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8 of our favorite celebrity power couples through the decades

Image: 20th Century Fox

America has always been a celebrity-obsessed culture. Even before tabloids and gossip websites existed, we loved knowing what celebrities were doing and saying. We especially love knowing who they're dating. The most exciting celebrity couples are the ones who have their own lives and careers in the public eye outside of each other.

Though stars have the ability to determine what the public can and cannot see — especially in the days before the internet — we have act as if we know what their relationships are like. We love to think the public image of two musicians or actors we love is as happy behind closed doors as they are in front of the camera. Sometimes they are!

Sadly, not all epic love stories have happy endings, though. But that doesn't mean we can't appreciate what existed at one time. Here are some of our favorite power couples over the years.

1

Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy

Anyone who's seen films like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Woman of the Year or Without Love can see the chemistry that brewed between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Though everyone could witness their onscreen romance, they could never be public with their off-screen love because Tracy was married.

Tracy and his wife separated in the '30s, but never divorced. It wasn't until Tracy got sick in the early '60s that Hepburn moved in with him to help care for him until he died. Hepburn didn't attend his funeral and didn't speak publicly about him until his wife died in 1983. 

"I loved Spencer Tracy," Hepburn wrote in her autobiography, Me: Stories of My Life. "I would have done anything for him."

Image: Wikimedia Commons

2

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

Hollywood has had its fair share of tumultuous relationships, but the one with the most notorious reputation would have to be that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The two were married twice and divorced twice and had countless other lovers, but the spark between the two of them was electric, keeping them in contact until he died in 1984.

They met on the set of Cleopatra in 1963, while they were still married to their previous spouses. According to Marie Claire, their first on-screen kiss lasted well beyond the director's "cut." An affair ensued, which was heavily covered by the media. After they each divorced their spouses in 1964 they got married. Due to alcohol use and dramatic fights, they divorced ten years later. After only being separated for a year, they remarried. This marriage lasted less than a year.

Image: Flickr

3

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

Though Yoko Ono has caught a fair share of vitriol from Beatles fans who blame her for the group's disbanding. However, Ono was a self-made woman, who met Lennon at an exhibition for her art in 1966. Three years later, the two married. Until Lennon's assassination in 1980, the two collaborated musically, as well as organized demonstrations and protests. 

In the famed 1971 Rolling Stone issue with the couple embraced on the cover, Lennon was asked why he can't be alone without Ono. He responded, "I can be, but I don't wish to be. There is no reason on earth why I should be without her. There is nothing more important than our relationship, nothing. We dig being together all the time, and both of us could survive apart, but what for?"

The couple had a son, Sean, in 1975.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

4

Sonny Bono and Cher

Cher met Sonny Bono when she was only 16 and Bono was working at Gold Star Studios. Their early years together were a mix of friendship and chemistry, while Bono helped Cher get her foot in the door in the music industry. While their actual wedding date is unknown, Bono claims they got married after their child was born in 1969. They recorded a couple of albums as a duo before landing The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour in 1971. 

Though The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour was one of the most popular shows of the 1970s, it only lasted until 1974 when the couple divorced. Though the split was messy and public, due to the fact that they worked together, the couple eventually developed an amicable relationship and were able to work together agan. Bono died in 1997, in a skiing accident.

"When he died, everything changed," Cher told Vegas Magazine. "When he was alive, we could fight or do whatever he wanted to, but then all of a sudden he was gone, and it was a big loss — a huge loss. Our marriage was the least important thing we did."

Image: Wikimedia Commons

5

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell

Though Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn didn't start dating until the early '80s, they first met in 1966, when Russell was only 16 and Hawn was 21. Hawn thought Russell was too young for her, and they didn't meet again until he awkwardly hit on her at an audition over 15 years later. 

"I was severely hungover…," Russell told Conan O'Brien. "So the first thing that came out was, 'Man, you've got a great figure.' And it kind of came out quickly and it could have been wrong, but she said, 'Why, thank you.'"

Though they never married, their relationship is still going strong. The two went on to have one child together, Wyatt, in 1986 and he had an active role in raising the children, Kate and Oliver, from Hawn's previous marriage.

Image: Flickr

6

David Bowie and Iman

Rockstar David Bowie and supermodel Iman met in 1990 and married two years later in a private ceremony. Each of them had been married once before. Though Iman said she wasn't looking for a relationship at the time, the two were inseparable until he died at 69 in January of 2016. She told The Cut that she knew he was the one for her very early on. 

"We were dating for two weeks and I was coming from Paris and I got to L.A. at the airport and the doors open to the plane and I come out and I see all these people taking a picture of somebody. And he was standing there, flowers in hand, no security. That was when I knew he was a keeper. He didn’t care if anyone saw.”

They had a daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones in 2000.

Image: AP Photo

7

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr.

If you had to determine who ruled Hollywood in the '90s, it would probably be a toss-up between Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar. The two starred in blockbusters like Scooby-Doo and I Know What You Did Last Summer (sadly, Gellar didn't sign on for the underwhelming I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, which should really have been titled I Know What You Did Two Summers Ago) and Gellar even had an uncredited role in the quintessential '90s teen Pygmalion adaptation, She's All That.

The two were married in 2002, after two years of dating. Prinze states that a strong friendship prior to dating is what helped their relationship last. "It didn't happen until years after and there was a solid foundation built, and that's probably the main reason why we've always been cool and groovy," Prinze told E! News. The couple has two children, Charlotte and Rocky.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

8

Beyonce and Jay-Z

By the time Jay Z and Beyonce started dating in 2000, each of them had their own very succesful careers. She had released three albums with Destiny's Child and her first solo record was in the works. Jay Z had released four solo albums. Before they went public with their relationship, there was buzz that the two were dating when they dropped the video for "'03 Bonnie and Clyde."

Though Beyonce and Jay Z's relationship hasn't been without its very public ups and downs, most notably documented on their recent records, Lemonade and 4:44, the two have been married since 2008. They have three children, Blue Ivy, born in 2012 and twins Sir and Rumi, born in 2017.

Image: Wikipedia

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