Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary to Michael J. Fox and Tracey Pollan!
The couple met when she was cast as his girlfriend on Family Ties back in the '80s and wed on July 16, 1988. They weathered the blow of Michael's diagnosis with Parkinson's Disease only three years into their marriage and have raised four children together.
In their honor, let's take a look at 30 more celeb unions that have made it past the three-decade mark and are still going strong, ending with the three couples who have already been married more than twice as long as Fox and Pollan:
Note: For the sake of simplicity, I used wedding dates to calculate the length of the relationships but in cases where the couples either never married or were together for decades before marrying, I used the year they began dating.
(Almost) 30 Years: Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick (September 4, 1988)
Okay, they won't technically celebrate their 30th anniversary for another two months, but close enough. On the secret to their longevity, Sedgwick says: "Sex is really important. That desire is there. When he walks into a room, I'm still…I mean, my heart gets a little fluttery and I think, 'Oh! He's so cute. He's so hot.' That's literally the first thing I think."
30 Years: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson (April 30, 1988)
They first fell for each other on the set of 1985’s Volunteers and despite tabloid rumors of a separation two years ago, the pair are still together. In 2016, Hanks said "People say, 'Jeez, it must be hard to stay married in show business’. "I think it's hard to stay married anywhere, but if you marry the right person, it might work out.”
31 Years: Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber (March 21, 1987)
The NCIS actor and the Mork and Mindy actress renewed their vows in a backyard ceremony for their 30th anniversary last year. Dawber credits stepping away from her own career as an actress to be a stay-at-home mom with her marriage’s success: "I don't think two people can work all the time in show business and stay married.”
31 Years: Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Brad Hall (June 25, 1987)
The Veep star and her writer-producer husband were college sweethearts at Northwestern University before going on to appear on Saturday Night Live together. “I married the right guy for me, and that was lucky...But I worked very, very hard to keep us intact. And it's been my pleasure, because it's the only way I could have survived in this business — with my family unit in place.”
32 Years: Tina Turner and Erwin Bach (Together since 1986, Married July 4, 2013)
Turner and music executive Bach spent more than a quarter-century together before he officially put a ring on it. When they first began dating, Bach was 30 to Turner’s 46 and routinely labeled her “boytoy” by the tabloids. At their Swiss wedding ceremony, Turner made headlines for eschewing the typical white wedding gown in favor of a black-and-green Armani ensemble.
32 Years: Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham (1986)
Winfrey and business CEO Graham met at a charity event and got engaged in 1992, but later decided not to get married and to have a “spiritual union” instead.
"I said to Stedman, ‘What would have happened if we had actually gotten married?’ And the answer is: ‘We wouldn’t be together.’ We would not have stayed together, because marriage requires a different way of being in this world. His interpretation of what it means to be a husband and what it would mean for me to be a wife would have been pretty traditional, and I would not have been able to fit into that.”
33 Years: Mike Farrell and Shelley Fabares (December 31, 1984)
TV stars Farrell (M*A*S*H) and Fabares (The Donna Reed Show, Coach) share a passion for social activism, with Farrell having spent decades campaigning for global human rights and the abolition of the death penalty and Fabares fighting for a cure for Alzheimers, from which her mother suffered. The pink hair is something she adopted on a whim while waiting for a liver transplant, which she received in 2000.
33 Years: Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest (December 18, 1984)
When she was 25 years old, Curtis was flipping through an issue of Rolling Stone and saw a photo of Christopher Guest, who was starring in the cult classic mockumentary This is Spinal Tap. She joked to her friend “I’m going to marry that man”, and as it happened, her friend knew Guest’s agent and got his phone number for Curtis. He proposed two months later, and they married only six months after Curtis first saw his photo in that magazine.
Asked the secret to a long marriage in 2015, Curtis replied "Don't get divorced. I could write a book on marriage called 'Don't Leave.'"
34 Years: Keith Richards and Patti Hansen (December 18, 1983)
The first time model Hansen took her rock-god boyfriend to meet her parents, he showed up wasted and smashed his guitar on their dining-room table while she crouched in tears at the top of the stairs (he was mad because her family continued talking while he was playing and failed to applaud). But he won her over with love notes written in his own blood – a practice she says he still continues today.
35 Years: Denzel Washington and Pauletta Pearson (June 25, 1983)
They met on the set of the TV film Wilma in 1977 and quickly became a couple. But Pearson turned down two marriage proposals from Washington before finally agreeing to become his wife. Although they have been dogged by rumors of Washington’s infidelity – including tabloid stories of an affair with Sanaa Lathan, which both he and Lathan denied – he maintains that his marriage will last: “Everybody has their ups and downs; we've had ours. It's hard work, you know. But we made a commitment."
