Secret Celebrity Marriage Proposals

2/10/2006 12:57 PM PST

Secret Celebrity Marriage Proposals

We've all heard how Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes, but other celebrity marriage proposals that were -- dare we say -- more unusual, went under the radar. Here are five fun celebrity marriage proposals.

What happened next: Denzel and Pauletta married on June 25, 1983. They have four children: John, 21; Katia, 18; and twins Malcolm and Olivia, 14. The couple renewed their marriage vows in 1995, with the Archbishop Desmond Tutu presiding over the ceremony.

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Denzel Washington

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor

The proposal: On Nov. 5, 1999, Ben Stiller had all the right intentions. While Christine Taylor was away at a movie, Stiller entered her home and decorated it with candles and rose petals. When Taylor returned, Stiller was down on one knee and promptly proposed. Ah, but there was a snag. Stiller left the engagement ring in his knapsack in Taylor's bedroom. But his good intentions were rewarded with a "yes!"

What happened next: Stiller and Taylor were married May 13, 2000. They have two children: daughter Ella, 3, and son Quinlin, 7 months.

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Ben Stiller
Christine Taylor
Brendan Fraser and Afton Smith

The proposal: Brendan Fraser was a little too clever for his own good when he proposed to actress Afton Smith. In 1997, while the couple stood on a bridge overlooking the Seine River in Paris, Fraser took a Polaroid of himself and Smith. Just before the picture was taken, Fraser opened his jacket, revealing a note pinned inside that said, "Will you marry me, Afton?"

After the picture developed, the words were just too small to read. So Fraser opened his jacket again, Smith saw the note and immediately said "yes."

What happened next: Fraser and Smith were married on Sept. 27, 1998. They have two sons: Griffin, 3, and Holden, 18 months.


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Brendan Fraser
Afton Smith

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown

The proposal: For volatile couple Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, one engagement ring wasn't enough. Brown proposed to Houston after they returned home from dinner. He initially took out a small ring, and Houston said "yes." Then he took out an even bigger ring, and as Houston said later in a Ladies Home Journal interview, "I was so surprised that I cried harder."

Aftermath: What to say? They married on July 18, 1992. They have one child together, Bobbi Kristina, 12. They've endured through rehab, arrests, more rehab, more arrests. The drama continues.

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Whitney Houston
Bobby Brown


Travis Barker and Shanna Moakler

The proposal: Travis Barker's heavily tattooed, punked-out look makes him kinda scary, so how appropriate that he popped the question to former Miss USA/Playboy Playmate Shanna Moakler at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. The former Blink-182 drummer said in an interview that he paid off the elevator operator so that he and Moakler could be alone for the magic moment. He got down on one knee and proposed, and Moakler said "yes." But Moakler then surprised Barker with her own down-on-one-knee proposal and engagement ring for him. See them talk about the proposal (video).

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Travis Barker
Shanna Moakler