Unless you've been in a coma for the past week, you already know the biggest news story right now is the upcoming divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
As much as we like to think of Hollywood as royalty, we need to face the facts: the kings and queens of the silver screen just were not meant to marry each other. It never ends well.
In tribute to Katie earning her freedom from Tom "science fiction is my religion" Cruise, I thought I would share with you the most famous Hollywood divorces in history.
Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (America's Sweethearts)
These silent films stars became the first Hollywood power-couple, winning the hearts of movie fans all over the world and setting tabloids on fire. Of course, it started out as a scandal. Mary was already married to another man when she started secretly dating the swashbuckling action star Doug. To preserve her wholesome, apple-pie public image, the movie star quickly divorced her first husband and made it legal with her leading man.
But when talkies came around, their careers couldn't survive and neither did their marriage. Doug grew restless and sailed overseas, only to fall in love with a high-society beauty. Mary stayed in the U.S. and filed for divorce.
Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher (Scandal of the Century)
They seemed like the perfect couple. Publicity photos of them revealed two happy 20-somethings on the brink of Hollywood stardom and newlywed life. They had a son and a daughter. But their promising marriage came to an abrupt end when Debbie's best friend, Elizabeth Taylor, put the moves on her husband.
Eddie, stunned that such a gorgeous woman would ever fall in love with him, eagerly left his wife and kids for the Hollywood glam queen. It was the first Hollywood scandal of epic proportions. Liz, who later coldly dumped Eddie for Richard Burton, became a tabloid sensation after breaking up the marriage. Debbie and Liz didn't speak for decades after the incident, but both made amends on Liz's deathbed last year.
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz (Who Loves Lucy?)
America's Favorite Redhead and her handsome Cuban hubby were the most famous television stars during the 1950s. Their marriage may have looked hilarious and loving on screen, but behind the scenes it was full of unhappiness.
Starring in a show together and owning a production company proved too much stress for the famous couple. After almost 20 years of marriage and two children, they called it quits, but remained life-long friends.
Cher and Sonny Bono (The Odd Couple)
Cher was a teenage high school drop out when she met the much-older Sonny in Hollywood. Both were desperately trying to break into showbiz. After living together, the two best friends fell in love. It wasn't long before the struggling musicians realized their marriage could be utilized for success. They released quirky duos and found instant fame. They later started the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, which became legendary.
As Cher got older, however, she resented her husband's controlling and possessive nature. She wanted to be independent. The couple split in 1975. They have a son.
Madonna and Sean Penn (The Fame Whores)
Nobody wanted fame more than Madonna. And what better way to capitalize on her pop star status than to marry a Hollywood bad boy? It was the most publicized wedding of the century. It was also the most turbulent romance in history, with public screaming matches and Sean's violent anger towards his wife's mega-fame. He even served more than a month in prison for viciously attacking a photographer.
After four years of marriage in 1989, both Madonna and Sean were sick of each other and filed for divorce. They had no children.
Christie Brinkley and Billy Joel (The rock star & the supermodel)
Hollywood was a magical place in the 1980s, especially when Billy Joel married his Uptown Girl, Christie. She was the All-American beauty every girl in the world wanted to be. The two wed the same year as Madonna and Sean, in a more private ceremony. Teenage girls and soft rock enthusiasts thought it was a match made in heaven.
But it wasn't. Nine years later, Christie and her millionaire lover survived a near-fatal helicopter crash in snowy mountains. Realizing life was short, she sent Billy divorce papers immediately after she was rescued.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman (Tom's Destruction: Part I)
Hollywood couldn't have dreamed of a better couple. Nobody was more famous than these two lovebirds during the 1990s. They starred in movies together. They smooched on the red carpet. They blinded the world with their bright smiles and jaw-dropping beauty.
Unfortunately for Tom, Nicole was too smart for him. Ten years into their marriage, she ditched Tom's controlling ways and Scientology obsession for something more sacred: a life. Unfortunately for Nicole, the divorce came with a price. Tom has restricted their two adopted children from having much contact with her.
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt (The Good Girl & The Bad Boy)
Hollywood fairytales were shattered permanently when this marriage went to hell. Jen and Brad had just decorated their dream home and they were trying to conceive a child when Brad began filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith. But the dream died when Jen's husband met Angie Voight.
Poor Jen didn't stand a chance. Like Debbie Reynolds 50 years before, she watched her husband frolic delightfully with Angelina Jolie all over the tabloids. Their five-year marriage ended in 2005.
What do you think of these Hollywood divorces? Which one shocked you the most? Is there one you think should be on the list?
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