Arguably, no other decade of entertainment had more of an impact than the 80s. Celebrities and stars were born from the iconic TV shows, movies, and songs produced from that nostalgic era. Fans and audiences lived and breathed on every interaction, and rumors were reported about their favorites.
Before the advent of social media, romantic connections between famous people was nothing more than gossip, especially when the paparazzi caught them coming out of a restaurant together or read about them in the trashy magazines of the grocery checkouts. Some Hollywood relationships flowered marriages while others fizzled and flamed out without a whimper in the press. Here is a look at the relationships fans may have forgotten about from the 80s.
Val Kilmer and Cher
For most of the 80s, actors and actresses formed the relationships that made the most headlines until Cher and Val Kilmer's romance created a stir. Cher was a music star since the 70s, and Kilmer would later become a Hollywood name after co-starring with Tom Cruise in Top Gun.
Cher and Kilmer dated for two years before deciding to end things amicably. Kilmer was considerably much younger than Cher, but that did not bother the couple or their large following of adoring fans.
Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter
Sometimes, it appeared like Rock superstar and musical icon Rod Stewart loved women as much as singing. Stewart belted out hits and swept the ladies off their feet, including New Zealand-born supermodel Rachel Hunter.
Hunter and Stewart were married from 1990 to 2006, and it was Stewart's second of three total marriages. The celebrity couple had two children, Renee and Liam. Their son Liam became a hockey player in the Western Hockey League for the Spokane Chiefs.
Heather Locklear and Tommy Lee
Actress Heather Locklear captured the hearts, minds, and eyes of people while starring in the successful television drama Dynasty. As for rocker and resident rebel Tommy Lee, not much has not been said in the unflattering variety that has been said about him. Yet, Locklear and Lee met and married for three years before it ended.
Locklear would not drop off the Hollywood map too long after resurfacing and resurrecting her acting career starring in the 90s hit drama Melrose Place. Locklear did not wait long to remarry, tying the knot with another rock star, Richie Sambora.
Madonna and Sean Penn
Madonna, when the dust clears, will be remembered fondly for her brilliant and long singing career. Madonna, the best-selling female artist of all time, was known for her striking live performances and thought-provoking songs and music videos, making the "Material Girl" one of the most iconic celebrities in history. Madonna's marriage to actor Sean Penn, however, made headlines in the 80s but has not been talked about as much.
Penn was coming into his own as an actor, and Madonna's music career was beginning to explode. Penn's silver screen debut came in the 1981 film Taps, but it was his role in the cult classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High where his stardom began to rise.
Brad Pitt and Christina Applegate
Not only is Brad Pitt and Christina Applegate's past relationship forgotten, but its level of seriousness back in the 80s is often left out. Applegate was coming into the spotlight of Hollywood as a co-star in the FOX sitcom Married with Children and accompanied Pitt as his date to the 1987 MTV Movie Awards.
Pitt and another up-and-coming acting star, Jason Priestley, went to Applegate's house for lunch almost every Sunday before Pitt and Applegate split. Pitt's career ballooned after they dated with starring roles in Ocean's Eleven and Fight Club. Applegate did not fall to pieces once it ended with Pitt, landing lead roles in Anchorman and Bad Moms.
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore
Bruce Willis and the Die Hard film series are linked forever. Willis' relationship and marriage with actress Demi Moore in the 80s may not be as well remembered, but it was headline news then. The couple's 1987 wedding was a glamorous spectacle, and they were married until 2000.
Moore's celebrity status was solidified after her performance in 1990's Ghost. The film was the highest-grossing film that year. Although Moore and Willis did not stay together, they remained close and maintained a friendly relationship.
Diana Ross and Arne Naess Jr.
One fact that will never be forgotten is the career of musical icon Diana Ross. Once audiences heard and saw Ross belting out the lead vocals for the Motown Records iconic group The Supremes, it was clear that a star was about to be born. Ross married a prominent businessman named Arne Naess Jr. in 1986.
