The ’80s was an era of exploration for many people. For celebrity couples, it was an opportunity to test the waters of fame, marry in lavish weddings, and ultimately, become legends in their own right. However, with time, some of these iconic couples faded from the limelight and ended up forgotten, with their romantic stories missing from the annals of pop culture history.
There’s no denying that the 1980s was one of the most turbulent times for celebrity break-ups and divorces, in what some can say was a tumultuous decade for the entertainment industry. Furthermore, the decade was an era that saw some of the most interesting pairings, such as Prince and Madonna, and astronomical break-ups and divorces, such as Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford. But while they weren’t as widely reported as celebrity couples of today, there were plenty of star-studded love partnerships in the ’80s that deserve their due spotlight.
From bizarre marriages to whirlwind engagements, here’s a list of the incredible celebrity couples you may not remember from the ’80s.
John F. Kennedy Jr. and Daryl Hannah
Back in 1985, before Daryl Hannah had iconic roles in Blade Runner, Splash, and Wall Street, she briefly dated John F Kennedy Jr, in what was reportedly a passionate and intense romance. In an interview with People Magazine, she stated, “Our relationship was a private one but it was a deep and caring and mutual relationship.”
The two looked beautiful together and appeared inseparable at events, including the premiere of Uncommon Valor in Los Angeles, although Hannah made it clear that she had no intention of marrying Kennedy or becoming a part of his political family.
Not long after finally breaking off their relationship, things escalated, with Kennedy overshadowing her in his relatively powerful position in the ’80s. “Suddenly, I had paper dolls of myself being sold in stores. I couldn’t go anywhere without being chased and hounded,” Hannah later commented.
Steve Martin and Victoria Tennant
Steve Martin and Victoria Tennant were one of the most stylish celebrity couples of the 1980s. The pair first met on the set of the comedy film All of Me in 1983, and quickly fell head-over-heels for each other, having a whirlwind courtship with a cruise in the Caribbean and a year of dating before they made their first public appearance as a couple at the 1985 Academy Awards.
In 1986, the couple sealed their relationship with a lavish wedding in Los Angeles, which was attended by many A-list celebrity friends. They became the epitome of romantic love, and were often found holding hands and laughing together in public.
Three years later, the couple began experiencing problems and ultimately separated in 1994. They kept their split low-key, citing that they had no plans to divorce — instead, they wanted to remain close friends.
Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin
Before Kim Basinger became famous from her role in Batman and her unforgettable portrayal of Vicki Vale, she was the ultimate ‘girl next door’ in the 1980s. Her passionate relationship with Alec Baldwin in 1989 was a top celebrity news story, which ended with a very public breakup three years later.
The couple first met on the set of the box-office hit The Marrying Man and had an immediate connection. They eventually exchanged vows in 1993, and even starred together in several films. However, their onscreen success wasn’t enough to transfer over to their personal life, and in 2002, the couple divorced.
During their split, the couple fought a bitter divorce battle and it became increasingly personal. Basinger later issued an apology to her ex-husband and his two children, Ireland and Carmen.
Kelly LeBrock and Steven Seagal
Who could forget the iconic face of the ‘80s, Kelly LeBrock? The former model made waves in the fashion world and her comedic appearances in films such as Weird Science and The Woman in Red. During her modelling days in the 1980s, she was swept off her feet by actor Steven Seagal, having a passionate romance throughout the decade.
The couple tied the knot in 1987 in a beautiful ceremony held in Shreveport, Louisiana. The two were instantly attracted to each other and had a strong connection that was evident when they were together. Seagal gushed about his wife in a 1989 People Magazine interview, “I’d be a fool to let her get away.”
In 1994, LeBrock and Seagal separated despite having several children together. They cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their split, which surprised many since their relationship seemed so strong.
Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall
Mick Jagger already had a reputation as a rockstar when he first met Jerry Hall in the mid-‘80s. The supermodel turned heads when she graced the cover of Vogue in 1975, and at the time, she was linked to singer Bryan Ferry. But soon after, she and Mick became an item and were often spotted together.
The couple’s whirlwind romance was off-the-charts insane and their wedding day was an event the elite clamoured to witness. In 1990, almost 5,000 guests attended their Balinese themed ceremony in Bali. As bizarre as it seems, the couple actually declared themselves to be legally wed during their solemn ceremony.
More than twenty years later, and after four children, the couple officially split back in 1999. Hall filed for a divorce citing Jagger’s adultery, and the high-profile split was finalized in 1999.
It’s incredible how much of a power couple all the celebrity couples mentioned above were, and how their stories are still remembered to this day. The ’80s was, without a doubt, the decade of celebrity break-ups — although, when looking back, the decade held plenty of amazing stories, romantic unions, and bold fashion statements from many celebrity couples. They weren’t as widely reported as today’s celebrity couples, but it’s always fun to remember them and the iconic legacy these famous romance partnerships have left behind.