Don’t call them spinsters and definitely do not call them ‘old maids.’ These famous women of Hollywood, politics and the world of pop culture prove that marriage isn’t a necessity on the road to achieving success and being overall, completely fabulous. Some are opposed to marriage while others just haven’t met the right person for them. Either way, we’re still surprised by some of the ladies on this list and at the same time, inspired by their self-sufficiency, single motherhood, and cemented personal beliefs.
It’s hard to believe that one of the most beautiful women in the world has never been married. Charlize Theron told Piers Morgan in 2011, “Marriage was never something that was important to me. I don’t know the exact reason for that. I really want for myself a long-term relationship. I have been in a long-term relationship. The actual ceremony is not important to me, but I see the importance for other people.” The Academy Award winner has 2 children, through adoption; a daughter named August and a son named Jackson.
Chelsea Handler is unquestionably one of the funniest and most fierce women on television but at one point, she implied that marriage was synonymous (or correlated) with murder. She told People TV in 2016, “Never married. Never murdered. Marriage PSA: You Can Say No.” She eventually changed her tune and later stated, “I realize now that you can be committed to someone without commercialization and all that nonsense. So now I’d get married.” That’s a wedding we’d die to attend, no pun intended.
Susan Sarandon was in a relationship with Tim Robbins for 23 years before calling it quits in 2010. The Feud actress’ reason for never getting married, to Tim or anyone else, is quite simple; “I’ve always liked the idea of choosing to be with somebody. I thought that if you didn’t get married you wouldn’t take each other for granted as easily. I don’t know if after twenty-something years that was still true.” After her split from Tim, she dated Jonathan Bricklin until 2015.
Sorry, Eva Mendes – we gotta be straight with you. If we had Ryan Gosling, we certainly lock that down without hesitation! The Latina beauty told Chelsea Handler in 2011, “I’m not like anti-marriage or the institution, like for other people. I love the idea of a union but I think, it’s a very old-fashioned, archaic kind of thing. We did it for land originally. How unromantic is that?” Mendes does, however, have two daughters with her real-life ‘The Notebook’ hunk.
In 2006, Dana Delany opened up to the press and confided her thoughts about marriage in them – “I turned 50 and I’m ready to get married. I don’t know who he is yet but I’m ready. He has to be smart, funny and kind. Marriage has never been a big deal for me. But I think I’m ready now. I got to have all the fun in the world, to experience a lot of people and figure out what I really like.” The Desperate Housewives star has no high-profile affairs on her resume and keeps her private life to herself.
Kimberly Stewart is still an unmarried woman, despite the child she shared with Benecio Del Toro via a one night stand in 2011. Following the birth of her daughter, Delilah, Kim did admit to wanting to change her lifestyle pattern and settle down; “I’m going into that next stage in my life of being really grown-up. I know what I want now. A nice husband, good career, and babies.”
It’s hard to believe that no one has scooped up tennis star and Russian model, Anna Kournikova. We know she was with Enrique Iglesias for a million years (actually, maybe they’re still together?) but surely he would have wanted to “lock her down” at some point. Since 2013, the couple whom we just can’t seem to keep up with dodged marriage rumors and Enrique confirmed,”I’ve never really thought marriage would make a difference. Maybe it’s because I come from divorced parents, but I don’t think you love someone more because of a piece of paper. And nowadays it’s not taboo to have kids and not be married. What makes a difference is that you’re a good parent.”
Naomi Watts is known for having 2 high-profile relationships with 2 very longed-for men – Heath Ledger and Liev Schriber. Sadly, after 11 years together, Liev and Naomi called it quits after being temporarily engaged; “We’re engaged but not planning on marriage. We have the semblance of a marriage.” After falling victim to public scrutiny during their relationship, Naomi explained, “We’re very much together. We just don’t have that certificate, and that’s okay with both of us. Maybe one day, we’ll just wake up and go ‘Hey, let’s do this.’ And maybe not.” The actress still isn’t against the idea of marriage with someone else.
Vanessa Paradis may have been partnered up with Johnny Depp for about 15 years but like a few other golden couples we know, they chose never to tie the knot. The French songstress told The Sunday Times in 2004, “We’ve never said we don’t want to get married, but we’re neither opposed to it nor excited about it. You know, we might do it for the kids one day. But we are more than married: we have two children. It’s not like we need to.”
