Entertainment

25 TV Co-Stars Who Dated In Real Life

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Celebrity couples are a source of joy both for fans and for Hollywood. When two famous figures combine their high-wattage star power into a single unit, it’s like their abilities to fascinate redoubles, creating a center of gravity stronger than they could possibly manage alone. For TV stars, this can work to their advantage, bringing together the popularity of their fan bases with the fandom of the series. These TV co-stars who dated in real life are proof that even if those couples end, their fabled romances live on in our memories.

Co-star relationships can be a wonderful thing. For one, they often drum up a ton of buzz for a show, because people want to tune in and see what a couple's chemistry is like onscreen. And in those cases in which the couple actually lasts, it can be totally magical. Just look at Kit Harington and Rose Leslie, who met on the set of Game of Thrones playing their respective roles of Jon Snow and Ygritte and are now married IRL.

Of course, not all relationships last forever. Here are 25 couples who were both co-stars on TV and lovers offscreen, some of whom have made it (at least so far), and some of whom weren’t so lucky. While those who broke up may no longer be together IRL, their time spent together lives on in TV history.

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Entertainment — 25 TV Co-Stars Who Dated In Real Life
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Originally Published: 

1. Blake Lively & Penn Badgley ('Gossip Girl')

Once upon a time, Blake Lively and Penn Badgley were pretty much synonymous with their Gossip Girl characters Serena and Dan. While their fictional characters fell in and out of love with one another for the entirety of the series' six seasons, which ran from 2007 to 2012, off screen, Lively and Badgley dated between 2008 and 2010. Luckily, they didn't let their love, or lack thereof, get in the way of making the show. The reboot could only hope to get so lucky.

The CW

2. Sophia Bush & Chad Michael Murray ('One Tree Hill')

Fans of One Tree Hill and its stars know there were quite a few co-star relationships that stemmed from the show, but this one in particular was a doozy. Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush met on the set of the series and got married in 2005. While their marriage was short-lived (the divorce was finalized in 2006), they continued to work together on the show until Murray's exit in 2009. The duo made headlines as recently as 2018, when a Twitter feud brought up their old relationship troubles.

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3. Nina Dobrev & Ian Somerhalder ('The Vampire Diaries')

Oof, this one hurt. Fans watched love blossom between Nina Dobrev's Elena and Ian Somerhalder's Damon on The CW’s hit, The Vampire Diaries, and offscreen, they got to see the actors' relationship unfold as well. After meeting on set in 2009, the couple was together until their highly publicized split in 2013. Somerhalder went on to marry actor Nikki Reed, and in an early 2019 interview with Andy Cohen, Dorbev confirmed she is friends with both members of that happy couple.

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4. Milo Ventimiglia & Alexis Bledel ('Gilmore Girls')

Stars Hollow was home to many love affairs for Rory Gilmore, but it also hosted at least one special relationship for Alexis Bledel, the actor who played her. Many fans rooted for Rory and Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) to be endgame, just as they did for Bledel and Ventimiglia, who dated in real life for about three years after meeting on set in 2001.

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5. Trai Byers & Grace Gealey ('Empire')

When Empire landed in 2015, the over-the-top drama made headlines for all the relationship mess that went down week after week. But it was an off-camera connection that made the biggest sparks when Trai Byers, who played Andre Lyon, and Grace Byers, who played Boo Boo Kitty, fell in love. The two tried to keep things quiet, but by the end of the year, they were engaged. The two tied the knot in 2016, and although Byers left the show two years before it ended, their relationship, as of this writing, is still going strong.

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6. Katie Holmes & Joshua Jackson ('Dawson's Creek')

Ah, Joey and Pacey. They were so cute together on The WB's Dawson's Creek, and the actors who played them, Kaite Holmes and Joshua Jackson, were super cute as well. As young stars of the show, the two dated for a little while after getting close on set. Even after the breakup, Holmes called Jackson her first love. It's all just so sweet.

