Hollywood's Longest-Lasting Couples Share Their Relationship Secrets

The world of Hollywood has been plagued with couples calling it quits that it's almost impossible to tell which stars are together and which have moved on. Some celebrity breakups have left fans in disbelief, including the iconic split between Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, who were married for 10 years, and Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, who were married for a whopping 20 years before splitting up in 2015. Unfortunately, these uncouplings are common in a place like Hollywood, and while some duos seemed like the perfect match, no one truly knows what goes on behind closed doors.

But, enough about the tragic breakups and heartbreaking splits of Hollywood because it's time to celebrate those celebrity couples that found the secrets to a long-lasting relationship. So what exactly is the recipe to having a successful marriage, let alone a thriving relationship in a world filled with rumors and gossip? Is it jetting off to the romantic city of Paris or showering each other with lavish gifts? Surprisingly, it's simpler than most people would think. Take notes, because these stars below have shared their intimate and downright delightful takeaways from their relationships that successfully made them stronger than ever.

Dolly Parton and Carl Thomas Dean are exact opposites

Dolly Parton and her husband Carl Thomas Dean couldn't be more opposite. While the country legend has been in the spotlight for more than 50 years, her husband has managed to stay under the radar since the pair tied the knot on May 30, 1966. Dean has only watched his wife perform a handful of times over her career and rarely joins Parton on a red carpet event, but the megastar has no problem with it whatsoever; in fact, she respects him for it, as she told the HuffPost

Their personalities may be like oil and water, but their relationship is stronger than ever. Parton once told Parade, "I married a really good man, a guy that's completely different from me. He's not in show business. He's not resentful of any of that. He loves to hear about the things I do. I love to hear about the things he does. So we enjoy each other's company. We get along good."

While the secret to their successful marriage could be the ever-so-popular saying that opposites attract, Parton once shared with Us Weekly that the real secret is to forgive. "You gotta kinda respect and like each other and forgive a lot of stuff and accept a lot of things," Parton shared, adding that some separation can also help a relationship, stating, "I stay gone a lot, so we're excited when we see each other!"

Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson share a working bond

Samuel L. Jackson has been praised for his acting roles in films such as "Pulp Fiction," "Django Unchained," and portraying Frozone in the animated hit film "The Incredibles," but what the actor should also be applauded for is his successful marriage to his wife of over 40 years, LaTanya Richardson. The Hollywood couple were married in 1980, after meeting as students in college, with Richardson once admitting to The New York Times, "Sam was not part of my circle. I was a theatre snob; he loved movies." However, the two would hit it off and have one of the most celebrated relationships in Hollywood. 

Still, with Jackson working in Hollywood as a movie star and his wife in theater, the two have shared a special bond that Jackson believes is the secret to their long-lasting relationship. "You know, we both come from the theater," Jackson told Us Weekly, adding, "She's on Broadway right now doing 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' I'm out in the world doing movies. We understand the bond we have, the commonality of experiences, the commonality of joy of the theater and of our lives and of our daughter's life, so it's easy for us to stay connected." 

Jackson also gave a brief reason why he and his wife have such a strong marriage, simply sharing with Us Weekly, "The secret to our success? Well, I guess we still love each other." 

Jeff and Susan Bridges share a mutual respect for one another

Actor Jeff Bridges and his wife Susan Bridges met while he was working on the 1975 film "Rancho Deluxe" and she was a waitress in Montana, and two years later, the couple tied the knot, had three daughters, and have been together ever since. With a strong bond and his wife's constant support throughout his career, the couple has celebrated over 40 years together. During a Reddit Ask Me Anything, the Oscar winner shared that the secret to his long-lasting marriage included keeping in touch with one another when the actor travels for his movies and to love one another, even if it sounded "silly" as Bridges put it, and too obvious of an answer. "Often when you're apart from your loved one like that for so long, your connection kind of atrophies unless you keep engaged, even if it's small everyday kind of stuff," Bridges shared. 

In 2020, while talking to People, "The Big Lebowski" actor admitted that with their love for one another also comes a lot of respect, too. "We are quite different as people, and we celebrate that rather than making it drive us apart. I respect her wisdom, and I'm sure the girls do too. I've really been blessed," Bridges admitted. 

