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Celebrity Pairs Share ‘Secrets’ To Long Marriages On Amc

Doug Nye Knight-Ridder

Charlton Heston has some advice for those men who want to have a long, happy marriage.

“Never forget those important three little words,” Heston said.

And they are?

“I was wrong.”

Heston laughed, but you got the feeling he was only half joking. And you have to figure he knows a few things about wedded bliss: Heston and wife Lydia have been married more than 50 years.

The Hestons will join two other celebrity couples - Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook, and Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach - to talk about how they’ve maintained long Hollywood marriages for the AMC special “Isn’t It Romantic?” tonight at 6 p.m. PST (repeating at 9 p.m.)

The show will be hosted by another happily married couple, Nick and Nina Clooney.

All of the couples agree that both partners have to work hard to keep a marriage going.

“It’s probably true that a lot of people today expect a marriage to be a smooth and effortless ride,” Heston said in an interview. “They’re in for a surprise. It’s unrealistic to think that there will never be any friction between two people who are living together.

“A couple of years ago, when we had our 50th anniversary, we did a number of TV interviews and shows talking about our marriage. One of the interviewers leaned over to Lydia and said, ‘Just between you and me, did you never even briefly think about divorce?’

“Lydia said, ‘Divorce? Never. Murder? Yes.”’

That the Hestons have been able to stay together is remarkable, considering how hectic their lives have often been. His long career has carried him all over the world, separating him and his wife for months at a time.

“You’ve got to find the right girl,” Heston said. “If you do that, it should work out no matter what.”

“Isn’t It Romantic?” focuses on how each couple met, the details of their courtship, the status of their current relationship and the “secrets” of their marriage.

Also discussed is how difficult it is for those in the movie industry to balance fame with privacy and how films often shape our own often unrealistic views of love and romance.

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