Celebrities who are widows or widowers | Gallery – Wonderwall.com

8:00am PDT, Jun 21, 2022


Celebrities are not immune to the tragedies of life, including losing a spouse. Wonderwall.com is taking a look at Hollywood’s most famous widows and widowers, starting with this actor… John Travolta lost wife Kelly Preston in July 2020 after a two-year battle with breast cancer that she did not reveal publicly. “I said [to my son], ‘Ben, you have always loved the truth, and I’m going to tell you the truth about life. Nobody knows when they are going to go or when they are going to stay,” John said on Kevin Hart’s talk show, revealing how he spoke to his youngest child about death. “Your brother [Jett] left at 16. Too young. Your mother left at 57. That was too young. But who’s to say? I could die tomorrow. You could. Anybody can. So let’s look at it like it’s part of life. You don’t know exactly. You just do your best at trying to live the longest you can.”

Keep reading to see more celebrities who’ve dealt with the loss of a spouse…

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In February 1992, Hole singer Courtney Love married Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Barely two years later in April 1994, Kurt died by suicide, leaving Courtney a widow.

RELATED: Celebrities who died too soon


After The Beatles broke up, Paul McCartney went on to record music solo and with his wife, Linda McCartney, and their band, Wings. In 1998, after almost 30 years of marriage, Linda passed away from breast cancer at 56. Paul was later married to Heather Mills for four years and has been wed to current wife Nancy Shevell since 2011.

RELATED: Best nostalgic photos of the The Beatles


Vanessa Bryant tragically became a widow in January 2020 when husband Kobe Bryant, daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on their way to a basketball game. “This pain is unimaginable [but] you just have to get up and push forward,” Vanessa told People magazine in 2021. “Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again. But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my [three other] girls and for me. So that’s what I do.”


Celine Dion‘s husband and manager, René Angélil, passed away in January 2016 at 73 after a prolonged battle with throat cancer. “I feel stronger,” the singer told “Entertainment Tonight” in 2017 as she began to heal from losing her love, with whom she has three sons. “He gave me the rest of him. I feel stronger, I step forward. I say what I mean, I mean what I say. I stand up for my kids and I feel like I’m the leader of the family.”


Rick Moranis became a widower in 1991 when his wife, Ann Belsky, died of breast cancer. He subsequently took a 24-year hiatus from Hollywood after her death to focus on raising their children.


In 1998, Katie Couric’s husband of nine years, Jay Moynahan passed away at 42 from colon cancer. “I was so worried about letting go of hope, because I didn’t want Jay to spend whatever time he had left just waiting to die,” Katie told People magazine in 2021. “I think it takes extraordinary courage to be able to face death, and I think I was too scared, honestly.” The journalist has moved on, marrying John Molner in 2014, but lives with the lessons of being a widow. “I understand the fragility of life in a way that will always be with me,” she says. “It also makes me realize the futility of being mad at somebody, of petty arguments. I always think about what David Cassidy said on his deathbed: ‘So much wasted time.'”


After almost 15 years of marriage, Liam Neeson became a widower when his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, died in March 2009 from a head injury sustained in ski accident in Canada. “That’s the weird thing about grief. You can’t prepare for it. You think you’re gonna cry and get it over with. You make those plans, but they never work,” the actor told Esquire in 2011 about life after Natasha. “It hits you in the middle of the night — well, it hits me in the middle of the night. I’m out walking. I’m feeling quite content. And it’s like suddenly, boom. It’s like you’ve just done that in your chest.”


In March 2021, actor Richard Gilliland passed away, leaving behind his wife of 34 years, “Designing Women” co-star Jean Smart.


In December 1980, Pierce Brosnan married his first wife, Cassandra Harris, with whom he shared a son, Sean, as well as her two children from a previous relationship, Charlotte and Chris, whom Pierce adopted after their biological father passed away. In 1987, Cassandra was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and subsequently passed away at 43 in 1991. (Sadly, daughter Charlotte succumbed to the same disease in 2013.) Pierce went on to find love again with Keely Shaye Smith, whom he married in 2001; they share two sons.


In December 1980, 11 years after they were married, Yoko Ono became a widow when husband John Lennon was shot and killed by a crazed Beatles fan. John was Yoko’s third husband and she never remarried. She has worked to continue his legacy, funding the Strawberry Fields memorial in Manhattan’s Central Park, the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland and the since-closed John Lennon Museum in Japan.


