10 Big Stars Whose Success Was Trumped By Their More-Famous Partner

Megan Segura
10 Big Stars Whose Success Was Trumped By Their More-Famous Partner
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When it comes to fame,  there are some couples — like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt or Kim Kardashian and Kanye West — who share the same level of success. Other couples usually have one partner who’s much more famous than the other. What’s really interesting, however, is when that balance of fame starts tipping in the other direction.

MORE: Straight Men Are Threatened By Their Women’s Success: Study

When Miranda Kerr and Orlando Bloom recently announced their split, we couldn’t help but wonder if a shift in fame was responsible for the relationship’s demise. Bloom was already a successful actor when he met the relatively unknown Kerr in 2007, but today she’s the more successful one.

Other couples who faced a similar situation included Chad Lowe and Hilary Swank, Jennifer Garner and Scott Foley, and Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. Click through above to see all 10 celebrities whose fame was eclipsed by their significant others!

MORE: 15 Surprising Former Celebrity Couples

Take a look at the roundup above and tell us which power shift surprised you the most. 

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Orlando Bloom already had a substantial acting career under his belt when he started dating Miranda Kerr in 2007. At the time, Kerr was still relatively unknown and had just become a Victoria's Secret angel. Today, Kerr has several fashion campaigns and magazine covers secured, and she's the household name. Could this be the reason behind the couple's recent separation?


In the '80s and '90s, Matthew Broderick was considered an A-list actor. In 1997 he married Sarah Jessica Parker, who had starred in her fair share of movies, but wasn't a household name. In 1998 she landed the role of Carrie in "Sex and the City" and quickly became the more famous member in the Parker-Broderick household.

Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

When Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan started dating in 1995 Donovan was coming down from a successful acting career just as Aniston was beginning hers. The two were actually already broken up when he landed a guest starring role as Rachel Green's love interest — ouch. Donovan was also eclipsed by former fiance Sandra Bullock. Maybe he's a good luck charm?

It's easy to forget, but from 2000 to 2003 Jennifer Garner was married to Scott Foley. At the beginning of their relationship Foley was the more successful one with the role of Noel on "Felicity," while Garner had small parts in movies like "Dude, Where's My Car?" By 2003 "Felicity" had ended and Garner was picking up big parts in Blockbuster movies like "Daredevil" and "Catch Me If You Can," along with her own show "Alias." However, payback could be a bitch, as Garner's current husband, Ben Affleck, is way more famous (and busy) than she is.

Photo: KMazur/WireImage

When Chad Lowe married Hilary Swank in 1997 he had already achieved success as a television actor in "Life Goes On." In 2000, Swank became significant more famous with her Oscar win for "Boys Don't Cry" and again in 2004 for "Million Dollar Baby." In 2006 the couple announced their split.

In 1999 Nick Lachey was already enjoying a nice amount of fame from his boy band 98 Degrees when he started dating Jessica Simpson who was still trying to make it as a singer. By 2002 the two were married and shooting the reality show "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica." Once the show aired, it was clear who the real star was. When the two split in 2005, rumors swirled that it was Jessica's rising star that contributed to their maritals problems.

In 1995, Gwen Stefani's career as the lead singer of No Doubt was just beginning to take off, while her new boyfriend Gavin Rossdale had already found success as the lead singer of Bush. As time went on, Stefani's career sky rocketed while Rossdale's remained static. Today she has her hands in several successful business ventures while Rossdale pursues small parts in movies like "The Bling Ring."

Photo: Getty Images

Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe first began dating in 1997. At that time Phillippe was plastered all over teen magazines for his hearthrob status, while Witherspoon was just starting to gain recognition as an actress. In 2001 her career made a huge turn with the release of "Legally Blonde." Witherspoon's career continued to flourish, while Phillippe's remained stagnant. Reports started surfacing that Witherspoon's success was taking a toll on the marriage when he became visibly drunk at the 2006 Golden Globes — the same year she accepted her award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Pictur for "Walk the Line." The two were separated by the end of the year.

Photo: Evan Agostini/Getty Images

When Bradley Cooper and Renée Zellweger started dating in 2009, Zellweger was coming off of successful movie career and Cooper was just beginning to grab big roles in films like "He's Just Not That Into You" and "The Hangover." The two split in 2011.


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