Celebrities like Blake Lively, Cillian Murphy, Pierce Brosnan, and Jodie Foster have had longstanding and sweet relationships that prove that happy endings aren’t just found in romcoms.
Great marriages require a lot of effort to cultivate. Some work, and some don’t, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it’s always heartwarming to celebrate happy endings and longstanding loves. Hollywood generally carries the reputation of fostering short marriages—after all, relationships already have their fair share of inevitable obstacles, what more when things like fame and its accompanying pitfalls enter the picture. However, quite a lot of famous celebrities have enjoyed long and fulfilling relationships with their partners, at least based on what they’ve expressed in interviews.
Some couples have only one celebrity partner, while others feature two; regardless of their compositions, these dynamic duos have gone through thick and thin together, proving that happy endings and true love can exist, just like in the movies:
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have been a beloved celebrity couple throughout their relationship, and for good reason. The pair started dating in 2011, and they tied the knot just a year after. The two are still head over heels after years of marriage, often posting witty social media posts where they lightly (and of course, lovingly) tease each other and express heartfelt messages.
The pair have four children together, and have both been putting in the work of parenting them. “You gotta do the diapers, the middle-of-the-night thing; a human being will exit your wife, she’s done enough,” Reynolds once said in a 2016 interview with Seth Meyers. During his Hollywood Walk of Fame speech, the actor made sure to thank his wife: “You make absolutely everything in my life better; you’ve given us two of the most incredible children that I could ever hope to have. You’ve made me the father of my dreams when I thought I only had ‘fun uncle’ potential.”
Lively has always reciprocated Reynold’s touching expressions of affection, often talking about their happy life together in interviews. “Everything we do in life, we do together,” Lively shared in a 2014 Vogue interview. In a 2016 Marie Claire story, she intimated: “I knew he would always be my best friend for my whole life. That was the biggest thing to me. I’d never known anything like the friendship that I had with him. I could like him as much as I loved him.”
Cillian Murphy and Yvonne McGuinness
Cillian Murphy has been making waves for his critically-acclaimed role in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Yet Murphy has never let the fame get to his head, often crediting his wife, Irish artist Yvonne McGuinness for helping him sustain his career by looking after their home when he’s not around, reports Elle.
“That work-life-balance thing is hard,” Murphy shared in a 2019 interview with GQ. “I have an amazing wife, and I couldn’t do this without her and her understanding.” Murphy married McGuinness in 2002, though their relationship goes a long way back, according to Cosmopolitan. In fact, the two crossed paths at the start of Murphy’s acting career, when McGuinness joined a tour for the play Disco Pigs in 1996, which he had starred in. In general, the couple prefer living a quiet and private life, keeping their kids and personal affairs away from the spotlight.
However, in moments when the public have seen them together—most especially when McGuinness attends award ceremonies to support her husband—it’s clear that the two share a deep love for one another. During Murphy’s Golden Globes 2024 acceptance speech for Best Male Actor in a Motion Picture, audiences were amused when he asked them if he still had his wife’s red lipstick marks “all over” his nose (as she kissed him upon his win)—which he casually and happily decided to leave on.
In his interview with People, Murphy states that his wife has kept him grounded all throughout their relationship: “It’s very important to have somebody like that,” he shared.
Dolly Parton and Carl Thomas Dean
Dolly Parton has always been a gift to the music world; yet what many may not know about is the sweet marriage that has made her an incredibly happy woman for an impressive 56 years. Parton married her husband Carl Dean in 1966, and the two have been together ever since. Though Dean isn’t fond of being in the limelight, he’s been steadfastly supporting his wife’s career since day one, reports Country Living.
The two met when Parton was 18 and Dean was 21, the young man stopping his car to strike up friendly conversation with the beautiful lady. It was love at first sight, like any good romance. “My first thought was ‘I’m gonna marry that girl,'” said Dean when discussing the encounter, according to 9News. “And that was the day my life began. I wouldn’t trade the last 50 years for nothing on this earth.”
