From Miami Vice to Django Unchained, Don Johnson has made his mark on Hollywood with a diverse acting career. However, behind his blonde, pretty boy charm lies a romantic persona that has always been intriguing to the public. From ex-wives to countless ex-lovers, Johnson has left many broken hearts along the way.
As he nears the ripe old age of 70, his colorful dating history is still a hot topic of discussion. Let’s take a deep dive into the exciting yet tumultuous love life of one of the biggest Hollywood actors of our time.
Love in the Limelight
Fame may bring fortune but it also brings a whole world of trouble. This is especially apparent when you see the countless failed relationships of famous actors. Navigating the world of dating with a camera trained on you isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
However, Don Johnson has been doing it for decades without showing signs of slowing down. In fact, he has tied the knot almost half a dozen times. Clearly, he doesn’t let his fame get in the way of what his heart desires! After many missed opportunities and failed attempts, it seems like he’s finally got it right.
The Big Break
Don Johnson’s name started appearing on the big and small screen back in the early ‘70s. What really propelled Johnson to stardom was his big break in Miami Vice. The iconic ‘80s cop drama featured Johnson as Detective Crockett.
From Miami Vice, his amazing looks and acting earned him a lifelong audience. There’s no doubt that the show changed the course of Johnson’s career. He followed this with a similar police drama Nash Bridges. Since then, Johnson has been unstoppable when it comes to this acting prowess.
Long before Don Johnson became a household name, he was already involved in a plethora of romantic entanglements. After rising to stardom, his love life made it to the front pages and got him a lot of attention.
One would think the glitz and glam of Hollywood must have pushed Don into several failed marriages. The fact is, even before he began his career, he’d already walked down the aisle several times. Not to mention the several sordid affairs he managed to sneak in between them.
Two Decades Together
After years of searching for the right one, Don Johnson has finally managed to settle down and build a life with his fourth wife. His wife, a nursery school teacher named Kelly Phleger is 20 years his junior. When they got together two decades ago, there was a lot of controversy surrounding this shocking age difference.
Despite being the talk of the town, neither of them cared about the wide age gap between them. Their belief in their love really paid off because fast forward twenty years and the couple is still going strong. We hope their blissful marriage stands the test of time for many more decades to come.
Don Meets Kelly
Don Johnson and Kelly Phelger first met in 1996 at a birthday celebration for Mayor Millie Brown. After crossing paths at the event, they were introduced by a mutual friend. It seems like the sparks flew instantly because, within one year of meeting each other, the pair started dating.
Soon after that, the love birds made it official in 1998 with an engagement. Their wedding took place the following year. Mayor Brown presided over their star-studded wedding ceremony. Since then they have kept their relationship under wraps but social media posts suggest that they still love each other dearly.
Keeping It Private
After years of dating actresses, you’d think Don Johnson would marry someone a bit more well-known than a regular old Montessori teacher. But Kelly Phleger seems to be completely off the Hollywood radar. Despite their 20 year marriage, not much is known about Johnson’s wife.
Perhaps it’s a good thing that Kelly has kept their relationship and her life concealed from the paparazzi. It seems like she has no interest in being famous or earning a spotlight. His wife’s penchant for privacy must have rubbed off on Johnson as well.
It seems like his new wife has grounded him immensely because Johnson’s past hasn’t always been this unproblematic. Before settling down, Johnson was definitely a party animal who dabbled in his fair share of illegal substances.
Much like others in Hollywood, Johnson may even have struggled deeply with his reliance on these substances. Fortunately for him, he managed to sober up and get his act together. Whether it was Phleger’s love or his own dedication, he has successfully cleaned up and made a beautiful life for himself.
The Happy Family
When Johnson met Phleger, he had already fathered two children from his previous marriage. Despite having two kids, he was eager to build a family with her as well. Within one year of tying the knot, the pair welcomed their first child into the world.
Following their firstborn Grace, they gave birth to a son named Jasper. In 2006, they had another boy Deacon. This would complete their happy family of five. Judging from his social media posts, they’re a tight-knit and loving family unit.
Most Famous Marriage
Despite the longevity of Johnson’s relationship with Phleger, it’s not his most iconic and well-known entanglement. That title is reserved for his relationship and two marriages with the actress Melanie Griffith.
