The Big Bang Theory first premiered on CBS September 24, 2007. The sitcom about a group of science geek friends was a hit from the very first episode, and it made nerds (and non-nerds alike) fall in love with the adorable personalities of the lead characters.
Geeks everywhere cheered when they saw that at last socially-awkward geniuses got the beautiful girl on television, instead of rejection. Throughout the last 10 seasons of The Big Bang Theory, many on-screen (and off-screen) relationships developed. One of the most famous being Leonard (an experimental physicist) and his blonde bombshell of a neighbor/aspiring actress Penny. When the two first met, it seemed like someone like Leonard, who was not nearly as tall, hunky or muscly as Penny’s previous boyfriends, would ever go for someone like him. In a delightful turn of events, the two form an incredible relationship (on and off) and eventually get married!
Of course, sometimes we have to remind ourselves that it is only a show- and that the cast have their own real-life relationships at home. (I know, sadly Bernadette and Howard do not really have a cute baby together and Sheldon and Amy are not really going to get married.) However, the actors and actresses real girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands and wives are also pretty amazing if we do say so ourselves- so why not give them a chance?
The cast of The Big Bang Theory are of course nothing like socially-awkward nerds in real life, and are actually highly successful and confident human beings (and millionaires.) So it is no wonder that they have dated some of the most beautiful people.
Continue reading to see which geek landed a beauty queen in real life and which stars took their romance off-screen…
Johnny Galecki and Sara Gilbert (dated) 1992
Johnny Galecki plays an experimental physicist named Leonard who, despite his geekiness, tends to date very attractive women- like his neighbor Penny. In reality, Johnny has quite the long list of girlfriends. One of his earliest was with on-screen girlfriend Sara Gilbert. The two actually dated for a brief period of time after working together on the show Roseanne. Sara later realized that she is attracted to women and not men.. sorry Johnny!
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Kaley Cuoco and Josh Resnik (dated) 2011-2012
Kaley, who plays the blonde bombshell and Leonard’s wife Penny on-screen- has had quite a busy dating life off-screen. One of her earlier boyfriends was an addiction specialist named Josh Resnik. The two dated for a year and there were even rumors that the two lovebirds got engaged in October 2011. The relationship ended suddenly and Kaley was quick to move on.
Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak (married) 2017-
Jim Parsons, who plays the adorable genius physicist on the show, recently got married to his long-time graphic designer boyfriend Todd Spiewak. On May 13, the couple had an extravagant wedding at the iconic venue Rainbow Room on the 65th floor of Rockefeller Center in New York. Of course, all of their close friends and family were there, including most of Jim’s cast mates from the show.
Johnny Galecki and Laura Harris (dated) 1996-1998
In the late 90s, Johnny Galecki dated Canadian actress Laura Harris for two years. Laura was only nineteen at the time and Johnny was twenty. The two met after acting together in the mystery crime film Suicide Kings. At the moment she is single, but still acting in films and TV shows here and there. With her last role as Ester in the series Whole Day Down.
Kaley Cuoco and Brett Bolinger (dated) 2012-2013
Kaley and Brett Bolinger dated for only a year. They first went public with their relationship after attending a Lakers game together back in March 2012. Brett, who was born in Hawaii, is a musician and is the lead singer and bassist of a reggae band called Pepper. For unknown reasons, the couple split it off after a brief relationship and several PDA paparazzi pics.
John Ross Bowie and Jamie Denbo (married) 2004-
John Ross Bowie plays the part of Dr. Barry Kripke on the Big Bang Theory. A string theorist, Dr. Kripke is quite unlikeable, and can not pronounce neither the letter “R” nor “L.” He also takes on the persona of a “failing player.” In real life however, Bowie has acted in shows such as Reno 911! And the Citizens Brigade. He is currently married to comedienne and Ghostbusters star Jamie Denbo. Not bad for a lispy professor.
Johnny Galecki and Kelsey Harper (dated) 2007
Johnny Galecki plays one of the stars of the Big Bang Theory, Dr. Leonard Hofstadter. As we all know, Leonard is an experimental physicist, and he dates the bombshell of the show, Penny. However, in real life, Galecki has had several roles, including as David Healy in Roseanne. In real life, Galecki has dated actress Kelsey Harper. Harper herself had some significant roles, and now works as a florist. Probably a lot less stressful than acting!
Stephen Merchant and Mircea Monroe (dating) 2017-
Stephen played the role of Dave Gibbs, a guy who Amy dated briefly after breaking up with Sheldon. Stephen is actually a highly successful British TV star and has co-created shows like The Office and Extras. Earlier this year, he started dating stunning actress Mircea who is known for her current role in the comedy series starring Matt LeBlanc, Episodes.
Mayim Bialik and Michael Stone (divorced) 2003-2012
Mayim Bialik plays the role of neurobiologist Amy Fowler in the Big Bang Theory. She is also Sheldon’s love interest, having been found by Raj and Howard after secretly putting Sheldon on an online dating service. Bialik was married to Michael Stone, but she divorced him in 2012. The couple have two young boys aged 12 and nine. Stone is, by all accounts, a great father, and even converted to Judaism to Mormonism in order to be with Mayim.
Wil Wheaton and Anne Wheaton (married) 1999-
Interestingly enough, Wil Wheaton actually plays himself on the Big Bang Theory. His character at first is at odds with Sheldon and the rest of the crew, but then they turn to become friends. The first time the real Wheaton ever rose to prominence was after playing alongside Rob Reiner in Stand By Me. Wil’s wife Anne is an actress herself, and played roles in Sharknado as well as TableTop.
Brian Patrick Wade and Jill Wade (married) 2007-
Brian Patrick Wade played Penny’s ex-boyfriend Kurt in several of the first episodes of the Big Bang Theory, even stealing Leonard and Sheldon’s pants. Wade has appeared in other shows since then, including NCIS and CSI: Miami. He has been married to his wife, bodybuilder and fitness extraordinaire Jill for over ten years. The two seem to have been made, or at least sculpted, to be with each other.
Brian Posehn and Melanie Truhett (married) 2004-
Brian Posehn plays the recurring role of Bert on the show who is an employee at in the Caltech geology department who shows his love for Amy by bringing her rocks. Posehn has also appeared in The Sarah Silverman Program and the Dumb and Dumber sequel. In real life Brian is married to Melanie Truhett, a television producer who worked on Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza. The couple have been married since 2004 and have one son together.
Mark Harelik and Spencer Kayden (married) 2004-
Before he landed the role of Dr. Eric Gablehauser on The Big Bang Theory, Harelik appeared on several other sitcoms including Will & Grace, Seinfeld, and Boy Meets World. He is married to fellow actor Spencer Kayden and the couple have even acted in theater productions together. Spencer is known for acting in the Broadway show, Urinetown and for being a former cast member of the sketch comedy show MADtv. The couple have been married since 2004 and they have one child.
Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting (divorced) 2013-2016
Kaley Cuoco made media headlines when she got engaged to former professional tennis player, Ryan Sweeting after just three months of dating. Cuoco was confident in the relationship and said, “From day one I just knew immediately and it’s been magic.” The two tied the knot in 2013 but unfortunately, the marriage did not last and they filed for divorce in 2015. There were divorce rumors circulating just months before they split but Cuoco was quick to deny the rumors.
Alessandra Torresani and Rob Kardashian (rumored) 2011
While this relationship is only rumored to have occurred, the only son of the famous Kardashian family was briefly linked to actress Alessandra Torresani in 2011. The pair were spotted together at Coachella, which parked the dating rumors. As we all know, Kardashian went on to date model and former adult dancer, Blac Chyna and the couple had a child together before their very public split. Torresani went on to appear as Claire on The Big Bang Theory.
