Love knows no age limits. Carried on the wings on true romance, couples can bridge any age gap and realize that it is just a number. Interestingly enough, more than 8% of all hetero couples in the Western world and 30% of all marriages in many non-Western societies reflect a large age gap. Rates tend to be higher in same-gender unions.
Nevertheless, a big age gap of more than 10 years often leads to social disapproval, especially when an older woman pairs with a younger man. The world, for instance, was surprised by the age difference between 41-year-old Emmanuel and 66-year-old Brigitte Macron (25 years), but nobody minded the relationship between 75-year-old Mick Jagger and 32-year-old Melanie Hamrick (43 years). Such cases are common and, in fact, psychologists claim that the "daddy issues" phenomenon is real.
But does age matter in love? Is the "Mind the gap" warning relevant in love? From Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones to Jay-Z and Beyoncé, here are 20 celeb parents with the biggest age gap, whose love proves that despite all the family drama, personality differences, and social media attention, love is just a number.
20 Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta-Jones: 25 Years
Love knows no boundaries. Iconic Michael Douglas and beautiful Catherine Zeta-Jones met in 1999. It was their Basic Instinct and the two married a year later. Funnily enough, Douglas told eonline.com he had a cheesy approach and said to Zeta-Jones, "You know, I'm going to be the father of your children," which almost blew his chances with her.
Despite their age gap of 25 years and the ups and downs of their married life, the two talented stars managed to stay together and raise two adorable kids, Carys Zeta Douglas and Dylan Michael Douglas. Interestingly, men often fall for younger women as youth is perceived as a sign of fertility, which has an evolutionary meaning.
19 George Clooney & Amal: 17 Years
When it comes to love, age is just a number. Despite their 17-year age difference and clashing interests, Amal Clooney managed to tame silver fox George Clooney. The two have been married for more than five years and share two adorable kids, Alexander and Ella Clooney.
Interestingly enough, according to theconversation.com, it’s common for older men to date younger women as men place more importance on physical appearance, while women place more importance on status, which is often associated with age. It’s hard to say if Amal, who’s a well-known human rights barrister, is interested in Clooney’s bohemian lifestyle, but there’s no doubt they love each other from Dusk till Down.
18 Jay-Z & Beyonce: 12 Years
Despite their 12 years age gap, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are still Crazy in Love. The two met when Destiny’s Child star Beyoncé was only 18. She said in an interview, "We were friends first for a year and a half before we went on any dates. We were on the phone for a year and a half, and that foundation is so important for a relationship. Just to have someone who you just like is so important, and someone who is honest.
According to capitalxtra.com, Beyoncé and Jay-Z keep enjoying the chords of their marriage in spite of Jay-Z infidelity. The two share three kids, Blue Ivy, Sir Carter, and Rumi Carter.
17 Mary-Kate Olsen & Olivier Sarkozy: 17 Years
One of the most brow-raising unions on our list is that of Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy, Nicolas Sarkozy’s half-brother. Actress Mary-Kate was 25 years old when she started dating Olivier Sarkozy (42 at the time), and Olivier’s ex-wife even called their relationship grotesque. Nevertheless, Mary-Kate and Olivier got married in 2015 and are still together.
Interestingly enough, Ashley Olsen also enjoys seeing older men. Ashley was 30 when she was dating her former partner, Richard Sachs, age 56 at the time. According to nickiswift.com, an insider said, "It looked like she was dining with her grandpa, but they were holding hands and snuggling."
16 Alexis Roderick & Billy Joel: 33 Years
What is the acceptable age difference between partners? For Piano Man Billy Joel and Alexis Roderick, their gap of 33 years doesn’t mean a thing. Although Joel has had a history of women, Alexis – who is only two years older than Joel’s daughter Alexa Ray Joel – doesn’t hide her love and affection for Joel.
According to answersafrica.com, Alexis and Billy Joel started dating in 2009 and tied the knot in 2015. The two lovebirds share two beautiful kids, Della Rosa and Remy Anne. Interestingly enough, evidence shows that the relationship satisfaction reported by age-gap unions is extremely high and marked by high levels of trust.
15 Harrison Ford & Calista Flockhart: 22 Years
Just like his character Han Solo in Star Wars, legendary Harrison Ford is well-known for his love for women. Yet, Harrison Ford (76) is still smitten by Calista Flockhart (54). According to people.com, the two had been dating for over seven years before they tied the knot in 2009. They share a son, Liam Flockhart Ford, whom Flockhart adopted at birth.
