When you think about notable celebrity couples whose marriages went down in flames, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie come to mind. Or perhaps Katy Perry and Russell Brand. Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise? But for every celebrity marriage and subsequent divorce, there is a surprisingly long list of famous folks who tied the knot back in the day, called it quits, and moved on without us even remembering they were once husband and wife. Here are 10 surprising – and ill-conceived – marriages that come to mind.
Will Arnett and Penelope Ann Miller
In terms of relationships, Arnett is best known for his lengthy marriage to Amy Poehler, but several years before he pursued a career in Hollywood, the talented comedic actor married Kindergarten Cop actress Penelope Ann Miller. It took them all of one month to realize maybe they weren’t meant to spend the rest of eternity together.
Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis
Even before their marriage, it was clear that the two actors enjoyed being together. They first met on the set of the 1985 film Transylvania 6-5000 and went on to co-star in two additional movies: The Fly and Earth Girls Are Easy. They got married in Las Vegas in 1987 but had had enough by 1990. Goldblum is now married to a former Olympic gymnast 31 years his junior. Ah, the advantages of fame and wealth!
Elizabeth Moss and Fred Armisen
Armisen, a Saturday Night Live alumnus and the star of Portlandia was introduced to the two-time Primetime Emmy-winning actress through her Mad Men co-star Jon Hamm when he was hosting SNL. Even with the 16 year age gap, love was evidently in the air. Or not. They were married from 2009 to 2011, and it sounds like it wasn’t a very happy time. Fred has conceded that he was a “terrible husband” while Moss described the relationship as “traumatic.” And “awful.” Oh, and for good measure, “horrible.”
Kim Kardashian and Damon Thomas
Back in the days when the Kardashians were living the lives of a wealthy family without the cameras tracking their every move – and before that “TMZ wet dream” marriage to Kanye West – Kim had been in a quiet marriage to music producer Damon Thomas. At four years, it wasn’t as long as her marriage to Kanye (that one lasted 7 years) but it was twice as long (and therefore twice as amazing) as her marriage to retired NBA player Kris Humphreys.
Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett
Back in 1993 when Roberts announced her out-of-the-blue engagement to Lovett after a mere 3 weeks of dating, it caused a whole lot of head-scratching. Julia was at the pinnacle of her acting career and was regarded as one of the most beautiful people in the world. Meanwhile, her country singer husband looked more like some kind of terrible lab experiment gone awry. They divorced two years later as a result of “career demands.” Robert subsequently married cinematographer Daniel Moder in 2002 while Lovett married longtime partner April Kimble in 2017.
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Esposito
Cooper is one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed actors in the world today, with Grammy, Tony, and four Oscar nominations to his name. But back in 2005, when he was best known as the arrogant jerk in Wedding Crashers, he was dating fellow actor Jennifer Esposito, whom he secretly married in 2006. It was clearly a mistake as it only lasted for one year.
Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard
On the surface, this marriage seemed to make sense. Gibbard is the frontman for the alternative rock band Death Cab for Cutie while Zooey has a pretty good musical side career going along with being an A-list actress. But after two years of marriage, Deschanel filed for divorce in September 2011, citing “irreconcilable differences.” Zooey went on to marry film producer Jacob Pechenik in 2015, but that also ended in divorce 5 years later.
Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller
Most of you recall the odd marriage to Billy Bob Thorton, but there’s a really good chance you weren’t aware of Jolie’s first marriage to Miller, an actor best known for portraying Sherlock Holmes in the CBS series Elementary from 2012 to 2019. During their wedding in early 1996, Jolie wore a white t-shirt with “Jonny” written in her own blood. That sounds very gothic/vampirey. But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Within 18 months they had separated and the marriage was officially done-zo in 2000.
Jennifer Garner and Scott Foley
Garner and Foley met on the TV drama Felicity in 1998, in which Jennifer appeared in three episodes portraying his long-distance girlfriend. Real-life romance was in the air as well, as they exchanged vows in 2000. They divorced in 2003, with Garner becoming the future ex-wife of Ben Affleck.
Mario Lopez and Ali Landry
The former star of Saved by the Bell was briefly married to model and Miss Louisiana 1990 Ali Landry, best known as “The Doritos Girl” in a 1998 Super Bowl commercial. When we say “brief” we mean roughly the period of a satisfying European vacation: two weeks. But trouble was brewing even before Landry asked for an annulment. Lopez confessed on the Howard Stern Show that he had cheated on Ali before the marriage and that he wasn’t mature enough to commit himself to the relationship.