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Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announce separation

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LOS ANGELES — Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced Sunday that they are separating after eight years of marriage, sparking a wave of shock and sadness online about the demise of one of Hollywood's most popular power couples.

The actors announced their breakup on social media in a joint statement confirmed by Pratt's publicist.

"We tried hard for a long time, and we're really disappointed," the actors wrote. "Our son has two parents who love him very much and for his sake we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward. We still have love for each other, will always cherish our time together and continue to have the deepest respect for one another."

Pratt, who stars in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise and Faris, who stars on CBS' comedy "Mom," married in 2009. They have a 4-year-old son.

The actors were publicly supportive of each other in their work and on social media. Pratt guest-starred as Faris' love interest on "Mom" earlier this year, and the couple laughed and kissed in April when Pratt was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Their breakup quickly became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, where the pair had frequently shared messages about each other and their family.

Pratt, 38, has become an international superstar in recent years and is the face of two major franchises: Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" films and a new slate of films based on the "Jurassic Park" universe.

He spoke about balancing his home life and his career in an interview with The Associated Press earlier this year before the release of "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2," which went on to become a blockbuster.

"For the first part of our relationship, we put our careers at the top," Pratt said of his relationship with Faris. "We were like, 'Honey, if you get a job and you have to go to Istanbul for six months, you're going. I'll help you pack. I'll Skype with you every day. You're living your dream, I'm living my dream. That's what we do.'"

He said, at the time, that starring in two major franchises made it easier for them to strategize what roles they would take.

Faris, 40, has starred in "Mom" for five seasons opposite Emmy-winner Alison Janney. The actresses play mother-daughter who are both recovering drug addicts and are trying to navigate sobriety and relationships together. She is also the voice of the Jailbreak character in recently-released "The Emoji Movie."

Legal separation can be a precursor to a divorce filing, but it doesn't mean one is imminent.

Several celebrity couples have in recent years announced their separations before filing any legal paperwork. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner announced their separation in June 2015 but didn't file to end their marriage until April. Affleck's younger brother, Casey, and his wife announced they were separating in March 2016, but did not file divorce petitions until July 31.

Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin announced their breakup in March 2014 and said they were going through a process called "conscious uncoupling," but a divorce filing wasn't made until the following month. Their divorce was finalized last year.

Comedians Amy Poehler and Will Arnett announced they were separating after nine years of marriage in 2012, but it wasn't until 2014 that a divorce petition was filed. Their divorce was finalized in August 2016.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

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