Grey’s Anatomy first aired on March 27th 2005 and since then, the long-running series has gained millions of fans around the world. Since the launch of the show, fans worldwide have fallen in love with the cast of Grey’s Anatomy, thanks in part to the many memorable romances that the show often showcases.
Of course, in reality, we all know that the actors and actresses working on the show have real-life loves of their own! But who are they and (more importantly) what do they look like?! In the article below, we take a look at the cast members of Grey’s Anatomy past and present with their real-life partners, and some of them may well surprise you.
1. Ellen Pompeo & Chris Ivery
Ellen Pompeo will forever be remembered for her portrayal of the surgical intern, and later fully-fledged doctor, Meredith Grey. Pompeo instantly won over critics and audiences and is now one of the highest-paid TV actresses in America, recently signing a $20,000,000 annual contract with ABC.
On-screen, Meredith’s relationship with fellow doctor Derek Shepherd suffered various highs and lows, from an Alzheimer’s diagnosis to a tragic car accident. Plus, fans of the series will know that things really didn’t end well for the couple. Thankfully, the actress’s personal life is a lot less dramatic than her on-screen relationship with Derek! Pompeo is happily married to husband Chris Ivery, a music producer from Massachusetts who she met and fell in love with at the grocery store. How cute!
2. Patrick Dempsey & Jillian Fink
Patrick’s on-screen alter-ego Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd proved an instant hit with fans. His will-they won’t-they with surgical intern Meredith was one of the main throughlines of the show, but in real life, Patrick is happily married to make-up artist Jillian Fink, with whom he celebrated his 18th wedding anniversary last year. However, things haven’t always been rosy for the couple and a few years ago they had some off-screen drama of their own.
Their marriage almost came to an end two years ago when Jillian filed for divorce, but since then they have worked hard at their relationship and appear to be extremely happy. In a recent interview, Patrick stated that “Our marriage was not something I was prepared to let go of. I didn’t feel like we had done all the work. And we both wanted to do that work. That’s where it started.”
3. Justin Chambers & Keisha Chambers
Grey’s Anatomy fans may be interested to learn that in real life, Chambers is nothing like his character Alex Karev, especially when it comes to the ladies. At the start of the series, Karev was rude and dismissive of the other doctors, and even managed to get on the wrong side of his patients from time to time. He had an on-off relationship with Izzie Stevens, played by Katherine Heigl, during which time his character softened somewhat.
After Heigl’s abrupt departure from the series, Chamber’s alter-ego found time for romance with Lexie Grey and Jo Wilson. In real life, Chambers has been married to his wife Keisha since 1993 and the couple now has five children together. The pair first met after he modelled underwear for Calvin Klein. Keisha was a booking agent at the time and clearly liked what she saw. We can’t really blame her!
4. James Pickens Jr. & Gina Taylor-Pickens
James Pickens Jr has been a core member of the cast from the moment the original pilot first aired. Since then he has won multiple awards for his role as Chief Surgeon Richard Webber. Regular viewers will know that Webber once had an affair with Meredith’s mother, Ellis Grey, but ended the relationship after becoming jealous of her medical career. He was later married to Adele Webber until her death, after which he married Catherine Fox.
Although Richard has suffered his fair share of romantic misfortunes, in real life James has been married to his wife Gina for 35 years. They have two children together – Carl Tharps and Gavyn Pickens – who are both trying to emulate their father and make it in the world of show business. James and Gina currently reside in Los Angeles County, California.
5. Jessica Capshaw & Christopher Gavigan
Jessica Capshaw is no stranger to medical dramas. As well as playing Dr Arizona Robbins on Grey’s Anatomy, she also starred in The Practice as Jamie Stringer. Capshaw’s on-screen persona Robbins was introduced in season five as a love interest for Callie, and the pair quickly hit it off. Viewers praised their chemistry together and creator Shonda Rhimes has previously stated that Capshaw’s break-out performance is one of the things she most loves about season five.
