fame in 1998

Let’s Remember the Celebrity Couples of 1998

Photo: Getty

We kick off our weeklong look back at fame in 1998 with a gallery of all the celebrity couples of the time: There’s no better way to bring yourself back into a year than with a reminder of all its angst-ridden, mercurial, trendy, perplexing, and since-extinguished red-carpet romances, between big stars, faddish curiosities, or a cross-pollination of the two. As you click through, you’ll immediately recall many of these pairings (Courteney Cox and David Arquette), while others will elicit an “Oh, right — they dated!” (Joaquin Phoenix and Liv Tyler), and others still will remind you of people you haven’t thought of in years (Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra). Note: We excluded celebrities who are still together today, which explains why you won’t see, say, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. And Britney and Justin didn’t step out together until 1999, so you’ll just have to make do without any images of his-and-her denim outfits. But onward!

This photo was taken near the tail-end of the actor’s four-year relationship with the British supermodel who helped popularize the waif look of the 1990s. Smile, Johnny! You’ll meet Vanessa Paradis, mother of your two children, later this year! Photo: Pool BENAINOUS/DUCLOS/2011 Gamma-Rapho
They ended their three-year romance soon after the release of There’s Something About Mary. There’s no recovering from seeing your boyfriend look like this, even if it is only make-believe. Photo: Barry King
They were known for being a gushing, PDA-happy couple, so it came as quite a surprise when they broke up in 2001, the same year Bratt accompanied Roberts to the Academy Awards (where she took home the Best Actress Oscar for Erin Brockovich). Photo: Diane Freed
Less than a year after coming out on the cover of Time (cover line: “Yep, I’m Gay”), DeGeneres was in her first public, high-profile relationship with a woman. It was a presumably liberating time for the star — until the couple imploded in 2001 and Heche suffered a widely reported breakdown. Photo: David Keeler
After starring together in 1995’s Inventing the Abbotts, Phoenix and Tyler dated for three years and broke up not long after this photo was taken. In 1999, he told Cosmopolitan magazine: “I know that when Liv and I met, it was for a reason — I really needed her and she really needed me.” Aww. Photo: New York Daily News Archive/1998/Daily News, L.P. (New York)
The Party of Five actress and TRL host dated throughout 1998, until Hewitt reportedly dumped Daly via press release. In 2005, Hewitt appeared as a guest on Last Call for an awkward interview/reconciliation.   Photo: Barry King/2003 WireImage.com
Of course these two had a Vegas wedding. And of course they were divorced less than a year later. Of course. “It’s easy to get caught up in a moment,” Electra said of their whirlwind affair. “You think it’s romantic, but then you realize, God, we did it in Vegas? It’s like getting a cheeseburger at a fast-food restaurant.” Photo: SGranitz
This was how you dressed for the MTV Video Music Awards when you were Marilyn Manson and Rose McGowan. But the couple that shocks together doesn’t always stay together. In late 2000, McGowan announced via a publicist, “There is great love, but our lifestyle difference is, unfortunately, even greater.” Did one of them stop shopping at Hot Topic? Photo: Ron Galella
Their real-life breakup was almost as dramatic as their Good Will Hunting blowout: Damon announced on Oprah that he was single; a blindsided Driver told the the L.A. Times, “It’s unfortunate that Matt went on Oprah. It seemed like a good forum for him to announce to the world that we were no longer together, which I found fantastically inappropriate.” Just a few weeks later he was linked to a new woman … Photo: Ronald Siemoneit/? Corbis. All Rights Reserved.
They were introduced via Ben Affleck’s then girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow. (We’ll get to those two in a minute.) Photo: Jim Smeal
Meantime, Driver rebounded with a Foo Fighter. It was a short-lived affair. Photo: Dave Allocca/Time Life Pictures
Back to these two. Look at how cute they were! He was coming off his Oscar win for Good Will Hunting. She was preparing for the release of Shakespeare in Love, which would win her an Oscar the following year. They were *this close* to being 1998’s It couple, but that title goes to Paltrow’s ex and his well-coiffed Friend … Photo: Kevin.Mazur
They were super rich and super famous, but also super laid-back. (Rumor had it they were a match made in pothead heaven.) That didn’t stop them from having a $1 million wedding two years later, though. And you know how the rest of their story goes. Photo: Barry King
They were an odd couple — not unlike their Scream characters — but they also seemed genuinely in love. Watch Cox tell Jay Leno the story of how Arquette proposed that year; it involved a barge and some fireworks. What happened, guys? Photo: SGranitz
Ever the eccentrics, they tied the knot in 1995, separated nine months later, then continued to pose as a couple for five years (five years!) before Cage filed for divorce and the truth quietly came out. Photo: Jeff Kravitz
They dated for a few months before intense media scrutiny got the better of them. For example, here’s Howard Stern grilling Mariah Carey about whether she was in love with the Yankee shortstop. He even brings up Jeter’s penis size at the 5:40 mark. Oh, that Howard. Photo: Dave Allocca/Time Life Pictures
No matter how much affection these two showed in public, they never managed to escape rumors of a marriage contract. Does this kiss say arranged marriage to you? Yes? Okay, then. Photo: Newspix/2010 Newspix
