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Creator Couple

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People who are creators, whether it be music, film, TV or whatever, are human, and most humans meet their partner through work. This means they will at some point inevitably end up in a romantic relationship with — or sometimes get married to — someone in their creative business. Sadly, these boyfriends/husbands/girlfriends/wives (the latter two are more common for some reason) will sometimes attract that insidious form of Die for Our Ship Fan Dumbness known as Yoko Oh No. And then there's the dreaded Couple Bomb.

A Creator Couple, on the other hand, is the nice, happy opposite to the Yoko Oh No — a trope for the times the opposite happens, when said love interest has something good to contribute to the entertainer's work, and sometimes becomes a key part of said work (but this is not strictly necessary all of the time for the trope), said love interest has his/her own talents and isn't just a useless Dungeonmaster's Girlfriend, and cooler heads prevail and the fandom embraces said love interest without the whole Die for Our Ship bitching. One major downside to this arrangement is that if the couple's romantic relationship ends, the professional relationship usually dies along with it, though there are some exceptions.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • David Bowie and his entrepreneur/model wife Iman.
  • Author Neil Gaiman and musician Amanda Palmer.
  • Director Cameron Crowe and musician Nancy Wilson (of Heart). From 1986 until 2010, anyway.
  • Since their marriage, recording artist/actress Rebecca Pidgeon has appeared in most of David Mamet's movies (and some plays), and he has written or co-written lyrics to some of her songs.
  • Beastie Boys' Mike D and director Tamra Davis, who, if memory serves right, directed one of their videos.
  • U2's Bono and his wife Ali, who is a fashion designer and political activist.
  • Julia Child's husband Paul did the photography for most of her cookbooks and was heavily involved in her television shows. Among other activities, he was the one who selected the wines to pair with Julia's meals.
  • Writer Shigesato Itoi is married to actress Kanako Higuchi.
  • Singer Clint Black and actress Lisa Hartman Black.
  • Also, singer Brad Paisley and actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley.
  • Also, singer Keith Urban and actress Nicole Kidman.
  • Singer Björk and artist Matthew Barney. They eventually broke up after 13 years, and the separation was incredibly tumultuous, especially considering they had a child together. These experiences led Björk to work on the album Vulnicura.
    • And interestingly, the album Vespertine was released during the beginning of their relationship, when she was head over heels in love with him. The result is a very intimate and sensual work. Vulnicura, on the other hand, is intimate also, but for a different reason: it deals with such a personal subject (a break up) and the lyrics detail her anger and grief over the end of their partnership. Vulnicura would then have a successor by the name Utopia, which is widely rumoured to be about Björk's newfound love with Robin Carolan, the owner of the label Tri Angle Records. They apparently share their own songs with each other and play DJ sets together.
      • In the '80s, Björk dated bandmate Þór Eldon (both were in The Sugarcubes at the time). She had a son with him, Sindri.
  • Actor Katherine Heigl and singer Josh Kelley (who is also the brother of Lady Antebellum co-lead singer Charles Kelley).
  • Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel have enjoyed directing careers, both solo, and as a team. Morton has helmed a number of music videos, while Jankel has directed a number of films and episodes of TV series. Together, they have worked on DOA and Super Mario Bros. (1993), the latter of which they were actually removed from the set one day, because they were being incredibly hard on the actors (Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper have both gone on record, saying the couple were responsible for a lot of the misery the actors endured making this movie, with Hoskins even saying the couple's, "Arrogance was mistaken for talent.")
  • Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and Janice Karman officially took over the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise in the late '70s, after they had fallen into obscurity since the passing of Ross Bagdasarian Sr. in 1972. At the time, Karman was already a producer and actress who worked on mostly sexploitation films, and Bagdasarian was a law student; Karman explained that on their very first date, Bagdasarian approached her about possibly helping him bring the franchise back. Shortly after marrying, the two brought the characters back, and continued to present them in a variety of new albums, singles, animated series, and specials, and even live-action/CGI movies. The only time the franchise was ever out of their hands was from 1996-2002 when they sold the characters to Universal.
  • Much of Jim Henson's early career was made possible with the aid of his wife, Jane; the two originally created The Muppets together, and worked on a number of different puppetry projects with their creations, such as the locally-produced Sam and Friends, and a variety of commercials for both local and national markets. This continued until the birth of their first daughter, Lisa, when Jane retired from the company she formed with Jim to focus on raising a family.
  • Since Jerry Seinfeld's marriage, his wife, Jessica, has had a considerable amount of input on his various projects. Jessica and their three children served as creative consultants for Bee Movie, and later, Jerry and Jessica co-produced the short-lived NBC series The Marriage Ref.
  • Prior to Allan Arbus' acting career, he frequently worked with his wife Diane - a renowned photographer who was also later the subject of a biopic (portrayed by Nicole Kidman).
  • Country Music singer Shannon Lawson is married to music video director Shaun Silva. He directed the video for her 2005 single "Corn Fed".
  • Until the mid-to-late 2000s, Progressive Rock guitarist Steve Hackett (formerly of Genesis) was married to artist Kim Poor, who designed the majority of his album covers.
  • Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner have been together since 1971 (and married in 2013). During all that time Wagner has been Tomlin's main writer for all of her comedy material.
  • Voice actors Travis Willingham and Laura Bailey are married to each other. This made for some very amusing scenes in Fullmetal Alchemist. Their Critical Role co-stars Matthew Mercer and Marisha Ray are also married, having tied the knot between campaigns one and two of the show.
  • Radiohead's Thom Yorke and artist Rachel Owen. They were together for 23 years. Her artwork was used for the cover art of single "Pop Is Dead" and their breakup inspired lyrics of A Moon Shaped Pool. Sadly, she would pass away in 2016.
  • ND Stevenson and Molly Ostertag, are currently married and while they haven't worked together, they support each other's work greatly and bounce ideas off one another, the former even crediting the latter for an important reveal in season 4 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
  • Steve Blum and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, voice-acting veterans, married in 2017, which only seems fitting given their famous roles as Spike and Julia.