Johnny Galecki and Kelli Garner (dated) 2012-2014
In 2012, The Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki began dating Pan-Am actress Kelli Garner. The couple dated for two years and Garner was Galecki’s date to Kaley Cuoco’s wedding. They were often spotted together at red carpet events so it was obvious to the public that they ended things after they started showing up alone. The two insist that they have remained friends since their break up. After the two split, Garner went on to play Marilyn Monroe in the TV mini series, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.
Margo Harshman and Chris Marquette (dated) 2003-2005
Margo Harshman played the role of Alex Jensen on The Big Bang Theory from 2012 until 2013. Alex was a doctoral student and Sheldon’s assistant. She had a big crush on Leonard, which Penny did not appreciate. Since then Margo has has a recurring role on the television series NCIS. Margo dated actor Chris Marquette in the early 2000s before they ultimately split. Marquette appeared in films such as The Girl Next Door and Fanboys.
Sara Rue and Kevin Price (married) 2011-
Sara Rue played the role of Dr. Stephanie Barnett who is Leonard’s girlfriend for a brief period of time before Leonard ends it because the relationship is moving too fast. Sara Rue married her longtime Kevin Price, who is a teacher, in 2011. Unlike many other relationships in Hollywood, this one has lasted and the couple have two daughters together, Talulah who is their biological child and Adelaide who the couple adopted.
Laurie Metcalf and Matt Roth (divorced) 1993-2014
Laurie played Sheldon’s born-again Christian mother Mary Cooper. She is better known for her role as Jackie Harris on the sitcom Roseanne. In 1993, Laurie married her Roseanne costar Matt Roth, who played her abusive on-screen boyfriend. The two have three children together, a daughter and two sons. Sadly, their romance didn’t last and the two got a divorce in 2014.
Michael Trucco and Sandra Hess (married) 2009-
Michael played David Underhill, a highly successful physicist who dates Penny until she finds out he is actually married. He is also known for his recurring role as Cooper Lee in the CW drama One Tree Hill. In 2009, he married a beautiful Swiss actress and fashion model Sandra Hess. She is known best for her role as Sonya Blade in the film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. The two have been happily married since 2009.
Rick Fox and Vanessa Williams (divorced) 1999-2005
Glenn is Bernadette’s handsome college professor ex-boyfriend who runs into her and Howard while he was holding a panel on global warming. Rick is a Canadian actor and former basketball player of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. He married actress/singer and former Miss America Vanessa Williams in 1999. The two have a 17-year-old daughter together. In 2015, Vanessa got married again (for her third time) to businessman Jim Skrip.
Sara Gilbert and Linda Perry (married) 2014-
Sara married the Grammy nominated rock singer-songwriter Linda Perry in 2014. Perry started her career as the lead singer in the all-girl rock group 4 Non Blondes. Since then, she has worked with artists such as Adele, Pink, Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus and more. A year after they tied the knot, the happy couple welcomed their first child into the world. Their adorable son Rhodes Emilo is now two-years-old.
Johnny Galecki and Katie Waissel (rumored) 2014
In 2014, it was rumored that Johnny was dating the singer Katie Waissel. Katie finished seventh in the seventh series of The X-Factor UK. While their relationship was never made public, the couple were spotted while on a date at the intimate Chateau Marmont restaurant, and close sources told the press that the two were definitely a thing. Apparently, Katie started dating Johnny shortly after she divorced from her model husband of two months, Brian Moote.
Kaley Cuoco and Karl Cook (dating) 2016-
In 2016, Kaley started dating her current hunk of a boyfriend, Karl Cook. Karl, who is 27, works as a professional equestrian. The two went public last year with a series of cozy Instagram pictures of the pair spending time at the ranch with Karl’s horses. Kaley, who also has a love for horses, often goes riding with her equestrian hottie. She even recently called him “the one.”