In real life, Capshaw has been married to her husband Christopher Gavigan for several years. The good-looking couple got married on 22nd May 2004 at an East Hampton estate owned by Capshaw’s family. Gavigan is co-founder of The Honest Company, an ethical consumer goods corporation supported by Jessica Alba. Capshaw and Gavigan remain happily married to this day, and currently have four children together.
6. Kim Raver & Manuel Boyer
Kim Raver plays Teddy Altman on the series, a cardiothoracic surgeon who originally departed the show in its eighth season. Teddy is an excellent surgeon who gets caught up in a messy love triangle between her former army buddy Owen Hunt and his new girlfriend Cristina. Teddy tries to make things difficult for the pair and it doesn’t have the best effect on working life at Seattle Grace. In real life, however, actress Kim Raver is a happily married woman.
Raver has been married to French actor and director Manuel Boyer since the year 2000. Apparently, the couple first met at a private swimming pool in New York City and immediately hit it off. They’ve been together ever since and as well as being married, they now have two children together. The couple has two boys – Luke West, born in 2002, and Leo Kipling, born in 2007. Awww!
7. Debbie Allen & Norm Nixon
Debbie Allen is well-known to Grey’s fans for her role as the kindly urologist Catherine Fox. Like most characters in the series, Catherine turns up at Seattle Grace with some personal baggage of her own, including an ex-husband who tried to take her son Jackson away from her. Catherine soon settles into life at the hospital and quickly strikes up a romance with Richard Webber.
Actress Allen has enjoyed a much less dramatic love life off-camera! She’s been married to former NBA basketball star Norm Nixon since 1984 and the couple has three children together, at least one of whom has followed in her parents’ footsteps by seeking the limelight as a dancer. Before she met Nixon, the actress was married to Win Wilford, the former vice president of CBS Records, from 1975 to 1983.
8. Katherine Heigl & Josh Kelley
Since appearing in Grey’s Anatomy, Heigl has gone on to become a major star of the silver screen. The actress bagged lead roles in blockbusters such as 2007’s Knocked Up and 2008’s 27 Dresses, thanks to her stint on Grey’s. Heigl met now-husband Josh Kelley, an American singer-songwriter, after starring in one of his music videos around the same time. The pair married in 2007 and they have three kids together.
Heigl and Kelley made a deliberate decision not to live together before getting married. The actress later explained the choice by stating that she wanted their official union to feel completely different to their dating life, saying: “I think I just wanted to save something for the actual marriage. I wanted there to be something to make the actual marriage different than the dating or the courtship.” Fair enough! The unconventional start to their marriage seems to have worked for them because Heigl and Kelley are still together today.
9. Eric Dane & Rebecca Gayheart
Eric Dane played good-looking, womanising doctor Mark Sloan, a character so popular amongst female fans that he was later nicknamed “McSteamy”. He made such an impact on the show that after his tragic departure in season eight, Seattle Grace was actually re-named Sloan-Grey Memorial Hospital in his memory. That’s quite the honour! Off-screen, Dane has been married to American model Rebecca Gayheart since 2004.
The real-life couple has endured their own highs and lows, most dramatically in 2009, when a nude video of the pair leaked showing them in a seemingly drug-induced state and partying with infamous it-girl Kari Ann Peniche. How did the couple manage to weather that particular storm? Well, although Dane later stated that they had put the incident behind them, things must have taken a turn again because the actor filed for divorce in February this year. Yikes!
10. Camilla Luddington & Matthew Alan
English actress Camilla plays Dr Jo Wilson in the hit US series Grey’s Anatomy. She previously portrayed Kate Middleton in the made-for-TV movie William & Kate: The Movie, before going on to star in Greys as the hard-working, intelligent doctor. Her character has relationships with Jason and Alex in the series, whilst also having to put up with an abusive ex-husband who appears recurrently.