Ross' marriage to Naess Jr. lasted until 2000, and they had two children together. Ross was romantically linked to legends in music like Barry Gordy and Smokey Robinson. Ross did not remarry again but had three children from her previous marriage.
Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen
If Hollywood marriages were scripted in the 80s, Brigitte Nielsen and Sylvester Stallone followed the letter. Stallone and the Dutch-born actress Nielsen married a month after co-starring with each other in the film Rocky IV in 1987. Rumors flew off the set about the pair being romantically involved and grabbed attention once they publicly confirmed it.
While things fizzled out and ended in less than two years, it made all the headlines for having the bells, whistles, and trimmings that are fit for a celebrity couple. After parting ways, each went on to remarry.
Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed
It is hard to equate the word forgotten and Gene Simmons. Simmons and the signature look of his 80s legendary band KISS, makeup, tongues sticking out, and black leather will always be linked together. His relationship with longtime girlfriend, actress Shannon Tweed, was something that not many are aware of.
Tweed and Simmons started dating in the early 80s and had two children, but did not tie the proverbial knot until some 28 years after they met. Their union and unique relationship came to light recently because of the success of their reality show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, which aired for six years.
Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Not many saw the relationship and subsequent 1986 wedding of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger coming, but it was a hot topic once it became official. Schwarzenegger was a bodybuilder from Austria, turned action star in hits like Commando and Predator. Shriver was an actress and famous niece of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
Ironically, Schwarzenegger was the one who took time off from acting to enter the world of politics and became the Governor of California. Perhaps Shriver's political bloodlines influenced Schwarzenegger to put his name in the political hat. Shriver and Schwarzenegger had four children together.
Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey
Matthew Broderick was considered a star before he and actress Jennifer Grey became involved on the set of his most infamous movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, in 1986. Grey's Hollywood stardom became brightest after she co-starred with Patrick Swayze in the 1987 hit film Dirty Dancing.
While their blossoming acting careers created the stir, what may be forgotten or unknown is that the two were engaged but broke it off before the wedding. Broderick later starred in the blockbuster Godzilla and Grey's Dirty Dancing, received multiple award nominations, and inspired musicals and a television series.
Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon
When musicians Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore decided to get together and form the band Sonic Youth in 1981, they dated each other. In 1984, Gordon and Moore got married. Rumors and nasty gossip spelled the end of their relationship.
Their band Sonic Youth played events like Lollapalooza in 1995 at the peak of its success and fame. Things became more complicated because Gordon and Moore were the founding members of the group. Sonic Youth's disbanding was timed shortly after the split of the dynamic rock couple.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr.
Before Iron Man and Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr. were a Hollywood item. Downey Jr. was trying to find his way with off-camera distractions, making more entertainment news than his work, and Parker had not yet captivated audiences with her HBO hit series.
Downey Jr. has long been known for his antics behind the scenes and often made headlines for the wrong reasons until dating Jessica Parker. What might shock fans of the MCU and HBO stars is that Jessica Parker and Downey Jr. met on the set of Firstborn in 1984 and, despite Downey Jr.'s struggles, dated for seven years.
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell
Even die-hard fans of actress Goldie Hawn and actor Kurt Russell may not know the two were a romantic couple in the 80s. What will also blow their minds is that Hawn and Russell would stay together for four decades and have one child together while never walking down the aisle.
Hawn is five years the senior of Russell, and when asked why the power couple never officially got married, her response was, "Why should we get married?" Hawn said if things ended, she wanted to avoid the usual ugliness surrounding a Hollywood divorce.
Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith
Without social media, the 80s romance between Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson enthralled fans and media during that decade. Griffith went to live with Johnson once they became a couple when she was fifteen years old and engaged to him once she was eighteen.
Johnson's stardom was the product of the hit series Miami Vice, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Griffin was nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars but did not win, but won a Golden Globe after she starred in the film Working Girl.
Grace Jones and Dolph Lundgren
How can anyone forget that singer and actress Grace Jones and Rocky IV star Dolph Lundgren were romantically involved? While their resumes and backgrounds differed in many ways, the two dated for four years. The two started their romance after Lundgren became Jones' bodyguard.