    Anime & Manga 

  • Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, both famous Mexican painters.
  • Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell.
  • Adam Hughes and Alison Sohn.
  • Designers Charles and Ray Eames. A lot of people assumed Ray was Charles' brother.
  • Married Abstract painters Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner.
  • Laura Theresa, the second wife of Lawrence Alma-Tadema, was a successful painter in her own right, specializing in domestic scenes of women and children.

  • The ElfQuest creators, Wendy and Richard Pini, are a married couple.
  • Marian Churchland, creator of Beast and one of the artists for Elephantmen, and Brandon Graham, creator of Multiple Warheadz and King City. They will sometimes make covers and backup material for each other's comics.
  • Though they're divorced now, Lynn Varley did some amazing color work for many of Frank Miller's best comics.
  • Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner.
  • Mike Allred, creator of Madman, has his work almost exclusively colored by his wife Laura.
  • Robert and Aline Kominsky Crumb are both underground cartoonists, whenever they do autobiographical comics together they'll draw themselves in their own style within the work.
  • While making Lost Girls, Alan Moore and the illustrator Melinda Gebbie started a relationship and eventually got married.
  • Walt Simonson and Louise Simonson.
  • Stuart Immonen and Kathryn Immonen.
  • The work of penciller Terry Dodson is usually inked by his wife, Rachel.
  • Roy and Danni Thomas.
  • David and Liz Lillie (Dreamkeepers)
  • Karl and Barbara Kesel (now divorced) wrote Hawk and Dove together.
  • John Ostrander and Kim Yale, at least until Yale's untimely demise. Among other things, they created Oracle.
  • Len and Glynis Wein until their divorce.
  • Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue Deconnick.
  • The Swedish comic Elvis was created by real-life married couple Tony and Maria Cronstam, who based a lot of story arcs on their own life as a couple. Unfortunately, this has led to the comic's cancellation on account of their separation in real life (which also became a story arc).
  • Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover. He writes, she draws.
  • Wonder Woman has been worked on by a number of couples. Her original creator William Moulton Marston is known to have consulted with his wife Elizabeth and their domestic partner Olive Bryne while designing the hero, The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016) was written and drawn by Renae DeLiz and colored by her husband Ray Dillon, the creative team for the later section of Volume 4 was married couple Meredith and Brian Finch.
  • Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer are married and have worked together on some projects, such as writing for Space Ghost Coast to Coast, or Sarah contributing to some Beasts of Burden scripts (of which Evan is the main writer).
  • Two of the contributors of Logicomix and Democracy are Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna, who are married in Real Life.

    Fan Works 

  • Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli. One of the most prominent couples in the fashion world. They have two children together and also together they revitalized the famous Prada brand founded by Miuccia's grandfather.
  • Estée and Joseph Lauder, founders of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., one of the biggest manufacturer and marketer of prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. Baring the small period of separation in 1939-1942 they were together till Joseph's death in 1982. And they also worked together to make their business what it is now.

