Maybe the green-eyed monster has a part to play or perhaps we’re doubting the motives of the younger half of the couple, but whatever the reason, a suspiciously large number of our favourite male stars have hooked up with ladies decades their junior.
Join us as we embrace our mid-life crisis and look at 20 legendary 1980s actors who enjoy massive relationship age gaps.
20. Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates (16 years)
Acting duo Phoebe Cates and Kevin Kline first met when both were auditioning for 1983 film The Big Chill. Cates was a 19-year-old up-and-coming model and actress, while Kline was an established thespian 16 years her senior. Unfortunately, Cates didn’t win the part she wanted in The Big Chill, though it went on to be an important career moment for Kline.
However, things turned out OK for future Gremlins star Cates as she did meet what would end up being her husband at the audition. Kline was so determined to get a date with Cates that two years after their first meeting, he reportedly hired Cates’ former personal assistant and asked her to ensure he got a date with the actress. His dedication worked, and in 1989, Cates and Kline tied the knot in a wedding in New York.
19. Jerry Seinfeld and Jessica Seinfeld (17 years)
Jerry Seinfeld is renowned for co-creating the legendary sitcom Seinfeld, which aired between 1989 and 1998. He married his current wife Jessica Sklar a year after Seinfeld went off air, back in 1999. The couple met at the gym while Sklar was still married to her first husband. But their connection was so strong that Sklar divorced her husband for Seinfeld.
They dated for one year before tying the knot on Christmas Day and then, after their marriage, the happy couple bought and moved into Billy Joel’s old house in Long Island, making Jessica a bonafide Uptown Girl. Today, they have three kids together: a daughter called Sascha and two sons called Julian Kal and Shepherd Kellen.
18. Eddie Murphy and Paige Butcher (17 years)
Eddie Murphy and his partner Paige Butcher – who is 17 years his junior – are a famously private couple. Butcher is an actress who has starred in hits like Something’s Gotta Give and Big Momma’s House 2. Not much is known about Murphy and Butcher’s relationship, but we do know that they met on the set of the latter film in 2006 but only began dating in 2012.
Butcher gave birth to hers and Murphy’s first child together in May 2016: a daughter named Izzy Oona Murphy. The couple welcomed a second child in November 2018 – a boy named Max Charles Murphy. They announced their engagement after six years of dating back in 2018. Murphy has a whopping eight children from his previous relationships.
17. Steve Guttenberg and Emily Smith (19 years)
Three Men and a Baby star Steve Guttenberg married his girlfriend Emily Smith back in January 2019. News anchor Smith is arguably best known for working on The CBS Morning Show and The CBS Overnight News. The couple first met on a blind date, which was organised by CBS TV’s Scott Rapoport back in 2014. An aging Steve Guttenberg is an odd choice for any blind date, but it clearly worked out!
After living together soon after they met back in 2014, the two then moved to the Pacific Palisades, where Guttenberg owns a home, in 2018. The 60-year-old actor then proposed to Smith in December 2016 after two years of steady dating and the couple tied the knot in a private wedding ceremony which took place in Malibu, California.
16. Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart (22 years)
Former Indiana Jones and Han Solo Harrison Ford married his third wife Calista Flockhart in 2010. They first met at a Golden Globe Awards ceremony back in January 2002 and immediately hit it off. They became engaged on Valentine’s Day in 2009 and then tied the knot on June 15, 2010 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The wedding ceremony was presided over by Governor Bill Richardson and New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles W. Daniels.
The couple share one son together, Liam Flockhart Ford, who was adopted by Flockhart at birth. Ford and Flockhart, who are known for being one of Hollywood’s most private couples, currently live on an 800-acre ranch in Jackson, Wyoming. Ford was previously married to ET screenwriter Melissa Mathison between 1983 and 2004.
15. Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner (22 years)
The Academy Award-winning actor and director Kevin Costner married his second wife, the model and designer Christine Baumgartner, in 2004. Baumgartner – a model and handbag designer – had been dating Costner for four years before they tied the knot. The couple had actually first met in the 80s but Costner was married to his first wife at the time.
The two became friends but eventually got together after meeting again in 1999 when they were both single. They briefly split in 2003 after disagreeing about whether or not they should have children together – but eventually patched things up. The couple now have two sons together called Cayden and Hayes, as well as a daughter called Grace.
14. Bruce Willis and Emma Heming Willis (23 years)
Action movie legend Bruce Willis married model Emma Heming in 2009, nearly a decade after his high profile divorce from the actress Demi Moore was finalised. Willis met Heming through a mutual friend back in 2007 and sparks immediately flew between the two. The couple wed in Turks and Caicos, with Willis’ three daughters and even Moore and her then-husband Ashton Kutcher in attendance.
