The tabloids are always full of Hollywood love stories, often involving adultery, broken hearts, aberrant practices that the rest of the population is told not only to “tolerate”, but embrace. The Hollywood power couples usually fall apart in a life of constant perusal, flash bulbs popping and what-happened-to-the-happily-ever-after predictions. I don’t read the tabloids, but I confess I go to my dentist’s office early to catch up on People Magazine. All that glitz and glamor seldom brings anything but a crash and burn and a new partner in the dance. Some make me grieve. Others make me wonder why anyone is surprised enough to make it a headline.
I’m delighted there are exceptions to the tabloid rule. Charlton and Lydia Heston had been married 64 years when Charlton died. They beat out Rick’s grandparents and parents; both couples made it past their 61th wedding anniversaries before one or the other went home to be with the Lord. My dad told me his one regret before he passed away from cancer was he wouldn’t be around to celebrate the Golden Anniversary with my mom.
But we can celebrate! Here are some Hollywood couples who have strong, lasting marriages:
Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara (married in 1953)
Alan and Arlene Alda (1957)
Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss (1961)
Frankie Avalon and Kay Diebel (1962)
Bill and Camille Cosby (1964)
Roger Smith and Anne Margaret (1967)
David McCallum and Katherine Carpenter (1967)
Christopher and Georgianne Walkin (1969)
Billy and Janice Crystal (1970)
Sissy Spacek and Jack Fisk (1973)
Alan Hamel and Suzanne Somers (1977)
Meryl Streep and Don Gummer (1978)
Samuel L Jackson and LaTanya Richardson (1980)
Denzel and Paulette Washington (1983)
Sam Elliot and Katherine Ross (1984)
Mark Harmon and Pam Dawber (1986)
Tom Selleck and Jillie Mack (1987)
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson (1988)
Rick and I married in 1969. He was still in the Marine Corps and I was less than a year out of college. I look back at our wedding pictures and see two kids. We’ve laughed and cried together, fought and played, moved eleven times and were baptized together. We’ve dreamed and planned and worked together. And the vows still hold true. We promised to be faithful to one another in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, to love and honor one another for as long as we both shall live. And we have. (Though we’re not dead yet.)
The best of marriages are love triangles with God at the top. Every marriage has its challenges, its ups and downs. Let Him be the love that binds, the love that grows us, the love that pours blessings into every circumstance. He is the One who can promise a happy, everlasting ending.