These Celebrities Split Up Right After Their Spouse Got Really Famous
We’re not sure how we would feel about being a celebrity. While all of the money and power seem nice, fame seems like a terrible price to pay for it. Celebrities sacrifice a lot. Even when they are careful to be ultra-private, details about their family lives and their relationships always find their way into the media. In fact, romantic relationships seem to suffer the most.
Things can go array when a Hollywood couple starts off at the same level of success and suddenly one-half of the couple skyrockets onto the A-list overnight. Whether its due to massive scheduling differences, jealousy, or if a relationship had merely just run its course, these celebs split when one person’s fame eclipsed the other.
Everyone was shocked when one of the most likable couples in Hollywood got divorced (No. 13).
1. Bradley Cooper and Renée Zellweger
You might not remember, but Renée Zellweger and Bradley Cooper were hot and heavy for about two years. They started dating in 2009. However, after a massively successful career, Zellweger was slowing down tremendously. Cooper, on the other hand, was just heating up. Though Cooper starred in Nip/Tuck for a couple of years, his role in 2009’s The Hangover sent his celebrity into overdrive.
By the time The Hangover II dropped in 2011, the pair had called it quits.
Next: Angel wings and sword fights
2. Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom
Well before Miranda Kerr was strutting down Victoria Secret’s runways, we knew of hunky British actor Orlando Bloom for his role in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The former couple began dating in 2007 when Bloom was at the height of his fame, and Kerr had just been given her angel wings.
The pair tied the knot in 2010 but split up just three years later as Kerr’s fashion campaigns and magazine covers began to quadruple. Meanwhile, though Bloom was still a significant part of the Pirates of the Carribean franchise, he has been in much less demand than he was in the early 2000s.
Next: This couple couldn’t remain “friends”.
3. Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan
Now we all know Tate Donovan for his infamous roles on Fox’s teen drama The O.C. and the Glenn Close-led drama Damages. However, Donovan’s career spans decades. By the early ’90s, he had been in many films and was starring on the TV series Partners.
In 1995, he began dating actress Jennifer Aniston just as she was starting her decade-long tenure on Friends. Aniston was everywhere quickly usurping Donovan. In fact, by the time he snagged his recurring role on the series as Rachel’s love interest Joshua Burgin, Donovan and Aniston had gone their separate ways. The Hercules actor also dated Sandra Bullock, so at least we know he has excellent taste in women.
Next: A ’90s couple who couldn’t keep it together.
4. Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe
When Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe met as teen heartthrobs in 1997 and started dating we couldn’t get enough. The pair starred together in Cruel Intentions and their own various films. The pair wed in 1999 and had two picture perfect babies together.
However, as Phillippe’s career stayed flat, Witherspoon’s began to propel to a higher level when she was cast in the iconic film Legally Blonde. From then on Witherspoon garnered even more significant parts also winning an Academy Award for Walk the Line. Just before the Oscars, Phillipe was visibly drunk when he accompanied his wife to the Golden Globes.
It was the end of the line for the duo, and they called it quits by the end of the year.
Next: A couple whose fame hit them at separate times.
5. Jennifer Garner and Scott Foley
It might seem baffling to think about now, but Jennifer Garner and Scandal alum Scott Foley were actually married from 2000 to 2003. At the time, both were decently well known in Hollywood. Garner had a few smaller roles, and Foley had been on Dawson’s Creek and had a starring role on The WB’s Felicity.
The pair actually me on the set of Felicity and got married. However, the next year, Garner snagged a lead role in the beloved series, Alias which propelled her to the top of the A-list. It was all just too much strain for their marriage, the pair separated in March 2003 and divorced officially in 2004.
In 2013, Garner told Allure, “Oh, he’s a great guy. We were full-on grown-ups, but looking back I’m aware we did not know what hit us. We didn’t have a shot.”
Next: An actor and an Oscar winner couldn’t hold on to their love.
6. Chad Lowe and Hilary Swank
You probably know Chad Lowe from his recent role on Pretty Little Liars, and you most certainly remember him for the long-running drama Life Goes On. However, you might not recall that Rob Lowe’s younger brother was once married to actress Hilary Swank.
The pair were married from 1997 to 2007 and though Swank had had some good success in Hollywood in shows like Beverly Hills, 90210, it was her role in Boys Don’t Cry that made her a household name when she won the Oscar for her character. From that moment on, Swank was in a massive movie every year winning another Academy Award in 2005 for her film Million Dollar Baby. The next year, she and Lowe called it quits.
Next: The fame became too much for this A-list couple.
7. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
Tom Cruise was already a massive superstar when he and actress Nicole Kidman tied the knot in 1990. At the time Kidman had a few small roles, but slowly but surely, she began to work way into critics heats. By 2001, Kidman was a massive A-lister in her own right, and her marriage to Cruise had to come to an end.
In 2013 she told Harper’s Bazaar Australia, “winning an Academy Award after a painful divorce can show you the emptiness of your own life, which is kind of what it showed me.”
Next: This duo couldn’t survive the whirlwind of “Mad Men.”
8. Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt
Before getting the coveted role of Mad Men’s Don Draper in 2007, Jon Hamm had snagged some smaller roles in Hollywood here and there. However, his long-term partner Jennifer Westfeldt was the real star. The couple had been together since 1997; however after Westfeldt wrote the screenplay Kissing Jessica Stein in 2001, she was a massive Hollywood hit.
Hamm finally got his turn to shine with Mad Men, but it took a toll on their relationship. Just as Mad Man ended in 2016, so did the couple’s relationship.
Next: Reality TV tore this young couple apart.
9. Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson
Everyone was well aware of hunky boy bander Nick Lachey from 98 degrees by the mid-’90s. By that time, Jessica Simpson had gained some traction as a singer, but she wasn’t quite the success that we know her as now. Still, the young couple clicked and tied the knot n 2002.
What they did next would skyrocket them to fame. In one of the O.G. reality shows, the pair starred on Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. As soon as the show aired it was clear who the real star was. Though a tad ditzy at times, Simpson was bubbly and fun. Soon, movie offers, deals, and endorsements rolled in, but only for the fashion mogul. The couple called it a wrap in 2006, and the rumor on the street is that their slit had a lot to do with Simpson’s rising fame.
Next: This husband used infidelity to deal with his wife’s mega-fame.
10. Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale
In 1995, when former couple Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale started dating, Stefani was just rising up the charts with her band No Doubt. Meanwhile, Rossdale had already been massively successful as the lead singer of Bush. Though the couple wed in 2002 and went on to have three children together, Stefani’s celebrity continued to soar.
Not only did she had a massive fashion line, mega solo career, and a slew of other ventures, she also snagged a role on The Voice. That seemed to be the straw that snapped her and Rossdale’s relationship in half. In 2015, Stefani filed from divorce from her husband of 13 years. It was just a year after joining The Voice.
Next: This musician’s stellar rise destroyed his marriage.
11. Robin Thicke and Paula Patton
High school sweethearts Robin Thicke and Paula Patton seemed to have it all. The pair married in 2005 after a more than a decade together. Thicke was quietly building his music career was Patton was grabbing leading roles in films like Jumping the Broom and the Mission Impossible franchise.
Then Thicke created the massive hit “Blurred Lines” in 2013, and he was thrust into the spotlight. It was all too much to handle. He humiliated Patton with a gross public display with Miley Cyrus, and there were allegations of infidelity and substance abuse. By early 2014, Patton had had enough, and she filed for divorce.
Next: Reality TV was the final nail in this crumbling marriage.
12. Kelsey Grammer and Camille Grammer
We all know actor and producer Kelsey Grammer as a massive TV star. From Cheers to Fraiser and even The Simpsons, those credits are only the beginning of Grammer’s illustrious career. Grammer was already at the top of his game when he and former Playboy model Camille Grammer tied the knot in 1997.
However, their 13-year marriage crumbled in 2011 after she began starring on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It was also revealed that the actor had been having an affair with his now-wife, Kayte Walsh. Grammer later said of the demise of his marriage, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was a parting gift from him to his fame-hungry ex. He said, “Whether or not it worked well for her doesn’t matter…it was my way of saying, “Look, you always wanted to be famous. Here you go.”
Next: This star couldn’t handle being an A-lister and a family man.
13. Chris Pratt and Anna Faris
When Chris Pratt and Anna Faris tied the knot in 2009, Faris was an A-list actress who had been in films like The House Bunny and Lost in Translation. Though Pratt had starred on The WB series Everwood, he had not yet debuted on Parks and Rec. It turns out the sitcom as just the beginning for the actor/comedian.
In 2014, Pratt landed a massive role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Guardians of the Galaxy and then a lead role in the Jurassic World reboot. The roles pushed him to the top of the most coveted actors’ list. It was just too much strain for the marriage so he and Faris filed for divorce in 2017. According to TMZ, “He can’t juggle a growing family with his career.”
Next: Fame took this couple on separate adventures.
14. Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan
Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan met and connected in 2006 when the duo starred in the teen dance hit Step Up together. Tatum had already been gaining traction from his 2005 performance in Coach Carter, but the dance hit propelled him forward ad he starred in everything from GI. Joe to a slew of romantic comedies, 21 Jump Street, and even a Tarantino flick.
Dewan was making waves as well when the pair tied the knot in 2009. Unfortunately, her waves were a tad smaller. Though the actress snagged roles on Witches of Eastwick and is a judge on World of Dance, her husband’s fame circled hers. Still, the pair looked right tight until they announced their separation in 2018. It seems like their wildly different schedules and balancing parenting became too much.
Next: This acting couple couln’t surive the hoopla of “Frozen.”
15. Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs
Though Idina Menzel has always been a massive Broadway star, Taye Diggs was a coveted mainstream name starring in everything from movies like Brown Sugar and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, to Shonda Rhimes’ Private Practice. Still, things between Menzel and Diggs seems to work. The pair met in the ’90s during a production of Rent and married in 2002.
However, their relationship plummeted in 2013. It wasn’t a coincidence that Menzel had just debuted in Disney’s Frozen and Private Practice came to an end the same year.
Next: America’s favorite denim-loving couple
16. Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were relationship goals before it was even a thing. The adorable pair grew up together on the set of The Mickey Mouse Club and it seemed almost inevitable that they would end up together. Timberlake became the quintessential teen heartthrob as a member of N*SYNC while Spears’ career took off, quickly turning her into a musical icon.
The couple eventually called it quits, surrounded by rumors that Spears had cheated. While hearts broke everywhere, Timberlake launched his own solo career from the rubble with his debut single “Cry Me A River” that many thought was an ode to the end of his relationship with Spears.