Alma Crist Whitman 67 years, 233 days June 28, 1941 – February 16, 2009 (her death) [63][64]
Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach 66 years, 111 days March 5, 1948 – June 24, 2014 (his death) [65][66][67]
William Daniels and Bonnie Bartlett 66 years, 82 days June 30, 1951 − present [68]
William Schallert and Rosemarie D. "Lia" Waggner 65 years+ February 26, 1949 − 2015 (her death) [69][70][71]
Eva Marie Saint and Jeffrey Hayden 65 years and 57 days October 28, 1951 − December 24, 2016 (his death) [72]
Carl Reiner and Estelle Reiner 64 years, 306 days December 24, 1943 − October 25, 2008 (her death) [73]
Lydia Clarke and Charlton Heston 64 years, 19 days March 17, 1944 − April 5, 2008 (his death) [74][75]
Kirk Douglas and Anne Buydens 63 years, 114 days May 29, 1954 − present [76]
Danny Aiello and Sandy Cohen 62 years, 255 days January 8, 1955 − present [77]
Dick Van Patten and Patricia Poole 61 years, 59 days April 25, 1954 − June 23, 2015 (his death) [78][79]
Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara 60 years, 251 days September 14, 1954 – May 23, 2015 (her death) [80]
Alan Alda and Arlene Alda 60 years, 189 days March 15, 1957 − present [81]
Kristine Miller and William Schuyler 60 years, 136 days July 27, 1953 − December 10, 2013 (his death) [82]
Tom Jones and Melinda Trenchard 59 years, 39 days March 2, 1957 – April 10, 2016 (her death) [83]
William Christopher and Barbara O'Connor 59 years 1957 − December 31, 2016 (his death) [84][85][86]
Larry Hagman and Maj Axelsson 58 years, 341 days December 18, 1954 − November 23, 2012 (his death)
James Garner and Lois Clarke 57 years, 336 days August 17, 1956 − July 19, 2014 (his death)
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee 57 years, 57 days December 9, 1948 − February 4, 2005 (his death) [87]
Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss 55 years, 329 days October 26, 1961 − present [88][89]
Martin Sheen and Janet Templeton 55 years, 271 days December 23, 1961 − present [90][91]
Lee Grant and Joseph Feury 54–55 years 1962–present
Ann Blyth and Dr. James Vincent McNulty 54 years, 320 days June 27, 1953 – May 13, 2007 (his death) [92][93]
Bob Newhart and Virginia Quinn 54 years, 251 days January 12, 1963 − present [94][95]
Francis Ford Coppola and Eleanor Coppola 54 years, 230 days February 2, 1963 − present [96][97]
Anne Jeffreys and Robert Sterling 54 years, 190 days November 21, 1951 − May 30, 2006 (his death) [98]
Ring Lardner Jr. and Frances Chaney 54 years, 34 days September 28, 1946 – October 31, 2000 (his death)
Bill Cosby and Camille Hanks Cosby 53 years, 238 days January 25, 1964 [99]
Angela Lansbury and Peter Shaw 53 years, 170 days August 12, 1949 – January 29, 2003 (his death) [100][101]
Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville 53 years, 149 days December 2, 1926 — April 29, 1980 (his death) [102]
Nancy Davis and Ronald Reagan 52 years, 93 days March 4, 1952 − June 5, 2004 (his death) [103]
Don Rickles and Barbara Sklar 52 years, 23 days March 14, 1965 − April 5, 2017 (his death) [104]
Mitzi Gaynor and Jack Bean 52 years, 16 days November 18, 1954 − December 4, 2006 (his death) [105][106]
Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy 52 years+ 1942 — September 11, 1994 (her death) [107]
Rance Howard and Jean Speegle Howard 51 years 1949 − September 2, 2000 (her death) [108]
Dolly Parton and Carl Dean 51 years, 113 days May 30, 1966 − present [109]
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman 50 years, 241 days January 29, 1958 − September 26, 2008 (his death) [110]
Vince and Linda McMahon 51 years, 25 days August 26, 1966 − present
Ann Margaret and Roger Smith 50 years, 27 days May 8, 1967 – June 4, 2017 (his death) [111]
Rosemary Harris and John Ehle 49 years, 334 days October 21, 1967 – present

Notes[edit]

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  5. ^ AP via The Palm Beach Post – April 23, 1972
  6. ^ Wilson, Bee (2007-02-11). ""Movie Stars plus marriage equals disaster" Daily Telegraph: 11 February 2007". London: Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  7. ^ Cultural Sociology of Divorce edited by Robert E. Emery
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  9. ^ The Pittsburgh Press – June 19, 1964
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  11. ^ Business Insider
  12. ^ Overcoming Bias
  13. ^ Forbes via "love to know."
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Add marriage John McIntire Jeanette Nolan married 1935 to January 30, 1991 (his death)

References[edit]

  • Grazer, Gigi Levangie (2005). The starter wife. Simon & Schuster, 2005. ISBN 978-0-7432-6502-7.  Lede: Husband dumps wife by cellphone and upgrades to a younger version.(not verbatim quote) p28: Chapter: "Seven stages of a Hollywood marriage"