  • Marcia Lucas, George Lucas' former wife, was a film editor who played a significant role in the production of the first three Star Wars films. To summarise: She edited A New Hope, advised George during the script-writing stage of all three films, was present throughout production and generally acted as The Heart, emphasising characters and emotions and nicely balancing George's fixation on the technical and visual. Mark Hamill himself admitted that Marcia was the only person who could get George to listen to suggestions or drop an idea. Not for nothing did one biographer call her "George Lucas' secret weapon". After their divorce, George suffered the same fate as Ray Davies.
  • Gale Anne Hurd, James Cameron's first wife, was the producer for The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Then he was briefly married to Terminator 2 star Linda Hamilton. And after that, he was married to Kathryn Bigelow.
  • Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh.
  • Sir Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh.
  • Renowned British actor Sir Michael Redgrave and his wife, actress Rachel Kempson, worked together in several stage productions and in one film, The Captive Heart (1946).
  • Fritz Lang and his second wife Thea von Harbou, who wrote the screenplays for the majority of his early films including Metropolis and M. They split up when 1) Hitler came to power in Germany, 2) Lang left the country, and 3) Harbou stayed and joined the Nazi Party.
  • Helena Bonham Carter frequently starred in her boyfriend Tim Burton's movies until they broke up in 2014.
    Tim Burton: Get my wife and Johnny Depp on the phone!
    Casting director flips open a phone with two giant buttons labeled "Johnny Depp" and "Helena Bonham Carter".
    Casting Director: I literally can't do anything else.
    CollegeHumor, "Tim Burton's Secret Formula"
    • Before that, Burton used to cast girlfriend Lisa Marie.
  • Christopher Nolan is married to his film producer, Emma Thomas.
  • Alfred Hitchcock often said he owed a lot of his success to his wife and collaborator film-editor Alma Reville.
  • Clint Eastwood was married to two actresses whom he later directed, Sondra Locke and Frances Fisher.
  • Woody Allen had a 12-year-long relationship with Mia Farrow between 1980 and 1992. She appeared in all 13 movies he made between 1982 and 1992.
  • Little Miss Sunshine was directed by husband-and-wife team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Farris. Earlier, they directed many music videos together.
  • The concept, script and cast of Ruby Sparks, also directed by Dayton and Farris, was developed by Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano, partners of several years.
  • Frances McDormand is married to Joel Coen and has appeared in six of The Coen Brothers' films, winning an Oscar for Fargo.
  • Zack Snyder has stated that he couldn't imagine making his films without the help of his wife Deborah, née Johnson. She co-runs their production house, The Stone Quarry.
  • Drones was directed by Amber Benson and her guy, Adam Busch.
  • Married couple Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson often work together, with her starring and him directing and/or producing. Same goes for Len Wiseman and his wife, Kate Beckinsale.
  • Robert Downey Jr..'s wife Susan is the true opposite of Yoko Oh No — his fans tend to love her just as rabidly as the man himself. This is because she has been widely credited, including by RDJ himself, with helping him stabilize after a long struggle with drug addiction, as well as contributing to his Career Resurrection in her capacity as a film producer. In particular, she was instrumental in getting him in front of the Iron Man filmmakers for an audition.
  • John Carpenter and Sandy King.
  • Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews married in 1969, and their marriage lasted until Edwards died in 2010.
  • Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft married on August 5, 1964. Brooks said that "From that day, until her death on June 6, 2005, we were glued together."
  • George Burns and Gracie Allen were married in 1926, and constantly worked together on stage, radio, and finally television, until she retired in the late 1950s, shortly before her death. He never remarried.
  • Ben Stiller often costars with wife Christine Taylor, who usually plays his character's Love Interest.
  • Natalie Portman met her director husband Benjamin Millipied on the set of her movie Black Swan.
  • Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli. They met on a set of Meet Me in St. Louis and made a few others together while they were married.
  • Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire play a fictional Creator Couple, Josh and Dinah, in The Barkleys of Broadway. They perform a musical comedy act together on Broadway. When Dinah decides to perform roles in serious plays, the two get into an argument over it, but he helps her out by pretending to be someone else and guiding her over the phone to improve her acting. She is a good actor, but only when she has a good director.
  • Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, besides being Those Two Actors and having great on-screen chemistry with each other, also had an enduring romantic relationship which they never spoke publicly about, since Tracy was married (and technically estranged since he wouldn't divorce her because he was a devout Catholic) to actress and fundraiser Louise Treadwell. The two never appeared in public together when there wasn't a publicity reason for it, and Hepburn neither attended Tracy's funeral nor even spoke to acknowledge their relationship until Treadwell had passed on.
  • Baz Luhrmann has worked with the same designer on all his films, his wife Catherine Martin. In fact, she's won four Oscars for her work on his films, making her the Australian person with the most Oscars in history, while he doesn't have any (although Moulin Rouge! did get nominated for Best Picture).
  • James Ivory, best known for films such as Howards End and The Remains of the Day, had nearly all his films produced by professional/life partner Ismail Merchant under Merchant Ivory Productions until the latter's death in 2005. Their partnership is still the longest in independent film, lasting for 44 years.
  • Actor Allan Corduner and his spouse, writer Juha Sorola, have worked together since 2010. Corduner directed An Act of Valour, a 2010 short film written by Sorola. They were cast as Anthony and Jack, respectively, in Amendment, a 2014 film which Sorola also wrote.
  • Although the marriage eventually folded, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson made a few excellent movies together, including Much Ado About Nothing.
  • Husband and wife duo Carrie Coon and Tracy Letts have worked on three film and TV projects together: The Post, the second season of The Sinner and the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
  • Jonathan Nolan and his wife, Lisa Joy, are both the showrunners of Westworld where they also directed and wrote several episodes. Nolan is also the producer of Reminiscence which is his wife's first movie director debut.
  • Federico Fellini's wife Giuiletta Masina performed in the majority of his films.
  • Jean Marais starred in some of his lover Jean Cocteau's most notable films, such as Beauty and the Beast and Orpheus, in addition to the storied stage body of work they did together.
  • If Michel Hazanavicius directs a film, you can expect his wife Bérénice Bejo to play in it.
  • Director Quinn Shephard cast Nadia Alexander as supporting character Harper in Not Okay. The couple had met during filming of Blame, Shephard's directorial debut, which both starred in. During the final days of Not Okay's filming, Alexander proposed and Shephard accepted.
  • Along with directing Barbie, Greta Gerwig also co-wrote the script with her boyfriend and fellow filmmaker Noah Baumbach. Gerwig has also starred in several of Baumbach's films, most notably Frances Ha and White Noise.

