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Great Love Stories for the Ages

20 famous couples and great romances from stage, screen, TV, books — and real life

  • Great Romances
    Everett Collection

    Yuri and Lara

    En español | Doctor Zhivago
    It has been 50 years since we thronged to see the epic film based on Boris Pasternak’s novel, but who can forget Omar Sharif and Julie Christie’s retreat to the winter ice palace? Here are 19 more of a generation’s best-loved romances.

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  • Great Romances
    Everett Collection

    Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo and Juliet; Romeo + Juliet Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers pack theaters twice within 30 years: Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey in 1968, Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in 1996. The story also inspires the Broadway musical West Side Story and its film version with Natalie Wood and Richard Behmer.

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  • Great Romances
    Everett Collection

    Jenny and Oliver

    Love Story Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal are “poor girl/rich boy” Ivy League students in the 1970 tearjerker. Author Erich Segal wrote the screenplay before the best-selling novel. ­­Most memorable line: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

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  • Great Romances
    New Line Cinema/Everett Collection

    Noah and Allie

    The Notebook The Nicholas Sparks “poor boy/rich girl” tale comes to life on the big screen, told flashback style with James Garner/Gena Rowlands and Ryan Gosling/Rachel McAdams.

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  • Great Romances
    Everett Collection

    Tita and Pedro

    Like Water for Chocolate More than mole is cooking in this passionate tale of forbidden love in Mexico, based on Laura Esquivel’s best-seller. Lumi Cavazos and Marco Leonardi heat up the screen in the 1992 movie.

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  • Great Romances
    Everett Collection

    Robert and Francesca

    The Bridges of Madison County A National Geographic photographer (Clint Eastwood) and an Iowa farmer’s wife (Meryl Streep) spend a steamy four days together in this hit 1995 movie, based on a novel by Robert James Waller. Memorable line: “This kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime.”

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  • Everett Collection

    Lucy and Ricky

    I Love Lucy   Real-life wife and husband Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are the Ricardos in the hit sitcom. Ricky is a New York City singer-bandleader and Lucy wants to be a star. Her wacky antics often get them both in trouble.

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  • Remember the past, help shape the future.

    AARP Offer: Remember the past, help shape the future

    Share your stories and help advocate for political support to protect your future.   Join AARP to support living with dignity and purpose.

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  • Great Romances
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    James and Florida

    Good Times The working-class husband and wife (John Amos and Esther Rolle) struggle to raise three children in a Chicago project apartment. Love keeps them together, despite the “Dy-no-mite” capers of son J.J.

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  • Great Romances
    Everett Collection

    Jeannie and Capt. Tony Nelson

    I Dream of Jeannie A NASA astronaut (Larry Hagman) frees a 2,000-year-old genie (Barbara Eden) from a bottle and she becomes his devoted servant in this sitcom. She calls him Master. He tries to hide her existence. The unlikely duo eventually marry.

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  • Great Romances
    Paramount Television/Everett Collection

    Sam and Diane

    Cheers Playboy bartender (Ted Danson) and brainy barmaid (Shelley Long) have a love-hate relationship in a Boston bar “where everybody knows your name.” Witty repartee is a major part of their off-and-on affair.

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  • Great Romances
    AF archive/Alamy

    Synclaire and Overton

    Living Single A receptionist (Kim Coles) and lovable handyman (John Henton) are a daffy match made in heaven. The sweetly naive twosome manage to get together among the sextet of single buddies living in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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  • Great Romances
    Everett Collection

    Lady and Tramp

    Lady and the Tramp It’s puppy love at its best when romance blooms between the privileged cocker spaniel and the streetwise, footloose and collar-free mutt in the 1955 Disney classic.

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  • Great Romances
    Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

    Katie and Hubbell

    The Way We Were Played by Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford in the 1973 movie, college classmates who are polar opposites meet again at the end of World War II and begin a rocky relationship. Memorable line: “When you love someone… you go deaf, dumb and blind.”

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  • Great Romances
    Everett Collection

    Tracy and Brian

    Mahogany After their successful pairing in Lady Sings the Blues, Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams reunite as a fashion-design-student-turned-supermodel and a social activist in the 1975 movie. Memorable line: “Success is nothing without someone to share it with.”

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  • Great Romances
    Paramount/Everett Collection

    Paula and Zack

    An Officer and a Gentleman   Debra Winger is a factory worker looking for good times with a hotshot flyboy from a Navy aviation officer training school. Richard Gere gives her much more. Memorable line: “I got nowhere else to go!”

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  • Great Romances
    Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection

    Harry and Sally

    When Harry Met Sally… Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are longtime friends who take the leap as lovers in the 1989 film. Ryan’s unforgettable fake orgasm scene in a New York deli prompts a diner’s memorable line: “I’ll have what she’s having.”

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  • Great Romances
    Paramount/Everett Collection

    Molly and Sam

    Ghost Who can forget the sensual pottery-making scene between Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in the 1990 blockbuster? Few can hear the Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody without the pair coming to mind. Memorable lines: “I love you. I really love you.” “Ditto.”

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  • Great Romances
    New Line Cinema/Everett Collection

    Quincy and Monica

    Love & Basketball Choosing to pursue careers as basketball players takes a toll on the relationship of childhood friends (Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan). But in the end, passion scores a win for these b-ball lovers in the 2000 romantic drama.

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  • Great Love Stories for the Ages
    Orion Pictures Corp/Everett Collection

    Jeffrey and Steve

    Jeffrey A gay man (Steven Weber) decides to become celibate during the height of the AIDS epidemic but falls for a handsome HIV-positive guy (Michael T. Weiss) in the 1995 romantic comedy. The film’s tagline: “Love is an adventure when one of you is sure … and the other is positive.”

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  • Great Romances - Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier
    The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

    Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier

    Sure, he may have been a womanizer and she met an untimely death. But the Riviera wedding of a bona fide American movie star and the dashing prince of Monaco is the stuff of fairy tales.

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  • AARP Baby Boomers (Sean McCabe)
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Video: Still Crazy — for Each Other — After All These Years - These star couples, all 50+, put one another first to make their romance last.