Real and fantasy: These Houston and Texas power couples are the stuff of legend

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 02: Joel and Victoria Osteen visit SiriusXM Studios on April 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images) (Santiago Felipe, 2019 Santiago Felipe)

HOUSTON – These are some of the couples with storied pasts in Houston and Texas. Some come from reality and others from the imaginations of creative folks with an eye on the Lone Star State.

From fact

President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush

The former president and his wife lived in Houston after his political career ended in 1993. Though Bush was known “a scion of the East Coast establishment, a product of Greenwich, Conn., Phillips Academy and Yale University,” the Wall Street Journal noted, he lived the rest of his life until his death at 94 in Houston, his adopted home. They were often seen out-and-about in town and at Astros baseball games.

U.S. President George HW Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush share a laugh on stage during one of their Inaugural Balls on Jan. 20, 1989. (CNP/Getty Images))

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush reside in Dallas, but they also have a ranch in Crawford, Texas, seen here in this article from Architectural Digest.

(Getty Images)

Joel and Victoria Osteen

Lakewood Church pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen live in River Oaks in Houston. The couple met at a jewelry shop and got married in 1987. The couple is now at the helm of the megachurch in Houston and are televangelists around the world via their broadcasts and books.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 02: Joel and Victoria Osteen visit SiriusXM Studios on April 02, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images) (2019 Santiago Felipe)

Tony Buzbee and Frances Moody

Attorney Tony Buzbee and Frances Moody married in 2021. The Houston couple lives in River Oaks.

Tony Buzbee and Francis Moody (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for The Denali Foundation)

Jim “Mattress Mack” and Linda McIngvale

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale and his wife, Linda McIngvale, are fixtures in Houston. Through their business, Gallery Furniture, and occasional mention in the news -- for things like helping facilitate the rescue of a tiger -- the prominent couple remain a household name in the Houston area.

HOUSTON, TX - MAY 04: Honorees Linda McIngvale (L) and Jim McIngvale attend the Fifth Annual UNICEF Gala Houston 2018 at The Post Oak Houston on May 4, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images for UNICEF) (2018 Getty Images)
Linda McIngvale, the wife of Jim ‘Mattress Mack’ McIngvale, assists in the recovery of India the tiger

Carlos Correa and Daniela Correa

Astros star Carlos Correa and his pageant queen wife Daniela Correa married in 2019 and the couple gave birth to their first child in 2021. They reportedly live in the Hyde Park area of Montrose.

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and his wife Daniella Correa Rodriguez are expecting their first child. (KPRC)
Daniella and Carlos Correa (Correa Family Foundation)
Daniella Rodriguez, former Miss Texas, talks to Houston Astros' Carlos Correa after Game 7 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Astros won 5-1 to win the series 4-3. Correa proposed to Rodriguez after the game. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Daniella Rodriguez, former Miss Texas shows off her engagement ring after Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa purposed after Game 7 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Astros won 5-1 to win the series 4-3 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Jose and Nina Altuve

The Astros slugger and his wife Nina and their two children live in Houston. The couple has been married since 2006.

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros poses with his wife, Nina, and his daughter after they defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-0 in Game Six of the American League Championship Series to advance to the World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall

Famed model and star of “The Anna Nicole Show” Anna Nicole Smith and oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II lived in a Houston-area home during their short marriage. In 1994, Smith and Marshall married. She was 26. He was 89. He died less than two years later.

American TV personality and model Anna Nicole Smith, who first gained popularity in Playboy, becoming the 1993 Playmate of the Year, is born Vickie Lynn Hogan in Houston, Texas. She would also become known for her highly publicized second marriage to oil business mogul J. Howard Marshall, 62 years her senior; her E! reality TV show "The Anna Nicole Show"; and her Feb. 8, 2007, death by prescription drug overdose. (Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
A photograph of Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall II sits next to Marshall's casket. Anna Nicole Smith attends the memorial service for her husband J. Howard Marshall, who died at age 90. The memorial takes place on August 8, 1995, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Greg Smith/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Chris Shepherd and Lindsey Folger Brown

Houston restauranteur Chris Shepherd and public relations expert Lindsey Folger Brown live and work in Houston. The couple married in 2020. Shepherd continues his efforts to help restaurant workers through Southern Smoke. Folger Brown’s public relations firm, Lindsey Brown Public Relations, has clients in the high-end restaurant industry, including her husband’s publicity work.

