Greatness attracts greatness, and that’s exactly why so many celebrities find themselves romantically involved with others in the business. They relate to each other on personal and professional levels, and they embark on exciting love affairs that are filled with fame and fortune. And while some find their happily-ever-after when they tie the knot, there are others who wish they’d said “I don’t.”
Every year since the dawn of Hollywood, actors, singers, comedians, and even politicians have committed themselves to each other in the vow of marriage. Their wedding becomes the talk of the town, and fans wait on tenterhooks to see whether they’ll crash and burn or whether they’ll remain sweethearts until the end. Now, it’s time to take a look at the biggest celebrity wedding (as well as the odd elopement) that took place the year you were born.
1950 – Elizabeth Taylor and Conrad Hilton
Over the course of her incredible life and career, Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times to seven different men. Her first foray into marriage came in 1950 when she was just 18 years old. And as she had already made her mark as a fabulous and impressive child star by this point, she knew that her wedding had to be something special. After all, she was marrying Conrad Hilton, the heir to the Hilton Hotels chain.
The stylish couple married in a luxurious and expensive wedding on May 6, 1950 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. She wore a beautiful Helen Rose gown for the event, and while the newlyweds looked happy, much more was going on behind the scenes than we realized. Just a few weeks into their marriage, Elizabeth realized that marrying Conrad was a mistake. She claimed he was abusive and an alcoholic, and she was granted a divorce just eight months later.
1951 – Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner
While the celebrity world may be huge, social circles within Hollywood are pretty small – and this was certainly the case in 1951. This was proven when Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner tied the knot in 1951. This was Sinatra’s second marriage, and Gardner’s third, and Frank even left his first wife Nancy for the sultry actress. Of course, this left fans reeling and wondering whether a relationship born from infidelity would even last.
Although the legendary crooner and the actress were married for six years, their marriage was extremely turbulent. Every week new stories were released about their verbal and physical altercations, and while they maintained that they loved each other dearly, it was clear to see that they just weren’t meant to be together. They reached that same conclusion in 1953 when they formally announced their separation, and their divorce was finalized in 1957.
1952 – Roger Vadim and Brigitte Bardot
French actress, singer, and model Brigitte Bardot is considered to be one of the most famous sex symbols of the late ’50s and ’60s. But what you might not realize is that, before she became the most recognizable woman in the world, she married and divorced a French filmmaker by the name of Roger Vadim. In fact, Brigitte was just 18 years old when they tied the knot in 1952.
However, Brigitte was still young and exploring her sexuality. She has confessed that “I have always looked for passion. That’s why I was often unfaithful. And when the passion was coming to an end, I was packing my suitcase.” She did just that in 1956 when she had a rather public affair with her And God Created Woman co-star Jean-Louis Trintignant. By 1957 her divorce from Vadim had been finalized.
1953 – Jackie Lee Bouvier and John F. Kennedy
In 1952, a high society writer and photographer by the name of Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was introduced to U.S Representative John F. Kennedy. While the two immediately hit it off and bonded over their shared faith and love of books, Jackie was more interested in her career than getting married. So, when John proposed to her in November of that year, she considered his offer for a whole month before accepting.
They married on September 12, 1953, in what was the hottest event of the social season. And while they lived in their own little world for a short while, their marriage became the talk of the town when John F. Kennedy became the 35th President of the United States in 1961. All eyes were on the stylish First Lady throughout the duration of his presidency, and while their marriage was plagued with cheating rumors, Jackie stayed with John until he passed away in 1963.
1954 – Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer
With her petite frame and her doll-like features, British actress Audrey Hepburn had men lining up on her doorstep after she starred in Monte Carlo Baby and Roman Holiday. However, it was American actor Mel Ferrer who caught her attention in the early ’50s. They connected while performing in a play called Ondine, and eight months later they traveled to Switzerland to secretly get married in an intimate ceremony on September 25.
Although Audrey and Mel claimed that they were extremely happy in their marriage, fans and critics across the globe had their own opinions. Many thought they weren’t well-matched, and they didn’t think they’d be able to make it last. All in all, the couple was married for over 10 years and even welcomed a son together, but Audrey ultimately confirmed that her husband had a bad temper. This resulted in their divorce in 1968.
1955 – Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher
During the 1950s, Debbie Reynolds was one of the breakout stars of Hollywood. Her first major acting role saw her take on the lead in the iconic movie Singin’ in the Rain – and all eyes were on her. And while her beauty and her talent attracted a huge amount of attention, her first and most scandalous marriage came in 1955 when she married singer, Eddie Fisher.