“I was surprised and delighted that while he talked to me, he looked at my face (a rare thing for me). He seemed to be genuinely interested in finding out who I was and what I was about,” Parton responded through an official statement on her website. Though the two have their differences, their independence and complementary attitudes have kept their marriage strong.
“He loves music, but he’s not in the music business at all, so we have different things to talk about, his world and my world, and we work really well together,” Parton told Entertainment Tonight. “We have a lot of love and respect for each other, and I think the key to all of it — we both have a crazy, warped sense of humor, so we have a lot of fun.”
Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith
Pierce Brosnan is a heartthrob to many, though he’s remained true to his wife Keely Shaye Smith since they wed in 2001. The two met in 1994, a few years after Brosnan experienced the heavy heartbreak of losing his first wife, Cassandra Harris, to cancer in 1991. Brosnan continues to be a devoted father to Harris’ children from a previous marriage (whom he adopted), as well as his sons with Smith, Dylan and Paris, reports People.
The couple are an artistic duo, as Smith happens to be a journalist, writer, and filmmaker who’s passionate about the environment and sustainable causes. Brosnan is also an artist: besides his acting career, he launched his first solo exhibition in May 2023. With 23 years of marriage between them, the two are still very in love with one another.
“We like each other a lot. We love each other a lot. And we’ve been down the road, and we’ve seen many, many hardships as families do, as we all do,” Brosnan shared in a 2023 Fox interview. “But watching someone grow up with you and grow old with you is a very spiritual journey. To watch each other change […] whatever it may be, the hair, the waist. But it’s the love in the heart.”
Smith agrees, often praising her husband when interviewers ask about him. “Pierce is intelligent, captivating, and his real beauty emanates from the soul,” she expressed in an interview with Closer, reports US Magazine. “And, like a fine wine, he’s aging beautifully.”
Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison
Oscar award-winning actress Jodie Foster married photographer Alexandra Hedison in 2014. Much like Cillian Murphy and his wife, the two spouses prefer to keep their private lives, well, private. However, it’s clear that they’re both deeply invested in each other’s careers, as the two share a sweet relationship that’s sprinkled with moments of heartfelt gestures.
Though Hedison likes to keep out of the red carpet, she often congratulates her wife through Instagram posts whenever she receives nominations or wins. This includes the time Foster earned a Golden Globe nomination for her supporting role in The Mauritanian. The two also shared a joyous, celebratory kiss when Foster won the award, as seen in a video of them in their home (since the pandemic was still ongoing). Hedison also greets her wife through sweet birthday messages, like one for last year when Foster turned 61: “Loving you is easy as cake. Happy birthday, beautiful.”
In a 2024 episode of the Today show, Foster praised Hedison, showing excitement for her wife’s nonfiction short film “ALOK,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, reports People. In the interview, Foster stated: “I think it’s about freedom and being your best self and being free, and I have a lot to learn from it, so I’m excited for her. And I can’t wait to be there by her side and to have it not be about me.”
George Takei and Brad Altman
George Takei is a sci-fi behemoth that many recognize for his role as Mr.Sulu in the original Star Trek series. Much like the characters Takei plays, the actor’s love story is one that’s larger than life. The star has been with his (now) husband Brad Altman since the 1980s. Their steadfast relationship has admirably withstood many of the obstacles queer people face.
According to Brides, the two hid their relationship from the public for decades in fear of potential public backlash, which might’ve ruined Takei’s career. It was certainly a difficult thing to do, especially for someone with such a high profile.
“There we were, living together and not being able to share that with the rest of the world. And I had to stay silent on the subject which mattered most to me,” Takei told the Big Issue in 2016. “It was not a happy time but we were able to find happiness in little snatches.”
However, as the years went by, Takei was able to bravely come out in a 2005 feature for Frontiers magazine, reports Brides. What’s more, the legalization of same-sex marriages in California in 2008 allowed George and Brad to finally tie the knot, according to CBS News.
“We truly are a team — me as the actor, writer, activist and Brad as the manager, scheduler and all-around essential guy,” Takei shared in an interview with Variety. “And we love being able to share our lives and our livelihood.”
Banner photo from the Dolly Parton website.