Shondaland Actors Who Dated In Real Life
Shonda Rhimes has a long Hollywood history (she wrote the Britney Spears movie Crossroads, after all), but she cemented herself as a true TV powerhouse when Grey’s Anatomy debuted midseason in 2005 and became an instant smash. Since then, she’s brought us hit after massive hit from her production company, Shondaland.
We can thank Rhimes and her team for favorites like Private Practice, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, and Station 19 — just to name a few. “It was just about writing people I wanted to watch,” Rhimes told Business Insider in 2017. Apparently she wasn’t the only one that wanted to watch her characters. Her shows are all about diversity, inclusivity, and real emotion, but they don’t shy away from juicy romance drama. This drama doesn’t just happen on screen, though. Real-life Shondaland couples generate almost as much buzz as the shows themselves. From husbands and wives acting with one another to rumored romances between cast mates, here are Shondaland actors who dated (and, in some cases, got married) in real life.
Married couple Marika Dominczyk and Scott Foley were both on Grey's Anatomy
Both halves of husband and wife team Scott Foley and Marika Dominczyk made appearances on Shondaland shows. Marika Dominczyk had an 11-episode arc as Dr. Eliza Minnick on Season 13 of Grey’s Anatomy. Her husband, Scott Foley, was on two Shondaland hits: 15 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy from 2010 to 2012 and the starring role of Jake Ballard on Scandal from 2013 to 2018. Sadly, Dominczyk and Foley never crossed paths on a Shonda set as he was killed off Grey’s long before Dr. Eliza Minnick appeared at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
Despite Shondaland relationships being known for drama, Foley and Dominczyk have seemingly enjoyed a happy, drama-free marriage. The two were married in 2007, and have one daughter, Malina, and two sons, Keller and Konrad. Though both actors still have lively careers, they credit their simple routines for bolstering their successful relationship. “We make dinner at home. We sit with the kids.” Foley said in an interview with People. “We do crossword puzzles at night between watching The Bachelor and Scandal.”
Shondaland actors Liza Weiland and Paul Adelstein were married for years
Shonda Rhimes has a penchant for using the same actors in multiple shows, as evidenced by former couple Liza Weil and Paul Adelstein. Weil first made a name for herself as Paris Geller on Gilmore Girls, but then went on to do guest appearances on Shondaland’s Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Scandal and to have a starring role on How to Get Away With Murder. Adelstien had a small arc on Grey’s Anatomy and regular roles on both Private Practice and Scandal.
The two were married for most of their time on Shondaland shows, though their characters rarely crossed paths. They got married in 2006, and had one child together, a daughter they named Josephine. But unfortunately, they filed for divorce in 2016, as reported by Hollywood Life. Handling the details in mediation, Weil cited “irreconcilable differences” in the divorce documents and sought joint custody of their daughter. Though the proceedings were kept quiet, it seems that Weil got her wish as she regularly posts pictures of her daughter on her Instagram page.
Mireille Enos and Alan Ruck from The Catch are married
Though The Catch is not one of Shonda Rhimes’ biggest hits, it did feature a very successful Shondaland couple. In The Catch, Mireille Enos stars as Alice Vaughan, a private detective whose specialty is catching con artists. Though Enos’ real-life husband Alan Ruck made a guest appearance on the show as a side character’s ex-husband, he is much more famous for playing Cameron Frye in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It was actually Ruck’s work as Cameron Frye that caught his wife’s eye. Enos told People in a 2016 interview that she’d had a “crush” on Ruck after seeing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, saying, “Matthew Broderick was never a thing. It was always Cameron, tall and skinny and singing to himself.”
The two met while rehearsing a play in New York City and got married in 2008. They now have two children, a daughter named Vesper Vivianne and a son named Larkin Zouey. In that same interview, Enos said, “Everything is going beautifully. The kids are healthy, work is going well and my husband is amazing.”
