The Most Famous Couple The Year You Were Born

The only constant, as they say, is change. People change, tastes change, and what's considered cool, interesting, scandalous, and lame also changes as the years go by. What might be fascinating now is boring in just a few months time. Celebrities are the same way. They fall in love, like, or lust with one another (to the fascination of the rest of us,) and then get bored and break up — sometimes after just a brief period of paparazzi-flashbulb-lit intensity. 

But while individual celebrity couplings may change as quickly as Taylor Swift can write and record an album, the one thing that never changes is the idea of a "hot celebrity couple." Every year, we're enraptured with the relationship of one particular famous couple more than any other. Here's a look back in time at the star romances (and marriages and breakups) that filled the pages of entertainment magazines and littered the waiting room of the hospital while you were busy getting born.

1970 - Barbra Streisand and Pierre Trudeau

When two of the biggest stars of their respective worlds get together, it feels both fated as well as a complete fabrication. For example, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston made sense when they connected in 1999. He was one of the biggest movie stars in the world, and she was one of the biggest TV stars in the world — who else could possibly understand their lives and be attractive enough to be their mates? However, their relationship also felt contrived — so perfect a pairing that it must have been set up by a celebrity handler to generate publicity. But no, it was true love while it lasted.

That's just how it was in 1970 for Barbra Streisand, a preternaturally talented singer who won an Oscar at age 26, and Pierre Trudeau, Canada's relatively young (50) prime minister. The pair quietly dated throughout 1969 and 1970, as Trudeau's office tried in vain to keep the romance—and Streisand's visits to Ottawa in the prime minister's official limousine—a secret. Trudeau even brought along Streisand as his guest to a program at the National Arts Centre. That's right, folks, Babs could've been the first lady of Canada, if only Trudeau hadn't married another actress, the former Margaret Sinclair, a year later.

1971 - Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda

Right after his divorce from actress Shirley Douglas — daughter of Tommy Douglas, the architect of Canada's public health care system — rising star Donald Sutherland starred in the prostitution thriller Klute. Sutherland portrays detective John Klute, and Jane Fonda plays lady of the evening Bree Daniels, a role for which she won the Oscar for best actress. Beyond acclaim and trophies, Sutherland and Fonda also got ... close with one another

According to the Daily Mail, Fonda said she was intimate with Sutherland during the shoot, and that he soon fell hard for her. The two dated throughout 1971 and engaged in the fun things couples in 1971 liked to do, like conceive a politically-themed, anti-Vietnam War variety show and take it on the road. That show was titled FTA – '70s slang for "f*** the army, and it was a hit in college towns across the country (and not a hit with the government, who allegedly put the couple under surveillance.) Anyway, Fonda eventually broke up with Sutherland because she didn't want to be tied down.

1972 - Carly Simon and James Taylor

The political issues of the late 1960s that gave rise to the chaotic and psychedelic music of the late 1960s didn't let up much in the '70s, and Americans desperately needed to chill out. The result: The rise of sensitive and thoughtful singer-songwriters with soothing voices to make everything all right for a few minutes. Chief among them were James Taylor, who had seen fire and rain, and Carly Simon, who accused you of being so vain that you probably thought that song was about you. 

Being huge, relevant pop stars is just one of the things that drew these two together, and they got married in 1972. They had two kids and settled into a life on Martha's Vineyard, the natural habitat of folk singers. Unfortunately, they were not as chill in real life as they were on their records. According to People, Taylor cheated on Simon, Simon cheated on Taylor, and Taylor got really addicted to heroin. The fairy tale was over by 1983, which is when they divorced.

1973 - Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw

Largely a footnote of Hollywood history today, Ali MacGraw was extraordinarily popular in the early 1970s. She won a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for her starring role in Love Story, the highest-grossing movie of 1970. In 1972, a Hollywood Foreign Press Association poll named her the most popular female movie star in the world. Later that year, she starred in another massive hit: The Getaway, a romantic crime thriller, with Steve McQueen. 

