Style Sex & Relationships

Thursday 17 October 2019

In praise of cougars: the women who love younger men

Director Sam Taylor-Wood and actor Aaron Johnson
Director Sam Taylor-Wood and actor Aaron Johnson
Courtney Cox
Joan Collins and Percy Gibson
Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart
Ben Foster and Robin Wright
Erwin Bach and TIna Turner
Johnny McDaid and actress Courteney Cox
Hugh Jackman (R) poses with his wife Deborra-Lee Furness
Julianne Moore with her husband Bart Freundlich
Susan Sarandon and Jonathan Bricklin
Madonna and boyfriend Timor Steffens

Gillian Fitzpatrick

Women hoping to become mothers in their 40s should choose much younger lovers to increase their chances of conceiving, according to new research. And relationships with big age-gaps are increasingly going the distance. Here are some successful cougar couples.

Director Sam Taylor Wood (47) & actor Aaron Taylor Johnson (24)

Age gap: Some 23 years.

Longevity: Married since 2012, the pair has two children.

Starting point: They met on the set of film Nowhere Boy.

Quote: "She's such a young, beautiful soul that you wouldn't even know," says Aaron.


Actress Joan Collins (81) & theatre executive Percy Gibson (49)

Age gap: About 32 years.

Longevity: They married in 2002 and renewed their vows in 2009.

Starting point: He's a theatre production manager and they met through work.

Quote: "If he dies, he dies," said in response to a question about their age gap.


Actress Susan Sarandon (68) & businessman Jonathan Bricklin (37)

Age gap: Over 30 years.

Longevity: Susan confirmed the romance in February.

Starting point: They met while working on a business project together

Quote: "Jonathan and I collaborate on different things. That means a lot of things," Ms Sarandon said.


Actor Hugh Jackman (46) & producer Deborra-Lee Furness (58)

Age gap: A little over 12 years.

Longevity: Married since 1996, they have two children.

Starting point: They met on the set of the Australian TV series, Correlli.

Quote: "My number one rule for romance is surprise," says Hugh.


Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez (45) & dancer Casper Smart (27)

Age gap: About 18 years.

Longevity: They dated for two-and-a-half years, before splitting earlier this summer. However, they've been spotted together on numerous occasions since, fuelling rumours of a reunion.

Starting point: He was one of her dancers.

Quote: "Age, status, and opinions of others are irrelevant," Casper tweeted in January 2012.


Actress Julianne Moore (53) & producer Bart Freundlich (44)

Age gap: The actress and film director are separated in age by nine years.

Longevity: They've been together since 1996 and have two children.

Starting point: He directed her in The Myth Of Fingerprints.

Quote: "I want to be with my husband and kids as much as I can," Moore has said.


Singer Madonna (56) & dancer Timor Steffans (27)

Age gap: Close to 30 years.

Longevity: The latest in a line of toyboy lovers, Madonna and the Dutch dancer got together a little under a year ago.

Starting point: She was spotted with Timor at a New Year's Eve party in Switzerland.

Quote: "I didn't, like, write down on a piece of paper, 'I'm now going to have a relationship with a younger man'," Madonna has said.


Actors Robin Wright (48) & Ben Foster (33)

Age gap: About 15 years.

Longevity: They've been together for three-and-a-half years and are now engaged.

Starting point: On the set of Rampart in 2011.

Quote: "I'd never, ever been asked out on a date before," Wright has said recalling Ben's attempts to woo her.


Singer Tina Turner (73) & record executive Erwin Bach (57)

Age gap: A full 16 years.

Longevity: Together since 1986, they finally married in June of last year.

Starting-point: They met at an EMI record label party, becoming friends before embarking on a relationship.

Quote: "Neither Erwin nor I feel the need to get married. We've been together for 18 years. What would marriage give me that I don't already have?" she said in 2006 - before changing her mind.


Actress and Cougar Town star Courteney Cox (50) & Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid (38)

Age gap: Some 12 years

Longevity: Together for a little under a year, the Co Derry rocker proposed in June.

Starting-point: Snow Patrol wrote three songs for her new film, Just Before I Go, which she directed.

Quote: "She gets music, she gets art, she understands the way a scene is constructed, how dialogue works and she puts it all together in her mind and explains it to the world," he gushed recently.

Irish Independent

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