Griffith comes third in Johnson’s long line of matrimonial pursuits. The two met in the early ‘70s when Johnson was just starting as an actor. The two met when Johnson starred in The Harrad Experiment alongside Griffith’s mother. Despite the questionable age gap between them, sparks flew almost instantly.
Concerning Age Gap
Young Melanie Griffith was probably starstruck by the attention Don Johnson bestowed on her. And when we say young, we mean really, really young. The age gap between the two was downright scandalous. In fact, something like that wouldn’t fly in this day and age at all.
Fortunately for them, it was the early ‘70s and people didn’t care all that much about age differences. Perhaps that’s why Tippi, Griffith’s mom, was perfectly fine with her super young daughter moving in with an older man. Johnson was also in his heyday and probably considered quite a catch.
Don Ditches Groupies
After meeting Melanie Griffith, Johnson was no longer interested in his live-in relationship with Pamela Des Barres. Reportedly, Des Barres was an ardent groupie whom Johnson was living with at the time. There were rumors of a love affair between the two as well.
We can only imagine how Des Barres felt after being ditched by a much younger actress. But that’s how Hollywood actors work and she couldn’t do much about the whole situation. Perhaps she would have caused more of a stir if she realized that Johnson and Griffith’s age gap was almost illegal.
Ups and Downs
Despite the whirlwind romance between Johnson and Griffith, their relationship had its fair share of ups and downs. While the two got together when Griffith wasn’t even legal, they did wait for her to turn 18 before tying the knot. Johnson claimed that their bond was full of fire and they couldn’t wait to spend their lives together.
Even though the couple was eager to begin a new life, they somehow split up before the actual marriage. In 1975, there were rumors of a breakup, and Johnson was seen pursuing miss world, Marjorie Wallace. However, one night changed everything, and the couple reunited with renewed vigor.
Las Vegas and Bad Decisions
Even though Johnson and Griffith had expressed the desire to marry each other before, their actual marriage was nothing short of a shotgun wedding. According to Johnson, Griffith called him up one morning out of the blue and confessed that she loved him.
Johnson, a true romantic at heart, professed his love for her too and the two decided to elope. In true Hollywood fashion, they flew to Las Vegas and got married at once. It seems that they didn’t really think it through because just a few months after their wedding, the romance lost its appeal. Soon, Johnson had a third divorce on his hands.
On and Off Romance
You may think this was the end of the love affair between Johnson and Griffith but their love story is far from over. Even though their romance fizzled out they somehow found their way back to each other many years later.
No one knows what they were thinking but the couple decided to get married yet again. Instead of learning from past mistakes, the pair decided to give it another go. Unfortunately, their relationship didn’t fare any better than the last time they were together.
Not Meant to Be
To be fair, Johnson and Griffith’s second marriage was way more successful than their first. This time, it lasted for several years instead of a few months. Unfortunately, the old troubles must have made a comeback because their marriage dissolved eventually.
Their divorce proceedings took place in the mid-90s and this time they parted for good. Perhaps both Johnson and Griffith had grown up and realized they just weren’t meant to be together. The spark had died down and it was time for them to explore other options.
While the failure of their second marriage was disappointing, they had no regrets about the reunion. After all, it had blessed them with their precious daughter whom they named Dakota. Their daughter was born in the same year they got married.
As an adult, Dakota Johnson is an amazing actress in her own right. She decided to follow her parent’s career path and has found great success in it. The actress is most well known for her role in Fifty Shades of Grey. However, she has appeared in countless other dynamic roles and earned critical acclaim for her work since then.
The Other Wives
Melanie Griffith was Don Johnson’s first wife after he entered the limelight. Maybe that’s why little is known about his other matrimonial pursuits. What we do know is that Griffith was in fact the third person Johnson had married. Before she came two other women remain largely unknown.
The only thing that the public is privy to is that neither marriage lasted too long. As it turns out, Johnson’s previous marriages were annulled in a couple of days. It seems as if they were both spontaneous decisions that the actor deeply regretted later on.
While Johnson only had two serious marriages, the list of his love affairs is surprisingly long. In between marrying Griffith, divorcing her, and marrying her again, Johnson was busy with a lot of other women. One of his more notable relationships was with Patti D’Arbanville.
Surprisingly, their relationship lasted for a long time in the ‘80s. The two had been acquainted for several years before Patti made the first move. She thought she’d be wife number four and Johnson didn’t disagree. While they never got married, they did spend a lot of time together.
