Divorce gets a pretty bum rap in Hollywood. Whether it's Ross “Divorso” Geller and his three marriages or Catherine Zeta-Jones’s “satirical” marriage-for-money scam in Intolerable Cruelty, movies and TV shows like to point to legal separation as an indicator of immaturity and unreliability.
We’ve made similar jokes about short-lived celebrity marriages from the likes of Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson, but in our defense, when you say “I do” in a string bikini and barely make it to the 100-day mark, open-mindedness kind of takes a back seat...no pun intended.
As several of our Renton-based clients can attest, getting a divorce isn’t the end of married life forever. Some of the longest marriages in Hollywood history followed messy legal separations.
Love and other drugs
One of the best examples of bouncing back from a tough break up started with Chevy Chase’s second marriage, which lasted less than a year and a half. Jacqueline Carlin filed for divorce citing “threats of violence,” a pretty easy case to argue considering Chevy was reportedly consuming over two grams of cocaine every single day.
So yea, Jacqueline’s $400,000 settlement seems about right for dealing with a steady stream of hysteria and delusions of grandeur.
But much like his post-SNL career, Chevy turned it around in the ’80s with his marriage to Jayni Luke. The couple is still going strong today, recently celebrating their 35th anniversary.
All it took was a few Vacations and a break from the nose candy.
The Prince of Darkness and his troubles with the Mrs.
The enduring relationship between one of history’s most notoriously unhinged rock stars and the woman who orchestrated his rise to stardom was so compelling it was turned into four full seasons of reality TV.
The Osbournes even won a Primetime Emmy in 2002 for Outstanding Reality Program -- an award we’d like to forget ever existed.
But before Sharon there was Thelma, the mother of Ozzy’s first two children.
For 11 years Thelma stuck with her husband as the success of Black Sabbath flew him all over the world and introduced Ozzy to his first true love...drugs and alcohol.
It wasn’t until Ozzy began his extramarital affair with Sharon in 1982 that Thelma finally left him.
They were married the same year and he’s been incoherently mumbling that he loves her for the past 35.
Who wants to be my ex-wife?
In 1955, Regis Philbin began a marriage to Catherine Faylen that in his words, “didn’t work or last.” But in the context of the ’60s, that comes with a disclaimer.
Fay and everyone’s favorite exasperated New Yorker stayed together for 11 years and had two children together.
Two years after their amicable divorce in 1968, Regis married Joy Senese.
They’ve spent the last 45 years in wedded bliss.
And...that’s really all we have to say about Regis. Other than his woefully uncomfortable Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ft. Donald Trump single, he’s squeaky clean.
Over half a lifetime with the same leading lady
For the longest marriage in Hollywood history, we’ve gotta go all the way back to World War II. Kirk Douglas was serving in the Navy, and when he saw a childhood friend on the cover of Life magazine he told his bunkmates, “I’m going to marry her!”
And he did that very same year.
Kirk Douglas and Diana Dill had two children, Joel and his famous older brother Michael. But the debauchery and “seas of hallucinogenic substances” sustaining their house parties led to a divorce in 1951.
Whether it was over Diana’s affair with Errol Flynn, or Kirk’s drug abuse and womanizing, the marriage was kaput.
But with his follow-up marriage to Anne Buydens clocking in at 63 years and counting, it’s hard to make too many jokes about Kirk Douglas’s fidelity.
By our count Mr. and Mrs. Douglas have the longest marriage in Hollywood history, a mere 1,215 times longer than our pick for the shortest celebrity marriage, Drew Barrymore’s 19-day tryst with Jeremy Thomas.
If these Hollywood A-listers can overcome the stigma of divorce, so can you!
All it takes is ditching your fondness of Schedule I Controlled Substances, and an all-star legal team.
The attorneys at Buckingham, LaGrandeur & Williams can definitely help with...at least half of that equation.