10 Famous Couples We Respect

It takes work to make a relationship last. We can’t help but respect these famous pairs and their unique ideas about commitment, love and what it takes to be a successful couple under the public’s watchful eye.

By Amy Spencer

1. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn
Bravo to a couple who believe you don’t have to be married to stay committed to each other. Russell and Hawn (who is five years his senior) had both been married before they met and each had children when they fell for each other on the Swing Shift film set in 1983. They decided
“When I’m not the perfect mate, she hangs in there.”
to forgo signing a marriage certificate just to be together. “We’re in cahoots,” Kurt told People magazine seven years later in 1990. “We share the same outlook. When I’m not the perfect mate, she hangs in there.” We have to respect a couple who put the emphasis on their relationship, not on the dotted line.

2. Bill and Melinda Gates
With his success as a Microsoft business magnate, Bill and Melinda Gates could have long ago retired on their own island, sipping mango margaritas in the shadow of palm trees and enjoying his legacy. Instead, the couple, who met in 1987 and married in 1994, did something more respectable: they turned their attention to charity work, founding The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to advance global health. The couple now devotes their lives to helping others, which no doubt deepens their relationship with each other, too.

3. Bernard and Rose from Lost
Lost fans couldn’t help but love this middle-aged interracial couple who fell for each other after he helped get her car out of a snow drift, then proposed five months later. After Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on the island, Rose held onto hope against all odds for weeks that she’d find her new husband alive… and then her dream came true when the Losties were reunited with the Tailies. And when things on the island went haywire — you know, a little time-traveling and a lot of hydrogen-bomb drama — Bernard and Rose built a cabin in the woods so the two of them could out the rest of their lives together, alone, enjoying peace and solitude they’d never have otherwise enjoyed thanks to the island’s healing powers that put Rose’s terminal cancer in permanent remission.

4. Beyoncé and Jay-Z
Since this musical powerhouse duo started dating, they stayed tight-lipped about their relationship by avoiding any comments about their dating life, engagement and even their April 2008 wedding in New York City. We respect that, while other star couples spill the secrets of their relationship and share TMI stories about their sex lives, this “Crazy in Love” couple has kept their private life as locked up as a Brinks truck. Their relationship is their business — in more ways than one.

5. Peter and Lois Griffin from Family Guy
This cartoon couple has shown that true love can last despite the odds. In a love story that began when well-to-do Lois Pewterschmidt visited her family’s country club and ran into poor towel boy Peter Griffin, Lois has repeatedly shown her devotion to her boorish husband despite her father’s obvious and frequent disapproval of him as a husband. And Peter’s not a typical handsome Casanova, either; still, Lois shows her affection for him with negligees, leather teddies and candlelit tubs. Their fictional cartoon character status notwithstanding, we have to respect a couple with three kids — Stewie, Chris and Meg — who are still so hot for each other.

6. Alex McCord & Simon van Kempen
You don’t have to respect Simon’s fashion choices (red leather pants… really?),
Now that’s an Enterprise we should all get on board with!
their energetic kids’ behavior or their Brooklyn home renovation misadventures, but we have to give props to this Real Housewives of New York City marriage. Why? Because despite the jokes at their expense (both onscreen and off), they’ve stood as a solid twosome who spend so much time together, Simon even tagged along for girls’ night! We have to give it to this couple for showing that, since marrying in 2000 and producing two kids, they still really do have each others’ backs.

7. George Takei and Brad Altman
We have mad respect when an actor comes out as half of a committed same-sex couple — and it goes up a few notches when that actor is George Takei. Famous for playing Mr. Sulu on Star Trek, Takei publicly came out at the age of 71. That’s when he also publicly announced his 21-year relationship to Altman and their upcoming nuptials, which took place in a multi-cultural California ceremony in September 2008. Now that’s an Enterprise we should all get on board with!

8. Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon
Bacon went from being Footloose to ferociously well-grounded by marrying Kyra Sedgwick in 1988. After watching so many Hollywood couples fire up only to fizzle out and fade away, we respect any couple of actors who still make it work — even after celebrating two decades of marriage. “I never in a million years thought there would be sides to Kevin that I’m still learning about,” Sedgwick told Redbook. “I’m constantly amazed that we are still surprised and interested in each other.”

9. Thurston Howell, III and Mrs. Eunice “Lovey” Howell
How could we not respect a couple whose marriage survived being shipwrecked on an uncharted desert isle? We have fond memories of the island’s only couple: Thurston Howell III, who was attached at the hip to his wife, Eunice, whom he referred to as “Lovey.” Though he wasn’t always the most venerable citizen and their marriage saw a few waves almost as big as the storm that landed them there, Thurston did his best to romance Lovey and give her a fancy hut to live in while residing with the castaways.

10. Bill and Hillary Clinton
This political power couple has gone through so many shifts and scandals since their 1975 marriage — she stood by him when he cheated; he stood by her when she ran as the Democratic candidate for President of the United States — that it’s a sign of a seriously strong partnership they’ve come out the other side together seemingly unscathed. While we’ll never get behind those closed office doors to find out what their relationship is really like, we have to respect that they continue to present the world with a stately, united front.

Amy Spencer is the author of Meeting Your Half-Orange: An Utterly Upbeat Guide to Using Dating Optimism to Find Your Perfect Match.
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