Former Child Stars Who Married Other Celebs

The following article references drug addiction.

In the insular world of the entertainment business, it's almost inevitable that celebrities end up pairing off with each other. In fact, according to relationship expert Dr. Jenn Mann, for famous people, dating another well-known personality who is used to being in the limelight often makes life easier. "It takes a very secure person to date a celebrity and be able to handle that," she told Insider.

Becoming famous as a child or an adolescent comes with its own unique set of challenges, and privileges as well. Everyone is looking for their happily ever after story. In Hollywood, just like anywhere, it doesn't always work out that way, at least on the first try. Everyone included here found love — or at least marriage — with another celebrity at least once. Some gave it the old college try more than a few times. 

If you think what you are about to see won't be about sex, drugs, and rock and roll, think again. It's about all that, plus a whole lot more. We're pulling back the curtain on some of the most buzzworthy unions, and splits, in the biz. Trust us, this is going to be juicy.

Brooke Shields and Andre Agassi

Brooke Shields became a global sex symbol, playing a child sex worker in "Pretty Baby" when she was only 12. Cut to 1993 when the "Suddenly Susan" star met tennis superstar Andre Agassi, who went pro when he was 16. The pair, who bonded over their shared experiences as childhood stars, fell in love and tied the knot four years later, as Shields revealed in her memoir, "There Was a Little Girl" (via People).

When Shields guest-starred on "Friends," things took a turn. After seeing her play a character who licks Matt LeBlanc's character's fingers, she wrote that Agassi "said I made him look like a fool." Afterward, she recounted, Agassi "drove all the way to Vegas," where he "smashed all of his tennis trophies, destroying them in a rage." Things unraveled even further when the Olympic gold medalist revealed "he had been addicted to crystal meth" throughout their relationship.

On "Today," Agassi shared he just wasn't in the right frame of mind to make the marriage work. "At that time in my life I couldn't have been married to anyone," he said. "You need in a marriage, two people who understand themselves ... and I certainly didn't understand myself." The pair divorced in 1999. Shields has been married to producer Chris Henchy since 2001. Agassi married former tennis pro Steffi Graf that same year.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel

Justin Timberlake started out as a Mouseketeer on "The New Mickey Mouse Club," before becoming a pop sensation with *NSYNC, and then a Grammy-winning solo artist and actor. Jessica Biel's acting career began when she was a kid, and her breakthrough arrived when she took on the role of the eldest daughter on "7th Heaven." In 2007, Timberlake and Biel went public with their relationship. Five years later, the couple tied the knot in Italy, according to Us Weekly,

The "Sexy Back" singer told Ellen DeGeneres that marrying the "Total Recall" star was one of the best choices he ever made. "Every once in a while I can catch a glimpse of her when she doesn't see me looking and I have this moment when I'm like ... 'If you only make bad decisions for the rest of your life, you made one really good decision,'" he said. In 2019, their marriage was put to the test when photos surfaced of the "Palmer" star in a bar getting cozy with co-star Alisha Wainwright, per The Sun.

The pop star didn't cry foul about the bad press. Instead, he apologized to his wife on Instagram for his "strong lapse of judgement," adding, "I am focused on being the best husband and father I can be." According to Biel, JT is doing just fine. In 2021, for his birthday, "The Sinner" star posted on Instagram, "There's no one I have more fun with, have more laughs with, feel more deeply for and have more history with... Happy 40th, my love."

Janet Jackson and James DeBarge

Born into a legendary musical family, Janet Jackson made guest appearances with her brothers The Jackson 5 and launched her acting career on "Good Times." When she was 16 years old — just before her pop superstardom ascent began — along came James DeBarge, part of the R&B sibling group DeBarge. "He was a sweet guy," Jackson recalled in the 2022 documentary "Janet Jackson," per the New York Post. "He was a nice guy."

When she was 18, Jackson wanted to take control of her life from her father, so she secretly married DeBarge. It didn't take long for things with that "sweet guy" to go sour. On their wedding night, for starters, the groom disappeared for several hours. "Subconsciously, when it comes to relationships, somehow I'm attracted to people that use drugs," Jackson said. "I knew that he needed help. But I wasn't the help that he needed."