35 Years: Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn (February 14, 1983)
They first met on the set of a 1966 film (when Russell was 14 and Hawn 20), but it was when they reconnected to film Swing Shift 17 years later that they had their first date, on Valentine’s Day. With an accumulated three failed marriages behind them, Russell and Hawn have chosen not to marry again but have remained committed to each other.
Hawn: “[We] would have been long divorced if [we’d] been married. For me, I chose to stay, Kurt chose to stay. And we liked the choice…A lasting relationship isn’t about marriage. It’s about compatibility and communication.”
35 Years: Jackie Chan and Joan Lin (December 1, 1982)
Chan openly states that he only married actress Lin because she was pregnant with their son Jaycee: "It was an accident which conceived Jaycee. I had never thought of getting married, but I felt it was akin to being forced to get married.” He also admits that he continued seeing other women after the wedding in an effort to find his perfect match, and that’s how he came to father a daughter with Hong Kong beauty queen Elaine Ng in 1999, which he calls “an error that every man in the world could make”.
Although he expected Lin to divorce him, she instead forgave him, and Chan now calls his wife “the only love of my life”.
36 Years: Bono and Alison Hewson (August 21, 1982)
Alison met Paul Hewson at school when she was 12 and he was 13. They began dating about three years later and married when they were 21 and 22, but Alison had trouble fitting in when Paul, now known as Bono, found huge success with U2 (a journalist once observed her with the group at a Hollywood hot spot and described her as looking as "out of place as a dairy maid in a brothel").
Nonetheless, Alison says "Our marriage has worked because we like each other, because we talk to each other, and we are passionate about what we do. We allow each other to pursue our goals."
36 Years: Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne (July 4, 1982)
Sharon revealed last year that Ozzy has cheated on her with six different women over the course of their marriage: “Some Russian teenager, then a masseuse in England, our masseuse [in the U.S.], and then our cook...Basically, if you’re a woman giving Ozzy either a back rub or a trolley of food, God help you.”
She left him in 2016 after discovering his affair with a hairstylist when he accidentally sent her an email meant for his mistress, but they reconciled after he went to rehab for sex addiction. Says Ozzy: “I made a huge mistake. Without Sharon, I am nothing. I love her. I can honestly say that I have never loved anybody other than my wife.”
37 Years: Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach (April 27, 1981)
They met while filming the movie Caveman in 1980, and the Beatles drummer and the Bond Girl (The Spy Who Loved Me) claim to be as much in love as ever: Says Ringo "I'm beyond blessed that she loves me and we're still together." Barbara: "I love the man and that's it."
37 Years: Ron Perlman and Opal Stone (February 14, 1981)
The Hellboy star met his jewelry-designer wife (how much do we love that her name is Opal Stone and she designs jewelry?) when he was a struggling actor working in a friend's boutique for extra cash and she walked in to buy a pair of earrings. Perlman on what he learned from marriage: "I learned it isn't all about me; how to meet someone half way. I learned how to compromise when I could, and how not to when I couldn't."
38 Years: Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson (January 14, 1980)
Jackson was a student at Morehouse College and Richardson at nearby Spelman College when the two theater students met in 1974. When their daughter Zoe was eight years old, she and her mother found Jackson unconscious on the floor after a crack cocaine binge. He credits their response with saving him: "[They] put my ass in rehab the next day and supported me and pushed me and give me a reason to get up and go and chase it day after day."
39 Years: Mark Hamill and Marilou York (December 17, 1978)
Hamill was a patient of dental hygienist York in the mid-70s. They started dating but broke up when Star Wars came out in 1977 and success went to his head: “I had to taste groupies and fame. I went to Las Vegas to date 38-year-old showgirls. I wanted to scale all these women. That was exciting for about the first 10 minutes. Eventually, I wanted something to hold onto—and a family.” They got back together, married and raised three kids.
Asked in a Reddit AMA what the secret to a successful marriage is, Hamill replied “A really short manual would read ‘Don’t cheat,’ because that seems to be where people break up.”
40 Years: Meryl Streep and Don Gummer (September 30, 1978)
Even Streep's own mother didn't expect this one to last, since Streep married sculptor Gummer only 6 months after her fiancé, actor John Cazale, died of cancer; in fact, she first met Gummer when he accompanied her brother to help her pack up her belongings from Cazale's loft after his death.
While there have been rumors of extramarital relationships over the years (most infamously, Streep's alleged wild Winnebago sex with Jack Nicholson on the set of 1987's Ironweed) they are still together, having raised a son and three daughters to adulthood.
40 Years: Gloria and Emilio Estefan (September 2, 1978)
Gloria began dating the Miami Sound Machine's 24-year-old bandleader when she was 19 years old and has said "he was my first and only boyfriend." Just last week, Emilio joked that the secret to their union is "respect and love and, more than anything else, being Latino, you say, ‘Yes, baby. Whatever you want" - which Gloria promptly called "a crock, [but] he makes me laugh every single day of my life.”
