Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hump Day Hotness: Marital Bliss

Have you seen Vanity Fair's list of Hollywood's rarest unions: the longterm actor/actress marriage? I don't need to tell you that most Tinseltown marriages end in divorce. Yet some couple stick by each other and anyone in a long term relationship or marriage will know what a feat that often is. The immortal Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward are the longest lasting dual movie star marriage -- they were married for 50 years before Newman's death (2008, RIP). But the lengthiest dual actor marriages ever? The Reagans with 52 years and, up at the tippity top, recent Oscar nominee Ruby Dee (American Gangster) and Ossie Davis (2005, RIP) with 56 years of happily ever after.


I'm sure you've heard the famous Newman paraphrase about fidelity
Why fool around with hamburger when you have steak at home?
but what I loved most about their celebrated marriage was that they weren't overly sentimental about it in interviews, often admitting that couples can drive each other nuts, and regularly implying that patience and space are required -- they probably weren't co-dependent nuts in other words. They were able to do things without the other. The sense of humor also definitely helped. I hadn't read this before but I love the inscription on Newman's wedding gift (sherry glasses and a silver cup) to Woodward in 1958
So you wound up with Apollo / If he's sometimes hard to swallow / Use this.
The longest SAG marriages still running: Paula Prentiss (The Stepford Wives) and Richard Benjamin (Portnoy's Complaint) who've been together since 1961 and Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis and Louis Zorich (Mad About You) who've been together since 1962.

The only thing unsatisfying about a very satisfying stability-list like this is that a lot of star couples skip the matrimony part* so it's not entirely accurate. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins have been together for 21 years now and have yet to marry. And then there's the 26 year situation between Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.


Clockwise, top left: Patricia Wetting & Ken Olin, Tim Robbins &
Susan Sarandon (not married),
Helena Bonham-Carter & Tim Burton (not
married), Dukakis & Zurich,The Beatty /
The Bening, Will and Jada, Amy
Madigan & Ed Harris and Jamie Lee Curtis &
Christopher Guest.

Two weeks back I attended a wedding in Austin which was multi-racial / multi-cultural (Japanese and American) and multi-religious (Shinto, Unitarian, Mormon) and included a moment to honor those who can't be legally married yet (the bride, a longtime friend of mine, has two mommies and two daddies). It was awesome. So anyone who thinks Rachel Getting Married was pure east coast liberal fiction can suck it! My point, which I haven't even gotten to, is this: Ain't love grand? ... and complicated ... and hard to measure... and worth celebrating whether it's fresh or well aged and whether or not there's a wedding certificate?! Celebrate it!

Truth, Beauty, Freedom...
and above all things, Love
P.S. Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson (aka "Abs & Boobs") have now been married for 7½ months !

<--- P.S. 2 Check out this awesome photograph of Newman and Woodward at home, just a few years into their marriage. SO adorable. Thanks to Catherine for pointing the way to it.

previously on hump day hotties:
April Fools, Battlestar Galactica, Carla Gugino, Juliette Binoche, Gael Garcia Bernal & Diego Luna and many more...

15 comments:

Zak said...

Just wanted to add that Meryl Streep and Don Gummer have been married for 31 years as of September 2009. :-)

NoNo said...

Aww this is sweet. I also want to mention Denzel who's been married to his wife for 25 years (She was an actress too but retired when Denzel's star rose and they had kids). They met on a movie set.

Agent69 said...

I wish I was mature enough for a long lasting, serious relationship. Sometimes I feel I'm a character from Seinfeld.

Alanna said...

How about Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick?

Mammy said...

I wish I could get a relationship, period ;-)!

Saltire Flower said...

I always loved the relationship Ruby Dee had with Ossie Davis. I'll probably never have a relationship like that, but I always thought they were sweet together.

Catherine said...

GREAT pics of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward here: http://www.sheilaomalley.com/archives/010213.html

Ugh. So. Adorable!

NATHANIEL R said...

i've added it to the post. Thanks Catherine. Love it.

Wayne B. said...

Just some additions: Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards have been married for almost 40 years. Sissy Spacek and Jack Fisk like 35 years.

Saltire Flower - Agree with you on Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee; such an adorable couple.

IrishDramaQueen said...

Don't forget William Daniels and Bonnie Bartlett, married since 1951!!

nothingiswritten said...

My favorite combined name belonged to longtime couple Rip Torn and Geraldine Page: Torn-Page, which they had on their mailbox.

Love the shots of Newman and Woodward. I first heard his hamburger/steak line when I was a kid, and it stuck with me. So sweet!

NATHANIEL R said...

Torn-Page.

I'd totally forgotten. How wonderful

Stephen G said...

What good timing, I watched 'The Long hot Summer' just last night - the first movie Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward starred in together. Never realised that PN won the Actor prize at Cannes for it in 1958, but it got no Oscar noms, probly cos he also had Cat on a Hot Tin Roof later that year.

I'd seen all his nominated performances, and a number of Oscar-nommed films he was in (such as The Sting, Butch Cassidy, Towering Inferno etc), but I'm now watching anything Paul Newman's been in. And even when the movies aren't great (Where the Money Is, Fat Man and Little Boy, Lady L, The Prize), he's always been worth watching.

And in real life, he seems such an inspiration - a tolerant, level-headed, generous, talented and modest human being. Lucky to have had him so long.

vince said...

No RIP for Reagan?

Ty said...

Ruby Dee looked sensational back in the day.