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11 Celebrity Couples Who Started Out as Platonic Best Friends

Allie Gemmill is an avid writer, cinephile, Ravenclaw, and pizza enthusiast. She regularly writes on film and television with a special focus on women’s involvement & influence in Hollywood. Additionally, she has bylines at Bustle, Keyfr...

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These famous couples were friends first

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These famous couples were friends first

All great relationships have to start somewhere, so why not with a solid friendship? 

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Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake

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Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake

Spears and Timberlake were friends long before they started dating in the late '90s. The two pop stars first met as young teens on the set of The Mickey Mouse Club, where they began their friendship and working relationship. It wasn't until they were a bit older and some time had passed that that friendship blossomed into an iconic romance. The pair eventually split in 2002 when Spears allegedly cheated on Timberlake with choreographer Wade Robson. 

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Elizabeth Taylor & Eddie Fisher

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Elizabeth Taylor & Eddie Fisher

One of the most infamous Hollywood couples began as friends — before it all went wrong. Elizabeth Taylor and husband Mike Todd were close friends with Fisher and his young bride Debbie Reynolds. The foursome grew close while Taylor was married to Todd; Reynolds and Taylor even developed their own close friendship. However, in the wake of Todd's death in an airplane crash, Taylor leaned on Fisher for support and to grieve during this difficult time. That friendship turned into something more, causing Fisher to leave Reynolds for Taylor. The couple eventually divorced in 1964 and Taylor quickly moved on to her Cleopatra co-star Richard Burton, whom she married twice.

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Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy

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Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy

The private romantic relationship is one of cinema's most iconic duos is largely off the record, with Hepburn only acknowledging the relationship after Tracy's death. The fiery on-screen duo starred in nine films together and remained close through Tracy's marriage, his alcoholism and their her career ups and downs. The two did begin as friends; however, it was a fiery beginning. They started as co-workers and reports vary, but it frequently sounds like Hepburn avoided getting involved with Tracy, a notorious womanizer by the time they met. Those feelings of hesitation, however, didn't last. The pair maintained a 20-year secret relationship (although it was an open secret in Hollywood). 

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Beyoncé & Jay Z

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Beyoncé & Jay Z

Surprise! Betcha didn't think Bey and Jay would have started out as friends first, huh? 

Well, these two iconic humans were in fact pretty friendly before they got romantic. Beyoncé has stated that she was 18 when she first met Jay Z, but they didn't actually start moving into the romantic lane until she was about 19. From there, the rest is history. The pair has been together since 2008 and they have three children. 

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Nina Dobrev & Ian Somerhalder

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Nina Dobrev & Ian Somerhalder

These Vampire Diaries co-stars were, according to Dobrev, "friends long before they started dating." Dobrev and Somerhalder began working together on The Vampire Diaries and got together shortly after the show's immediate success in 2010. The pair called it quits in 2013, and when Dobrev was asked about where she stood with Somerhalder after he married actor Nikki Reed, she told E!, "I've said this before, that we didn't break up because anything bad happened or because there wasn't love or friendship. I love him and the friendship is still strong and I think he's great and I care about him. And that didn't change. Yes, we're professional and that's fine. We were friends long before we dated and we still are now."

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Ariana Grande & Big Sean

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Ariana Grande & Big Sean

One of Ariana Grande's first high-profile relationships blossomed out of a friendly working relationship with rapper Big Sean. The pair collaborated on "Right There" in 2013 and spent a lot of time together as the single became a hit and they began performing it at major events. By December 2013, the two were performing "Right There" at Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve and Big Sean had already called off his engagement to Naya Rivera. By the time the 2014 MTV VMA's rolled around, the two were spotted holding hands backstage. The two didn't stay together long; they broke up in 2015.

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Gwen Stefani & Blake Shelton

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Gwen Stefani & Blake Shelton

Shelton and Stefani, an unconventional couple to be sure, started out as workplace buddies. According to E!'s timeline, Stefani joined The Voice in April 2014, where she and Shelton — along with coaches Adam Levine and Pharrell Williams — worked together for most of the year. Both were still married when Stefani first started posting selfies of them together in December 2014. They appeared platonic yet loving — arguably the seeds of something bigger were being planted. Happily, this couple is still going strong in 2017.

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Kim Kardashian & Kanye West

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Kim Kardashian & Kanye West

The two were friends for the longest time before the major power couple came together in romantic harmony. West was friends with Kardashian for nine years before they finally got together shortly after Kardashian divorced her second husband, Kris Humphries. The two met when Kardashian was married to her first husband, Damon Thomas, but West kept it friendly. The two kept running into each other over the years and stayed cool with one another before they began dating and West eventually proposed in 2013. They've been married since 2014.

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Jada Pinkett Smith & Will Smith

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Jada Pinkett Smith & Will Smith

Will Smith met his future wife Jada Pinkett Smith when she auditioned for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. While Jada didn't get the part because she was too short — for shame, Fresh Prince casting department! — the two struck up a friendship. This evolved into a full-fledged relationship, and in 1997, the two were married and are still married to this day. 

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Kate Middleton & Prince William

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Kate Middleton & Prince William

It turns out, Prince William and Kate Middleton were friends before they ever got together. According to a 2010 Vanity Fair article, the pair ended up living in the same dormitory at St. Andrews University in Scotland while undergrads there. They ran in the same circles and were interested in a variety of similar activities, but it wasn't until Prince William and Kate were in their second year that things took off.

As a mutual friend recalls, Prince William ended up attempting to put the moves on her after knowing her for a while, and he clearly didn't mind that she was dating someone else. "It was clear to us that William was smitten with Kate," a friend recalled, discussing the night Prince William made his first move. "He actually told her she was a knockout that night, which caused her to blush. There was definitely chemistry between them, and Kate had really made an impression on William. She played it very cool, and at one point when William seemed to lean in to kiss her, she pulled away. She didn’t want to give off the wrong impression or make it too easy for Will." The two eventually did get together, and after a few bumps in the road, they finally married in 2011 and have two children: Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

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