One of the few ways that celebrities are just like us is the way they handle relationships. Many celebs split up after a few years of dating or marriage. But after a couple has been together for decades, it’s usually a safe bet they will stay together.
Sometimes, though, longstanding celebrity couples will surprise us. In fact, many such couples have split up after a whopping 30 years together! Here are some of our fave celebrity couples that split up after being together for more than three decades.
Luciano Pavarotti and Adua Veroni: 39 years
You don’t have to be a student of music to know who Luciano Pavarotti is. After performing opera for many years, this skilled tenor started making popular music. And along the way, he made a real name for himself.
And his first wife, Adua Veroni, was by his side for most of this. They were actually together for 39 years and had three children together before splitting up in 2000. Pavarotti would marry his second wife, Nicoletta Mantovani, in 2003. But they only had a few years together before Pavarotti passed away in 2007.
Neil Young and Pegi Young: 36 years
Neil Young is a genuine living legend. He is more than just a skilled musician. His music, performances, and persona pretty much defined an entire era of popular music.
And while he was redefining what music could be, his wife, Pegi Young, was by his side. They were married 36 years and had two children together before the couple got divorced in 2014.
After dating for four years, Neil Young married famous actress Daryl Hannah in 2018.
Ben Vereen and Nancy Bruner: 36 years
Ben Vereen is a Tony award-winning stage actor and has been nominated for multiple Golden Globes and Emmys.
His wife, Nancy Bruner, had a front-row seat to Vereen’s success. And the two ended up raising five lovely children together. But in 2012, Vereen filed for divorce after 36 years of marriage.
Leonard Nimoy and Sandi Nimoy: 33 years
Star Trek is a franchise where many actors fear getting typecast as their characters (and rightfully so). But nobody made their character work quite as well as the late, great Leonard Nimoy. He perfectly embodied the Vulcan science officer Spock and effectively served as an even more recognizable face of the franchise than William Shatner’s Captain Kirk.
However, serving on a starship seems a little easier than a long-term relationship. In 1986, he divorced his wife, Sandi Nimoy, after 33 years of marriage. Despite being together for so long, he simply felt that this was the logical thing to do.
Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Lynton: 30 years
Hollywood legend Anthony Hopkins was with Jennifer Lynton for over 30 years and married for 29 years. And after they split, Hopkins revealed the surprising reason why they divorced in 2002.
And no, cheating did not play a part. As Deseret News reports, Hopkins said, “I live a separate life and am not very good with any relationships — with anyone.”
Clint Eastwood and Maggie Johnson: 31 years
Is there anything that can make the pain of a divorce any better? Well, if you ask Maggie Johnson, the answer might just be “a whole lot of money.”
She was married to famous actor Clint Eastwood for 31 years, from 1953–1984, and they had two children together. But after a couple of decades, things were falling apart due to Eastwood’s affairs. The two ended up separating six years before they got divorced.
Johnson walked away with at least $25 million in settlement money. That’s quite a bit of cash, but no replacement for love. Eastwood and Johnson both ended up divorced from their next spouses as well.
Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore: 30 years
Unless you listen to a lot of retro alternative music, the names Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore may not immediately ring a bell. But these two were part of the band Sonic Youth and helped to develop the musical tastes of an entire generation.
But after 30 years of being together and 29 years of marriage, Gordon filed for divorce from Moore in 2013. Her reasoning was straightforward: she discovered that Moore was having an affair! Unable to fully forgive him, these two iconic musicians decided to go their own way.
Jerry Lewis & Patti Palmer: 36 years
The late actor Jerry Lewis’s quirky brand of comedy helped to bring movies to life back in the days when Hollywood still felt young.
Way back in 1944, he married Patti Palmer. They were married for 36 years and actually had six children (all sons) together. But Jerry Lewis had a constant string of affairs that ultimately spelled the end of this relationship.
Ann Landers and Jules Lederer: 36 years
The marriage of Ann Landers and Jules Lederer was an unusual one. After all, she was a famous advice columnist and he was the founder of Budget Rent-a-Car. Still, they made it work for 36 years.
That is, until Lederer had an affair with another woman. When he admitted this to Landers, it led to their divorce.
Buddy Ebsen and Nancy Wolcott: 39 years
Buddy Ebsen is most famous for starring in The Beverly Hillbillies. But he had a long and storied Hollywood career that ran from early work on The Wizard of Oz to a major role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Offscreen, the love of his life was Nancy Wolcott. She and Ebsen were married nearly 40 years and had five children together. Sadly, the couple divorced back in 1985, though Ebsen would go on to find happiness with his third wife Dorothy Knott until his death in 2003.