The Couple Of The Year, Any Year

Give them just a wee bit of credit.

For two years, Jane Fonda and Ted Turner carried on a brazenly public courtship. Look! There they are nuzzling at the Moscow opening (a half century late) of "Gone With the Wind"! And at the Academy Awards! And at an Atlanta Braves game, even doing the Tomahawk Chop! Tanned, toned and telegenic, Jane and Ted were America's favorite fiftysomething power pair. The Saturday before Christmas, they finally got married-but in a subdued style neither is exactly known for. In a private ceremony attended by only 30 friends and relatives, the couple exchanged vows at Turner's Florida ranch. The press was barred, though two news helicopters buzzed by.

The marriage marks the mingling of two empires. He's a billionaire, she a mere multimillionaire. His is a global communications giant, the first place many Americans-and even more Europeans, Asians and Africans--turned to for reporting from both sides in the American war against Iraq. Hers is a mix of Hollywood stardom and fitness-video marketing genius. Fonda the actress won two Oscars and Fonda the activist showed up in Hanoi in 1972, yet she's now best known for those lithe leg kicks on the small screen.

Is this a match for the ages? Cynics will say Ted and Jane are simply in love with the possibility that as a couple, they're more than twice as famous as they were before. But with two failed marriages apiece, maybe their union stems from nobler motives. Could it be that they're really in love-with each other?