Infidelity, drug use, Scientology: These are only a few of the reasons why these famous Hollywood couples decided to split.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard by now that Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt in 2016, citing "irreconcilable differences." Regardless of whether you were a fan of the Hollywood couple or not, their separation still managed to hijack entertainment headlines and shocked the masses. The seemingly levelheaded couple was routinely praised for their activist natures, family dynamics and open communication. Like Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, they seemed solid.
But celebrity divorce scandals are hardly new—in most cases, they're even expected. However, it often takes a high-profile split, rife with malicious gossip and wild speculation, like the one between Jolie and Pitt, to cause us to look back at other headline-grabbing divorces that also shook the foundations of Tinseltown.
So we take a look at some of the more, shall we say…acrimonious…celebrity splits.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Liz Taylor had a wildly successful film career, a penchant for fine jewelry and was a ravishing beauty, yet a large part of her public identity will forever be entwined with her eight high-profile marriages—two of which were to the same man, the volatile Richard Burton.
The couple first met on the set of 1963's disastrous flop Cleopatra while both were married to other people—Taylor to fourth husband, Eddie Fisher, whom she "stole" from friend Debbie Reynolds, and Burton to Welsh actress Sybil Williams. The pair made no secret of their attraction for one another: director Joseph L. Mankiewicz had to repeatedly yell "Cut!" multiple times at one point during a kissing scene because the duo would not separate from their passionate embrace.
Taylor and Burton shocked Hollywood by divorcing their spouses soon after, marrying each other in March 1964. Their fans were dismayed—at least at first. Even the Vatican weighed in on the affair, condemning their actions as "erotic vagrancy."
Despite a 10-year union (they divorced in 1974 after Burton's affair with a young costar), the marriage was always marred by vicious verbal fights and alcoholism. When the couple finally split, Burton dived straight into his next marriage a mere three weeks later, this time to actress Suzy Hunt. Not one to waste time nursing a broken heart, Taylor quickly wed millionaire John Warner. But the pair stayed in touch: Burton even showed up to Taylor's 50th birthday bash.
But they didn't remain separated for long. Taylor and Burton tied the knot again in 1975, but this time the marriage crumbled within months, ending in July 1976. But it was clear the two continued to pine for one another over the years and they would frequently get together to catch up. Shortly after Burton's death in 1984, Taylor wistfully told reporters, "Maybe we loved each other too much."
Next: Paul Newman and Jacqueline Witte
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