Although the couple’s wedding seemed idyllic and they went on to welcome two wonderful children into the world together, they ultimately became the talk of the town four years later when it was discovered that Eddie had been having an affair. Not only that, but he had been having an affair with one of Debbie’s closest friends, Elizabeth Taylor. Debbie was devastated and the world was shocked, and the couple divorced that same year.
1956 – Prince Rainier of Monaco and Grace Kelly
Actors are part of one world, and princes and princesses are part of another – and while these worlds largely stay away from each other, the status quo was disrupted in 1955 when Grace Kelly met Prince Rainer III of Monaco at the Cannes Film Festival. The stunning young actress was invited to a photo session with the prince, and he was instantly smitten with her blonde hair and her dazzling personality.
Prince Rainier courted Grace Kelly for a year before he proposed, and while Hollywood wanted her to stay and act, she ultimately decided to retire from acting at the age of 26 to marry the royal. They officially wed on April 18, 1956, but the whole wedding was in fact a two-day event that featured multiple outfit changes, incredible guest lists, and amazing decorations. Sadly, their marriage was cut short when Grace suddenly passed away in 1982.
1957 – Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood
The relationship between Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood was certainly a strange and unusual one. When known Hollywood womanizer Wagner became involved with the young actress in 1956, eyebrows were raised. Not only did he have a reputation under his belt, but he was also 26 years old, while she was just 18. However, that didn’t stop them from getting married on December 28, 1957.
Wagner and Wood divorced five years later (with Wood’s sister-in-law claiming that Natalie caught her husband in the arms of another man) but this wasn’t the end of their story. Before Wood tragically passed away in 1981, she had reconciled with her former husband and had married Wagner once again. Her passing still remains unexplained to this day, and in 2018 Wagner was noted as a person of interest in the ongoing investigation of her death.
1958 – Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay
Over the course of her career, Jayne Mansfield became known for her outrageous publicity stunts and her ability to win over any man that looked at her in the eye. So, after divorcing her first husband and having numerous flings with high-profile men in Hollywood, many didn’t know whether her marriage to the former Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay was for love or publicity.
The couple got married on January 13, 1958, at the see-through glass Wayfarers Chapel in California, which meant that everyone could see her pink tulle wedding gown. The reception was just as flamboyant, with all of the guests drinking pink champagne and eating the finest food around. After just four years together, the couple filed for divorce – and it soon became clear that Jayne had affairs with Enrico Bomba and Nelson Sardelli during their marriage.
1959 – Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher
By 1959, Elizabeth Taylor was on her third marriage – which sadly ended much earlier than she had anticipated. Her third husband Mike Todd had passed away, but while grieving the loss of her own husband she found herself in the arms of her friend Debbie Fisher’s husband. Before too long, Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor were having an affair, and it didn’t stay secret for long.
While they were uncomfortable with their situation, both Elizabeth and Eddie thought that they were in love with each other. So, Eddie became Elizabeth’s fourth husband when they married at the Temple Beth Sholom in Las Vegas on May 12, 1959. However, Elizabeth’s reputation as a “homewrecker” came back to haunt her once again in 1962 when she began an affair with her Cleopatra co-star Richard Burton, who was also married. Elizabeth and Eddie officially divorced in 1964.
1960 – Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones
As the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret was destined for a life in the shadows – but anyone who has watched The Crown will know that she made the most of this by enjoying her time in high society. She became one of the most famous socialites of the era, and it was during this time that she caught the attention of Group Captain Peter Townsend. His advances were reciprocated by the princess, but he was deemed unsuitable for her hand in marriage.
Because of this, Princess Margaret instead married the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960. Theirs was the very first royal wedding to ever be broadcast on television for those at home to watch, and 300 million people across the globe tuned in to watch the bride walk down the aisle. And while their wedding was stunning, their marriage was less so. The couple welcomed two children, but their extra-marital affairs resulted in their divorce in 1980.
1961 – Lucille Ball and Gary Morton
When you think of Lucille Ball, you probably also think of Desi Arnaz. After all, these two were a power couple throughout the ’40s and ’50s. They not only created the hugely successful television show I Love Lucy together, but they were also extremely popular outside of the show. That’s why fans were devastated when they announced their divorce in 1960.
However, just a year after her divorce, Lucille found love again. She was introduced to a young comic 13 years her junior by the name of Gary Morton – and to begin with, she took Morton under her wing. She employed him to work at her production company and taught him the ropes of television, but before too long their working relationship turned much deeper. They married a short while later and remained married until Lucille sadly passed away in 1989.
1962 – Don Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark
Royal weddings are always exciting, and while British royal weddings have always brought in millions of viewers and provided us with some of the biggest gowns in history, other royals weddings across the globe have also made their mark. In 1962, it was the turn of Don Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark.
