Who: Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts, 52, and Grammy-winning musician Lyle Lovett, 62.
How They Met: Though both Roberts and Lovett did feature in Robert Altman’s 1992 film The Player, and many attribute their introduction to that set, Roberts herself has explained that she and Lovett met through mutual friends. She was reportedly a fan of his music before the introduction, and would listen to the singer’s “tapes” (this was the early ‘90s, yes) in the car.
According to People, Roberts and Lovett began dating in early June 1993 and surprised the media-consuming universe when they wed in a small Indiana town later that month.
When Roberts returned to the set of The Pelican Brief following her wedding, the cast and crew (including co-star Denzel Washington) reportedly threw her a party in which they all wore shirts that read “He’s A Lovely Boy…But You Really Must Do Something About His Hair” on the back.
When They Peaked: Despite the utter absurdity of an average relationship being on the cover of People Magazine, Lovett and Roberts really did an admirable job of trying to make their union seem traditional. They had the classic church wedding (which they’d only began planning 72 hours prior and was squeezed in between Lovett’s tour dates and Roberts’s shooting schedule). The bride walked down the aisle barefoot in a white Commes des Garçons gown, reportedly purchased by Lovett, a tulle scarf in place of a veil. Later that night, Lovett played a show for 10,000, bringing Roberts out on stage and telling the audience, “welcome to the happiest day of my life.”
On Thanksgiving of that same year, Roberts even cooked dinner for Lovett’s family. Hollywood elite, who??
The following year, in an interview with Esquire conducted by E. Jean Carroll, Lovett bristled when Carroll referred to his wife as “Miss Roberts,” telling her, “she uses my name in real life.”
The Breakup: The final year of Lovett and Roberts’s marriage was something of a PR nightmare. The press went into overdrive when Roberts was spotted *gasp* dancing with co-star Ethan Hawke at a business dinner. “I danced. Is that a felony?” Roberts told a Rolling Stone reporter when asked to comment on the fiasco.
Given the nature of their careers, Lovett and Roberts spent a lot of time apart, which didn’t go unnoticed by the press. “We’ve never gone more than a week without seeing each other since we got married,” Lovett told People toward the end of ’93, “but before that we’d never spent more than seven days together.” Though they rented a home together in L.A., they both still kept their own separate homes — his in his native Texas and hers in N.Y.C.
After nearly 2 years together, in the spring of 1995, the couple announced their separation through a joint statement reading “We remain close and in great support of one another.”
Years later, Roberts reportedly told the New York Daily News that the marriage was not a mistake, but a “miscalculation,” explaining, “Never a mistake. Too many great things came out of it. We have this great shared experience that never had any nasty moments. What we had doesn’t come close to the mistake category.”
The pair remained close following their split. In ’97, People reported that Lovett still called Roberts’s mother “mom.”
“It’s actually ridiculously amicable,” Roberts told the L.A. Times of the split in an interview that ran in August of ’95. “You’d think people who could be that nice to each other would probably be a couple, but it just sort of wasn’t the way it was intended to be. We found our little niche and then overstepped it a little bit. In fact, I think it can just as often be the weaker choice to stay.”
Where They Are Now:
In the late ‘90s, Lovett began dating April Kimble. They were photographed together as recently as 2015, but it’s unclear if they’re still dating.
Roberts went on to date fellow actor Benjamin Bratt, and eventually married cinematographer Danny Moder in 2002. They share three children together: 15-year-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and son Henry, 12.
#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.