Jones was born in Jamaica, the daughter of a religious father who was famously tough on her because he believed that her talented singing voice was to only be on display in songs dedicated to faith.
Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard
Jessica Lange's career started as a co-star in the 1976 remake of King Kong, and her resume credits piled up, culminating with her winning two Academy Awards. Lange was in a romantic relationship with actor and playwright Sam Shepard in 1982.
Lange and Shepard have two children from their romance and were never married. The couple lived together with their children in several places like Minnesota, New York City, New Mexico, and Virginia. In 2009, they agreed to move on from their relationship. Lange would later confess that her memories of life with Shepard in Minnesota made her return there several times to visit.
Corey Haim and Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Milano stole America's heart for her role as Samantha Micelli on the hit 80s sitcom Who's the Boss? While it may shock Milano's fans to know she starred with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando, the fact she and actor Corey Haim were together might floor them.
Milano continued to be relevant in Hollywood with the brief success of the series Charmed. Unbeknownst to many of the couple's fans is that her parents got involved in their relationship, offering to fund and provide Haim the assistance he needed for his off-screen troubles.
Lea Thompson and Dennis Quaid
For five years, Lea Thompson and Dennis Quaid were the ultimate 80s celebrity couple. Quaid was 28, and Thompson was 21 when they began their romance. The pair met on the set of the 1983 film Jaws 3-D and were engaged for three years before agreeing to break up completely.
While the reason Thompson and Quaid never got married remains a mystery after promising to do so three times, it is well known that Thompson made a habit of dating while working with people, as evidenced when she married Howard Deutch on the set of their movie Some Kind of Wonderful.
Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger
Mick Jagger, as an individual, needs no introduction. Jagger's lead vocals for the infamous band The Rolling Stones and his signature full lip symbolized the group for decades, but how many of his loyal fans know he was married to American model Jerry Hall?
Although the pair were a romantic item as early as 1977, it was not made official by them until they supposedly wed in 1990. Hall and Jagger had a private wedding ceremony in Indonesia and had four children together.
Keith Richards and Patti Hansen
Musician Keith Richards infamously made his name as the lead guitarist for the acclaimed band The Rolling Stones. Richards dazzled fans and audiences with his guitar skills, but not many know or remember his romance with American actress and model Patti Hansen.
Richards and Hansen met in 1979 and were married four short years later on his 40th birthday. They had two daughters named Theodora and Alexandra, who were born in 1985 and 1985, respectively. In 2014, Richards and his daughter Theodora published a children's book entitled Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar, for which she created many of the book's illustrations. Theodora was named after Richards's grandfather, Theodore.
Kelli Preston and George Clooney
When people discuss the life and times of actor George Clooney, not much mention is of his 80s relationship with Kelli Preston. Clooney and Preston briefly dated from 1987 to 1989. While the romance barely lasted two years, Clooney did buy Preston a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig named Max.
Clooney kept Max for 18 years after ending things with Preston. He first caught the eyes of his fans in appearances on the 80s sitcom The Facts of Life, and his role in the medical drama E.R. helped launch his movie career with blockbusters like Batman & Robin and Ocean's Eleven and sequels.
Kim Basinger and Prince
Part of the reason fans may have forgotten that Prince and Kim Basinger did the dating thing in the 80s is because they were visibly uncomfortable with the spotlight. They met on the set of the 1989 superhero film Batman, where Basinger was co-starring, and Prince handled most of the movie's musical soundtrack.
Basinger was not the typical celebrity who looked like she enjoyed the glitz and glamor of Hollywood. She moved freely through her life and career, and Prince maintained a similar lifestyle, making their romantic relationship a good fit.
Corey Feldman and Drew Barrymore
Actress Drew Barrymore had to learn the Hollywood way from an early age. Barrymore debuted in the 1982 movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Corey Feldman was no slouch either and was a rising teen star with roles in classics like Gremlins, Friday the 13th, and The Goonies. The pair began seeing each other romantically in 1989.
