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You Go, Girls — Part Two

“I’m certainly not the first person to be in a relationship with a younger man,” Demi Moore said in response to the press coverage of her relationship with Ashton Kutcher, fifteen years her junior. “But somehow I was plucked out as a bit of a poster girl.”

She’s right about that!  Among certain Tinseltown types these May to December relationships go way back.

Is anyone familiar with the passionate affair between femme fatale Marlene Dietrich and actor Yul Brynner?  She met him back stage at the original production of The King and I in 1951.  He was a thirty-year-old hairless hunk, and she wanted him.  Despite his being married and her being nineteen years his senior, she had him.  Their obsessive relationship lasted four years before he tired of her possessive jealousy.

And what about Cher?  She’s almost as famous for dating younger guys as she is for being a gay icon.  For a brief time she went out with Tom Cruise, sixteen years her junior, and Richie Sambora, thirteen years younger than her, among others.  Just a few years ago at 62, she was dating a 38-year old biker dude named Tim Medvetz.  His claim to fame, besides hooking up with Cher, was to climb Mount Everest after recuperating from a bad motorcycle accident.

The most legendary of Cher’s live-in love interests was Ron Camilletti.  When they met  on her birthday in 1986, she was turning forty and presumably felt like giving herself a present.  He was a 22-year old bagel baker.  They were together for three years.

In 1991 Elizabeth Taylor, 59, took Larry Fortensky, a 39-year old construction worker, to be her eighth and last husband in a reported two million dollar wedding ceremony at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.  She playfully called him “Larry the Lion” because of his blonde shag.  When he tired of being called “Mr. Elizabeth Taylor,” they divorced after four years.  They remained friends until her death.

And Madonna has always had her “toy boys”.  In fact, wasn’t the expression coined with her in mind? (Well, it should have been!) Carlos Leon, her personal trainer and the father of her daughter Lourdes, was eight years younger than she, and her husband Guy Ritchie, with whom she had a son and adopted two more children, was ten years younger.  We’ll give her credit: these were serious relationships, and the age differences can even be categorized within normal boundaries.

But then it went over-the-top.  A month after getting her divorce from Ritchie, Madonna met Jesus Luz, a Brazilian underwear model, on a fashion shoot. He was 22; his mother was 37, and Madge was 51.  It was apparent the young man was brought up well.  In interviews he refused to talk about his girlfriend.  After a year, he called it quits, citing their lack of common interests. Within months Madonna was dating a 24-year old French break dancer.

Being fit and thin aren’t necessarily requirements for being in the club, but these characteristics inspire a certain level of confidence, even among the well-known and popular.  After losing weight while appearing on this season’s “Dancing with the Stars,” Kirstie Alley, 60, was ready for romance.  She found it, too, with 21-year old rapper Shanice Boyd.  Unfortunately, Boyd was a Momma’s boy, literally, still living at home.

A good sense of humor helps, too.

 

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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You Go, Girls — Ellen Barkin Et Al

I’m still thinking about the news, okay gossip, from the other day concerning Ellen Barkin.

Barkin, now 57, has hooked up with a twenty-six year old.  They’ve been living together for two years.

Her boyfriend, Sam Levinson, is the son of Barry Levinson, the director of her 1982 movie Diner.  He’s apparently following in his dad’s footsteps, having directed Barkin in his feature debut. In fact, that’s how they met: he had sent her a script that she agreed to produce and star in.  They apparently worked well together.

What’s the surprise?  Surveys show that a third of women over forty are dating younger men.  But does younger mean a few years, like two or three, or do they mean a decade or two or, in this case, three?

These May to December romances are becoming more common or, at least, more visible in Hollywood and its East Coast counterpart.  Some twosomes even make it down the aisle.

Demi Moore, 48, whose twitter handle is mrskutcher, just celebrated her fifth anniversary with Ashton, fifteen years her junior.  The difference in their ages has been wagging tongues since they were dating.  Poking fun at herself, Moore appeared on Saturday Night Live when Kutcher was host.  Made up to look really old, like 82, Moore went on stage using a walker, complaining that her support stockings were killing her.  In the last few months, the chitchat has been that he’s having an affair.  At the moment, they’re holding on.

Other high-profile pairs have not been able to keep it together. Courtney Cox and David Arquette were married eleven years.  Their seven-year age difference had less to do with their breakup than did their disparate personalities.  He has a childish side; she does not.  “I don’t want to be your mother anymore,” she told him.  Cox, now 47, stars in Cougar Town.  Her character, recently divorced, is trying to come to terms with getting older.

In 2009 Susan Sarandon, then 63, broke up with Tim Robbins, 51, her partner of twenty-three years.  He might have been seeing Meg Ryan, or maybe he was suffering from a mid-life crisis.  To occupy herself post split Sarandon invested in a ping pong (also known as table-tennis) club in NYC.  Rumors have been circulating ever since that she’s going out with 31-year old Jonathan Bricklin, a partner in the club.  Well, she does have a history.

Sandra Bullock’s relationship with Jesse G. James was always considered offbeat for reasons that had nothing to do with her being five years older than he was.  The girl-next-door involved with a tattooed biker with his own cable television show?  Come on!  And, yes, there was another women involved who had her own body markings.  The five-year marriage ended in 2010.

Eva Longoria filed for divorce from basketball player Tony Parker in 2010. Neither her being seven years older than him nor a foot shorter had anything to do with it.  She discovered he was having an affair with the wife of one of his former teammates in 2010.

Halle Berry split from her boyfriend, supermodel Gabriel Aubry, after four years and a baby daughter. Despite his being handsomely compensated for his work on the runway, she paid all the bills.  Ten years younger than Berry he hadn’t yet learned to carry his own weight, and she was tired of it.  They’re still arguing over custody.

As far as Ellen Barkin is concerned, she’s undaunted as to the future of her relationship with Levinson. She’s been overheard saying she’ll part ways with him when “they roll me out in a wheelchair.”  Given her age let’s hope that’s not sooner than she thinks.

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved