23 Celebrities Who Married Non-Famous People
Julia Roberts, Zoë Saldana, and Matt Damon are among the celebrities who married normal people.
We all have our favorite Hollywood couples—not to mention the breakups we still mourn. But as fun as it is to watch from afar as two superstars meet-cute and then build a life together, there's something even more magical about those relationships where one party is a little bit more like us. Celebrities do marry non-famous people sometimes, and those romances can last. All of the couples on this list have their own unique love story, and not one started with being set up by an agent. So read our list of 23 celebrities who married normal people, and keep dreaming. You never know when you might run into your own Hollywood crush.
Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso
Matt Damon was filming the 2003 comedy Stuck on You in Miami when he first encountered his future wife. Luciana Barroso was a bartender at the spot where he and some castmates were hanging out; Damon told Ellen Degeneres in a 2011 appearance on her talk show that he "literally saw [Barroso] across a crowded room," and that their meeting felt like fate at work. The couple have four children and celebrate their 15th anniversary this year. One of the secrets to their healthy relationship, Damon has shared, is that he and Barroso have a pact to never be apart for more than two weeks, which is a feat of scheduling.
Meryl Streep and Don Gummer
Like his wife Meryl Streep, Don Gummer is an artist. The three-time Academy Award winning actress married the sculptor in 1978. They met when Streep was grieving her actor boyfriend John Cazale, who died of lung cancer. According to Michael Schulman's Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep, Streep had to vacate the apartment she and Cazale shared, which led to a romance that would span decades. To help her move, Streep's brother brought along a friend: Gummer, her future husband. Though her family worried that she'd moved on too quickly, Streep and Gummer have been married for 42 years and have four children, all of whom are also in show business.
Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth
Reese Witherspoon told Elle that she met her current husband, talent agent Jim Toth, when he swooped in to save her from a drunk admirer at a house party (and to save his friend from embarrassing himself further). Toth proposed to the actress within the year and they were married in 2011, with her children from her marriage to actor Ryan Phillippe participating in the ceremony. They welcomed their son, Tennessee James, in 2012 and are still going strong. Now known as much for her production company as she is for her acting work, Witherspoon has credited Toth's confidence in her as the push she needed to branch out in Hollywood.
Gal Gadot and Yaron Varsano
Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot has been married to Yaron Varsano, a real estate developer, for 12 years. In an interview with Glamour, she revealed that they met "at this very strange party in the Israeli desert"—all about wellness and holistic healing. They weren't into the overall vibe, but they were into each other. On their second date, Varsano told Gadot that he knew he wanted to marry her eventually. Varsano couldn't be more proud of his superhero wife (the evidence is all over Instagram), with whom he has two daughters.
Ken Jeong and Tran Ho
Before making audiences laugh on Community and Dr. Ken, Ken Jeong was making his patients feel better. He was a general practitioner before Hollywood started to recognize his comedic talents. It was in his first career that he met his wife, Tran Ho, who's also a physician, at a happy hour for single doctors. Speaking to NPR, Jeong said that he was offered his role in The Hangover while Ho was being treated for Stage 3 breast cancer, and that she encouraged him to do it and not feel guilty about it. She's been cancer-free for a decade, and the couple have two children.
Alec and Hilaria Baldwin
Alec Baldwin and his wife of eight years, yoga instructor Hilaria Baldwin (née Thomas), met while out to dinner with different friends in New York City. They took it slow at first, with Hilaria lamenting later that Baldwin didn't kiss her for the first time until six weeks after they started seeing each other. They were married in 2012, though Alec confessed to The New York Times that, prior to meeting Hilaria, he thought he'd stay a bachelor forever. Now, they have four children together and have hinted that they'll be trying for a fifth.
Julia Roberts and Danny Moder
America's Sweetheart Julia Roberts has been lighting up screens since the 1980s, so it's fitting that the love of her life is a behind-the-scenes artist responsible for framing some iconic performances. Now a cinematographer, Danny Moder was brought into the spotlight when his relationship with Roberts—who he met when he was a camera operator on The Mexican—became public. After three children and 18 years of marriage, the couple still manages to mostly keep their private life private, however.
Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld
The beginnings of the relationship between Jerry Seinfeld and Jessica Seinfeld (née Sklar) provided gossip fodder for many a New York City society party. Jessica met Jerry a few months before she married theater producer Eric Nederlander, and began dating him after she came back from her honeymoon. Both parties have said over the years that the reality of the situation is far less scandalous than it sounds—and that Jessica's prior relationship was already over—but no matter what happened, the Seinfelds' romance was certainly not a fling. They've been married since 1999 and have three children, who have provided inspiration for Jessica's popular cookbooks aimed at helping parents get their kids to eat healthy.
Jon and Tracey Stewart
Blind dates can be awkward, but sometimes the uncertainty is worth it. Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart found that out when he was set up with veterinary technician Tracey McShane (now Stewart), with whom he'd go on to marry (proposing via New York Times crossword puzzle) and have two children. An animal activist, Tracey runs an animal preserve in upstate New York and wrote the book Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better.
Wanda Sykes and Alex Niedbalski
The love story of comedian and writer Wanda Sykes and her wife, Alex Niedbalski, sounds a little bit like destiny. Sykes first spotted her future partner on a ferry and took notice. Soon after, a friend introduced her to a French woman who could help Sykes find the right granite countertops for her kitchen remodel: Niedbalski. The pair got married in 2008, and Sykes came out to the public just one month later. Together, they have 11-year-old twins.
