The renowned English author and legendary writer Oscar Wilde once wrote, “Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second, marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.” What would he make of the idea of remarrying someone who already divorced? He might have recommended it as a way to save on alimony payments. There is no database or self-help book that that proves or concludes marrying a former spouse is a sure-fire road to happiness. Ordinary people can go their entire lives without meeting someone who’s done it.
There is no statistical survey that says it happens more often in the rarified social circles inhabited by the rich and famous, but it does look that way. Such a story in the general population might have a touching and romantic qualities, but among celebrities, it often comes in a long line of questionable, self-indulgent behaviours. It does defy explanation as to why those with good fortune, good looks, genius and/or money would feel compelled to circle back to tie the knot with someone they have already demonstrated an incompatibility, especially when the world is their oyster and their problem is too many rather than too few possibilities. If this list of 15 celebs who’ve rekindled the train wreck of a failed marriage proves anything, it’s that the practice has transcended generations and is alive and well in the 21st century.
15. Jean-Claude Van Damme And Gladys Portugues
The Belgian-born martial artist who became an action-movie actor had four marriages, two of which were with competitive body-builder Gladys Portugues. To say the Muscles from Brussels, as he was called, had a film career would be an overstatement. When Portugues left him, whatever box-office appeal he had dried up. There were short-lived marriages, substance abuse, and psychological problems. Seriously on the skids in the late ’90s, he reached out for help to salvage his life and found Portugues again. They married again in 1999 and despite filing for divorce in 2015, they stayed together. A part in The Expendables 2 — thanks to Sylvester Stallone — led to more work and his life turned around.
14. Frida Kahlo And Diego Rivera
Yes, their love story may be almost a century-old, but it is one for the ages, two of Mexico’s greatest artistic icons and painters who are internationally known. Rivera was a mural painter and left-wing activist. He met Kahlo in her early 20s but had a wandering eye. Nicknamed The Elephant and The Dove, the strong-willed couple had a stormy first marriage from 1929 to 1939. Their second try was the same, but they apparently concluded in a romantic fashion that living without each other was even worse and they remained together until the end.
13. Elon Musk And Talulah Riley
Talulah Riley is considered to be one of the most beautiful British actresses. She has appeared in the legendary British sci-fi series Doctor Who and the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Elon Musk, on the other hand, is the visionary businessman behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX. After two years of dating, they married in 2010 and divorced in 2012, only to remarry the following year. By the end of 2014, they split once again. The mystery remains as to why two people blessed with access to magical worlds of wealth, celebrity, and power feel compelled to marry and divorce each other twice in four years. It’s at least a source of comfort to the rest of us that men and women who have done so many things spectacularly right mess up so badly in affairs of the heart.
12. NeNe And Gregg Leakes
If you watched the reality show Real Housewives of Atlanta, you probably know all about this marriage and breakup. For those who didn’t, it’s a splendid tale of celebrities doing what they do best — make a public spectacle of their private lives. The reality series has been running so long, it’s now an acronym — RHOA — but the tabloid interest in it and its stars remains strong, even though Gregg’s health does not. NeNe ended an episode in tears as he was taken off to a hospital for tests. She is truly a reality-show queen. She had parts in Glee and The New Normal, but the 50-something celeb owes her fame to Housewives and their many tangled webs, including a spinoff show about her second wedding to Gregg. They were married first for 14 years and divorced in 2011. They remarried in 2013 and remain together, either for love or as a sound business decision. It makes more sense than most other couples here, right?
11. Elizabeth Taylor And Richard Burton
These two may be a tad dated but make no mistake, they may be the true heavyweights of marital dysfunction. In an era before reality TV and the 24-hour news cycle, they managed to live out their tumultuous relationship in full public view for years, which is no small accomplishment. They met and began their obsession with each other on the set of the 1963 blockbuster film Cleopatra. They were already married to other people at the time, but it obviously didn’t stop them from falling in love. Their love battles were fuelled by fame, ego, and copious amounts of alcohol. They were married from 1964 to 1974 and then 1975 to 1976. Late in life, and in failing health, she said that of all her 8 husbands, Burton was the only one she really loved. Sometimes, love is just hard. Or perhaps they shared two public addictions that tragically fuelled each other.
10. Sinbad And Meredith Fuller
No one will try to tell you that David Adkins, better known as Sinbad, is the greatest black comic since Eddie Murphy. But he’s an acknowledged stand-up comic with a few series to his credit. True, his film career may have peaked with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Christmas movie Christmas All the Way, but he was big enough in popular culture to be invited on a USO Tour with then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. He married Meredith Fuller in 1985 when she was a student at Wichita State and he was in the Air Force. They divorced in 1992 but would reconcile and remarry ten years later. He had gone off to seek fame and fortune and she became an accountant and looked after the family. His fortunes fell dramatically enough to cause a bankruptcy in 2013. But they’re still together. He wrote once that marriage is like a full-time job.
9. Richard Pryor, Flynn Belaine And Jennifer Lee
Pryor was as edgy and profane as he was talented and troubled. He had problems, but finances weren’t among them. He passed soon after turning 65 in 2005, from heart failure and substance abuse. Much of his stuff is x-rated for profanity and he was uncommonly fond of swear words. He makes this list because he managed to remarry not just one, but two ex-wives: writer/ actress Flynn Belaine and producer/actress Jennifer Lee. He couldn’t have been an easy man to live with. It was like he was looking for answers he never found.