Keith Richards and Patti Hansen share the same values

Being married to a rock 'n' roll legend like Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones for almost 40 years almost sounds fictitious in a world like Hollywood, but model Patti Hansen has kept her long-lasting marriage incredibly successful and the two have weathered quite a few storms throughout their relationship which has only brought them closer together. 

Richards and Hansen tied the knot in 1983, but in 2005, Hansen had a brush with breast cancer; a year later, Richards had a scary fall from a tree which left him with blood clots in his brain, and in 2007, the model discovered she had bladder cancer, according to Harper's Bazaar. However, the two have managed to come out on top, with the model confessing to the publication, "I guess we've beaten what takes out most people." 

So, how do a rock star and a model make it work? Hansen confessed to Vogue that their similar upbringings had a lot to do with it. "Any marriage, Rolling Stone or not, there's definitely going to be some rocky mountains there ... But on the whole, it's great. We both have the same morals and background. We both come from working-class families. I think we are very similar in many ways. You know, he works and I have the house waiting for him with all the flowers and make sure he has all the bangers and mash in the fridge," she gushed. 

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's key to a successful marriage is honesty

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have a marriage that has been cherished in Hollywood. The actors first met as co-stars in 1984 while Hanks was on the ABC sitcom "Bosom Buddies" and later again on the set of the 1985 movie "Volunteers" while he was married to his college sweetheart. However, the actor recalled to GQ (via Daily Mail) that there was an instant spark between him and Wilson, admitting, "Rita and I just looked at each other and – kaboing – that was that. I asked Rita if it was the real thing for her, and it just couldn't be denied." 

According to Good Housekeeping, Hanks' divorce from his first wife was finalized in 1987, and a year later, he married Wilson. The couple has been together ever since walking down the aisle, with the "Inferno" actor confessing that their secret to a happy and healthy marriage is honesty. As he shared with the "Sooo Many White Guys" podcast, "We learned the secret of happiness with each other a long time ago and that's always telling the truth."  

What Wilson believed brought her and her husband even closer together was her battle with breast cancer in 2015. She told The New York Times, "You never know how your spouse is going to react in a situation like this. I was so amazed, so blown away by the care my husband gave me." Thankfully, Wilson is cancer-free and the couple continues to support one another. 

Rob Lowe and Sheryl Berkoff aren't afraid to seek professional help

Actor Rob Lowe and makeup artist Sheryl Berkoff wed on July 22, 1991, with the "Parks and Recreation" star once confessing that the key to a happy relationship is saying "yes," while also describing marriage as like a casting for a movie. "People always ask, 'Do you have any advice about marriage?' and I'm reminded of when they asked Alfred Hitchcock advice about making a hit movie. He said, 'It's all about the casting,' and that's the same thing with marriage," Lowe shared on "The Goop Fellas" podcast, adding, "It really is all about who you pick. I always say to people, 'If there's any way to marry your best friend, do it.' Cause the rest of it comes and goes.'" 

The actor was not shy to explain that if he and his wife need help within their marriage, they seek the advice of a professional. Lowe shared with the podcast, "Sheryl and I still have somebody we would see if we ever felt like we need it. We do it less and less, but there have been times where we've been seeing someone ... and I look forward to it! I always come out of it feeling even more reconnected, but I think that people look at it as a sign of trouble." Not afraid to admit that the couple talks to a therapist every now and then has proven that a Hollywood marriage can be long-lasting. 

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker don't air out their dirty laundry

"Sex and the City" actor Sarah Jessica Parker and Broadway star Matthew Broderick's secret to a happy and long-lasting relationship may simply be just staying mum about their happy marriage. The actors, who tied the knot on May 19, 1997, have always remained quiet, especially when asked about it by the press. In a 2014 interview with HuffPost, Parker explained that the secret to their successful relationship is not speaking about it to anyone. 

