On-Screen Couples Who Dated Off-Screen

Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield

Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield by Eva Rinaldi (CC BY-SA)

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Love in Their Eyes

Those old Hollywood romances, in which co-stars were (or became) couples, are legendary, from Bogart and Bacall to Hepburn and Tracy. That tradition has continued through the years, with today’s incarnations ranging from Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith — who made headlines for a very dramatic Oscars confrontation with comedian Chris Rock — to the reunited Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Some real-life couples also choose to work together, Read on for a romantic stroll through some of the Hollywood pairings we loved to see both on-screen and off.

Related: Longest Celebrity Marriages

Nobel Peace Price Concert 2009 Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
Nobel Peace Price Concert 2009 Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith by Harrywad (CC BY-SA)

Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith

Will Smith met his future wife, Jada Pinkett, when she auditioned for a role on his 1990s sitcom, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” While theirs is the quintessential Hollywood romance — complete with children who have made their own splash in the industry — the duo has only been seen together on-screen in “Ali,” the Muhammad Ali biopic that starred Smith as the late boxing legend and Pinkett Smith as his first wife. But their lack of on-screen romance certainly doesn't take away from their real-life bond. The connection is so fierce that Smith even smacked comedian Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars ceremony after Rock poked fun at Pinkett Smith's buzzed haircut. Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that often causes hair loss.  She has since said they've been separated since 2016, but haven't felt ready to pull the plug.

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AngelinaJolieBradPittAAFeb09 by Chrisa Hickey (CC BY)

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie

The romance — and eventual split — of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie never failed to captivate those who follow Hollywood gossip. The stunning couple met while filming 2005’s “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” There were rumors of romance on set (Pitt was still married to “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston). Following Pitt’s divorce, the new couple would eventually be together for a dozen years before a 2016 split. That time included not only working together on projects including “By the Sea,” but also becoming the parents of six children. Their break-up resulted in custody battles and endless tabloid fodder.

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, Oscars, 2000
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, Oscars, 2000 by Laura Loveday (CC BY-NC-SA)

Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman

For a time, the Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman relationship — a 1990 marriage, the adoption of two children, and a 2001 divorce — was tabloid catnip. Meeting on the set of “Days of Thunder” and marrying six months later, the duo would go on to act together in projects including “Eyes Wide Shut” and “Far and Away.”

Vintage Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz Arcade Card, Made In USA, Circa Early 1950s
Vintage Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz Arcade Card, Made In USA, Circa Early 1950s by Joe Haupt (CC BY-SA)

Desi Arnaz & Lucille Ball

The recent film “Being the Ricardos,” starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, has put the love story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz back in the spotlight. In real life, the Cuban bandleader and the red-headed comedian eloped in 1940 and would have a turbulent, 20-year marriage that included performing together in TV and film, most famously in the classic sitcom, “I Love Lucy.” The couple was so popular that the birth of their fictional son, Little Ricky, was portrayed on the same day their real-life son, Desi Arnaz Jr., was born.

State of the Union with Tracey and Hepburn
State of the Union with Tracey and Hepburn by Lassos the moon (CC BY-SA)

Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn

As high profile as the pairing of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn was on film, it was as low profile in real life. On screen, the pair were a couple over three decades and had nine films including “Woman of the Year” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” to their credit. But Tracy, a devout Catholic, stayed married to his wife, Louise. Hepburn and Tracy always lived apart and never married, despite their 26-year affair. 

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1944 ... remembering how to whistle!
1944 ... remembering how to whistle! by James Vaughan (CC BY-NC-SA)

Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall

The on-screen pairing of eventual lovebirds Bogey and Bacall began with 1944’s “To Have and Have Not” and would continue through three more films and a real-life marriage that produced two children before Bacall, after 11 years of marriage, was widowed at age 32. It wasn’t an obvious love match, however. The pair had a 25-year age difference and Bogart already had three failed marriages behind him.

Related: Shortest Celebrity Marriages. Til Death Do You Part? Hardly.

Tom Holland and Zendaya
Tom Holland and Zendaya by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA)

Tom Holland & Zendaya

This real-life couple — now starring in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” — had been a bit coy about their relationship, a long-rumored “are they, aren’t they?” situation that seemingly dates back to 2016. Zendaya and Tom Holland reportedly met on the set of “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” made appearances “as friends,” then finally, in 2021, confirmed the relationship that has seen their repeat on-screen pairing in the franchise.

