50 of the longest celebrity marriages

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November 20, 2018
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50 of the longest celebrity marriages

“'Til death do us part,” the saying goes, and yet most celebrity marriages are lucky if they make it past the 10-year mark. Are these high-profile unions done in by hectic work schedules? Ego clashes? Perennial access to a range of carnal desires? The answer, of course, is all of the above (and then some). Yet some celebrity couples manage to buck the trend entirely, staying the marital course through thick and thin. What keeps them together?

The secret, according to some of the world’s most tenacious celebrity spouses, boils down to communication and proximity. Being a celebrity couple often means spending extended time apart—with no limit to potential distractions—so it's important to reconcile those gaps with some serious togetherness. A little leeway in the fidelity department probably doesn’t hurt, either.

Today, Stacker pays tribute to the celebrities who defied tradition by getting married and staying married. We've specifically retrieved data from Wikipediawhich uses newspaper articles and other news sources to list out the longest celebrity marriages as of Nov. 20, 2018. May each one serve as a role model for future famous and non-famous marriages alike.

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#50. Ann-Margret and Roger Smith

Dates of the marriage: 1967—June 4, 2017 (his death)

Length: 50 years

Roger Smith was a popular TV actor in his own right before he met legendary Swedish singer and actress Ann-Margret in 1965 on the set of “Once a Thief.” The two got hitched in a Las Vegas hotel room in 1967, and Smith retired from acting soon after that to focus exclusively on managing Ann-Margret's career. It was thus a partnership in every sense of the word, and one that endured (and thrived!) for half a century.

#49. Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman

Dates of the marriage: 1958—September 26, 2008 (his death)

Length: 50 years

As the handsome, blue-eyed star of films like “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Sting,” Paul Newman ranks among the most desirable lead actors in Hollywood history—making his 50-year second marriage to award-winning actress Joanne Woodward all the more impressive. Not only did the two stars have three children together, but they also mutually oversaw numerous philanthropic endeavors and collaborated on more than 10 films.

#48. Julie Warren and John Forsythe

Dates of the marriage: 1943—April 1, 1994 (his death)

Length: 50 years

Fans of classic television will recognize actor John Forsythe from his role as Blake Carrington on the hit 1980s drama “Dynasty.” He also provided the voice of Charlie in the original “Charlie’s Angels” television series and its two film adaptations. Forsythe and his wife Julie Warren had two children together and stayed true to their marital vows until Allen passed away in 1994.

#47. Betty Davis and Ben E. King

Dates of the marriage: 1964—April 30, 2015 (his death)

Length: 51 years

Before he was the famous crooner behind songs like “Stand By Me,” Ben E. King (formerly Ben Nelson) was a member of a Harlem doo-wop group called The Four B's. It was in this group that he met his future wife, Betty Davis, a songwriter who was also the sister of two of Four B's, Billy and Bobby. Davis and King married in 1964, raised three children, and stayed together until King’s death in 2015.

#46. Jean Speegle Howard and Rance Howard

Dates of the marriage: 1949—November 25, 2000 (her death)

Length: 51 years

Representing the fusion of some mighty talented DNA, Rance Howard and Jean Speegle Howard married in 1949 and gave birth to future Hollywood icon Ron Howard in 1954. Ron went on to produce four children of his own, including actress Bryce Dallas Howard. Rance has a pretty impressive resume in his own right, having starred in films such as “Cool Hand Luke,” and “Chinatown,” along with roles in a number of his son’s movies. He and Jean were married for more than half a century before her death in 2000.

#45. Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn

Dates of the marriage: 1942—September 11, 1994 (her death)

Length: 52 years

Over the course of their enduring marriage, seasoned actors Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy appeared together frequently on stage and screen. The pair even played a married couple in the early 1950s production of the award-winning Broadway play, “The Fourposter.” Their most iconic co-billing came in 1985, when they played retirement home residents in the movie “Cocoon,” later reprising their roles for a 1988 sequel.

#44. Linda and Vince McMahon

Dates of the marriage: 1966—present

Length: 52 years

Linda and Vince McMahon today are collectively worth more than $2 billion, but things started out decidedly different. The couple fell in love as teenagers and married when Linda was just 17, had two children, and encountered a string of financial setbacks that resulted in a 1976 bankruptcy filing. Linda and Vince eventually found their calling in the world of wrestling entertainment and turned WWE into a global empire. Meanwhile, they’re still together after more than 50 years.

#43. Mitzi Gaynor and Jack Bean

Dates of the marriage: 1954—December 4, 2006 (his death)

Length: 52 years

Mitzi Gaynor was a multi-talented actress, singer, and dancer who starred in movie adaptations of “There's No Business Like Show Business” and “South Pacific.” Jack Bean was a powerful Hollywood player who went on to become a real estate mogul and business manager. Together, the couple enjoyed a half-century marital bond so strong that Gaynor later said they “were like one person."

#42. Barbara Sklar and Don Rickles

Dates of the marriage: 1965—April 6, 2017 (his death)

Length: 52 years

Comedian Don Rickles might have risen to fame by way of his off-color jokes, but the truth is he was a romantic at heart. He married his agent’s secretary, Barbara Sklar, in 1965, and the two stayed together until his death. Less than a month before he passed away, Rickles sent out a final tweet: “We are celebrating our 52nd Wedding Anniversary March 14th. Happy Anniversary my dear wife, Barbara. You are my life.”

#41. Nancy Davis and Ronald Reagan

Dates of the marriage: 1952—June 5, 2004 (his death)

Length: 52 years

Nancy Davis and Ronald Reagan (or “Ronnie,” as she liked to call him) met while they were both in the midst of fruitful Hollywood careers. Of course, their acting careers would only serve as the first act of their enduring relationship, which resulted in two children and a substantial political legacy. It could even be said that Reagan’s respective tenures as governor of California and president of the United States would not have been successful without his wife's support, approval, guidance, and participation.

#40. Dolly Parton and Carl Dean

Dates of the marriage: 1966—present

Length: 52 years

Dolly Parton is one of country music’s biggest stars, and yet her longtime husband, Carl Dean, maintains a surprisingly low profile. The two met in 1964 when Parton was 18 years old and married two years later. In the time since, the couple's relationship has endured a range of struggles, including what Parton later described as an “affair of the heart.” The two renewed their wedding vows in 2016, injecting new life into an already resilient romance.

#39. Alma Reville and Alfred Hitchcock

Dates of the marriage: 1926—April 29, 1980 (his death)

Length: 53 years

They say behind every successful man is a strong woman, which was most certainly the case with director Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma Reville. Far more than a spouse, Reville was Hitchcock's closest collaborator, helping him make creative decisions on a bevy of iconic films. While she primarily lived and worked in Hitchcock’s shadow, recent films like “The Girl” and “Hitchcock” have brought Reville's vital role to light.

#38. Angela Lansbury and Peter Shaw

Dates of the marriage: 1949—January 29, 2003 (his death)

Length: 53 years

British actress Angela Lansbury's husband also hailed from the UK and did some acting of his own before taking on a larger role behind the scenes as an agent and producer. In the 1980s, Shaw produced Lansbury's hit TV show, “Murder, She Wrote.” Of their marriage, Lansbury said, "We had the perfect relationship."

#37. Ricky and Ralph Lauren

Dates of the marriage: 1964—present

Length: 53 years

A quintessential power couple, fashion icon Ralph Lauren and author/photographer/artist/psychotherapist Ricky Lauren first met when Ricky was working as a receptionist at an ophthalmologist’s clinic. Their union has become synonymous with the highest tier of style and luxury. Ricky Lauren published “The Hamptons: Food, Family, and History” in 2012, offering readers and fans an intimate glimpse into the Lauren family life.

#36. Frances Chaney and Ring Lardner Jr.

Dates of the marriage: 1946—2000 (his death)

Length: 54 years

In the middle of the 20th century, actress Frances Chaney made regular appearances on radio, stage, and television, lending her voice to the radio show “Gang Busters” and later starring in the soap opera “The Edge of Night.” At the height of her career, Chaney was blacklisted in Hollywood due to the reported communist ties of her journalist and screenwriter husband, Ring Lardner Jr. Despite the obstacles, Chaney and Lardner Jr. enjoyed a long and healthy marriage.

#35. Anne Jeffreys and Robert Sterling

Dates of the marriage: 1951—May 30, 2006 (his death)

Length: 54 years

Acting couple Anne Jeffreys and Robert Sterling first met when they were both starring in separate plays on Broadway. The pair went on to get married and have three sons together. Soon after tying the knot, the couple performed as a singing club act which subsequently led to co-starring roles on the popular TV show, “Topper.”

#34. Eydie Gormé and Steve Lawrence

Dates of the marriage: 1957—Aug. 10, 2013 (her death)

Length: 55 years

Partners in marriage and work, Eydie Gormé and Steve Lawrence performed as pop vocal duet Steve and Eydie while also pursuing their own solo careers. Gormé and Lawrence met in the early 1950s on the set of “Tonight Starring Steve Allen.” Soon after, they released their first collaborative single, “Make Yourself Comfortable.”

#33. Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola

Dates of the marriage: 1963—present

Length: 55 years

In addition to being one of Hollywood’s longest-lasting power couples, Francis Ford and Eleanor Coppola are at the top of a veritable dynasty which includes talented family members, a slate of iconic films, and a popular winery. The two met while working on Francis’ early 1960s effort, “Dementia 13," and married soon after. And while Francis is regarded as one of the greatest directors of all time, Eleanor is likewise accomplished. She's worked on a number of films, written a memoir, and directed the acclaimed documentary “Hearts of Darkness." That’s not to mention her role as the mother to three children, including director Sofia Coppola.

#32. Ginny and Bob Newhart

Dates of the marriage: 1963—present

Length: 55 years

After carving out a formidable career as a comedian, Bob Newhart became a major presence on television. He met Virginia "Ginn" Quinn on a blind date and eventually married her. This was despite the fact that Quinn, whose father was an actor, swore she would never marry someone in show business. Bob went on to headline two namesake sitcoms over the course of two separate decades, in addition to dozens of other television and movie credits.

#31. Lee Grant and Joseph Feury

Dates of the marriage: 1962—present

Length: 55–56 years

Before marrying Joseph Feury, actress Lee Grant was blacklisted in the 1950s for being married to communist screenwriter Arnold Manoff. The two eventually split, and Grant got involved with and eventually married Joseph Feury. By the mid-1970s Grant was back on track, earning an Oscar for her role in “Shampoo." In the time since, Grant and Feury have co-produced and co-directed a number of acclaimed documentaries, including 1986’s award-winning “Down and Out in America."

#30. Janet Templeton and Martin Sheen

Dates of the marriage: 1961—present

Length: 56 years

Martin Sheen claimed in a 2015 interview that the secret to his and actress Janet Templeton’s 56-year marriage was honesty. Specifically, he said that she was never afraid to tell him the truth, which in turn made her the “scariest woman [he’d] ever met." The pair has four children together, including actors Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez.

#29. Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin

Dates of the marriage: 1961—present

Length: 56 years

Hollywood talents Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin met while studying acting at Northwestern University. They were married at the cusp of their meteoric careers. Prentiss went on to star in hit movies such as “The Stepford Wives," “What’s New, Pussycat?," and “Catch-22." Meanwhile, Benjamin also starred in “Catch-22," and later directed popular films like “The Money Pit” and “Mermaids."

#28. Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis

Dates of the marriage: 1948—Feb. 4, 2005 (his death)

Length: 57 years

Temptation is virtually everywhere for successful performers, so some couples have to experiment a little to make things work. Such was the case for Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, two similarly talented actor/writer/director/activists who wrote about their open marriage in a mutually-penned memoir. Eventually, the couple went back to their monogamous ways and stayed that way until Davis’ death.

#27. Lois Clarke and James Garner

Dates of the marriage: 1956—July 19, 2014 (his death)

Length: 57 years

According to legend, it was love at first sight when actor James Garner spotted future-wife Lois Clarke at a 1956 rally for Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson. The couple went out to dinner that very same night and were married within the year. Like most celebrity marriages, this one didn’t come without its obstacles—including a few prolonged separations.

#26. Maj Axelsson and Larry Hagman

Dates of the marriage: 1954—Nov. 23, 2012 (his death)

Length: 58 years

Audiences know Larry Hagman best for his respective roles as Major Anthony "Tony" Nelson in the hit 1960s sitcom, “I Dream of Jeannie," and as J.R. Ewing in the 1980s TV drama, “Dallas." He met his wife, Swedish-born dress designer Maj Axelsson, while living in London as a serviceman and stage actor. The couple had two children together and kept the spark alive until Hagman’s death.

#25. Barbara O'Connor and William Christopher

Dates of the marriage: 1957—Dec. 31, 2016 (his death)

Length: 59 years

After making guest appearances on TV shows such as “The Andy Griffith Show,” “The Patty Duke Show," and “Hogan’s Heroes," William Christopher snagged the recurring role of Father Francis Mulcahy on the smash hit sitcom, “M*A*S*H." On the episode titled "Dear Mildred," Christopher’s wife, Barbara, guest starred as Nurse O'Connor, and the couple sang a pair of duets on screen. Later in life, they co-wrote the book “Mixed Blessings," which centered on their experiences raising a child with autism.

#24. Melinda Trenchard and Tom Jones

Dates of the marriage: 1957—April 10, 2016 (her death)

Length: 59 years

Singer Tom Jones might come off as the ultimate bachelor, but the truth is he was married to his teenage sweetheart, Melinda Trenchard, for almost 60 years. Of course, that doesn’t mean Jones remained loyal—it’s been reported that the singer slept with scores of women at the height of his career. Nevertheless, Trenchard stood by her man, resulting in one of the longest-lasting celebrity marriages of all time.

#23. Kristine Miller and William Schuyler

Dates of the marriage: 1953—Dec. 10, 2013 (his death)

Length: 60 years

Former Hollywood starlet Kristine Miller appeared on screens big and small over the course of her career. She starred in movies such as “From Here to Eternity," and TV shows like “Stories of the Century," “Dennis the Menace," and “The Donna Reed Show." Her husband William Schuyler was legend behind the scenes, founding or co-founding numerous television stations and getting inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1986.


#22. Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller

Dates of the marriage: 1954—May 23, 2015 (her death)

Length: 60 years

Jerry Stiller’s character Frank Costanza on the iconic sitcom “Seinfeld" was the world’s most dysfunctional husband and father. In real life, however, Stiller's marriage to Anne Meara was the stuff romantic celebrity dreams are made of. Not only were the two deeply in love, but they were fundamental to one another’s success by rising to fame as a comedy duo in the 1960s and 1970s.

#21. Patricia Poole and Dick Van Patten

Dates of the marriage: 1954—June 23, 2015 (his death) 

Length: 61 years

Patricia Poole and Dick Van Patten first made each other’s acquaintances as teenagers. But it wouldn’t be until they reconnected years later that Cupid’s arrow struck. During their marriage, Van Patten landed the role of Tom Bradford on the sitcom, “Eight is Enough," while Poole appeared (as Pat Van Patten) in films like “Herbie Goes Bananas" and “The Bodyguard," along with TV shows such as “Murder, She Wrote," and “7th Heaven." Together, the couple raised three children.

#20. Arlene and Alan Alda

Dates of the marriage: 1957–present

Length: 61 years

Hollywood icon Alan Alda and his future wife, Arlene, first bonded while eating rum cake off the floor at a party in 1956. Alan is best-known for his lead role in the TV series, “M*A*S*H," while Arlene is an accomplished children’s book author and photographer. Together, the couple has three children and eight grandchildren.

#19. Sandy Cohen and Danny Aiello

Dates of the marriage: 1955—present

Length: 63 years

In his 2014 memoir, actor Danny Aiello claimed he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1951 while being “investigated for a murder [he] didn’t commit." After serving in the Korean War, Aiello returned home and eventually married Sandy Cohen. True to his somewhat shady background, the actor played a range of criminals throughout his career, along with the occasional nice-guy role, such as his performance in 1987’s award-winning romantic comedy, “Moonstruck."

#18. Lydia Clarke and Charlton Heston

Dates of the marriage: 1944—April 5, 2008 (his death)

Length: 64 years

Actors Charlton Heston and Lydia Clarke met in drama class at Northwestern University. Following their marriage, Heston went off to serve in the U.S. Army Air Forces during WWII. By the early 1950s, Clarke was performing on Broadway and Heston was landing some of his earliest television and film roles.

#17. Anne Buydens and Kirk Douglas

Dates of the marriage: 1954—present

Length: 64 years

At their respective ages of 101 and 99, Kirk Douglas of Anne Buydens remain united in matrimony, occasionally strolling alongside one another in wheelchairs. In the couple’s joint 2017 memoir, Anne wrote that staying married for 64 years meant tolerating her husband’s infidelities. The couple has two sons together, Peter and Eric. Another one of Kirk’s sons, actor Michael Douglas, is from a previous marriage.

#16. Estelle and Carl Reiner

Dates of the marriage: 1943—Oct. 25, 2008 (her death)

Length: 64 years

Comedy legend Carl Reiner has been a fixture in Hollywood since the 1950s when he co-wrote and starred in shows like “Caesar's Hour," and “Your Show of Shows." In the 1960s he created, produced, wrote for, and acted in “The Dick Van Dyke Show," cementing his status as Tinseltown royalty. Meanwhile, his wife Estelle uttered one of the most iconic lines in movie history: “I’ll have what she’s having," from 1989’s “When Harry Met Sally." That film was directed by Rob Reiner, one of the couple’s three children. Carl is still writing and performing today—on Twitter, that is.

#15. Betsy and Walter Cronkite

Dates of the marriage: 1940—March 15, 2005 (her death)

Length: 65 years

News anchor Walter Cronkite met his future wife, Betsy, when they were both working for a local radio station in Kansas City, Miss. After their marriage the two embarked on separate careers in journalism, eventually settling down together in New York. In his 1996 autobiography, Walter wrote, “I attribute the longevity of our marriage to Betsy's extraordinary keen sense of humor, which saw us over many bumps (mostly of my making), and her tolerance, even support, for the uncertain schedule and wanderings of a newsman."

#14. Eva Marie Saint and Jeffrey Hayden

Dates of the marriage: 1951—Dec. 24, 2016 (his death)

Length: 65 years

Academy-award winning actress Eva Marie Saint remains best known for her lead roles in movies such as “On the Waterfront," and “North by Northwest." Not only was she married to director and producer Jeffrey Hayden for 65 years, but Hayden occasionally directed her for TV and stage. One of their earliest collaborations was for the television series “Omnibus," which was among the medium’s first magazine-format shows.


#13. Leah "Lia" Waggner and William Schallert

Dates of the marriage: 1949—2015 (her death)

Length: 65 years

Throughout their marriage, actors William Schallert and Leah (aka Lia) Waggner starred together on popular sitcoms like “The Patty Duke Show” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show." Of course, their most fruitful collaboration was at home: The couple produced four sons. While Waggner retired from acting in the 1960s, Schallert continued to appear in TV and film all the way up to 2014.

#12. Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach

Dates of the marriage: 1948—June 24, 2014 (his death)

Length: 66 years

Representing a telling first encounter, thespians Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach met while starring together in a play by Tennessee Williams. Over the course of their subsequent marriage, the couple earned a legendary reputation as talented method actors. They performed together in a wide variety of plays, films, and TV shows.

#11. Bonnie Bartlett and William Daniels

Dates of the marriage: 1951—present

Length: 67 years

After starring separately in a string of TV shows and films, Bonnie Bartlett and William Daniels played a married couple on the popular 1980s medical drama series, “St. Elsewhere." What’s more, they both won Emmy Awards in 1986, making Hollywood history by being just one among two real-life married couples to win acting awards on the same night.

#10. Alma Crist Whitman and Slim Whitman

Dates of the marriage: 1941—Feb. 16, 2009 (her death)

Length: 67 years

Bolstered by his signature yodel and impressive falsetto voice, country music legend Slim Whitman sold more than 120 million records throughout the course of his career as “America’s favorite folk singer." But his greatest sense of accomplishment came from his lifelong love affair with Alma “Jerry” Crist. The couple eloped as teenagers, to the chagrin of Alma’s father, a Florida preacher.