LeVar Burton and Stephanie Cozart Burton (married) 1992-
LeVar is most recognized as Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation and as the host of the PBS kid’s show Reading Rainbow. LeVar played himself on TBBT, and came to Sheldon’s social group at the apartment after he invited him via Twitter. LeVar married makeup artist Stephanie Cozart in 1992, and currently works as a makeup artist for the CBS show The Talk.
Kaley Cuoco and Kevin Zegers (dated) 2003
Kaley and Kevin fell for one another while costarring in a horror film titled The Hollow. They went on to date for a full year, and Kevin later went on to star as Damien in Gossip Girl. Of course, Kevin moved on after the relationship. He has been married to wife Jaime Feld since 2013, and two years later they welcomed their adorable set of twin girls into the world.
Dean Norris and Bridget Norris (married) 2001-
Dean Norris has guest starred on the show for a few episodes as Colonel Richard Williams. He expressed interest in the navigation/guidance system that guys had been working on. Dean is of course most recognized for his role as Hank in the series Breaking Bad. He has been married to fellow Harvard alum Bridget since 2001. She currently works as an attorney and specializes in transactional law.
Joshua Malina and Melissa Merwin (married) 1996-
Joshua plays Dr. Siebert who is the president of the California Institute of Technology where the guys work. He is best known for his roles in The West Wing and currently Scandal. In 1996, he married Melissa who was working as a costume director for several TV series at the time. The couple now have two children together; a daughter named Isabel and a son named Avi.
Kaley Cuoco and Thad Luckinbill (dated) 2002
In 2002, Kaley dated actor Thad Luckinbill, who is known best for his longtime role as J.T. on the soap opera The Young and the Restless. He played on the show from 1999 to 2010. The couple didn’t date for too long, staying together for less than a year before putting on the brakes. He is still acting in shows here and there, and most recently appeared in a film titled Only the Brave as Scott Norris.
Michael J. Massimino and Carola Pardo (married) 1989-
Mike played himself on the show, a former NASA astronaut and veteran of two Space Shuttle missions. He contacts Howard at his home on Skype in order to discuss Howard’s upcoming duties on his next expedition. Since 1989, he has been married to Carola Pardo and the couple have a son and daughter together. While Mike was in space, Carola had to take care of her young children by herself, and prayed for him to return safely each time.
Stephen Root and Romy Rosemont (married) 2008-
Dan is Penny’s interviewer for a sales representative position at a pharmaceutical company. It was set up by Bernadette, who Dan later admits he is terrified of. Stephen has been in multiple roles but is best known for his roles in the films Office Space and Dodgeball. In 2008, he married actress Romy Rosemont. She is known for her roles on Glee (she played Finn’s mom) and most currently a series called Beyond.
Josh Brener and Meghan Falcone (married) 2014-
In the series, Josh plays Dale- an employee at the comic book store that the guys frequently visit. Josh is known best for his role as Nelson “Big Head: Bighetti in the HBO series Silicon Valley. Since 2014, the Harvard Graduate and actor married his actress wife Meghan Falcone. The two met while they were performing together at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Meghan has been in several shows herself, such as Californication and Foursome.
Johnny Galecki and Ari Graynor (dated) 2006
In 2006, Johnny dated actress Ari Graynor. If she looks familiar to you it is probably because she has been in a ton of movies including Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and The Sitter. She also appeared as Caitlin Rucker in The Sopranos (which was her first ever acting gig.) Most recently, she has been appearing in the Showtime series I’m Dying Up Here where she plays one of the leads, Cassie Feder. The couple dated for less than a year before going their separate ways for unknown reasons.
Matt Bennett and Liz Gillies (rumored) 2014-?
Matt played Howard’s younger half-brother Josh on the show, but he is most well-known for his role as Robbie Shapiro on Nickelodeon’s Victorious. Since 2014, there have been rumors that Matt is dating his former Victorious costar Liz Gillies. The two frequently share cute selfies together and constantly talk in interviews about how much they care for the other, which has made fans suspect that the pair are more than best friends.
