Can men and women really be friends?
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- Previous Next4 of 10Hemingway: Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images; Stein: Carl Mydans//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
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Just Friends?1 of 10
By Denise Wolfe
Anyone who's ever seen When Harry Met Sally remembers Harry's conviction that men and women can never really be friends because "the sex part always gets in the way." We uncover nine pairs of close friends (both real and make-believe), who worked around, ignored or never even felt The Sex Part. Find out what you can learn about platonic love from these famous pals.
Better Off Buddies2 of 10
Grace Adler and Will Truman met as freshmen at Columbia University and instantly bonded. Their attempts at romance foundered when Will faced his homosexuality. Though at first angry, Grace realized that a gay best friend is perfect: You don't have to worry that he's secretly in love with you or feel guilty that you're leading him on. While friends Karen and Jack considered Will and Grace co-dependent "sexless lovers," the two continued to do what they do best: finish each other's sentences and share fashion tips.
Co-Stars & Confidants3 of 10
But they're married, you say? You even remember who designed Miss Piggy's luscious wedding gown in the finale of The Muppets Take Manhattan? You obviously haven't been listening to Kermit in interview after interview: "I'm just an actor. When two actors marry on stage, they're only acting." The last line of the film includes a clue: Kermit sings, "What better way could anything end than hand in hand with a friend?" Add Kermit's revealing admission that he's not anatomically correct, and you have a recipe for a perfect platonic friendship.
Pen Pals4 of 10
In 1920, Ernest Hemingway was a Chicago reporter feuding with his editor when he decided to visit Italy. Novelist Sherwood Anderson convinced Ernest to visit Paris instead, and he provided an introduction to Gertrude Stein. The salons of Gertrude and Alice B. Toklas were frequented by Fitzgerald, Picasso and others. (Woody Allen showcases Gertrude's salons in Midnight in Paris.) Gertrude became Ernest's mentor and godmother to his first son. He published her writings in magazines he was editing. They were "just like brothers," Ernest explained.
Primetime Partners5 of 10
Bill Geddie met Barbara Walters while field-producing Good Morning America. She asked him to produce a Barbara Walters Special. One became two, two became four and, over 20 years later, he and Barbara remain close friends and business partners. Together they created and produce The View. Barbara may be the star of her shows, but Bill quietly yet skillfully keeps those shows running. They share his-and-her Emmy Lifetime Achievement Awards (his in 2012; hers in 2009). They also share honesty and mutual respect. Their friendship flourishes where her four marriages have not.
Common Ground6 of 10
At 12, she made National Velvet and became a star. He was 8 when The Jackson Five burst onto the scene. They bonded, she said, "because neither one of us had a childhood." In more than three decades of friendship, they never wavered in their devotion. Despite the 27-year age difference, she stood by him when he faced molestation charges, and he hosted her eighth (and final) wedding at Neverland Ranch. Her last public appearance was at his funeral, her wheelchair stationed in the front row.
Buddy System7 of 10
Liz Lemon created The Girlie Show, only to have ambitious network executive Jack Donaghy retool it completely. From this antagonistic beginning, Liz and Jack have developed a deep and trusting friendship. Though he usually calls her by her last name, Jack respects her writing abilities and thinks she's great. Liz seeks Jack's advice in both personal and work-related problems and admits that they now have the longest, most meaningful relationship of her life (as does he). Together they work at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (30 Rock) in New York City and bring new meaning to the words what the what?
Two of a Kind8 of 10
Whether separate in their eponymous comics or together in the Justice League, Wonder Woman and Superman share more than the same job and matching outfits. Despite disparate beginnings, they are close friends who sustain, spark and challenge each other. Though he was raised as a farmer's son in Kansas while she is a warrior princess of the Amazons, they both have superhuman powers of strength and endurance. Alone with one another, they're just Clark and Diana—only she has better jewelry.
The X Factor9 of 10
FBI special agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully were partners in exploring the strange and inexplicable in The X-Files. He was the believer, she the skeptic. Mulder's acceptance of the paranormal and intelligent extraterrestrial life was countered by Scully, a medical doctor who tried to refute the irrational with logical, scientific explanations. Early in the series, both Scully and Mulder became embroiled in extra-governmental conflict and had only each other to trust, deepening their friendship. They shared a kiss in a dream sequence—or was it an alternate reality? The truth is out there.
Hunters & Gatherers10 of 10
Katniss and Gale are strangers when their fathers are killed in the same mining accident, a pre-adolescent trauma brings them together, first at the cemetery. Though it's illegal to venture beyond the fence surrounding District 12, Katniss and Gale hunts in the woods to keep her family from starving. When she becomes a tribute in the Hunger Games, things get complicated. But a common history and struggle bonds these two together.
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