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

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Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie reportedly dated after playing mother and son in ‘Alexander.’ Peter Kramer/Getty Images

John Travolta dated his TV mom, Diana Hyland, until her death in 1977. The two met on the set of “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.”
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Hyland and Travolta. Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images
Hyland began dating Travolta, who was 18 years her junior, after they co-starred as mother and son in the 1976 TV movie “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” which was based on the real stories of two kids born without functioning immune systems.

The couple was together when Hyland passed away from cancer at the age of 41 in 1977. Travolta accepted her posthumously awarded Emmy for her work in the movie, and he brought everyone to tears saying, “Wherever you are, Diana, I love you. You did it, baby.”

Joely Richardson and John Hensley were rumored to be dating while portraying mother and son on “Nip/Tuck.”
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Richardson and Hensley. L. Cohen/WireImage/Getty
Their rumored relationship was first reported 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 fueling the fires by praising his TV mom. “Joely is pretty damn incredible. She’s in a different league altogether,” he said.

David Tennant met his future wife, Georgia Moffett, when she played the Doctor’s daughter in “Doctor Who.”
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Tennant and Moffett. Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
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 four kids together, plus Moffett’s son Ty from a previous marriage — Tennant adopted him.

Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie were rumored to be dating while they were filming “Alexander,” in which Jolie played Farrell’s mother.
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Farrell and Jolie. Peter Kramer/Getty Images
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 rumors surrounded them for months during and after the filming of “Alexander,” a dramatic retelling of the story of Macedonian general Alexander the Great released in 2004.

 

Michael Emerson and Carrie Preston played mother and son on “Lost,” but they never actually shared the screen together – she played his character Ben’s mother in a flashback.
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Preston and Emerson. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
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 before the plot 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 he gained more depth as viewers learned 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.

David and Tamela Mann starred as father and daughter on “Meet the Browns” after two decades of marriage.
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David and Tamela Mann. Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty
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. 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 in 2009.