09/20/2011 03:11 pm ET | Updated Nov 20, 2011

Dating Up: Celebs Who Used Relationships To Up Their Fame

It's no secret that a mattress can be a springboard to fame and fortune in Hollywood. Sleeping with, dating or -- better yet --marrying the right person can move someone from the D-list to the A-list.

Last night we watched George Clooney castaway Elisabetta Canalis strut her stuff on "Dancing With the Stars," which is the official proving ground for upwardly mobile C- and D-listers. Canalis' two years spent lounging around Clooney's Lake Como manse surely landed her that spot among the likes of Kristin Cavallari, David Arquette and Ricki Lake.

Dating Clooney can move a lady from nada to celeb status pretty quickly, but it's unlikely Canalis will ever reach A-list or even B-list status. Just like in the business world, the return on the relationship investment is determined by the capital invested -- the capital in this situation being a function of time and emotional and physical toll. Canalis' two years was just enough to get her a spot on "DWTS."

Here are a few other social strivers who used something other than their wits (but maybe something that rhymes with "wits") to get ahead in LaLa land.

Dating Up