After years and years of observing the inexact science of human courtship, we’ve noticed one thing: The hot actress babe always seems to choose the rock star over the common man. On Dec. 17, 1994, Heather Locklear proved this theory…for the second time.
Dashing the hopes of millions of eligible bachelors, the then-33-year-old Dynasty/T.J. Hooker/Melrose Place star — who’d recently severed her nearly eight-year marriage knot to Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee — exchanged I dos with another rocker, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, 35. The pair first got hitched at a civil service in Rumson, N.J., and then immediately flew to Paris, where they were wed in an intimate Episcopal ceremony at the American Cathedral. For the record: She wore a French lace gown by Dynasty designer Nolan Miller (”She was just on cloud nine,” recalls Miller of the preparations), he was dressed in a black tux and, no, Bon Jovi didn’t play ”You Give Love a Bad Name” at the reception.
Locklear hooked up with New Jersey-based Sambora via mutual friends in early 1994, while she was in New York on a Melrose PR trip. A long-distance relationship blossomed when Los Angeleno Locklear returned home; the pair got engaged seven months later and eventually settled down in L.A.
Her new metal marriage may have spelled deja vu to the public, but it was far from reduplication for Locklear. After a relationship with notorious bad boy Lee, the amiable, all-American actress said she’d found a gentle soul mate this time around. ”He’s really grounded, really family oriented, and very close to his parents,” she noted of Sambora in 1998. ”Who I am as a person is really who Richie is as a person…. We mirror each other.” The tousled-‘n’-tattooed Sambora, who had previously been linked with Cher, appeared equally smitten: ”I had a great time dating women,” he recalled. ”But the minute I met my wife, I knew I was done. That was it. I think the same thing happened to her.”
Friends agree that the couple found the real deal: ”They’re fun, down-to-earth people, not really into the Hollywood scene,” says Locklear’s Melrose costar Jack Wagner. ”That makes for a nice combination.”
So far, so good. In 1997, Locklear gave birth to daughter Ava Elizabeth, and she even provided some of the background vocals on her husband’s 1998 solo CD. This past summer, the threesome moved to New York City so Locklear could join the cast of ABC’s Spin City. Meanwhile, her infamous ex has kept active in the media with his tumultuous marriage to a different famously blond actress babe, Pamela Anderson Lee. Everybody plays, everybody wins.