What made this royal wedding so unusual was that Juan Carlos was already royal, and so was Princess Sophia – as she was the daughter of King Paul of Greece. Their matrimony was seen as a way to strengthen the royal bloodline, but they were also deeply in love with each other. They married on 14 May 1962, have welcomed three children into the world, and have been married ever since.
1963 – Betty White and Allen Ludden
It was an extremely sad day when Betty White passed away at the age of 99 in 2021, but what you might not have realized is that she also lost her husband Allen Ludden many years ago. Allen was actually her third husband, as she had previously married both Dick Barker and Lane Allen. But it was with television personality and game show host Allen Ludden that she found her true soulmate.
The couple first met on the set of Ludden’s game show Password back in 1961, and the host reportedly proposed to the comedian at least two times before she eventually said yes. They married on June 14, 1963, and they remained totally in love until Allen sadly passed away from stomach cancer in 1981. Betty never remarried, stating that “Once you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?”
1964 – Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
As we already know, Elizabeth Taylor had an affair while married to her fourth husband Eddie Fisher, and this affair resulted in her fifth marriage to Richard Burton. As both parties were married when they began their affair, their illicit ways were condemned in the media, but that didn’t stop them from tying the knot on March 15, 1964 – 10 days after her divorce from Eddie was finalized.
Although many questioned their longevity, Elizabeth and Richard were quick to prove the naysayers wrong, and they decided to become a power couple. They starred in over 11 movies together, splashed their cash on expensive vacations and designer clothes, and became the hottest couple in Hollywood. They divorced for the first time in 1974 amidst rumors of affairs, but they reconciled in 1975 and married again. However, they ended things for good less than a year later, and they officially divorced in 1976.
1965 – Larry King and Billie Jean King
While Larry King and Billie Jean King actually married before they became famous, word of their nuptials still made its way around the tennis community. They first met in 1963 in the library at California State University and quickly realized that they both had a deep and intense love for tennis. Larry played on the school tennis team, and Billie had been playing and honing her craft since she was just 11 years old. They seemed like the perfect pair.
They married in Long Beach California on September 17, 1965, and Larry soon took it upon himself to kickstart his wife’s professional career. She had the talent, but there was no place for women in tennis. So, he founded World Team Tennis and thrust countless female tennis stars into the limelight. And while both of their careers took off during their marriage, Billie realized in 1968 that she was actually attracted to women, and started having affairs. They divorced in 1987.
1966 – Mia Farrow and Frank Sinatra
In 1966, Frank Sinatra was one of the biggest names in music – which is why many people were surprised when he started dating a young, up-and-coming actress by the name of Mia Farrow. There was a 19-year age gap between them, not to mention the gap in terms of their fame and fortune. But there was something about Mia that Frank absolutely adored, so they married on July 19, 1966, in Las Vegas.
While there was certainly a deep affection between the two, cracks began to show when Frank asked Mia to give up her acting career. To begin with, Mia agreed – but she soon grew tired of following him around the world while he shot his own films. So, in 1967, the actress agreed to star in the hugely popular movie Rosemary’s Baby. Frank was furious with his wife for going against his wishes, and he immediately served Mia divorce papers while she was still on set.
1967 – Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu
Elvis and Priscilla Presley became one of the most iconic couples of the ’60s. They were both extremely attractive, talented, and they just seemed perfect for one another. But not many people realize that they met under strange circumstances. In 1959, Elvis had already made a name for himself in the music world but opted to serve in the military. It was during his army stint in Germany that the 24-year-old met the 14-year-old Priscilla at a party.
According to reports, Elvis was smitten with the youngster, and they continued communication for many years – and Priscilla even moved to Los Angeles to live with him while she finished high school. However, they waited until 1967, when Priscilla was 21 years old, to get married. Their wedding was extravagant and beautiful, but their newlywed days came crashing down in 1972 when Priscilla began an affair with her karate instructor.
1968 – Jacqueline Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis
During the 1950s and early 60s, Jacqueline Kennedy had become known across the world as the stylish First Lady of the United States. The world loved and adored her – but this all changed when her husband was assassinated. Jackie found herself spiraling into a deep depression and feared for the safety of her children, which is why she decided to marry her long-time friend and millionaire, Aristotle Onassis.
They married on October 20, 1968, and their wedding was certainly more of a simple, subdued affair compared to Jackie’s first wedding. They wed on Onassis’s private island in Greece and only invited those who were really close to them. The public response to this marriage wasn’t positive, though. Jackie soon became known as a “public sinner” and she was hounded by the paparazzi until Aristotle passed away in 1975.
