My Heartbreaker post is here.
This week’s topic of the Express Yourself meme is favorite famous couples, real or fictional. Here are a couple of my favorites:
1 and 2. Stan and Ida Laurel and Oliver and Lucille Hardy. My favorite comedians weren’t very lucky in the marriage department until their respective last marriages. These later-life couplings proved to be their happiest, the ones they’d been waiting for all along. The last Mrs. Laurel and Mrs. Hardy were even there for their husbands during their respective final illnesses, taking care of them in sickness as well as in health. Sometimes the best relationship and one’s soulmate is only found later in life, not in the first attempt at marriage or dating.
3. Isidor and Ida Straus, who died together on the Titanic rather than be separated or take seats away from children or younger people. Prior to that, they wrote to one another every day when they weren’t together, much like my fictional Cinnimin and Levon, during Levon’s various deployments in Korea and Vietnam.
4. Harpo and Susan Marx. Susan was actually the one who proposed to him, and they were married for 28 years, until Harpo’s death. With the exception of the early-retiring Gummo, Harpo had the longest, happiest, most successful marriage of any of his brothers. I also love how they adopted all four of their kids and never considered them anything but their real kids. Harpo was almost 48 when they got married (Susan was 20 years younger), and really nervous about making such a big life change, but he was more scared of living the rest of his life without Susan. He finally accepted the third time she proposed. (At least his response to being proposed to wasn’t to say nothing, start jamming the ring on his finger, and then say, “It’s stuck. I’m very upset.”)
5. Charles and Oona Chaplin. It took a long time for him to find his true soulmate, and there was a huge age difference (she was 18 to his 54), but it was a true love match, his happiest and most stable relationship by far. When there’s a true meeting of the minds, so long as you’re both legal, age doesn’t really matter.
6. One of my favorite screen pairings is that of Rudy Valentino and Nita Naldi. They were together in Blood and Sand (1922) and Cobra (1925), and slated to be leads in the never-filmed project The Hooded Falcon. Their chemistry was incredible, even if Nita always played the Vamp role, not the “good girl” Rudy’s characters were married to or courting.
7. I also love the frequent screen pairing of Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, two of my favorite silent stars. (I’m far from the only person who prefers Garbo’s silents to her talkies!) They were together in four films—the incredible Flesh and the Devil (1926), Love (1927, a terrible screen adaption of Anna Karenina complete with happy ending), A Woman of Affairs (1928), and Queen Christina (1933). Their chemistry was even more incredible because they were involved offscreen as well, though they never married, much to Jack’s disappointment.
8. Moe and Helen Howard. As a huge Three Stooges fan, I’m not alone in finding it rather sweet and charming how the boys were quite the opposite of their screen personae in real life. They were all devoted family men, and not violent, mean people at all. Moe and Helen (a cousin of Harry Houdini) were married in 1925 and stayed married till Moe’s death in 1975. Helen died not quite 6 months later. I once read an excerpt of a love letter Moe wrote to her, in which he thanked her for letting him be her sweetheart for so many years.
9. Simon and Yasmin LeBon. They’ve been married for 27 years now, and have really gotten older together so gracefully, without any scandals in their marriage. I also like how they broke up originally because Yasmin didn’t want to have sex, but got back together later because it was just meant to be. If you’re meant to be with someone, you’ll find your way back together, even if you’re separated or not together. They’ve also gone through problems with having kids before having their three daughters. (I love the name of their middle daughter, Saffron!) Honestly, I wish I had been that strong about waiting, and not given my antique virginity to a guy who wouldn’t even freaking kiss me, but what’s done is done. At least I learnt my lesson and won’t compromise my beliefs again, if I ever find another partner at my age.
10. John Lennon and Yoko Ono. In spite of continued Yoko-bashing by certain immature, mean-spirited people, it’s so obvious these two were such soulmates, creative partners, and a perfect match. As a proud puma, graduated from a bobcat, I also love that John’s soulmate was an older woman. Age and culture didn’t matter, because they were such a perfect match and meeting of the minds. Yes, they had some difficult periods, but normal relationships aren’t always sunshine, flowers, and kittens. Sometimes you have problems, and you have to work to get the relationship back on track.