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Celebrity Odd Couples

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Classic celebrity couple Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.

In July 2007, the petite Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria got hitched to Belgian-born basketball player Tony Parker. At 6ft 2ins tall, Tony towers over little Eva by a clear foot. Does that make them the most mismatched couple in Hollywood history? Eh, not quite. Celebville is littered with odd couples. But is an attraction of opposites a recipe for happiness, or disaster? Perhaps the fate of these other high-profile odd couples holds the answer.

Billie Piper and Chris Evans

Billie burst into our consciousness in a Smash Hits advert, and then became the youngest pop artist to debut at No.1 ('Because We Want To'). But she threw out her wholesome image when she hooked up with the notoriously boozy DJ Chris Evans, who bought her a Ferrari after they first met - even though she couldn't drive. Undeterred by their 16-year age gap, Billie and Chris married in a low-key ceremony in Las Vegas in 1998. Billie was just 18. They shared six years of wedlock, some of them in America where Billie took acting lessons1; they also appeared to spend a significant portion of their time together outside pubs. The party ended in 2004 when they split up. They divorced in 2007 but remain close friends, with Billie refusing to take a penny from Chris.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck

On the surface the pairing of Oscar winner Gwyneth with the Good Will Hunting prodigy Ben was a straight case of alpha girl meets alpha boy. But underneath, these two were plain opposites. After their split, Ben said: 'Germ grass and meditation is just not my thing... She is so much more evolved than me.' Luckily, Gwyneth later found her Mr Right in yoga-loving Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin.

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren

Some celebrities hit the headlines with flings with nannies, but that's not Tiger Wood's style. Ranked as America’s top sportsman, golfer Tiger could have had his pick of A-list beauties, but he fell for fellow golfer Jesper Parnevik’s nanny, Elin Nordegren. It helps that Elin, now Mrs Woods, is Swedish and drop-dead gorgeous. And she’s putting her nannying skills to good use – Elin and Tiger had their first cub in 2007.

Kate Moss and Pete Doherty

When this pair began dating in early 2005, Kate was a walking, breathing icon while Pete was an indie rocker sliding into a life of drugs. He caught Kate's eye at her 31st birthday bash and what looked like an ill-judged fling endured through break-ups, stints in rehab and prison, infidelity and the disapproval of her friends and family. Phew! Eventually, they stopped seeming like a mismatch and became part of the rock'n'roll furniture, until things finally fizzled out in late 2007.

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne

Seen from the vantage point of the 21st Century, Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon appear to be an ideal match - a middle-aged Romeo and Juliet. But go back in time and things were different. Back when Ozzy was a jobbing rocker with Black Sabbath, he had his fans scratching their heads over his missus. Sharon Osbourne of the 1970s was no rock chick - more of a suburban hausfrau who kept the home fires burning. How very un-rock'n'roll. But it was undoubtedly Ozzy's family life that kept his feet on the ground during those crazy years (well, nearly) and now the whole Osbourne family is reaping the rewards, together.

J-Lo and Marc Antony

P Diddy, Ben Affleck, Marc Antony... no, it just doesn’t work. Can anyone explain why Hollywood goddess Jennifer Lopez (aka J-Lo) swapped her usual macho type for the delicate Latin crooner Marc Antony? Marc's previous wife was a Miss Universe, however, so he must a secret means of charming the ladies.

Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn

Remember the furore when these two got together? Soon-Yi, 22, was the adopted daughter of Woody’s long-term partner Mia Farrow (with Mia's former husband, the conductor André Previn). Mia dumped Woody, 57, when she found risqué photographs he’d taken of Soon-Yi. Talk about messy. But, 15 years later, the unlikely pair are still together. Woody and Soon-Yi married in 1997 and are raising two adopted children together. Woody said in 2005: 'If somebody told me when I was younger, "You're going to wind up married to a girl 35 years younger than you and a Korean, not in show-business"... I would have said "You're completely crazy".'

Anna Nicole Smith and J Howard Marshall

With a 63-year age gap, this is possibly the craziest pairing in gossip-mag history. But one that was oddly successful. Playboy playmate Anna Nicole put a smile on 89-year-old Marshall’s face. Meanwhile she called him her Prince Charming. They were married for a year, but after his death, Anna Nicole got involved in legal wrangles over his $1.6bn fortune. Bizarrely, the battle rumbles on, despite the fact that she died in 2007.

Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett

What did this Pretty Woman see in country singer Lyle Lovett? Julia and Lyle were married from 1993-1995, and the unkind joke doing the rounds was that 'they split up after Julia updated her glasses prescription'. Cruel... but many cyberspace gossip-mongers still consider Julia and Lyle to be the high-water mark of mismatched celebrity marriages.

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher

This couple tied the knot in 2005 - when Demi was 42 and Ashton was 27. Despite the difference in their ages and stages of life (Demi’s got two ex-husbands and three kids), this is one unlikely match that does seem to have been made in heaven. Ms Moore even changed her name to Demi Kutcher in 2007.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie

The Material Girl having a pint down her local with a diamond geezer? Unthinkable - until Madonna met Guy Ritchie at Sting's mansion in Wiltshire in 1998, that is. The quintessentially American singer upped sticks and moved to England after getting together with filmmaker Guy, who's actually less East End and more Fulham than his films suggest2. Quicker than you could say 're-invention' Madonna was kitted out in tweed and had taken up riding and shooting. Despite their ten-year age gap and cultural differences, the marriage proved much more stable than Madonna's earlier, publicity-hounded union to actor Sean Penn.

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

Everybody said this pairing was a publicity stunt. Everybody, except the married couple. 'Do we have sex? Yes! Yes! Yes!' Elvis's daughter exclaimed on ABC in 1995. Seven months later, Lisa Marie had filed for divorce, citing 'irreconcilable differences'. Now, who'd have thought it?

Jane Fonda and Ted Turner

In the 1970s Jane Fonda was better known for her anti-Vietnam War stance (she was dubbed 'Hanoi Jane') and her radical feminism than for her acting or the fact that she hailed from one of Hollywood’s acting dynasties. But in 1991 she surprised everyone by hooking up with media mogul Ted Turner. A liberal, yes, but also an archetypal dominant male. Commentors said it couldn’t last. Eventually they were proved right, but Jane and Ted held it together for almost 10 seemingly happy years.

Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe

'Beauty and the brains' was one way of describing this marriage, when the world’s biggest sex siren tied the knot with America’s greatest living playwright, in 1956. Their unhappiness was short-lived, however. They quarelled frequently, with Arthur comparing Marilyn to his ex-wife... whom he hated. They divorced in 1961. Marilyn died of an apparent drug overdose a year later, while Arthur married photographer Inge Morath in 1962, with whom he had two chidren.

Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi

The Satanic Verses author wed actress and model Padma in 2004, five years after meeting at a magazine launch party in New York. Rushdie said in 2005: 'It feels very odd to see newspaper articles saying "Beauty and the Beast" and "Why do Beautiful Women Love Ugly Men?" But at this stage, I’m kind of resigned to it.' In July 2007, he agreed to grant her a divorce, although friends said he still loved Padma, who's 24 years his junior.

1Which led to her landing the role for which she's best known - Rose in the BBC's Doctor Who.2Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), and Snatch (2000) are two examples.

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