‘Til Death Do Us Part . . . Maybe

By Abby Morse

“To have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, from this day forward until death do us part” — the most common of all wedding vows; yet it is in danger of losing its validity in the wedding ceremonies of many Hollywood icons.



Do the people reciting it fully understand what it means to be married and to hold true to all that they promise in this simple, yet powerful vow?


As we’ve seen on many occasions, the success rate of a marriage among celebrities has been significantly lower not just in recent years, but for as long as “Hollywood” has been, well, “Hollywood.”


Sometimes, it seems only natural that two attractive stars would “want their off screen lives to be as exciting and dramatic as the changing roles they play on screen,” as Media Psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman states.


In all honesty, “who wouldn’t want their love scene with Ben Affleck or Angelina Jolie to be real?”


But just as romance is so perfect in the movies, celebrities quickly realize that it’s far from that in the real world. Often times, it’s easier to stick with being in relationships without ever marrying because of the mindset that it will just fall apart anyway; therefore people tend to be content with accepting their doom in a relationship before even going into it.


The most common misconception about Hollywood marriages is that none ever last, and the recent events of Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage to Kris Humphreys hasn’t helped the fact that many marriages in Hollywood have indeed succeeded; if the general public doesn’t hear much about a married celebrity couple, it usually means the marriage is going well. People like the entertainment of a scandal, which excludes “happily-ever-afters,” that don’t spark much drama; to the Hollywood media, that’s not good entertainment. For example, who knew that Kevin Bacon is married to Kyra Sedgwick, and has been for the past 23 years? On top of that, neither Bacon nor Sedgwick had been previously married.


Another great example is the marriage between BACK TO THE FUTURE’s Michael J. Fox, and fellow actress Tracy Pollan. Both met on the sitcom FAMILY TIES and have been married since 1988. When Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991, he began a drinking problem, yet the two stayed together through the difficulties. Fox managed to stop drinking, faced his disease, and later formed the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help find a cure for the disease. Fox and Pollan have stayed faithful to each other despite the trials they had to face together.


Another Hollywood couple who have passed the test of time are actors Kirk Cameron and Chelsea Noble. Known for the television show GROWING PAINS and just recently in 2008, the drama film FIREPROOF, Kirk Cameron married fellow actress, Chelsea Noble, whom he met while filming GROWING PAINS. The two have been devoted companions for 20 years, while being active Christians in their personal lives, as well as their professional lives. After becoming a Christian at age 17, Cameron insisted that the story lines of GROWING PAINS be stripped of anything that would compromise the morality of the show. He currently supports films such as FIREPROOF, which provide Christian content and good values. Cameron and his wife have stayed married and continue to practice their Christian faith while staying connected to the profession of film-making in Hollywood. So how have these people succeeded in marriage and what can other celebrities learn for their own relationships?


Marriage takes a sturdy foundation of love, commitment, and dedication to one another. Often times, it’s easy to fall in love with the idea of commitment, without having any clear convictions of what commitment is all about — to overlook the “for worse…for poorer…in sickness…until death” part because everyone knows life is better when everyone is doing well socially, financially, and physically. It’s so much easier to back out of a situation when things aren’t going well; the pressure seems too inconvenient to deal with.


How can celebrities be reached with the encouragement of putting in the effort their marriages need with the assurance that it can most definitely succeed? Our figuring is that if every successful Hollywood marriage were revealed, then more might be confident in putting their entire hearts, time, and effort into a life-long commitment. This can be done through celebrities’ own medium: the movies. Portraying a message in the way which is most familiar to any given person, such as a Hollywood movie star, will have the best chance of being heard, thought over, accepted, and even practiced in the future.


People need to be communicated to and the way in which a person chooses to communicate will ultimately affect the way in which that message is received. If we can communicate to our friends in Hollywood in a way that’s most comfortable and familiar to them, then the message of hope, faith, and moral values will prove to be a success in the lives of many people searching for strong and lasting marriage amidst the current culture of Hollywood.