The WB

7. Chris Pratt & Emily Vancamp ('Everwood')

After meeting on the set of The WB's classic drama Everwood, Chris Pratt and Emily Vancamp dated from 2004 to 2006. The twist was, the two played brother and sister on the show! Addressing fans' comments about the pairing, Pratt told TV Guide in an interview: "We've pretty much gotten used to the response of, 'Eww, that's weird. That's creepy.' The people who know us are happy, and probably expected it to happen eventually. But yeah, every once in a while we get that one person that's like, "That's really creepy. You just kissed your sister ... It never really weirded us out that we played brother and sister, because, you know, it's all fiction."

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8. Emma Roberts & Evan Peters ('American Horror Story')

Talk about a rollercoaster ride. Emma Roberts and Evan Peters began dating in 2012 while filming the indie movie Adult World, but they are perhaps best known together for their onscreen performances in the ever-popular, ever-creepy anthology series American Horror Story. The couple had a number of relationship issues that were highly publicized, and in March 2019 they reportedly ended their engagement.

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9. Alexis Ren & Alan Bersten ('Dancing With The Stars')

Dancing with the Stars is pretty notorious for facilitating numerous relationships between celebrity contestants and their dancing partners. In this case, Instagram model Alexis Ren was the star, and Alan Bersten was the dancing romancer. The pair bonded as partners on the show in 2018, but by December of that year, they decided to call it quits.

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10. Ross Lynch & Jaz Sinclair ('Chilling Adventures of Sabrina')

Onscreen, Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) and Harvey (Ross Lynch) were the CAOS it-couple until the end of the show’s first batch of episodes. By the show’s second season, Harvey had moved on to Jaz Sinclair’s Roz, and fans were thrilled when it turned out Lynch and Sinclair were seeing each other off screen too. The show may be over, but the couple is still on.

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11. Ed Westwick & Jessica Szohr ('Gossip Girl')

Another on-set romance that took place within the Gossip Girl family was between Ed Westwick, who played bad-boy Chuck Bass, and Jessica Szohr, who portrayed Dan Humphrey's meddling bestie Vanessa Abrams. Although Chuck and Vanessa were never a couple on the show (minus a questionable hookup in Season 2), in reality, Westwick and Szohr started dating in 2008 and reportedly dated on and off for the following few years.

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12. Sophia Bush & Austin Nichols ('One Tree Hill')

Years after her split with Chad Michael Murray, Sophia Bush went on to have a six-year, on-again-off-again relationship with another of her One Tree Hill co-stars, Austin Nichols. The two broke it off for good in February 2012, a mere two months before their show ended its final season.

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13. Paul Wesley & Phoebe Tonkin ('The Vampire Diaries')

Paul Wesley and Phoebe Tonkin met on the set of The Vampire Diaries in 2012 and began dating the following summer. Wesley starred as Stefan Salvatore on the show, while Tonkin had the recurring role of Hayley Marshall. Though Tonkin left the series in 2013 to be in its spinoff, The Originals, she dated Wesley for more than four years before their split.

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14. Milo Ventimiglia & Hayden Panettiere ('Heroes')

They may have played family members on their NBC show, but in real life, Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia were much more romantic. The two dated for about two years after meeting on the set of their hit drama, and their 12-year age difference made many headlines — as did their breakup in 2009.

NBC

15. Samira Wiley & Lauren Morelli ('Orange Is The New Black')

During Orange Is The New Black’s heyday on Netflix, the series was celebrated for its diversity both on and off camera. But even so, fans could never have imagined the unflinching look at life behind bars would also spawn romance off screen. But that’s what happened when Samira Wiley, who played Poussey Washington, and Lauren Morelli, the show’s writer, got together. Though the two were not technically co-stars, their relationship on a show that was so meaningful to the LGBTQ+ community made headlines around the entertainment world. Having a celebrity couple not only get together on the show, but also stay together after (they married in March 2017), was a huge deal and still is.

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16. Jason Segel & Linda Cardellini ('Freaks And Geeks')

Freaks and Geeks may have been a short-lived series, but its fandom seems like it will carry on forever. Many actors from the show have gone on to become big stars, two of whom being Jason Segel and Linda Cardellini. Following their onscreen romance, Segel and Cardellini dated for a few years, and many people even speculate that parts of Segel's character's experience in the comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall are based on his relationship with Cardellini.

