Everyone’s favorite sitcom about four geeky scientists and the hot neighbor across the hall sure did have a lot of physics jokes, and it also had a lot of heart. The Big Bang Theory, which took home a total of ten Emmy Awards during in its 12-year run, charmed audiences with its heavy supply of scientific gags and nerdy romances: from the unlikely pairing of Leonard and Penny, to Sheldon meeting his match in equally awkward genius Amy Farrah Fowler. It’s no wonder that the CBS show went on to exceed Cheers in number of episodes, inspired the spinoff series Young Sheldon, and took its place in television history among legendary shows like Friends.
With the show scoring its leads $1 million an episode by the eleventh season in 2017, it’s safe to say the cast went through some pretty big lifestyle changes by the time the series went off-air. Everything ended happily ever after for the characters in the finale, but how have their actual love lives fared? Here are the real life partners of The Big Bang Theory cast.
Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki's showmance didn't last
From their initial chemistry in the pilot to the seventh season engagement that set off fireworks, Leonard Hofstadter and Penny were the cutest couple on The Big Bang Theory. Considering the two actors’ palpable on-screen connection, it’s easy to understand why actors Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco felt similar sparks when the cameras weren’t rolling.
The two professionals denied the whispers of something more for years until 2010 when Cuoco revealed to CBS Watch! (via Us Weekly) that they secretly dated for two years before calling it quits. “It was such a huge part of my life and no one knew about it,” Cuoco said. “It was a wonderful relationship, but we never spoke a word about it and never went anywhere together.” Their solemn secrecy was out of protection for the show, and while it may have taken a toll on their romance, she said the split was “a mutual ending.” For his part, Galecki was even more tight-lipped than his ex, finally telling CBS Watch! in 2013, per Today, that although they’re “dear friends, still,” he didn’t like to discuss their former relationship as it may “distract from the story [of Leonard and Penny.]” The two were able to keep it professional for the rest of the series, and both went on to find new lovers outside of the small screen.
Johnny Galecki is a proud papa
Even though things didn’t work out between him and Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki found love with Alaina Meyer, a model who’s 22 years his junior, according to The Sun. The couple went public with their relationship in September 2018, per People, with Meyer showing off snaps of them traveling together on Instagram, as well as what appeared to be Galecki’s initials tattooed on her forearm and her initials inked on his hand. “Branded by babe,” she wrote in the caption. Meyer has continued to give her followers a peek into their romantic life together, although their candidness seems to start and stop with what they’re comfortable sharing on social media.
Although the two are not married, they appeared to be wearing matching rings in a post Galecki shared to Instagram in December 2018. Fans immediately began to wonder if the two had secretly wed, and according to People, Meyer answered the rumors by posting the same photo with the caption “#notmarried.” However, at the time of writing, the caption has been amended, so perhaps we’re not getting the full story. Regardless of whether or not they’ve made it official, the two were over the moon at the arrival of their first child: In December 2019, Mayer had a baby boy named Avery. “With full and grateful hearts we welcome our beautiful son into this incredible world,” Galecki wrote on Instagram. The duo still share snaps of their quirky — and often costumed — fam on social media.
Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak have a 'boring love'
While Jim Parsons never flat-out denied his sexuality, he admitted to The Hollywood Reporter in 2020 that he was “scared enough to make it [his] mission not to talk about it,” as he thought news of him being gay “might cause trouble” for the success of The Big Bang Theory. Nevertheless, a role in 2011’s Broadway run of The Normal Heart, a show about gay men dying during the AIDS crisis, seemed to shake his defenses. In a 2012 interview with The New York Times, he matter-of-factly revealed he was gay and in a 10-year relationship.
“Once it was out officially, I felt a sense of ownership over it … and I felt like a more participatory member of the community,” Parsons told THR. In 2013, Parsons and his boyfriend Todd Spiewak, a graphic designer, received the Inspiration Award from LGBTQ advocacy group GLESN. According to E!, the appearance marked their first time speaking publicly about their relationship. While Parsons was flattered, he insisted their relationship was not “an act of activism.” Instead, he told reporters at the event, it was “an act of love, coffee in the morning, going to work, washing the clothes … a regular life, boring love.” Still, The Boys in the Band actor was happy they were able to be an inspiration to the community “by simply being who [they] are.” According to E!, Spiewak added that the two “have no plans” to get married.
Kaley Cuoco finally found her 'horse guy'
Kaley Cuoco went through her fair share of public splits before finding Mr. Right. After breaking off her engagement to Josh “Lazie” Resnik in 2012, Cuoco married tennis player Ryan Sweeting. The union did not last: According to ET, they filed for divorce in 2015 after 21 months of marriage. However, Cuoco wasn’t heartbroken for long. In 2016, she shared on The Talk (via ET) that she had found her “meant to be” in equestrian Karl Cook. “We met at a horse show, I finally found my horse guy,” the actor gushed, adding that while she was initially worried she would “never gonna love again,” the two had bonded over their shared love for horses and dogs.