  • Leo Tolstoy's wife, Sofia, not only helped him raise their 13 children but was also his copy editor for all his manuscripts (she ended up copying, by hand, the complete manuscript of War and Peace at least 7 times).
  • Science fiction authors Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore became writing partners after they married. Kuttner excelled at plotting and world-building, while Moore excelled at literary style, and their collaborative works combined both their strengths. Most of their works were published as by only one of them, but it's believed almost everything published by either of them during their marriage was a collaboration.
  • David and Leigh Eddings: The Belgariad and The Malloreon were credited only to David, but in his later work he acknowledged his wife's input, giving her co-author status.
  • Stanley and Janice ("Stan" and "Jan") Berenstain are most famous for their series of children's books about a family of bears.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson relied heavily on his wife's advice when writing. The story about The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde goes that after she read his first draft and told him to rewrite it as an allegory, he burned the manuscript so that he wouldn't be tempted to keep any of what he had.
  • Several married authors (such as the above listed and D. J. MacHale) often have their spouses read their material as beta readers and for creative advice. In several instances, this pays off well.
    • An example of this is Stephen King. His wife, Tabitha, is a published novelist in her own right, and he frequently credits her critiques for improving his work. Possibly the most notable example was when she pulled the first pages of Carrie out of the trash and persuaded him to finish it by promising to fill in what he didn't know about teenage girls.
    • Ditto Vladimir Nabokov and his wife, Vera, to whom he often dedicated his books.
    • Jonathan Safran Foer and Nicole Krauss' sophomore books: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and The History Of Love, respectively, were dedicated to each other and are so similar that critics are convinced that the two consulted with each other while writing them.
  • An unusual example is Nicci French, who is/are actually a husband and wife writing team (real names: Nicci Gerrard and Sean French). They write alternate chapters and then rewrite each other's texts.
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley was edited by her husband, renowned poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
  • F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were each Jazz Age authors, though not at the same time. As Kate Beaton notes, they each contributed to one another's Creator Breakdowns.
  • K. A. Applegate and Michael Grant ("Applegrant") developed and wrote the Animorphs, Everworld, and Remnants series together, though Applegate's name appears on the covers alone for simplicity reasons. They now mostly work on their own separate YA series.
  • Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman, who collaborated on The Fall of the Kings.
  • Ilona Andrews, Pen Name of the wife-and-husband team Ilona and Andrew Gordon.
  • Carl von Clausewitz and his wife Marie were intellectual equals; their letters are filled with discussion of artistic, military and political subjects and Marie was often the first reviewer of Carl's writings. Indeed, foreseeing his early death, he made her promise she would see to the publication of On War because she knew and understood his master work better than anyone else.
  • You Look Different in Real Life has an in-universe example. Lance and Leslie Rogers, creators of the Five at... series of documentaries, got married after Five at Eleven was filmed but before it came out.
  • Andy Griffiths' wife Jill is also his editor and has helped with writing some of his later books. According to Andy, "She particularly loves working on the rhymes."
  • Neil Gaiman met Amanda Palmer after she commissioned a set of short stories from him for her Who Killed Amanda Palmer project. The stories were published in an illustrated book with contributions from several photographers. Gaiman and Palmer later married.
  • Retired Witches Mysteries: This series is one of many by husband-and-wife team Joyce and Jim Lavene, who wrote mysteries together for almost sixteen years.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... features two stories by husband and wife team Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald.
  • The creators of Tatu and Patu, Aino Havukainen and Sami Toivonen, are married.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica's resident vocalist, Raya Yarbrough, has been involved with the resident composer, Bear McCreary, since the two were in college at USC, and McCreary credits her as being a guiding influence in his life. The two collaborated on all four seasons of Galactica and married in 2010.