Juggling Multiple Relationships
It seems like Johnson was always involved with one woman or the other, perhaps even simultaneously. The night he started his passionate affair with D’Arbanville was also when he ended his romance with another lover, Tanya Tucker.
According to some, Tucker was even present at the time D’Arbanville approached Johnson and made her romantic intentions clear. The actor then had to choose between the two women and ended up going for D’Arbanville. Tucker was probably heartbroken after the encounter but there’s been no news about their broken relationship since then.
Soon after Johnson and D’Arbanville got together, they were shocked by news neither was ready to accept. The actress was pregnant with Jonson’s child. For him, it was really bad timing as he wasn’t ready to settle down with her.
Despite Johnson’s lukewarm attitude towards the news, Patti was firm about having the child. Johnson, too, agreed but made it clear that he wasn’t going to marry her because of it. Thankfully, Arbanville wasn’t eager for marriage either. In 1982, the young actors became parents to Jesse Wayne.
There was a deeper reason for D’Arbanville’s reluctance to settle down with Don Johnson. The early ‘80s was around the time Johnson had started abusing illegal substances. This potentially destructive behavior made Patti think twice about her relationship with him.
She witnessed Johnson losing control of himself and his life. Perhaps that was the push she needed to leave Johnson and teach him a lesson. Regardless of her affinity for Johnson, she had to make a difficult choice for their young and impressionable son.
Getting His Act Together
Fortunately, D’Arbanville didn’t have to take any drastic measures to turn Don’s life around. Johnson realized that all on his own. The actor admitted that he was struggling with substance abuse and was willing to get help for it. He also added that he needed Patti around to help him get his act together.
Turns out Johnson had a very determined spirit as it only took him a few weeks to become an all-new man. After ditching his bad habits, he was back to being the clean-cut charmer that he had always been. The change was also reflected in his career as he soon landed a big role in Miami Vice that changed his life forever.
Making Long Distance Work
Catching a role in one of the biggest series of his time propelled Johnson to fame. It had all been possible because of his 180-degree lifestyle change. While once he was a nobody in Hollywood, Miami Vice made him an absolute icon.
While the role was revolutionary for his career, it wasn’t too good for his new relationship. The show was filmed in Florida and Johnson had to relocate. This definitely put a strain on his relationship with D’Arbanville and his son. Unfortunately, long-distance wasn’t working out too well for the couple.
Romance at Work
The D’Arbanville saga may have given Johnson one child and one of his longest relationships but it wasn’t the only one he enjoyed. There are rumors that Johnson even got to the beautiful and enigmatic Jennifer Connelly when they starred together in The Hot Spot.
During the filming of this neo-noir film, Johnson was already hitting his 40s while Connelly was super young and fresh-faced. Clearly, Johnson’s penchant for young women struck again and no one at the time had any qualms about huge age gaps. The romance has never been confirmed by either of them.
The Barbra Streisand
After entering the big screen through Miami Vice, Johnson was officially part of the big leagues in Hollywood. This meant he courted his fair share of famous actresses and divas. One of them was Barbara Streisand whom he dated in the late 80s.
The two had been introduced at a Christmas party in aspen in the year ’87. Only a few months after the introduction, the two were officially a couple. They surely made a striking duo at the time. Unfortunately, they split up soon after due to reasons unknown.
The Power Couple
Both Don Johnson and Barbara Streisand were big names during the ‘80s. This meant that their relationship garnered a lot of publicity. While Johnson had earned acclaim for his work on Miami Vice, Streisand was already a music industry veteran.
Much like any modern-day power couple, the celebrities were fan-favorites. Magazines went crazy over their portraits and there were all sorts of rumors about a potential marriage. However, their ardent fans were probably disappointed when their relationship ended too soon. Just one year after getting together with Streisand, Johnson married his ex-lover Melanie Griffith.
Behind the Scenes Rumors
Apart from Barbra Streisand, the rumor mill also suggested a romance between Johnson and his co-star Susan Sarandon. The two had worked alongside each other in Sweet Hearts Dance. There was news that a budding romance may be in the works between them.
Perhaps the news was unfounded as just a few months after filming the dramedy, Johnson announced his relationship with Streisand. Since then, there have been no new revelations about Sarandon and Johnson being together. We suppose we’ll never know what went on behind the scenes!
