Celebrity relationships and their inevitable breakups are constantly splashed all over magazine covers. But there are some couples who just manage to make it work and have been together for decades. These include Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito – except that the last couple decided to call it quits after being married since 1982. Perlman has recently opened up about their split, and one of the unusual decisions that they made afterward.
Married since 1982
Perlman first met DeVito in 1971. She attended the only performance of his stage show, The Shrinking Bride, with one of her friends. Apparently they hit it off right away, making the decision to move in together after only knowing each other for two weeks. Despite this initial intensity, they didn’t get married until more than 10 years after their initial meeting, on January 28, 1982.
They went on to start a family together, having three children: Lucy Chet DeVito, Grace Fan DeVito, and Jacob Daniel DeVito. Outside their personal lives, the pair also worked together on numerous occasions. They were both cast in the hit TV show, Taxi, and played the fictitious married couple Zinnia and Harry Wormwood in the film adaption of Matilda (1996). Things seemed to be going well for the happy couple, professionally and personally.
Calling it quits
That made it all the more shocking when the pair, who had at the time been married for 30 years, publicly announced their split in October 2012. It didn’t last long however, and they decided to get back together in March of the following year. It seems as though they had another good four years, but they ultimately decided to separate again in March 2017, a decision that was more permanent.
Since then, there has been no indication of reconciliation. In fact, Perlman has said many times that their relationship is much better now than it has been in a long time. She told Andy Cohen that they fare “much better because all the tense stuff is gone.” She said that the two are very close friends and that they still talk all the time, although she did mention that it wasn’t always an easy transition for them.
Separated but not divorced
Perhaps the most intriguing thing that Perlman discussed was the couple’s unconventional decision to split up but remain married. This is something she’s touched on before, once saying, “I’m not getting divorced. No, no, no. What for? We do live separately. We see each other a lot too.” She recently commented that they both value their family time, and still enjoy spending time together with their three kids.
She went on to talk about their arrangement: “I like not always having my husband here — I love that we see each other when we want to. He doesn’t have to take me to every function, and I don’t have to take him. We can do separate things and still have a really great time when we’re together.” She admits that she does miss him and their marriage sometimes. Regardless, the pair seem content with their current relationship, and with staying in each other’s lives.
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“We’ve been together a very long time, so there’s a lot of love and history,” Perlman told the New York Post in 2022. “We agree on enough things, so why [ruin] that with the yucky things that come with a divorce?”