The Essentials: Power Couples
Action movies are known for a lot of things… tough guys, explosions, fist fights, car chases and guns ablazing! But as this post will soon prove somewhere soaring between the bullets flying and the exploding helicopters are cupid’s arrows!
This special edition of The Essentials is dedicated to the real life couples who found love in the world of action entertainment and proved behind every great action hero is a great woman…
1. Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland
There is a famous story that while on the set of the classic film The Great Escape, Charles Bronson went up to his co-star David McCallum and said “I’m going to marry your wife.” And being the legit badass that he is, Charles Bronson did just that when he married Jill Ireland in October of 1968.
Bronson and Ireland would be inseparable from that point on both off screen and on. Jill Ireland co-starred with her husband in over a dozen of his films including Breakheart Pass, Death Wish II and Assassination. She even received a producer credit on two of Bronson’s movies that she did not star in, Murphy’s Law and The Evil That Men Do.
Bronson and Ireland remained married until Jill Ireland lost her battle with breast cancer in May of 1990.
2. Clint Eastwood and Sandra Locke
While Clint Eastwood and Sandra Locke were never actually married, the two were in a long term relationship that began when they played love interests in Eastwood’s 1976 film, The Outlaw Josey Wales.
Eastwood who prior to meeting Locke had the reputation of being a philanderer, found himself head over heels for Locke… he even wrote a song for her! Yes folks, Dirty Harry was in love. Following The Outlaw Josey Wales, Sandra Locke would appear in five more films with Eastwood including The Gauntlet, Every Which Way But Loose, Any Which Way You Can and even starred as a female vigilante in the fourth movie in the Dirty Harry franchise, Sudden Impact.
Things began to fall apart for Eastwood and Locke by the end of 1988 and several years of legal battles followed.
3. Lorenzo Lamas and Kathleen Kinmont
It was not long after their marriage in January of 1989, that the voluptuous Kathleen Kinmont began appearing in her husband Lorenzo Lamas’ movies with the first being Snake Eater II: The Drug Buster. The Kinmont/Lamas pairing would continue to appear in movies together like Final Impact, C.I.A. Code Name: Alexa and Final Round.
When Lorenzo made the jump to syndicated television in 1992 with the series Renegade, Kathleen Kinmont came along for the ride. Kinmont even continued to appear on the show following the couple’s divorce in 1993. Proof that all Hollywood break ups are not messy.
4. Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen
The term “whirlwind romance” seems most appropriate for the next couple on our list… Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen first met in the summer of 1985. On November 27 of that same year, Rocky IV starring Stallone and Nielsen hit theaters. And a few weeks later on December 15, 1985 Sylvester Stallone married Brigitte Nielsen!
Their marriage only lasted 19 months, but in that time the two managed to make one more movie together, 1986’s Cobra. The two were very much in love during the shooting of the film in fact their public displays of affection were causing the production to fall behind schedule. When Stallone complained to cinematographer Ric Waite that his crew needed to work harder to get them back on schedule, Waite fired back that Stallone should “get his hands off Brigitte’s ass” if he was so worried about time.
5. Mark Dacascos and Julie Condra
Love was definitely in the air on the set of Crying Freeman... in the movie hitman Yo Hinamura (Mark Dacascos) falls in love with artist Emu O’Hara (Julie Condra)… in reality Mark and Julie fell in love in a classic example of life imitating art. The two would marry on January 5, 1998 and are still married to this day.
Unlike the other couples on this list, the only time Mark and Julie acted together was in Crying Freeman… is that distinct line between their personal and professional lives the secret to their marital bliss?
6. Casper Van Dien and Catherine Oxenberg
Not many guys can say they married an actual princess… but Casper Van Dien is not just some guy. Casper Van Dien and Catherine Oxenberg originally met on the set of the TV movie The Collectors and would go on to work on several projects together including Road Rage, The Vector File and the direct to video sequel to Casper’s most famous movie Starship Troopers, Starship Troopers 3: Marauders.
An interesting note… the Van Dien/Oxenberg romance was the premise of a reality show in 2005 titled I Married a Princess… I can’t imagine the very private Charles Bronson ever agreeing to something like that. After 16 years of marriage, Casper Van Dien filed for divorce from Oxenberg.