Liz Smith: Hollywood’s Shortest Marriages — Here Are The Stats

Rudolph Valentino and Zsa Zsa Gabor: Even back then, stars didn't waste time

And more from our Liz: Rick Perry has (too much?) fun … Doris Day honored by L.A. Film Critics

“MEN ARE irrelevant,” said Kay Weldon.

* * *

PERHAPS NOT all women agree with Ms. Weldon, but one certainly seems to. I do mean reality TV creature Kim Kardashian, who has dispensed with her husband, Kris Humphries after 72 days of wedded bliss. Why drag it out? She got $17 million off the wedding.

Just the other day we were chortling over Miss Kardashian’s lament that a “lack of privacy” was causing a wee bit of strain on her shiny new wedlock. Damn that lack of privacy. And she has tried so hard to be unobtrusive. Now it’s over.

Now, some of you might think filing for divorce after only 72 days is a shockingly brief amount of time to make such a decision. But Kim is not the winner in the short celebrity marriage sweepstakes. Not by a long shot.

Here are some statistics:

Britney Spears and Jason Allen Alexander — 55 hours.
Michelle Phillips and Dennis Hopper — 8 days.
Cher and Gregg Allman — 9 days.
Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman — 9 days.
Catherine Oxenberg and Robert Evans — 12 days.
Mario Lopez and Ali Landry — 2 weeks.
Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds — 2 weeks.
Drew Barrymore and Jeremy Thomas — 29 days.

* * *

THERE ARE also historical curiosities such as Ethel Merman and Ernest Borgnine, who stuck it out for 38 days. (In her autobiography, Ethel devoted one page to Ernie — one blank page.)

And Elizabeth Taylor’s first marriage was her shortest — nine months with Nicky Hilton, even though he was beating her up all the while.

But let’s get down to the wire on brevity after the “I do.”

Zsa Zsa Gabor and Felipe De Alba — one day.
Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun — one day.

And the quickest cut of all — in the 1920’s, Rudolph Valentino and Jean Acker — 6 full hours. (The silent screen sheik’s PR people had to work overtime, trying to explain to a much more innocent public why Rudy, or Miss Acker were so, ah, dissatisfied.)

Of course, none of the above marriages netted the bride millions upon millions of dollars in profits on the “sale” of a reality show “marriage” itself. Nor does it seem any of the marriages were entered into with such brazen cynicism. Drug-addled minds, sex-infatuation, loneliness and even a desperate desire to get away from one’s parents (Liz Taylor) could be cited. But not sheer, money-grubbing publicity. No, not even Zsa Zsa.

Still and all, today’s TV viewers and magazine readers seem infatuated with non-stars like Kim. So we can safely assume she will make more millions when she allows the reality TV cameras into the courtroom. She is no doubt being advised to cry on the stand. That’ll probably be worth five mil right there.

P.S. When last seen, Miss Kardashian was boarding a plane to Australia. That’s a long flight — more than 18 hours. Plenty of time to meet a hot Aussie, date, make a sex-tape, get engaged, married and split up.

* * *

FROM THE truly ridiculous to the utterly divine. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association will present a Lifetime Achievement award to the one and only screen icon, Doris Day in January.

No word on whether or not Miss Day will appear in person to accept her honor. But the L.A. critics don’t care. They feel she deserves it, period. Classy. Too bad the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscar people are so tacky on the subject of an honorary Oscar for this great star.

* * *

OKAY — back to the ridiculous. What was with Rick Perry the other day? He gave a speech at the Cornerstone Action Dinner in New Hampshire that has become an instant classic of rambling talk, over-excited, over-animated gestures and facial expressions. It is beyond belief. YouTube, which is running the lively video, says Perry’s giddy performance has had more than 100,000 hits so far.

Some people have expressed “concern.” Is Perry losing his mind? Had he had a few drinks — maybe twenty — before the speech?

I say Perry is simply taking a page from Herman Cain’s book — do something that’ll get ‘em talking, even if it is something crazy. (You can still see Cain’s now-infamous video where his campaign manager smokes, and Cain himself is shown smiling in a creepy manner. That was another YouTube sensation.)

Maybe Rick wanted to get people’s minds off the fact that his campaign for president has collapsed? Or perhaps he simply wanted to show another side to his personality? So what that he wanted Texas to secede? So what that he is unperturbed by the possibility that somebody innocent might be executed?

He is really just a loveable, affable guy, not afraid to be expressive in public.

As for Mr. Cain, right now he has troubles other than smoky campaign ads. But in the words of Rachel Maddow — “Don’t dismiss Herman Cain. He is not a flash in the pan.”

* * *

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN and Broadway/cabaret legend Barbara Cook join up for a stint at Feinstein’s at the Regency, from Nov 29 to December 30th. Later this year, Miss Cook will receive the 2011 Kennedy Center honor — along with Meryl Streep, Neil Diamond, Yo-Yo Ma and Sonny Rollins. To celebrate this, Feinstein’s is rolling back its prices to 1999, when the club first opened — $60 cover and no minimum. Michael and Barbara will present classics from Berlin, Rodgers & Hart, Duke Ellington. Call 212-339-4095.

17 comments so far.

  1. avatar rick gould says:

    Regarding Cher’s 9 day marriage to Gregg Allman… yes, she filed for separation from him after finding out Allman was back on drugs…but unfortunately for her, Cher gave him another chance and reconciled for another unhappy couple of years with the drink- and drugged-out Gregg.

    What’s Kim’s excuse?

