General News

Nicolas Cage, Patricia Arquette: Divorcing!

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

The honeymoon in Vegas is over. (And apparently has been for a long, long time.)

Oscar-winning star Nicolas Cage and actress/wife Patricia Arquette are divorcing after nearly five years of marriage, Arquette's publicist confirmed today.

Arquette, Cage Cage, 36, filed the petition Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, citing the dreaded "irreconcilable differences." The split was described as "amicable" and "a mutual decision" by Arquette's rep, Simon Halls.

The real shocker is Cage's divorce petition: It says the couple separated just nine months after they wed -- roughly four years ago.

Rumors had been circulating about the couple's happiness for the past few years. While the two often were arm in arm at premieres and award shows, onlookers commented that they looked about as thrilled as siblings forced to share the backseat on a road trip. The two have subsequently been tight-lipped about their marriage, although Cage recently told Movieline "you don't just throw in the towel when there's any kind of a problem."

The couple, who recently co-starred in Martin Scorsese's "Bringing Out the Dead" met in 1987. Cage was so besotted that he was said to have immediately declared, "I love you, and I'm going to marry you."

She didn't believe him, so he asked her to put him on a "mission" to prove his love to her. Legend has it, Arquette, now 31, complied by giving him the most Herculean of scavenger hunts, demanding items such as a black orchid and reclusive author J. D. Salinger's autograph.

Cage succeeded in obtaining the autograph (for the record, there are no black orchids), which impressed -- and probably frightened -- Arquette, who told him to forget about the rest of the list. She agreed to go on a getaway to Cuba with him, but when the trip fell through and Cage's decidedly unattractive temper flared, Arquette split.

During their time apart, Cage squired actress Sarah Jessica Parker and model Kirsten Zang, to whom he was engaged until 1994. Arquette kept company with Christian Slater and Matthew McConaughey. They both also became parents, he to son Weston Coppola Cage, now 9, with his then-girlfriend Kristina Fulton; she to son Enzo, now 11, with Paul Rossi. The two remained close friends until they crossed paths again in 1995.

This time, after a Pamela Anderson-Tommy Lee-length courtship, it was love, and the two wed April 8, 1995. But it was Arquette who proposed, showing up at Cage's house dressed head to toe in black vinyl, carrying a big purple wedding cake.

"I knew I was with the right woman," Cage said in a TV interview.

One would think the match was one made in heaven (or at least Hollywood), since both Cage and Arquette have famous bloodlines. Arquette is the younger sister of Rosanna ("Desperately Seeking Susan") and older sister of David, the "Scream" actor married to Courteney Cox. Cage's lineage includes uncle Francis Ford Coppola. As a young actor, Cage dropped the family name and adopted the moniker of comic-book strongman Luke Cage.

Cage, whose scored his first leading role in 1983's "Valley Girl" and began garnering notice in "Peggy Sue Got Married," directed by his uncle, shot to the A-list when he won the 1995 Best Actor Oscar for "Leaving Las Vegas." Of late, he has gone onto fashion himself as a action star in flicks such as "The Rock," "Con Air" and "Face/Off."

Arquette is perhaps best known for heating up the screen with Slater in "True Romance" (1993).

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