From old Hollywood sweethearts, royal romances and iconic pop duos—take a look back at Hollywood’s power couples from 1950 to present day.
1950: Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart
Arguably the most iconic Hollywood couple of all time, Bogie and Bacall met while filming 1944’s To Have and Have Not. They married in 1945 and made three more movies together — Key Largo, Dark Passage, and The Big Sleep — before Bogart’s death from cancer in 1957.
1951: Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner
What began as an often described “wild” affair between Sinatra and Gardner turned into a real-deal relationship and marriage, which lasted from 1951 (when Sinatra’s first wife gave him a divorce) to 1953 (when the couple formally announced their split). Sinatra and Gardner had affairs with other people until their divorce was finalised in 1957.
1952: Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh
In Curtis’s own words, he and Leigh were “Hollywood’s golden couple.” The parents of Jamie Lee Curtis eloped to everyone’s surprise and stayed married for a decade before their divorce. “I was very dedicated and devoted to Janet, and on top of my trade, but in her eyes that goldenness started to wear off,” Curtis said in his 1993 memoir. “I realised that whatever I was, I wasn’t enough for Janet. That hurt me a lot and broke my heart.” He would marry five more times.
1953: Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio
In 1952, the already iconic Monroe began dating DiMaggio, who had at that point retired from baseball (he was a New York Yankee). They married in early 1954, but the relationship started falling apart by the fall of that year. He was reportedly furious about her famous Seven-Year-Itch subway grate photo, and there were also rumors that he was abusive. Their divorce was finalised in 1955.
1955: Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher
Reynolds was a Hollywood sweetheart who’d appeared in Singin’ in the Rain; Fisher was a beloved singer and actor. They married in 1955 (and had two children, Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher), but divorced in 1959 after Fisher’s very public affair with Liz Taylor.
1956: Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III
At 26, Kelly traded in the glitzy world of Hollywood for the life of a princess when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956 in what is still known as the “wedding of the century.” The bride’s lavish wedding gown was designed by Helen Rose of MGM and included a pearl-encrusted prayer book that was embedded into the dress, because #royals.
1958: Joan Crawford and Alfred Steele
Fourth time’s the charm — actress Joan Crawford wed her fourth (and final) husband Alfred Steele, the CEO of Pepsi-Cola Company, in a 1955 Vegas wedding, and in sunny black-and-white photos from 1958, the couple looked to be enjoying a happy, glitzy, California life together. Unfortunately, Steele passed away from a heart attack the following year. It’s been reported that longtime rival Bette Davis had a Coke soda machine installed in her dressing room on the set of 1962’s What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, which Crawford also starred in, to spite her.
1959: Liz Taylor and Eddie Fisher
Yep, him again. While still married to Debbie Reynolds, Fisher had an affair with Taylor, who was mourning the death of her third husband, Mike Todd. The couple married in 1959 after Fisher divorced Reynolds, but split in 1964 because…well, just keep going for a few more slides.
1960: Marlon Brando and Movita Castaneda
This extremely good-looking couple is why the flame emoji was invented. Mexican-American actress Maria “Movita” Castaneda met Marlon Brando in the late 1950s and the pair wed in 1960 and went on to have two children. The flame was extinguished shortly after, however, when in 1962, while filming a remake of a 1935 movie that Castaneda starred in, Brando met and fell in love with his co-star, Tarita Teriipaia. Cold move.
1961: John and Jackie Kennedy
On Jan. 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy became prom king and queen (you know, President and First Lady) of the United States. The pair were introduced by a mutual friend at a dinner party nearly a decade earlier and were married shortly after. The couple brought youth, style, and a sense of glamour to the White House — some scandal, too — and remained together until his assassination in November 1963.
1962: Lena Horne and Lennie Hayton
Lena Horne and Lennie Hayton were a perfect match. Her, an electrifying stage presence as an actress and singer; he, an award-winning musical director for major Hollywood studios. Hayton became Horne’s musical director and in 1962, Horne released two albums: Lena on the Blue Side and Lena…Lovely and Alive. But things weren’t as they seem — sort of. For one, they faced the challenges you’d expect interracial couples to face in the early 1960s. She later told Ebony in the magazine’s May 1980 issue, “You must know that in the beginning I didn’t marry Lennie because I was in love with him. I respected him because he knew a lot of music and I knew that I had to learn how to sing. I callously realised that I would have to associate with a White person to get the things I wanted professionally.” That said, ‘I learned to love him very much. It turned out to be a perfect marriage.”
1964: Liz Taylor and Richard Burton
Remember earlier, when Liz Taylor and Eddie Fisher got divorced? It was because of this guy, who Taylor met while filming Cleopatra. They began an on-set affair circa 1962, and in 1964, nine days after getting divorced from Fisher, Taylor married Burton. Don’t worry — they’ll be back.