41 Years: Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston (June 5, 1977)
24-year-old Jeff Bridges asked out his 20-year-old waitress - who happened to be sporting two black eyes and a broken nose from a recent car wreck - one night ("I knew I was madly in love with my wife the minute I saw her"), but she turned him down.
Luckily, he later convinced her to take a ride to Glacier National Park with him and a friend in a motor home, and their romance began. Now he says "What you don't know until you get married is that you think all the other doors close, which is true, but this doorway you open is a hallway lined with all these other brilliant doors—kids, deeper intimacy, adventures, and everything else."
43 Years: Ron Howard and Cheryl Alley (June 7, 1975)
Howard was 21 years old and still just the star of Happy Days when he married his high school sweetheart and fellow ginger Cheryl. It was that decade of fashion hell known as the 1970s, so perhaps we can forgive him the powder-blue tuxedo and ruffled shirt. But can Potsie (Anson Williams) and Ralph (Donnie Most), who served as groomsmen, forgive him for making them wear it, too?
44 Years: Sissy Spacek and Jack Fisk (April 12, 1974)
Fisk, now a film director, was the art director on Spacek's first film, 1973's Badlands, when they met. They wed wearing blue jeans and with their dog as their only guest. Spacek says "We never expected a lifelong relationship. In fact, we even opened a bank account and put $30 in it, because that's how much it cost to get divorced. Now I think it would take something dramatic like death to end it."
47 Years: Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner (Together since 1971, married December 31, 2013)
Although they had to wait more than four decades for the law to let them marry, the comedienne and her writer wife have been together since collaborating on Tomlin's comedy album And That's the Truth in 1971. They have continued working together through all of their years as a couple, creating such work as Tomlin's Tony Award-winning show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, the film The Incredible Shrinking Woman, and several more Grammy-nominated comedy albums.
49 Years: Christopher Walken and Georgianne Thon (January 1969)
The actor and the Emmy-winning Sopranos and Entourage casting director made the choice not to have children (so that they could focus on their careers and wouldn't feel pressured to take more dependable jobs in order to support a family), but today they are devoted "parents" to their rescue cat, Bowie.
52 Years: Dolly Parton and Carl Dean (May 30, 1966)
The reclusive Dean has been photographed with his country star wife only a handful of times over the past five decades (and I can't verify that any of the online photos from recent decades that are purported to be of the couple are actually of Dean - some are definitely other men and in others, their heights don't appear to match the wedding photo).
Parton calls their relationship "so totally open and free" and admits to having had affairs, including one (believed to be with her band leader Gregg Perry) in the '80s that led her to contemplate suicide when it ended. She says she would still be open to having an affair now but would not tell her husband about it because she'd "die" if he ever left her.
55 Years: Bob Newhart and Ginnie Quinn (January 12, 1963)
Comedian Buddy Hackett set Newhart up on a blind date with Quinn, his children’s babysitter, and they married less than a year later, eventually raising four children. Ginnie has said of their marriage: “Divorce was just not in our vocabulary. Like anybody we had fights, and we had some pretty good ones. But I was never happy being apart from him, and he was never happy being apart from me.”
61 Years: Alan Alda and Arlene Weiss (March 15, 1957)
M*A*S*H star (and male-feminist-way-before-it-was-cool) Alan Alda knew writer-photographer Arlene was the one for him because of a rum cake. They met at a party where the hostess' dessert fell and smashed on the floor. "Arlene and I were the only two people who went in with spoons and ate it off the floor. That's how you know. When two people eat a cake off the floor, that's it for life. All this matchmaking on the Internet, and they ask them questions — just toss a cake on the floor and see who goes for it."
64 Years: Kirk Douglas and Anne Buydens (May 29, 1954)
The secret to Kirk Douglas' six-decade-long marriage? His wife doesn't mind if he cheats, just as long as he tells her about it. Says the German-born Anne: "As a European, I understood it was unrealistic to expect total fidelity in a marriage. European women are less likely to run to the divorce court in righteous indignation than Americans are. I loved my husband and my life and our family, so why would I give all that up because of pride?"
70 Years: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip (November 20, 1947)
13-year-old Princess Elizabeth began writing to her second-cousin-once-removed, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, after becoming smitten with the 18-year-old cadet during a tour of Dartmouth Naval College with her parents. Although their marriage has been plagued by tabloid rumors of Philip's alleged infidelities (with a Russian ballerina, an actress, and the Queen's own cousin Princess Alexandra, among others), there's never been any actual evidence and the women have always denied it.
More troublesome has been Philip's chronic foot-in-mouth disease, which has led to so many cringe-worthy moments over the years. Not surprisingly, on their 50th wedding anniversary, Philip said "I think the main lesson that we have learnt is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage. You can take it from me that the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance."
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How long was your longest relationship, ONTD?