When you look at the Hollywood headlines on a daily basis, the words “break up” and “divorce” are common.
It seems that many Hollywood couples can’t keep the flame burning for a long time. When you think of the likes of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, they couldn’t even keep it burning past 3 months.
But the couples that we profiled below have not only dated, but married, and stayed married for decades on decades, allowing them to build their own empires.
Check out our list of the most iconic black celebrity relationships that have accomplished business success.
Which one of these is your favorite?
Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee
Known as one of the most talented and socially active couples of our time, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis are certainly a pair whose union will never be forgotten. Joining together in 1948, each had careers in Hollywood that spanned over 60 years. They were married for 57 years and bore three children. Not only did they pave the way for many black actors, writers, and directors after them by not allowing themselves to be typecasted, they also participated in the civil rights movement, helping to organize the March on Washington in 1965. Ossie Davis was in the early production phases of a film when he passed away in 2005. Knowing her husband was a strong advocate for education, the Ossie Davis Endowment was started to keep his legacy alive.
Ruby Dee is still working and a documentary of Ossie and her relationship, Life Essentials by Ruby Dee, is set to release later this year. Part of the film was screened at the Schomburg Center for Ruby Dee’s 90th birthday which she celebrated in October of 2012. In the film, Ruby states, “It was the most magical experience in the world to be married to Ossie, and I think he felt the same about me.”
Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson were a match made in Motown. They met at a church in New York City in 1969 and got married in the mid 1970s. Not only did they have an interest in each other, they realized they both had a passion for music as well and started writing songs together. They went on to write classics that broke records as some of Motown’s Greatest Hits such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “You’re All I Need to Get By” performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell.
Their hit song they performed together, “Solid,” is still one of Motown’s greatest hits. Some say they were so great at writing songs together because of their relationship. In 2002, Ashford & Simpson were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Nick Ashford passed away in 2011 of throat cancer.
“A long time ago I accepted that this would be an all-consuming relationship,” Simpson said in a 1981 interview with The Times. “To keep it going we’ve worked out ways to get along so we don’t drive each other crazy…”