Liza Weil dated her How to Get Away With Murder co-star Charlie Weber
Charlie Weber made a name for himself with a 14-episode arc on Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the early 2000s, but his most famous role is most likely Frank Delfino on Shondaland’s How to Get Away With Murder. Which is how he met Liza Weil. Weber spoke about their relationship back in July of 2017, on the podcast Allegedly with Theo Von & Matthew Cole Weiss. He said, “We were great friends and we found ourselves in a position to be more than that … You spend a lot of time [together] and we, I very much enjoyed spending time away from work and so it all just kind of came together like that … I’m very happy.”
Both Weber and Weil were married before, with Weber finalizing his divorce from his ex-wife Giselle Weber in 2016 (via Us Weekly), the same year Weil filed for divorce from her ex-husband. But their past relationships were not the only thing they had in common, as Weber went on to say in the podcast interview, “We’re very like-minded when it comes to our approach to acting … We’re two actors who are very dedicated to what they do.”
Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel from Private Practice were married for 11 years
It’s not uncommon for real-life Shondaland couples to appear on the same show but have their characters be dating other people. That’s exactly what happened with Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel on Private Practice. The couple met while performing in the original Broadway cast of Rent and went on to get married in 2003, as noted by People. Both have successful careers, with Menzel starring in big hits like Frozen and Diggs appearing in Chicago, Empire, and, of course, Private Practice. Menzel had a guest spot on Private Practice in 2009, while they were married, though she wasn’t with Diggs’ character on the show.
Sadly though, their marriage didn’t last. Menzel and Diggs finalized their divorce in 2015 (via Us Weekly), as the relationship had started showing strain years earlier. In an interview with People in 2013, Menzel said, “I’m not going to glamorize it or glorify it — we go through tough times like everybody else.” Despite their difficulties, the ex-couple are committed to co-parenting their son, as Diggs confirmed in an Us Weekly interview, saying, “We both love our son so much. …We wanna do right by our kid.”
Couple Katie Lowes and Adam Shapiro worked together on Scandal
Katie Lowes has a long Shondaland history with guest appearances on Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy, as well as her regular role of Quinn Perkins on Scandal. Lowes’ husband, Adam Shapiro, is also a long-time Shondaland actor. He had a two-episode arc on Grey’s Anatomy back in 2010, as well as an appearance in a single Scandal episode in which he got to work with his wife. In the episode titled “Truth or Consequences,” Shapiro plays Jessie Tyler, Quinn Perkins’ long-dead ex, in several flashbacks.
While it might be weird for some people to pretend that their spouse is dead, Lowes had a great time acting with her husband. “Working with Adam was totally surreal and wonderful!” Lowes told TVLine in a 2013 interview. “We’ve done tons of theatre together over the years, but never anything like this.”
The couple has even gotten their young son involved in the family business. In 2017, Lowes posting a picture of the baby on Instagram with the caption, “Baby’s first #Scandal Thursday! @shappyshaps and I are thrilled to welcome Albee Shapiro to our family! We’re happy & healthy! #BabyGladiator.”
Did How to Get Away With Murder's Aja Naomi King and Alfred Enoch date?
How to Get Away with Murder co-stars Aja Naomi King and Alfred Enoch did not date onscreen, but they may have dated in real life. King, who played good girl gone bad Michaela on HTGAWM, posted a lot of romantic-seeming pictures of her and Enoch on Instagram. One of them showed the two getting close at a Women’s March protest in 2017, and another showed them celebrating together at the Essence Black Women in Hollywood gala. Enoch, who played Wes Gibbins on HTGAWM and memorably was one of the secondary characters from Harry Potter, even met King’s parents. She posted a picture of the four of them captioned, “Another great adventure with the people I love most in the world!!!”
Despite what her social media seemed to be saying, the Shondaland actors have been cagey about their relationship, refusing to confirm or deny the rumors. “I would like to clear up nothing,” King said in a 2017 interview with E! News, “People could think what they want and I’m going to let them … He’s a beautiful man and I think I’m quite a lovely young lady.”
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