The way they were: 16 celebrity couples we wish had never parted

We got to all the trouble of fusing their names together, only to be heartbroken when they call it quits

As news broke this week of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne calling it a day on their marriage after 33 years, it got us (rather morbidly, perhaps) thinking of all the couples we wish had never split.

Think: the Britneys and Justins; the Heidis and Seals; the Bennifers.

Okay, maybe not the latter, but still.

At first we wistfully began to reminisce about the 90s: is there any denying that the world was a far more interesting place when Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley were hand-in-hand on the red carpet or Kate and Johnny were being shot by fashion photographers and just generally being the most divine looking couple on the planet?

Or if you throw it back even further, don’t you wish you could have gone on holiday to the Bahamas with Angelica Houston and Jack Nicholson?

Oh to be a fly on the wall in so many of these fantastical A-List relationships over the year but alas, it seems as the years go on, more and more power couples divide, not conquer.

So if you’re in our camp of pining for the duos that once were, have a look at list and reminisce about the good ol’ days…

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston (1998 – 2005)

Sure, David and Victoria Beckham used to dress the same, as did Justin and Britney, but never have we met a couple who mirrored each other so stylishly. Reportedly, this gorgeous duo met back in 1998 after both their agents set them up on a blind date that obviously went well because they married in 2000. But as all good things do, it came to an end when they divorced 5 years later. Something tells us you know how this one panned out…

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (1963 – 1976)

Their love story had the makings of a Hollywood movie. From the moment their eyes met on the set of Cleopatra in 1963, the two stars were consumed with one another. In fact, for so long did their first on-screen kiss last that the director – supposedly – had to ask them whether he could say ‘cut’. As the legend goes, they carried on kissing. Needless to say, they had the kind of chemistry that could cause as much turbulence as it could passion. You can’t keep clapping a couple of sticks of dynamite together without expecting them to blow up,’ Richard famously said. This resulted in 2 divorces (yes, they got married to each other twice) and eventually, a great friendship.

Plus, if you’ve got time: we’d highly recommend you reading Burton’s beautifully passionate love letters to Taylor too.

Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears (1999 – 2002)

Ahhh, the famous mouseketeers who found love on the rise to popstar stardom (he was her first kiss when they were 13 – cute!). If we were all part of a worldwide prom back then, they would have been our prom king and queen – in matching outfits, obvs. But the dream all came crashing down in 2002. Rumour has it though that things came to an end after Britney reportedly cheated on Justin, which inspired his best selling song, Cry Me A River – ouch!

Cameron Diaz and Matt Dillon (1995 – 1998)

Contrary to popular belief, these two didn’t meet on the set of There’s Something About Mary. Actually, they met in Minnesota while he was starring in Beautiful Girls and she was filming Feeling Minnesota. In an interview in 2006, Matt hinted that one of the reasons for the split was his desire to start a family. He told Parade magazine: ‘I sometimes think love is God’s way of hoodwinking people into having kids… You fall in love and all that passion goes into procreating and wanting children.’

Sarah Paulson and Cherry Jones (2004 – 2009)

The couple were refreshingly open about their relationship in a time when a lot of people were afraid. In 2007, they declared their love for each other during an interview with Velvetpark at Women’s Event 10 for the LGBT Center of NYC and when Cherry won the Tony for Doubt in 2005, she created a bit of a buzz when she kissed Sarah on national television. But when Cherry accepted her Emmy in 2009, there was no mention of Paulson – and people noticed.

Kate Moss and Johnny Depp (1994 – 1998)

Perhaps the most famous relationship of the nineties (maybe even of all time) starred these two. They reportedly met in New York City at Cafe’s Tobaco in 1994 – you can just imagine: Kate oozing 90s chic grunge and Johnny all chiselled with shoulder length hair – and fell madly in love from the get-go. Chaos surrounded their relationship if reports at the time were to be believed, but they were still every 20 something’s idea of the perfect relationship.

Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley (1987 – 2000)

Anyone who can go through what these two did while they were together and still remain the closest of friends long after, deserves to be admired. They were red carpet royalty and the golden couple of British film in the 90s. But everything dissolved following his embarrassing arrest after being caught with prostitute Divine Brown. Naughty Hugh.

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber (2010 – 2014)

This cute-as-a-button couple are a latter day pop answer to Justin and Britney. Tongues started wagging when they appeared together on stage at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and Belieber hearts broke when they were spotted holding hands in February the year after. They then endured a fake fan pregnancy, a fight with a photographer, a possible engagement, a few cheating allegations and a trip to rehab. All substantial reasons for their eventual breakup.

Kirsten Dunst and Jake Gyllenhaal (2002 – 2004)

Introduced by his older sister, Maggie, these two ended up sharing a home together in the Hollywood Hills and a German Shepherd mix named Atticus. They were like the sweet, homely apple pie of Hollywood relationships, often papped outside events either hugging each other, giggling together or both. However, it wasn’t too last and the pair called it quits two years later.

Kate Moss and Jefferson Hack (1999 – 2003)

Now this story is made up of journalism dreams. Can you imagine interviewing one of the world’s hottest women and ending up having a baby with them? Jefferson did. Supposedly during a 1999 interview for magazine, Dazed & Confused, Jefferson asked: ‘There’s been a lot of different men mentioned in your life recently, but no one permanent relationship. Is there no one out there good enough for you?’ The pair hooked up almost immediately and dated for four years, during which time they had a daughter named, Lila Grace.

Lisa Bonnet and Lenny Kravitz (1987 – 1993)

Never has a couple conveyed as much cool. Lenny Kravitz married The Cosby Show actress when the two eloped in Las Vegas in 1987, on Lisa’s 20th birthday, and in 1988, the young couple had a daughter named Zoë. They stayed married for several years before divorcing in 1993 and although Lisa remarried, the two are still very close, as evidenced above when they attended the Met Ball 2015 together – friendliest exes ever?

Fergie and Prince Andrew (1991 – 1993)

They’re the childhood friends who met occasionally at polo matches and became re-acquainted at Royal Ascot in 1985. A year later they were married in Westminster Abbey where the Queen bestowed them with the title of Duke and Duchess of York. But by 1991, the marriage was in trouble and the couple had drifted apart. While her husband was away on duty, the Duchess was frequently seen in the company of other men, notably Texan multimillionaire Steve Wyatt and on the 19th of March 1993, they announced their separation. The two remain firm friends however, with Fergie describing Andrew as the greatest man ever. Sweet.

Heidi Klum and Seal (2003 – 2012)

Famous for their annual renewal of wedding vowels – and epic Halloween parties – these two seemed like the most loved up couple there ever was. He adopted her daughter with ex Flavio Briatore in 2009, they had three children of their own and dressed up every year for Halloween (the latter is obviously VERY important). Then it all came crumbling down in 2012. Oh dear.

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (1988 – 2009)

In an industry where the 7 year itch is scratched far too often, these two seemed unbreakable. The parents of two sons and partners for 23 years, Susan and Tim really had us believing in ’til death do us part’. Alas, bliss came to a sudden halt when Robbins went through what he described as ‘a midlife crisis’ and within just a few months one of Hollywood’s most enduring couples had separated. Seriously, where are the tissues?

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder (1989 – 1993)

Before there was Kate, there was Winona. After meeting two months earlier at the Great Balls of Fire premiere, the two started what can only be described as a whirlwind romance. During their relationship, Johnny had ‘Winona Forever’ tattooed on his arm (which post-split he changed to ‘wino forever’) and popped the question after two years together. Although they stayed engaged for a good three years, the two never ended up tying the knot.


Will Arnett and Amy Poehler (2003 – 2012)

Who needs core exercises when you have a partner who’s just as funny as you? Together they starred in Blades of Glory, Monster vs Aliens and Spring Breakdown, providing stomach-crunching gags that had us clapping for more. Unfortunately, in the same year that saw a number of other famous couples split – these went their seaprate ways as well.

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