For the "That's the Way Love Goes" singer, unfortunately her first marriage came and went in a matter of months. As for the rumors about Jackson having DeBarge's secret baby, the documentary puts all of those to rest. The "Rhythm Nation" singer says the alleged baby bump was something else altogether. "I had started taking birth control pills, and back then, you could pick up weight taking them," she shared in the doc, per People. "That's what happened to me."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher

After landing commercial work and minor TV gigs, a 14-year-old Mila Kunis auditioned for the part of Jackie on the sitcom "That '70s Show." Initially, the casting department was under the impression she was older. "I told him I was gonna be 18," she recalled on "The Tonight Show." 

Though they never dated when they worked together, about six years after the "That '70s Show" series finale aired, Kunis struck up a romance with co-star Ashton Kutcher. In 2015, they got married and are now parents to two children. Before they got together, the two were in serious relationships with other celebrities: Kunis dated Macaulay Culkin for nearly a decade, and Kutcher was married to Demi Moore from 2005 to 2013. 

So, how did Jackie and Kelso end up reconnecting all those years later? "We were at an awards show, and I was backstage. ... I was looking around, and there was like a really beautiful man from the back," Kunis recalled on Marc Maron's podcast. "And then he turned around, and I was like, 'Oh, my god! It's Kutch!'" A few years into their relationship, they reunited onscreen in "Two and a Half Men" — but as Kunis told Today, they "can't be together in a scene" anymore. "I was like, 'Oh, I see you acting!'" she said. "Like, I can catch it. And he looked at me and he was like, 'What's that face you make?'" 

Corey Feldman and Vanessa Marcil

Corey Feldman started acting in commercials when he was just three years old. The versatile actor and producer has appeared in dozens of films and TV shows over the course of his decades-long career. But "The Lost Boys" star probably made headlines more often for his complicated off-camera life, which included everything from a difficult childhood to a history of drug abuse.

"The Two Coreys" star married "Beverly Hills, 90210" alum Vanessa Marcil in Las Vegas in 1989; both were teens at the time. As she told Entertainment Weekly, the whole thing was "actually a joke we played on our friends. We were messed-up kids, you know? ... To say that we were really married is completely not true." Feldman has a different take on what went down, and it's no laughing matter.

In his autobiography "Coreyography," the "Stand by Me” actor tells a story about one fateful night with his wife. "Vanessa and I are a wreck, fighting constantly," he writes. "So I escape back downtown, a bum approaches me [and] asks me to rent a hotel room, amazingly I do. In exchange he shoots me up. And this is the saddest moment of my life." In another passage, he writes, "I lied to Vanessa, let her get swept off her feet by a closet junkie." The duo, who never moved in together, divorced in 1993.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr.

Long-lasting Hollywood couples are a rare breed, but this couple is a shining example of two people beating the odds. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary in 2021, and have two children together. Gellar, who staked her claim to fame as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," made her first movie when she was six years old. The "Scream 2" star and the "Punky Brewster" actor met on the set of "I Know What You Did Last Summer."  

Five years later, on the Sunday before Labor Day (often referred to as the last unofficial day of summer, coincidentally), they exchanged vows in Mexico. So how do they make it work? Turns out, they just really dig each other. "I think it's great to be in love," she told Steve Harvey in 2018, "but it's also nice to like each other and like spending time together." In a later interview with Us Weekly, she said the key to any successful relationship is being willing "to put the work into" it.

" And posting cute memes on Instagram never hurts either. Like this one, sharing Prinze's guest-starring stint as the "Manny" on "Friends." She wrote, "My kids won the lottery, they not only get the best father @realfreddieprinze ... they get the original #Manny #friends #happyfathersday I'll be there for you!!!"

Tatum O'Neal and John McEnroe

Tatum O'Neal became the youngest person ever to win an Academy Award when she picked up her Oscar for "Paper Moon" in 1973 at age 10. The talented daughter of actor Ryan O'Neal seemed to have a bright future ahead, but drug addiction and low self-esteem that started when she was a teen would follow her for years to come. "I felt like I was worth nothing," she told ABC's "20/20." 