This first ceremony was technically not legally binding, and the couple held a civil ceremony in Beverly Hills six days later where they were officially married. The couple have two daughters together: Mabel, who was born in April 2012, and Evelyn, who was born in May 2014. Heming is also a stepmother to Willis’ three elder daughters – Rumer, Scout and Tallulah – from his marriage to Moore.
13. Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin (23 years)
Sylvester Stallone has been married three times, most recently to the former model Jennifer Flavin. The couple first met at a restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1988 when Flavin was just 19. Stallone then ended their relationship in 1994 by sending Flavin a FedEx package enclosing a six-page break-up letter. Stallone broke things off with Flavin because he was having an affair with model Janice Dickinson and believed she was having his baby.
However when DNA tests found that he was not the father, Stallone reconciled with Flavin in 1995. They were married on May 17 1997 in a ceremony at The Dorchester Hotel in London. The couple share three daughters together: Sophia, Sistine and Scarlet. Stallone was previously famously married to model and actor Brigitte Nielsen from 1985 to 1987.
12. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones (25 years)
Michael Douglas and Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones have now been together for more than two decades. They first met at the Deauville Film Festival in France in August 1998 after they were introduced by their mutual friend Danny DeVito. The couple got engaged on 31 December, 1999 and then wed at the Plaza Hotel in New York on 18 November, 2000.
The pair hit headlines when they married for being one of the first high profile marriages to have a prenuptial agreement or ‘prenup.’ In 2013 Zeta-Jones revealed that the couple were “taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage.” But they soon reconciled and in 2014 Douglas revealed that the couple were “stronger than ever.”
11. Alec Baldwin and Hilaria Baldwin (26 years)
Formerly married to the model and actress Kim Basinger, Alec Baldwin is now married to yoga instructor Hilaria Thomas. Baldwin and Thomas moved to Greenwich Village together in August 2011 after meeting earlier that month. The couple became engaged in April 2012 and then wed soon after in June 2012, at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York City.
Adorably, the inside inscription on both of their wedding bands reads: ‘Somos un buen equipo‘ engraved in Spanish (meaning ’We’re a great team’). The couple co-parent their six children together: Carmen Gabriela, Rafael Thomas, Leonardo Angel Charles, Romeo Alejandro David, Eduardo Pau Lucas and María Lucía Victoria. Hilaria is also stepmother to Ireland Baldwin, Alec’s daughter from his previous marriage to Kim Basinger.
10. Steve Martin and Anne Stringfield (26 years)
Steve Martin was one of the more popular and acclaimed comedians to come out of the 80s. Even though he’s currently 75 years of age, he doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of stopping his acting work. Martin also hasn’t let his age stop him from dating younger women – his wife, Anne Stringfield, is 26 years his junior. The two tied the knot in July 2007, with Nebraska Governor and Senator Bob Kerrey presiding over the ceremony.
The marriage took place at Martin’s home in LA. SNL creator Lorne Michaels served as his best man. Notoriously, Martin became a father for the first time in December 2012, at the age of 67, when Stringfield gave birth to a daughter. Despite the pop culture buzz around their child, the couple have kept private on the issue, only releasing a statement confirming the birth a month after it had happened.
9. David Hasselhoff and Hayley Roberts (27 years)
Baywatch star David Hasselhoff was married to actress and Knight Rider co-star Catherine Hickland for five years during the 1980s. They then divorced in March 1989 and Hasselhoff went on to marry actress Pamela Bach that same year. The couple divorced in 2006, then in 2012, Hasselhoff began dating Welsh model Hayley Roberts.
As Hasselhoff is a huge fan of Welsh rugby union, the two regularly attended matches in Wales together. Hasselhoff and Roberts were married at a romantic ceremony in Italy on July 31 2018. Today the couple live in the Hollywood Hills in the same area as Justin Bieber and the Kardashians, which sounds like a wild neighbourhood to go Trick-or-Treating in.
8. Jeff Goldblum and Emilie Goldblum (30 years)
Jeff Goldblum has been married three times now: first to actress Patricia Gaul and then to Geena Davis. Then, in 2014, the Fly and Jurassic Park star wed his third wife, Canadian Olympic gymnast Emilie Livingston. Although some people may be skeptical of the 30-year age gap between the couple, both Goldblum and Livingston have shown they are serious about the relationship.
The couple reportedly worked with a therapist before they tied the knot to make sure that getting married was the best course of action for them both. The therapy seems to have worked, as Livingston and Goldblum have been going strong for seven years now. The couple have also had two sons together: Charlie, born in 2015, and River, born in 2017.
7. Sean Penn and Leila George (30 years)
Sean Penn has had a number of high profile relationships over the years, most notably to the Queen of Pop, Madonna. Penn later married the actress Robin Wright, and was in a relationship with Charlize Theron between 2013 and 2015. He then began a relationship with Australian actress Leila George in 2016 – but it wasn’t all plain sailing.
