Dating in Hollywood has its own standard; perhaps this can be attributed to the demanding schedules, long periods of time away, and the constant pressure of living life in the media. But in an industry where breakups seem to be more common than long-lasting romances, it's nice to know that there are still some couples who found “the one” decades ago.
There are celebrities like LeBron James and Savannah Brinson who have been together since their high school days' supporting each other long before James’s career took off and he became one of the most celebrated professional athletes in the world. There are also many rappers, including Ja Rule and LL Cool J, who are thrilled that they found their soulmate at such a young age and were able to grow and learn with them.
Below are 20 A-listers who stayed with their childhood or college love well past their big Hollywood or sporting debut, and although some of them have since called it quits (because realistically not all childhood romances last,) others remain in a committed and loving relationship.
Actor Misha Collins, who is best known for his role on Supernatural, married his high school sweetheart in 2002. Her name is Victoria Vantoch, and according to Bustle, she is an accomplished woman in her own right and an author of two books.
The couple met in English class, and according to Hitberry, their romance took flight after Collins penned a sweet poem for Vantoch describing her beauty. Fast forward a few decades, and the two are still happily in love.
You may think a world-famous musician would have a tough time settling down, but Jon Bon Jovi definitely doesn’t fit into any stereotypes about musicians, and he and his wife, Dorothea Hurley, have known each other since high school.
They have been married since 1989, and their nuptials came at the peak of the musician’s success, Today notes. Their marriage works, and Jovi spoke about why that is in an interview with People, explaining that his wife is to thank.
“She’s the glue,” he said. “I’m the crazy visionary with all kinds of things flying, and the seams are all splitting."
"She’s the one following me with the glue and the thread and needle, keeping it all together.”
With all the stories of couples breaking up constantly making headlines, it’s nice to focus on the relationships that get far less attention, like Jeff Daniels and his wife Kathleen Treado. The pair met during high school in Michigan and got married in 1979, and they now have three children.
The couple even decided to move back to their hometown to raise their children, and according to MLive, Daniels explained their reasoning:
"It was home. Kathleen and I had both been raised here; good enough for us, good enough for them... I knew I was going to be on the road a lot. I just felt it was a great place to raise our kids."
Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson met when they were attending Morehouse College, Married Biography reports, and a few years later the pair married in 1980. They are still together, nearly four decades later, and share an adult daughter, Zoe Jackson.
According to People, Jackson stated that he and his wife still have a very “strong bond.” He also commented on the longevity of the relationship, telling the publication,
“We actually thought we were going to be the black Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, but we were going to stay together! She’s had a good career. I’ve had a good career. So it’s worked.”
When it comes to relationships and finding the person you want to spend forever with, Elizabeth Banks easily has one of the most romantic stories.
She met her husband, Max Handelman, on the first day at the University of Pennsylvania, InStyle reports, and ten years later, he decided to propose.
In 2003, they got married and ensured it was a day to remember at the W Hotel in Westwood. Their romance has continued to blossom, and in 2011, they welcomed their son, Felix, into the world.
Timothy Olyphant plays Drew Barrymore's onscreen husband in Netflix’s series Santa Clarita Diet, but in real life, he married his college sweetheart, Alexis Knief. In the Netflix Show, Olyphant plays a suburban dad, but the best part of his role, he told the National Post, is that this is something his kids (he and Knief have three children) can also watch and he revealed that he looked forward to sharing it with them.
According to The Famous People, Olyphant and Knief met at the University of Southern California, and later married in 1991.
Former Glee actress Heather Morris married her high school sweetheart, Taylor Hubbell, in a Californian celebration in 2015, Entertainment Tonight reports. But actually, they didn’t meet at school, rather, they met on MySpace, Bustle reports.
When Morris moved to Los Angeles, Hubbell contacted her on the site, and they clicked. The pair has since started their own little family, and appear to be extremely happy together. There is no denying that Hubbell is Morris’ first priority; she has previously stated that if she had to choose between her man and acting, he would win every time.
LeBron James and Savannah Brinson were high school sweethearts, and now they are one of the most beloved celebrity couples. They have been married since 2013, and James is happy to speak about the love he has for his wife.
“[Savannah] was down when I was at my high school, no cameras, no lights. And she was there with me."
He said. "You wouldn’t be talking to me right now if it weren’t for her.”
Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins are a happy couple; Rhett has even revealed that his wife has served as creative inspiration for some of his music, Country Living reports. They have known each other since first grade, and their love story reads like a romance novel.
According to the publication, the pair were best friends for years, and briefly dated when they were aged 15. It didn’t work out, but they stayed friends, and eventually, this friendship blossomed into something more, resulting in their marriage in 2012.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus found the right guy when she met Brad Hall. At the time, they were both students at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, Country Living notes, and Louis-Dreyfus auditioned for a play that Hall was producing.
They are the perfect comedy couple, and a true team because not only have they been married since 1986, but they have also worked together professionally on several projects, including Saturday Night Live, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and on the series, Veep (Hall directed two episodes).
