Cher’s Many Men

Over the decades, Cher has been as well known for her romances as she is for her fierce sense of style and her hit songs. The singer and actress, who turns 70 on May 20, has had love affairs with everyone from her original singing partner and first husband, Sonny Bono, to Tom Cruise and Warren Beatty. Take a look back at the many men who have had the honor of being linked to the superstar.

Sonny Bono 

Cher met her most famous love when she was 16, not long after quitting school and leaving her unhappy home for Los Angeles. Sonny Bono, then 27, was separated from his wife and trying to become a big-time singer. “I swear to God, the moment I saw Sonny, everyone else in the room disappeared,” Cher told Parade in November 2010. “He was the coolest guy ever.” The two began singing together, and she moved in with him, although they kept their relationship professional for awhile. (Initially, she was also supposed to be his housekeeper, and he told her he didn’t find her “very attractive.”) But Sonny changed his mind and went in for a kiss during a movie night. They married in 1964, welcomed daughter Chastity in 1969 (who at age 40, transitioned to life as a man and now goes by Chaz), and then separated in 1974, with Sonny citing “irreconcilable differences.” Though their divorce was ugly at times, they eventually forged a friendship. Cher campaigned for him in 1987, when he successfully ran for mayor of Palm Springs, Calif., and, more importantly, she gave the eulogy at Sonny’s funeral after he died in a skiing accident in January 1998. (Photo: Getty Images)

David Geffen 

Cher’s next love was record producer David Geffen, whom she met in the ’60s while working with Phil Spector but didn’t connect with until November 1973 while going through her divorce. In fact, it was Geffen who helped Cher fight her way out of her contracts that enabled Bono to control her career. But their relationship was more than business. “I was the first person to share his bed and to share his life,” Cher said of the three-years-older and openly gay Geffen in the 2001 biography The Operator. “People don’t believe that, or they don’t want to believe it, or they don’t understand how it could be. But we were really crazy about each other.” They even talked about marrying, but Cher eventually called things off in favor of a new relationship. Geffen was so upset by Cher’s decision to leave that he “could not get out of bed some days,” according to the book. (Photo: Getty Images)

Gregg Allman 

Just five days after Cher’s divorce from Bono was final, the 30-year-old “Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves” singer was ready to walk down the aisle again — or so she thought. She had met rocker Gregg Allman, 27, at one of his shows in 1973. “She smelled like I would imagine a mermaid would smell,” he wrote in his 2012 book, My Cross to Bear. They married in Las Vegas in 1975. Cher’s relationship with Allman almost ended nine days later, when she filed for divorce, mostly because of his problems with drugs and alcohol. Despite that, Cher reconciled with her husband within a month. The following year, he was ready to end things but thought better of it after she announced she was pregnant with his son, Elijah Blue. In 1977, Cher and Allman broke up for good, but not before releasing a duets album, Two the Hard Way, which flopped. (Photo: Getty Images)

Gene Simmons 

Cher met Gene Simmons after her daughter, Chastity, asked her to get the Kiss rocker’s autograph at a party. In October 1979, People published a story titled “Cher’s Life With Gene,” which detailed her “approaching domesticity” with the notorious ladies’ man. He gushed about loving her kids, although he wasn’t a kids kinda guy, and she opened up about the freedom she gave him. “I’m going through a very liberated phase right now. I think I have a very masculine attitude to dating,” she told the magazine. “Gene might spend time with another woman and stay the night, but he wants her to leave in the morning so he can get on with his day.” However, Simmons later found a woman whom he didn’t want to leave his side. “One Christmas I asked [Cher] what I should buy her, and she said, ‘Call my friend Diana Ross. She will tell you exactly what I like, as she is my best friend.’” he told Notebook magazine in 2015. “So I called Diana up, and we went shopping. Then our feelings for each other developed very fast, and we started a relationship together.” Nice friend, eh? But don’t worry — Cher wasn’t alone for very long. (Photo: Getty Images)

Les Dudek 

The glam songstress just couldn’t stop herself from falling for musicians, and six-years-younger guitarist Les Dudek became the next. He was a session musician who teamed up with Cher and a few others to form a rock band, Black Rose, that she wanted for her next album back in the days of Blondie and Heart. Unfortunately for Cher, their 1980 album was a dud, and the relationship didn’t fare much better. By 1982, she had moved on. He continued to play for artists such as Stevie Nicks and the Steve Miller Band. (Photo: Getty Images)

