Bright Side

11 Men Who Are Not Afraid to Live in the Shadow of Their Powerful Women

We often hear people say that behind every great man, always stands a great woman. But things don’t have to be that way all the time. Especially nowadays, there are many examples of couples where women have become more famous or powerful than their significant others. Think about Meryl Streep, Queen Elizabeth II, or Serena Williams, who are leaders in their fields. They all share a great personality and a breathtaking charisma. But they also have great companions who do not seek or want to steal the spotlight from them, and who support their careers.

Bright Side wants to share a list of men with you who built a life together with great women who excel in fields like entertainment, art, and sports.

1. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has been married to Queen Elizabeth II of England for over 70 years. He had a successful naval career, even serving during World War II. They married in 1947, 5 years before she took the throne in 1952, and since then he has accompanied the Queen in various activities. It was only in 2017, at the age of 96, that he decided to retire from public life.

He is the patron, president, or member of more than 780 organizations on subjects of interest to him, like environmental protection, sports incentives, armed forces, and engineering. In 2009 he became the oldest consort to a British monarch.

2. Stedman Graham

With a partner as popular and influential as Oprah Winfrey, it’s no wonder that her partner is known as “Mr. Oprah” despite his actual name being Stedman Graham. Oprah’s partner is actually a pretty successful man in his own right. He’s an educator, an author of best-selling books, an entrepreneur, a public speaker, and a podcaster. He founded Athletes Against Drugs, a non-profit organization that promotes sports and a healthy way of life among young Americans.

He met Oprah in 1986, and they have been together ever since. They got engaged in 1992, but eventually decided to not get married. According to an interview Oprah gave to Vogue, if they had, they would probably not be together anymore.

3. Don Gummer

Being married to and keeping up with 3-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep cannot be easy. But apparently being the spouse of sculptor Don Gummer has been a treat, since they’ve been together for over 40 years. Together they have welcomed 4 children into the world, and Don has accompanied his wife at key moments in her career. It was to him that the actress dedicated her first words when she won her third Oscar in 2012: “I want you to know that everything I value most in our lives, you have given me.”

For his part, Gummer is known for his large-scale sculptures made with materials like steel, aluminum, and colored glass. According to his biography, he has taken part in numerous exhibitions, both individually and in groups, and has won prestigious prizes. The South Tower in Indianapolis, together with Mondrian, a sculpture full of colored crystals located on Broadway, are some of his most famous works.

4. Neil Murray

Even if he shares a name with the legendary bassist of Whitesnake and Black Sabbath, this Neil Murray is far from the spotlight, let alone from leading the life of a rock star. J.K. Rowling’s husband is a Scottish doctor. They got married in 2001, which was the second marriage for Rowling. Together they have 2 children, in addition to the writer’s oldest daughter, who she had with her first husband, journalist Jorge Arantes.

5. Shelby Bryan

Known as the most powerful woman in the fashion industry, Vogue editor Anna Wintour wouldn’t have just any man by her side. That’s why she made her relationship with Texan entrepreneur, Shelby Bryan, official. He is known among her college friends as the “Great Gatsby,” like the F. Scott Fitzgerald character, because everyone knew he would become successful. And they were right. In 1980, together with a friend, he created the telephone company Millicom, a pioneer in cellular technology and with which he made a major fortune.

He met Anna Wintour at a New York Ballet charity ball in 1999, and they hit it off after that. But the 2 of them were still married, so after divorcing their respective partners, Anna and Shelby began a relationship, and have remained together ever since. He accompanies her to some high-profile events, though he prefers to stay “under the radar,” and keep a low profile. “There’s an old-fashioned idea that personal life should be kept private, and that’s my view,” he said in an interview.

6. Andrew Upton

Even though he happens to come from the same circles, the same country, and they have even worked together, Cate Blanchett’s husband is not as famous or as recognized as she is. The husband of the Oscar-winning actress is an Australian playwright, screenwriter, and director. They got married in 1997 and, since then, he has become accustomed to living in the shadow of his famous and elegant wife. He doesn’t even hesitate to call himself “the hand,” because that’s the only part of his body that magazine editors show when they publish a picture of the couple.

