We don’t choose who we fall in love with and that’s the beauty of life. We never know who we might meet that will come into our lives and change us forever. Celebrities often find themselves in love with people from all different walks of life, whether that be different backgrounds or large age gaps.

When it comes to love between consenting adults, age is certainly just a number. While some might inexplicably frown upon couples with larger age gaps, others choose to ignore the noise and instead follow their hearts. In fact, studies have shown that couples with more than a 10-year age gap experience social disapproval. Another study revealed that while most men and women prefer to date someone their own age, generally, people are open to dating anyone 10-15 years older or younger than them.

But as various celebrity couples have shown over the years, age doesn’t matter when it comes to love. From classic love stories such as Warren Beatty and Annette Benning’s romance — the couple has a 21 year age difference and have been together since 1992 — to more recent couples such as Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra, who are 11 years apart in age, the differences in age of couples in Hollywood has never really been an issue. After all, love is love.

In honor of some of the most heartwarming love stories in Hollywood, we’re taking a look at seven star-studded relationships with large age differences. These couples prove that age isn’t really an issue when you find the one. 

Patrick Stewart And Sunny Ozell (38 Years)

While the pair might have an almost four-decade-wide age gap, Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell have proven to be an unlikely powerhouse couple in Hollywood. Although many might gasp at their generational differences, Ozell insists she is unfazed. 

“He is so youthful and I guess I’m kind of an old worrywart, so we bridge the gap,” she told the Daily Mail in 2015. She added, “It hasn’t come up much. He’s in better shape than I am physically, which infuriates me.”

Stewart said in the same interview that he doesn’t feel his age. He said:

“I remember my 40th birthday vividly and I swear to God it was last week. I have a little bit of arthritis but I don’t feel any different.”

Now married for eight years, the pair met in 2008 at Franny’s, a New York pizzeria restaurant where Ozell was working at the time. 

“I was a little freaked out by seeing Patrick Stewart in my restaurant,” she admitted. 

The up-and-coming musician had just turned 30 years old at the time and was working towards her breakthrough by working tirelessly in jazz clubs across New York. Enamored by Ozell, Stewart slipped a note with his phone number to the young waitress, under the pretense that he could get her tickets to his Broadway show, which was sold out. The two met after the show and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Stewart and Ozell married in 2013 at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where they had fellow actor and longtime friend to Stewart, Ian McKellan, officiate the ceremony. They revealed in the Daily Mail interview that while the ceremony was beautiful, the reception was a boisterous affair.   

apost.com

Catherine Zeta-Jones And Michael Douglas (25 Years)

One of Hollywood’s most well-known relationships with a large age difference is movie stars Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Although they might have been together for an impressive 23 years, the two insist they are still just as in love as when they first laid eyes upon one another in the late ’90s. 

The couple first met in 1998 at the Deauville Film Festival in France, where Douglas almost instantly became enamored with his now-wife. But while we might think of Douglas as a charming smooth-talker, what he first blurted out to Zeta-Jones was admittedly disastrous. 

“I looked at her, and I said, ‘Catherine, I’m going to be the father of your children,'” Douglas said, according to E! Online. “The first time I met her! You think that went over big?”

Clearly, it didn’t, and Zeta-Jones replied: “You know, I’ve heard a lot about you and I’ve seen a lot about you, and I think it’s time I say goodnight.”

Cringey opening line as that might have been, Douglas knew he ought to make amends with Zeta-Jones, so the next day, he got her some flowers and a heartfelt apology. “Anyway, so I guess it worked out OK!” he joked. 

The two then started dating and by New Year’s Eve of 1999, they were engaged before they got married in New York in 2000. Their wedding was just two years after meeting and three months after the birth of their first child, a son named Dylan. They have since also had a daughter together named Carys, who was born in April 2003.      

Celine Dion And René Angélil (26 Years)

Celine Dion and René Angélil first met in 1980, when Dion was a 12-year-old aspiring singer and Angélil worked as her record producer. However, their relationship did not become romantic until years later, when the singer had become a young adult. Angélil and Dion recalled their first kiss in a 1999 interview with Larry King, which took place eight years after they met, although Dion admitted she was in love with him long before that.

“We were in Dublin, in Ireland for the Eurovision contest 1988 and at night when we kissed goodnight we always kissed on the cheek, and that night I made a little stop right here,” Angélil said as he motioned towards his lips, “And everything changed.”

The powerhouse couple married in 1994 in a lavish broadcasted ceremony in Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. The two have since had three children together, René-Charles, born in 1999, and twins Eddy and Nelson, born in 2010. 

Angélil tragically passed away in 2016 after a battle with throat cancer. Dion told GMA that she was “learning to make her own decisions, taking on new projects and slowly finding confidence again, without the man who guided her life for so long and helped propel her to stardom.”

Dion opened up to The Sun about Angélil’s passing when she said, “I think I will probably grieve for the rest of my life.” But she optimistically added: “Rene has prepared me for all my life since I’m 12. I have never met another man in my life, never kissed another man in my life. I miss him a lot. I miss him a lot — for my partner, for the man I was embracing, kissing, making love with. My worries, my dreams …”  

Rod Stewart And Penny Lancaster (27 Years)

When British rockstar Rod Stewart first met Penny Lancaster in 1999, he had almost given up on love. He had, after all, only recently separated from his second wife, Rachel Hunter

“When my marriage to Rachel ended, the last thing I wanted to do was fall head over heels in love with a tall blonde girl in her 20s,” he wrote in his memoir “Rod: The Autobiography,” according to the Daily Mail

A photography student at the time, Lancaster approached the famous singer for an autograph after her friends dared her to do so. “The next night I got an invitation to go to a concert and photograph him,” she told Loose Women in 2015.