Ron Duguay 

For a brief time in 1982 — reportedly as little as a month — Cher had the heart of New York Rangers playboy Ron Duguay. People referred to the man, who’d spent time with Farrah Fawcett, Cheryl Tiegs, and many others, as the Romeo of the Rink. Cher — 11 years his senior — spoke of Duguay with concern during a chat with Andy Warhol in his Interview magazine that year. “When I met Ron, I thought he’s wonderful. He and I are similar in one respect that he’s younger and I’ve gone through it for a longer time. We both came from small places to someplace where you became famous overnight,” Cher, a native of a small town in California, said. “It’s really difficult to deal with fame and superficial people who think you’re beautiful, and girls who want to f*** you so that they can say, ‘I f***ed Ron Duguay,’ and somehow that makes them better or more legitimate, or it gives credence to their existence.” She added, “There is something beautiful inside him.” (Photo: Getty Images)

Eric Stoltz

In one of Cher’s more memorable performances, she played the mother of Rocky Dennis in the true story of his struggle with a rare disorder that caused his face to be deformed. Her son was portrayed by actor Eric Stoltz, who was 15 years younger. It was widely reported that the onscreen mother and son dated, but Cher, for one, took issue with that in a September 1984 letter written to the editors of People and published in the magazine. “Today I picked up your magazine expecting to find accuracy, intelligence and unbiased reporting. Imagine my surprise!” she wrote. In response, the mag wrote, “In a Startrack in the Aug. 13 issue, People linked Cher with Eric Stoltz. They are not dating, nor was Stoltz the actor Cher proposed for her leading man in [upcoming movie] Grandview, U.S.A. We apologize for the errors.” Still, Stoltz was undoubtedly important to the star, whatever happened between them. In 2014, she tweeted, “Saw #ERICSTOLTZ On [Law & Order] last nite, He Was GREAT LIKE In Mask. He’ll Never no how important He was 2Me. HE Didn’t Have 1 Fake Sec. A+, Me B+.” (Photo: Getty Images)

Val Kilmer 

Before Val Kilmer played beach volleyball in Top Gun and long before he put on the Batman suit, he dated Cher. Kilmer, who’s nearly 14 years younger than his former girlfriend, dated Cher for the better part of a year in 1984. Cher and the Hollywood newbie met at a birthday party that Silkwood co-star Meryl Streep threw for Cher. She had rave reviews for the up-and-coming Kilmer during a People interview the next year. “Val is terrific but sometimes it’s just too intense and hot,” she said. “It’s come the closest to working.” Kilmer, she noted, had four key qualities: “sensitive, artistic, humor and he is a great kisser. My rule of thumb, and it’s never failed me, is if a man’s a good kisser he’s a great f***.” OK then. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tom Cruise 

Kilmer’s co-star in Top Gun (1986), Tom Cruise, 23, was the 39-year-old Cher’s next paramour, for a few months some time in the mid ’80s. “He was shy,” she recounted to Oprah in 2008. “He said he felt like such a boob in school and nobody talked to him. We went on a date once for dinner in a New York restaurant, and the waitress was from his old school. He told me she never talked to him back in school, but now [that] he was recognized, he got all her attention.” She added, “It could have been a great big romance because I was crazy for him.” However, busy schedules didn’t make things easy. They said goodbye after a few months, when Cruise met future wife Mimi Rogers. Still, in 2013, Cher said Cruise “was in the top five” of her all-time greatest lovers. “It was pretty hot and heavy for a little minute,” she said on Watch What Happens Live. “He’s a great guy. The person that I knew was a great and lovable guy.” (Photo: Globe Photos)

Josh Donen 

The introduction of Cher and her next offscreen leading man was like something out of a rom-com: He found her “antisocial,” and she thought he was “rude.” Donen was the agent of Cher’s then-boyfriend, Val Kilmer. Later, they reconnected over a potential business project and fell in love. By March 1985, People reported that Cher, 38, and Donen, 29, had been together for six months and were very open about their relationship. Cher said Donen “has the best strengths of all the men I’ve been with.” And he returned the compliment. “I am lucky to have found one of the rare people,” he gushed. “She is attractive, lively, intelligent, dynamic, funny, interesting, vulnerable, pained, and happy. Falling in love with Cher has really connected me and the world, filled all the holes in my life.” They were over by 1986. (Photo: Getty Images)

Rob Camilletti 

Cher was a superstar by the time she took Rob Camilletti (aka the Bagel Boy) as a lover, reportedly having met him during her 40th birthday celebration. Camilletti, who was 18 years younger than the singer-actress, romanced Cher during the Moonstruck era and was given his nickname because of the day jobs he kept while trying to make it as an actor. Despite their age difference — and maybe because of it, since Cher once called him the “easiest involvement” she’d ever had — they stayed together for nearly three years. In 2010, Cher told Parade that Camilletti had been “torn apart by the media,” but that the two remained “best friends.” He was, she noted, “totally worthwhile.” She gave him even higher praise in 2013 on SiriusXM’s The Marc and Myra Show, when she named him as her one true love. (Photo: Getty Images)

