Belfast Telegraph

Mind the (age) gap! Celebrity couples with years between them

There are plenty of star pairings who are years apart in age, and many have stood the test of time.

Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall (left) and Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor Johnson (PA)
Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall (left) and Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor Johnson (PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Age is just a number for so many celebrity couples, with age gaps larger than the space between the platform and the Tube commonplace among the showbiz set.

As Hollywood actor Dennis Quaid, 65, becomes engaged to his 26-year-old girlfriend Laura Savoie, we look at other famous pairings who are years – or even decades – apart in age.

Dame Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchell

Dame Barbara: 82
Scott: 56
Age gap: 26 years

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Dame Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchell (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

EastEnders favourite Dame Barbara found it was third time lucky when she wed Scott, a former actor, in 2000, after two failed marriages.

Scott has been a large support to his famous wife since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014 and, since revealing her diagnosis last year, he has become a public figure in speaking out about dementia.

Earlier this year, alongside some of Dame Barbara’s former EastEnders co-stars, he ran the London Marathon on his 56th birthday to raise money for the Dementia Revolution, a partnership between the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Dame Joan Collins and Percy Gibson

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Dame Joan Collins and Percy Gibson (PA Archive/PA)

Dame Joan: 86
Percy: 54
Age gap: 32 years

Dame Joan married Percy, her fifth husband, at Claridge’s Hotel in 2002 when she was 68 and he was 36.

Last year the Dynasty star revealed her secrets to a long-lasting married, telling Hello! magazine that both partners must “understand that there will be highs and lows”.

She said: “People get married on the crest of lust. Once that’s gone, they look and think: ‘What the hell? Who is this person?’ There has to be something else to fall back on. If there isn’t, they start looking.”

Shirley Ballas and Danny Taylor

Shirley: 59
Danny: 46
Age gap: 13 years

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Shirley Ballas and Danny Taylor (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley started dating actor Danny earlier this year after working together in a Jack And The Beanstalk pantomime in Liverpool.

Despite the age gap of more than a decade, Shirley has already said that Danny is “the one” and that she has already met his parents, telling Hello! magazine last month: “I love that man. I just want to sit there all day and stare at him. We have a lot in common and we laugh all the time.”

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones

Michael: 75
Catherine: 50
Age gap: 25 years

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Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones with their son Dylan and daughter Carys in 2015 (Ian West/PA)

Michael and Catherine are exactly 25 years apart in age as they both celebrate their birthday on September 25.

The Hollywood couple have been married for 19 years after being introduced by Danny DeVito. Catherine told US magazine Parade in 2007 that when they met, Michael said: “I want to father your children.”

It worked: they have two children together, Carys and Dylan.

Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall

Rupert: 88
Jerry: 63
Age gap: 25 years

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Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall (Ian West/PA)

American Supermodel Jerry tied the knot with media mogul Murdoch after a whirlwind four-month romance in March 2016, and held a private Fleet Street service with the likes of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Michael Caine in attendance.

It was the fourth marriage for Murdoch and the first for Jerry, who was previously in a high-profile relationship with Rolling Stones rocker Sir Mick Jagger. During the course of her 22-year relationship with Sir Mick, the couple were wed in Bali, but the 1990 ceremony was not legally binding.

Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart

Harrison: 77
Calista: 54
Age gap: 23 years

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Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart (Ian West/PA)

The actors met at the Golden Globes in 2002 and have been together ever since, marrying in 2010, although they largely stay out of the limelight together with their adopted teenage son Liam.

Calista, best known for her portrayal of Ally McBeal, previously told People magazine that the age gap “doesn’t factor” in their relationship at all.

Jason Statham and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Jason: 52
Rosie: 32
Age gap: 20 years

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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Jason Statham (Ian West/PA)

Tough guy actor Jason and model Rosie have been dating since 2010.

The pair announced their engagement with a huge sparkler on Rosie’s finger at the Golden Globes in 2016, and the good-looking couple passed on their genes to their first child, a son called Jack, in 2017.

Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Sam: 52
Aaron: 29
Age gap: 23 years

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Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Filmmaker Sam began a relationship with Aaron when he starred in Nowhere Boy, a biopic she directed about John Lennon’s childhood. Kick-Ass star Aaron was 19 at the time and she was 42. The couple married in 2012 and have two daughters under the age of 10.

In a 2017 interview, Sam said she tries to ignore the attention over their age gap, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “If I gave a second thought to other people, I would be the unhappiest person, probably still in a miserable marriage.”

Stephen Fry and Elliott Spencer

Stephen: 62
Elliott: 32
Age gap: 30 years

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Elliott Spencer and Stephen Fry (Matt Crossick/PA)

Stephen married writer and comedian Elliott in 2015 in Dereham, Norfolk, near to where the former QI host grew up, having met three years earlier at a house party.

In response to critics about their romance, Elliott previously told the Mirror: “I don’t care what people think. Stephen is the love of my life, the light of my life.”

Elliott has previously said their shared sense of humour is why their marriage works.

Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz

Heidi: 46
Tom: 29
Age gap: 17 years

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Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz (Ian West/PA)

German supermodel Heidi married Tokio Hotel rocker Tom in an idyllic ceremony on Capri, Italy, this summer, having gone public with their romance last year.

Last year the catwalk star, who was previously married to singer Seal and celebrity hairstylist Ric Pipino, told InStyle magazine of the downside to being in a relationship with somebody 17 years her junior.

Speaking before they were married, Heidi said: “My boyfriend is many years younger than me, and lots of people are questioning that and asking about it. That’s really the only time when age seems to be shoved in my face and I have to give an answer for it.”

Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor

Sarah: 44
Holland: 76
Age gap: 32 years

American Horror Story star Sarah has been in a relationship with Two And A Half Men actress Holland Taylor since 2015.

They first met at a dinner party more than a decade ago while Sarah was dating the actress Cherry Jones, but they later crossed paths and began direct messaging each other on Twitter before meeting up for dinner and eventually becoming a couple.

In 2016, Sarah addressed the attention around their same-sex romance with a large age gap, telling The New York Times: “My choices in romantic partners have not been conventional, and therefore the idea that it is ‘other’ makes it compelling.”

David Foster and Katharine McPhee

David: 69
Katharine: 35
Age gap: 34 years

American actress and singer Katharine married Canadian musician and producer David earlier this year in Kensington, London.

Katharine, who appeared in the West End production of Waitress this summer, first found fame as the runner-up on American Idol in 2006 and David – who was previously married to Yolanda Hadid, the mother of models Gigi and Bella – produced her debut single.

Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy

Olivier: 50
Mary-Kate: 33
Age gap: 17 years

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Mary-Kate Olsen (Ian West/PA)

Mary-Kate is 17 years younger than her banker husband Olivier – the half brother of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Having dated since 2012, they wed in a small ceremony in New York in November 2015 and the former child star, actress and fashion designer is a stepmother to his two children from a previous marriage.

PA

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