What are some famous long-term marriages that ended in divorce?

Inspired by the Al and Tipper Gore separation after 40 years of marriage, who are some other famous people who divorced after many years? “Many years” being relative, I won’t put an exact number to it but let’s say long enough that it probably surprised most people when they split up or that if they had a child early in the marriage he or she was grown or close to it.

A few I can think of (though I googled the dates):

Buddy Ebsen divorced his second wife to whom he was married for 41 years in 1985 to marry Dorothy Knott who was about 40 years his junior.

Michael Douglas divorced his first wife after 23 years of marriage and a few additional years of cohabitation.

Malcolm Forbes and his wife Roberta divorced after 39 years of marriage, after which he barely tried to keep his homosexuality a secret anymore. (He was one of the first famous people to be publicly outed by gonzo gay journalists.)

Rupert Murdoch divorced after 32 years- it cost him almost $2 billion- to marry his mistress with whom he has children young enough to be his great-grandchildren.

Lynn Redgrave divorced her husband of 33 years when she discovered he’d fathered two out of wedlock children including one with their daughter-in-law (before she married their son).

Can you think of any others? Any who were married longer than 40 years especially?

If 23 years is long, then what about King Henry VIII of England and his first queen, Catherine of Aragon? – they were married nearly 24 years (1509-1533) until the marriage ended in the most famous divorce in British history.

Well, most famous until McCartney and Heather anyway.:wink: (Lucky for her beheading wasn’t within in his power.)

Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy were married a long time. 52 years.

But…she died. Had they filed for divorce?

Probably not as well known nationally as they were here in Milwaukee, but philanthropists Jane & Lloyd Pettit were married over 29 years, both in their upper 70’s when they divorced.

Couple comes to the counsellor’s office.
She’s 95; he’s 97.

“We want a divorce.”

Counsellor: “After 76 years of marriage?! Why now?”

“We had to wait for the kids to die off. It woulda killed 'em emotionally.”

From Wiki:

“In 1999 [Viacom chairman Sumner] Redstone was divorced from his first wife of 55 years, Phyllis Gloria Raphael. He is the father of Shari Redstone and Brent Redstone. Three years after his divorce, he married Paula Fortunato, a former primary school teacher who is 39 years his junior. Paula Fortunato filed for divorce from Redstone on Friday, October 17, 2008. Their divorce was finalized on January 22, 2009.”

Although not married, for 21 years, “From 1988 to 2009, [Susan] Sarandon was in a relationship with actor Tim Robbins, whom she met while filming Bull Durham. They have two sons — Jack Henry (born 1989) and Miles Guthrie (born 1992).[11] Sarandon’s relationship with Robbins publicly ended at the end of 2009.”

Dennis Hopper got a divorce after 14 years; it turned ugly: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/15/dennis-hopper-divorce-sho_n_424589.html

I am pretty sure uber-hypocrite Mel (shoogar-titts) Gibson was married for 25+ years until he dumped his wife to enjoy a little bit of creampie luv with a 20 year-old Russian gal…

I believe this was a joke they perpetrated on a journalist that had come to interview them. They told the journalist that they were getting a divorce and that Hume was going to move in with a youger woman.

Than they couldn’t keep a staight face and broke out into giggles.

I can see how the story could become misremembered as true.

Yes, it was on “60 Minutes” Mike Wallace asked the question they used to hear ad nauseum: “How do you make it (a marriage in show biz) work?” And a deadpan Tandy said they were splitting up, and Cronyn piped in “Jessica has another fella, and I want to play the field!”

It was a joke. Their marriage only ended when Tandy died of ovarian cancer in 1994.

Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian) and his wife of 51 years, Ruth Calvert: married on November 3, 1943; she sued for divorce in April 1995, claiming irreconcilable differences. The couple reconciled before he passed away a few years back.

Now that’s really one of those “Why?” divorces. I guess though that if you figure you have only 10 years to live then you might as well make them happy (though it sounds like he didn’t get it).

One of my favorite stories about a long term marriage with divorce filings:

Ray Walston, best known for South Pacific, My Favorite Martian, and ultimately Picket Fences, was shocked when he was away on location for a movie and got a call from a reporter asking about his wife filing for divorce after more than 55 years. He assumed it was a joke until he called home.
By all accounts Walston was a very cantankerous old man (prior to which he was a cantankerous younger man- on My Favorite Martian he supposedly once ranted over dialogue “A MARTIAN WOULD NEVER SAY THAT!”). He and his wife had just had a big brawl- their 4 millionth or so- and he’d said something to the effect of if she didn’t like it then she could ‘by God leave!’ or whatever, and she filed for divorce. This was how he learned about it.
He apologized and they worked it out. They stayed together until he died not terribly long afterwards.

There have been credible rumors that Israeli president (and former Prime Minister) Shimon Peres has recently seperated from his wife Sonya after 65 years of marriage.

Luciano Pavarotti got a divorce after 34 years supposedly to marry a younger woman who could provide him with a son (they had only a daughter).

Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer) got divorced after 36 years of marriage. As an advice columnist she spent years telling people not to get divorced and later modified that to say troubled couples should get marriage counseling. As far as anyone knows, she didn’t follow her own advice.

Acc. to Wiki, former GE hotshot CEO Jack Welch “had four children with his first wife, Carolyn. They divorced amicably in April 1987 after 28 years of marriage.” Welch has married twice since.

Nelson and Winnie Mandela were married in 1958 and divorced in 1996.

The Welch divorce was described as amicable? It was notorious as one of the bitterest divorce battles ever.

I think that was the second one. His first and longest marriage is the one I mentioned.

You’re right. My mistake.