Although people with big age gaps go through different stages of their lives, it seems that Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart have a common goal: to make their marriage work till the very end. After all, true love knows no barriers or wrinkles.
14 Jason Statham & Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: 20 Years
What does a successful relationship depend on? Age? According to theconvesration.com, values, communication, trust, and closeness can overcome any age gap. Take star Jason Statham (51) and supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (32), for example. The beautiful couple met in 2010 and welcomed a son, Jack Oscar, in 2017.
Although Rosie didn’t bounce back straight after birth, she admits she wants more kids. She told dailymail.co.uk, "Jason is very happy to get up at 5 in the morning and do daddy duty and let me sleep an extra hour… He’s very hands-on, he’s a brilliant dad, I am very lucky, he’s a great partner."
13 Matthew McConaughey & Camila Alves: 13 Years
Despite their 13-year age difference, beautiful model Camila Alves (36) and talented actor Matthew McConaughey (49) are enjoying an Interstellar journey through love. The two lovebirds have been together for more than 13 years and have three kids, Vida, Levi, and Livingston.
According to nickiswift.com, Matthew McConaughey was a happy bachelor but Camila’s spell changed his life. Interestingly enough, Camila rejected Matthew at first, but then she pressured him to get married. As the actor said, "I had to get to the point where I saw it as more than just the thing to do. I wanted to really want to."
12 Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds: 11 Years
Even without the superpowers of the Green Lantern, sweethearts Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are real superheroes in love. Ryan told cheatsheet.com that his friendship with Blake slowly grew in deep love, "We were hanging out… and this song came on and I was just like, 'Want to dance?' No one was in there, so it was just totally empty. And it was just one of those moments where halfway through the dance, it was like, 'Oh, I think I just crossed a line.'"
Ryan (42) and Blake (31) have been married since 2012 and have two sweet daughters, James and Ines. And they just announced another baby is on the way!
11 Hilarie Burton & Jeffrey Dean Morgan: 16 Years
Perhaps one of the sweetest relationships in Hollywood is that of Hilarie Burton and Walking Dead star Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Simply because the two lovebirds co-own a candy shop with actor Paul Rudd and his wife Julie Yaeger. Jeffrey Dean Morgan told eonline.com, "We own a candy store in upstate New York and we have great coffee and great chocolates." That’s right - not only kids love candy!
Although Jeffrey Dean Morgan is 16 years older than Hilarie Burton, the two have managed to find a common goal in life: a quiet farm life far from the hassle of Hollywood and all the celeb gossip.
10 Nikki Reed & Ian Somerhalder: 10 Years
Despite all the rumors and things surrounding Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Nikki Reed, talented Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed are Lost in love. According to eonline.com, the birth of their baby daughter Bodhi Soleil strengthened their relationship, and as Ian said, "You brought such fun and such power into our lives being pregnant, but you literally brought the word s---- into pregnancy. We all see it."
Although the two lovebirds have an age difference of around 10 years, the Twilight actress and the Vampire Diaries star agree that age does not mean a thing. At least to love vampires!
9 Felicity Huffman & William Macy: 12 Years
Beautiful Felicity Huffman and William Macy have also made headlines as a celeb couple with a big age gap. Although Macy is 12 years senior to Huffman, the two have been married for more than 20 years. Huffman recalls, "Bill Macy asked me to marry him several times over several years… And it was after we broke up for four or five years when he asked me again, I knew I couldn't say no… I was able to blossom out of that."
According to dailymail.co.uk, Huffman can go behind bars due to her involvement in the Operation Varsity Blues college admissions situation, so only time will show if Macy will help her blossom out again.
8 Julias Tennon & Viola Davis: 12 Years
Age gap relationships face numerous stereotypes and social disapproval. However, studies show that 80% of married couples have an age gap of more than 10 years. Take producer Julius Tennon and actress Viola Davis, for example.
According to pandagossips.com, Tennon and his generous heart cured Viola’s lonely soul. As the talented actress revealed, "I said I wanted a big black man from the South who looked like a football player, who already had children, who maybe had been married before Three and a half weeks later, I met my husband." The two married in 2003 and adopted their daughter Genesis in 2011.
