Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for years.
From simple flings to falling in love, divorces to long-time marriages, Hollywood sets seem to be the ultimate breeding ground for celebrity relationships. While some couples fizzled out, many continue going strong. Let's take a look at 18 TV co-stars who dated in real-life.
Blake Lively & Penn Badgley
The Show: Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
Gossip Girl co-stars Blake Lively and Penn Badgley portrayed on-screen lovers Serena van der Woodsen and Dan Humphrey during the show's 6-year run. Their romance was first speculated in 2007 at the start of the hit series, however the two didn't go public until 2008. The pair ended their relationship in 2010 but continued to star as lovers on the show. Lively married another once fellow co-star Ryan Reynolds in 2012, whom she starred in The Green Lantern with. Badgley married singer Domino Kirke in 2017.
Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens
The Show: High School Musical TV Movie Franchise (2006-2008)
Former teen heartthrobs Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens starred in the mega-hit Disney television film High School Musical, portraying star-crossed lovers Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez. The duo first reportedly began dating in 2005 during the production of the TV movie, causing fans of the musical to go wild. They remained an item from 2005-2010, ultimately parting ways after 5 years. Since their split, Hudgens has been in a relationship with fellow actor Austin Butler since 2011. Efron was most recently in a relationship with model Sami Miró before splitting in 2016.
Anna Paquin & Stephen Moyer
The Show: True Blood (2008-2014)
These two fang-tastic lovebirds met on the set of the hit HBO vampire show True Blood, during a screen test. Sparks began to fly between Paquin and Moyer, and the pair began dating shortly after. In an interview with People magazine, Moyer confessed when he knew she was the one. "By day three or four--oh, this is going to sound syrupy--but I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. It was within seconds, really, and it just became a thing." The pair married in 2010 and she gave birth to twins Poppy and Charlie in 2012.
Sophia Bush & Chad Michael Murray
The Show: One Tree Hill (2003-2012)
Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray met on the set of the hit CW shot One Tree Hill in 2003, and the pair became engaged in 2004. They tied the knot in 2005 after two years of dating. The wedded bliss was short-lived; just like their on-screen counterparts Brooke and Lucas, the couple called it quits 5 months later. In an episode of Watch What Happens Live, Bush reflected on the marriage, stating, "We were two stupid kids who had no business being in a relationship in the first place. To all the co-stars who've worked it out, more power to you."
Nina Dobrev & Ian Somerhalder
The Show: The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017)
The coupling of two of television's hottest young actors had fans rejoicing when The Vampire Diaries stars Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder went public with their relationship in 2011. Rumors of a real-life romance began swirling in 2010 but the pair didn't confirm a relationship until the following year. The two would ultimately split in 2013 after three years of dating, much to the dismay of their fans. Somerhalder must have a things for vampires, as he married Twilight actress Nikki Reed in 2015, whom he shares a daughter with.
Cole Sprouse & Lili Reinhart
The Show: Riverdale (2017-present)
Riverdale power couple Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart met and fell in love during production of the show, just as their characters Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper did. Affectionately known as "Bughead" by fans, the duo have recently been plagued by break-up rumors by the media. Speculation that the two split has not been confirmed, and both Sprouse and Reinhart took to social media to poke fun at the claims. Whether they are still going strong remains to be seen, but regardless the two seem on very good terms.
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Milo Ventimiglia & Alexis Bledel
The Show: Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
Milo Ventimiglia and Alexis Bledel dated from 2002 to 2006, as they starred on-screen as will they/won't they couple Jess Mariano and Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls. The real-life relationship made fans jump for joy, as their chemistry was evident between their characters. After four years of dating, the pair went their separate ways. Bledel went on to marry her Mad Men co-star Vincent Kartheiser in 2014 and had a son in 2015. Ventimiglia went on to date his Heroes co-star Hayden Panettiere from 2007 to 2009, and has since been linked to marketing coordinator Kelly Egarian since 2017.
Kaley Cuoco & Johnny Galecki
The Show: The Big Bang Theory (2007-2019)
Though Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki played lovers Penny and Leonard on the beloved sitcom The Big Bang Theory, no one knew they took that romance to real-life too! The duo secretly began dating in 2007 and did so until December 2009. Cuoco and Galecki didn't reveal they had even been a couple until announcing their split in 2010. They remained on good terms following their separation, much to the relief of fans who loved their fictional pairing. Cuoco has been married to equestrian Karl Cook since 2018 and Galecki is dating Alaina Meyer; in May 2019 the latter revealed they are expecting a boy.