#9. Thelmetta "Toddy" Suggs and Chuck Berry

Dates of the marriage: 1948—March 18, 2017 (his death)

Length: 68 years

Chuck Berry is commonly regarded as the godfather of rock 'n' roll, which might help explain his controversial antics over the years. Despite all the reported misbehaving, however, Berry stayed married to the same woman, Themetta “Toddy” Suggs, for 68 years. When they tied the knot, Berry was working as a janitor at an auto assembly plant.

#8. Dolores Reade and Bob Hope

Dates of the marriage: 1934—July 27, 2003 (his death)

Length: 69 years

Leslie Townes Hope—better known as Bob Hope—was an amateur boxer (among other things) before trying his luck on the vaudeville circuit, eventually landing a choice role on Broadway in the early 1930s. It was during this time that he met local performer Dolores Reade. Hope later described it as “love at first sight."

#7. Joan and Stan Lee

Dates of the marriage: 1947—July 6, 2017 (her death)

Length: 69 years

As the creator of the world’s foremost superheroes, Stan Lee remains an absolute wizard in the eyes of his innumerable fans. Just as impressive as Lee’s comic book legacy, however, was his 69-year marriage to Joan Boocock, which ended with her death in 2017. Lee died just over a year later, on Nov. 12, 2018. According to legend, it was Joan, a former model, who gave Stan the idea for Marvel Comics: She told him to conjure up a new type of superhero that would exhibit human-like flaws.

#6. Marilyn and Monty Hall

Dates of the marriage: 1947—June 5, 2017 (her death)

Length: 69 years

“Let’s make a deal,” Monty Hall said to Marilyn Doreen Plottel, his future wife, in 1947. OK, so Hall’s marriage proposal was probably somewhat more romantic in nature, but he did go on to become synonymous with the popular game show. Marilyn, meanwhile, was an accomplished TV and theater producer in her own right. The couple had three children together over the course of their 69-year marriage.

#5. Mona Greenberg and Karl Malden

Dates of the marriage: 1938—July 1, 2009 (his death)

Length: 70 years

Actor Karl Malden had 71 IMDb credits and seven decades of marriage under his belt by the time of his death in 2009. He met his wife, Mona Greenberg—who went by the stage name Mona Graham at the time—while performing at the Goodman Theater in Chicago in the 1930s.


#4. Kitty Wells and Johnnie Wright

Dates of the marriage: 1937—Sept. 27, 2011 (his death)

Length: 73 years

Representing a match made in country music heaven, the marriage of Johnnie Wright and Kitty Wells represented two of the genre's most influential careers. Johnnie performed as one-half of country duo Johnnie & Jack, releasing a number of popular singles. Kitty, meanwhile, became one of the most impactful music legends of all time with her own string of hit songs.

#3. Lois and Art Linkletter

Dates of the marriage: 1935—May 16, 2010 (his death)

Length: 74 years

The name Art Linkletter might not mean much to today’s younger audiences, but throughout the 1940s and 1950s he was a foremost personality on radio and TV, as well as a major promoter of various toys. He and wife Lois married had five children together, three of whom the couple outlived.

#2. Peggy and Norman Lloyd

Dates of the marriage: 1936—Aug. 30, 2011 (her death)

Length: 75 years

By the time Broadway actress Peggy Lloyd passed away in 2011, she and fellow thespian Norman Lloyd had shared 75 years of marriage, two children, and numerous theatrical productions with one another. Unsurprisingly, the couple first met while working on the same play. Later in life, they appeared together in the 2007 documentary, “Who is Norman Lloyd?”

#1. Lillian Waldowsky and Irving Benson

Dates of the marriage: 1936—March 3, 2016 (her death)

Length: 79 years

The longest-lasting celebrity marriage began in 1936 when multi-talented performer Irving Benson (born Irving Wishnefsky) tied the knot with Lillian Waldowsky. Benson was a major player on the vaudeville circuit and later gained fame as a wisecracking heckler on a number of popular variety shows. He and Lillian were blessed with two children, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. Along similarly impressive lines, Benson was 102 years old when he passed away in 2016, just 11 weeks after Lillian’s death.

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