Typically celebrity marriages are very high-profile affairs: they’re a meeting of stars, a union of Gods. Stars tend to marry one another because no one else can relate to them, because they see each other at parties and around town, and because they want to preserve the mystique of their worshipped profession (nothing like marrying a measly busboy to muddy the cachet of superstardom).
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s marriage is the subject of intense media scrutiny all year long. As two of the hottest commodities in Hollywood, their “complicity” makes them even more intriguing. Their presence on the cover of a magazine guarantees sales. “What happens when they fly off their chateau in France?” People wonder. “Let’s find out!” Matt Damon’s wife, although she may be cute, is an effective nobody who is never going to compel people to spend their hard earned money to read about her apartment in Hoboken.
We define the term “fan” loosely here. We extend the meaning to anyone who might have been familiar with the person’s work. The assumption is that if they dated or sometimes married this person, then they’re automatically pleased by his or her work. Although Angelina Jolie might be Brad’s favorite actress, it would seem like a cop out to say that she had married a fan, you see?
All right, without further delay, click on, and discover the 10 celebrities who dated average civilians.
10. Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage met his current wife Alice Kim in 2004, when he went out to eat at Kabuki, the LA restaurant where she worked as a waitress. As she served his table, she mentioned that she was a big fan of Cage’s work (who knew those existed?) and the two eventually exchanged phone numbers. A few months later, they made an appearance together in which Kim had a baby bump. They wed in a private ceremony in North Carolina that same year. The couple is still married, with one child, even though Cage was arrested in 2011 on domestic abuse charges.
9. Matt Damon
As we mentioned earlier, Matt Damon’s current wife was just a regular girl before meeting the megastar once named People’s Sexiest Man Alive. The two met in the bar where she worked, in Miami, FL, in 2002. Damon was there shooting a movie with the Farrelly brothers. One night, after filming, he was dragged to a bar by cast and crew members wanting to go for a drink. It was there where he met his wife, Argentine immigrant Luciana Barroso. Ten years and four kids later, he and Barroso are still married and very much in love, as Damon recently explained to People magazine.
8. Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey, known principally from Grey’s Anatomy, is married to his once (and, until recently, still) hairstylist Jillian Fink. The two met way back in 1996 when Dempsey made an appointment to get his hair cut at the salon where she worked. She refused to believe it was the Patrick Dempsey until he walked through the door. Even though they flirted through the whole appointment, they waited three years before going on their first date because both of them were in other relationships. They finally ended up going out, hitting it off, and marrying in 1999. Unfortunately, they initiated divorce proceedings in May of this year.
7. Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts had a shot at Brad Pitt, but she went for a manual laborer instead. She met her current husband, cameraman Danny Moder, on set of The Mexican with Brad Pitt. Even though Hollywood’s sweetest hunk of man was within her grasp, she picked the crewmember. Unfortunately, they couldn’t technically date. Julia Roberts was involved with Benjamin Bratt and Moder was married to another woman. But they were in love, so Moder filed for divorce from his wife and got re-married to Roberts in 2002. They’re still married today with three children.
6. Conan O’Brien
Now Conan O’Brien is one celebrity on this list who literally and undeniably dated a fan of his. The first time he saw his wife Liza Powell (according to him: the moment he fell in love with her), she was sitting in the audience at a taping of Late Night With Conan O’Brien. According to him: “Somewhere, in the vault at NBC, there’s footage of me literally falling for my wife on camera.” Apparently she caught his eye because she’s quote “incredibly beautiful”, but kept it because she’s “very intelligent and funny and a really good person”. Although these are all darling things to say about your spouse, who was probably delighted to hear them, it kind of sounds to us like he’s justifying to his fans why he didn’t date someone a little better recognized…
5. Vince Vaughn
Another person who had a shot at Hollywood royalty and picked a civilian instead is Wedding Crashers funnyman Vince Vaughn. He and Jennifer Aniston dated after meeting on the set of The Breakup, which Jennifer was filming in the very vulnerable months after her divorce from Brad Pitt. But, after life imitated art and Vaughn and Aniston broke up, he moved on to Canadian real-estate agent Kyla Weber. The two got married in 2010. In an interview on Ellen, Vince Vaughn said that he had met the best girl in the world and that, if they had met sooner, he would already have been married. Strong language from the man responsible for the iconic bachelor flick Swingers.
4. Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo’s husband is a music producer, so only a couple degrees of separation away from legitimate stardom, but she would have no way of knowing that when they met, bumping into each other at the grocery store. In an almost fairy tale story, she and her husband Chris Ivery met each other when their carts collided in the dairy aisle, allowing their hearts to collide in the wedding aisle. They married four years later and now have one child together. According to Pompeo, she and Ivery have a strong bond. “He’s just a real companion.”
3. Jessica Alba
For a hot minute, Jessica Alba was the hottest woman in Hollywood. Alba met her husband Cash Warren on the set of Fantastic Four in 2004. Warren was a director’s assistant. He and the supreme beauty got along well, and she was spotted not long afterwards with an engagement ring on her finger. Now, Jessica Alba is no longer the ubiquitous sex symbol she once was, but her business savvy and work ethic have scored her a company (The Honest Co.) worth over a billion dollars, according to Forbes magazine.
2. Jerry Seinfeld
Believe it or not, Jerry Seinfeld is one of the richest men in Hollywood. His net worth is roughly $860 million, principally from re-run royalties of Seinfeld, which has probably been playing continuously on some channel or another since it ended in 1998. This is why it’s surprising that he, out of all people, would marry someone from a completely different tax bracket. Even though his wife, Jessica (nee Skylar, now Seinfeld) was a high-powered public relations executive, she was still in a whole other category from the near-billionaire. But fears of gold-digging didn’t deter him. After a few months of flirtation (and a divorce from the man she was with) she and Seinfeld hooked up. They’ve been together since 1999.
1. Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe’s divorce was one of Hollywood’s most mourned. They met when they were very young, on Witherspoon’s 21st birthday, and started dating shortly afterwards. People were sad because it was a glaring example of fiery young love not aging as well as the people in it. After their divorce, Reese had a couple of flings with other celebrities until finally landing on someone who wasn’t famous. She met her current husband, talent agent Jim Toth, when he intervened on behalf of his drunken friend who was hitting on her at a party. The two are now happily married and the drunken friend is now sober (perhaps…).