1966: Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy
This one’s a bit controversial, because Tracy never left his wife for Hepburn. Still, their crackling on-screen chemistry in an incredible list of classic films make them one of the most famous couples of all time. Tracy died in 1967 and the pair’s last film was also released that year, the ever-important Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
1967: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
Woodward and Newman’s 50-year relationship (until his death) is what we all strive for: On being faithful to one woman for so long, he famously said, “I have steak at home, so why should I go out for a hamburger?” It’s also important to note that Woodward won her Oscar first, in 1958, for her role in The Three Faces of Eve.
1968: Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards
One of Hollywood’s most endearing couples, Andrews and Edwards filmed Darling Lili, where she was the star and he was the director, in 1968. (He was famed for directing Breakfast at Tiffany’s and she’d already hit big with The Sound of Music.) They wed the following year.
1969: Yoko Ono and John Lennon
The couple used their relationship to create art and protest the Vietnam War with their “Bed-In.” For their honeymoon they staged nonviolent protests in Amsterdam and then again in Montreal.
1970: Barbara Streisand and Elliot Gould
Fresh off the success of Funny Girl and Hello, Dolly Barbra Streisand was a bona fide star by 1970, but this was a big year for her then husband, Gould, who stared in M.A.S.H., one of the highest-grossing movies of the decade.
1971: Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland
In ’71, Fonda and Sutherland starred in Klute (Fonda won a Best Actress Oscar for her role) and a romance blossomed. The two protested the Vietnam War as well, putting up a touring show, near military bases, called “F.T.A.”
1972: Carly Simon and James Taylor
The musical duo married in ’72 and Simon also scored big with “You’re So Vain” (which wasn’t about Taylor).
1973: Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw
They starred in 1972’s The Getaway and were married a year later. She was known for the tearjerker Love Story and he was a Hollywood heartthrob for The Thomas Crown Affair, The Great Escape, and several other classics.
1974: Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston
The brutally heartbreaking details of their relationship were captured in her 2014 book Watch Me: A Memoir. For now, just marvel at this photo.
1976: Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors
In 1973, when Majors and Fawcett married, he starred in The Six Million Dollar Man. Cut to three years later where Fawcett was starring in Charlie’s Angels. They’re a classic Hollywood couple, if not Fawcett’s most famous pairing (that would be Ryan O’Neal).
1978: Diane Keaton and Warren Beatty
People magazine called Keaton and Beatty “two of the hottest properties in films” around this time. They were quite the glamorous pair — take, for example, this other great quote from the People article, “[They’re] a neurotically private couple who have spent most of the last 10 months winging between his Beverly Hills mansion and her two-bedroom flat in Manhattan.”
1979: Eric Clapton and Pattie Boyd
In 1977, Clapton released “Wonderful Tonight,” a song Boyd called the “most poignant reminder of all that was good in our relationship…” in her memoir of the same name. Although her autobiography tells a darker story of their relationship, the song captures a perfect moment. The couple was married in 1979.
1980: Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher
This year, Simon released One-Trick Pony, the album and the movie, which he wrote and starred in. Fisher reprised her role as Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back. So, needless to say, it was a pretty epic time for the pair.
1981: Prince Charles and Lady Diana
Their iconic royal wedding took place July 29. David and Elizabeth Emanuel designed the fabulous wedding dress.
1982: Danny Devito and Rhea Pearlman
DeVito was starring in Taxi and Pearlman (who also had a role in Taxi) was in Cheers, two of the biggest shows of the time, when they tied the knot this year.
1983: Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr.
Just look at these amazing pictures of them on Old Loves Tumblr.
1985: Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielson
This year saw the release of Rocky IV and Rambo: First Blood Part 2. Stallone was a huge action movie star and Nielson a young model.
1986: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
Maybe they’d never see eye-to-eye politically, but somehow this crazy couple still made it work Until, of course, he had an affair and they split in 2011.
1987: Demi Moore and Bruce Willis
Moore and Willis married in Vegas in 1987 and reigned as a Hollywood power couple until their 1998 split and the whole Ashton Kutcher thing.
1988: Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet
Bonet was known for The Cosby Show and A Different World and Kravitz was still waiting to make a name for himself when the two eloped in Las Vegas in 1987; in 1988, their daughter Zoë was born. The crazy hot pair still remain very friendly to this day, even though they are not together anymore.
1989: Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith
Dakota Johnson’s parents tied the knot in 1989 for the second time. They first had had a controversial marriage in 1976 (Melanie was 15 when they moved in together and they got married when she was 18) and rekindled their romance many years later. Griffith won a Golden Globe for Working Girl in ’89 and Johnson’s Miami Vice was still running. Dakota was born in the fall.
1991: Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain
Cobain’s Nirvana released the alternative rock classic Nevermind this year and Courtney’s band Hole also released an acclaimed album titled Pretty on the Inside. They would wed in early 1992.
1992: Iman and David Bowie
Bowie talked to Hello magazine about the time he met Iman saying, “That she would be my wife, in my head, was a done deal.” The model and musician tied the knot in ’92.