Don Johnson had earned the title of a Casanova for a reason. Many of his relationships were short-lived and some can only be classified as brief trysts. One of these super-fast trysts is rumored to be with another co-star, Cybill Shepherd.
The pair starred in The Long Hot Summer in the ‘80s and their chemistry was easily noticeable. Reportedly, the sparks were so explosive that the two ended up in the bedroom soon enough. Shepherd confirmed this by calling their romance a “lightning-fast tryst.” It may have been short and sweet but it seemed to be quite fulfilling.
Just a Fling
Another fling under Johnson’s belt is his rumored romance with Donya Fiorentino. According to sources, it took place in 1983 when he was still committed to D’Arbanville. This scandalous news hasn’t ever been confirmed by anyone to this day.
In 1983, Fiorentino was a model who was just as problematically young as Melanie Griffith. We’ve already established that Johnson had a thing for younger women so this doesn’t seem too far off. However, soon after the alleged romance with Johnson, Fiorentino ended up in an unhappy marriage with Gary Oldman.
Being a Hollywood celebrity comes with its fair share of scandalous rumors and defamation attempts. While Johnson usually keeps all his affairs under wraps, he is sometimes forced to discredit rumors. For example, his relationship with The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle Staub is quite a controversial topic.
While Staub insists that the two made out once and didn’t take it farther, her ex-husband thinks otherwise. According to him, they had taken it a step further. Meanwhile, Johnson had vehemently denied any associated with Staub.
Small Screen Love
It seems as if Johnson’s good looks earned him a lot of favor among the ladies even before he was famous. Long before he made it big in Hollywood, he had a bunch of roles on the small screen. One of those roles was in a police drama called Nash Bridges.
During the filming, he obviously couldn’t help but start a relationship with one of his co-stars. This time it was Yasmine Bleeth. According to rumors, they got together in 1998 but nothing came of the romance. After 2000, Bleeth practically disappeared from the limelight and Johnson moved on to bigger and better things.
While filming Nash Bridges, Johnson’s love interest Bleeth had a lot of struggles of her own. It seems that she had developed substance abuse issues from her days in Baywatch. The problems stuck with her and were at their peak when she met Johnson.
Apparently, the bad habits were affecting her ability as an actress and she was losing a lot of work due to it. Johnson, who had struggled with the same thing in the past, probably didn’t want to fall back into that lifestyle. Perhaps that’s why the two never made it as a successful couple.
Questionable Dating Choices
One could argue the Johnson hasn’t been the smartest when it comes to his dating choices. Another example is when he was rumored to be dating his on-screen daughter Jodi Lyn O’Keefe. The two actors worked together on Nash Bridges and Johnson played her father.
Keefe was a central character in the show and got a lot of screentime. Clearly, she was young enough to portray Johnson’s daughter in the show. Despite that, it is said that they had a serious thing going on for some time. Clearly, the relationship didn’t really stand the test of time.
No Ring Might Be Just a Fling
According to some reports, O’Keefe and Johnson were involved in quite a serious relationship. Unlike his past trysts, there was hope that they’d even get engaged to each other. In the end, Johnson never put a ring on her finger and she became just another affair.
Perhaps it’s for the best that the couple didn’t rush to the altar. Considering Johnson’s history of failed marriages, it’s clear that he’s made that mistake before. It’s a wonder that his current marriage has lasted more than two decades and counting. Most of the actor’s other unions have ended within just six months.
Even in the 90s, Johnson’s romancing streak showed no signs of stopping. In 1995, he dated a model named Alexandra Kabi. This relationship, like many others, was short and sweet. But that’s not surprising since Kabi was French and barely knew any English. Don, on the other hand, was no expert in French either.
Despite this language barrier, Johnson somehow got through to her. Clearly, their passion was enough for a successful but brief union. Predictably things didn’t get too serious between them and neither seemed to mind parting ways.
More Where That Came From
Apart from the long list, we’ve already laid out, many others have been seen around with Johnson over the years. One of the notable names is adult model Kari Kennell who was spotted with Johnson in the mid-90s.
Lyn Whitfield has also made the list as there were rumors that the two shared a passionate affair back in the ‘70s. Businesswoman Donna Rice Hughes was seen with Johnson during the same era as well. Of course, these were just small dalliances that never went too far. Don has also allegedly dated Sally Adams at some point in the ‘80s.