Fortunately, Camilla Luddington’s love life is a lot less dramatic than her TV doppelganger. She announced her engagement to boyfriend Matthew Alan in January this year, after he proposed to her on New Year’s Eve. Speaking about the proposal, Luddington stated: “I’m not sure I even let Matt get through his proposal before I started yelling YES YES YES!! Of course, it was a yes!'” The happy pair already have a daughter named Heather together.
11. Chyler Leigh & Nathan West
Chyler Leigh played Lexie Grey on Grey’s Anatomy. As her surname suggests, she was the younger half-sister to Meredith and the love interest of several characters. Poor Lexie had an unrequited love for George, a passionate fling with Alex and then a full-blown relationship with Mark! She even found time for a relationship with Jackson during her time at Seattle Grace.
It seems in real life that Chyler has settled down a lot more than her Grey’s Anatomy counterpart, as she’s been happily married to actor and musician Nathan West since 2002. In fact, the pair recently released a song together on Valentine’s Day. The love song is called ‘Nowhere’ and Adam asked his wife to provide backing vocals since the track was a tribute to her – how cute is that?
12. T.R. Knight & Patrick Leahy
T.R. Knight is beloved by fans for playing the role of Dr George O’Malley on Grey’s Anatomy. He had several relationships throughout the series, including Meredith and Olivia Harper. Off-screen, Knight is an openly-gay actor who married his husband Patrick Leahy in 2013. Knight claims he felt he had to make a public statement about his sexuality after co-star Isaiah Washington allegedly made a homophobic slur about him during an argument with Dempsey. Nice one guys.
Washington was later fired from the show and Knight acknowledged his homosexuality openly. He later said: “My friends on the set knew. We talked about it. It’s not my thing to call up People magazine and be like, ‘Hey, you want to know something about me?’ I could’ve just let it slide and not said anything, but it became important.”
13. Kate Walsh & Alex Young
Kate Walsh played steely girl-you-love-to-hate Dr Addison Montgomery for two seasons. In fact, her character proved so popular that she left Grey’s Anatomy to star in the spin-off medical drama Private Practice from 2007 to 2013. Montgomery appeared at the end of season one as Derek’s ex-partner – having unsuccessfully tried to win back McDreamy before embarking on a short-lived fling with Alex Karev.
Montgomery later switched over to Peak Practice and struggled with yet more relationship drama there. But what does actress Kate Walsh’s love life look like off-screen? In reality, Kate married Fox network executive Alex Young in 2007, before sadly divorcing three years later. Walsh has since stated that life hasn’t turned out quite the way she expected, saying: “I thought I’d be married and have three or four kids. I always knew I wanted to be an actress, but I think I always wanted a quote-unquote normal life.” Fortunately, Walsh has also learnt a lot from her divorce and is now enjoying life as a single woman.
14. Isaiah Washington & Jenisa Garland
Washington doesn’t have the best reputation amongst Grey’s Anatomy fans. But before the actor’s unceremonious departure from the series, he was best-known for playing handsome surgeon Dr Preston Burke. He and feisty intern Cristina had a dramatic on-again-off-again relationship during the series, which eventually ended with him leaving her after their engagement.
In reality, Washington has been happily married to his wife Jenisa Garland since 1996. The couple have three children together: Isaiah Akin, Thyme, and Iman. The pair are also very active on social media and often post cute snaps of each other on the red carpet. A marriage spanning three decades is pretty good going in Hollywood. Congratulations!
15. Kevin McKidd & Arielle Goldrath
Scottish-American actor Kevin McKidd captured the hearts of fans with his portrayal of ex-Army surgeon Dr Owen Hunt. His on-screen chemistry with love-interest Cristina Yang made sparks fly and won applause from viewers and critics alike. The fictional couple eventually married but endured a tumultuous relationship which ended in a bittersweet manner after Yang decided to permanently leave Seattle for a job in Switzerland.