  • Gene Roddenberry's second wife, Majel Barrett, played several roles in the various Star Trek series, most notably Nurse Christine Chapel in The Original Series and Lwaxana Troi in The Next Generation, and provided the voice of the onboard computers in all series and movies until her death in 2008 - she also provided the computer's voice in the 2009 movie, having recorded her lines before dying. Notably, she was cast as first officer Number One in the original pilot, but NBC torpedoed the entire idea - they weren't really enthusiastic about the idea of having a woman in an important role but were mostly pissed at Roddenberry for casting his girlfriend in the role.
  • Francesca Buller, Ben Browder's wife, played four different characters on Farscape.
  • John Cleese and his then-wife Connie Booth created and wrote Fawlty Towers together. By the time of the second season, they divorced, but still could work together effectively.
  • Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson (best known for shows such as Thunderbirds and Space1999) married and then divorced during the decade-and-a-bit they were producing shows together.
  • Jed Whedon (younger brother to Joss Whedon) and his wife Maurissa Tancharoen not only co-wrote Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog with Joss, but also wrote several episodes of Dollhouse together (which are considered by fandom to be some of the best) and went on to write season 2 episodes of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Several tracks of Jed's first album, History of Forgotten Things, also feature Maurissa on vocals.
  • Castle creator Andrew Marlowe based the show on his own relationship with his "muse", his wife Terri Edda Miller. She is also a writer and wrote some of the best-loved episodes of the show.
  • Sue Vertue has served as producer on several of her husband's shows. Their courtship was of course fictionalized in the show Coupling.
  • Michael Chiklis has credited his wife with changing his image from the tubby, well-meaning figure in The Commish to the lean, muscled badass in The Shield.
  • Also from The Shield, the series was created by Shawn Ryan. His wife, Cathy Cahlin Ryan, played Vic's long-suffering wife Corinne.
  • Christa Miller has had roles in three of her husband Bill Lawrence's shows: a guest role that became recurring on Scrubs, a starring role on Cougar Town, and a role on Clone High.
  • Will Arnett and Amy Poehler frequently end up working on the same projects, frequently in a romantic pairing. Their first appearance together was on Arrested Development (where she played the girl that GOB married while drunk), and the most recent in the American dub of Arrietty (as the title character's parents). Perhaps the most Squick-worthy was in Blades of Glory, where they played a brother and sister... and still were romantic partners.
  • Tina Fey met her husband, Jeff Richmond, when they were both at Second City, she as an improv-er and he as a pianist. Since then they've worked together in some capacity at both Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock.
    • This trope also applies to 30 Rock writers and cast-members John Lutz and Sue Galloway (Lutz and Sue)
  • Mary Tyler Moore and her then-husband Grant Tinker were this during The '70s.
  • Probably one of the oldest TV examples was Desilu Studios with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, whose marriage lasted from 1940 to 1960.
  • Betty White was married to Allen Ludden (best known for hosting Password) from 1963 until his death in 1981.
  • Murder, She Wrote, starring Angela Lansbury, was produced by her second husband, Peter Shaw.
  • Creators of NUMB3RS, Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton, are married.
  • Canadian comedian Steve Smith is best known for The Red Green Show today, but his first television appearances were with his wife Morag in the shows Smith And Smith and The Comedy Mill.
  • Television news example: Chet Curtis and Natalie Jacobson were husband and wife co-anchors on News Center 5, local news broadcast of WCVB Channel 5 (ABC station in Boston, MA); Chet passed on in 2014 at 74, while former wife Jacobson is still living at 79, but is retired from the station.
  • Alex Karras and Susan Clark were the married co-stars of Webster on ABC and in syndication from 1983-89; they even had their own vanity plate, Georgian Bay Ltd. (which was IAW Paramount Television [starting in 1986 and going to the end of the run, their co-star, Emmanuel Lewis, who was in the title role, got his own card, Emmanuel Lewis Entertainment Enterprises, Inc., which would come after the Georgian Bay, Ltd. card, and before the Blue Mtn. of Paramount, and later, in syndication, the CGI Mtn. of Paramount]).