Barrymore and Feldman were not shy about their romance, evidenced by their appearance at the 1989 Academy Awards as a couple. Two superstar teen actors in their primes understood each other more than most would guess because of their shared lifestyle and the turbulence of being a young Hollywood celebrity.
Rob Lowe and Melissa Gilbert
Actress Melissa Gilbert was already a young and budding celebrity before she met heartthrob actor Rob Lowe. Gilbert was one of the stars of the drama Little House on the Prairie as the infamous Laura Ingalls.
Although Lowe debuted at age 15 on an ABC sitcom that was almost canceled before it started, he became the poster of every teenage girl after appearing in the classic St. Elmo's Fire. Once Gilbert laid eyes on Lowe, she was instantly in love, and it showed as their relationship lasted for six years, enduring some interruptions mixed in.
John McEnroe and Tatum O'Neal
Fans of John McEnroe and Tatum O'Neal, old enough to remember them in their primes, may not forget they were a celebrity couple who eventually got married. Their marriage lasted for ten years, and they had three children together. The idea of romantic opposites being attracted to each other applies directly to these two.
McEnroe was a tennis superstar with a horrible temper when the ball did not bounce his way. O'Neal is a sweet young actress on the rise, with an Academy Award under her belt that she won at the ripe old age of 10 years old.
Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz
Lisa Bonet was a teen sensation long before Lenny Kravitz, and his strumming the electric guitar was rocking stages and MTV. To their fans and the naked eye, their relationship seemed like a natural partnership, but like every couple, there were some speedbumps to overcome.
Despite the instability and fragility of their public romance, the duo got married. And as most breakups go, the abrupt end to their marriage was no surprise as old issues walked down the aisle with them. Bonet and Kravitz had one daughter together.
Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere
It will not take long to stir up the memories of one of the most glamorous celebrity couples of the 80s, actor Richard Gere and supermodel Cindy Crawford. Gere, who was not timid about dating famous women, carried his own as a star appearing in American Gigolo and An Officer and a Gentleman, and later the mega-hit Pretty Woman.
In 1991, Crawford married Gere in her twenties while Gere was well-established in his age and career. The difference in years led to the couple parting ways, and Crawford became an iconic symbol for the 90s.
Tom Cruise and Rebecca DeMornay
Raise your hand if you know or remember the 80s power couple of Tom Cruise and Rebecca DeMornay. Cruise became a star faster than it would take to make Kraft Dinner with two blockbusters under his belt early in his career, Risky Business and Top Gun.
DeMornay's most infamous role came when she starred in the suspense-thriller The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. Just as their whirlwind relationship quickly blossomed, it fizzled out just as fast in 1985 when the pair split up.
Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley
A superstar musician and gorgeous model getting romantically involved and married was as signature in the 80s as the hair and clothing. In his second marriage, Joel tied the knot with Brinkley. The couple had one daughter, Alexa Ray, whose middle name (Ray) came from Joel's idol, Ray Charles.
Brinkley was the spokesperson and overall face of the American cosmetics brand CoverGirl. Brinkley represented the makeup giant for 25 years. Brinkley was on three Sports Illustrated swimsuit-edition covers, and her beautiful likeness graced over 500 magazine covers during her career.
Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley
Forgetting their relationship probably was a priority for actress Elizabeth Hurley after dating actor Hugh Grant. They met in 1987 while filming the movie Remando Al Viento. The international media swarmed the celebrity couple everywhere they went in public, and before social media was invented, cameras and microphones captured their every move.
Right as Grant seemingly was going to disappear from the silver screen without any fanfare, the actor was able to resurrect his career and reputation after his exploits while he was with Hurley. Grant starred in the 1995 classic Four Weddings and a Funeral, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher
The bond between the legendary singer and songwriter Paul Simon and actress Carrie Fisher started when he was introduced to her by his girlfriend at the time. Shortly after, the two were a couple, and Simon proposed to Fisher at a New York Yankees game.
