When Bruce Willis and Demi Moore stole away to Las Vegas to get married 10 years ago, cynics could be forgiven for betting the union’s prospects were a long shot. At the time, the groom was a notorious carouser with a reputation for womanizing, and the bride was on the mend from a broken engagement to Brat Packer Emilio Estevez. As of Nov. 21, 1987, when they said their ”I do’s” at a spur-of-the-moment ceremony in their suite at the Golden Nugget hotel, the pair had been dating for just three months.
For all the unconventionality of the wedding, however, it had its own sense of tradition: Performing the service was the Reverend Charolette Richards, who, in her 38 years at Las Vegas’ Little White Chapel, has married some half a million couples — including Judy Garland and Sid Luft in 1952, Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow in 1966, and Michael and Juanita Jordan in 1989. This time, though, ”I didn’t even know who Bruce Willis and Demi Moore were,” says Richards. ”When I got back to the chapel, I turned the license in and one of the girls said, ‘Charolette, do you realize who you just married?”’
The couple later renewed their vows that December at a lavish L.A. bash presided over by Little Richard, an ordained minister, and attended by a select group of friends and family. (Notably absent, however, was Willis’ Moonlighting partner, Cybill Shepherd, who had just given birth to twins Ariel and Zachariah.)
After 10 years, three daughters (Rumer, 9; Scout, 6; and Tallulah Belle, 3), and roughly a billion breakup rumors, Willis and Moore are still going strong enough to have sued the weekly tabloid Star for its June 10, 1997, story headlined BRUCE AND DEMI MARRIAGE ON THE ROCKS, which depicts the couple as ”estranged,” ”unfaithful,” ”irrational,” and headed for ”Hollywood’s nastiest divorce in years.”
Meanwhile, Richards keeps an eye on the Willises: ”I watch the news; I watch what Bruce and Demi are going through. I pray for them every day.”
Time Capsule / November 21, 1987
Arnold Schwarzenegger flexes his box office muscle with The Running Man, a futuristic thriller directed by former Starsky and Hutch star Paul Michael Glaser.
Sneering rocker Billy Idol hits No. 1 with his cover of Tommy James’ ”Mony Mony,” while teen sensation Tiffany ranks No. 4 with her rendition of James’ ”I Think We’re Alone Now.”
NBC’s Thursday-night sitcoms — The Cosby Show, A Different World, Cheers, and Night Court — occupy Nielsen’s top four slots. In 1997, by contrast, the new Cosby struggles, Ted Danson’s sitcom Ink has spilled, and World costar Marisa Tomei has an Oscar for 1992’s My Cousin Vinny.
And in the real world, Jessica McClure, the Texas tot who spent 58 1/2 hours trapped in a well, leaves the hospital after five weeks. In 1989, ABC will air a movie about the ordeal, Everybody’s Baby, starring Roxana Zal.