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July 01, 2006

Sambora / Richards...Locklear? 68

Celeb Break-Ups & Make-Ups
Aaron Spelling's legacy: The blow-dried divas
Celeb Break-Ups & Make-Ups

They meet, they fall in love, they break up and they make up. Like everyone else, stars definitely have their relationship ups and downs -- only they have to do it all under the harsh media spotlight!

When PAUL McCARTNEY and HEATHER MILLS announced their split on May 17, they made a public announcement that they were parting amicably. But the paparazzi was relentless in their pursuit of the separated couple, not to mention the incessant Heather-bashing in the tabloids, forcing Sir Paul to defend his soon-to-be ex-wife's honor.

"Since the split, Heather has been the target of much media scrutiny, but Paul reserves judgment and says she was a nice person and they really were in love," KATRINA SZISH, contributing editor to Us magazine, explains to ET.

One of the biggest splits of the year came in February, when HEATHER LOCKLEAR filed for divorce from RICHIE SAMBORA: "Reportedly, Richie was one of the last people to know, and he actually found out about the divorce through a radio interview," says Szish. "[It is said that] Heather found inappropriate e-mails in Richie's in-box from a former assistant, although he says they were completely unsolicited."

We all know what happened after that, with the split sparking one of Hollywood's most-talked about love triangles involving Richie, Heather and former good-friend DENISE RICHARDS. Of course, that tempest in the tabloids all ignited with the shocking split between Denise and CHARLIE SHEEN.

"One of the ugliest divorce battles of the year is between [those two]," says Szish. "The couple famously parted ways, then got back together, then they really called things off, and Denise has filed some very serious allegations against Charlie."

Other couples calling it quits this year include PEN√ČLOPE CRUZ and MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY, who announced they were breaking up after two years, reportedly because their schedules kept them apart too often. And another surprise announcement came from CHAD LOWE and Oscar winner HILARY SWANK, who announced that they were separating in January.

"They did try to give it another go," says Szish. "They went through some counseling, but they officially filed for divorce on the 26th of May."

But there is hope. Couples like NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN and MICHAEL BOLTON have found their way back to each other once again, and this time the two are engaged! Nicollette was most recently engaged to actor NIKLAS SODERBLOM, but she called off that engagement after a relatively short courtship and wound up back in the arms of Bolton.

JUDE LAW and SIENNA MILLER also seem to be giving it another try: "After Jude's very public indiscretion with the nanny, he and Sienna split, got together, split, got together, and now they're back together once again," explains Szish. "Jude and Sienna reunited on the West Coast in the states to get away from the paparazzi that have been hounding their every move in London. Apparently California sunshine does something good for relationships."

Another couple people are rooting for are KATE BOSWORTH and ORLANDO BLOOM, and Szish offers that the high-profile 'Superman Returns' and 'Pirates' pair "seem to be Hollywood's young golden couple of the moment, however we were all disappointed when they broke up -- but thankfully the pair is back together."

Watch ET for more Hollywood make-ups and break-ups!

Aaron Spelling's legacy: The blow-dried divas Campy, vampy women were among his specialties

Aaron Spelling, who died last week at 83 after a stroke, was a schlockmeister par excellence.

He made frivolousness, superficiality and blow-dried hair into splashy mainstream fun. With "Dynasty" and "Melrose Place," he captured cultural eras while defining the nighttime soap as we know it. With "Beverly Hills 90210," he shaped youth-market TV and gave an all-important bump to the Fox network. And with "Charlie's Angels," he pioneered the ever-popular genre known as "jiggle TV." Spelling pleased many millions of viewers over the decades, despite continual critical scorn.

Ultimately, his success brought him luxuries such as a 56,000-square-foot Hollywood home, but he was ever the mensch, giving work to forgotten performers on "Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island." We have to praise him.

But we also need to pay tribute to Spelling for his non-Nielsen creations. During his long career, the executive producer unleashed upon the country some of our campiest, trampiest and vampiest ladies, from Joan Collins and Heather Locklear to Shannen Doherty and Farrah Fawcett. Each of these celebrities has provided us with the kind of cheesy melodrama -- fast marriages, nervous breakdowns, car incidents, hokey dignity -- without which the lifestyles of the rich and famous just wouldn't be as rich or as famous.

The next time you're paging through People magazine, take a quiet moment and give thanks to the man behind the following stars.

Shannen Doherty

As Brenda on "90210," the Picasso-faced Shannen Doherty learned normal teen lessons. But as herself, she has built a career out of flamingly bad behavior.

Never clear on whether she's a demon child or just a little off, audiences have reveled in tales of her backstage temper tantrums on "90210" and "Charmed," as well as her many brief engagements to be wed. She did follow through on two fast marriages, to Ashley Hamilton and Rick Salomon, the man best known for his sex tape with Paris Hilton. But they failed. Among her greatest hits, Doherty was sentenced to anger-management therapy after a fight outside a Los Angeles club, and she once tried to run a boyfriend down with her car.

Joan Collins and Linda Evans

To further the Madonna-whore dialectic, or to just entertain us with mud fights, Spelling brought us the pairing of Joan Collins and Linda Evans on "Dynasty." These two actresses practically created TV camp with their performances, providing material for the world's drag queens for decades to come. Collins' Alexis was a classic man-eating vixen whose urge to conquer was unstoppable. And Evans' Krystle was the definitive lady in white, a victim who took a slap or two for being so darn trusting.

Off-screen, of course, Collins was the more awesome figure. She has had a taste for younger men and four husbands, one of whom tried to sell her to an Arab sheik. Her most recent divorce from Swedish singer Peter Holm became a media circus worthy of Alexis. And Evans has had tabloid moments, too, not just because of her New Agey orientation and her love affair with Yanni, but because of her openness about her plastic surgery botches.

Rumors of Evans' and Collins' off-screen tensions are sure to re-emerge soon, because the pair will tour this year in a stage production of "Legends." The show is about two feuding actresses forced to work together.

Heather Locklear

Of all the Spelling divas, Heather Locklear may be the most unexpected. No Meryl Streep, she. Locklear's acting is so stiff, her delivery so limited, it's just crazy fun to watch her work.

Spelling clearly saw her potential to be big, as he cast her in "Dynasty," "T.J. Hooker" and "Melrose Place." Indeed, when "Melrose" was failing, because of its sincerity as a youth drama, Spelling brought in Locklear to cheer up the show. Despite winning a Razzie Award for worst actress in "Return of the Swamp Thing," Locklear has prevailed.

But it's her troubled marriages to rock stars Tommy Lee and Richie Sambora that have cemented her career. The wronged Everywoman looks fabulous on People covers.

Farrah Fawcett

Like many of Spelling's ladies, Farrah Fawcett had a list of credits preceding her work on a Spelling show. But her year on "Charlie's Angels" in the 1970s helped lift her from poster girl to an icon of flaky insanity. She has been big business for the tabs, not least of all because of her tormented relationships to Ryan O'Neal and James Orr, who injured her when she was trying to rob his home. Her legendary appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman," during which she was incoherent, finally put her in the Meltdown Hall of Fame.

Alas, like many of her Spelling-bred colleagues, who include Spelling's scandal-loving daughter Tori and the virginal Connie Sellecca from "Hotel," she has a strong presence on awfulplasticsurgery.com.

Posted by riesambo at July 1, 2006 07:14 AM