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Until Death Do Us Part? Golden Hollywood Stars With Multiple Marriages

Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images

Nothing captures our interest quite like the rise and fall of relationships in Hollywood. Perhaps this is because intimate details of the stars of Hollywood are exploited for people around the world to know, but it is interesting nonetheless to put our own spin on relationships. Here we take a look at Hollywood stars who have had the highest number of marriages, and inspire us to never give up on love.

1. Zsa Zsa Gabor

Number of Marriages: 9

Zsa Zsa Gabor in 1951
Actress and socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor in 1951. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

Socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor kicks off our list at nine marriages. Her first marriage was to Burhan Asaf Belge in 1935, but the pair later divorced in 1941. In 1942, she married hotel-tycoon Conrad Hilton and divorced him in 1947. Next on the list was George Sanders, whom she was married to for five years between 1949 to 1954. She married Herbert Hunter in 1962 but divorced him on March 3, 1966. Less than a week later on March 9, 1966, she married Joshua S. Cosden Jr. but the pair later divorced in 1967.

Zsa Zsa remained unwed until 1975 when she married Jack Ryan, but the pair later divorced on August 24, 1976. Three days later, on August 27, 1976, Zsa Zsa married Michael O’Hara, who she divorced in 1983. Her eighth marriage to Felipe de Alba was short-lived, as the pair tied the knot on April 13, 1983. One day later, on April 14, 1983, the marriage was annulled because her divorce to O’Hara was not yet finalized.

Her longest marriage was to Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt in 1986. The pair remained married until Zsa Zsa’s death in 2016.

2. Mickey Rooney

Number of Marriages: 8

Mickey Rooney and Ava Gardner
Mickey Rooney and his first wife, Ava Gardner in 1942. (Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/ Getty Images)

Mickey Rooney is not only remembered for the legacy he left in Hollywood but also for the number of times he tied the knot. Over his life, Mickey Rooney was married a total of eight times. In January 1942, 22-year-old Rooney married 20-year-old actress Ava Gardner, but by May the following year, the couple had divorced. In 1944, Rooney married Betty Jane Baker, who was only 17 and coming off a Miss Alabama agent win. Although the couple had two children together, they ultimately called it quits in 1949.

Rooney then went on to marry actress/ model Martha Vickers in 1949, but the couple divorced in 1951. Rooney wasn’t single for very long, as he met his fourth wife, Elaine Devry, in the fall of 1952 at a Hollywood driving range. He proposed in November 1952 and the couple flew to Las Vegas the next day to get married. The pair divorced in 1958, but not after a very public and very messy split.

Rooney’s fifth marriage, to Barbara Ann Thomson, happened in 1958 after she discovered she was pregnant with Rooney’s baby. However, the marriage ended in tragedy in 1966 when Thomason was murdered by a stuntman and actor she’d had been having an affair with. In 1966, Rooney married his late wife’s best friend, Marge Lane, after the two grew close because of the tragedy. However, after 100 days of marriage the two divorced. Later, Rooney would comment on his less-than-stellar record in matrimony, mentioning Marge and quickly adding, “I think that was her name, anyway.” Ouch.

Rooney was married to a woman named Carolyn Hockett from 1969 to 1975. In 1978, he married his eighth wife Jan Chamberlin, and the pair remained married until his death in 2014, although they had separated in 2012.

3. Elizabeth Taylor

Number of Marriages: 8

Liz Taylor and Richard Burton at their first wedding
Liz Taylor and Richard Burton at their first wedding in Montreal, Canada, 1964. (Photo Credit: William Lovelace/ Stringer/ Getty Images)

Elizabeth Taylor is perhaps best known for the high number of marriages she had during her lifetime. The Cleopatra star was married eight times, beginning with Conrad “Nicky” Hilton Jr. in 1950. (Conrad’s father, Conrad Hilton Sr. was married our list-topper Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Zsa Zsa admitted to having an affair with Conrad Hilton Jr. in 1944.) Liza Taylor divorced Hilton Jr. after only eight months of marriage, citing mental and physical abuse.