Fans of Fisher's Princess Leia character from the Star Wars franchise barely got a whiff of their marriage before it ended after a year. Simon made a song entitled Hearts and Bones, which was about their relationship.
Marlee Matlin and Jon Stamos
Toward the end of the 80s, actress Marlee Matlin and actor John Stamos were romantically linked and eventually began a serious relationship in 1989. The Hollywood stars met during a "Housing Now" protest that year, but things between them would end before their first anniversary.
Stamos rose to Hollywood fame while starring in the sitcom Full House and Matlin, a deaf actress, which never slowed her down. Matlin acted in hit shows like The West Wing and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
Ad-Rock and Molly Ringwald
Hip Hop would not be where it is today if it were not for the early brilliance of groups like The Beastie Boys in the 80s. M.C. "Ad-Rock," Adam Horovitz. Horovitz and teenage star Molly Ringwald took time away from their busy careers to find romance with each other.
Ringwald and Ad-Rock met on the set of Ringwald's 1987 rom-com, The Pick-Up Artist. Ringwald was responsible for being the role model for high school-aged girls everywhere with her roles in Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and The Breakfast Club.
Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan
In the 80s, there was no Hollywood actor hotter than Michael J. Fox in terms of popularity and fame. Fox starred as Alex Keaton on the hit 80s sitcom Family Ties and the Back to the Future movie series. Fox and actress Tracy Pollan met on the set of Family Ties, where Pollan played the role of Fox's on-screen girlfriend, so they tried it in real life and got married.
Fox and Pollan remain happily married today and have four children. Their bond became stronger after Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson's. The couple routinely makes public appearances, raising awareness of his struggles with the illness and also providing hope to others.
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks
Best known for starring in hit movies like Saving Private Ryan and Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks made headlines with little effort because of his successful projects. Hanks' marriage to Rita Wilson in 1988 may be forgotten today, but it created a spectacle back then. The pair met on the set of the 80s hit sitcom Bosom Buddies in 1980.
Hanks had two children from a previous marriage before tying the knot with Wilson. One son, Colin, became an actor, following closely in his father's footsteps. As of 2023, the couple remained married.
Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach
Are Beatles fans familiar with band member Richard Starkey? They would probably be surprised to learn that is the given name of Ringo Starr, the legendary drummer from the iconic group. Starr and actress Barbara Bach met on the set of the 1980 film Caveman.
Bach and Starr are still married today, and the couple had no children but have seven grandchildren from Starr's prior marriage to hairdresser Maureen Cox, whom he had three children with. One, Zak, mirrors his father's musical career as a drummer, playing solo gigs and filling in for other bands.
Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson
While filming the 1987 BBC series Fortunes of War, actress Emma Thompson and actor and director Kenneth Branagh started seeing each other romantically. After marrying in 1989, the couple appeared in many films with one another in a blatant case of nepotism, where Branagh would hire Thompson instead of other actresses.
The British paparazzi were relentless in their pursuit and coverage of Thompson and Branagh. Rumors were the couple purposely avoided being photographed in the same shot to keep their relationship "private."
Renate Blauel and Elton John
The legend surrounding the illustrious musical career of Elton John is well documented, but his marriage to recording engineer Renate Blauel in 1984 certainly shocked his fans and the international media. While they did not have any children, the couple did stay married until 1988.
Rumors about the legitimacy of their marriage swirled as John had previously expressed his preference for dating men instead of women. His failed attempt at marriage did not hamper John's musical career. He performed and was the songwriter for musicals like The Lion King.
Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson
Burt Reynolds was a Hollywood celebrity, acting in movies like his breakthrough role in the 1972 classic Deliverance. He would win over fans after starring in Smokey and the Bandit and the Cannonball Run movies. Reynolds would marry for the second time to actress and star of the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati.
Reynolds and Anderson did not have children together but did adopt a son named Quinto. Anderson was no stranger to weddings, with two marriages before her time with Reynolds. Reynolds was nominated for and won several awards, including for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the successful hit movie Boogie Nights.