Elvis Presley once sang: Wise men say only fools rush in / But I can’t help falling in love with you …
For this Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d meander into drunken lovers’ lane and revisit some celebs who’ve made themselves over-willing targets to Cupid’s arrow.
With an insatiable appetite for love and with prenups to burn, these familiar faces took marriage vows and took them again…and again…and again. Some might call these lovebirds die-hard romantics, while others might feel they ought to have been in die-hard therapy for the rest of their lives.
Regardless, let’s toast to the power of love and celebrate Valentine’s Day with these famous serial brides and grooms who’ve said “I do” six or more times.
Elizabeth Taylor – 8
Elizabeth Taylor collected husbands like she collected acclaimed movie roles. The Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? star married eight times to seven men. Her forays into matrimony began with Conrad “Nicky” Hilton Jr., heir to the hotel chain, in 1950. After nine months, that union, like six of the seven that followed, ended in divorce (her third husband, Mike Todd, died after a little more than a year of marriage). Taylor’s marriages were rarely without scandal. Her marriage to Eddie Fisher, in 1959, blossomed from an affair they had while Fisher was still married to Debbie Reynolds. Taylor twice wed Richard Burton, first in 1964, and then, just 16 months after divorcing, in 1975. Though their first marriage lasted 10 years, the second stint survived less than a year. Taylor then spent six years as a U.S. Senator’s wife, of Virginia’s John Warner. Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch was the setting for Taylor’s final wedding, in 1991, to Larry Fortensky, a man she met at the Betty Ford Center.
Larry King – 8
Like Taylor, Larry King married eight times, to seven different people. Among his wives was the two-time Mrs. King, Playboy bunny Alene Akins, in 1961, and again in 1969. Combined, they put in five years together (and had one child). King proposed to wife number six, Julie Alexander, on the first date. They separated a year after they married. King remains married to his seventh wife and the mother of two of his children, Shawn Southwick, though the couple began divorce proceedings in 2010 after 13 years of marriage.
Rue McClanahan – 6
As the saucy and seductive Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls, Rue McClanahan quite lived up to her TV persona in real life, marrying six times and embarking on many more love affairs. She did make one important distinction between her and Blanch in her 2007 memoir, My First Five Husbands…And the Ones Who Got Away. “People always ask me if I’m like Blanche,” McClanahan wrote. “And I say, ‘Well, Blanche was an oversexed, self-involved, man-crazy, vain Southern Belle from Atlanta—and I’m not from Atlanta!’”
Zsa Zsa Gabor – 9
Hungarian beauty Zsa Zsa Gabor tied the knot nine times, to a Turkish intellectual, a Mexican actor, an American Barbie doll designer, among others, and finally, a German socialite to whom she is still married after 28 years. One notable union was to Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton hotel chain. During their five-year marriage, Gabor is believed to have had an affair with Hilton’s son, Conrad “Nicky” Hilton Jr., who was later Elizabeth Taylor’s first husband. Hilton (senior) was the father of Gabor’s only child, Constance Francesca Hilton, who Gabor alleged was conceived in rape.
Tony Curtis – 6
Some Like It Hot star Tony Curtis was a serial monogamist if there ever was one; he had a string of long-term relationships amounting to 51 years of marriage in total, resulting in six offspring, including actresses Jamie Lee Curtis and Kelly Curtis. Their mother, Janet Leigh, was Curtis’ first wife. Together, Curtis and Leigh were described as “Hollywood’s golden couple,” and stayed together for 11 years. Curtis had two children with German actress Christine Kaufman, who was 18 when they married. Curtis had his other two children with Leslie Allen during their 14-year marriage. His sixth and last wife, Jill Vandenberg, remained with Curtis from 1998 until his death in 2010.