Words of Love
The tattoo on his bicep says "Suzie Q," a tribute to the Hollywood executive he married 12 years ago and never seems to take for granted. And he's not the only celebrity who's happy in marriage. Here, as Robert Downey Jr. celebrates his 52nd birthday, are 10 well-known husbands who really, really love their wives.
Photo by Frazer Harrison
Robert Downey Jr.
These days he's known as Iron Man, but for years Robert Downey Jr. was more like the sick puppy he played at age five in "Pound," a 1970 film directed by his father, who turned him on to dope a year later. The actor's recovery from decades of addiction took hold in 2003, the year he met Susan Levin. "I could be bussing tables at the Daily Grill right now if not for her," he says. Their second child, a baby girl, was born in November 2014.
Photo by Albert L. Ortega
Hollywood's best-liked couple faced serious adversity in 2015 as Rita Wilson underwent treatment for breast cancer, but her strength was breathtaking. Here's what Hanks once said about Wilson, his wife since 1988: "When I met Rita, I thought, 'Oh, this is what it's supposed to be like when you are married to someone.' It's supposed to be this carefree and easy and, you know, oddly enough, weighty."
"When I met Deb … I knew, 100 percent," he said of his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, in an interview with Katie Couric. That first meeting happened in 1995 on the set of an Australian TV series, and since then much has been made of their age difference (he's 48; she's 61). Not that this ever gave Jackman pause: "I've never known anything as confidently or sure in my life. ... Truly, she's the greatest woman I have ever met."
Photo by Jason Merritt
Michael J. Fox
Tracy Pollen played his girlfriend on "Family Ties," and they got married in 1988. Much later—a decade after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease—Fox told O Magazine he had "two feelings" about his wife: "One is that she becomes more beautiful every second; and more important, I look at her and say to myself, 'Damn, you're smart. Boy, did you make the right choice.'"
Here's how the singer-songwriter describes his wife, Kathleen Brennan: "She's like a heavy equipment operator and a clairvoyant—it's rare when you get that together. … She can fix a truck. Expert on African violets and all that. She's out of this world. I don't know what to say. I'm a lucky man." Waits' "Jersey Girl" has worn his ring since 1980.
Photo by Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe
The Dude met Susan Geston in Montana in 1974. A waitress working her way through college, she had black eyes and a broken nose from a recent car accident—it was love at first sight. Married 40 years, Bridges said a while back, "My wife holds the kite strings that let me go 'weeeeeee,' then she reels me back in."
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Bacon told Esquire that he and Kyra Sedgwick were "very upset and angry" when they learned, not long after their 20th wedding anniversary, that they'd lost the bulk of their savings to Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. "But then Kyra and I looked at each other and said: 'We're in love. We have healthy children. We've worked hard to put this all together. We'll just keep working hard to put it all back. It's just money.'"
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"It was a bolt to the heart," said the normally reserved British actor, recalling the moment he saw Italian producer/director Livia Giuggiol on a street in Cartagena, Columbia. Soon to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, they now have two sons and divide their time between London and Umbria, Italy.
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OK, it was a political speech, but he clearly didn't have to fake the sentiment. After winning his reelection in 2012, Barack Obama said, "I wouldn't be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. … Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too."
Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP
U2's frontman and his wife, Ali Hewson, met as students in Dublin back in the '70s and tied the knot in 1982. "I'm a bit of a stray dog," Bono wrote in the 2005 book "U2 by U2." "I would not have been in the queue to get married, had I not met someone as extraordinary as Ali. I always felt more myself with her than with anybody."
Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images
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