Aaron and Lauren Paul
Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and his wife Lauren (née Parsekian) have a pretty magical first kiss story. The actor told Jimmy Kimmel that it happened on a Ferris wheel at Coachella, the Indio, California music festival where they met. In 2018, they welcomed their daughter, Story Annabelle, and her proud dad is already planning for more kids. In her work life, Lauren co-founded the Kind Campaign, a non-profit organization that combats bullying among young girls.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita
Currently expecting their first child, Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband, lawyer Justin Mikita, have two first meeting stories. Ferguson admitted that, though they've used the answer "through mutual friends," they actually hit it off at the gym. They've been married since 2013, in a ceremony officiated by playwright Tony Kushner. But then, this is a couple who doesn't do things by halves. Their star-studded baby shower included a performance by a male synchronized swimming troupe.
Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith
The beaches of Cabo San Lucas seem like as good a place as any to meet your soulmate. That's where Bond actor Pierce Brosnan and TV presenter Keely Shaye Smith, who became free when an interview fell through, first laid eyes on each other. They've been husband and wife since 2001 and have two children together. The actor frequently expresses his enduring love for his partner on his Instagram, most recently in a sweet Valentine's Day tribute.
George Lucas and Mellody Hobson
Vanity Fair describes the wife of Star Wars creator George Lucas as "an investment guru," which may be an understatement. Mellody Hobson is the president of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based financial firm, and sits on the board of a plethora of companies and charities. She's also mother to their daughter, Everest, who was born in 2013, the same year that the couple wed.
Paul Rudd and Julie Yaeger
Doing a favor for someone can have unforeseen rewards. In 1995, an on-the-rise Paul Rudd came to New York and went straight to the office of his new publicist. Julie Yaeger, who worked in the same firm, offered to store his luggage so he wouldn't be late for an audition. Eight years after that, they got married, and 25 years and two kids later, they're still deliriously happy. Yeager has also branched out from publicity into screenwriting, penning the 2017 comedy Fun Mom Dinner.
Ellen Pompeo and Chris Ivery
Who says grocery stores aren't romantic? We're not sure what aisle they were perusing at the time, but Grey's Anatomy actress Ellen Pompeo and her future husband (and future father of their three children) Chris Ivery met while shopping. It wasn't technically love at first sight however—Pompeo and the music producer were "just friends" for several months. When they did tie the knot in 2007, it was a hush-hush event at City Hall in New York.
Terry Crews and Rebecca King-Crews
America's Got Talent host and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews has been standing alongside his wife Rebecca King-Crews throughout his rise to fame. The pair got married in 1989 (in a magnificently 1989 wedding) and have five kids. King-Crews is a musician, so she knows firsthand what the entertainment industry is like. Their shared experience as well as their commitment to marriage maintenance (including a 90-day "no sex" pact to reconnect in other ways) has kept their bond strong for over 30 years.
Seth Meyers and Alexi Ashe
In 2008, human rights lawyer Alexi Ashe accompanied her sister, who worked in set design on Saturday Night Live, to former cast member Chris Kattan's wedding. That's where the show's one-time head writer Seth Meyers, another guest, first laid eyes on her. The comedy writer and late-night host put a ring on it in 2013, and the pair balance their intense schedules (Ashe fights human trafficking as a Brooklyn district attorney) with caring for their two young boys.
Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied
An Academy Award isn't all Natalie Portman took away from her experience starring in the 2010 psychological drama Black Swan. She also got a husband out of the deal. She and dancer Benjamin Millepied, who choreographed her routines and also appears in the film, hit it off on set. In 2011, she dedicated her Oscar to her "beautiful love" and their then-newborn son, Aleph. They married in 2012 and welcomed their daughter Amalia in 2018. Millepied continues to direct the L.A. Dance Project, a company that he founded.
Zoë Saldana and Marco Perego-Saldana
An injury prevented Marco Perego-Saldana from a professional soccer career, which allowed him to find his other passion: art. It's unclear exactly when he met Guardians of the Galaxy hero Zoë Saldana, but the world found out that they had married in secret in 2013 and that Perego-Saldana had progressively taken his wife's last name. They now have three boys (including a set of twins!) who they're striving to raise in a gender-neutral environment, which includes Mom and Dad sharing housework and other stereotypically gendered tasks.
Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni
Sex and the City star-turned-politician Cynthia Nixon has no doubt been inspired in her public advocacy work by her wife, Christine Marinoni. Marinoni is an education activist and the previous director of New York City's Alliance for Quality Education, an organization with a mission to ensure that public schools have the resources they need. She gave birth to the couple's son in 2011, and has spoken out about the miscarriages she endured prior to that. The pair married in 2012, and Marinoni supported Nixon on the campaign trail in her unsuccessful bid to become the governor of New York.
Lisa Kudrow and Michel Stern
While many of her Friends co-stars dated and wed other big Hollywood names, Lisa Kudrow ended up falling in love with someone outside of the business: French advertising executive Michel Stern. They got married in 1995, and when she became pregnant with their only son Julian Murray, it was written into the show. (Remember when Phoebe was a surrogate for her brother?) The secret to the couple's longevity, Kudrow shared with Glamour, is that they don't make promises they can't keep, like feeling the same way about each other forever. "But we are promising to work on whatever problems come up," she said. "We're committed to our marriage working."
Patrick Dempsey and Jillian Fink
Actor and race car enthusiast Patrick Dempsey and his makeup artist wife Jillian Fink very nearly called it quits a few years ago. But before you could say "nothing in Hollywood lasts forever," the couple—who met when Dempsey came into Fink's salon for a haircut—called off their divorce and made another go of it. "I didn't feel like we had done all the work. And we both wanted to do that work," Dempsey told People in 2016. He credited counseling for helping their family (including their three kids) get through the rough patch, and last year, the pair celebrated their 20th anniversary.