Before Susan Boyle became an internet (and television sensation) she was still that same independent woman who didn’t need any man! Today, she’s still perfectly content with her single lifestyle and has the ability to recognize the true loves of her life – her family, friends, and her cat (obviously). Boyle stated in a recent interview, “I live by myself with my cat Pebbles but I have the support of all my brothers and sisters and my neighbors and friends.”
Mindy Kaling is a perfectionist when it comes to making fun of relationships and dating. She’s a self-professed, former wannabe-bride but her tune has changed since she matured. Kaling says, “In my 20s, I was not only boy crazy, but marriage and relationship crazy. Now it’s almost the opposite. My work is so rewarding and I’m so self-centered about it that I’m kind of excited about not having to go home and ask someone about their day.”
Queen Latifah has kept us all guessing for years on what the status of her love life was and currently is. The Chicago actress has never been married and never led anyone to believe that she wanted to. Recently, she split with her longtime girlfriend, Eboni Nichols. She plans to get married only when she finds the right partner and bought herself 2 weddings to prove it; “I bought two wedding bands and I said, ‘You know what? Somebody’s gonna have to take this ring off my finger and really earn that spot as my mate. They’re not just gonna get it. You gotta deserve it. I’ll treat myself like a Queen until then.”
Anita Hill, the woman known for opposing Clarence Thomas in a court of law, has also never been married. Today, she’s 60 years old and prefers to keep the more intimate details of her personal life completely private. Hill has said, however, about her longtime boyfriend, “We’re both committed, and we’re happy. We’re together every day of the year, but we each have our own home. I don’t have anything against marriage; I haven’t decided not to do it. I just haven’t decided to do it.”
In 1955, film legend Greta Garbo told TIME Magazine, “If I could find the right person to share my life with, I would. If you are blessed, you are blessed, whether you are single or married.” The screen star was close to getting married once; in 1927, she left her former co-star and longtime love, Jack Gilbert, at the altar on their wedding day. Garbo wasn’t the warmest person towards those she wasn’t acquainted with and for many years, a rumored relationship between she Mimi Pollak was often discussed.
Diane Keaton isn’t opposed to the idea of marriage but she never had her heart set on it, either. At 69, Keaton has said, “I’m attracted to men, and I love playing around with them. But a life shared together? That’s a different world. I think you have to be somebody who can compromise and be realistic. I could never do it. Ever.” While she’s upfront about Al Pacino being “the one who got away,” she has plenty of other hot affairs to reminisce over; Warren Beaty, Jack Nicholson, and Keanu Reeves, just to make our point.
Coco Chanel had some high-profile affairs during the peak of her career but as for marriage, the famous fashion designer once said, “I never wanted to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” Coco Chanel was a child orphan who had to grow up and learn the importance of not just resilience, but independence. She never came close to marriage but is suspected of mothering a child, her nephew André Palasse, that was raised by her sister.
Oprah Winfrey has been with Stedman Graham for over 30 years and so far, they still have no plans to be married. In 2013, Oprah told ITV, “I’m not a traditional woman and I haven’t had a traditional life, and I think that had Stedman and I gotten married, we certainly wouldn’t have stayed married. If you were to ask him, he would say the same thing. He’s a pretty traditional man. I’ve taught him to be non-traditional. But the very idea of what it means to be a wife and the responsibility and sacrifice that carries. I wouldn’t have held that very well.”
Jacqueline Bisset never settled down even though, we’re sure her most comitted suitors tried to sway her otherwise. Bisset told the dailymail in 2014 that she’s “too independent” for marriage and explained her #1 deal breaker whenever it was time to discuss coommittment in a relationship; “I’ve been in seven-year relationships three times and one 14-year relationship. It’s funny how it’s always seven. Sometimes you get too much information when you spend time with people. You start to see things, bad habits. You start to discover them and then you have to marry bad habits and I’m not sure I can cope with them.”
Sarah Silverman is typically praised for her unconventional, yet strangely amusing, opinions. When it comes to marriage, the comedienne claims, “I’m not against marriage, but it’s just not for me. I’m a vegetarian, but I don’t have a problem if you want a hamburger. Marriage, to me, is like eating meat. I think it’s gross and crazy. If you’re getting married today, it’s the equivalent of joining a country club that doesn’t allow blacks or Jews.” In the past, Sarah seriously dated Jimmy Kimmel and today, she’s dating Michael Sheen.