In 2017, on the Harley Quinn voice actor’s 32nd birthday, she got engaged to Cook after an intimate home cooked meal featuring all her faves, according to People. Her engagement came with an impressive rock from Nadis Diamonds that, according to Bridal Guide, was estimated to have cost between $80-$100 thousand. “We are so happy and in love,” Cuoco told E! in March 2018, a few months ahead of their big day. “I finally found my soulmate, so we’re ready to do it.” The two officially wed in June 2018, according to Cuoco’s Instagram, and from Cook’s on-set visits to their goofy adventures, it seems “KCSQUARED” is going to last.
Simon Helberg brought his romance to the big screen
On The Big Bang Theory, Simon Helberg portrayed the slightly neurotic and constantly hilarious Howard Wolowitz, an aerospace engineer who eventually ties the knot with microbiologist Bernadette Rostenkowski. Helberg has been equally successful in his off-screen romantic life, marrying actress Jocelyn Towne in 2007, according to Jewish Business News. The happy couple have two children together: a son named Wilder, born in 2014, and an older daughter named Adeline, according to Us Weekly.
Helberg and Towne brought the story of their romantic start to the big screen in 2014’s We’ll Never Have Paris, which Helberg wrote and the two co-directed. “It’s my story, when I was somewhat young and in the midst of a quarter-life crisis: I break up with the love of my life and then realize I’ve made a huge mistake and try to win her back,” Helberg told Fade In of the film. “We decided what a weird, poetic, kind of masochistic, perverse thing would it be for us to direct the story of our break-up now, as a happily married couple.” The film follows Helberg, who plays the character based on himself, as he travels to Paris to win back his high school sweetheart, portrayed by Melanie Lynskey.
Kunal Nayyar hit it off with a Miss Universe alum
Raj Koothrappali might have ended up single after a series of failed relationships on The Big Bang Theory, but actor Kunal Nayyar has been luckier on the romantic front. In 2012, People reported that he married Neha Kapur, a former Miss India, in a traditional Indian wedding in New Delhi in front of a thousand guests. Although Nayyar admitted to People in 2015 that the two were “very private,” he shared the story of how a “nerdy guy came to marry a beautiful former Miss India” in his 2015 book Yes, My Accent Is Real. Nayyar revealed that his cousin set the two of them up while he was home visiting New Delhi in 2008. “There was something beautiful about the rawness of her emotion,” Nayyar recounted in his book, per People. “I had known her for two hours, and I was getting hooked.”
Following their wedding, Kapur moved to Los Angeles from India where the couple bought a gorgeous 5000-square-foot home which they decorated as “an amalgamation of the country [they] live in and the country [they’re] from,” according to Architectural Digest. Kapur currently works as a fashion designer and model, having founded luxury brand Hensley in 2016. Kapur and Nayyar put their luxurious home on the market for a cool $3.995 million in 2020, per The Los Angeles Times, after purchasing a home previously owned by Nicolas Cage a year earlier.
Melissa Rauch married her college sweetheart
Like her Big Bang Theory on-screen husband Simon Helberg, Melissa Rauch is married to one of her favorite collaborators: writer Winston Rauch (née Beigel). Per The New York Post, Melissa and Winston met in college where they started working together. The two wrote Melissa’s hit one-woman stage show The Miss Education of Jenna Bush, a parody about George W. Bush’s daughter, leading to their subsequent move to L.A. and her spot on Big Bang. According to Popculture, the two married in 2007 before Rauch hit it big, with Winston taking his wife’s surname. “I am very fortunate that I met my husband in college,” Melissa told New Jersey Monthly in 2014. “The only thing I regret is not meeting him even sooner, as my life has just gotten better since he came into it.” The two co-wrote 2015’s gritty gymnastics comedy The Bronze, starring Melissa as a vulgar former medalist, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
The couple have a daughter called Sadie and a son named Brooks. Melissa has been extremely candid about her experience as a mother, appearing in a 2017 PSA supporting women who have suffered miscarriages and writing about her own pregnancy loss in Glamour. The actor penned another essay for Glamour on her experience giving birth alone during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, revealing that her husband “joined on FaceTime” alongside the nurses and doctor who “ultimately made [her] feel safe and protected.”
Love has Laura Spencer dancing
Forever wasn’t in the cards for Laura Spencer’s Big Bang Theory character Emily Sweeney and Raj. Although Spencer’s character was notably absent from the series after their split in season ten (via Express), Spencer has nothing but good things to say about her time on the show. “I’ll never forget it, my first scene on my first episode back when I got to walk on set with the live audience and hear the applause of everybody seeing my character in the living room,” she told The Wrap in 2014. “It just means something. It’s like, ‘Wow, you made it onto Sheldon’s couch.'”
Still, the Bones and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries actress has plenty to be thankful for in real life. In January 2019, she married Michael Greenwald, according to her Instagram. At the ceremony, the two performed an adorable “fully choreographed dance routine” to “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey. They’re currently happy dog parents to two pooches Annie and Gertie and never miss an opportunity for a cutesy social media moment, reciting Shel Silverstein poems together for Spencer’s nephews online. How’s that for puppy love!
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