Portraits by Other Means

The Things They Married

The Things They Married
Credit: David Lisbona

Marriage seems cool. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. A wise friend once gave me some advice: always do a background check.

Woody Allen and Mia Farrow* (not married)

Then in April 1979, [Farrow] noticed a picture of Allen on the cover of this magazine. He had on a scruffy sweater and was holding an open umbrella over one shoulder. She found the picture appealing and read the profile inside, concluding that he was "neat." She tore off the cover and stuck it in her Random House Dictionary.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi

"What can I say? I'm the luckiest girl in the world," says DeGeneres. "She's officially off the market. No one else gets her. And now she'll cook and clean for me." 

Larry and Sandra Harmon

Harmon penned his recently released memoir, The Man Behind the Nose: Larry Bozo Harmon, before his death in 2008 to ensure that his legacy lived on through stupendous tales he shares in the book. But [his ex-wife] Sandra's own upcoming memoir, Sleeping with Bozo and Other Clowns, will depict him as a pathological liar and cheater.

“He lied about everything,” Sandra told us. “If he ate two steaks, he said, ‘I ate seven.'"

Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn

A spoof pre-wedding contract contains what turns out to be some unintended truth when Gellhorn promises Hemingway that "he and his business are what matter to me in this life, and that also I recognize that a very fine and sensitive writer cannot be left alone for two months and sixteen days." Readers who are tempted to look unkindly on Gellhorn's wifely dutifulness here will be relieved to find that 10 years later, upon reading Hemingway's Across the River and into the Trees, she writes to a friend that "I feel quite sick, I cannot describe this to you. Shivering sick. I watch him adoring his image, with such care and such tolerance and such accuracy in detail ... I weep for the eight years I spent ... worshipping his image with him, and I weep for whatever else I was cheated of due to that time-serving."

Elton John and David Furnish

After the ceremony, the happy couple were showered with rice on the steps of the Guildhall. Two young women managed to break through the police cordon to present them with an apple ice-cream cake.

Asked how it went, Sir Elton said: "Great, thanks."

Clarence and Virginia Thomas

At a Dallas appearance, [Ginni] said, “My husband and I do really different things, by the way, but there was a tornado over our wedding when we got married. God knew that we were both troublemakers coming together. I do policy, he does law, and I don’t understand that world and I’m glad God didn’t tell me to do that, because I don’t know how to do that.” Both Thomases appear to overstate Ginni’s ignorance about legal matters. After all, she is a lawyer, and she, too, invariably invokes the Constitution as the authority for smaller government.


TMN Editor Leah Finnegan is from Illinois by way of Texas. She splits her time between New York City and her website. More by Leah Finnegan

blog comments powered by Disqus