Two decades ago, Rhea Perlman said of her relationship with Danny DeVito, "You'd really have to work hard at breaking us up at this point." Yet this weekend, after 30 years of marriage, the celebrity couple announced their separation, shaking Hollywood to the core.
"I'm taking DeVito/Perlman harder than I would my own parents," tweeted "Girls" creator Lena Dunham. "Feel like they were waiting for me to graduate college and move out to do this."
See also: Amy Poehler, Will Arnett separate
"For years whenever I've said no one's marriages ever last, people always said, 'What about Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman?' And ... scene," added "Scrubs" star Zach Braff.
Though DeVito, 67, and Perlman, 64, wed in January 1982, they have in fact been together for more than 40 years. According to People, they first met in 1970 when Perlman saw the off-Broadway play "The Shrinking Bride," in which DeVito played a stable boy. At a postshow dinner with the cast, the actress discovered that, compared with her other boyfriends, DeVito "was a lot more fun and a lot more sexy."
They moved in together two weeks later and wed 11 years after that.
"It just hit us," Perlman told People of their decision to exchange vows. The couple have since had three children, Lucy (born in 1983), Grace (born in 1985), and Jacob (born in 1987).
Perhaps part of the reason their break hits so hard is that the couple was as dynamic together onscreen as off. Perlman sparkled as DeVito's onscreen girlfriend as far back as 1979 in four episodes of "Taxi." In fact, DeVito's despotic dispatcher, Louie De Palma, was not unlike Perlman's sharp-tongued barmaid, Carla Tortelli on "Cheers," a character she played from 1982 to 1993.
They also starred together as the malicious parents of their eponymous telekinetic daughter in "Matilda" back in 1996, which was produced by the company they founded, Jersey Films.
"There's a balance to their relationship, and they protect it zealously," actor Michael Douglas told People of the couple in 1983. "There's a magic about them."
If only we knew a spell for getting them back together.