Movie stars’ mania for weddings down through the years has bordered on neurotic profligacy, observes Tom McParland, and it doesn’t show much sign of changing anytime soon.

There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded” said Princess Diana in 1985.

“Only three? Gee, you must’ve had a strong nup!” could chorus a bevy of Hollywood stars whose mania for weddings borders on neurotic profligacy. For nowhere in Hollywood is there a church big enough to hold two outsized egos – and – that third person us.

Since the year 2000, Hollywood has maintained its record of divorce stability with at least one annual celebrity ache-up. The 2007 breakup of Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe –a putatively normal couple – after 7 years and 2 kids, Kate Hudson and Chris Robinson (6 years, 1 child), and Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe (8 years, and several parrots), was considered ‘shocking’.

Gossips speculated that Swank’s failure to mention Lowe in her 2000 Oscar acceptance speech for Boys Don’t Cry spelt trouble. But maybe the fact that Hilary played a boxer in 2005 was related to her sounding the bell on substance abuser husband, Lowe.

As breakups get more vicious and nastier, it’s inadvisable for we oldies to keep track of contemporary who’s-wooing. Especially as in old Hollywood we’ve a converse tradition of stable screen relationships. Like Ma & Pa Kettle – Lady & Tramp, Olive Oyl & Popeye, Tom & Jerry and Fred & Wilma Flintstone. The list goes on and on!

On the basis that nobody’s interested in cats that didn’t stray, we’ll skip lengthy unions like Bob Hope’s 69 years, James Cagney’s 64, Paul Newman’s 30, or James Stewart’s 45). We’re talking attained mathematical impossibility here: units having more than two halves.

We begin our salute with the celebrity who has achieved marital stability over 79 years despite having 9 other halves (one for a lengthy 24 hours). It’s that hungry-for-hunks, Hungarian honey, Zsa Zsa Gábor.

One of her 9 marriages lasted merely 7 months. 4-spoused George Sanders was one of them (1949-54). Instead, George became Zsa Zsa’s brother in-law by marrying her older sister Magna, but unexpectedly it was annulled 32 days later.
Zsa Zsa’s multiple unions produced one daughter. Her wisecracks, like her false right leg (real one amputated in 2011), are legendary – mostly written by Joan Rivers:

“Personally, I know nothing about sex because I’ve always been married. I believe in large families: every woman should have at least three husbands. You never really know a man until you’ve divorced him. Attract men by having a magnificent bosom, a half-size brain and letting both of them show”.

Since Zsa Zsa’s score of nine can’t be matched, we now honour the next best nuptial nonpareil, Mickey Rooney with his measly score of 8.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own