In reality, actor Kevin has raised a few eyebrows with his own romantic liaisons. His first marriage to Jane Parker ended in December 2016 after seventeen years together. However, it wasn’t long before McKidd tied the knot again, this time to chef Arielle Goldrath, whom he married in 2019. They welcomed their first son, Aiden, together in May 2018. Congratulations!
16. Sarah Drew & Peter Lanfer
Sarah Drew plays Dr April Kepner, a resident surgeon at Seattle Grace. According to show creator Shonda Rhimes, the character was originally written to be “disliked by the rest of her colleagues” – poor Sarah! Her love life in the series is seriously affected by her religious beliefs – she wants to wait for marriage before having sex but nearly loses it to Alex before finally sealing the deal with Avery. Her on-off relationship with Jackson sees the lovelorn April considering revirginisation and even getting engaged, before she finally elopes with Jackson.
However, in typical Grey’s Anatomy fashion, things don’t go well for the pair and in the most recent series, April ends up getting together with her first fiancé Michael. In reality, Sarah Drew has been married to UCLA lecturer Peter Lanfer since June 2002. The pair have two children together – a son named Micah Emmanuel and a daughter, Hannah Mali Rose. Like her on-screen character, Sarah is a devout Christian.
17. Jesse Williams & Aryn Drake-Lee
Jesse Williams plays Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy, otherwise known as the Ross to April Kepner’s Rachel. The pair have had a tumultuous relationship over the course of the series, but fans have enjoyed watching their on-screen chemistry together. After things fell through for the final time with April, Williams’ character Avery decided to move on in season 14 with Maggie Pierce.
Off-screen, the drama has continued for Williams – he married Aryn Drake-Lee in 2012 but she recently filed for divorce from the actor. The custody battle for their children turned extremely ugly and Drake-Lee is demanded over $160,000 in spousal and child support. It’s still unclear as to how the matter will be resolved for this once happily-married couple.
18. Jason Winston George & Vandana Khanna XX
Jason Winston George played Dr Ben Warren for nine seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. In fact, his character proved to be so popular that George was rewarded with a part on another of the Grey’s Anatomy spin-offs, an action-drama series entitled Station Nine. George was married to Miranda Bailey on the series – they got hitched and then enjoyed a honeymoon in the Bahamas.
The switch to Station Nine will see Jason fighting yet more fires and saving cats from trees, with more of the focus given over to his professional life rather than his wife’s. In real life, Jason is happily married to wife Vandana Khanna and the couple now have three children together. The couple is often pictured on the red carpet together with their family. Cute!
19. Caterina Scorsone & Rob Giles
Caterina Scorsone stars in Grey’s Anatomy as Amelia Shepherd, the sister of Derek McDreamy. She first appeared in the spin-off Private Practice but was one of a few actors that managed to make the crossover back to the original show. Scorsone guest-starred in seasons seven and eight, before becoming a recurring character for season ten, finally graduating into the main cast for seasons 11 and onwards.
Scorsone married Rob Giles of the American rock band The Rescues in June 2009. The pair have three daughters together, with Scorsone’s first and third pregnancies being written into Private Practise and Grey’s Anatomy respectively, while her second pregnancy was simply hidden during filming for Grey’s with clever camera tricks. Giles and Scorsone filed for divorce in March 2020, after ten years of marriage.
20. Giacomo Gianniotti & Nichole Gustafson
Hunky Italian-Canadian actor Giacomo Gianniotti is well-known to fans as Dr. Andrew DeLuca. He was born in Rome and then raised in Toronto, before gracing our screens in his surgical scrubs. DeLuca entered Grey’s Anatomy as a surgical intern mid-way through season 12, before progressing to a surgical resident by season 13. Gianniotti’s initial casting was controversial, however, as fans believed he was brought on to replace Patrick Dempsey.
In reality, Giacomo recently got engaged to his now-fiancée Nichole Gustafson, announcing the news on Instagram with a simple yet sweet message to his future bride: “I love you. Thank you.” Gustafson works as a make-up artist to the stars and married Giacomo in Italy in 2019. How romantic is that?