This Was the Biggest Celebrity Couple the Year You Graduated
Do you remember obsessing over their relationship?
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West, Beyoncé and Jay-Z—when we think of the hottest celebrity couples of the last few years, these are the ones that immediately come to mind. But they certainly weren't the first to fascinate the public. Even though social media has definitely changed the way we view celebrity relationships today, regular people have always had a very intense curiosity about what goes on in the love lives of our favorite stars…and sometimes, reminiscing about Hollywood loves from the past can take us right back to what we were doing when those couples were snagging all the headlines.
Some of the famous pairs on this list are still together today, but many of these relationships simply couldn’t hack it when it came to the pressures of stardom (and all the other drama that happens between two people in love, of course). Some of these names might be a total blast from the past, because honestly, so much has happened since then that it’s easy to forget that many of these stars even dated each other in the first place.
Read on to find out who the hottest celebrity couple was the year you graduated. While there have certainly been a lot of huge Hollywood relationships over the years, these were the ones who truly grabbed our attention… whether it was for their over-the-top breakups or the way they made us finally believe in true love. And for more about romances that did and didn't last, check out these 13 Photos of Celebrity Couples When They First Got Together.
1970: Paul and Linda McCartney
Considering the fact that, in 1970, the Beatles were still very much a big deal, it’s no surprise that Paul and Linda McCartney were, too. In 1970, they were freshly married and new parents to their first child together, Mary, though Paul did run into a little trouble in Japan in the beginning of that year when he was arrested (and then deported) when he arrived in Tokyo in possession of half a pound of marijuana. Oops! The McCartneys remained married until her death in 1998. For more committed stars, check out The Longest-Lasting Marriages in Hollywood.
1971: Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda
Graduate in 1971? Then you might remember a lot of talk about actors Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda, who fell in love while filming the movie Klute. They dated for three years, but mostly made headlines because there was one major issue in their relationship: Sutherland was already married to Shirley Douglas when the costars started seeing each other.
1972: Sonny Bono and Cher
As far as famous celebrity couples of the ‘70s go, Sonny Bono and Cher is about as high-profile as it gets, and 1972 was definitely an interesting year for them. The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour was still going strong, but behind the scenes, their marriage wasn’t doing so well—and later, Cher told AARP that it was mostly due to the fact that she was getting older and Bono was cheating on her. Ouch. For more on celebrity couples who also worked together behind the scenes and on-screen, check out these 50 Celebrity Couples Who Met on Set.
1973: Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw
1973 may have been the year you graduated, but it was also the year The Getaway costars Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw tied the knot. Their marriage would only last until 1977, though, and in 2018, MacGraw told People that she wished they’d both been able to get sober and grow old together, adding, “There were many times that were just wonderful and there were many times that were just ghastly.”
1974: Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston
In 1974, Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston made headlines months after meeting and falling in love, and their relationship persisted, on and off, for almost two decades. It was tumultuous, and they dealt with infidelity through it all until Huston found out that Nicholson’s mistress was pregnant in 1989, and she closed the book on their love for good. And for more complicated Hollywood romances, check out 60 Celebrities Who Share an Ex.
1975: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had one of the most legendary relationships in Hollywood, but what makes 1975 so special for them? That was the year that they got married… for the second time. Less than two months earlier, they’d ended their first marriage, but this year, they decided to give it one more try, even though they split all over again less than a year later. Still, they did inspire that Lindsay Lohan Lifetime movie.
1976: Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors
If you graduated in 1976, you probably remember Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors being all that—enough that they made the cover of People in January that year. At this point, they were in “it couple” territory, with Fawcett starring on Charlie’s Angels and Majors heading up Six Million Dollar Man. Unfortunately, they just weren’t meant to be, and they were divorced in 1982. And for more pairs who decided to call it quits, here are 15 Celebrity Couple Breakups You're Probably Still Mourning.
1977: Burt Reynolds and Sally Field
1977 was the year that Burt Reynolds and Sally Field first met on the set of Smokey & the Bandit, instantly becoming a hot Hollywood couple and kicking off a relationship that would last for five years. Even though they went their separate ways, in 2015, Reynolds admitted that Field was the love of his life.
1978: Diane Keaton and Warren Beatty
The class of 1978 might remember Diane Keaton and Warren Beatty’s relationship beginning that year. They fell in love after she played his love interest in Reds. They didn’t last, but their respect for each other remained through the years.
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1979: Martin Scorsese and Isabella Rossellini
Anyone who graduated in 1979 might remember that year being pretty significant for Hollywood power couple Martin Scorsese and Isabella Rossellini—it was the year that they got married after they met when Rossellini interviewed him while she was working as a TV reporter. They only stayed married until 1982, but they made headlines all the while.
1980: Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon
In 1980, when Carrie Fisher was fresh off of filming The Empire Strikes Back and Paul Simon was releasing his album One-Trick Pony, things were just heating up between them, and they seemed like the perfect couple. They finally got married in 1983, but unfortunately, despite their long dating history, their marriage lasted less than a year and they split in 1984.
1981: Prince Charles and Diana
Before there were Kate and Will and Meghan and Harry, there was Charles and Diana… and 1981 was the year of their big royal wedding, so when the topic of celebrity couples came up in conversation, of course people spoke of nothing else. We all know that this marriage, heartbreakingly enough, ended in divorce before Diana’s tragic death, but their wedding will always be iconic.
1982: Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne
Let’s be real: The Osbourne family sparked a cultural revolution with their MTV reality show, but years before it premiered, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne's love affair began. After kicking things off in 1979, these two were married in 1982. They’ve had a lot of ups and downs since, but today, they’re still going strong, despite Ozzy being open about cheating on Sharon in the past.