Liz then went on to marry British actor Michael Wilding, who was 20 years her senior. The two were together for five years and had two sons, but ultimately went their separate ways in 1957. Liz Taylor then married movie producer Mike Todd in 1957, but their marriage ended in tragedy one year later when Todd’s private plane, “The Liz,” crashed in New Mexico. After this tragedy, Liz sought comfort in Mike Todd’s best friend, Eddie Fisher. Liz Taylor and Eddie Fisher were married in 1959, after the press dragged both of their names, and stayed together until 1964 when Taylor met Richard Burton.

Richard Burton is the husband Liz Taylor is most commonly associated with. The two began their affair on the set of Cleopatra, but were officially married in 1964, only nine days after Taylor divorced Fisher. Their first marriage lasted a decade, but they filed for divorce in June of 1974. The two remarried in October 1975, but divorced for a second time less than a year later in July, 1976.

After her second divorce from Burton, Liz Taylor then married politician John Warner. The two were married within five months of their initial meeting, but this marriage ended in divorce in 1982. Liz Taylor’s last marriage was to a man named Larry Fortensky, whom Taylor met at a rehab clinic. The two were married from 1991 to 1996, but remained friends for the rest of their lives.

4. Lana Turner

Number of Marriages: 8

Actress Lana Turner
Actress Lana Turner, circa 1944. (Photo Credit: Archive Photos/ Stringer/ Getty Images)

Like Liz Taylor and Mickey Rooney, Lana Turner was another Hollywood starlet who was married eight times. Although Turner was once one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood, the spotlight soon turned to be on her personal relationships rather than her acting abilities.

Her first marriage was to Artie Shaw in 1940 after the pair eloped, but the relationship only lasted four months. In 1942, she married Stephen Crane, but had their marriage annulled in 1943 after she found out he was not divorced from his first wife, Carol Ann Kurtz. After Turner found out she was pregnant with Crane’s child, the two remarried but ultimately went their separate ways for good in 1944.

In 1948, she married Henry J. Topping but they later divorced in 1952. A year later, in 1953, she married Lex Barker but the two divorced in 1957. She was then married to Fred May from 1960 to 1962, Robert Eaton from 1965 to 1969, and Ronald Dante from 1969 to 1972. When she passed away in 1995, Turner was a single woman.

Interestingly, Lana Turner was connected to another number of big names, although she didn’t marry them. However, she did date celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, and Ronald Regan during her lifetime.

5. Larry King

Number of Marriages: 8

Larry King and his wife Julie Alexander
Larry King and his sixth wife Julie Alexander in 1990. The couple divorced in 1992. (Photo Credit: Darlene Hammond/ Getty Images)

Like Lana Turner and Liz Taylor, Larry King was married eight different times, but to seven different people. When King was 18, he married his high-school sweetheart, Freda Miller, in 1952. However, only a year later the marriage was allegedly annulled by their parents who disapproved of the union. King then went on to marry Annette Kaye in 1961, but this marriage lasted less than one year. That same year, King married former Playboy bunny Alene Akins, but the pair divorced in 1963.

In 1964, Larry King tied the knot with Mickey Stuphin but she filed for divorce two years later in 1967. After the divorce from Stuphin was final, King went back to his third wife, Alene Akins. However, the pair split for a second time in 1971. King went on to marry Sharon Lepore in 1976, but the pair divorced in 1983. Six years later, Larry King married Julie Alexander in 1989 but the pair separated a year later in 1990, and officially divorced in 1992.

More from us: The Unlikely Marriage and Sudden Divorce of Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow

In 1997, Larry King married his last wife, Shawn Southwick. Larry King filed for divorce from Southwick in 2019, and they were in the middle of divorce proceedings when King passed away in January, 2021.

Madeline Hiltz

Madeline Hiltz is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News