Richie Sambora 

When Cher began dating Richie Sambora in 1989, the singer turned actress decided to take a different approach to her new relationship: Keep it quiet. Cher and the Bon Jovi guitarist — who was 13 years younger — met when he produced her self-titled album, Cher, but they reportedly didn’t get together until years later. “I’m not talking about it. I’m not,” she told People in 1991. However, she did allude to the difficulties of dating while being so high-profile. “It would be very difficult to be Mr. Cher,” she told the magazine, “For the last couple of years, I haven’t had much time for a private life.” Their romance didn’t last much longer, and it was rumored that Sambora’s rock star life and womanizing ways were to blame. “Basically, what happened was both of us [were] so busy, me being in Bon Jovi … and Cher doing her movies, and doing her tours, and her stuff … we found it hard to come together,” he said on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1992. “That was the reason that basically, it kind of… messed up in the first place. But we’re talking now, we’re talking. We still have fun together… we still always have a good relationship, although it didn’t work out in that particular aspect.” (Photo: Getty Images)

Tim Medvetz 

A match made in… hell? Cher and Hell’s Angel Tim Medvetz dated in 2008 after being introduced by friends. The duo, who apparently bonded over their love for Harley Davidson motorcycles, were together on and off for a couple of years. They reconciled in 2012, and it was rumored in the summer of that year that they were engaged. Despite tabloid speculation that a Las Vegas wedding was imminent, her rep denied there was truth to the rumor. Cher and Medvetz split up about a year later. “I just broke up with someone, but I need a little bit of a break,” Cher told Notebook magazine in September 2013. “I don’t believe in going from one [relationship] to another — I have girlfriends that won’t leave someone they’re with until they have someone to move on to, and you just can’t do that.” (Photo: X17online.com)

Ron Zimmerman 

During one of Cher’s “off-again” stages with her Hell’s Angel, she dated TV writer Ron Zimmerman, whose credits include episodes of Charles in Charge and 7th Heaven. They were together for about a year in 2010. The Burlesque star revealed on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno that they connected on Facebook after she became intrigued by his “strange” profile. “[On my friend’s page], there was this really funny guy, who said the weirdest things. Like, under religion, it said ‘Zeus.’ He’s very strange but the funniest person you ever met,” she exclaimed. She later told Parade, “Ron is short, a bit scraggly, like an absent-minded professor. He’s the funniest person I have ever met, and the most eccentric — so bizarre and kind and very special.” She also declared that she had no regrets about her high-profile loves. “I enjoyed them all!” she exclaimed. “I never felt I chose badly, and I was always happy when the next man came along. I can usually last about two years with a man, and that’s it. The moment the relationship goes into the phase of more commitment, it changes.” (Photo: Facebook)

Warren Beatty, right, and Eric Clapton 

Count Cher among the many Hollywood conquests of Warren Beatty and Eric Clapton. With Beatty, Cher has said they had a one-night stand when she was 16 and he was 25, dating actress Natalie Wood. “I did it because my girlfriends were crazy about him and so was my mother. I saw Warren, he picked me up, and I did it. And what a disappointment!” she recalled to Playboy. “Not that he wasn’t technically good, or could be good, but I didn’t feel anything. So, for me, I felt, there’s no reason for you to do that again.” As for Clapton, she confirmed that he was also on her list of lovers during an interview with David Letterman in 2010. The U.K.’s Daily Mail speculated that their hookup happened in 1995, when they were two of the many musicians who collaborated on the charity single “Love Can Build a Bridge.” (Photo: Getty Images)

Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando 

However, Cher does regret missing out on a couple of love affairs that could’ve been. The singer has mentioned several times that she wishes she would have taken Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando as lovers when they propositioned her. The subject once came up during that aforementioned 2010 appearance on Late Show With David Letterman, as the host went down a list of her alleged loves. When he got to Elvis, who’s 11 years older than Cher, she said, “Almost. I got nervous, yeah.” So she had never gone out with him? “No, but I wish that I had,” Cher said. “Marlon Brando too — I wished I had.” Brando would have fallen on the older end of Cher’s lovers, since he was 22 years her senior. Either of them could’ve had a real “Burning Love,” for a couple of years anyway. (Photo: Getty Images)