Published July 17, 2009
A news story last week broke more teeny bopper hearts than when Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman: Kevin Jonas is engaged. We can't help but wonder if he'd be rushing into the state of wedded bliss if he didn't have that purity ring on his finger. Wouldn't you be in a hurry to get hitched, too, if you were 21 and saving yourself until your wedding night?
But lots of celebrities get married way too young, with mostly with unsuccessful results. Here's a look at other stars of stage and screen who tied the knot at tender ages.
Macaulay Culkin Married Rachel Miner at 17
When Macaulay Culkin was just 14 years old, he became legally emancipated from his father/manager, who was in a bitter custody battle with Mac's mom over the star, his siblings, and the fortune amassed from the "Home Alone" franchise. You'd think that would have given Macaulay pause before entering into a marriage, yet less than four years later, when he was just 17, he tied the knot with actress Rachel Miner, also 17. The teens were married for only two years, and it's unclear why they split. Some suggest it's because she wanted to start a family and he wanted to re-start his career. We think that they woke up one day and remembered they were only 19!
Melanie Griffith Married Don Johnson at 18
When she was just 14, Melanie Griffith met her mother Tippi Hedren's co-star in "The Harrad Experiment" and started dating the then 22-year-old Don Johnson. They lived together for a bit and married in Las Vegas when she turned 18 in 1976. The marriage lasted only six months. But years later, when Melanie found herself in need of support while filming "Working Girl," she turned to her ex-husband. Don helped her sober up in rehab and they reconciled. When she became pregnant in 1989, they married for a second time. Ultimately, it was Don's alleged substance abuse problem and rumored extramarital flings that brought the second marriage to its official end in February 1996. Not one to waste much time, Melanie married Antonio Banderas in May of that year. Theirs is a much happier story. They've been living in wedded bliss for 13 years.
Bo Derek Married John Derek at 18
Mary Cathleen Collins was just 16 when she started dating director John Derek. He left his third wife, Linda Evans, and swept Mary Cathleen (who would change her name to Bo) away to Germany in order to avoid statutory rape charges. He was, after all, 30 years older than her, and she was clearly underage. But when Bo turned 18, he brought her home to the States, and they married two years later. Surprisingly, theirs turned out to be a fairy-tale romance. They were together 22 years, until his death in 1998. Bo never remarried, but she's been dating "Sex and the City" stud John Corbett since 2004.
Taylor Hanson Married Natalie Bryant at 19
Could the shot-gun wedding of 19-year-old Taylor Hanson (of the "MMMBop" singing group Hanson) and his 18-year-old and four-month-pregnant girlfriend Natalie be one of show business's success stories? Seven years and four (yes, four) kids later, Taylor and Natalie seem to be going strong. And at 26, daddy Hanson seems to have found the secret to balancing family and career. Let's see if his relationship can withstand his next challenge: the supergroup. Taylor just announced his musical side project, Tinted Windows, the band he formed with Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos, and Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger. Check back this fall to see if the band and the marriage survived the summer gigs.
Drew Barrymore Married Jeremy Thomas at 19
Nineteen-year-old Drew Barrymore had already been engaged twice (to Leland Hayward and Jamie Walters) when she finally walked down the aisle with 32-year-old Welsh bartender Jeremy Thomas. OK, maybe "walked down the aisle" is an exaggeration. The two actually got hitched at his Los Angeles bar called The Room, at 5 a.m. on a Tuesday in 1984. Perhaps the clairvoyant who they hired to perform the ceremony via a psychic hotline just an hour earlier could have looked one short month ahead, seen that they would split, and warned them not to wed.
Kate Hudson Married Chris Robinson at 21
Theirs was a whirlwind romance. Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson met at a party in New York City in May 2000, moved in together four days later, and married in December of that year. She was 21, and he was 34. Seems like the young starlet should have followed in her mother's footsteps. After all, Goldie Hawn has lived with her man, Kurt Russell, for more than 25 years, and they're still going strong. Not so with Kate and Chris. Despite the birth of their son, Ryder, in 2004, the couple separated in 2006 amid rumors that she was having an affair with her "You, Me, and Dupree" co-star Owen Wilson. Although she adamantly denied the claims, Kate and Owen did become a public couple not long after. They didn't last either, and she has since been linked with Dax Shepard, Lance Armstrong and, most recently, Alex Rodriguez.
Jessica Simpson Married Nick Lachey at 22
The picture-perfect relationship of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey started when they met at the 1998 Hollywood Christmas Parade and took a slow and steady (and she says chaste) path to a 2002 proposal on a chartered yacht in Hawaii. The wedding followed later that year. Jessica was 22, and Nick was 29. They were the ideal young couple: beautiful, rich, and successful... and primed for their own MTV show called, what else, "The Newlyweds." But nothing's ever perfect. Rumors persisted that he was jealous of her popularity and up-and-coming movie career. Allegations flew about Nick at an out-of-control bachelor party. And despite the string of statements that all was fine in paradise, they divorced in 2006. Nick went on to date Vanessa Minnillo for a few years, while Jessica became one of John Mayer's girls for a bit before settling down with pro-ball player Tony Romo. Unlucky in love again, Romo allegedly dumped Jess the night before her 29th birthday over text messages from Mayer.
Brandy "Married" Robert Smith at 22
OK, so technically they weren't married. But at age 22, R&B singer Brandy found herself with child. The baby's daddy? Her producer Robert "Big Bert" Smith. When news of the pregnancy surfaced, Brandy told the world that the two had secretly wed the year before. No love child here, folks, so just move along. But, wait. In 2003 the pair announced they were splitting, and the following year Smith revealed that their nuptials were never official. Brandy reluctantly admitted that they never legally tied the knot, but insisted that they had a "spiritual union and a true commitment to each other." We wonder if the two had been older when all this happened if they may have been a little more forthcoming abut their "non-traditional marriage" from the get-go.
Reese Witherspoon Married Ryan Phillippe at 23
Even though Reese and Ryan got married before the age of 25, they seemed like they had it all going on. They met at her 21st birthday party, dated for a few years before taking the trip down the aisle, had two beautiful kids, and seemed to be managing two thriving Hollywood careers. Sure, there was talk of "normal" problems, but we all have those, right? Then came the shocking news: after seven years of marriage, the pair was splitting. The common excuse of "irreconcilable differences" was cited on legal papers, but we're thinking it was more a case of "irreconcilable Oscar." It's gotta sting just a little to watch your wife become one of Hollywood's brightest stars when you're not. That's all we're saying.
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