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Published April 19 2012

Morast: The real celebrity wives of Fargo-Moorhead

There’s a joke in journalism that suggests three instances of anything marks a trend.

Given this convenient rule of three, I’m thinking there was a time when the hottest accessory in Hollywood was a wife from Fargo-Moorhead.

This odd “trend” popped back in my mind after the passing of Dick Clark reminded me that the Boomer icon’s better half, Kari Wigton Clark, came from Fargo.

They married in 1977. And, according to some people quite close to me, they loved bagels. Word is the Clarks would mark their return trips to Fargo by eating bagels from what was then 32nd and Bagel in South Fargo.

The local connection is cool, but even cooler is the idea that male celebs are drawn to the women of Fargo-Moorhead.

Oscar-winning actor Jeff “The Dude” Bridges has been married to Susan Geston Bridges since 1977 (apparently that’s the year celebs courted F-M women).

Three decades later James Spader used his creepy cool sex appeal to slide a ring on the finger of Leslie Stefanson, a former Moorhead High notable who shifted into a life of acting and sculpting explicit, nude images of the female body (which seems like exactly the kind of person Spader would pursue).

The fact that a certain sect of Hollywood men is smitten with Fargo women is probably nothing beyond coincidence.

But in my mind, I like to think it’s more than that.

I like to envision Clark, Bridges and Spader pressing the flesh at A-list Hollywood parties while raving about their F-M-bred women; about how laid back and “real” they are, about how these women can wear T-shirts in 40 degree weather without complaining and, of course, about the natural beauty of our native women.

Then, I imagine the likes of Sean Penn, Clint Eastwood and Tony Randall (before he passed) cursing aloud over the fact that they didn’t marry women from the flatlands of the Red River Valley.

“It’s the realm of Nordic goddesses!,” Randall screams while crushing a wine glass in his fist.

Meanwhile, Clark, Bridges and Spader just stand there and grin, sipping scotch that costs more than my monthly utilities bill. They don’t need to brag about the allure of F-M women.

They know the truth.

And so do we; Fargo-Moorhead produces some damn fine females. Fine enough to attract some of Hollywood’s biggest players, and keep them content for decades.

It makes me wonder which three famous faces will be the next celebs marrying into the F-M bloodlines.

For some odd reason, my money’s on Ryan Gosling.

Ladies, get ready.


Readers can reach Forum Features Editor Robert Morast at (701) 241-5518

or rmorast@forumcomm.com