Just about as popular as MacGraw, McQueen was nicknamed the "King of Cool" because, well, he was cool, with his icy stare and confident performances in movies such as Bullitt and The Great Escape. The two met on the set of The Getaway and to the delight of celebrity watchers, married in 1973

According to the Daily Mail, McQueen cheated on MacGraw and forbade her from working. Her career halted for four years because McQueen allegedly wanted her to stay home to cook and clean. She'd had enough by 1978.

1974 - Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston

Anjelica Huston was Hollywood royalty. Daughter of legendary director John Huston, she was just beginning to get into movies herself in the mid-'70s. Jack Nicholson was at the head of the pack of '70s actors –- starring in gritty classics such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestChinatown, Five Easy Pieces, Carnal Knowledge, and The Last Detail. Yes, Nicholson was the bad boy of the movies, and the horrible boy of real life. 

These two got off to a rough start. They reportedly met at a party at Nicholson's house, and Huston stayed the night, but even early in the relationship, Nicholson allegedly carried on numerous affairs, even skipping their first official date to entertain an ex-girlfriend. According to Huston's memoir, Watch Me (via the New York Post), at the Cannes Film Festival in 1974, "pretty French girls would come up on motorbikes and say, 'Oh, Jack, you want to ride on my bike with me?'" Nicholson would take them up on it. This Hollywood couple remained on and off until 1990, when Nicholson impregnated another woman.

1975 - Cher and Gregg Allman

Actress and singer Cher has been in the spotlight since the mid-1960s, when she starred on a variety show with her then-husband, Sonny Bono. She's been involved in a number of high-profile romances beyond Bono, notably with legendary rock guitarist Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band, one of the most successful groups of the era, known for hits such as "Whipping Post" and "Ramblin' Man."

According to Entertainment Weekly, the famous pair married in 1975, separated a week later, got back together, then almost split up again ... but Cher found out she was pregnant with their son, Elijah. Cher and Allman's time together dovetailed with one Cher's many attempts at reinvention. She adopted more of a rock approach to music in the mid-70's and even recorded 1975's Two the Hard Way with Allman. That record bafflingly billed the couple as "Allman and Woman."

But their shared love for music and their son couldn't preserve this famous celebrity couple. Cher and Allman reportedly split for good by 1977. 

1976 - Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett

Actors Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett wed in 1973, but they weren't a Hollywood power couple until 1976. That's when Fawcett joined Majors, then starring as bionic superman Steve Austin on The Six Million Dollar Man, as one of the biggest stars of television. Fawcett quickly eclipsed Majors' TV success with her role as Jill Munroe on Charlie's Angels, which was a top 5 hit during its first year on the air. (Although its popularity had less to do with the secret-agent action, and more to do with the "jiggle television" appeal of its three leading ladies.) 

Fawcett left Charlie's Angels after just one season to launch a movie career that never took off, and her personal life crumbled a bit, too. According to People, she and Majors separated in 1979, and their divorce was finalized three years later.

1977 - Sally Field and Burt Reynolds

By the late '70s, Burt Reynolds was the smirking, ultra-macho star of ridiculous and ridiculously popular action movies such as Gator and Smokey and the Bandit. The latter became the third-highest grossing film of 1977. In the movie, Bandit (Reynolds) is in the middle of a cross-country car chase when he picks up a runaway bride (Field) who he calls Frog because she's "always hoppin' around." At the time, Field had not yet won two Oscars and was best known for playing the innocent Gidget on Gidget and the really innocent flying nun on The Flying Nun. The unlikely co-stars soon became an unlikely couple

In real life, the Bandit and Frog were together for five years and did four movies together before a nasty split for which Reynolds takes full responsibility. Regrets? He has a few. "She was the love of my life and I screwed the relationship up," he told the Daily Mail. "That sense of loss never goes away."

1978 - Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton

Fresh off an Oscar win for her role in Annie Hall, Diane Keaton signed on to director/writer/actor Warren Beatty's Reds, an ambitious epic about John Reed, an American writer who chronicled the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Beatty is famous for his well-made films, but he's notorious for being one of the most, um, prolific womanizers in Hollywood history. One biographer estimated he's been with more than 12,000 ladies, including Natalie Wood, Madonna, Barbra Streisand, and, yes, Diane Keaton. 

