Hollywood's Bread-Winning Babes

Some female stars far outshine their male companions in salary and status.

ByABC News
July 2, 2008, 6:42 PM

July 3, 2008 — -- Sure, he's directed some movies. But Guy Ritchie's probably best known as "Mr. Madonna," the husband of the uber-successful, multimillionaire pop star. Rumors have been swirling that Madonna's about ready to dump him, despite her publicist's staunch denial that their marriage is on the rocks.

Can anyone blame Hollywood gossips for buzzing? It seems that every time a super-successful female star gets together with a lower-profile man, tongues wag. But, according to Bradley Jacobs, senior editor for Us magazine, guys like Madonna's often don't care.

"A lot of men don't mind being in the shadow of a very successful woman. It really comes down to the guy," Jacobs said, no pun intended. "There are plenty of healthy marriages in Hollywood where the woman is more of the bread winner. With the focus on the red carpet, who wants to look at a bunch of men in tuxes? They are just the arm candy."

Scoring one of the world's most sought-after women may be accomplishment enough for these husbands and boy-toys.

"These guys are winners in their own right, they are just married to bigger stars," Jacobs said.

ABCNEWS.com takes a look at some of Hollywood's hottest couples where the female stars shine brighter than the males.

Madonna and Guy Ritchie

The Material Girl and her director hubby Ritchie got married in December 2000, three months after Madonna gave birth to their son, Rocco. Madonna's accomplishments are overwhelming: 13 No. 1 singles, 26 Grammy award nominations and seven wins, along with multiple sold-out tours, to name a few. The pop star, who will be 50 years old in August, has established herself as both an influential musician and a successful businesswoman, as the manager of her own music label, Maverick Records.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick

Sarah Jessica Parker's booming success with her "Sex and the City" stardom (the movie's brought in $300 million, so far) makes it very difficult for a man to measure up financially (not to mention the franchise success in general). Parker and her actor beau Matthew Broderick got married on May 19, 1997, and had a son, James Wilkie Broderick, in October 2002. Despite rumors about their marriage hitting the skids immediately after the announcement of Parker's pregnancy, the two have remained relatively untouched by tabloid buzz.

South African native Charlize Theron met "husband" Stuart Townsend while on the set of "Trapped," in which they played a couple whose daughter was kidnapped. In an interview with People magazine, Townsend explained that they never had a formal wedding, but they are essentially married and plan to spend the rest of their lives together. Theron, who won an Oscar for "Monster," is considered one of Hollywood's best and most beautiful actresses (she co-stars in the just-released superhero flick "Hancock"). Townsend, on the other hand, has a few low budget and short films to his name. He is best known in America for his roles in "Queen of the Damned" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen."

Heidi Klum and Seal

Seal was a big star in the 1990s, but these days, the British singer can hardly hold a candle to his supermodel wife, Heidi Klum. Gracing the covers of the world's most famous magazines, Klum scored herself a spot on Forbes's World's 15 Top-Earning Supermodels list. She increased her profile -- and paycheck -- exponentially as the producer and host of Bravo's "Project Runway." In between it all, she finds time to play mom to her three children, two of which she had with Seal.

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins

Susan Sarandon has been in a plethora of films. She scored a best actress Oscar for her role in "Dead Man Walking," and parlayed her stardom into political activism. She met Tim Robbins in 1988 while filming "Bull Durham," and the two have been together ever since. But while Sarandon's star kept rising, after he won an Oscar for "Mystic River," Robbins' success fell short. The couple have two sons together, Jack Henry and Miles Guthrie.

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale

Gwen Stefani started her career as the lead singer of pop-punk band No Doubt. But what started as a gig with a fledgling band turned into a super-successful career in music and fashion. Stefani now performs solo and heads up a clothing line, L.A.M.B. She met hubby Gavin Rossdale while on tour with No Doubt in 1995, back when he was singing for the rock band of the moment, Bush. Now, she's the bigger star. The couple got married in 2002 and had their first child, Kingston, in May 2006. They have another one due this August.

Courteney Cox is probably best known as super-neurotic Monica Geller on "Friends," but she also showed her strength as a movie actress in the "Scream" series and "The Longest Yard." She met hubby David Arquette while they were filming "Scream" and added his last name to hers after they married in June 1999. But her star status far transcends his. His most high-profile role since "Scream"? Cameos in World Championship Wrestling shows.

Sandra Bullock and Jesse James

"Miss Congeniality's" Sandra Bullock settled down with biker boyfriend Jesse James when they tied the knot in 2005. She had already crafted a stellar career with "Speed" and "While You Were Sleeping." James, on the other hand, was the host of "Monster Garage," during its short run on the Discovery Channel from 2002 to 2006.

Drew Barrymore and Justin Long

Third time might be a charm for Drew Barrymore, who started her Hollywood career at a very young age with "ET." She's been married and divorced twice, but has been involved with Justin Long since late last year. While Barrymore's racked up hits, including "Charlie's Angels," "Never Been Kissed" and "The Wedding Singer," Long's claim to fame is his role as the hip Mac user in Apple's ad campaign.

Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley

"Grey's Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl exploded from small screen actress to big screen knockout with her roles in "Knocked Up" and "27 Dresses." In between climbing the rungs of Hollywood, she found time to fall in love with singer-songwriter Josh Kelley. They married in Park City, Utah, in December 2007. While Heigl certainly helped out Kelley's career by appearing in his video for "Only You," Kelley's negligible success in the music biz is probably of little use to this rising A-lister.