“We dated for a very long time actually…He was my college boyfriend!”
Long before they were on the big screen and walking red carpets, some celebrities were just regular people going on dates to dinner and the movies. And although these budding stars and their blossoming romances were able to fly under the radar, they were each destined for eventual stardom.
While couples like Miley Cyrus and Tyler Posey or Matthew Morrison and Kristen Bell would make headlines nowadays, they were able to date completely outside of the public eye. Even though many of these relationships didn’t stand the test of time, they were there for each other on their path to stardom.
Read on to discover what celebs paired up before they were famous…
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1. Matthew Morrison & Lea Michele
“Glee” co-stars Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele played a student and teacher on television but before they were famous, they were actually boyfriend and girlfriend! While the duo were working in the world of musical theater, Lea admits that she and Matthew did date for a brief moment in time.
“When we shot the pilot…I had worked on Broadway with Jenna Ushkowitz and Matthew Morrison before. Matt had been a friend of mine for years, and in fact we’d actually dated back in the day for a Broadway beat,” Lea wrote in her book “Brunette Ambition.”
2. Busy Philipps & Colin Hanks
Busy Philipps met Colin Hanks when they were both attending Loyola Marymount University. The former couple ended up dating for quite some time and celebrated some major milestones together, like their first television and movie roles. Although they eventually split, the duo are still friends to this day.
“We dated for a very long time actually…He was my college boyfriend! We met when I was 18 and Colin was 19…We are very very close friends now — his wife and I are tight, he and my husband hang out. We go on vacation together,” Busy said on “Live With Kelly.”
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3. Miley Cyrus & Tyler Posey
Before Tyler Posey rose to fame on “Teen Wolf,” he had a role on Billy Ray Cyrus’ medical drama “Doc.” That’s where he met Billy Ray’s then seven-year-old daughter Miley, years before she even dreamed of starring in her own Disney Channel show. The duo had an innocent childhood relationship and even shared their first kiss!
“I was basically the only kid on set. She would come on set every now and then and we became really good friends. We were both goofy and she was really loud, sweet, and funny – just a really cool kid…We were so damn young…I would get excited when we would hold hands. She was herself at seven-years-old. She knew who she was. I never met anyone like that at my age,” he told ET many years later.
4. Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance
Angela Bassett and her husband Courtney B. Vance first met when they were graduate students at the Yale School of Drama in the 1980s. Although they didn’t connect romantically right away, they reconnected quite a few years later in Hollywood.
“He had a beautiful, beautiful girlfriend at the time, who was also in drama school with us. So maybe about 14 years later, our paths crossed here in Los Angeles. And I was single, he was single. And I had such an appreciation for him over those years—of his consistency, how he treated other people, of what a supporter he is, what a connector of people and ideas he is, how passionate he is,” Angela told People.
5. Lisa Kudrow & Conan O’Brien
Lisa Kudrow met Conan O’Brien while they were both in an improv class together. The duo went on to date for some time before realizing they were “better as friends.” And although it didn’t work out for the former couple, Lisa credits Conan for encouraging her to stick it out despite being “embarrassed” in the improv class.
“He was really smart, really funny, and he thought I was funny,” Lisa told NY Daily News.
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6. Scarlett Johansson & Jack Antonoff
Scarlett Johansson and music producer Jack Antonoff, who rose to fame working with Taylor Swift and Lorde, dated while they were both students at New York’s Professional Children’s School. The former couple even attended prom together during their senior year. Although they dated for a period of time, things didn’t seem to end well based on the song “Better Love” released by Jack’s band Steel Train.
“Scars are in her name / And she scars me with blame / Hey Scarlett, you’re not the same / This girl, she had it kinda sweet / ‘Till fame swept her off her feet,” Jack sings in the song.
7. Matthew Morrison & Kristen Bell
Matthew Morrison and Kristen Bell were once an item while they were both attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Although they only dated for a short amount of time, Kristen says that Matthew made a lasting impression on her.
“I actually went to college with Matty Morrison. We actually dated very briefly. So I’ll have to say maybe Matt Morrison is my favorite part of ‘Glee’ for various reasons,” Kristen told Us Weekly.
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8. William H. Macy & Felicity Huffman
Before fame and college scandals, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman were two aspiring actors at New York City’s Atlantic Theater Company. The duo met in the early 1980s and went on to date on and off for 15 years as they rose to fame together. William and Felicity finally tied the knot in 1997.
“We did meet at the Atlantic Theater Company and it was love at first sight for me. I think I had to talk him into it for a while. I went on a campaign. He was certainly worth it,” Felicity told Daily Mail.
9. Carey Mulligan & Marcus Mumford
Carey Mulligan and her husband Marcus Mumford were an item long before she was an actress and he was the frontman of Mumford & Sons. When they were just 12-years-old, they met at a Christian holiday camp and continued their friendship by becoming pen pals and sending letters to one another. Years later, the duo reconnected when Marcus invited Carey to a secret Mumford & Sons show at a friend’s home.
Although the couple doesn’t often speak about their relationship, the duo eventually tied the knot in 2012, about a year after they reconnected.
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10. Robin Thicke & Paula Patton
Robin Thicke and Paula Patton rose to fame while by each other’s side. The duo met when they were just 14 and 15 while hanging out at an all ages dance club in Hollywood. Paula says that Rob asked her to dance and the rest was history. The couple continued dating until 2005 when they tied the knot but unfortunately split 10 years later.
“I knew she was special the night I met her. I was only 14, but she was already the most special girl,” Robin reportedly once said.
11. Jon Hamm & Jennifer Westfeldt
Back in the late ’90s when Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt were still struggling actors, they met while attending a mutual friend’s birthday party. The duo eventually began dating, just before Jon landed his first television role in an episode of “Ally McBeal.” Soon after, Jennifer was cast in “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place.” The former couple went on to date for 18 years as they rose to fame together.
“Jen and I met in L.A. at a party — a mutual friend’s birthday party…completely random meeting…she was out here auditioning for a pilot or something…and I was, too…and she got an audition for Jake Kasdan’s film ‘Zero Effect’… and wanted to read with somebody who was a guy, and she didn’t really know any guys out here, so she called…and that was, kind of, how we first officially met, running scenes from ‘Zero Effect.’ Apparently I wasn’t very good, ‘cause she didn’t get the part,” Jon told The Hollywood Reporter.