Barbie Ken Split

Storybook Romance Comes to an End for Barbie and Ken

Barbie Ken SplitIn 2004, after more than 43 years together, Hollywood's quintessential doll of a couple, Barbie and Ken, decided to spend some time apart. Although Barbie has befriended some of the world's most famous celebrities, from popular boy bands to super secret agent spies, Ken always remained her #1 sweetheart. After all, Ken doll has been Barbie doll's biggest supporter for more than four decades, by her side from her early career as a teen fashion model to her recent turn as movie starlet. Their relationship was so revered that other successful celebrity pairings were often dubbed "Barbie and Ken."

The legendary romance of Barbie and Ken began when they met on the set of their first television commercial together in 1961. Since then, their relationship has played out much like a Hollywood fairytale. Barbie and her beau have captured the essence of romance so perfectly with their replications of classic characters such as Scarlett and Rhett ("Gone with the Wind") and Romeo and Juliet ("Romeo and Juliet") to more quirky roles such as Bond and Bond Girl ("James Bond") and Lily and Herman Munster ("The Munsters.") More recently, the dynamic duo played Arwen and Aragorn from "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." The picture-perfect pair's talent and love for one another can also be seen in three consecutively successful No. 1 movies: "Barbie of Swan Lake," "Barbie as Rapunzel" and "Barbie in the Nutcracker ."

"Barbie and Ken have always been an extraordinary couple with so much on- and off-screen chemistry," said the pair's business manager, Russell Arons, Vice President Marketing, Mattel. "In fact, they just finished wrapping their fourth movie together, 'Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper,' which debuts this fall. And now they feel it's time to spend some quality time -- apart."

Since making her worldwide debut in a bathing suit on the Malibu shores in 1959, Barbie doll has gone on to become a pop culture phenomenon, but not without her leading man cheering for her. Now that she's newly single, however, Mattel is marking the major transition with a whole new carefree and independent look reminiscent of her California roots. Sure to turn Barbie doll's world upside down, her sassy and fun "Cali Girl doll" look debuts this Spring with engaging storylines, trendy accessories and great fashions that extend beyond swimsuits.

Although their future was yet to be set in cement, one thing was for certain -- Barbie and Ken would always remain the best of friends.