The singer then asked Lancaster for her number and gave it to his bass player. “A couple of days later I went can I have Penny’s phone number, and he went ‘No you’re not ready yet,’ and he kept it for six months,” he explained in the same interview. 

When he was finally allowed to have her number back, he called her up and asked her out on their first date. While the young photographer had been anxious to hear back from Stewart, she knew she had to be patient. “I did know that he had only just broken up, so I kind of gave it a bit of a grace period,” she later said. 

The couple married in 2007 in Portofino, Italy, and share two children: Alastair Wallace Stewart, born in 2005, and Aiden Patrick Stewart, born in 2011.  

Dick Van Dyke And Arlene Silver (46 Years)

Legendary actor Dick Van Dyke and his wife, make-up artist Arlene Silver, might share the most significant age gap on this list, but Van Dyke insists that they actually balance each other out. “She’s very mature for her age, and I’m very immature for my age, so it’s just about right,” he told Parade in 2013

The duo first met in 2006 when Silver worked as a make-up artist for the SAG awards and quickly became friends.

“I remember seeing Dick at the catering table with his bow tie and his big smile,” she recalled in an interview with the Huffington Post. “Right when I sat down, he was sitting next to me. He said, ‘Hi, I’m Dick.’ The first thing I asked him was, ‘Weren’t you in ‘Mary Poppins’?'”

Van Dyke was still mourning the death of his partner of 33 years, Michelle Triola Marvin, at the time, so their romance would not blossom until much later on. 

“I didn’t really realize how powerful the relationship was becoming. I would come over but I didn’t want to bother him I guess,” Silver said. “He gets so many people around him I didn’t want to be intrusive, so I would just say I’ll come over after work and we’ll have dinner, and it turns out he was looking forward to it the whole day. I didn’t know that. He was just very respectful. We were both trying not to impose on each other.”

The couple wed in Feb. 2012, and Van Dyke has since described marrying Silver as “one of the smartest moves” he’s ever made. 

Matthew McConaughey And Camila Alves (14 Years)

Matthew McConaughey is known for his roles as the romantic lead in big Hollywood movies, so it’s no surprise that the actor is a romantic in real life too. His marriage with model Camila Alves seems to be one that is based on true love.

The couple met in 2006 and were in love from the first moment they laid eyes on each other, reported E! Online. McConaughey reported that he was so stricken with Alves that he felt she was an other-worldly being. She possessed qualities that he didn’t completely understand, and they made a big impression on him. He described her as graceful, beautiful and maintaining a strong sense of identity.

He later told Playboy Magazine, as reported by People, that he is faithful to his wife to the point that he is selfish. He believes he is under a spell around her, and he wants to remain that way. The couple was married in 2012, which occurred six years after they began dating each other. McConaughey and Alves have since had three children — sons Levi, 13, and Livingston, 8, and a daughter named Vida, 11.

McConaughey claims that his approach to maintaining the romance in his marriage is due to a low-key approach, and he doesn’t like to buy extravagant gifts for his wife. 

“I don’t have a certain thing I buy her,” McConaughey told TODAY. “An earnest handwritten note, that she knows I sat down and took some time and has some poetry to it, that’s worth more than whatever retail I paid for something.”  

Richard Gere And Alejandra Silva (33 Years)

Richard Gere, 72, has built his career on playing romantic male leads in movies such as “Pretty Woman,” “American Gigolo” and “An Officer and a Gentleman,” among others. And in real life, Gere is just as romantic. Married three times in total, each of Gere’s relationships has one thing in common — he was significantly older than each of his brides.

Gere famously wed supermodel Cindy Crawford in 1991 when he was 42 and she was 25. After they split, he married actress Carey Lowell in 2002 — at the time he was 53 and she was 41. They separated after 11 years of marriage and eventually Gere met his third and current wife, Spanish publicist Alejandra Silva, 38. Their age difference is the biggest one of all — 33 years in fact!

Nevertheless, Silva said she isn’t afraid of their large age gap. Speaking about their connection, Silva previously said, “Our karma was attracted the moment we saw each other,” before she added, “I’m not ignoring our age difference and what it means to be with a Hollywood star, but when there’s such a strong karmic energy, the problems disappear.”

Silva also told Hello! Magazine:

“In this life it had to be like this. He has promised me at least 20 good years! I have to confess that he has much more energy than me; he’s much more active. I find it hard to keep up with him. He’s not human!” 

Meanwhile, Gere told Hola! after the couple welcomed their second child together: “I’m the happiest man in the universe. How could I not be?” He added:

“I’m married to a beautiful woman who is smart, sensitive, committed to helping people, who is fun, patient, who knows how to forgive, who is a great cook — and who makes the best salads in the world!”  

Do you know of any other star-studded couples with a larger-than-average age gap? Let us know, and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family so they can read about it too!  

Please scroll below for more stories 🙂