Famous Duos

Famous Duos of the Past:  What Happened to them?

Some of the famous duos of the past have entertained like no single act could have ever done.  Some stayed together, some drifted apart, and some famous duos of the past went through high profile breakups that were publicity nightmares.  In this article, we will take a close look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of the duos of the past.


Simon and Garfunkel - One of the essential groups of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and one of folk rock’s most successful groups of all time, Simon and Garfunkel enjoyed success as both singers and songwriters.  Their songs, “Sound of Silence”, “Mrs. Robinson”, and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” helped them to reach the peak of their success by 1970.  By this time, the two had grown tired of working with each other, and they decided to take a break from singing together. Eventually, the temporary break turned into a permanent breakup, with only a few concerts periodically performed together.

Sonny and Cher - In the middle to late 1960’s, the married couple of Sonny and Cher became household names and sex symbols for the hippie generation.  Their most famous song “I Got You Babe” won them widespread fame and is still widely recognizable to this day by members of all generations due to its inclusion in a wide variety of movies and television programs.  When their musical career began to fade, Sonny and Cher tried to revive their careers by a short-lived and largely unsuccessful attempt at starring in a couple of movies together.  They did have a successful run at a television show together, but when their marriage failed publicly in 1974, they parted ways professionally as well.  Cher went on to success as a movie star, and Sonny Bono became a Congressman from California until his untimely death in a skiing accident in 1998.


Cheech and Chong-  Possibly one of the most recognized comic duos since the 1970’s.  Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong have filled television and movie screens with acts of stupidity and excessive drug and alcohol consumption.  Cheech and Chong’s first full length movie was “Up In Smoke”.  The movie debuted in 1978 and is even recognized by today’s newer generations.  In 1985, the duo went separate ways.  Cheech Marin went on to participate in the Disney film known as Oliver And Company, The Lion King, Cars and Nash Bridges to name a few.  Tommy Chong, also making an attempt at a solo career, participated in movies such as Far Out Man and Half Baked.  He also played the role of Leo on That 70’s Show.  In 2000, the duo reunited for the popular television series South Park and have worked together on a limited basis since.

Laurel and Hardy-  This is another one of those duos that is still a part of popular culture to this day.  The duo joined in the 1920’s and were seen together into the 1950’s.  They acted together in both silent and talking short films and feature length films, including Lucky Dog, Sons of the Desert, Way Out West, and Block-Heads.  The comedy duo stayed together until health problems prevented them from performing any longer.

Abbott and Costello - “Who’s on First?”  These words best characterize the memory of Abbott and Costello as their most famous routine, still repeated to this day in television and films.  Their careers saw them moving through the burlesque stage, to radio, and finally to television.  From 1936 until their amicable split in 1957, the pair was widely known as the kings of comedy.

Famous duos have entertained us for years, and the memory of some of these most famous duos will live on in popular culture.  As they say, all good things come to an end, but their contributions to society will endure.