Ah, young love. Everyone can remember that first teenage crush, that first long-term relationship and that first love the heart knows will never, ever die. Until, of course, it does. For the vast majority of people, a prom picture is the most formal first taste of love one ever gets. But for some, the tidal wave of emotion can’t be resisted and it sweeps them into something more permanent (or at least more permanently scarring). They get married.
Maybe there’s something about Hollywood that exaggerates this. The star factory can force people to grow up quickly. It’s probably the only place where a person can become rich and famous before they reach puberty. It’s also a place where fame and success can disappear as quickly as it came, forcing stars to live fast in order to enjoy it. With that in mind, here are 12 of the best known celebrities that have gotten married before they reached their 20th birthdays.
12. Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore did everything young. She was appearing in movies by the age of 5, became famous by the age of 7 and was going to rehab at age 14. She also got married for the first time at age 19.
Barrymore had actually been engaged twice before she tied the knot. At age 16, she became engaged to Leland Hayward, who was, like her, the scion of an old Hollywood family. After that relationship fizzled, she got engaged to Jamie Walters, best known for his song “How Do You Talk To An Angel” and his role on Beverly Hills, 90210.
Her relationship to Walters eventually fell apart as well and in 1994, Barrymore impulsively married bar owner Jeremy Thomas. She filed for divorce after a couple of months.
11. Solange Knowles
With big sister Beyoncé (who is 5 years older) cranking up the spotlight for the entire family, Solange Knowles had to grow up fast to keep up. Her first album came out when she was still a teenager, complete with a headlining tour, appearances on national TV and a burgeoning acting career. Her first marriage came as a teenager as well. She married Daniel Smith when she was just 19 years old and, almost exactly 9 months later, gave birth to her son.
Solange and Smith were divorced by 2007. In 2014, she got hitched again, marrying director Alan Ferguson.
Although it’s a dangerous temptation to start spouting inappropriate R.Kelly jokes, it would be impossible to do a list of top teen brides without including Aaliyah. The singer was a sensation in the early-to-mid 1990s, appearing on Star Search at 10 and signing a record deal at 12. It was during the production of her first album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number, that she met Kelly, who took her under his wing.
He produced the album and wrote all but one of the songs. The two also might have been secretly (and illegally) married around that time, when she was just 15 years old.
Aaliyah eventually moved on from Kelly. Her second album, released 2 years later, had no input from him. Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 at only 22 years old. Kelly would become infamous after a sex video surfaced allegedly showing him with an underage girl. Charges were filed against the star, but he was eventually acquitted.
9. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde rose to fame with roles on The O.C. and House MD and is now one of the most alluring stars in Hollywood. But few realize that she was married through most of her meteoric rise, tying the knot at age 19 to Tao Ruspoli, an Italian filmmaker of aristocratic heritage.
Unlike most of the teen weddings on this list, the marriage lasted a relatively long time (by Hollywood standards). The union, which began in 2003, lasted until 2011. Wilde is now engaged to actor Jason Sudeikis.
8. Demi Moore
The marriage to the much-younger Kutcher was a sensation at the time, the apex of cougar culture. But for Moore, the relationship mirrored her first union, not the one to Willis, but a previous little-known relationship that took place before she was famous.
In 1980, the 17-year-old future star (then known as Demi Guynes) married songwriter Freddy Moore, who was 30. The marriage lasted until 1985, by which time she had begun her film career and had started building a reputation using her married name of “Moore.”
7. Melanie Griffith
The marriage between Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson is probably best known now for bringing us Dakota Johnson, star of 50 Shades Of Grey. But in the early 1990s, the pair was a hot Hollywood couple – he was coming off a successful run in Miami Vice and she was the star of Working Girl and Bonfire Of The Vanities.
But most people don’t remember that their power couple days were actually the second go-around for Johnson and Griffith. They were married briefly in 1976, when Griffith was just 18 (they had started dating when she was 14 and he was 22). They were divorced within 6 months, but reconnected in the 80s. They eventually divorced again in 1996.
6. Macaulay Culkin
Most of the people on this list are women. (Maybe that just proves the old adage: girls mature faster than boys). But one high-profile teen groom makes the run-down as well. Macaulay Culkin was acting before he was 5 years old and was a star by the time he was 10. At 17, already retired from acting, he married fellow child actor Rachel Miner. The marriage, which began in 1998, was over by 2002.
While Culkin has only acted sporadically since his retirement at age 14, Miner worked steadily after the marriage broke up, though her career has slowed in recent years amid reports that the 35-year-old has Multiple Sclerosis.
5. LeAnn Rimes
LeAnn Rimes is another member of this list who had everything come early: career, money, fame and of course, marriage. After topping the country charts as a teenager, she married dancer Dean Sheremet. The wedding took place in 2002, when the singer was just 19.
The marriage became tabloid fodder 7 years later when Rimes was caught in an affair with actor Eddie Cibrian, who was also married at the time. Rimes eventually divorced Sheremet and married Cibrian.
4. Kim Kardashian
Before she was the wife of Kanye West and the mother of his children, before she was the centerpiece of a reality TV empire, before she became famous for her sex tape or for her friendship with Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian was a teen bride.
In 2000, Kardashian married Damon Thomas, a music producer who worked with acts like Babyface and Pink. She was 19 at the time, about 10 years younger than her new husband. They divorced in 2003, by which time she was already dating Ray J, her partner in the infamous sex tape that would help cement her stardom.
For most of the celebrities on this list, teenage marriage was a prelude (or at least a sideshow) to their Hollywood success. For Cher, the wedding was the start of her rise to fame. As a teenager, Cher dropped out of school and began dancing around Los Angeles, where she met an aspiring singer/songwriter named Sonny Bono. The two became a couple, both professionally and romantically. They married in October of 1964, when Cher was 18.
The following year, Sonny and Cher released their first studio album, Look At Us, which included the number-one single “I Got You Babe.” The couple got their own network variety show in the 1970s, but their marriage and their professional partnership deteriorated. By 1975, the show had been cancelled and the pair were divorced.
2. Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was known for a lot of things. One of them was marrying well. In 1942, she married Joe DiMaggio, one of the best known athletes of his era. After that failed, she married Arthur Miller, one of America’s greatest playwrights and author of Death of a Salesman and The Crucible.
But most people forget that the era’s greatest sex symbol was married once before. At 16, a pre-fame Marilyn (then known as by her given name of Norma Jean) married factory worker James Dougherty. While married to Dougherty, she began modeling and eventually divorced him to chase Hollywood fame.
1. Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor is the queen of teenage brides, if only because she made such an art of getting married through the rest of her life. Eventually, she would get hitched 8 times to 7 different men. But the first time’s always special, right? In 1950, Taylor was, at the tender age of 18, already a major star, appearing in films such as Lassie Come Home, National Velvet and Little Women. That year she married hotel heir Conrad Hilton, Jr. (Paris Hilton’s great-uncle), himself only in his mid-twenties at the time. The union was a major media event – Taylor’s movie studio used it to promote her film Father Of The Bride, which came out that year.
The movie has held up better than the marriage, however, with the couple divorcing the following year. This would kick off a steady stream of marriage and scandal that would last throughout the rest of Taylor’s life.
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