1993: Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger
Basinger was in the news this year for a contracts case revolving around the movie Boxing Helena, and her boyfriend Baldwin showed up in all the articles by her side. That’s a little dark, but on a happier note, they also married this year. Everyone should do themselves a favor and watch this bizarro Saturday Night Live monologue the two did together when they “co-hosted” the following year.
1994: Faith Evans and Notorious B.I.G.
They married as Biggie released his debut studio album Ready to Die. It was an instant classic.
1995: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
It’s great to acknowledge couples that have stood the test of time, so here’s to Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who are still together (may we never have to update this article). Fresh off back-to-back Oscar wins for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, Hanks starred in two more unforgettable movies this year: Toy Story and Apollo 13.
1997: Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett
The insanely attractive pair tied the knot in ’97. Bassett’s Waiting to Exhale came out two years prior, Vance’s The Preacher’s Wife the year before. They’ve been a simmering power duo for about two decades now.
1998: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
It’s fitting that they got married on New Year’s Eve, because their marriage seems like the biggest party in the world.
1999: Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe
You can’t give the kind of performances Witherspoon and Phillippe give in Cruel Intentions and not get married and have some beautiful babies Come on Sure, it didn’t last, but try not to feel all tingly when you listen to “Colorblind” (go ahead and just pull that up on Spotify now).
2001: Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
Of course these two huge pop stars dated (and wore matching denim) It felt almost written in the cards, like a beautiful gift to young fans everywhere. It didn’t last, but their breakup did produce two great pop songs.
2002: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Here was a couple that knew how to flaunt it: 2002 brought us the hot, hot “Jenny From the Block” video, which featured Bennifer — the first celeb portmanteau — making out on a yacht, her in a pink bikini, him basically being a boy toy, and the paparazzi looking on.
2003: Beyoncé and Jay-Z
There’s a pretty good case to be made for naming them power couple of the past decade. But if you were to pinpoint the start of their reign, this was the year the pair danced in front of a burning car in “Crazy in Love” and Jay Z’s “Public Service Announcement” declared he “Got the hottest chick in the game wearin’ my chain.” All hail the ’03 Bonnie & Clyde.
2004: Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson
Season two of Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica premiered in 2004 and Simpson’s “With You” and “Take My Breathe Away” scored big on the charts. The thing about being newlyweds, though, is the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever.
2005: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
W Magazine released the photo shoot heard ’round the world in July 2005. Brad and Angelina “played house” and looked amazing and glamorous, but it was maybe a little too soon after the Aniston split.
2006: Victoria Beckham and David Beckham
It was hard to pick an exact year to celebrate these two, but it obviously wouldn’t be a power couple list without them. Victoria’s long-term success away from the Spice Girls proves she’s a force to be reckoned with and, well, Beckham is such a famous soccer player there was a hugely popular movie with a title based on his skill. Long live the Beckhams.
2008: Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi
In 1997, DeGeneres came out (on her show and in real life) and generated a lot of press (and a lot of controversy from, you know, idiots). Cut to 2008 when every magazine wants pictures of DeGeneres’s wedding and millions of fans (and hundreds of audience members) squeal in delight at Ellen’s wedding monologue.
2009: Barack and Michelle Obama
No one could forget the powerful image of the first family after Barack Obama’s presidential win. He was inaugurated in 2009, and the nation got a first couple who had so much mutual respect for each other and who also always always seemed so entirely in love. (Their first date is being made into a movie)
2010: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart
Obviously they took up much of the tabloid conversation for the run of the Twilight franchise and there a lot of timelines out there that show just how much the two dodged the question of if they were dating or not. So here they are named power couple of 2010, because, come on, they were definitely dating then.
2012: Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber
They dominated red carpets when they first stepped out as a couple in 2011, but by 2012, they’d survived a paternity suit scandal, engagement rumors, and an awkward kiss-cam moment. Unfortunately, young love isn’t easy and they broke up in November that year. (They’ve since gotten back together and broken up, like, a million times.)
2013: Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck
Knowing what you know now makes this one sad. Still, Garner and Affleck really seemed like the perfect relationship, with the perfect family, for a long time. They were both huge movie and TV stars, they were constantly spotted spending quality time with their kids, they both always seemed so chill in interviews, and when Affleck called their marriage “the best kind of work” in his 2013 Oscar acceptance speech, it seemed genuine. Anyway…
2015: Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris
He supported her throughout her “1989” tour, at the Billboard Music Awards, and against Avril Lavigne and Zayn. Until things got ugly.
2017: Jay-Z and Beyoncé
There’s just no way not to list them twice, especially not this year, when Jay-Z released 4:44, addressing the cheating rumours laid out on Lemonade, and the couple welcomed twins Sir and Rumi. Consider them the greatest power couple of all time.
2018: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry started dating Meghan in fall 2016, but 2018 was their year. They got married on May 19 in a ceremony held at Windsor Castle, attended by George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Serena Williams, Victoria and David Beckham, Priyanka Chopra, Elton John, and many more. Now say hello to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.