Johnny Galecki and Ariella Nicole (dating) 2015-
Johnny has been dating Ariella Nicole since 2015. After Johnny posted a blurry picture of him and a blonde sharing a New Year’s kiss, rumors spread like wildfire that him and costar/ex-girlfriend Kaley Cuoco were back together. Later on, that theory was proved wrong and was actually his girlfriend Ariella Nicole. The pair were recently seen frolicking on the beach while on a romantic getaway in Maui. While not much is known about his current girlfriend, we are hoping there will be more details revealed in the new future!
Melissa Rauch and Winston Beigel (married) 2007-
Melissa Rauch is known as Bernadette, or Howard’s microbiologist wife. Although her on-screen husband is about the same height as the petite blonde, her real life husband is much the opposite. She has been married to her screenwriter husband Winston since 2007. At 6′ 3″, Winston towers over his wife of 4’11”. The two lovebirds announced their pregnancy in July, and they are expecting their first child together this Fall!
Kaley Cuoco and Jaron Lowenstein (dated) 2005-2006
Kaley and Jaron were a couple between 2005-2006. He is a singer who at the time, was famous for singing with his twin brother in the country-pop musical duo Evan and Jaron. After a short relationship, they both went their separate ways. While Kaley went on to land the role of a lifetime as Penny the following year, Jaron’s fame and musical career was short-lived and diminished shortly after.
Steven Yeun and Joana Pak (married) 2016-
You may have forgotten, but the Walking Dead star Steven Yeun was once Sheldon’s former roommate. He had a very brief appearance as the guy who moved out and warned Leonard to “run fast.” In 2016, the actor married his wife Joana Pak and the adorable couple had a beautiful traditional Korean wedding, due to their shared heritage. The following year, on St.Patrick’s Day, they welcomed a baby boy.
Nathan Fillion and Krista Allen (dating) 2017-
Nathan Fillion played himself in an episode of TBBT where Raj and Leonard approach him at a deli. He is most well-known for his roles as Richard Castle in the ABC series Castle and Captain Malcom Reynolds in the sci-fi series Firefly. Earlier this year, the actor started dating Baywatch actress Krista Allen- who has been married two times before. She also dated George Clooney for a couple years until 2004.
Elizabeth Bogush and Lukas Reiter (married) 2005-
Elizabeth played Dr. Catherine Millstone on the show, who expressed interest in Raj’s essay on the Kuiper belt. Elizabeth is known for appearing in series such as Scrubs, The Young and the Restless and NCIS: Los Angeles. In 2005, the actress married Lukas Reiter, a television executive, writer and former lawyer. He has produced shows like The Blacklist, The Firm and The Practice.
Kaley Cuoco and Christopher French (dated) 2011-2012
Kaley dated musician Christopher French from 2011-2012. He is best known for founding LA based band Annie Automatic. He has also composed music for a few series such as Young & Hungry and Life Flight. Shortly after him and Kaley split, he met actress Ashley Tisdale (from the High School Musical movies) and later proposed to her on the top of the Empire State Building. She said yes and the musical couple got married in 2014.
David Barrera and Maria Canals-Barrera (married) 1999-
David played Officer Hernandez in one episode of TBBT. After Sheldon gets robbed he is taken to the police station, with Hernandez in charge of the case. David has appeared in several movies and TV shows. He is most recognized for his role as Sgt. Ray ‘Casey Kasem’ Griego in the series Generation Kill. He married actress Maria Canals in 1999, who has worked as an actress and voice actress since the early ’90s. The happy couple now have two children together.
Christopher Lloyd and Jane Walker Wood (divorced) 1992-2005
Christopher Lloyd, aka Doc from Back to the Future, made a guest appearance on TBBT as a creepy homeless man who Sheldon rents his room to in order to get revenge on Leonard. Christopher has been married 4 times, with each marriage ending in divorce. His last wife was journalist turned screenwriter Jane Walker Wood, who is known for writing the movie Bob the Butler. The couple had quite an age gap in between them, 22 years to be exact!
