11 celebrity marriages that have beaten the odds

Despite popular belief, many celebrity marriages are lasting, and here’s proof. Learn what makes their marriages work.

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  • When a celebrity divorces it's big news. It happens so often that it's easy to wonder if any marriages of the rich and famous will last. We can all remember how certain break-ups affected us. We want our celebrities and heroes to stay married. We want them to be examples of happy, lasting marriages. The good news is, many are. Here are a few worth noting.

  • Ron Howard

  • and his wife, Cheryl, will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this year. Many remember him as the cute little red-headed boy, Ope, on The Andy Griffith Show. Then along came his run with Happy Days. This successful movie director credits his long marriage to "a little luck to grow together.... compatibility and her good patience." He and Cheryl have four children.

  • John Grisham,

  • trial lawyer and author of mystery thrillers, has been married to his wife, Renee, for 34 years. His attempt at writing a steamy sex scenemade his wife laugh hysterically. He knew that wasn't his forte. Being a devout Baptist kept him focused on Christian values. He and Renee have two children.

  • Mark Harmon,

  • of NCIS fame has been married to Mork and Mindy actress Pam Dawber for 28 years. They attribute their success to purposely keeping their marriage relationship out of the limelight. Too much publicity can take a toll on couples if they are not careful. There is definitely something to be said for maintaining a private life. They are parents of two sons.

  • Denzel Washington,

  • critically acclaimed actor and family man, has been married to his wife, Pauletta Pearson, for 32 years. His philosophy has paved the way to their successful marriage: "Acting is just a way of making a living; the family is life." They have four children.

  • Danny Ainge,

  • NBA star and manager of the Boston Celtics, has been married to Michelle for 36 years. He credits her with saving his life when he awoke with chest pain. She had looked online and said, "That's a symptom of a heart attack, so let's go to the hospital right now." No question about it, devoted married couples look after each other. They are parents of six children.

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  • George H. W. Bush,

  • 41st president of the U.S., has been married to his lifelong partner, Barbara, for 70 years. The longest-wed presidential couple set the recordin 2000 when they surpassed John and Abigail Adams' 54-year union. Barbara's advice: "At the end of your life, you will never regret winning one more verdict or earning one more paycheck. You will regret time not spent with a spouse, a friend or a loved one." They have six children.

  • Donny Osmond

  • married the love of his life, Debbie Glenn, 37 years ago. With his career still in high gear, he said, "Our relationship and our home life is not an open book; my career is. But what happens in our home and how we raise our children, and how we treat each other, is pretty sacred. It belongs to us and that's all." They have five sons.

  • Alan Alda,

  • TV star, has been married to his wife, Arlene, for 58 yrs. He is a "devoted family man, and during the 11 seasons of MAS*H he commuted to Los Angeles from their home in New Jersey because he didn't want to disrupt his family's life." Being together in a stable environment seems to be a key factor in creating a strong marriage. They have three daughters.

  • Michael J. Fox,

  • star of the hit series Family Ties, and actress Tracy Pollan have been married 27 years. Their fans have been touched by their loyalty to each other as Michael deals with Parkinson's disease. They are an example of staying together through the hard times. They have four children.

  • Jamie Lee Curtis,

  • beloved actress, and Christopher Guest, SNL alum, celebrate 31 years of marriage this year. She first saw him pictured in a magazine and told her friend, "I'm going to marry that man." She said, "Chris and I have a wonderful, complicated, imperfect life. And a very real marriage." They have a son and a daughter.

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  • Stephen King,

  • author, and his wife, Tabitha, celebrate 44 years of happily-ever-after. They met at a university library where they both worked as students. She believed in his writing ability. She found the crinkled papers to his draft of Carrie in the trash and insisted he finish it. It became the first of his many bestsellers. Supporting each other's dreams is an important factor in making a marriage last. They have three children.

  • These are all encouraging examples of lasting marriages. We suggest that all married couples reading this go and do likewise. Make your marriage last. If they can do it, you can, too.

  • You may be surprised at how many celebrities have never been divorced. To see more, click here.

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Gary Lundberg is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Joy is a writer. Together they author books on relationships.

Website: http://garyjoylundberg.com

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