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the WWE, there's current COO and Head of Creative Triple H and Chairwoman and Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon.
  • WWE has several other past and present examples:

    • The Undertaker married his second wife Sara in 2000 before she would be involved in his feuds with Diamond Dallas Page and Brock Lesnar the following year and 2002, respectively. They divorced in 2007 and, since 2010, he has been married to Michelle McCool, who averts this trope with him.
    • Rusev and Lana are married in real life.
    • As are Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose in WWE) and interviewer/commentator Renee Young.
    • Both of the Bella Twins fall into this category. Brie is still there, being the wife of Daniel Bryan. Nikki was this from 2012 to 2018 with John Cena, but they broke things off about a month before they were to get married.
    • Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth were married in kayfabe at SummerSlam in 1991 but had actually been married since 1984, before they arrived in what was then the WWF. They divorced in 1992.
    • Booker T began dating his current wife Sharmell in 2000, when both were in WCW—Booker as a wrestler, and Sharmell as part of the Nitro Girls dance team. They got married in 2005 and remain so today.
    • Eddie Guerrero and Vickie Guerrero are actually an aversion of this trope; Vickie didn't become an on-screen personality until after Eddie's death in 2005.
  • DDP married his first wife Kimberly in 1991 before she joined him in the wrestling business. She went on to become Page's valet and a Nitro Girl. They would divorce in 2005.
  • Miss Elizabeth was in a real-life relationship with Lex Luger when she died in 2003.
  • When he was booker for WCW, Kevin Sullivan booked himself in a feud with Chris Benoit. As part of the feud, Benoit was having an affair with Sullivan's onscreen valet and real-life wife Nancy, and Kevin forced the two to act as if the affair was real. Nancy wound up leaving Kevin for Chris in real life, and they married in 2000. They stayed married until Chris murdered Nancy and their son before killing himself in 2007.
  • Stacy Keibler had two boyfriends that she was paired up with on-screen: Ric Flair's son David in WCW and Test in WWE.
  • NXT star Adam Cole and AEW's Britt Baker, now in a long-term relationship, met while working the indies.
  • In Japan, Kensuke Sasaki and Akira Hokuto.
  • A historical example from Japan: Shohei "Giant" Baba and his wife Motoko. She spent most of her adult life playing his "bad cop". This came back to bite her after his death, with almost all of Baba's Japanese roster joining an untested startup led by top draw Mitsuharu Misawa.

  • George Balanchine choreographed many ballets for his second wife, Vera Zorina.
  • Kurt Weill married, divorced and later remarried Lotte Lenya.
  • Pick one of Vincenzo Bellini's more frequently performed operas, and the only one with a libretto not written by Felice Romani will be I Puritani (written by Carlo Pepoli).
  • Elmer Rice's second wife, Betty Field, played the leading role in three of his plays.
  • Dancer Donna McKechnie and director-choreographer Michael Bennett. Bennett cast McKechnie in lead dancing roles in Promises, Promises, CompanySondheim and A Chorus Line, though their actual marriage only lasted a few months.
  • Writer and playwright Jean Kerr occasionally collaborated with her husband, stage critic Walter Kerr.
  • Bob Fosse directed, choreographed and wrote the book for Chicago at the request of his third wife, Gwen Verdon, who played Roxie Hart during its original Broadway run.
  • Michael Arden and Andy Mientus were engaged during the conception and run of the Deaf West revival of Spring Awakening, and married afterwards. Mientus, having played Hanschen in the national tour of the original version, stepped in after their original actor landed a film role and director Arden was panicking about finding a replacement. He ended up playing the role from Los Angeles to the closing of the Broadway production. Initially, Arden asked Mientus whether he was sure he'd want to work with his fiancé and thought he wouldn't.
    Mientus: I think one of our biggest issues our fear of the perception of what was going to happen. What the cast was going to do, thinking they couldn’t complain to me or that I’d be the eyes of the production. People are smarter than that. It’s really been easy. [...] I think we are both very used to getting past each other’s bullshit for lack of a better word. We are together. We’ve been friends for about a decade. We don’t have to hide behind something, the way you do with people you don’t know as well.
    Arden: We spend all our time together so I’d say the challenge is we don’t get much time away from work together. I thought it was going to be a little strenuous or difficult. I want what’s best for the play and also what’s best for our relationship. When Andy is on stage I don’t think of him as my husband-to-be and I think that’s a testament to his talent and his work commitment. I wouldn’t have hired him had he not been the best person for the job.

