Las Vegas History: 10 Craziest Celebrity Marriages in Vegas
From the 1931 nuptials between Clara Bow and Rex Bell, one of the first celebrity unions in Las Vegas, to Elvis Presley and Priscilla Anne Beaulieu's big day in 1967 to present day celebrities running down the aisle, Vegas has been a hotbed of high-profile weddings.
The self-proclaimed "Wedding Capital of the World," Las Vegas issues approximately 120,000 marriage licenses a year, boasts chapels up and down the Strip and has definitely lived up to its name. More and more celebrities flee to Sin City , where the allure of quickie marriages -- and quickie divorces -- is all too tempting. Below are our 10 craziest celebrity marriages in Vegas -- most we will remember and some we may want to forget.
Nicky Hilton and Todd Andrew Meister: Socialite Nicky Hilton wed money manager Todd Andrew Meister at the Vegas Wedding Chapel in the wee hours of Aug. 15, 2004. In town for a celebrity poker tournament, Hilton said, "I do," at 2:30 a.m. surrounded by her headline-grabbing sister, Paris, and gal-pal actress Bijou Phillips. It was reported even Paris' dog, Tinkerbell, got in on the action, wearing a tiara and carrying the ring pillow. The marriage lasted as long as her reported wedding dress -- a thigh-length, blue halter dress -- and the couple was granted an annulment in less than two months.
Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie: With a visible "Billy Bob" tattoo on her upper arm, Angelina Jolie, then 24, wed "Pushing Tin" co-star Billy Bob Thornton, then 44, in a 20-minute ceremony May 5, 2000, at the Little Church of the West. The couple, who have been known to wear vials of each other's blood around their necks, both wore blue jeans for the ceremony. The marriage, the fifth for Thornton and second for Jolie, ended in divorce in 2003.
Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra: Outrageous basketballer Dennis Rodman, then 37, married then-26-year-old "Baywatch" beauty Carmen Electra at the Little Chapel of the Flowers on Nov. 15, 1998. After conflicting reports of the Chicago Bull's inebriation and their being madly in love, the couple put an end to the rumors and their marriage just nine days after exchanging vows.
Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow: What's Vegas without a wedding by a member of the Rat Pack? Frank Sinatra, then 50, wed Mia Farrow, then 21, in a private ceremony at the Sands on July 19, 1966. It is reported that Farrow was surprised when served with divorce papers in front of everyone on the set of "Rosemary's Baby," and the Hollywood couple's divorce was finalized in 1968.
Axl Rose and Erin Everly: After a reported romantic 4 a.m. proposal of "marry me or I'll kill myself" by Guns N' Roses front man Axl Rose, Erin Everly drove straight to Vegas to save Rose's life. The daughter of rocker Don Everly exchanged vows with Rose on April 28, 1990, at Cupid's Wedding Chapel. Just three weeks after tying the knot, Rose filed for divorce from Everly, his inspiration for his song "Sweet Child O' Mine." However, the couple reconciled only to get annulled less than a year later.
Ross Geller and Rachel Green: They might be just characters on a TV show, but favorite friends Ross Geller and Rachel Green flew through an intoxicated, shotgun wedding at a nonexistent Vegas Chapel and created big news on the sitcom. While Monica Geller and Chandler Bing were rolling the dice to determine whether they were to have a quickie wedding, ex-lovers Ross and Rachel already had done the deed, one that fans had wanted to see for a long time. The couple finally ended their marriage after Ross got over the stigma of being married three times.
Britney Spears and Jason Allen Alexander: Who knew that when pop princess Britney Spears rang in 2004, she'd be betrothed just a few days later? Spears and childhood friend Jason Allen Alexander, both 22 years old at the time, tied the knot at the Little White Wedding Chapel about 5 a.m. Jan. 3. Wearing jeans and a baseball cap, Spears was walked down the aisle by a hotel bellman, and Alexander was waiting in a casual shirt. The headlines turned from marriage to annulment, as the couple already had signed annulment papers later that afternoon. The union lasted a mere 55 hours.
Darva Conger and Rick Rockwell: Instead of a chapel, Darva Conger's wedding took place on stage at the Las Vegas Hilton in front of a live television audience on "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire" to a man she didn't even know. The 34-year-old nurse beat out 49 hopeful brides to wed millionaire Rick Rockwell, who was 42, just minutes after winning the competition Feb. 15, 2000. However, news of Rockwell's shady past came to light, and the honeymoon was over. Conger filed for an annulment less than a month later, and it was finalized April 5.
Mickey Rooney and his seven brides: Actor Mickey Rooney definitely has contributed to Vegas' wedding capital status, walking down the aisle in Sin City for seven of his eight marriages. His foray into Vegas weddings began in 1944 with Betty Jane Rase in 1944. That marriage lasted five years. Following their divorce, he said, "I do," to Martha Vickers in 1949. But wedded bliss didn't last long, and the couple divorced after two years. In 1952, Rooney married again, this time to Elaine Mahnken. The couple divorced after six years, and Rooney then married Barbara Ann Thompson in 1958. Their marriage, however, ended in tragedy when Thompson was murdered in 1966. Following Thompson's death, Rooney exchanged nuptials with Thompson's friend Marge Lane in 1967. The marriage was Rooney's shortest, lasting only 100 days, and in 1969 Rooney was a marrying man once again. This time it was to Carolyn Hockett, and the two divorced five years later. Rooney took his last walk down the aisle in 1978 when he married his current wife, Jan Chamberlin.
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward: What better couple to have at No. 1 than a Hollywood twosome who beat the odds and are soon approaching their golden anniversary? Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, who met on the set of the Broadway production "Picnic," have become the epitome of a successful celebrity marriage. Once engaged to Gore Vidal, Woodward, then 27, married Paul Newman, then 33, a week after he divorced his first wife, Jackie Witte. Although the El Rancho, where the couple married Jan. 29, 1958, no longer stands, their marriage of 50 years and three children, is a testament to their enduring love.