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17. Kaley Cuoco & Johnny Galecki ('The Big Bang Theory')

On a long-running show such as The Big Bang Theory, it's only natural for some of the cast members to end up coupling off. Playing each other's love interests for so long seemed to have an impact on Kaley Cuoco, who played Penny, and Johnny Galecki, who starred as Leonard. The two had a secret relationship IRL from 2007 to 2009. Luckily, their breakup was amicable, which probably made playing their very much in-love characters on the show much easier for them.

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18. AnnaLynne McCord & Kellan Lutz ('90210')

Talk about a throwback. These two were one of the hottest couples back in 90210's heyday. AnnaLynne McCord, a leading lady on the show as Naomi Clark, and Kellan Lutz, who played the smaller role of George (but was much better known as Emmett in the Twilight saga), hooked up as their characters on the series, and they also dated in real life for a year until their split in 2010.

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19. Melissa Benoist & Blake Jenner ('Glee')

Melissa Benoist and Blake Jenner's relationship was sparked on the set of Glee, where Benoist played Marley Rose and Jenner portrayed Ryder Lynn. The two confirmed their relationship in early 2013, and in 2015, they got married. Fans of the couple also got to see them act together in The CW's Supergirl, with Benoist as the titular star and Jenner appearing in several episodes. The two divorced in 2017, reportedly citing irreconcilable differences.

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20. Chrishell Stause & Keo Motsepe ('Dancing with the Stars')

Another dancing couple who didn’t make it: Chrishell Stause and Keo Motsepe. The two met on the dance floor after Stause hit it big on Netflix in the reality series Selling Sunset. She and Motsepe may have found love for a bit after the dancing shoes were put away, but it didn’t last. The couple called it quits in May 2021.

ABC

21. Leighton Meester & Sebastian Stan ('Gossip Girl')

Love really was in the air on the Gossip Girl set! Stan's character Carter Baizen was definitely not one of the most popular guys on the show, but the actor himself seemed to win the favor of Leighton Meester. After meeting on set in 2008, the couple reportedly dated for two years before splitting up. But all's well that ends well: Meester has been married to her sweetheart Adam Brody in 2014, and Stan has gained legions of loving fans by playing Bucky Barnes in the Marvel films.

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22. Chad Michael Murray & Kenzie Dalton ('One Tree Hill')

Though Sophia Bush often got called out for dating multiple OTH co-stars, she certainly wasn't the only one! By the time her divorce with Chad Michael Murray was finalized, her ex-hubby was already engaged to another woman. Murray met Kenzie Dalton when she got a walk-on role to the show as a high school cheerleader. The two were engaged for about seven years before ending the relationship.

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23. Dove Cameron & Ryan McCartan ('Liv And Maddie')

Dove Cameron and Ryan McCartan were Disney sweethearts when they got together on the set of Liv and Maddie. The young couple made their relationship public in 2013, and three years later, they got engaged. However, the two broke off said engagement only six months after that. Both stars were vocal on social media about the breakup, and McCartan cited their busy schedules as part of the reason for their split.

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24. Adrianne Palicki & Scott Grimes ('The Orville')

Even sci-fi and fantasy series have their share of couples who found love and then lost it. Over on the Star Trek-esque series The Orville, Adrianne Palicki met and fell in love with co-star Scott Grimes; they got married in 2019. Unfortunately, the marriage didn't last; Palicki filed for divorce twice before the couple finally called it quits.

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25. Rachel Bilson & Adam Brody ('The O.C.')

Anyone who watched The O.C. knew how hard fans rooted for Seth Cohen and Summer Roberts. Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody played two parts of one of the most recognizable TV couples of its time, and off screen, the actors were equally shipped. The real-life couple split in 2006, but their characters had a better fate: In the series finale, which aired in February 2007, Seth and Summer got married in a sweet flash-forward episode.

Relationships may fade, but TV is forever. Here's to all the co-star couples, both still together and long-split, that have provided so much joy to their fans.

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