Hollywood marriages and relationships aren’t famous for their stability. It may be more convenient for celebrities to get divorced because both people are usually financially well-off, which makes going it alone a lot easier. Actors and musicians also have busy schedules, which can stand in the way of regular date nights or binge-watching Netflix for a full weekend.
Dating a celebrity can be hard no matter what; and if one-half of the couple isn’t famous, things can easily become even more problematic. Tensions can arise if one person isn’t used to the spotlight, or if there is a major difference in lifestyles. But while marrying a famous person may be difficult, it’s not impossible. Some Hollywood couples make their non-celebrity pairings work, like Hugh Jackman's marriage to Deborra-Lee Furness that has lasted for more than two decades. Jackman credits their strong marriage partly to the fact that they got together before he was famous. Director Ron Howard is still married to his high school sweetheart, and Matt Damon married a bartender he met early in his career. Meanwhile, Grammy-winner Adele makes it work with the CEO of a philanthropic organization.
Stacker combed through bio pages and news reports to see which famous people married non-celebrity counterparts. Some couples are just starting out, while others have been together for decades.
Click through to see which stars are married to people who aren’t famous.
Matt Damon and Lucy Barroso are possibly Hollywood’s most well-known famous-not-famous couple. The two met in 2003, while Barroso was bartending and Damon was filming "Stuck on You.” Damon says he saw his future wife from across the room and headed straight over for a conversation. Barroso, who tells the story a little differently, says "The Martian” actor was just trying to hide from fans. Even though he was becoming famous, that didn’t stop her from putting him to work behind the bar.
Funnyman Paul Rudd married former publicist Julie Yaeger in 2003. The two met after Rudd—who had recently starred in "Clueless”—moved to New York, arriving at Yaeger’s workplace in search of a publicist. Julie Yaeger Rudd sometimes works with her actor husband, although she takes on a behind-the-scenes role. She wrote the screenplay for "Fun Mom Dinner,” which Rudd acted in and executive produced.
Actress Reese Witherspoon married Jim Toth, a talent agent, in 2011. The couple had their first child—Tennessee James Toth—in 2012. Toth works at Creative Artists Agency, where Witherspoon is a client, and the couple met through mutual friends at a party in Los Angeles. Witherspoon was previously married to fellow actor Ryan Phillippe, with whom she has two children.
Actor Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Thomas, a yoga instructor, married in 2011 and have four children together. Hilaria says she didn’t know anything about the "30 Rock” actor when they met. After learning Baldwin was pre-diabetic, his health-conscious wife helped the actor adopt a healthier diet to shed 30 pounds.
Comedian Tina Fey and her composer husband, Jeff Richmond, have known each other since the ‘90s during Fey’s improv days at Chicago’s Second City. They also worked together while Fey was head writer and Richmond was musical director at "Saturday Night Live,” and most recently collaborated on the musical adaptation of Fey’s film "Mean Girls.” The couple married in 2001, and have two daughters.
Comedian Amy Schumer married chef Chris Fischer in 2018 after planning the wedding in only a few days. The world learned about their relationship—and Schumer’s pregnancy—mostly through Schumer’s Instagram account. They are expecting their first child this year. While Fischer may not be as recognizable as his new bride, he is a James Beard Award-winning chef who wrote a successful cookbook: "The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook.”
Actor George Clooney was one of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelors until he met Amal Alamuddin, an international human rights lawyer. The couple met through a mutual friend in 2013 at Clooney’s home in Lake Como, and married a year later. The actor, who told David Letterman that his agent predicted the marriage, is now a father of twins.
Actress and entrepreneur Jessica Alba married film producer Cash Warren in 2008. Alba says she felt an instant attraction when she met her future husband in 2004 on the set of "Fantastic Four.” She was starring as Sue Storm, and Warren was working as a production assistant. The two—who share three children—continue to gush about each other on social media. Alba took to Instagram on Warren’s 39th birthday to say she’s "so proud to be (his) partner in life.”
"Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson is a little embarrassed to tell people where he met his husband, a lawyer and activist who worked with the American Foundation for Equal Rights. Ferguson often tells people they were introduced through mutual friends, but they really met at the gym. The two got married in 2013, and hope to have kids one day.
In 1993, Elton John met the love of his life at his own dinner party. John said he "was attracted to David immediately," and asked Furnish out for a private meal the following evening. The couple was one of the first to form a civil partnership in the United Kingdom, and married nine years later when same-sex marriage became legal in their country.
The former "Daily Show” host met Tracey McShane—a former veterinary technician-turned-author—shortly after "The Jon Stewart Show” was cancelled in 1995. The meeting almost didn’t happen, but a friend convinced McShane to go on the blind date. Stewart later proposed to McShane through a New York Times crossword puzzle, and the couple married in 2000.
Prompted by a question-and-answer session with fans, "Late Show” host Stephen Colbert shared the story of how he met his wife. Colbert was considering marrying another woman at the time, but knew it wasn’t going to happen when he saw Evelyn McGee across the lobby at a musical in Charleston, S.C. Colbert said he immediately thought "Her. There’s your wife, you’re going to marry her.” They met in 1990, and tied the knot three years later.
Comedian Will Ferrell and Viveca Paulin met in acting class in 1995, and married five years later. Paulin—who has an art history degree—has played minor roles in films like "A Night at the Roxbury” and is actively involved in the Southern California arts community. She helped found the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Contemporary Friends. What does the "Anchorman” star love most about his wife? Her sense of humor.