Keaten reportedly fell for the "charming" actor while making Reds. In her memoir, Let's Just Say it Wasn't Pretty (via the Daily Mail), Keaton called Beatty "a collector's item, a rare bird. He had aspirations I couldn't begin to contemplate." After Beatty moved on, he remained friends with Keaton, whom he has called "a combination of integrity and humor and intelligence and fairness." Aww...

1979 - Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd

In 1970, Eric Clapton enjoyed one of the biggest hits of his storied carrier with his band Derek and the Dominoes and the song "Layla." It's a tune about unrequited love, and Clapton reportedly wrote it about his frustration with being unable to hook up with British model Pattie Boyd. She details the complicated story in her memoir, Wonderful Tonight (via The History Channel). 

According to Boyd, she was once married to George Harrison of the Beatles, who just so happened to be Clapton's best friend. Trying out the "close enough" method, Clapton took up with Boyd's sister, but she broke up with him after she realized who "Layla" was about. Clapton and Boyd then had a brief affair, only for Boyd to go back to Harrison before they finally divorced in 1977. After Clapton kicked heroin, Boyd gave him another chance (apparently, "Layla" is just that good of a song) and they married in March 1979. That dramatic story guaranteed that when Clapton and Boyd finally did get married, they were going to be a gossip page smash.

But after all that, there was no happily-ever-after for this famous couple. Clapton apparently didn't appreciate what he had when he finally got it because he fathered a child with an Italian TV star in 1987. He and Boyd split not long after.

1980 - Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher

Music superstar Paul Simon and rising movie star Carrie Fisher first hooked up in the late '70s (while Fisher was reportedly dating three other guys) but their relationship was of the most interest to the public in 1980. That was the year when these two stars were both about as famous as they'd ever be. Simon released One Trick Pony, a movie he wrote, starred in, and made the soundtrack for, and Fisher starred as a princess from space in an obscure science-fiction sequel called The Empire Strikes Back. 

According to People, they lived in a tony apartment in New York's Central Park West neighborhood, but all was not well. Simon was touring, Fisher was filming or promoting movies, and the distance put a strain on the relationship, as did Fisher's substance abuse and mental health issues. Nevertheless, they married in 1983, divorced in 1984, moved back in together, then split up for good.

1981 - Prince Charles and Princess Diana

Celebrity couples are one thing, but no famous-people news gets more people more excited than a good old fashioned royal wedding. In July 1981, the lovely and gregarious Lady Diana Spencer became "The People's Princess" when she wed Charles, Prince of Wales, first in line to the English throne, in a lavish state wedding at St. Paul's Cathedral. With only a hint of hyperbole, the press called it "the wedding of the century."

Breathlessly reported highlights of the day included details about the 20-year-old Diana's silk taffeta gown adorned with lace, sequins, and 10,000 pearls, as well as the couple's decision to exclude from the vows the bride's traditional promise to "obey" her 32-year-old husband. The televised event was watched by as many as 750 million people around the world, including the millions of stargazing Americans who got up in the middle of the night to see it.

1982 - Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Arden

Long before they sprung their annoying children on us via MTV's fascinating reality-show sitcom The Obsournes, Ozzy Osbourne was just a guy, taking a break from biting the heads off of bats and singing songs about the devil, standing in front of his manager's daughter, asking her to love him. 

This power couple met in 1971. According to People, Sharon Arden was a receptionist at the London office of her father, high-powered music manager Don Arden. That's where Osbourne, lead singer of a newly-signed heavy metal band called Black Sabbath, noticed her. "Ozzy walked into my father's office without shoes, with a water faucet dangling from his neck and sat on the floor," Sharon told People in 1989. "I was terrified." 

The pair grew closer, professionally and personally, and in 1979, when Don fired Ozzy from his own band, Sharon took a stab at being Ozzy's manager... and his girlfriend. The heavy metal icon and the businesswoman made it official in 1982, right after the release of Ozzy's multiplatinum solo album, Diary of a Madman.