7 Alec Baldwin & Hilaria Baldwin: 26 Years
Hilaria and Alec Baldwin are one of the sweetest families in Hollywood. And there's a 26-year age difference between them. The two lovebirds married in 2012; they have four adorable kids, Carmen Gabriela, sons Romeo Alejandro David, Leonardo Ángel Charles, and Rafael Thomas. What's more, Hilaria has a wonderful relationship with her stepdaughter Ireland.
However, Hilaria admits that the difference in their ages often affects their parenting. She told people.com, "I’m the kind of person where I could get so wrapped up in my kids and I could lose my relationship a little bit… He’s a little bit more old school."
6 Megan Fox & Brian Austin Green: 13 Years
Talking about age and parenting, young moms tend to be more alternative and open to new ideas. Transformers actress Megan Fox, for instance, is a passionate advocate for gender-neutral parenting and encourages her kids to explore their creativity. Fox was also brave enough to marry Brian Austin Green who is 13 years her senior.
The two started dating when Megan was only 18 and the actress admitted she got butterflies when she saw Brian for the first time. Megan and Brian were together for six years before they got married. Despite their jagged relationship, there’s still Hope and Faith; according to people.com, Megan filed to dismiss their recent divorce case.
5 Bruce Willis & Emma Heming Willis: 24 Years
There’s no doubt that Die Hard legend Bruce Willis (64) has had a wild love life before he finally settled with lovely Emma Heming Willis (40). Interestingly, surveys show that the bigger the age difference, the bigger the chance of separation; according to independent.co.uk, 95% of all couples with a 20-year age gap are more likely to split up. Nevertheless, Bruce and Emma married in 2009 and welcomed two adorable kids, Mabel Ray and Evelyn Penn. The two lovebirds even renewed their wedding vows in March 2019.
Having in mind that Demi Moore (54) and Bruce Willis (64) divorced after 12 years of marriage, we can only hope for the best for Emma and Bruce.
4 Hugh Jackman & Deborra Lee-Furness: 13 Years
While the majority of age-gap unions involve a younger woman and an older man, X-men star Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness are not afraid to go against social stereotypes. Jackman still praises his wife who is 13 years his senior. The two have been married since 1996 and have two adopted kids, Oscar and Ava.
The actor told hellomagazine.com that the secret to their long marriage roots in trust, "I think relationships, you gotta be yourself, even the bits you don't love, the bits you're embarrassed about or things you did wrong. If you're in a situation where you can be yourself and really be honest, that’s a good start."
3 Mick Jagger & Melanie Hamrick: 43 Years
The Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger continues to make headlines because of the many ladies he’s had under his thumb. Mick Jagger has eight children with five women. In 2016, Mick Jagger welcomed his son, Deveraux Octavian Basil Jagger, with ballerina Melanie Hamrick who is 43 years his junior. We should note that Jagger’s kids range in age from 33 to 3 years old.
We can’t be sure if Jagger gave up his hedonistic lifestyle to settle with Melanie Hamrick, though. According to pensandpatron.com, the rock star started seeing Noor Alfallah, 51 years his junior, while Hemrick was pregnant with Deveraux.
2 Rupert Murdoch & Jerry Hall: 25 Years
Talking about Mick Jagger and his search for satisfaction, we should agree that model Jerry Hall is still one of the most significant women in his life. Despite their age gap of 13 years, the two stayed together for 21 years and raised four children.
Now, Jerry Hall (62) is happily married to Rupert Murdock (87) who is 25 years her senior. Nevertheless, according to thejournal.ie, their relationship earned a few raised eyebrows and some rude comments like "Surely Jerry Hall isn't that desperate." Well, Murdock and Hall are still together. Simply because age is just a number and love knows no boundaries.
1 Woody Allen & Soon-Yi: 35 Years
Although age-gap relationships are fairly common, people often judge couples as the age gap gets closer to 20. Some psychologists claim that the "daddy issue" phenomenon is real. Psychologist Elena Touroni told fashionbeans.com, "Generally, in relationships across the board we seek characteristics in the other person that are either similar or important to the caregivers in our life, or the complete opposite…. If you’ve had a troubled relationship with your father there may be something reparative about being with an older man…"
For Soon-Yi and Woody Allen, this is more than relevant. Woody Allen fell for his stepdaughter who is 35 years his junior. We should agree that love is blind.
Sources: DailyMail.co.uk, eonline.com, HelloMagazine.com