"The secret is, we don't discuss it. To reporters or anybody else. That's it! We don't hold it up as an example and we don't air out our dirty laundry," Parker confessed. But, that same year, Broderick spilled to Meredith Vieira (via E!) that he and his wife are best friends. "We really are friends beyond everything else and we talk a lot ... She's really funny, she makes me laugh." 

In 2016, ET also managed to get an answer out of Broderick about his marriage to Parker and the secret to its success, with the actor sharing that "communicating" and not going "to bed angry" as just a couple of things that make their relationship work. 

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell don't have a definite answer for their decades-long connection

If any celebrity couple should be celebrated for their success in a long-term relationship, it's actors Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. The duo, who never married one another, have been together for over 35 years, proving that love can last in Hollywood. While the two stars have probably been asked on several occasions their secret to a healthy relationship, they both agreed while talking to Extra that there really is no definite answer. 

"If we knew that, we'd put it in a bottle, sell it, and say, 'So long!'" Russell teased, while Hawn gave a more in-depth and peculiar answer, sharing, "I know people always want the answer to that. We're alchemists, you have to be alchemists, you have to be able to turn all kinds of metal into gold, and that's what we have to do... Sometimes, it takes a little finagling. Sometimes things don't go your way... But the point is you have to go deeper. You've got to find out what's going to get in the way of a love story. It's just being conscious, knowing what you want... Friendship is everything, support, friendship, being there for someone, compassion – empathy is huge," Hawn shared with Extra. 

If that answer doesn't do enough justice, the couple also finds similar joy when they are with their children. Hawn shared with Parade in 2020 that their main source of happiness is being with their kids, "I mean, my family is primarily it." 

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw share a passion for music

Faith Hill and Tim McGraw are country music's biggest power couple and have one of the longest-lasting and strongest relationships in the business. The two stars got married on October 6, 1996, and their love for music and performing is something both stars have found has helped their marriage become so successful. McGraw shared with People, "It's such a rare thing to be able to experience what we do for a living, and to do it together, really feels like all the moments are special," with Hill touchingly adding, "I watch him perform and still to this day I'm awed by it." 

The country stars are parents to three daughters, Gracie, Audrey, and Maggie, and Tim McGraw knows very well how to keep the full house under control. As he jokingly shared to Great American Country (via Taste of Country), "Well I live in a house full of women so [the secret is] just to be as quiet as possible." Hill later added, "I don't think there's a secret. You just have to love the skin you're in, basically. You have to walk this life together. There will be times, ups and downs, but you have to essentially like the person that you love. I think it's important to laugh a lot and have a good time. Life is too short. It sounds contrived but it's the truth." If any celebrity couple is as sweet as these two, they're in for what seems like a lifetime of happiness. 

Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber respect one another

Model Cindy Crawford knows what it takes to have a marriage succeed in a place like Hollywood. She has been with her husband, businessman Rande Gerber, since 1998, and credits their friendship and respect for one another as reasons why their relationship has been so prosperous. In an interview with Red magazine in 2021, Crawford shared, "With my husband, I feel even if we weren't together, we'd be friends. Of course, you have to have sexual chemistry, but our relationship is based on friendship and mutual respect."

The model has always believed that the key to a thriving relationship is having respect for one another. In 2017, Crawford shared the same beliefs about her marriage to Gerber. Talking to People, she stated, "All throughout our marriage, we have made time to just be together, whether it's a walk on the beach or a weekend away. And I think we laugh with each other and we really respect each other's opinion. Even when we don't agree. When he doesn't agree with me, I am fascinated. I want to know why, because I respect him enough to hear him out and he does the same for me." There you have it, folks! 

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas didn't give up on their marriage

Actors Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas have worked harder than any other couple in Hollywood to make their marriage succeed, and that even meant taking a break in 2013, which only led them back together a few months after. The couple has been together since 2000 and credits their adoration and respect for one another as to why they have managed to have a healthy marriage in Hollywood. "First of all, we have a lot of fun together," Zeta-Jones told WSJ Magazine, adding, "My husband is 25 years older than me; that's not a secret. With any relationship, it wouldn't be normal if there weren't any ups and downs. The constant is love and respect. We've never, ever lost our sense of humor, and we enjoy each other's company."