  • The sports world has its share of romantic partnerships. For just a few examples:
    • Basketball:
      • The former marriage of WNBA superstar Candace Parker and NBA journeyman Shelden Williams.
      • Brooke and Scott Stoehr took it to the next level, serving together as head coaches of Northwestern State University in Louisiana for a couple of seasons until leaving in 2016 when Brooke (alone) was named the new head coach at Louisiana Tech.
      • A brief same-sex example was that of WNBA players Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson, whose marriage didn't even last a month before breaking up amid domestic violence allegations.
      • A more recent same-sex example is also from the WNBA, with active superstar Diana Taurasi and recently retired superstar Penny Taylor tying the knot in 2017.
      • Not to mention Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot, longtime WNBA teammates with the Chicago Sky. In fact, they have a Portmanteau Couple Name among WNBA fans: VanderQuigs.
      • Yet another same-sex example is Erin Phillips and Tracy Gahan, respectively an Australian and American who met as teammates in Australia. Phillips is by far the better-known of the two, having been a longtime WNBA star and now team executive, as well as a major star in the recently created AFL Women's in Australian rules football.
    • Gymnastics:
      • Although both had retired from the competitive side of the sport by the time they married, Nadia Comăneci and Bart Conner.
      • Béla and Márta Károlyi, who formed a legendary coaching team, first in communist Romania and later in the U.S., from the mid-1960s until Béla retired in 1997. Márta carried on solo until retiring after the 2016 Olympics.
    • Ice hockey:
      • Matt and Shannon Desrosiers served together as head coaches for the women's team of Clarkson University (an NCAA Division III school that fields Division I teams in men's and women's ice hockey) for six seasons, ending with a national title in 2014. Shortly after the title game, Shannon stepped down and left Matt in sole charge; they already had one young child and were shortly to have a second, and she wanted to concentrate on being a mother.
      • In another same-sex example that also fits Go-Karting with Bowser: In September 2018, Gillian Apps and Meghan Duggan tied the knot. Apps is a now-retired captain of the Canada national team. At the time of the wedding, Duggan was captain of the USA national team. In women's hockey, the two countries have one of the most intense rivalries in all of world sports — since the two first squared off in the 1990 World Championships, all but two finals in either the Olympics or Worlds have been Canada–USA.Exceptions 
    • Field hockey:
      • In still another same-sex example, British women's internationals Helen Richardson and Kate Walsh married in 2013, both taking the surname Richardson-Walsh. They won Olympic gold medals with Team GB in 2016.
    • Tennis:
      • Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi
      • Chris Evert was involved in two relationships within the sport: first a brief romantic relationship in the mid-'70s with Jimmy Connors, then marriage with John Lloyd from 1979 to 1987. See "Cross-sport" below for Evert's other two marriages.
      • Roger Federer met his wife — the former Miroslava "Mirka" Vavrinec — when they represented Switzerland in tennis at the 2000 Olympics.
    • Football/soccer:
      • Two marriages of US women's superstars and MLS players: Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco, and Sydney Leroux and Dom Dwyer.
      • A same-sex example: the former marriage of US women's legend Abby Wambach and former pro player Sarah Huffman.
      • Also same-sex: 2019 US Women's World Cup teammates Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger got engaged a few months before the competition.
    • Volleyball:
      • American beach volleyball players Casey Jennings and three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings.
    • Cross-sport:
      • Zach Ertz (NFL) and Julie Ertz (née Johnston; soccer)
      • Mia Hamm (soccer) and Nomar Garciaparra (Major League Baseball)
      • Jrue Holiday (NBA) and Lauren Holiday (née Cheney; soccer)
      • Jeff Wilson (New Zealand international in both rugby union and one-day cricket) and the former Aline Harper (NZ netball international)
      • A former example: Nancy Lopez (golf) and Ray Knight (MLB)
      • Chris Evert's other two ex-husbands are also sportspeople: Alpine skier Andy Mill (1988–2006) and golf legend Greg Norman (2008–2009).
      • Ana Ivanović (tennis) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (football)
      • Jennie Finch (softball pitching legend) and Casey Daigle (journeyman MLB pitcher)
      • In another case where both partners had retired by the time they married, Amy Van Dyken (multiple Olympic gold medals in swimming) and Tom Rouen (NFL punter).
      • Now-retired Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki has been in two such relationships. First, she was in a relationship with Northern Ireland golf superstar Rory McIlroy, with the two getting engaged in 2014, but McIlroy broke off the engagement a few months later. She married former NBA player David Lee in 2019.
      • Sue Bird (basketball, WNBA) and Megan Rapinoe (soccer) have been dating for several years and are engaged as of 2021.
  • Countless professional ballroom dancing couples are also romantically involved.