Winona Ryder has dated some of the biggest men in Hollywood; Matt Damon, Keanu Reeves, Val Kilmer, and Chris Noth to name a few. She was also engaged to Johnny Depp in the 90’s but as we all know, that wedding never happened. When it comes to settling down, Wynona isn’t sure if an unsure future is worth the risk. She told ET in 2016, “I’d rather never have been married than been divorced a few times. Not that there’s anything wrong with divorce, but I don’t think I could do it if that was a possibility. When your parents are madly in love for 45 years, your standards are really high. But I’ve been happily with someone for quite a while now.”
Goldie Hawn has been one-half of the perhaps, the most famous longterm relationship in Hollywood. After 30 years, Goldie and Kurt Russell have 4 children together but no legal document that certifies them as husband and wife. Goldie and Kurt both have no desire to get married and quite frankly, don’t see the point. The blonde bombshell told CBS in 2012, “The question is, ‘Why get married?’ it’s not, ‘Why not? We love each other. We fight the way people are supposed to fight. We love our lives together.”
Kylie Minogue isn’t looking to settle down anytime soon or like, ever, for that matter. The pop star would love to have children someday but as she told the Sunday Times Style, “Marriage would be lower on my list. I need to know I can step outside this room, I won’t, but I do need to know that mentally I have space and freedom. Others would want to know they had those strong foundations, but I’m just a different make-up I guess.” For a short while, it looked like Kylie was going to transform into the marrying kind but in 2017, she broke off her engagement to Joshua Sasse and returned to singledom.
Mary-Louise Parker experienced one of the most painful types of heartbreak a woman could ever be subjected to; when she was 7 months pregnant with their child, Billy Crudup left her for Claire Danes. In 2015, the Weeds actress told the New York Times, “Maybe a psychiatrist would say I’m not married now because I have some sort of father thing. But you know what? That would be the least of my problems.” For the time being, Mary-Louise is completely content raising her children and being a single, independent lady.
Condoleeza Rice, the former Secretary of State to George W. Bush, has never been married. During the 70’s, she was engaged to Denver Broncos wide receiver Rick Upchurch but the relationship ended before they walked down the aisle. Since then, Condi’s private life has been cause for speculation. In 2013, the former Security Advisor told CBS This Morning, “I never found anybody I wanted to live with.”
On the rarest of occasions, life tends to imitate art. Lauren Graham, also known as the coolest TV mom in the world, has never been married much like her on-screen counterpart, Lorelai Gilmore. In 2014, Ellen DeGeneres asked Graham whether or not a wedding would be in the works between her and her longtime boyfriend and Parenthood co-star, Peter Krause. Lauren told Ellen, “I don’t know! We are really happy. I feel like close to five years in Hollywood, it’s like, aren’t we married already really? It’s good the way it is.”
Sheryl Crow, an unofficial national treasure, has never been married, either. She’s famously dated Owen Wilson and Eric Clapton but it was her engagement to Lance Armstrong that consistently made headline news. The country starlet told E News in 2014, “Hey, I would love to get married – I’m still old-fashioned. But I don’t think marriage is the be-all and end-all. It’s better to have three broken engagements than three divorces.”
Lauryn Hill has 6 children; 5 of them with the son of Bob Marley, Rohan, and 1 with an unknown man. Lauryn and Rohan were together for 15 years before separating in 2011 when Lauryn was pregnant with another man’s baby. The couple never married and Lauryn doesn’t plan on ever doing so. According to Rohan, Lauryn was “never ready to walk down the aisle.” The Doo Wop singer was recently released from a 3-month stint in jail serving on tax evasion charges.
Out of the entire Kardashian Klan, we’d expect Kourtney to be the most wholesome and traditional. The mother of 3 was in an on again-off again relationship with Scott Disick for 10 years and the pair never tied the knot. When Cosmopolitan questioned her reasons for never walking down the aisle, she stated “Scott and I have talked about it many times over the years. The situation was never right. But I don’t think we would’ve done a big wedding” It’s unclear whether Kourtney and Scott are back together… again.
Robin Roberts is a symbol for resilience and strength for almost every viewer that tunes into Good Morning America. The new anchor, however, has never been married and doesn’t necessarily feel that she needs to. Roberts has been with partner Amber Laign for 14 years and the couple still lives in separate households. In 2014, the National Inquirer reported that Robin and Amber planned on getting married over the holiday season but as it turns out, the wedding rumor was just that – a rumor.