In 1984, she would connect with John McEnroe, a tennis megastar who ESPN once called "a winner and a whiner, a super talent." He had garnered the dubious nickname of "Superbrat" by British tabloids for his frequent on-court temper tantrums. When O'Neal and McEnroe linked up, there was heat; the actor said on "20/20" that it was "a love at first sight kind of thing." But the relationship quickly blew up, and both partners took aim at each other. O'Neal claimed her husband was cruel, at times violent and she was often the target. "He would take out all of his rage onto me," she alleged. 

McEnroe has denied he ever struck her. After six years of marriage and three children together, the couple divorced in 1994. In his autobiography "You Cannot Be Serious" (via CNN), the tennis star wrote about O'Neal, "I think she'd realized she was such trouble, and so incapable of being the wife that I wanted, that eventually I'd be happier with someone else."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian

Boasting a powerhouse set of pipes, 13-year-old LeAnn Rimes' rendition of "Blue" went straight to the top of the charts. With multiple Grammy, CMA, and ACM awards to her name, the multi-platinum selling artist has been performing to sell-out crowds around the world for years. When Rimes fell for co-star Eddie Cibrian on the set of their 2009 TV movie, "Northern Light," things got really messy.

Rimes was married to former backup dancer Dean Sheremet at the time, whereas Cibrian was married to "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Brandi Glanville. After news of the "shocking affair" was reported by Us Weekly, the singer tried to brush off the rumors, but the cat was out of the bag. Later she told People, "I hate that people got hurt. But I don't regret the outcome." After finalizing their respective divorces, the "Best Man" actor wed the "How Do I Live" singer in 2011, and they are living their best life.

After 10 years together, the "Rosewood" alum told Entertainment Tonight that life with Rimes isn't getting old. "You grow as a couple," he said. "Every day you find something else that you love about each other. It's wonderful." To celebrate a decade with her man, the "I Need You" singer posted her own music video on Instagram, writing, "Thank you for being the safe place to finally rest my heart.... You are the biggest cheerleader in my life... I look forward to our continued journey."

Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner

Silver screen icon Natalie Wood may always be remembered for playing the young Susan Walker in the beloved holiday film "Miracle on 34th Street." The Oscar nominee who landed the coveted role of Maria in the original "West Side Story" had a remarkable career, but her life and legacy were suddenly cut short: Natalie Wood drowned near Catalina Island in 1981 at age 43. It happened on the yacht she shared with then-husband, "It Takes a Thief" actor Robert Wagner.

According to CBS News, she "was found floating in the water." At the time, it was ruled an accident, but in 2018, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department reopened the death investigation, and Wagner was named a "person of interest." Lieutenant John Corina said the facts confirmed that Wagner "was the last person to be with Natalie before she disappeared." Per the Los Angeles Times, a spokesperson for Wagner said he assumed she "had taken off on a small inflatable boat by herself, as she had done before."

However, Natalie's sister, Lana Wood, told The New York Times the "Rebel Without a Cause" star would never do that. "Natalie didn't swim," Lana said. "Her fear of dark water was deeply ingrained." For now, Natalie's death remains unsolved, but Detective Ralph Hernandez, the lead homicide investigator in the case, told The Times in 2020 he isn't giving up. "The case is going to stay open until we find out the truth of what happened," he said.

Valerie Bertinelli and Eddie Van Halen

Best known for her role on the '70s sitcom "One Day at a Time," Valerie Bertinelli has been a small screen mainstay for decades, most recently bringing her signature perk to "Valerie's Home Cooking." When the fresh-faced actor married the late rocker icon Eddie Van Halen, people were taken aback. In her memoir, "Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today" (via People), Bertinelli wrote, "We were portrayed as a mismatch, the bad boy rock star and America's sweetheart but privately, Ed wasn't the person people thought he was and neither was I."