1983 - Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell

Both Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell had been famous for a long time — and been through a few famous romances — before they permanently hooked up in 1983. 

In the '60s, Hawn was a cast member on the then-hip show Laugh-In, and she won an Oscar for 1969's Cactus Flower. She went on to star in a string of hit comedies with Chevy Chase (Same Time Next Year, Foul Play) and have a couple of kids with pop star Bill Hudson of the Hudson Brothers. (Those kids are Oliver Hudson of Rules of Engagement and bona fide movie star Kate Hudson.) 

Russell had been famous since childhood for his TV and film roles, chiefly the many affable Disney live-action movies he starred in, such as The Barefoot Executive and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. 

Hawn and Russell initially met in the late '60s on the set of The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. Hawn says there was an attraction, but she resisted because of propriety and the law (She was 21; Russell was just 16.) When they met again filming Swing Shift in 1983, they went for it and never looked back.

1984 - Paulina Porizkova and Ric Ocasek

The Cars had been around for a while, scoring radio hits since the late '70s with jams such as "Just What I Needed" and "My Best Friend's Girl," but the band exploded in popularity in the music video age. Its special-effects-heavy video for "You Might Think" won the first MTV Music Video Award for video of the year in 1984, launching the band, and quirky lead singer Ric Ocasek, to super-stardom. That winning video starred a model, so the Cars stuck with that formula for the band's "Drive" video. 

Nineteen-year-old Czech-Swedish supermodel Paulina Porizkova got the gig. In the video, she and a 40-year-old Ocasek portray a couple breaking up in spectacular fashion, but off-screen, the mood was quite the opposite. According to Entertainment Weekly, Ocasek was married at the time, but he walked away from that union, dated Porizkova for about five years, and married her in 1989. Unlike most rock star/model relationships, this one lasted ... until it didn't. In May 2018, Porizkova announced on Instagram that she and Ocasek were splitting up after 28 years of marriage.

1985 - Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel

In 1985, there were few musicians as popular as Billy Joel and few women as lusted after as supermodel Christie Brinkley. And somehow, your dad's favorite singer and your dad's dream girl got together and eventually got married. 

Here's how that happened, according to Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography (via Page Six): After splitting with his first wife, Elizabeth, in 1982, Joel took a vacation to St. Bart's, where he wound up messing around on the piano in a bar. He attracted attention from three beautiful women: supermodels Elle Macpherson and Christie Brinkley, and singer Whitney Houston. Joel made friends with all three, as one does. He reconnected with Brinkley back home in New York, but the first night he took her home ... Macpherson showed up unannounced. Brinkley supposedly left, Macpherson stayed, but Brinkley came back into the picture later. 

Joel and Brinkley got married in 1985, conceived their daughter, Alexa Ray, on their wedding night, and went very public with their love via the video for Joel's mega-hit "Uptown Girl," which casts Joel as a mechanic and Brinkley as a fancy rich lady with an unlikely interest in him.

1986 - Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger

It's as close to a royal wedding as we're ever going to get in America. The Kennedy family has been our de facto royal family for more than 50 years, due to a combination of sheer numbers and photogenic qualities. There's always at least one Kennedy in power in politics, and, oh, by the way, they're scandal magnets. One of the most prominent members of the Kennedy clan in the 1980s was Maria Shriver, an anchor and reporter for NBC News. Maria is the daughter of 1972 Vice Presidential candidate Sargent Shriver and ambassador Eunice Kennedy (JFK and RFK's sister.) Who could such a prominent public figure and celebrity journalist marry but the biggest movie star in the world (in box office numbers and physical size?) 

Arnold Schwarzenegger had gone from the bodybuilding circuit to the A-list with action flicks such as Conan the Barbarian, Red Sonja, and Commando. Introduced by Tom Brokaw at a celebrity tennis tournament in 1977, the pair married in an expensive, star-studded affair in Hyannis, Mass.