Chris Shepherd (John Davidson)
Lindsey Brown and Chris Shepherd (Erin Woolsey)

Justin Verlander and Kate Upton

Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and model Kate Upton are renting a home in Houston. The couple married in a lavish wedding in Italy in 2017. Since then, Upton gave birth to a baby girl, Genevieve Upton Verlander, in 2018.

Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros celebrates with model Kate Upton and the MVP trophy after defeating the New York Yankees by a score of 4-0 to win Game Seven of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park.
Astros pitcher Justin Verlander and family, via wife Kate Upton's Instagram (Kate Upton via Instagram)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros celebrates with fiancee Kate Upton after the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Alex and Reagan Bregman

Houston Astros star Alex Bregman and Reagan Bregman married in December 2020. The couple lives in Houston.

Reagan Howard shares her engagement with Astros player Alex Bregman on her Instagram account. (Instagram @reaganelizabeth)
Alex Bregman and fiancee Reagan Howard on partnership with the Houston Food Bank | HOUSTON LIFE | KPRC 2
Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and Reagan Howard have tied the knot, according to the bride’s Instagram account. (KPRC)
Reagan and Alex Bregman share how you can get your hands on ‘Breggy Bomb’ salsa | HOUSTON LIFE | KPRC 2

Clyde Champion Barrow and Bonnie Parker

Clyde Champion Barrow and Bonnie Parker are the infamous outlaws who murdered a number of people during various robberies in the 1930s. Bonnie and Clyde met in Texas in January 1930. Here’s a fascinating report from the FBI on their crimes and their eventual deaths in 1934 when authorities ambushed them in Louisiana, firing on their vehicle and ending their crime spree across the South.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow (FBI)

Chip and Joanna Gaines

The ‘Fixer Upper’ duo from Waco are now media moguls. Their journey from stars of HGTV to revamping the DIY Network to Magnolia Network has made them a household name that goes beyond shiplap and white paint. The couple married in 2003. They have five children together.

This image released by Magnolia Network shows Chip and Joanna Gaines from the sixth season of "Fixer Upper." Magnolia Network, a joint venture between the Gaines' and Discovery, Inc. will launch on July 15. (Lisa Petrole/Magnolia Network via AP) (© 2020 Magnolia Discovery Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.)

To fiction

J.R. and Sue Ellen Ewing

If you love “Dallas,” you loved watching the ups and downs of the love story of J.R. and Sue Ellen. Take a turn down their love lane -- with all of its speed bumps -- here.

J.R. (Larry Hagman) and Sue Ellen (Linda Gray). (2006 Getty Images)
A group portrait of the Ewing family from the U.S. television soap opera 'Dallas', circa 1980. Standing, left to right: Bobby (Patrick Duffy), Pam (Victoria Principal), Jock (Jim Davis, 1909 - 1981), Lucy (Charlene Tilton), J.R. (Larry Hagman) and Sue Ellen (Linda Gray). Seated: Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes, 1922 - 2005) (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) (2006 Getty Images)

Sissy and Bud

In “Urban Cowboy,” Sissy and Bud are in love with the Houston area as the backdrop. The movie tells the story of the young couple who marry and then have a turbulent relationship as independent Sissy and traditional Bud attempt to make their way. There’s also a mechanical bull competition.

CIRCA 1980: Actor John Travolta and Debra Winger talk in a scene during the Paramount Pictures movie 'Urban Cowboy" circa 1980. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) (2014 Getty Images)

Who did we miss? Let us know in the comments.


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.