Ben Affleck 2009 and Jennifer Lopez at GLAAD Media Awards (cropped)
Ben Affleck 2009 and Jennifer Lopez at GLAAD Media Awards (cropped) by Angela George and dvsross (CC BY-SA)

Ben Affleck & Jennifer Lopez

The real-life reunion of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez — a summer 2021 event yielding what’s playfully known as Bennifer 2.0 — has captured the imagination of romantics everywhere. The A-list couple, tabloid gold in their first go around in the early 2000s, saw singer-dancer J.Lo gaining a foothold in film, the specialty of actor and Academy Award winning screenwriter Affleck. They’d pair up in her video for “Jenny from the Block” and more notoriously, the big-screen fiasco known as “Gigli.” Might we see “Gigli 2”?

Sonny-and-Cher by Peter Denton (CC BY-SA)

Sonny Bono & Cher

Sonny Bono and Cher made an iconic entertainment couple, best known as singers and stars of their own TV variety show but also film stars thanks to 1967’s B-movie parody, “Good Times.” People loved their witty banter — and songs such as “I Got You Babe” — but real-life turmoil and eventual divorce brought this love story to a bittersweet end, finalized by Bono’s 1998 death in a ski accident.

Related: Most Expensive Celebrity Divorces of All Time

George Burns with his wife Gracie Allen
George Burns with his wife Gracie Allen by Kristine (CC BY-NC)

George Burns & Gracie Allen

“The George Burns & Gracie Allen Show” was quintessential 1950s TV comedy, lasting for nearly 300 episodes thanks to Burns and Allen’s enduring appeal. He was noted for his dry humor; she played the ditz. They had a successful film career, coupled with their fame found on radio. The pairing ended with Allen’s 1964 death.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
Bruce Glikas / Contributor / WireImage / Getty Images

Ben Stiller & Christine Taylor

Comedic actor Ben Stiller (the son of the legendary comedy team of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara) met his future wife, Christine Taylor when they were filming a 1999 TV pilot. The show wasn’t picked up but the duo would go on to marry the following year – and appear together in films ranging from “Zoolander” to “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.” Despite announcing a separation in 2017, the couple (and parents of two children) continues to be spotted together and later reconciled, which they credit to the pandemic keeping them home together.

167725033GH00080_TechCrunch and Mila Kunis
167725033GH00080_TechCrunch and Mila Kunis by TechCrunch and Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA)

Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis has said that kissing Ashton Kutcher during an episode of “That ’70s Show” was her first real kiss. Fast forward more than a few years (their real-life romance is said to have begun long after the show’s conclusion) and the two are now married in real life. The onetime co-stars lead a seemingly fairytale life as demonstrated by a spread on their sprawling “sustainable farmhouse” in Architectural Digest. Who could have imagined such an ending for Jackie and Kelso? 

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell
Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell by Images Alight (CC BY)

Kurt Russell & Goldie Hawn

He was a onetime child actor who starred in a dozen Disney films before earning dramatic cred with roles in films such as “Escape from New York.” She made a splash for her comedic turns on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” and would go on to win an Academy Award for “Cactus Flower.” The beloved Hollywood power couple Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, together since 1983 but never married, first appeared in the same film, 1968’s “The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band” but had no scenes together. They more notably teamed up for “Swing Shift” in 1984, followed by their classic pairing in 1987’s “Overboard.” More recently, they appeared in “The Christmas Chronicles” in 2018 and its sequel in 2020.

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski by Jenn Deering Davis (CC BY)

John Krasinski & Emily Blunt

Longtime actors John Krasinski (“The Office”) and Emily Blunt (“The Devil Wears Prada”) were reportedly fans of each other’s work before they met in 2008. They married two years later and would go on to first work together in 2018’s “A Quiet Place.” Blunt won a SAG Award for her role, and in her acceptance speech said, “I’m going to share this completely with my husband, John Krasinski, because the entire experience of doing this with you has completely pierced my heart directly … You are a stunning filmmaker. I’m so lucky to be with you and to have done this film with you.” The teaming up was so successful, each returned for “A Quiet Place 2” (though Kransinski’s character only appears in flashbacks).

Liz Taylor en Richard Burton tijdens persconferentie op Schiphol betreft film , Bestanddeelnr 917-6934
Liz Taylor en Richard Burton tijdens persconferentie op Schiphol betreft film , Bestanddeelnr 917-6934 by Joop van Bilsen / Anefo (None)

Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor

Their eyes first locked in 1953 at a Hollywood party, Burton a young Welsh actor and Taylor already a famous movie star at just 21. Some nine years later, co-starring in “Cleopatra,” their scandalous and lifelong love affair began, despite each being married to others at the time. They would star in some 11 films together, including “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” The years would reportedly bring not only acclaim but also much boozing, fighting, loving (they married each other twice). People could not get enough.