1987 - Bruce Willis and Demi Moore

The tabloids are sure to go crazy when you combine a big movie star with a TV star whose hard-partying ways were making headlines on their own, and so it went with Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. According to People, shortly after Moonlighting star Bruce Willis was arrested for assaulting a police officer summoned to his three-day-long house party, he met and fell in love with Demi Moore (the female Brat Packer who wasn't Molly Ringwald) at the premiere of the 1987 movie Stakeout. 

That film, by the way, starred Moore's previous boyfriend and St. Elmo's Fire co-star Emilio Estevez. Anyway, Willis and Moore were billed as "Hollywood's Power Couple," and they flew off to Vegas to get married in November of that year. Their first child (of three), Rumer, was born nine and a half months later. Then they did all the things regular couples do, like have more kids (Scout, Tallulah), buy most of an Idaho town, endure countless rumors of affairs with other movie stars, and voice characters in Beavis and Butt-head Do America. This love story ended with a breakup in 1998.

1988 - Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet

The year 1988 was a big one for both Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet professionally, as well as personally. It was also a mildly scandalous one. 

Kravitz, the son of The Jeffersons star Roxie Roker and TV producer Sy Kravitz, was getting good advance notices for his about-to-be released debut album of funk-inspired hippie rock. Bonet, meanwhile, had recently left The Cosby Show – the No. 1 show on television at the time – to star in the No. 2 show on television, A Different World. The latter was a spin-off tailor-made for her in which her character, Denise Huxtable, goes off to college. Bonet had also recently starred in Angel Heart, a movie with a love scene so explicit it earned an X rating, posed topless for Interview magazine, and then, in 1988, got pregnant by her new husband, Lenny Kravitz (they eloped to Las Vegas in late '87). Bonet left A Different World after just one season and gave birth to Zoe Kravitz (yes, from Big Little Lies) in 1988. 

Lenny and Lisa ultimately split up in 1993, probably after one too many fights about who was more attractive. (They both won.)

1989 - Arsenio Hall and Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul was involved in two high-profile romances in 1989: one with rapper MC Skat Kat, with whom she had myriad insurmountable differences, and the other with fist-spinning, whoop-whoop-whooping late-night talk show host Arsenio Hall. Both Hall and Abdul were at the peak of relevance and coolness at the time. Abdul had jumped from a job as a Laker Girl cheerleader to choreographer to pop star. Her 1989 album Forever Your Girl produced hit after hit, like the aforementioned "Opposites Attract," "Cold Hearted," and "Straight Up." Abdul and Hall had both been involved with the 1988 movie Coming to America. Hall co-starred as Semmi, while Abdul choreographed the movie's wedding dance. 

In 1989, Hall appeared in the video for "Straight Up" around the same time that he'd started hosting The Arsenio Hall Show. By attracting a younger, hipper, and more multicultural audience, Hall became the first talk show host to really cut into the dominance of Johnny Carson and The Tonight Show. Alas, things didn't work out for this wild pair. After they split up, Abdul reportedly had a fling with John Stamos — yep, Uncle Jesse from Full House.

1990 - Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder

Johnny Depp, a teen idol from 21 Jump Street-turned movie star, and Winona Ryder, the coolest actress in Hollywood because of Heathers and Beetlejuice, crossed paths at the 1989 premiere of Ryder's movie, Great Balls of Fire. In this case, life imitated art — at least a little. In the film, Ryder plays 22-year-old rock star Jerry Lee Lewis' 13-year-old wife, and in real life, an 18-year old Ryder agreed to go on a date with a 27-year-old Depp. 

Five months after that date, the famous lovebirds were engaged. Depp commemorated the event with a "Winona Forever" tattoo, and they starred in 1990's Edward Scissorhands. It sure sounded like forever was a possibility. "There's been nothing in my 27 years that's comparable to the feeling I have with Winona," Depp told People

Maybe the tattoo jinxed it, because in 1993, Depp and Ryder announced that they had split up. Depp altered his tattoo to read "Wino Forever," which made sense because he reportedly spends $30,000 a month on wine.