In January 2016, model Iman became a widow when her husband of almost 24 years, David Bowie, died following an 18-month battle with liver cancer. “I don’t think it will ever go away, but the acceptance of it, and the remembrance of the joy, rather than saying every memory that, ‘Oh, I wish he was here, I wish we could experience this together.’ Now I remember the 26 joyful years I had with my husband,” the supermodel said on “Today” in 2021, adding that she could never remarry. “People say to me when they talk, ‘Oh, I loved your late husband,’ and I said, ‘He’s not my late husband, he’s my husband,’ so that’s how I feel about it. This was truly the love of my life, and I just wait until I meet him again.”


“You never stop grieving,” Stanley Tucci, whose wife Kate passed away in 2009 from breast cancer, told “CBS Sunday Morning” in 2021. “It’s still hard after 11 years. It’s still hard. And it will always be hard. But you can’t let it… and she would never want any of us to ever wallow in that grief and let it take over our lives. She would never want that. She wasn’t like that.” In 2012, Stanley married Felicity Blunt, a British literary agent who’s the sister of actress Emily Blunt.


“Wonder Woman” star Lynda Carter lost her husband of 37 years, Robert Altman, in February 2021. Robert, who was 73, died of myelofibrosis, a rare type of leukemia. “It’s totally frightening. I don’t know who I am without Robert,” she told People magazine later that year. “It still gets me. I just can’t believe I’ve lost him.”


Martin Short became a widower in August 2010 when his wife of 30 years, Nancy Dolman, passed away from ovarian cancer. “Our marriage was a triumph. So it’s tough,” Martin told AARP in 2019. “She died in 2010, but I still communicate with her all the time,” he noted. “It’s ‘Hey Nan,’ you know? How would she react to this decision or that, especially regarding our three kids.”


Amanda Kloots lost her husband, Broadway star Nick Cordero, in July 2020 after a 95-day battle with COVID-19. The couple, who’d been married for just short of three years when he passed away, shared a son, Elvis, born in 2019. “I miss having someone to come home to, and I miss laughing with somebody,” she told CBS News in 2022. “I wanna have another person in my life. I want Elvis to have a father figure in his life. You know, you’re not taking the place of Nick. It’s not ever that. It’s just that Nick was a part of my life.”


Patton Oswalt’s wife, Michelle McNamara, died in her sleep in April 2016; her death was later attributed to an undiagnosed heart condition combined with medications she was taking at her time of death, including fentanyl, Adderall and Xanax. “Of course I thought of her today,” Patton posted on Instagram on the five-year anniversary of her passing. “And I also thought of [our daughter] Alice, and how the loss shaped her and continues to shape her. And how Meredith [Salenger, whom I married in 2017] swooped into our lonely, broken lives and helped put the pieces back together, stronger and sleeker than they were before. This dark day gets a little less dark every year when I see how Alice — a living piece of Michelle safe in the hands of Meredith — keeps walking in light. I’m there to catch the shadows that try to creep in at the edges, or from behind. I’m good at spotting them, and then Alice helps me laugh them away. And what’s left is this beautiful, living memory.”


When the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, died from a stingray attack in September 2006, he left behind wife Terri Irwin and their two kids, Bindi Irwin and Robert Irwin. “I keep saying this, and I think maybe 15 years later people are finally starting to believe me, Steve was it for me,” Terri told QWeekend in 2021. “That’s just the way it is. I had a big, big love and it was enough to last a lifetime.”


After 73 years of marriage, Queen Elizabeth II became a widow when husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh passed away at 99 in April 2021.


President Joe Biden knows pain. He tragically lost his first wife, Neilia, and their 1-year-old daughter, Naomi, in a car crash in December 1972 — just weeks after he was first elected to the U.S. Senate. Their sons, Hunter Biden and Beau Biden, survived the accident with minor injuries; Beau died from a brain tumor in 2015. In 1977, Joe married Jill Biden, with whom he had a daughter, Ashley Biden.

John Travolta


Courtney Love

Shutterstock / Kathy Hutchins

Paul McCartney

David Fisher/Shutterstock

Vanessa Bryant

Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Celine Dion

Gotham / GC Images

Rick Moranis

Bruce Glikas

Katie Couric

David Fisher/Shutterstock

Liam Neeson

Nathan Congleton / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Jean Smart

Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic for HBO

pierce brosnan

Jacques BENAROCH/SIPA/Shutterstock

Yoko Ono


Iman, CFDA Fashion Awards

Gregory Pace/Shutterstock

Stanley Tucci

Richard Young/Shutterstock

Lynda Carter

Dominik Bind / Getty Images

Martin Short

Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

amanda kloots

Scott Kirkland/Shutterstock

Patton Oswalt

Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic for HBO

Terri Irwin

Marc Grimwade / WireImage

Queen Elizabeth II

Paul Grover / Getty Images

Joe Biden

DOUG MILLS/UPI/Shutterstock

John Travolta

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