Edie Falco was the ultimate mob wife as Carmela Soprano on HBO’s hit drama, The Sopranos, but chose to remain single off-screen. Edie told the Daily Beast in 2010 what her thoughts on marriage actually are; “I’m sure my parents’ divorces did affect me in some way, but also in my life, in general, I don’t see a lot of marriages that look appealing to me. Because I’m not married I tend to get a lot of eye-rolling conversations with people about their marriages. Why would I want to head there? I want love in my life, no question about that. But I have a ton of it.” Edie has 2 adopted daughters.
Allison Janney held nothing back when she spoke to E! Magazine in 2014 regarding her thoughts on marriage. She proudly exclaimed, “I want to be a player! I’m still single! I want to feel sexy and young and pretty for as long as I can.” One year later, she did slightly pull back on her previous statement – “I am single and dating, but I’d love to find someone to travel the world with and hang out on a regular basis.” Us too, Allison. Us, too.
We can’t help but think that Tyra Banks has never been married because, well, she’s just a goddess that can’t find anyone on her level. The supermodel told Wendy Williams during a guest visit on her daytime show, “You don’t have to have a ring on your finger to say I love you.” Tyra has one child, York Banks Asla, with her longtime partner Erik Asla.
Shonda Rhimes isn’t your average television producer. She’s been responsible for groundbreaking hits like Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, and Scandal. Rhimes has 3 children but refuses to ever tie the knot. In 2015, she told Oprah, “I don’t want to get married. At all. Because I could not have the life that I’ve created for myself. I couldn’t do it.”
Joan Jett is the epitome of rock’n’roll. She’s had countless, literally countless, high-profile relationships with rockstars and celebrities alike – Billy Idol, Dee Dee Ramone, Cherie Currie, John Lydon, Stephanie Adams, and even Danny Bonaduce. Joan has never been married and rarely opens up about her personal affairs. She’s never been shy when it came to opposing female expectations, though; “I figured out it was a social thing, what women were allowed to do. At a very young age, I decided I was not going to follow women’s rules.”
Helena Bonham Carter
In 2015, Helena Bonham Carter split from her partner of 13 years, Tim Burton. They had two children together, Billy and Nell, and infamously derailed themselves from the traditional marriage path. For Helena, she doesn’t intend on marrying or even dating for a while – “I feel very self-sufficient at the moment. I’m just going to work out who I am on my own and it’s quite liberating.” In all honesty, we kind of wish they were still together; married or not!
Miranda Richardson doesn’t settle for second best. The Sleep Hollow actress will only get married when she meets her legitimate Mr. Right. She expressed to the dailymail in 2009, “I think marriage would be quite good for me, but I’m not going to just go out and hire someone. I think, intermittently, that you find Mr. Right, but you have to get lucky. I don’t rule out having a family – it just hasn’t happened for me yet.”
To Kill A Mockingbird’s famous author, Harper Lee, never married, nor had children, and lived a reclusive lifestyle until her death in 2016. The closest she ever got to finding love was with a literary agent, who didn’t reciprocate the crush and was married at the time of their friendship. According to biographer Marja Mills, she “dated a little bit” but at the end of the day, Scout Finch will always be a lingering reminder of Harper Lee’s presumed personal journey, trying to discover her own identity.
Marisa Tomei found success as an Oscar winner at an early age. Her love life, however, isn’t necessarily heading in the direction of marriage. The My Cousin Vinny actress told Manhattan Magazine in 2009, “I’m not that big a fan of marriage as an institution, and I don’t know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings.” Tomei was briefly engaged in 2013 to Logan Marshall but they broke up in 2016.
We have to admit, we have a hard time seeing Charlotte York shrug at the idea of marriage. But, in real life, actress Kristin Davis has her own reasons for staying single. She has an adopted daughter, Gemma Rose, and feel 100% fulfilled working as an animal rights activist. In 2013, Kristin said to Haute Living that if she did get married, it would “be someone so awesome, I would bring him in and potentially share time with Gemma. I don’t know that I necessarily totally intended to still be single, though I do remember being young and thinking, ‘Why are all these people getting married?’ But I’m an actress. I’ve never exactly been the status quo.”