    Video Games 

  • Yan "Kern" Gagne and Mary "Kite" Garren of Drowtales work on the series together, and originally met through the roleplay section of the site.
  • DeBray and Tracy Bailey of Catena.
  • Mel Hynes and James Grant of Two Lumps.
  • The Life of Nob T. Mouse was all but dead until Jennifer Kirk pushed its creator, Zoe Robinson, into resurrecting it. Now they both work on the comic and have created All Over The House together, too.
  • Yuko and Ananth of Johnny Wander, though their relationship seems so downplayed you'd think they were Platonic Life-Partners
  • Questionable Content's Jeph Jacques' then-wife Cristi also served as his business manager.
  • morphE is created by Studio imagiBROS, a couple of couples. Creator/Artist Alexis Royce is married to lead writer ChibiSilverWings while CG Artist Shadowednavi is married to compiler Camden Bayfield. morphE is literally a labor of love.
    • As of 2019-2020, Shadowednavi and Camden are no longer together, though Camden is still a member of the imagiBROS, and worked on Full Service Shop.
  • Terra's Holly Laing and Drew Dailey were working on the comic before their wedding and put it on a brief hiatus for the ceremony and honeymoon.
  • Girl Genius is written by husband/wife team Phil and Kaja Foglio.
  • MSF High is written by Wraith and drawn by Aakashi, who, while not officially married, have been together for about a decade as of this writing.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • In American politics, the President and their spouse have often been examples of this trope one way or another:
    • First ladies before modern times would usually be "seen and not heard," staying completely out of the limelight and concentrating on social life while their husbands would govern the country. However, there are a few historical exceptions where the First Lady was more-or-less an active member of her husband's administration:
      • Abigail Adams was her husband's chief confidant and political adviser virtually from the moment they married. Their extensive correspondence reveals that they discussed everything from the state of their Braintree farm and children to the formation of the new Constitution, often by way of how much they missed each other. Though she didn't gain recognition for her impact on the young country until well into the 20th century, Abigail was undeniably the "woman behind the man" for the duration of her husband's career.
      • Edith Wilson played a significant role after her husband suffered a debilitating stroke in October 1919, taking over numerous routine duties and, most importantly, decided which matters of state were more important and should be brought to her husband's attention. This caused a moderate constitutional crisis (since First Ladies aren't elected) and helped lead to the 25th Amendment several decades later.
      • Eleanor Roosevelt was a prominent author, politician, and activist both during her husband's presidency and after his death. She was an activist for civil rights, worked to enhance the status of working women (notably chairing the groundbreaking Presidential Commission on the Status of Women), traveled heavily and was one of the people who drafted the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
      • Pat Nixon, surprisingly given her reputation as something of a Stepford Smiler. Nixon was the first wife of a Presidential candidate to actively campaign for her husband, spoke out in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment and Roe v. Wade and often made solo diplomatic trips abroad. Notably, she was the first First Lady to enter a combat zone (e.g. South Vietnam) and the most-traveled First Lady prior to Hillary Clinton.
      • Betty Ford supported women's rights and was one of the first public figures to raise awareness of breast cancer and alcoholism. She was the co-founder of the Betty Ford Center, the most famous drug rehab facility in the country. Her candid comments on Flame Bait topics such as drugs, abortion and gun control also set a precedent. Notably, she had a higher approval rating than her husband.
        Campaign Slogan: Vote for Betty's Husband!
    • Ever since the 90s, it's become commonplace for the First Lady to have her own career and be her husband's professional equal rather than just being an unofficial advisor and/or socialite working in his name:
      • Hillary Clinton had her own legal and political career completely independent of her husband's, including stints as Senator and Secretary of State, and two attempted runs for president. In her second and most successful run, she even beat her rival in the popular vote by almost three million votes, but still lost due to quirks in the American electoral system.
      • Laura Bush is a former schoolteacher and librarian (meaning she holds a master's degree) who used her platform as First Lady of Texas and later the US to champion increased funding for public libraries.
      • Michelle Obama is an attorney and published author who was every bit a public figure as her husband during his presidency.
  • Dr. Jill Biden is an English professor who continued teaching throughout Joe's political career, to the point of becoming the first sitting First Lady to hold a paying job outside the White House. After all, there was no rule saying she couldn't continue being a professor.
  • Emperor Justinian I and Theodora ruled the Byzantine Empire together. He's regarded as one of the empire's best rulers.
  • Marie and Pierre Curie shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics (with Antoine Henri Becquerel) for their work on radioactivity. Their daughter Irene Joliot-Curie later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935, shared with her husband, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, making this a Creator Family.
  • King Henry the Second of England and Eleanor Of Aquitaine.
  • Louise of Prussia took on an increasingly important role in guiding the policies of her more cautious husband Frederick Wilhelm III, and succeeded in rousing Prussia against Napoleon, before her early death in 1810. Tellingly, a painting at the Château de Versailles depicting a meeting of the French, Russian and Prussian sovereigns in Tilsitt is titled "Napoleon meets the Queen of Prussia" even though the King of Prussia is right next to her.
  • King William III and Queen Mary II were the only British royals to rule jointly rather than being monarch and consort.