A then happily married Basinger and Baldwin celebrated her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for L.A. Confidential. Things turned ugly a few years later; nobody needs to hear that story again. Photo: Jeff Kravitz
Their seven-year relationship, which began on the set of Terminator 2, was in its final year by the time Titanic was released. He was linked to his now wife Suzy Amis, who played Rose’s granddaughter in Cameron’s blockbuster. Hamilton collected a reported $50 million in the 1999 divorce settlement. Photo: LUCY NICHOLSON
Even though they lived together for years (they met on the set of Eddie in ’96 then parted ways in 2001), Langella kindly kept whatever Goldberg gossip he’d collected out of his 2012 tell-all, Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them. Then again, all the people he dished on were dead. Classy! Photo: Richard Ellis
There wasn’t a creative couple in America that didn’t envy Fiona Apple and Paul Thomas Anderson. (Anderson himself told Spin, “I’d want to slap us.”) Today they’re our coolest celebrity exes, releasing the The Idler Wheel and The Master in the same year and collaborating on artsy things like this music video for Apple’s “Hot Knife.” Photo: Terry Lilly
Their romance started on the set of Vince Gilligan’s bizarro 1998 movie, Home Fries, and lasted about a year. “From the moment I saw him, I realized he was the most incredible person I’d ever been so fortunate to meet,” Barrymore once told People. No matter what the year, Drew Barrymore is the sweetest. Photo: David Keeler
Another Oscar-cursed couple, they called it quits in 2006, after seven years of marriage and Witherspoon’s win for Walk the Line. They’ll always have Cruel Intentions … and two adorable mini-me children. Photo: Victor Malafronte/2004 Getty Images
They started dating in 1998, after meeting at a modeling shoot for Abercrombie & Fitch. He went on to star in That 70s Show and, according to Jones, discouraged her from acting. She told GQ in 2009, “[He] was not supportive of my acting. He was like, I don’t think you’re going to be good at this. So — f— you!”   Photo: New York Daily News Archive/1998/Daily News, L.P. (New York)
They first met when she auditioned for his 1990 “Whip Appeal” music video. (She got the part but couldn’t take it because she’d come down with the chicken pox.) Months later, they ran into each other on the street, started dating, and were married from 1992 to 2005. Photo: New York Daily News Archive/1998/Daily News, L.P. (New York)
These crazy kids, who hooked up on the set of the flop Detroit Rock City, had at least one bad habit in common. (Cigarettes! We’re talking about cigarettes.) But let’s focus on the positive: Lyonne’s hair was, is, and always will be, a wild and wonderful thing. Also, they were a treat on the red carpet. Photo: Jeff Kravitz
Much to the dismay of Mulder and Scully shippers, these two married in ‘97, just eight weeks into dating. Their love hit the rocks, reportedly due to Duchovny’s sex addiction, about ten years later. Photo: SGranitz
Meg Ryan had three movies out in 1998 — City of Angels, Hurlyburly, and You’ve Got Mail — and was still three years away from being publicly shamed for her affair with Russell Crowe and divorce from Quaid. In other words: Here she is in happier times. Photo: Brenda Chase
In hindsight, these two had a pretty miserable fourteen-year marriage (he has called it a “fraud,” and she has countered with “I know what I don’t want”). But in the ’90s, they managed to hide whatever unhappiness they were feeling under layers of cool black clothing. Photo: SGranitz
They divorced in 2004, but Romijn recently told Conan that her hyphenated surname legally lives on. Romijn-Stamos: Going strong since 1998. Photo: Evan Agostini
New York Fashion Week brought them together in 1992, when she was just 17 and he was 35. (Do you feel uncomfortable right now?) They wed the following year in a ceremony officiated by Simmons’s brother, Reverend Run of Run-DMC. Ten years, two children, and a fashion line (Baby Phat) later, they were divorced. Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd.
They kept a low profile for six years, until reports surfaced in 2003 that she’d dumped the Australian musician to be with Billy Crudup (who was then also with a pregnant Mary-Louise Parker). But in 2005, Lee told Seventeen magazine their split was actually due to God. “As I got more serious about my spirituality, Claire and I started to grow apart,” he said. “I felt I couldn’t look to her to give me strength anymore — I had to find it inside me.” Amen? Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./1998 Ron Galella, Ltd.
Clooney first laid eyes on his French waitress girlfriend in 1996, while shooting The Peacemaker in Paris. He later recapped their three-year relationship thusly: “She was a really nice girl, wanted nothing more than was normal. Just to go out a few times and go to dinner. And I couldn’t do it. I was doing a full-time television show and simultaneously eight feature films.” Photo: Jim Smeal
Adams is best-known for playing the raspy-voiced waif that Ben Affleck’s comic-book guy pursues in the 1997 Kevin Smith film Chasing Amy, but she also had memorable parts in the seminal 1990s flicks Dazed and Confused and Mallrats. She snagged the Swingers stud while on the set of 1998’s A Cool Dry Place, and they dated briefly. Photo: Jeff Kravitz
The Gattica co-stars exchanged vows after less than a year of dating, when Thurman was seven months pregnant. Hawke recently said of his shotgun wedding with Uma: “I had no business taking vows that would last more than two weeks.” Photo: New York Daily News Archive/1998/Daily News, L.P. (New York)
Let’s Remember the Celebrity Couples of 1998