When she was cast in "Black Swan,” actress Natalie Portman probably wasn’t expecting to get both a husband and an Oscar from the film. Portman met her future husband Benjamin Millepied, a ballet dancer, when he was choreographing her Academy Award-winning role. They married in 2012, and have two children.
The "Tonight Show” host met film producer Nancy Juvonen during filming for "Fever Pitch” in 2005. Fallon and Juvonen started dating two years later, and married on Dec. 29, 2007 on Richard Branson’s Necker Island in the Caribbean.
While some people like to avoid dating their coworkers, Kimmel and McNearney met on the job. The talk show host met his future wife when she was a writer’s assistant at "Jimmy Kimmel Live,” where she is now co-head writer. The two didn’t start dating immediately—they were both in relationships when they met—but they married in 2013. They have two children together, including a son who was born with a congenital heart defect.
Ron Howard, the former child star and immensely successful director, married his high school sweetheart Cheryl Alley in 1975. They have stayed together for nearly 50 years. Alley, a writer with a degree in geriatric psychology, has appeared in some of Howard’s films, including "Splash,” "Willow,” and "A Beautiful Mind.”
Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock first met at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2006. The "American Idol” winner was set to perform with Rascal Flatts; Blackstock was the group’s tour manager. They didn’t start dating until six years later—after Blackstock got divorced and his father, Clarkson’s manager, reintroduced the two. They got engaged less than a year later, and were married in in 2013 at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.
The "Grey’s Anatomy” star has managed to keep her relationship with music producer Chris Ivery relatively private. The two met at a grocery store in Los Angeles in 2003, and began dating six months later. When they decided to get married a year into their relationship, they held a private ceremony—officiated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg—sans guests at New York City Hall.
Actress and comedian Wanda Sykes married French native Alex Niedbalski on Oct. 25, 2008, shortly before Proposition 8—a measure that outlawed previously legal same-sex ceremonies in California—was overturned. Sykes doesn’t talk publicly about her relationship, but she did tell Oprah about "an amazing moment” when she introduced Niedbalski as her "wife” to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Sykes and Niedbalski became the parents of twins a year later.
The "Fight Club” star dated film producer Shauna Robertson for six years before getting married. The two got engaged in 2011, and wed a year later. The couple doesn’t share many details about their relationship or family, but they have two children. While Norton is famous for his acting roles, Robertson stays behind the scenes. Her producing resume includes Judd Apatow films like "The 40-Year-Old-Virgin,” "Anchorman,” and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”
Woody Harrelson met his future wife in 1987 while filming "Cheers.” They didn’t appear on-screen together; Laura Louie was his assistant for a couple of years on the classic television series. In 2008, they tied the knot in a low-key ceremony at their home in Maui, Hawaii. According to Harrelson, the wedding only cost about $500. Together the couple has three kids.
Josh Brolin was married to fellow celebrity Diane Lane for nearly a decade, divorcing in 2013. Brolin married his former assistant, Kathryn Boyd, in 2016. The couple—who share plenty of photos of themselves on Instagram—dated for three years before getting hitched. Boyd, a former model who, launched a line of premium denim—Midheaven Denim—specifically for women with long legs.
Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett first met her husband, playwright Andrew Upton, on the set of a TV show in 1996. Blanchett says they didn’t immediately hit it off, but they got engaged three weeks after their first kiss, and wed in 1997. Upton now playfully refers to himself as "the hand,” since that is the only thing left of him in cropped photos with his wife on the red carpet.
Actress Michelle Williams was famously married to her "Brokeback Mountain” co-star, actor Heath Ledger, who died in 2008. A decade later, the actress quietly wed indie musician Phil Elverum. The indie rocker, who lost his first wife to pancreatic cancer, lived in a small town in the Pacific Northwest until he married Williams and moved to Brooklyn. Elverum isn’t completely unknown, but his fame is nowhere near the height of his Oscar-nominated wife.
Margot Robbie didn’t appear often with husband Tom Ackerley until a year after they got married, but they walked the red carpet together in 2017. The two first became friends in 2013 on the set of "Suite Francaise,” where Ackerley was an assistant director. They went on to co-produce "I, Tonya,” where Robbie portrayed controversial Olympic ice skater Tonya Harding. They also founded the production company LuckyChap Entertainment (along with friends Josey McNamara and Sophia Kerr).
Jon Bon Jovi met wife Dorothea Hurley when the two were high schoolers in New Jersey. They married in 1989, and are still together almost 30 years later. The secret to their successful union? Bon Jovi credits his wife, with whom he shares four children, for being "the glue and the thread and needle, keeping it all together.”
During his acceptance speech for the 2019 Cecil B. DeMille Award, Jeff Bridges thanked his "sweetheart” Susan Geston, whom he has been married to for more than 40 years. "The Big Lebowski” star met Geston, then a waitress, while he was in town filming the 1975 film "Rancho Deluxe." They married in 1977, less than a week after he proposed.
In 2004, actress-turned-politician Cynthia Nixon met Christine Marinoni, a prominent LGBTQ and education activist who prefers to stay out of the spotlight. The couple married in 2012, one year after the birth of their son. Nixon and Marinoni met through their work for the Alliance for Quality Education. Before Marinoni, Nixon was married to another non-celebrity. She has two children with school teacher Danny Mozes.
In 2004, comedian Seth Rogen went to a birthday party in Los Angeles and met his future wife, Lauren Miller, who wrote and directed the Netflix film "Like Father.” Rogen proposed in 2010, and the couple celebrated by eating buffalo wings and watching "Top Chef.” They married in 2011. The couple has openly talked about Miller’s mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, which they faced only a few months into their relationship, and have since raised money to support research and awareness for the condition.