During his marriage to Phleger, there have been rumors of Johnson seeing other women occasionally. While there hasn’t been much confirmation from his side, some of the evidence seems quite damning. In 2006, the actor was spotted several times with adult movie star Sofia Gucci.
The alleged affair took place in Italy where Johnson was filming Bastardi. According to numerous paparazzi pictures, Johnson and Gucci look a bit too close for comfort. What makes matters worse is that Gucci was only 19 years old at the time. This made Johnson 35 years her senior – a giant age gap that’s pretty on-brand for him.
Gucci’s manager chimed in on the rumors and confirmed that the two had been intimate with each other. However, they assured everyone that the fling was nothing serious. According to them, the couple had spent two hours in Gucci’s hotel room and then headed out to dinner.
There’s a serious implication that Johnson may have cheated on his wife during that time. Sofia Gucci was obviously aware that Johnson was a married man. Clearly, that did not deter either of them from doing what they wanted.
Marriage Going Strong
No one can know what happens behind closed doors. Johnson’s alleged infidelity seems to have not affected his happy marriage. Even if he was unfaithful in 2006, Phleger seems to have forgiven him for it. Apart from these pesky rumors of infidelity, the couple seems like they’re super happy and in love even after 20 years together.
Judging from the lovely posts on Johnson’s social media, there are no signs of separation or divorce on the horizon. Even if Johnson has given in to his philandering ways during their marriage, Phleger seems to have gotten over it. The trust between them seems strong and we’re glad Johnson has found his happy ending.
Focused on His Career
As Johnson has grown older, he has shifted all his focus onto his budding career. He may have earned fame a bit late but he’s making up for lost time with some major roles on the big screen. It seems like he has no time for love affairs anymore and his career is the primary goal.
In the year 2019, he landed a role on the hit superhero series Watchmen. Apart from that, he has appeared in critically acclaimed films such as Django Unchained. He is now living quite a blissful and private life with his wife and children.
Passing on the Fame
Don Johnson’s relationships may have been turbulent but some of them did leave him with things to treasure. These are of course his five children, some of whom have followed in his footsteps. Out of his five children, Jesse, Dakota, Jasper, Deacon, and Atherton Grace, there are a few very recognizable faces.
This is because some of his kids have carved out a name for themselves in the industry. Whether it was their father’s influence or their own passion, his kids are making waves in the industry. It seems that the family is quite close as well and routinely shows up at premiers to support each other.
Jesse Johnson is Don’s firstborn who was conceived with D’Arbanville. While his parents split up when he was just three years old, Johnson has managed to build a strong relationship with his father. Just like his dad, Johnson also starred in Nash Bridges back in 2001. In fact, it was his very first acting debut.
After that, he made a debut film in 2007 and has appeared in several movies and TV shows since then. Some of his notable appearances are in Killing Lincoln, Prey, and Word of Honor. The 36-year-old actor may not have a lot of mainstream acting credits under his belt but he’s committed to making it big in Hollywood.
Perhaps the most famous of the siblings is the actress Dakota Johnson. She has gathered fame only recently with her explosive role in Fifty Shades of Grey and her acting has impressed critics immensely. Since then she has appeared in sophisticated films such as Suspiria and earned a lot of critical acclaim.
However, Johnson has been acting since she was just ten years old. The 1999 movie Crazy in Alabama features ten-year-old Johnson alongside her mother. Today, she is best known for playing Anastasia Steele in the hit Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.
Dakota Johnson may have appeared on the big screen at the tender age of ten but her parents didn’t want to turn her into a child star. In fact, they told her she could only pursue acting after she finished high school.
After finishing school as her parents wanted, Johnson set out to carve a name for herself. One of her first roles after school was in the movie The Social Network. Apart from a few small roles here and there, her first big break was playing Anastasia Steele in the bold and steamy trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey.
During Dakota’s birth, Johnson was in the middle of filming a movie called The Hot Spot. Almost as soon as she opened her eyes, Dakota was introduced to the world of movies and showbiz. Since both her parents were actors, she was exposed to the fame and drama of Hollywood from a young age.
Her parents often took her to film sets where she watched them work their magic. Even Dakota’s maternal grandmother, Tippi Hedren, had been a decorated actress. You could say that it runs in the family for Dakota and we’re sure she’ll do many amazing things in the future.