8. Elliott Gould And Jennifer Bogart
Gould will long be remembered for his role as Trapper John in the classic film MASH that was so successful, it gave birth the long-running TV show. He was also part of the ensemble of film icons including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts in Ocean’s 11 and its two sequels. Millennials will recall he was Ross and Monica’s father on Friends. As his career faltered, he met a much younger actress named Jennifer Bogart with a short filmography. They had 2 short marriages from in the ’70s. He told The Independent she was the best fighter he ever knew. He meant that in a good way. “She fights for life, he said.
7. Lana Turner And Steve Crane
Lana Turner was one of Hollywood’s great s*x symbols A small-town girl from Idaho, she was discovered by an agent in a malt shop. MGM signed her and dubbed her the “sweater girl” for her curvaceous figure. Long after she passed, Madonna paid tribute to her in her 1990 hit Vogue. But her life is a tragic example of how fame and fortune can be curses. Turner could have had any guy she wanted but had a knack for choosing Mr. Wrong. Her involvement with a suspected gangster led to murder and a sensational trial. Her daughter killed him while he was savagely beating her mother and was acquitted. Maybe that was why she returned to one of her lesser-known husbands, the B-Movie actor and restauranteur Steve Crane. Not that their relationship was the picture of marital bliss. Their first marriage lasted nine months and ended in 1943. They took a whole month off before getting back together for a year and a half before divorcing again.
6. Eminem And Kimberly Scott
Marshall Mathers and Kimberley Scott had known each other since they were teens and married in 1999. If you’ve ever listened to his song “Kim,” you’ll know that it didn’t exactly work out so well for them the first time around. His lyrics give us the impression that he actually hated her. How it lasted til 2001 is unfathomable. Their marriage was quite the rollercoaster. During the years they were married, there was a felony assault, a suicide attempt by Scott, and last but not least, a daughter. He told Rolling Stone in 2002 that he would rather have a baby himself than marry again. After two years of being married, they divorced, but then had a private ceremony back in 2006. They filed for divorce again less than a year later.
5. Dionne Warwick And William Elliott
Warwick is a giant of popular music and still tours. She also served as a United Nations ambassador. Despite all those hit records sold and concert income, she filed for bankruptcy in 2013. She first married the actor and drummer William Elliott in 1966 for a year. When she remarried him just a few months after the divorce, she said, according to The Daily Telegraph that she couldn’t live with him or without him. That would have been a happy ending but apparently, that sentiment was about as airtight as her tax returns. They divorced for good in 1975.
4. Marie Osmond And Stephen Craig
If you’ve been waiting for a real love story, this might be it. Osmond and Craig first married in 1982 but only lasted three years. Craig was a basketball player, then a motivational speaker. She was a member of the famous Mormon singing family, The Osmonds. She collaborated musically and on television with her brother and Donnie and Marie became household names. When she and Craig announced their second marriage almost 30 years after their first wedding, it was front-page news. She even wore the same wedding gown at the Las Vegas Mormon Temple.
3. Pamela Anderson And Rick Salomon
The Canadian-born Pamela Anderson burst upon the world as lifeguard C.J. Parker in the series Baywatch which allowed her to showcase her greatest assets, a face and figure that would put her on the cover of Playboy and a place in pop culture consciousness. It never did get much better unless you count Tool Time with Tim Allen as serious art. Her first husband, Tommy Lee, was arrested for spousal abuse and co-starred with her in a legendary homemade video that went viral. Her third husband, a marginal producer named Rick Salomon was famous for making one with Paris Hilton. Yet she would marry him twice. they were crazy about each other. In 2017, she began seeing a French soccer star. Which at least sounds like a potential upgrade considering she felt compelled to seek a restraining order against her last husband.
2. Melanie Griffith And Don Johnson
Griffith was 18 when she married Johnson for the first time. She came from a movie family and was typecast early as a foxy siren and made a lot of bad movies. While single, she had an active love life and had flings with some of Hollywood’s biggest names like Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Ryan O’Neal. Johnson became an icon in the ’80s with his hit series Miami Vice. Both with failing careers and substance issues, they remarried in 1989 and lasted for seven years. Perhaps more importantly, they had a daughter, Dakota, who would go into the acting business and take the role of Anastasia Steele in 50 Shades of Grey.
1. Paul Hogan And Noelene Edwards
There have been more famous breakups, but maybe not as bitter. Hogan had a good run as an A-List celebrity with the huge success of the Crocodile Dundee movies. The world couldn’t get enough of Dundee’s charming Aussie antics. His marital history is equally brazen and therefore of interest. He had five children in 23 years of marriage to Noelene Edwards who he divorced in 1981. For some reason, they quickly reconciled and remarried the following year. Their second attempt lasted until 1989. The following year, he traded her in for a newer model and married his fetching Dundee co-star Linda Kozolowski, who was born the same year Hogan married Noelene the first time. How bitter was the split? According to The Daily Mail, Edwards recently revealed they didn’t speak for 17 years.
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