135063_0696 by Walt Disney Television (CC BY-ND)

Dax Shepard & Kristen Bell

This contemporary Hollywood power couple met at a 2007 dinner party, were engaged two years later, and would marry in 2013. They first appeared on-screen together in 2010’s “When in Rome,” in which Bell had the starring role. They’d also team up in 2017’s “CHiPs,” based on the ’70s TV show. In 2018, Shepard appeared on Bell’s TV show, “The Good Place,” and Bell was Shepard’s first guest on his podcast, “The Armchair Expert,” which debuted in 2018.

HQ-022-8 by Violetarizos (CC BY-SA)

Ryan Gosling & Rachel McAdams

For those who swoon over 2014’s  “The Notebook,” its star Ryan Gosling has said his real-life romance with co-star Rachel McAdams from 2005 to 2007 was “a hell of a lot more romantic.” The couple reportedly didn’t connect during filming, yet two years later ran into each other in New York — and there was a spark, which led to a relationship that had fans of “The Notebook” in a frenzy. After the couple split, Gosling would go on to a long-term relationship with Eva Mendes, whom he met when filming “The Place Beyond the Pines,” while McAdams would date several subsequent co-stars (Josh Lucas, Michael Sheen, Taylor Kitsch) before having a child with screenwriter Jamie Linden.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) by RevistaMagnolia (CC BY-NC-SA)

Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone

Playing love interests in “The Amazing Spider-Man” led Garfield and Stone to start dating in 2011, resulting in a four-year romance that continued through filming “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Speculation swirled long after their split that the couple would reunite, but Stone is now married to writer/director Dave McCary, with whom she has a daughter.

Red Bandit Jacket and Sally Field in Washington D.C
Red Bandit Jacket and Sally Field in Washington D.C by Watkinssportswear and Mathew Smith (CC BY-SA)

Burt Reynolds & Sally Field

Step back in time, and you’ll glimpse one of Hollywood’s most storied romances that played out on the silver screen. Burt Reynolds and Sally Field met on the set of “Smokey and the Bandit” in 1977. A five-year romance would follow. Interest in the couple was high enough (and the actors popular enough) that they were paired up in three more movies, their chemistry undeniable. They were to part, though some 35 years later, Reynolds referred to Field as “the love of my life” in his memoir. Field, though, in her own memoir, categorized the relationship as, “really complicated and hurtful.” 

Daniel Craig (2012) and Rachel Weisz 2018
Daniel Craig (2012) and Rachel Weisz 2018 by Elen Nivrae and Montclair Film (CC BY)

Daniel Craig & Rachel Weisz

“Casino Royale” star Daniel Craig was paired with fellow Brit Rachel Weisz, an Academy Award winner for “The Constant Gardener,” in 2011’s “Dream House.” The project reunited the longtime friends, who had gone to university together. An eventual marriage (and daughter) would become part of the aptly dreamy picture.

David Arquette 2009 and Courteney Cox '10 PaleyFest
David Arquette 2009 and Courteney Cox '10 PaleyFest by Frank eng and Albert Domasin (CC BY-SA)

David Arquette & Courteney Cox

It was on the set of the 1996 movie “Scream” that Courteney Cox and David Arquette met. The unlikely couple — he was a quirky character from a legendary Hollywood family and she was the star of the then-new hit sitcom “Friends” — would go on to marry in 1999. They’d have a daughter, split after some 11 years together, and finalize the divorce three years after that. On “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” Arquette joked of Cox, “The first ‘Scream' we were falling in love, the second ‘Scream,’ she hated me."

Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw 1969
Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw 1969 by Kristine (CC BY-NC)

Steve McQueen & Ali MacGraw

The enduring allure of the bad boy seems to have played a part in this classic Hollywood romance, with Ali MacGraw (“Love Story”) becoming involved in a very public affair with her “The Getaway” (1972) co-star Steve McQueen. She would divorce husband Robert Evans that same year, marrying McQueen but, in turn, divorcing him in 1978. McQueen died of cancer in 1980. On Oprah Winfrey’s “SuperSoulSunday,” McGraw admitted she wished she could speak to McQueen one more time: “It’s very sad to me that as sober, grown-up, nonsexually connected beings, we didn't get to sit down and clean it all.”

Warren Beatty and Annette Bening (8578485740)
Warren Beatty and Annette Bening (8578485740) by SLDdigital (CC BY)

Warren Beatty & Annette Bening

Warren Beatty’s rotating door of female companions came to a halting screech when he met actor Annette Bening over lunch to discuss their upcoming (first) project, 1991’s “Bugsy.” As Beatty told Entertainment Weekly, “When I met Annette over lunch for ‘Bugsy,” I felt immediately that this was going to change my life. I remember losing interest in the garlic chicken I was eating within 20 seconds. And the garlic chicken had been very good!” They’ve since been married 30 years and have four children, despite naysayers who said his past combined with a 21-year age difference would never work. They’ve also worked together in everything from 1994’s “Love Affair” to “Rules Don’t Apply” in 2016.

