Celebs Who Married People Younger Than Their Kids

Older men marrying younger women has become a phenomenon so commonplace in Hollywood that it's managed to transcend mere cliché to become something of an industry standard. Interestingly, though, whenever an older woman marries a younger man, or even if they just date, it's usually considered scandalous by the tabloids (for proof, just check out the headlines that Cher and Madonna generated when they stepped out with men deemed to be age-inappropriate). Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio keeps on getting older while his girlfriends remain within the same young age range.

While there's a temptation to judge these May-December relationships, there are many that have stood the test of time. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, for example, got hitched in 2000 and are still going strong, despite him being 25 years older than her. 

When a male celebrity marries a younger woman, it often isn't his first — or even second — marriage, leading to some awkward scenarios playing out when said celeb's offspring discover their dad is marrying someone younger than they are. With that in mind, read on for a look at celebs who married people younger than their kids.

Nicolas Cage and Riko Shibata

Nicolas Cage is well-versed in matrimony considering he's been married five times, with exes including such familiar names as Patricia Arquette and the late Lisa Marie Presley. In 2021, Cage wed his fifth wife Riko Shibata in a modest ceremony in a Las Vegas hotel, about a year after they met in Japan. "It's true, and we are very happy," Cage said in a statement to People, confirming the two had tied the knot. As Cage's rep explained, the date of the nuptials — February 16 — had deep significance. "The date was chosen to honor the birthday of the groom's late father," said the rep. "The bride wore a handmade Japanese Bridal Kimono from Kyoto that required three layers."

In September 2022, the newlyweds welcomed a daughter they named August Francesca. This marked the third child for Cage, who was 58 years old when the child was born, and the first for 27-year-old Shibata. Cage is also the father of two sons, Weston Coppola Cage, born in 1990, and Kal-El Coppola, who arrived in 2005 — making Cage's oldest son a few years older than his wife.

Cage made sure to alleviate concerns about the age gap between him and Shibata. Interviewed by Flaunt, Cage was quick to dismiss any stereotypical notion of a young Asian wife acting subserviently toward a husband 30 years her senior. "That's not me and Riko," Cage insisted, "her getting me coffee, waiting on me, or some kind of servitude. And that's not been my experience with other Asian women, abroad or here." 

Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie

Dennis Quaid has been around the block a few times when it comes to marriage. In fact, the star of such films as "Great Balls of Fire" and "The Big Easy" has walked down the aisle four times. Quaid's three ex-wives are actor/director P.J. Soles (they were married in 1978 before divorcing in 1982), "Sleepless in Seattle" star Meg Ryan (they wed in 1991 and finalized their divorce in 2021), and real estate agent Kimberly Buffington (they married in 2004 and split in 2012, but did not actually finalize the divorce until 2018). In 2020, 66-year-old Quaid said "I do" to his fourth wife Laura Savoie, who was just 27 at the time. "Just looking into her eyes, she was the most stunning bride," Quaid told People of the nuptials. 

Quaid is also the father of three kids – twins Thomas and Zoe (born in 2007, via a gestational carrier during his marriage to Buffington), and actor Jack Quaid, whom he and then-wife Ryan welcomed in April 1992 — which makes him one year older than his dad's latest wife. 

Addressing the 39-year-age gap between him and Savoie, Dennis Quaid has insisted it's not a big deal for either of them. "I didn't go out looking for an age gap or someone really younger than me," he told The Guardian. "I met her at a business event and then the relationship developed. ... I don't fall in love easy. But I can't let what a few people think control all that."

David Foster and Katherine McPhee

David Foster is a firm believer in the institution of marriage — which is evident from the fact that he's headed to the altar no less than five times. Most recently, the acclaimed music producer married "America Idol" alum Katharine McPhee, with the lavish wedding taking place in London in 2019. In 2021, the couple welcomed a son, marking the sixth child for Foster (and McPhee's first), having already raised daughters Allison, Amy, Sara, Erin, and Jordan. All but one of Foster's daughters (Jordan, the youngest) is older than McPhee, who turned 39 in 2023. 

In a January 2023 interview with People, Foster — then 73 — addressed the reality of being a septuagenarian raising a toddler. "At this point in my life, it's different again," he said. "Not better or worse, just different. I still work, I'm still gone a lot, but maybe the time is a little more precious to me because I got more runway behind me than I have ahead of me now."

The 34-year age difference hasn't been an issue for the couple. In fact, the oft-divorced Foster told People that he'd identified 10 specific factors that can wreck a marriage, including geography, money, and infidelity. "Only one of the 10 is an age difference," he explained. "So if we feel like we have the other nine right, that we're really solid on the other nine, the one is not going to break us up."

Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster

Rod Stewart was quite the ladies' man during his rock-star heyday, romancing the likes of model Kelly Emberg and Swedish movie star Britt Ekland. He's been married three times, fathering eight children with five different women along the way. Sir Rod apparently gets along swimmingly with all his kids' assorted moms, judging by a photo that ex-girlfriend Emberg shared on Instagram featuring Stewart posing alongside her and his first wife Alana Stewart (married from 1979–1984), second wife Rachel Hunter (married from 1990–2006), and third and current wife, Penny Lancaster-Stewart, with whom he tied the knot in 2007.

Stewart's first child was born in 1963, nearly a decade before Lancaster, who was born in 1971. Given that her husband celebrated his 78th birthday in January 2023, that puts the age gap between the spouses at 26 years.

Because Stewart hadn't been married to his previous wives long enough to experience them entering menopause, it wasn't until his third marriage that he witnessed its effects. "I hadn't seen [the menopause] before because my marriages didn't last that long, so Penny was the first, but she would get into blinding fits of rage," he recalled in an interview with Reader's Digest. "One night she threw utensils, so me and the boys gave her a hug and since then she's worked to let people know what it is. And men have to understand and not just go down the pub." 

Larry King and Shawn Southwick

When broadcaster Larry King (who died in January 2021 at the age of 87) walked down the aisle with Shawn Southwick, he'd been married eight times before (twice to the same woman). "I got married a lot," he acknowledged to People in 2020, discussing his recent decision to divorce Southwick. "But in my head, I'm not a marrying guy. When I grew up, nobody lived together. If you fell in love, you got married. And so I married the ones that I loved. But what I loved at 20 is not what I loved at 30, and what I loved at 30 is not what I loved at 40." He also admitted the 26-year age gap between him and Southwick became a factor in their divorce. "We had a big age difference and that eventually takes its toll," he said of Southwick, who was 60 at the time. 

A few months after that interview, King faced the dual heartbreak of losing two of his five children within weeks of each other. King's son, Andy, was 65 — five years older than Southwick — when he died of a heart attack, while his daughter, Chaia, died at 51 shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

King died before he and Southwick were able to finalize their divorce, which led to complications with divvying up his estate when she contested a handwritten will and insisted the two were on the verge of reconciling.

Clint Eastwood and Dina Ruiz

Clint Eastwood — who turned 93 in May 2023 — is the father of eight children by several different women. These range from his first child, born in 1954 and given up for adoption, to his youngest, Morgan Eastwood (born in 1996), whom he shares with ex-wife Dina Ruiz, who is 35 years his junior. The couple separated in 2013 after 17 years of marriage; she's since remarried, tying the knot with basketball coach Scott Fisher in 2016.

The exes first met when Ruiz, a television host, interviewed Eastwood in 1993. As Ruiz told Daily Mail prior to their separation, she initially tried to set Eastwood up with her mother, but that particular attempt at matchmaking never took. It wasn't until a year later, when she and Eastwood wound up sitting together at a social function, that sparks flew between them. "It was bizarre: we started holding hands underneath the table and just never let go," she recalled.

Despite Eastwood's status as a massive movie star and an Oscar-winning director, she admitted that the age difference initially proved to be a huge stumbling block with her parents when she and Eastwood first began dating. "My parents weren't starstruck when they met him, as they were more concerned about the age difference, but it's hard not to love him," she said. "He's so genial and so cute with a great sense of humour. He defies age."

William Shatner and Elizabeth Martin

William Shatner is a Canadian treasure and sci-fi icon, and he's been married and divorced four times. Shatner is also the father of three daughters, all resulting from his first marriage. His oldest daughter, Leslie, celebrated her 64th birthday in August 2022 — which makes her several months older than her dad's fourth ex-wife, Elizabeth Martin.

Shatner filed for divorce from Martin in 2019, and the exes finalized their divorce in 2020 after 18 years of marriage, with Shatner reportedly paying her a lump-sum settlement of $2 million. Asked if he was saddened by the divorce, Shatner — who turned 92 in March 2023 — offered a jaunty response — "Nothing makes me sad at this age," he told The Mirror.

Interestingly, three years later, Shatner and his ex-wife got back together. "My wife ... she is the zest of life. She brings the flavour," Shatner said (referring to her as his spouse despite the divorce) in a January 2023 chat with The Mirror. In a 2021 interview with The Guardian, Shatner revealed that he and his ex-wife were still living together in the same house. Asked to elaborate on their relationship, he replied, "That's a long story. I don't know if this is an appropriate time to get into the reasoning, but I've done something really nice," he said. When asked if they'd gotten "un-divorced," Shatner said cryptically, "Well, that's always hanging there and that makes the relationship really good. Maybe that's the explanation and I've found the solution!"

