Have you heard that longtime couple and debatably newlyweds Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall aren’t getting no satisfaction? Did you know that the short-term marriage of Harry Hamlin and Nicollette Sheridan is on the rocks? And that Vaseline spokeswoman Joan Lunden has to pay big bucks to estranged husband Michael Krauss? Of course you do: You’re living in this world, you’re reading this magazine, and you know that the only thing more thrilling than a show-biz wedding is a show-biz divorce. That’s because celebrity splits are a constant source of fascination to everyone with lives less wealthy, less famous, less likely to involve paparazzi. And that means most of us.
Which is one reason we turn to entertainment in the first place. The rupture of a relationship is, of course, sobering-the breakup of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow being played out in daily headlines is cause for shock and sorrow even as we follow every step. But show-biz divorces are also instructive: Fame can’t guarantee happiness, we learn. Songs are written and movies made on the subject (keep going; we’ve listed them), but in show biz, sometimes the one who wins biggest after the divorce papers are signed is the publicist. * Who else wins, who loses in entertainer love and war? Read on.
Hollywood’s 30 great divides
Heartache led to headlines for these ex-couples-ranked here in order of ooh! aahh! value:
1. Golf medal: Hollywood classic Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (1964-74, 1975-76) The way they carried on, you’d think she was Cleopatra or something, and he was Mark Antony.
2. Silver medal: Rock & Roll classic
Bruce Springsteen and Julianne Phillips (1985-89) Proving that, for tramps like him, a Hollywood actress doesn’t hold a candle to a Jersey girl.
3. Bronze medal: Lifestyle classic
Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston (1972-89) After 17 years of unmarried terms of endearment, she finally kissed that roving joker goodbye.
4. Tie me up, tie me down
Sean Penn and Madonna (1985-89) Like a virgin? No. But the man she fell hardest for was a wild child with a thing about flashbulbs. Which is, like, a problem if you’re with Madonna.
5. Puppy love
Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith (1976-77) Lesson one: Don’t get married when you’re 9, or 14, or whatever. Lesson two: If at first you don’t succeed, hire a publicist and try again.
6. Bono of contention
Sonny and Cher (1964-74) Who got who, babe?
7. Risky business
Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers (1987-90) He was younger, she was older. And as he became a box office top gun, their brief marriage headed for Divorce Court.
8. The misfits
Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe (1956-61) Not even a brilliant, bespectacled playwright/father-type could save Norma Jean Baker from her lonely self.
9. Miles apart
Miles Davis and Cicely Tyson (1981-88) They were ultra cool, but then life together turned blue.
10. Sad song
Carly Simon and James Taylor (1972-83) That’s the way we always heard it should be: pop-folk prince and princess together in the Martha’s Vineyard sunset. But she saw fire and she saw rain while JT kicked a drug habit-and the marriage went cold turkey.
11. Dangerous liaison
Peter Horton and Michelle Pfeiffer (1981-90) Once they were just two pretty twentysomethings together, off on another Acting Adventure. Now she’s Catwoman. He must be stroking his stubble in surprise.
12. She’s no angel
Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett (1973-82) The two were okay while she was an angel. It was when she became real flesh and blood that the marriage fell to earth.
13. For the record
Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton (1974-89) Very mod match-until the music died.
14. Maxed out
Steven Spielberg and Amy Irving (1985-89) This was no starry adventure; it was a temple of doom.
15. Russian roulette
Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jessica Lange (unmarried together, ca. 1977-82) You know those guys: They ask you to dance, you spin around a bit together, and then love takes a flying leap.
16. Reynolds wrap
Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (1955-59) Once Eddie met Elizabeth Taylor, it was que sera sera for Carrie Fisher’s mom; next thing you knew, Eddie was wearing a wedding yarmulke and Liz was kissing Husband No. 4.
17. Their way
Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner (1951-57) They were swinging lovers for whom it was always one more for the road.
18. Into the breach
Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh (1940-60) She was beautiful. He was beautiful. They were mad about each other. Then she was just plain mad.
19. Carried away
Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher (1983-84) Marriage between the complex musician and the complicated actress- writer stirred up unbridgeable troubled waters.
20. The Peter principle
Peter Bogdanovich and Cybill Shepherd (unmarried together 1970-78) Pygmalion? Svengali? Or just a big guy with glasses who transformed a pretty Texas-born model into a moonlighting actress?
21. They’ll always have Paris
Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman (1950-58) As lovers, they survived notorious scandal; as a married couple, the actress and her director called Cut!
22. Secondhand emotion
Ike and Tina Turner (1958-76) Turns out love had nothing to do with it.
23. Love story
Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw (1973-77) Divorce means never having to say you’re excused.
George C. Scott and Colleen Dewhurst (1960-65, 1967-72) Lordy, how the rafters must have shaken when these two stage giants called it a long day’s journey into night.
25. Ordinary people
Timothy Hutton and Debra Winger (1986-89) What not to do: announce to Vanity Fair how sexy marriage is and pregnancy is and motherhood is. And then split up the next day.
26. The way we were
< Elliott Gould and Barbra Streisand (1963-71) Funny girl. Funny guy. They were just people who needed different people.
27. Acting out
Jason Robards and Lauren Bacall (1961-69) So, like, do you think she said to him, “Yeah, you and what army?”
Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon (1965-68) You know how they say every pot has a lid? Well, this was one unlikely pressure cooker of a match.
29. Don’t be cruel
Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu (1967-73) Even after life with Elvis became heartbreak hotel, she defended the King.30. Whole Lotta ‘Splainin To Do
Whole lotta ‘splainin to do
Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball (1940-60) Even after they divorced in real life, two of television’s most lovable stars were forever Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, those most married of marrieds.
Here’s who’s who in the photographs on page 32:
A. Don Johnson & Melanie Griffith
B. Mia Farrow & Woody Allen
D. Arthur Miller & Marilyn Monroe
E. Joan Lunden & Michael Krauss
F. Ali MacGraw & Steve McQueen
G. Quincy Jones & Peggy Lipton
H. Anjelica Huston & Jack Nicholson
I. Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball
J. Tammy Wynette & George Jones
K. Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton
L. Frank Sinatra & Ava Gardner
M. Harry Hamlin & Nicollette Sheridan
N. Ike & Tina Turner