1969 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Artist Yoko Ono had already been married and divorced when she met The Beatles’ John Lennon, and he was still married to his first wife Cynthia when they met. But they couldn’t deny their connection to each other, and anyone who has listened to “The Ballad of John and Yoko” will know what happened next. They married on March 20, 1969, in a short 10-minute ceremony in Gibraltar.
After their quick nuptials, the newlywed couple posed outside for photographs for a short while before embarking on their honeymoon. However, in true John and Yoko form, their honeymoon was anything but ordinary. They used this special time to protest the Vietnam War, and they did this by staging their famous bed-in at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam.
1970 – David Bowie and Angie Bowie
David Bowie and Angie Bowie were not only partners in life, but they were also partners in music. After meeting in 1969 in London, the 19-year-old model and actress Angie knew that David was something special. He had already made his mark on the music world, but she felt as though he could be more. They married on March 19, 1970 – but their marriage was more one of convenience than love.
Not only did they have an open marriage, but Angie also confessed that they only got married so that she could obtain a work permit. However, they were together for nine years, and during this time Angie was the subject of many of David’s songs, she accompanied him on tours, and she even assisted in conceptualizing the costumes for the Ziggy Stardust stage show. Many often consider her to be David’s muse.
1971 – Mick Jagger And Bianca Pérez-Mora Macias
Throughout the ’50s and ’60s, celebrity bridalwear largely consisted of elaborate gowns – but that all changed when rock royalty Mick Jagger married Bianca Pérez-Mora Macias. The Rolling Stones frontman and the Nicaraguan actress met in France in 1970, and their whirlwind romance started from there. Within just a few months they were pregnant, and they got married in 1971 at the Chapel of St. Anne in St. Tropez.
By this time, Bianca had already established herself as a fashion icon, and this, coupled with her being four months pregnant at the time of their wedding, meant that she went in a different direction with her wedding outfit. Instead of a gown, she wore a white suit, and it took the world by storm. For a while, Bianca and Mick seemed to be the perfect newlywed couple, but they divorced in 1978 when it was discovered that Jagger had been unfaithful.
1972 – Carly Simon and James Taylor
When two incredible songwriters and singers come together, it normally results in a whole new breed of music – and that’s exactly what happened when Carly Simon and James Taylor got married on November 3, 1972. During their marriage, both of their careers went from strength to strength, and they continued to put their name out there into the music world.
As if their own love and talent weren’t enough, these two also welcomed two children into their lives – Sarah “Sally” Maria Taylor and Benjamin Simon Taylor. Both of their kids are now musicians themselves, which just proves that their genes were perfect together. However, all good things must come to an end, and this famous couple divorced after 11 years of marriage in 1983.
1973 – Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors
Farrah Fawcett was only married once during her life, and that was to the American actor Lee Majors. The couple started dating in the 1960s, while Farrah was still a relatively unknown actress and fashion model. Their set-up seemed to work for them as Lee was the most successful – and ultimately the more well-known figure in their relationship. They married on July 28, 1973, at the Hotel Bel-Air.
Although the couple lived in wedded bliss for a short while, everything changed in 1976 when Farrah was given the chance to take on a leading role in the hugely popular television series Charlie’s Angels. Before too long her newfound fame and fortune changed their marital dynamic, and they ultimately divorced in 1982 after years of struggle. However, they did reconnect shortly before Farrah sadly passed away in 2009.
1974 – Peter Wolf and Faye Dunaway
During the 1970s, Faye Dunaway was in her acting prime. She could be found in movie after movie, and she had men lining up around the corner to date her. However, it was the lead singer of the rock band The J. Geils Band that caught her attention. She instantly formed a connection with Peter Wolf, and before too long he became her first husband.
The couple got married in an intimate ceremony in 1974 with just their closest friends and family present, and they forged forward as a couple and as professionals for the next few years. However, in the end, their career commitments meant that they were away from each other for long periods of time, and their marriage couldn’t prevail. They officially divorced in 1979.
1975 – Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton
While it’s not always important to have common interests in a relationship, both Bill and Hillary Clinton were drawn to each other by their love of politics. While studying at Yale Law School, she met fellow student Bill – and by the time they graduated, he had already proposed to her once. She originally declined, but after countless more proposals, she eventually accepted.
The couple tied the knot on October 11, 1975, in a Methodist ceremony in their living room – and they later rose to fame when Bill became the 42nd President of the United States. While their marriage has been rocked by political and personal scandals (including the Lewinsky Scandal), Hillary has stayed committed to her husband and her marriage ever since their wedding day.