Eliza Dushku and Peter Palandjian (engaged) 2017-
Eliza had a guest appearance on TBBT as FBI Agent Angela Page who does a background check on Howard. Of course, she is better known for her roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bring It On. Earlier this year, Eliza got engaged to Peter Palandjian. Peter is a former professional tennis player but now CEO of Intercontinental Real Estate Corp. At 52, her new fiancé is 16 years older than her, but she doesn’t seem to mind!
Kaley Cuoco and Henry Cavill (dated) 2013
Kaley and actor Henry Cavill, who is known for his portrayal of Superman, had a fling that lasted only 10 days. Kaley fell for the handsome actor shortly before meeting her ex-husband Ryan Sweeting (who she married after three months.) Although the couple only dated for a bit over a week, the paparazzi went wild. Kaley even once said in an interview, “I had no one following me until I met Superman.”
Summer Glau and Val Morrison (married) 2014-
The stunning Summer Glau played herself on the show. She is most well-known for her role as River Tam in the sci-fi series Firefly. The gang runs into the sci-fi actress on the train, and they all fight over who will go talk to her. In 2014, she and her longtime actor boyfriend Val Morrison had a secret wedding. He is known best for his roles in Days of our Lives and the horror film Hollows Grove.
Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco (dated) 2008-2010
Big Bang Theory fans around the world rejoiced when the two stars of the show hooked up in real life. Leonard and Penny were dating both on-screen and off-screen from 2008 until 2010 but the actors tried to keep their relationship out of the public eye. When asked about the relationship, Kaley Cuoco said, “It was such a huge part of my life and no one knew about it,” she continued, “It was a wonderful relationship, but we never spoke a word about it and never went anywhere together.”
Simon Helberg and Jocelyn Towne (married) 2007-
Simon Helberg plays the geeky aerospace engineer and ex-astronaut who is married to the adorable Bernadette. In real life, Simon has been married to Jocelyn Towne since 2007. Jocelyn is an actress as well and has played smaller roles in film and TV since 2000. She also worked as a producer for the film We’ll Never Have Paris, which starred her very own husband as the lead. The couple have two children together, a 5-year-old daughter named Adeline and a 3-year-old son named Wilder.
Keith Carradine and Hayley DuMond (married) 2006-
Keith Carradine made a few short but sweet appearance on The Big Bang Theory as Penny’s father Wyatt. Being an actor runs in the Carradine family as his father and four brothers are all actors. Carradine has appeared in many other television shows such as Fargo and Madam Secretary. He is married to actress Hayley DuMond who has appeared in House Hunting and The Hunter’s Moon. The two met on the set of the aforementioned film in 1997 and they got married in 2006. Carradine has three children from previous relationships.
DJ Qualls and Nikki Reed (dated) 2006-2007
DJ Qualls played Toby Loobenfeld, a research assistant at Caltech who is chosen by Sheldon to play his non-existent cousin “Leopold.” DJ has worked as a fashion model and actor. He is most recognized as geeky and awkward Kyle in the Road Trip movies. For a little over a year, DJ dated the gorgeous actress and model Nikki Reed, who is known best as Rosalie Hale in the Twilight Saga movies. While DJ still hasn’t moved on to any serious relationships, Nikki has been married twice since. She is now the wife of fellow vampire Ian Somerhalder from The Vampire Diaries.
Kunal Nayyar and Neha Kapur (married) 2011-
Kunal Nayyar, who plays astrophysicist and nerd Raj, has been married to Neha Kapur since 2011. While his on-screen character may not have had the best luck with the ladies, his real-life romance proves much otherwise! His wife is not only gorgeous, she just so happens to be a former beauty queen, who was titled Miss India in 2006, and competed in the Miss Universe pageant later that year. Kunal met his beautiful wife while on a trip in India, where both of them grew up.