  2. avatar Paul Brogan says:

    Liz, once again thank you for your refreshing honesty about the Academy’s seeming inability to recognize the number one female box-office star of all-time – Doris Day. It’s appalling, however. in my new book, “Was That a Name I Dropped?” I write about a situation in the early 1990′s. Roddy McDowell, Elizabeth Taylor, myself and many others (I believe you, too) were advocating to get a similar honor for fabled stylist, Sydney Guilaroff, who had nearly 2,000 films to his credit. In his response to me then Academy President Karl Malden noted that Sydney was “…only a hairdresser…” 
    It would seem the Academy often fails to appreciate the people who made the movies “magic” for so many of us.
    If they are failing to honor Miss Day because she won’t attend their ceremony, then the honor isn’t genuine because it comes “with strings”. Shame on them, nonetheless.
    Paul Brogan

  3. avatar Lila says:

    Oh… I’m giving Eva and Adolf a pass in the short-marriage category. Give them a little credit that death did them part.

    And the big difference between the Kardashian-Humphries thing and all those other short marriages… to me, at least …. is the way the Kardashian thing was trumpeted and televised and commercialized at obscene expense, and to the great profit of Kardashian. Coming on the heels of the British royal wedding, the inevitable comparisons were made. Can we say “cynical?” Or perhaps, “tawdry?” The whole point of the wedding was the wedding, nothing more. When you have Britney Spears running off to Vegas for a quick wedding (and even quicker divorce), it might have turned out to be a mistake… but at least it was heartfelt and not just a gaudy and wasteful publicity stunt.

  4. avatar Lila says:

    Republicans: really? Really? These are the cream of the party? This is what you send out to run for President? People who scare the crap out of us? Why can’t you put some normal Republicans out there?

    • avatar D C says:

      As I’ve said in past posts… nobody normal WANTS to run for public office.  We normal people have real lives, and real people to take care in our lives, and running for public office just doesn’t fit into that scenario.  I think the only people that run for public office, anymore, have to be a little on the mentally unstable side, and/or narcisistic — why else would you spend millions upon millions of dollars and KEEP running after failing in the past. 

      • avatar Lila says:

        DC, right you are.

        Narcissistic I can deal with. Maybe a big ego is a requirement. Mentally unstable, crazy wild-eyed, proudly ignorant, racist, and all that other stuff? I will turn out just to vote AGAINST that.

        Sad when the voting strategy is not so much to vote in favor of certain platforms and issues, as it is to vote AGAINST getting an ignorant crazy into the White House.

  5. avatar LandofLove says:

    Sounds like the Kardashian spin doctors are in overdrive.

    • avatar Barbara says:

      The Kardashians are always in spin over drive. I attribute this all to the recent love of all things tabloid and “reality.” Although I doubt anything we see on the reality shows is particularly real. Add in the wedding obsession (Say Yes to the Dress, et al) and you have the perfect storm. People do not marry for love and a future together, they marry for the display. And all the better if they get paid for the show.

  6. avatar Rho says:

    Liz, I love you.  Did you have to mention Adolf Hitler — I find it hard to even type his name.  I lost family in the holocaust.  This wasn’t a man, he was a creation.

  7. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    No comment on all the other “brief nuptials” except to say the Zsa Zsa anulled the marriage to Felipe de Alba whcih wasn’t hard to do given that he was still married to someone else. Her last marriage has lasted 25 years. Longer than any of the other combined. So, well, apparently her advice to marry for love and keep marrying until you find it is not such bad advice.

    As for the Kartrashians no doubt they are in negotiations with “sponsors” for the “divorce segments” which I suppose will prove as lucrative as the “marriage segments.” They are just another example of everything that is wrong with America. And Americans.

    I have good days and bad days. This is not a good day so far.  I refuse to make it worse by even thinking about Rick Perry.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Maybe it was Zsa Zsa who was still married to someone else. The mind may improve with age. The memory sometimes doesn’t.  But, well, perhaps that is a blessing…

  8. avatar D C says:

    I am thankful that I have never met a man so shallow as to seriously consider marriage to the likes of the Kartrashians (Stolen – but definitely worthy of the crime).  Don’t get me wrong, I see men with trophy wives all the time, but have never actually MET them, and I am so glad I have never had to waste even a second of this precious life on the likes of them. 

  9. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    I must confess I do “tune in” from time to time.  I suspect it is the “deer-in-the-headlights” look on Bruce Jenner’s face.  Makes me want to call and have someone send in the Navy SEALS to rescue him.

  10. avatar Jay Gentile says:

    Thank goodness those gays can’t get in there and spoil the sanctity of marriage for women. People who fail at marriage and choose to walk away have failed on the most basic human level. No matter what else they do, they are failures.

  11. avatar Daniel Sugar says:

    Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage totally destroys the sanctity of reality shows.

  12. avatar Paul Smith says:

    How anyone thought the cipher from Minnesota was the object of her love ignores the obvious. Kim has a penchant for black men. In fact, she should give a percentage to Brandy’s brother for sending her broad behind and nether regions on to greater fame. Herman Cain reminds us that just because we have a bi-racial Harvard pedigreed President, our affections do not extend to the entire race. Just ask Kim.

  13. avatar French Heart says:

    So great to hear about Doris Day.

    Other marriages may have been shorter—but weren’t ‘monetized’ ventures for gal with a cash register where her heart is supposed to be.

    KK can orchestrate a better deal than just the $18M Get the Goldman Sachs CEO to dump his wife, marry her, and have their giant gold likeness replace the Statue of Liberty.

    And then take a % of orchestrating passage of all government monuments/sites as ‘naming’ opportunities for the likes of the Koch Bros, Fox News, Exxon, etc. to help with debt crisis.