Ja Rule (whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins) met his wife, Aisha Atkins, in high school. Despite being teenagers, the couple fell in love and later got married in 2001, Hitberry reports.
The pair has known each other for a very long time, and Ja Rule wrote about his “soulmate” in his memoir, Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man. According to Time, he wrote,
“I’ve known that woman for a long time. It’s good to meet your soulmate, so to speak, at an early age, and go through life together, growing together. I watched her grow up, she watched me grow up.”
Most people know him as the frontman of U2, but Irish rocker Bono is also a dedicated family man, who has known his wife, Ali Hewson since they were teenagers. They met in Dublin and married in 1982.
Speaking of the secret to their successful marriage, Bono told Entertainment Tonight,
"We feel the red carpet has kept us close. If things are going around, we say, 'Let's do the red carpet, certainly.'"
It’s an unusual comment, but the pair has clearly found what works for them, with Bono also telling the publication that marriage has been a “magic carpet ride."
Snoop Dogg met his wife, Shante Taylor, during their high school years, and they both attended Polytechnic High School. The couple married in 1997, but their relationship hasn’t always been smooth sailing, and there was a time, early in the rapper’s career, when they didn't think they would make it.
According to Hollywood.com, Snoop Dogg told The View, “it was a point in time when me and my girlfriend at the time, we were having ups and downs and a lot of my friends was telling me that I should just go ahead and be solo because I was Snoop Doggy Dogg and I could have any woman that I wanted.”
But it was his close friend Tupac who told him he needed to marry Shante.
Sasha Pieterse is best known for her role as Alison DiLaurentis in Pretty Little Liars, and although she is in her early twenties, she found a man she wanted to marry from a young age. Pieterse met Hudson Sheaffer a “long” time ago, she told People in 2017.
“I’ve known him for so long, and it’s so incredible having someone like that supporting you and knowing without a doubt that they are going to be there no matter what happens,”
she said. They got engaged when Pieterse was 19 (there’s a seven-year age-gap), Romper reports, and married in 2018.
Tyler Posey stayed with his middle school sweetheart, Seana Gorlick, long after he found fame, but the couple ultimately ended up splitting after a 10-year romance. According to Hollywood Life, they had been together since they were 12-years-old, and at one point were even celebrating an engagement.
But Posey told Us Weekly in 2014 that the relationship had come to an end. He said, “I’m just gonna get it out there because I get sad talking about it. I'm just gonna get it out there now so that hopefully people start hearing about it.”
Kate and Andy Spade built the fashion brand Kate Spade together, and while many people know about the brand, fewer know details of their relationship. According to Town & Country, the couple met when they were students at Arizona State University, at a clothing store they both worked in.
Kate recalled this meeting, and how it started their relationship first as friends, and later as something more, in an episode of NPR’s How I Built This (via Town & Country).
“I was on the women's side. He was on the men's side. And one day, his car broke down, and he asked me for a ride home. And we really started off as really great friends,”
she explained. The couple married in 1994.
Anthony Mackie and Sheletta Chapital married in 2014, but by this time they had already known each other for many years, having met her during his childhood.
According to People, the pair met in grade school, and Mackie recalled the meeting in an appearance on The Queen Latifah Show, explaining how he had changed schools and on his first day he saw Chapital and thought “wow.” He described her as a “little girl with these ratty pigtails...”
Years later, they had a low-key wedding at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Another rap power couple is LL Cool J and Simone Smith who been together for decades. According to Romper, their first meeting happened in 1987, and LL Cool J recalled the moment in an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
He said, "I was just 19, something like that. It was Easter and I was driving down the block in my mother's car." He said hello to a friend, who introduced him to his cousin, and it was Smith! They have been together ever since, and fame has not affected their strong union.
Former professional baseball pitcher Mariano Rivera married his wife, Clara Rivera, in 1991, and the couple is still together. Their first meeting was when they were teenagers, and Rivera credits his wife for helping ensure his life went in the right direction, The Wall Street Journal reports.
After he retired from baseball, Rivera gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal, revealing how he had devoted his time to the Mariano Rivera Foundation and the church he and his wife founded. "My role is being her husband," he sweetly said of his wife, who serves as the church’s pastor.
Ron Howard and Cheryl Alley met in school, and despite falling in love as teenagers this couple has really withstood the test of time. They married in 1975 and have four children (including Bryce Dallas Howard, who is following in her father’s footsteps).
Howard feels really lucky to have met the woman of his dreams when he did.
He spoke about their marriage, telling HuffPost Live, "I felt really lucky when we met. It's crazy -- we were teenagers, it shouldn't have worked. We got married young, that shouldn't have worked either, and yet it really and truly has.”
References: Bustle, Hitberry, Today, People, MLive, Married Biography, People, InStyle, The Famous People, National Post, Entertainment Tonight, Bustle, Hollywood Reporter, Country Living, Country Living, Hitberry, Time, Entertainment Tonight, Capital Xtra, Hollywood, Romper, People, Hollywood Life, Us Weekly, Town & Country, People, Romper, The Wall Street Journal, HuffPost Live.