Dolph Lundgren and Emma Krokdal

Dolph Lundgren rocketed to fame when he played Russian boxer Ivan Drago in Sylvester Stallone's "Rocky IV," and then carved out his own career as a big-screen action hero. In July 2023, the 65-year-old actor tied the knot with fiancee Emma Krokdal, aged 27. Lundgren is also the father of two daughters, and the oldest, Ida, is the same age as his new wife.

Despite an age difference of nearly 40 years, the two hit it off after meeting in a Hollywood gym. "Emma is very mature for her age, for sure ... I'm, at the same time, I think, quite youthful, " said Lundgren during an interview with "In Depth with Graham Bensinger," in which he also revealed he'd been undergoing treatment for kidney cancer after being diagnosed eight years earlier.

As Lundgren told Muscle and Health, his daughters get along wonderfully with his new bride. "They are happy when I am happy," he said of his daughters. Moreover, Krokdal shared, "We get along great! She's super sweet and easy to get along with," when talking about her husband's youngest daughter, Greta.

Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell

Patrick Stewart divorced his first wife, Sheila Falconer, in 1990, after they'd been married for 24 years. That marriage produced two children, born in 1967 and 1972. Sir Patrick — who's famously played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and its various spinoffs and Professor Charles Xavier in the "X-Men" franchise — eventually remarried, tying the knot with producer Wendy Neuss in 2000, before the two split up in 2003. In 2013, he married for a third time, walking down the aisle with jazz singer Sunny Ozell.

Some eyebrows were raised about the age of his new bride, who is 39 years younger than Stewart — and younger than both of his children. Perhaps most awkwardly, her father is five years younger than his son-in-law, who celebrated his 83rd birthday in July 2023. Stewart admitted in an interview with the Scottish Mail on Sunday that his wife's dad was initially "not thrilled" to see his daughter marrying someone so much older. However, he noted that the situation has led to some surreal moments. "He rings me up and says, 'Hey son, it's your father here,'" Stewart recalled. 

For Ozell, the 39-year age gap between the two has proven to be completely irrelevant. "He is so youthful and I guess I'm kind of an old worry wart so we bridge the gap," she explained. "It doesn't come up much. He's in better shape than me, which infuriates me."

Dick Van Dyke and Arlene Silver

TV legend Dick Van Dyke was married to ex-wife Margie Willett for 36 years, but divorced in 1984 (she died in 2007). During their marriage, the couple had four children: sons Christian (born in 1950) and Barry (born in 1951, known to TV viewers for starring alongside his dad in "Diagnosis: Murder"), and daughters Stacy (born in 1955) and Carrie (born in 1961). 

In 2012, Van Dyke got married for a second time, to Arlene Silver. At the time, the groom was 86, while the bride was 40 — more than a decade younger than her husband's youngest child, and two decades younger than his oldest. While the 46-year age gap between the spouses certainly raised eyebrows, Van Dyke's publicist (who, let's not forget, earns his living by putting a positive spin on his celebrity clients' situations) told ABCNews.com, "Despite their obvious age difference, Dick has never been happier. She brings a lot of light into his life."

Van Dyke certainly concurred with that assessment of his marriage. "She is the best wife," Van Dyke told The Malibu Times in 2022 after they'd been married for 10 years. "She's made me the happiest man in the world. Our life is so good together." Meanwhile, Silver is aware of the responsibility she bears as Van Dyke's wife. "We take very good care of each other," she told HuffPost. "But, I'm very aware that I have a national treasure on my hands."

Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris

Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner was married three times. He tied the knot with his third and final wife, Crystal Harris, on New Year's Eve in 2012, with the two remaining spouses until his death in 2017. At the time of the nuptials, the groom was 86, and the bride was 26, making for a sizable 60-year age gap.

Prior to that, Hef married Kimberly Conrad in 1989, when she was 26 and he was 63, with that marriage lasting until 2009, when he filed for divorce. That union produced two sons, Marston and Cooper. During his first marriage, to Mildred Williams (which lasted from 1949 until 1959), Hefner fathered two children, Christie and David; the former was born in 1952, the latter in 1955. As a result, Hefner managed to marry not just one woman younger than his oldest child, but two. 

In a statement she gave to People after Hefner's death in 2017, Harris downplayed the six-decade difference in their ages. "I felt how much he loved me," she said. "I loved him so much. I am so grateful. He gave me life. He gave me direction. He taught me kindness. I will feel eternally grateful to have been by his side, holding his hand, and telling him how much I love him. He changed my life, he saved my life. He made me feel loved every single day."