Rachel Bilson & Adam Brody
The Show: The O.C. (2003-2007)
Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody starred on the teen drama The O.C. and portrayed the quirky and endearing couple Summer and Seth. They began dating during production and remained a beloved couple until 2006, when they announced their split. Fans of the show and adorable pair were devastated, but both Bilson and Brody went on to find love again. Bilson dated actor Hayden Christensen from 2007-2017, and had daughter Briar Rose in 2014. Brody has been married to Gossip Girl alum Leighton Meester since 2014 and have a daughter together, born in 2015.
Kaitlin Olson & Rob McElhenney
The Show: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-present)
Powerhouse comedy duo Kaitlin Olson and Rob McElhenney currently star on the hit FX show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as Sweet Dee and Mac, 2/5 the self-absorbed gang. McElhenney first became interested in Olson "around season 2" of the series, and believed her to be the funniest woman in show business. They began to secretly date at first, and were married in 2008. Together they have two sons, born in 2010 and 2012.
Katie Holmes & Joshua Jackson
The Show: Dawson's Creek (1998-2003)
Beloved Dawson's Creek couple Joey Potter and Pacey Witter captured the hearts of fans everywhere, with much credit due to the chemistry between Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson. The pair actually shared a brief relationship while filming the first season of the show in 1998. Though they split up, their on-screen characters embarked on an intense and romantic relationship. Holmes has since called Jackson "her first love." She would go on to have a high-profile marriage to Tom Cruise, and together they had a daughter in 2006. She is now dating Jamie Foxx, though they haven't officially confirmed their romance. Jackson was recently in a relationship with actress Diane Kruger for 10 years.
Emma Roberts & Evan Peters
The Show: American Horror Story (2011-present)
American Horror Story darlings Emma Roberts and Evan Peters first began dating back in 2012, after working together on Adult World. They had a highly publicized and heated argument in 2013, but charges were never filed. The duo would continue to work alongside each other in the anthology series, and became engaged in 2014. Their relationship ended in early 2019. Roberts is now currently dating fellow-actor Garrett Hedlund.
Jared Padalecki & Genevieve Padalecki
The Show: Supernatural (2005-present)
The beloved dark fantasy series Supernatural has developed a cult-like following among fans, as has their obsession with leads Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles. The duo stars as the monster-hunting brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, and Genevieve had a reoccuring role as demon Ruby. Padalecki began dating the actress and the two became engaged and married in 2010. Together, they have two sons and a daughter, born in 2012, 2013 and 2017.
Jason Segel & Linda Cardellini
The Show: Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
The teen-comedy drama Freaks and Geeks was a short-lived show that developed a loyal and passionate following. It helped launch the careers of many of its young leads, including James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and Linda Cardellini. The latter two portrayed temporary on-screen loves Nick and Lindsey, and they carried their romance into real-life. After the series was untimely cancelled, they remained in a relationship for 5 years.
Kit Harington & Rose Leslie
The Show: Game of Thrones (2011-2019)
Kit Harington and Rose Leslie starred on the massively-successful HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones, as Jon Snow and Ygritte. They shared a romance both on-screen and off, becoming an item in 2012. They announced their engagement through the "Forthcoming Marriages" section of The Times in 2017, and were married in Scotland in 2018. Harington appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show and gushed, "I fell in love with my co-star. This is Rose, who plays Ygritte, who I've met, who is just the loveliest girl and she could do so much better!"
Michael C. Hall & Jennifer Carpenter
The Show: Dexter (2006-2013)
Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter starred as foster siblings Dexter and Debra Morgan on the mega-hit crime drama Dexter. Though they played pseudo-siblings on the show, Hall and Carpenter began an off-screen romance in 2007. They eloped on New Year's Eve in 2008 and made their first appearance as a married couple at the Golden Globes in 2009. Hall and Carpenter ultimately announced their separation in 2010 and their divorce was finalized in 2011. The pair remain close friends despite their split.
Lea Michele & Cory Monteith
The Show: Glee (2009-2015)
Lea Michele and Cory Monteith starred as glee members Rachel Barry and Finn Hudson on the hit Fox musical show Glee. Sparks flew not only on-screen for the characters but also off. In early 2012, the media reported that the two had begun dating and they continued to do so until his death a year and a half later. Monteith was found dead in his hotel room on July 13, 2013 at the age of 31. He died from "a mixed drug toxicity" after an ongoing battle with substance abuse. Michele found love again and married Zandy Reich in 2019.
Emily VanCamp & Josh Bowman
The Show: Revenge (2011-2015)
Emily VanCamp and Josh Bowman starred as Emily Thorne and Daniel Grayson, characters who shared an on-again/off-again romance on the hit ABC show Revenge. That passion carried over into real-life and they duo began dating in late 2011, becoming engaged in 2017. VanCamp and Bowman in The Bahamas in 2018.
© 2019 Rachel M Johnson