1983: Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr.
In 1983, Sarah Jessica Parker hadn’t become Carrie Bradshaw yet… and as you collected your diploma, you would have no idea that the dude she was dating would go on to become one of the most legendary actors of our time. That year, Parker and Robert Downey Jr. met while filming the movie Firstborn, and would stay together until 1991, at which point Parker said she had to walk away due to Downey's substance use disorder, which he later conquered.
1984: Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell
It’s 2020 and Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell are still together. By 1984, they’d been dating for a year, but Russell said during an interview with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest that they’ve actually been living together since their first date.
1985: Madonna and Sean Penn
In 1985, Madonna and Sean Penn were a big deal—partially because they’re Madonna and Sean Penn, and partially because they got married after dating for less than a year. In 1987, they got divorced after rumors that Penn had physically assaulted Madonna, but she has since said that those rumors weren’t true, and the exes seem to be on good terms even today.
1986: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
Back in 1986, Arnold Schwarzenegger was very much known as the Terminator and his political aspirations had not yet been explored. But perhaps we should have foreseen it when he married Maria Shriver, a member of the Kennedy clan, that year, making them the talk of the town. But as you probably remember, Shriver and Schwarzenegger officially divorced in 2017 after his cheating scandal.
1987: Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham
Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham are one of the steadiest couples in the business, and 1987 grads might remember that was the year that their relationship was truly cemented in celeb couple history. That year, Graham made his first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey show when he surprised his girlfriend by calling in during a Q&A segment and talking about her BFF, Gayle King.
1988: Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet
Shoutout to 1988 grads, who probably remember musician Lenny Kravitz and actor Lisa Bonet being in the news a lot that year. At this point, the couple was already married, but they still had plenty going on: This was not only the year that Bonet was fired from A Different World, supposedly because she was pregnant, but it was also the year that their daughter, Zoë Kravitz, was born. They split in 1993, but these days, Bonet’s living happily ever after with Jason Momoa by her side, and now they're both friendly with Lenny.
1989: Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere
Supermodel Cindy Crawford and rom-com heartthrob Richard Gere couldn’t have created a more perfect celebrity union if they tried—even though it didn’t last. In 1989, they were about a year into their relationship and going strong, and none of us were the wiser that they’d be getting hitched in Vegas in 1991 only to split four years later.
1990: Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise
These days, Nicole Kidman is happily married to Keith Urban while Tom Cruise is…somewhere, but 1990 grads might know that back then, Kidman and Cruise were just tying the knot. They created a lot of buzz when they got married in 1990. Eleven years and two kids later, they finally called it quits.
1991: John Travolta and Kelly Preston
Sadly, Kelly Preston passed away this year at 57 after a battle with cancer. But in the ‘90s, all eyes were on her and John Travolta. Preston and Travolta got married in 1991, and they were still together when she died.
1992: Iman and David Bowie
In 1992, all anyone could talk about was supermodel Iman and music icon David Bowie as they said their vows that year. A solid, drama-free couple, they’d remain that way for the entirety of their marriage. They stayed together until Bowie’s death in 2016, with a love so strong that Iman has said she’ll never remarry.
1993: Ted Danson and Whoopi Goldberg
It seems like another lifetime ago, but once upon a time, Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson were dating after working together on the film Made in America… and it was pretty controversial, considering the fact that there was some overlap between Danson’s relationship with Goldberg and his marriage to Casey Coates. And 1993 was the year that Danson and Goldberg called it quits after less than two years of dating.
1994: Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley
Before Michael Jackson’s many controversies (including allegations of sexual abuse), not only was he more well known for being a record-breaking musician, but also for his love of Elvis Presley's daughter, Lisa Marie Presley. Presley released a statement that year saying, “My marriage to Michael Jackson took place in a private ceremony outside the United States weeks ago. I am very much in love with Michael, I dedicate my life to being his wife. I understand and support him. We both look forward to raising a family.” They’d divorce less than two years later.
1995: Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt
Before there was Brad and Jen and Brad and Angelina, there was Brad and Gwen… and 1995 grads were in the thick of it all. In 1994, Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow met while filming Se7en and started dating, and by the following year, they were going strong… and taking up all the tabloid real estate. They’d get engaged in 1996 only to go their separate ways a year later.
1996: Matt Damon and Minnie Driver
This one is a major throwback — do 1996 graduates remember it? Matt Damon and Minnie Driver met and fell in love when they were filming Good Will Hunting, and they took their relationship public in 1996… only to break up less than two years later.
1997: Victoria Adams and David Beckham
Posh Spice dating a major celebrity crush and sports legend? Yep, that checks out for being 1997’s hottest couple. Victoria Adams and David Beckham were spotted together at the Manchester United players’ club in 1997, and the rest is history.
1998: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett
These days, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s marriage brings to mind thoughts about entanglements (thanks, Red Table Talk) but in 1998, these kids were newlyweds and welcomed their first child, Jaden, into the world, just months after Smith released his album Big Willie Style.
1999: Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe
Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe ultimately weren’t meant to be, but they did bring some of Witherspoon’s lookalikes into the world—their kids Ava and Deacon. In 1999, they got married, which also happened to be the same year their movie, cult classic Cruel Intentions, hit theaters. What a year!
2000: Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
These two have been over forever, but people still can’t stop talking about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. However, 2000 grads know that Pitt and Aniston totally took over the media back then, too—on a much larger scale. That year, they got married in Malibu with a ceremony that included fireworks. It was, without a doubt, the wedding of the year.