As the "Hot in Cleveland" star shared "Today," she and the legendary guitarist were unfaithful to one another. "It was a shame and it was a guilt that I carried with me for a very long time," she said. The actor also opened up about their drug use, noting that as they worked on pre-wedding paperwork given to them by their priest, they "each held a little vial of coke." The couple divorced in 2007. 

Though they "went through a lot of hell" during their marriage, Bertinelli told Hoda Kotb in 2021 that she and Van Halen "were able to come to a beautiful place by the end of his life." She added, "I loved Ed more than I know how to explain. I loved his soul."

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

Acting alongside Mickey Rooney in "National Velvet," Elizabeth Taylor became MGM's top child star in 1944. This was just the beginning of a storied Hollywood career, which included five Academy Awards — and, oh yeah, seven husbands — for the violet-eyed beauty. Welsh actor Richard Burton was one of the husbands. Oh, and they got married and divorced twice. The "Giant" star and the "Equus" actor met on the set of "Cleopatra" in Italy. 

What viewers saw was an over-the-top lifestyle, filled with turbulence and booze-soaked brawls. But first, there was the scandal. When Liz and Dick met, she was married to singer Eddie Fisher. Burton was wed to Sybil Burton. Of course, the tabloids had a field day with that scandal. As "Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century" put it (via Vanity Fair), "Theirs was the first reality show, a marriage with an audience."

Burton relished talking about Taylor's body. Per the New York Post, he once called her breasts "apocalyptic" in his journal; according to the Mirror, he wrote that her "bottom is firm and round." The passion was a two-way street: According to Vanity Fair, Taylor once declared, "When you are in love and lust like that, you just grab it with both hands and ride out the storm." However, it could not last. Per the magazine, Taylor once said of her relationship to Burton, "I don't want to be that much in love ever again... I gave everything away... my soul, my being, everything."

Melissa Gilbert and Timothy Busfield

Melissa Gilbert has been an influential figure in the entertainment world for years, but viewers hold a special place in their heart for "Half-pint" in the '70s family drama "Little House on the Prairie." In 2012, the former Screen Actors Guild president was sitting in a bar and in walked "Thirtysomething" actor Timothy Busfield, who told M Live, "I was just going out to get a slice of pizza and a beer and watch sports on TV. He sat down next to her. "Then I saw her smile," he said. And the rest is history. After a year of dating, the couple tied the knot in 2013. Gilbert was previously married to actors Bo Brinkman and Bruce Boxleitner.

When talking about Gilbert, "The West Wing" actor maintains his dry wit, claiming she must be an "idiot" for choosing him. In an interview with Page Six, he mused that his favorite thing about being married to the "Guest Artist" actor is that she "chose me, what an idiot, what an idiot, talk about gullible!" he quipped. But seriously, the thing he really loves is her "sense of humor... she is funny." And all of it sure seems to work. In a 2019 Instagram post, Gilbert gushed, "Six years ago today, I married my soulmate. I have never been more content, more cherished, or happier. Every day, even the difficult ones, is filled with a joy I never could have imagined."

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin

After Usher discovered the Canadian teenager on YouTube, Justin Bieber went on to become one of the world's best-selling recording artists. Previously linked to fellow pop star Selena Gomez, the "Yummy" singer's relationship with model Hailey Baldwin began in 2015. After a few on-again, off-again years, they got engaged in July of 2018 and got hitched two months later in a secret ceremony at a New York City courthouse, per Us Weekly. In September 2019, they hosted a massive wedding celebration in South Carolina.

Though their relationship sounds like something out of a Hollywood fairytale, Baldwin told Vogue she's not looking at their union through rose-colored glasses. "I'm not going to sit here and lie and say it's all a magical fantasy," she said. "We're going to change a lot. But we're committed to growing together and supporting each other in those changes."

In 2021, Bieber told GQ he always felt "compelled" to marry and have babies (not just yet!), but admitted his first year as a husband was sometimes "scary," like he was walking "on eggshells." Now, he says Baldwin brings something to his life he desperately needed — a partner to stay. "My home life was not existing," he shared. "I didn't have someone to love. I didn't have someone to pour into. But now I have that."