“They got together and then they broke up,” a source close to the couple told People in 2020. “Sean won her back.” The two then tied the knot in 2020. “We did a COVID wedding,” Penn explained on the Late Night with Seth Meyers talk show. “By that I mean it was a county commissioner on Zoom, we were at the house, my two children and her brother, and we did it that way.”
6. Richard Gere and Alejandra Gere (34 years)
Richard Gere has been married three times, including to the model Cindy Crawford for five years during the early 1990s. The Pretty Woman star began dating Spanish activist and longtime family friend Alejandra Silva in 2015. “He is the most humble, sensitive, affectionate, attentive, funny, generous man that I’ve ever met,” Silva told Hola! in April 2020.
“What can I say? I’m so in love! […] Not a day goes by that he doesn’t mention how important I am to him. I feel very lucky.” They went on to tie the knot in 2018, marrying at Gere’s estate in Pound Ridge, New York. In early February 2019 the couple welcomed their first son together, Alexander. In April 2020 Alejandra gave birth to another son.
5. Mickey Rourke and Anastassija Makarenko (34 years)
Since 2009, acclaimed actor Mickey Rourke has been in a relationship with Russian model Anastassija Makarenko. The couple try to keep their relationship private – but one well-known fact about the pair is the staggering 34 year age gap between them. Rourke has been known to open up about his partner on occasion, however. He gushed to People about her in 2010.
“She’s a gift from heaven,” he said in the interview. “Obviously she’s a very beautiful woman. But she’s got the biggest heart, she’s got a great family, she’s really close to her mother and father – they’re great people.” He even went as far as saying “I wouldn’t trade her in for 20 Academy Awards.” Rourke is the recipient of one Oscar, for 2008’s The Boxer.
4. Mel Gibson and Rosalind Ross (35 years)
Mel Gibson’s first (and to date only) wife was Robyn Moore, a dental nurse with whom he fathered six sons and one daughter. The couple separated in 2006 and Gibson entered a relationship with Russian musician Oksana Petrovna Grigorieva soon after. But this relationship was also short-lived and Gibson and Grigorieva had parted ways by 2010.
Since then Gibson has moved on with former champion equestrian vaulter and writer Rosalind Ross, whom he has dated since 2014. The pair reportedly first met when Ross was working on co-writing a script for Gibson’s production company. Gibson and Ross share a son called Lars – Gibson’s ninth child – who was born in January 2017.
3. Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell (38 years)
Star Trek and X-Men star Patrick Stewart and his wife Sunny Ozell tied the knot in September 2013. The ceremony took place next to Lake Tahoe in Nevada, and was officiated by legendary actor Ian McKellen. The pair had begun dating back in 2008 after they met each other at Franny’s restaurant in New York. It was later revealed that their marriage was not legally binding because McKellen was not properly authorised to officiate in Nevada, but this was corrected by the Gandalf actor in 2020.
The couple have quite a big age difference: at the time of their wedding, Stewart was 74 while Ozell was just 35. Ozell’s father was particularly displeased at the huge age gap between his daughter and her husband – but he seems to have since come round to the idea. Most bizarrely, Ozell is actually a few years younger than her two step-children with Stewart.
2. Dennis Quaid and Laura Savoie (39 years)
Dennis Quaid has been married four times in his lifetime. His first marriage, to actress PJ Soles, lasted from 1978 to 1983. His second marriage was with actress Meg Ryan. The pair’s high-profile relationship lasted around ten years. Quaid’s third marriage was with Texan real estate agent Kimberley Buffington – but again this ended in divorce after a few years.
Quaid’s current wife is Laura Savoie – who is nearly 40 years the actor’s junior. The pair first met at a business conference in May 2019 and hit it off immediately. The two finally married in June 2020 after their wedding had been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Quaid, a devout Christian, has now been married four times and has three children.
1. James Woods and Sara Miller (42 years)
Like Leonardo DiCaprio, actor James Woods has a bit of a rep when it comes to dating women much younger than himself. He’s dated women as young as 20 and 19, and made some pretty disturbing comments about why he opts for younger ladies. Woods defended his then-relationship with 19-year-old Alexius Thorpe in 2000 by saying “If you ever bought a dog what did you buy? You bought a f**king puppy… You don’t buy a 13-year-old German shepherd.”
Woods is currently dating a woman who’s a little closer in age to him – but there’s still a whopping 42-year age gap between them. The 74-year-old actor’s current girlfriend is 32-year-old Sara Miller. The pair have sparked engagement rumours with Miller recently papped wearing a huge diamond ring. Woods also recently shared a picture of Miller wearing the ring with the caption ‘Life is a blessing.’