Johnny Depp (July 2009) 1 and WinonaRyderJuly09
Johnny Depp (July 2009) 1 and WinonaRyderJuly09 by nicogenin and Luni's (CC BY-SA)

Johnny Depp & Winona Ryder

Johnny Depp’s romantic life has long fascinated those who follow Hollywood. Depp has had relationships with fellow actors (Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Grey) in the past, but his connection with Winona Ryder, whom he reportedly met at a film premiere, may have been the most interesting to the public. The quirky duo got engaged in the early ’90s and would appear together in the gothic romance “Edward Scissorhands” as improbable love interests. Public attention reportedly contributed to the split. Depp’s tattooed tribute to Ryder, whom he would split from in 1993, went from “Winona Forever” to “Wino Forever.”

Mark Consuelos (42003849600) and Kelly Ripa (42003638800)
Mark Consuelos (42003849600) and Kelly Ripa (42003638800) by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA)

Mark Consuelos & Kelly Ripa

For actors Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa, their enduring real-life romance began when they appeared together on “All My Children.” The duo met on set in 1995, married the next year, and today have a long-lasting marriage that has produced three children. These days Consuelos (“Riverdale”) appeared as a guest host (then got the job permanently) with his wife on her morning show with Ryan Seacrest, “LIVE with Kelly and Ryan,” where their enduring chemistry is evident. 

Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson at 2013 TIFF 1 (cropped)
Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson at 2013 TIFF 1 (cropped) by Stefano Petroni and Justin Harris (CC BY-NC-ND)

Kenneth Branagh & Emma Thompson

Actor/filmmaker Kenneth Branagh and actor/screenwriter Emma Thompson were, for a time, the ultimate British entertainment power couple: attractive, intelligent, and funny to boot. They met on the set of 1987’s “Fortunes of War,” married two years later, and were the "it" couple of British cinema, pairing in films ranging from “Henry V” to “Much Ado About Nothing.” That was true until their union was shattered by Branagh’s reported cheating with Helena Bonham Carter, with whom he worked on “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” Following the 1995 divorce from Thompson, Branagh would be involved with Bonham Carter for several years, while Thompson would later marry “Sense & Sensibility” co-star Greg Wis.

Seanpenn1 and Madonna 3 by David Shankbone
Seanpenn1 and Madonna 3 by David Shankbone by seher sikandar and David Shankbone (CC BY-SA)

Sean Penn & Madonna

The bad-boy film star and the boundary-pushing singer made quite the splash. First, there was a 1985 marriage, which began six months after they met, then a film foray (“Shanghai Surprise”) that tanked. It all culminated in the pair’s 1989 divorce on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences.” Penn was also previously engaged to his “Racing with the Moon” co-star Elizabeth McGovern (“Downton Abbey”) and followed his Madonna coupledom with a long-term relationship with fellow actor Robin Wright, his co-star in 1990’s “State of Grace.”

Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan 2 Met Opera 2010 Shankbone
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan 2 Met Opera 2010 Shankbone by Gordon Correll and David Shankbone (CC BY-SA)

Dennis Quaid & Meg Ryan

Dennis Quaid met future wife Meg Ryan in 1987, when the pair was filming “Innerspace.” They began dating the following year while working on the 1988 film, “D.O.A.” Tthe couple married on Valentine’s Day 1991, welcomed a son in 1992, and starred together again in 1993’s “Flesh and Bone.” It was, by all accounts, a love match between Hollywood heavy hitters. By 2001, though, they were divorced (amid a rumored affair between Ryan and her “Proof of Life” co-star Russell Crowe).

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson y Taylor Lutner vinieron a divertirse a El Hormiguero
Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson y Taylor Lutner vinieron a divertirse a El Hormiguero by El Hormiguero (CC BY-ND)

Robert Pattinson & Kristen Stewart

The romance, the drama, and the otherworldliness of the “Twilight” saga were enhanced by the real-life coupling of stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in 2008. It took several years for the pair to confirm their relationship, but by 2012, it was unraveling in a dramatic fashion. Stewart was confirmed to be having a fling with the married director of her upcoming film. Apologies followed from both Stewart and the director for lapses in judgment; the Pattinson-Stewart pairing never recovered. Bedward (Bella and Edward) fans haven’t either.