As Blanchett said in an interview, they had known each other for a long time. At first they didn’t get along very well, until they met again at a poker game, and after 21 days of dating, they got engaged and married. Today they have 4 children together, and they also work together on various projects related to film and theater.

7. Alexis Ohanian

Husband of the world-renowned, multi-award winning tennis player Serena Williams is, in the words of Forbes, the mayor of the internet. This young entrepreneur and investor is none other than the co-founder of Reddit, one of the most important social and news platforms in the United States. Together with the famous tennis player, they have an estimated net worth of $209 million this year.

They met in 2015, got engaged in 2016, had their daughter, Olympia, in September 2017, and in November of that year, they were married in a big wedding ceremony in New Orleans. About her successful husband, the tennis legend said in an interview, “Alexis doesn’t dim my light. He doesn’t try to dim my light. He puts me in the light, even if I don’t want to be. He pushes me to further points I never thought about. It always was something that I could see in some relationships — my light would be dimmer. Now I feel like I can shine really bright and still do everything that I want to do.”

8. Alasdhair Willis

Willis, like his wife, is also involved in the world of fashion. He has been the creative director of the popular rubber boots brand Hunter, since 2013. This nonchalant British man is the husband of famous designer Stella McCartney, meaning that he is the son-in-law of musician Paul McCartney. And that’s exactly why he is also known as “Mr. Stella McCartney.”

The couple got married in 2003. Despite being one of those popular and long-lasting couples, maybe the success of their relationship lies in the fact that they have always kept a low profile. They barely appear together in public places. They have 4 children in common, 2 boys and 2 girls, who they also try to keep out of the spotlight. They are the couple’s priority, as Willis said in an interview, so they make sure they spend enough quality time with them, support them in their goals, and communicate a lot.

9. Benjamin Millepied

Thanks to The Black Swan, the beautiful and talented actress Natalie Portman not only won her first Oscar, but also met her current husband. Dancer, choreographer, and director Benjamin Millepied was in charge of the choreography for the film. They even bragged about their engagement and their first pregnancy when the actress received her Academy Award. In 2017 their second daughter, Amalia, was born.

Even if his wife is famous and successful, the 43-year-old Frenchman has an outstanding resume of his own: he started in ballet at the age of 8, he was the lead dancer of the New York Ballet for 11 years, and at 36 he became the director of the Paris Opera Ballet. In 2012 he started his own company: L.A. Dance Project, which has performed on prestigious stages and festivals in over 100 cities around the world.

10. Daniel Moder

Thanks to her leading roles in successful romantic comedies from the ’90s and early ’00s, Julia Roberts was considered to be “America’s Sweetheart.” But the person who really won the heart of the award-winning, famous actress was the director of photography and cameraman Daniel Moder, who she met during the filming of the movie The Mexican in 2000.

They were married in 2002, and have 3 children together. According to Roberts herself, it was her husband and then motherhood that gave meaning to her life. Although both of them work in the film industry, this couple has always kept a very low profile, avoiding unwanted attention from tabloids as much as possible and raising their children away from the spotlight. Some of the best known films he has worked on are Enemy of the State, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Spider Man 3, and The Normal Heart. The last one earned him a nomination for an Emmy Award.

11. Daniel Westling

We began this list with members of royalty, so we also wanted to end it properly. That’s why we chose Prince Daniel, Duke Consort of Princess Victoria, heir to the Swedish royal throne. Their story could be a fairytale titled, “The Princess and her Personal Trainer.” They met in 2001, and the year after that, they started a relationship, despite the strong feelings that their respective families and Swedish society expressed against it. Finally, in 2009, they were able to commit, proving to everyone that their love was real. The following year they got married. They now have 2 children: Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar.

Prince Daniel is a businessman and the owner of a chain of gyms. He is very committed to health issues, encouraging sports among children and young people, and promoting organ donation. He himself is a recipient of a kidney transplant that he received from his father, which might explain why he finds the cause so personal.

Do you know of any other men who are married or in a relationship with a famous woman? Let us know in the comments.