This pair has such a solid foundation, and with similar careers, have managed to be with one another a lot more, unlike the average couple. "My husband and I spend a lot of time together because, unlike so many couples, we've never had a 9-5 job where it's consistent... So we've had in our relationship huge amounts of time where we've just been us. We lived on the island of Bermuda for 12 years bringing up our kids. We respect each other's space, and our humor is just long-lasting," Zeta-Jones said. 

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi rely on one another's honesty

Several of these long-lasting Hollywood couples make having a relationship look easy, and for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, it truly is. The pair has been together since 2004 but finally tied the knot on August 16, 2008, after California overturned the ban on same-sex marriages, according to Country Living. It was as if they were soulmates with the host once sharing to People, "It's the first time that I've known in every cell of my being that I'm with somebody for the rest of my life. We were just supposed to be together." 

The two stars have constantly gushed about one another since the day they both said their "I do's" with de Rossi telling ET that their secret to their happy and healthy relationship is being honest. "We're just really good friends and we talk about everything, and we never, ever, ever lie to each other, like, not even the tiniest lies. And she's the only person I want to hang out with. Like, she is my best friend and I just want to be with her all the time." 

Another secret the host admitted that keeps their love strong — telling one another how lucky they are to have each other. DeGeneres shared with People, "Sometimes it's lying in bed at night before I go to sleep, and I just say thank you to whatever, whoever is out there."

Ron and Cheryl Howard constantly communicate

Ron Howard found success in Hollywood as both an actor and director, but one of his biggest achievements is his almost five-decade-long marriage to his wife Cheryl Howard, who he wed back on June 7, 1975. According to People, the pair were high school sweethearts, attending John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California, with Howard touchingly sharing, "I met her, and there was never anybody else."

Cheryl Howard has been with her husband since his time transitioning from an actor to an acclaimed director, even joining him on red carpets. So what are the Howards' secret to an everlasting romance? The director told People that it is communication, adding, "People say, 'How'd you do it?' There's no technique. There's no tactic other than communication is really important. You have to learn to communicate and have difficult conversations in constructive ways. Beyond that, there's an element of luck because people either grow together or they don't and I don't think you can force that." 

And, to show just how much Howard appreciates his wife, the director shared a photo on his Instagram wearing a pair of socks with his wife's face on them. Now that's real love. 

Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso have a two week rule

Actor Matt Damon wasn't looking for love when he was dragged into a Miami bar by his co-stars while filming "Stuck On You," but that's exactly what happened after he locked eyes with Luciana Barroso, who was the bartender that night. The duo ended up getting married on December 9, 2005, and have been together ever since. 

Barroso has remained out of the spotlight, unlike her A-list husband, but that doesn't bother either of them — in fact, it may have contributed to the success of their marriage. Barroso once shared with Vogue Australia, "When you meet somebody that you have a connection with, that's just the person that you have a connection with, all the other stuff – the movie star part – wasn't really a factor. It was just Matt."

YourTango asked Damon how a couple who has been together for quite some time keeps their marriage alive, with the actor spilling, "We have a two week rule. I'm not away for more than two weeks. I think you need to be with the person you love as much as possible. My wife is my soul mate. I don't like being apart from her." 

Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann keep the love alive with laughter

"Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay and "Younger" actor Peter Hermann credit laughter as the secret to their long-lasting marriage. The Hollywood couple has been married since August 28, 2004, with Hermann revealing to People in 2019, "I never thought I would have this much laughter in my life. Not just actual laughter. But also the way that Mariska is just the embodiment of laughter – of joy." 

And, no matter what goes down between the married pair, the simple physical reaction of laughing always brings them together. "It's the way we find our way back to each other," Hermann said, adding, "It's this fantastically, wonderfully ridiculous way that we can swing back and forth any number of times in any given day. But fundamentally we know we have the same destination. We know where we're headed, and it's good. And we know we'll get there together."

However, laughter isn't everything that works for these two. Hargitay and Hermann have a mutual respect for one another's career, support each other, and know each other's goals in life.