TV and movie parents who dated their on-screen kids in real life

Tom Wargacki/WireImage/Getty ImagesCo-stars John Travolta and Diana Hyland dated after playing mother and son in ‘The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.’
  • When actors work closely together for months, whether it be on a movie or TV show, strong bonds are formed.
  • Sometimes, these relationships can turn romantic.
  • Here are six couples – or rumoured couples – that played parents and children while working together.

When working closely together for years or months at a time, some actors’ relationships become more than professional – they get full-on romantic. Ultimately, when those loving feelings get sparked, it doesn’t really matter the roles the two people are playing on screen …

Here are six instances in which actors playing parents and their children allegedly dated, definitely dated, or were even married.

John Travolta dated his TV mum, Diana Hyland, until her death in 1977. The two met on the set of “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.”

Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty ImagesHyland and Travolta.

Hyland began dating Travolta, who was 18 years her junior, after they co-starred as mother and son in the TV movie “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” which was based on the real stories of two kids born without functioning immune systems.

The two were together when Hyland passed away from cancer at the age of 41. Travolta accepted her posthumously awarded Emmy for her work in “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” and brought everyone to tears saying, “Wherever you are, Diana, I love you. You did it, baby.”

Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie were rumoured to be dating while they were filming “Alexander,” in which Jolie played Farrell’s mother.

Peter Kramer/Getty ImagesFarrell and Jolie.

It’s a little ridiculous that these two played mother and son– they’re only 11 months apart.

The duo never confirmed their romance. Many blind items and rumours surrounded them for months during and after the filming of “Alexander,” a dramatic retelling of the story of Macedonian general Alexander the Great.

David Tennant met his future wife Georgia Moffett when she played the Doctor’s daughter in “Doctor Who.”

Dave J Hogan/Getty ImagesTennant and Moffett.

Moffett’s father in real life is Peter Moffett, a former “Doctor Who” star himself, better known as the fifth Doctor. Her father worked with Tennant on a 2008 episode during Tennant’s stint as the Doctor, and encouraged his daughter to become a part of the historic sci-fi show.

And so she did. Moffett appeared in a season four episode, aptly called “The Doctor’s Daughter,” where she played the cloned daughter of Tennant’s Doctor, an alien who can travel through time and space. While they may not look it, the two are actually 14 years apart.

After meeting on set, Tennant and Moffett were married in December 2011 and now have three kids together, plus Moffett’s son Ty from a previous marriage, who Tennant adopted.

Michael Emerson and Carrie Preston played mother and son on “Lost,” but never actually shared the screen together — she played his character Ben’s mother in a flashback.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty ImagesPreston and Emerson.

Emerson and Preston have been married since 1998, almost a full decade before Preston showed up on the third season of “Lost” in 2007.

In “Lost,” which was originally about a group of plane crash survivors trying to live on a deserted island and quickly became more complicated, Emerson played Ben Linus. For a few seasons, Linus was one of the main antagonists of the show, but over the years gained more depth as viewers learned more about his tragic backstory.

One part of this backstory was the death of his mother, played by Preston, during childbirth, so the married couple never shared a scene.

Joely Richardson and John Hensley were rumoured to be dating while portraying mother and son on “Nip/Tuck.”

L. Cohen/WireImage/GettyRichardson and Hensley.

Their rumoured relationship was first reported on in October 2004, right after the second season of medical drama “Nip/Tuck” had concluded. “Nip/Tuck” was mainly about the plastic surgery practice of Sean McNamara and Christian Troy, but the two doctors’ personal lives were also explored, which is where Richardson and Hensley came in. They played McNamara’s wife and son, respectively.

The two have a 12-year age difference. It was never confirmed that the on-screen McNamaras were dating, but reports followed the two for months, with Hensley fuelling the fires by praising his TV mum. “Joely is pretty damn incredible. She’s in a different league altogether,” he said.

David and Tamela Mann starred as father and daughter on “Meet the Browns” after two decades of marriage.

Steve Granitz/WireImage/GettyDavid and Tamela Mann.

The Manns have been married since 1988. The couple starred together in “Meet the Browns,” a TBS sitcom that aired from 2009 through 2011 and is based on the 2008 movie of the same name, though the sitcom changed some important details from the film.

In “Meet the Browns,” Tamela and David play Cora and Leroy Brown, respectively. The father and daughter duo live together and run a nursing home as a family, but in typical sitcom fashion, things don’t always go smoothly.

Leroy is 30 years older than David, so it made for some uncomfortable interactions between husband and wife as soon as David got into his old age makeup.

“[Tamela] is like, ‘When you put that makeup on, you are Mr. Brown, you’re not my husband.’ So, she doesn’t want me kissing on her and stuff. She says ‘it’s like a dirty old man kissing and hugging on me,'” he told CNN.


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