By Elizabeth Snead, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Mae West once said, Its not the men in my life that counts. Its the life in my men.
Madonna could say pretty much say the same.
Our Material Girl has enjoyed a cornucopia of exciting, accomplished men from the high-profile worlds of politics, entertainment and sports over the last three decades.
Shes rumored to have gone from American royalty John Kennedy Jr. to exhibitionist former NBA star Dennis Rodman, from the reclusive Prince to public illusionist David Blaine, from surly actor Sean Penn to press-phobic actor Warren Beatty.
Now, at 50, she’s about to reinvent her world again. After more than seven years of marriage, she’s running from the chilly clutches of her British director-husband, Guy Ritchie into, it is rumored, the well-muscled arms of New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez.
Let’s take a look back at Madonnas main men, a few dalliances and some of her gal pals. Maybe we can discover a pattern or preference among her continually changing romantic interests. Perhaps we can even tell whether Madonna really does have a type.
This much is certain. What’s the one thing Madonna doesn’t want from a partner? Boredom.
If you believe the book Madonna: Like an Icon, Madonna wanted to have Tupac Shakurs baby. She briefly dated the Thug Life rapper in 1995, a year before his murder. Apparently, Tupacs home girls encouraged him to break up with Madonna before child. (WireImage)
In 1990, Madonna turned her attentions to Tony Ward, a bisexual model and porn star who starred in her music videos for “Cherish” (1989) and “Justify My Love” (1990). Their relationship was short lived. Kinda like his fame. (WireImage)
Keep it brief
Madonna reportedly dated Mark (Marky Mark) Wahlberg back when he was just a Calvin Klein briefs model. And if you have to ask why, then you dont remember those underwear ads. (WireImage)
Ice, Ice baby
Madonna had an eight-month-long hookup with rapper Vanilla Ice, who appeared in her infamous Sex photo book. His career didnt last much longer than their relationship. He told USA Today, “She would call me at strange hours, ‘Are you in bed with another girl?’ At 6 in the morning, man, I’m like, ‘I’m ... sleeping all alone. (WireImage)
I kissed a girl
Boy, Jenny Shimizu really got the hot babes. Not only did the tattooed out lesbian fashion model date Angelina Jolie, but shes also rumored to have also hooked up with Madonna back in 1993. Here she is, 10 years later with gal pal Ione Skye. I dont get the appeal, do you? (WireImage)
Madonna is said to have hooked up with Black Flag punk rocker Henry Rollins back in the 80s. And well, why not? Hes got tattoos and that seems to be a running theme for many of Madonnas mates. (WireImage)
Madonnas first Rod
Madonna dated bad boy basketball player Dennis Rodman in the mid-1990s. She told USA Today, “I love Dennis Rodman. He’s hot. I adore him. He’s a rebel, the Madonna of the NBA.” Rodman recalled that their relationship began when she looked him over and said, “Youre staying with me, in my room. Clearly, not a meeting of the minds . (WireImage)
Rumor has it that Prince (pictured in yellow jacket) and Madonna were once lovers. Im thinking not. Sure, hes talented and charismatic but hes also small and slight. Thats so not her somatotype. (WireImage)
Madonna met Sean Penn in 1985 during filming of her Material Girl music video and married him that year. They had what he recalls as a loud marriage and divorced in 1989. Curiously, he texted his ex-wife this year after his first man kiss for his role as murdered gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk in, duh, Milk. (WireImage)
Getting to third base
Madonnas longtime manager Guy Oseary attended her Malawi fundraiser this year with his other high-profile client, Alex Rodriguez. The New York Yankees hunk was reportedly spending late nights with Madonna, got a quick divorce from the mother of his two young daughters and is rumored to be the Material Girl’s new Kabbalah spiritual pal. Did we mention that Guy Ritchie’s son Rocco has been wearing a Yankees T-shirt? Ouch. (WireImage)
Esai Morales reportedly dated Madonna in 1988, shortly after he was photographed with Catherine Oxenberg in 1987. So many years ago, Esai may not even remember. Bet Madonna doesnt either. (WireImage)
Madonna and rocker Lenny Kravitz, seen here performing at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1998, were reportedly quite a hot couple back in 1990. Flash forward: Alex Rodriguezs wife was reportedly in Paris this summer with Lenny seeking solace during the Madonna/A-Rod brouhaha. Lenny insists that the only thing they have in common is a personal trainer. O Rly? (WireImage)
What Madonna could have found to talk about in 1987 with rumored squeeze John F. Kennedy Jr., we have no idea. Oh, right. Who says they had time to talk? I just cant see him bringing her home to meet Rose. Although she would have been great at those Kennedy family football matches. (WireImage)
Madonna and Willem Dafoe had some major kinky scenes in their widely panned 1993 film Body of Evidence. Were talking sex on a car hood, broken glass and hot wax . Wonder if Guy Ritchie ever watched this. (WireImage)
Madonna and Ingrid Casares were long rumored to be more than BFFs back in the mid-90s. Whatever their relationship is now, shes said to be friends with Alex Rodriguez and may have helped facilitate his secret liaisons with M. What are friends for? (WireImage)
In September 1994, Madonna met fitness trainer Carlos Leon in Central Park. He became her lover, and in 1996 Madonna gave birth to their daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon. They never married, but he remains very close to his daughter. (WireImage)
Madonna dated illusionist David Blaine briefly in 1998 and then, poof, he disappeared. But they must still be pals because he attended her Malawi AIDS fundraiser this year. (WireImage)
Either Sandra Bernhard was Madonnas very good friend or they were lovers. Or both. The openly gay comedian, seen with Theresa Russell at Madonnas birthday bash at L.A.s Rubber Club in 1989, told David Letterman that shed slept with both Sean Penn and Madonna. Now theres an image you dont want in your head. (WireImage)
At Madonnas Malawi fundraiser this year, her manager Guy Oseary poses with his first sports client, Alex Rodriguez, whom he had taken on in 2007. Oseary also is rumored to have introduced Alex to Madonna. Nice going, Guy. Bet Madges other guy, Guy Ritchie, says thanks a pantload. (WireImage)
Madonna and Bob Geldof may not have dated, but they looked more than friendly at the MTV European Music Awards in 2005. The passionate philanthropist and Live 8 creator reportedly inspired her to adopt a child from the AIDS- and poverty-stricken African nation Malawi. (WireImage)
Dont cry for Antonio
There were rumors of Antonio Banderas’ and Madonnas on-set flirtations during the filming of Evita. How much of it was true and how much movie PR? We may never know. But they looked hot together at this Andrew Lloyd Webber tribute in 1991. (WireImage)
Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis and Madonna reportedly dated in 1995. How long is anyones guess. One date? Three dates? But they look totally into each other in this half-undressed photo. (WireImage)
Madonna may have dated John Enos in 1993 for about a minute. ‘Nuff said. (WireImage)
Baby daddy wanna-be
Jose Canseco insists in his biography that Madonna wanted to have his baby when they dated in 1992. You dodged a bullet, Madge. Ten years later, Jose doesnt look like a “Father Knows Best” type at all. (WireImage)
Madonna met Warren Beatty while shooting Dick Tracy. She played the brassy blond mob moll Breathless Mahoney, and her song Sooner or Later won an Oscar. Beatty was notoriously press shy, she famously press hungry. They split after a year but not before their personality disparity was captured in Truth or Dare, when Beatty complained that Madonna lived for the cameras. (WireImage)