The real life partners of the Shameless cast
While Shameless is the longest-running scripted series in the history of the Showtime network, its on-screen relationships have rarely enjoyed the same sense of stability. With the exception of the dumb but lovable husband and wife team Kev (Steve Howey) and Veronica (Shanola Hampton), its motley crew of down and outs seem to change their partners more often than they change their underwear.
In real life, however, the majority of its more experienced cast members appear to lead far more settled romantic lives. Indeed, the three most prominent members of the highly dysfunctional Gallagher family are all happily married, although the patriarch has still endured his fair share of drama over the last two years, that’s for sure. And they certainly aren’t the only regulars to have walked down the aisle, either.
As the Chicago-based dramedy gears up to air its 11th (yes, 11th!) and final season, we take a closer look at the current relationship statuses of 11 of its key players.
William H. Macy's personal life has been put to the test
Despite being a drug-addled, work-shy, deadbeat dad who looks like he hasn’t seen the inside of a shower cubicle for months of end, Frank Gallagher somehow appears to be irresistible to the women of Chicago’s South Side. But while he plays an unlikely philanderer convincingly on screen, William H. Macy is far more committed off it.
In fact, up until 2019 the Shameless lead and his wife, Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman, appeared to be the height of Hollywood respectability. The pair had dated on and off since the early 1980s before tying the knot in 1997 and becoming parents to daughters Sophia and Georgia. There hadn’t been a whiff of disgrace in their relationship for almost 40 years.
That all dramatically changed, however, in 2019 when the squeaky-clean couple became involved in the high profile college bribery admissions scandal. Although both parties had reportedly agreed to pay someone else to take their first-born’s entrance exam, only Huffman was indicted on the charges of conspiracy and fraud. As USA Today reported, she was later sentenced to two weeks in a federal prison, while Macy, for reasons undisclosed, got away scot-free. Yet despite the stress and humiliation of the ordeal, the pair still seem to be as strong as ever and have regularly been pictured together since Huffman became a free woman.
Emmy Rossum hopes for second time lucky
The true rock of the Gallagher family, eldest sister Fiona flitted between numerous serious relationships before finally leaving her many siblings to fend for themselves at the end of season nine. There was the on/off romance with the scheming Jimmy, a brief marriage to musician Gus, and a jilting at the altar from the heroin-addicted Sean.
Emmy Rossum’s love life hasn’t exactly been plain sailing, either. In 2009, just a year after they walked down the aisle together, first husband Justin Siegel filed for divorce. Thankfully for the singer/actor, she didn’t have to wait too long to find love again. In fact, just three years after her divorce went through, Page Six reported she began stepping out with Sam Esmail, the creative mind behind the award-winning Mr. Robot. And in 2017, People reported the couple got hitched at a New York synagogue.
The pair haven’t been afraid to make their relationship a professional one, either. In fact, they first met on the set of 2013 romantic dramedy Comet. And in 2019 it was announced that the two would be working with The Hollywood Reporter on limited series Angelyne. Rossum will play the titular character famed for appearing on billboards across Los Angeles, while Esmail will serve as executive producer.
Jeremy Allen White is in wedded bliss
Just like his wayward father, Lip Gallagher can also seemingly charm any woman he chooses into bed with the utmost ease. But alongside all the random one-night stands, or in many cases, ten-minute hook-ups, the brainiest member of television’s most shameless family isn’t averse to something more serious, either. There have been long-term relationships with neighbor Mandy, fellow student Amanda and professor Helene, just to name a few.
The man who plays him, however, now only has eyes for one woman. Jeremy Allen White first met Addison Timlin in 2008 when they were both working on indie movie Afterschool but initially kept things entirely platonic. This all changed, though, when White broke up with fellow Shameless star Emma Greenwell in the mid-’10s.
Since then, the couple have been more than happy to document their relationship on Instagram and in 2018 became parents to daughter Ezer Billie. A year later, they tied the knot at an intimate Beverly Hills ceremony attended by Coldplay’s Chris Martin and his girlfriend Dakota Johnson. White and Timlin posted several photos of the big day online, including a sweet snap in which they both sported denim jackets emblazoned with their nicknames for each other, Buddy and Billie. In October 2020, Timlin announced on Instagram that she and White are expecting their second child. “I love our little growing family more than words,” she wrote.
Cameron Monaghan is loved-up with a model
For those who like to ship on-screen couples, Ian Gallagher and Mickey Milkovich are undoubtedly the true heart of the show. They may spend just as much time throwing insults and beating each other up as they do dropping their trousers at any given moment. But the pair’s unlikely (and slightly twisted) romance still captured viewers’ imaginations like no other.
Away from the cameras, Cameron Monaghan, aka the ginger-haired half of the couple dubbed Gallavich, is loved-up with a Los Angeles-based model named Lauren Searle. The actor appeared to make things official when he uploaded an intimate pic of the pair to his Instagram account in October 2020. The couple can be seen smooching against a mountainside backdrop in the snap captioned, “Mentally still here.”
Monaghan, who also plays the villainous Jerome Valeska in Batman origins series Gotham, had previously dated Peyton List. As E! reported, the two actors first met on the set of Anthem of a Teenage Prophet in 2017 and enjoyed two years together before going their separate ways. And the Shameless star soon proved there was no hard feelings with a personal message to List he posted on Twitter (via Inquisitr). “Who knows what the future may bring, but looking forward to seeing all the incredible things that will be coming your way,” he wrote. “And, as always, wishing for your happiness.”
Noel Fisher is a happily married man
Best-known for playing the more antisocial, law-breaking half of Gallavich, Noel Fisher has been with the same woman throughout his intermittent stints on Shameless. As People noted, the actor first met Layla Alizada in a makeup trailer while filming 2005 Canadian dramedy Godiva’s, six years before he was cast as the strangely lovable Mickey Milkovich. Alizada is also an actor, and her filmography includes the Academy Award-nominated short Day One, Jane the Virgin, and Days of Our Lives.
Fisher and Alizada took their time in making things truly official. They waited until 2017 to become husband and wife, marrying at an intimate ceremony in front of 60 of their nearest and dearest at their Los Angeles home. In an interview at the TCA Summer Press Tour with ET Canada, Fisher explained why they decided against saying “I do” in more extravagant surroundings. And it turns out that contrary to his Shameless character, he’s just an unashamed romantic at heart.
“We really just were like, ‘It’s summertime, we’re gonna do a small thing in our backyard,'” he said, before noting how special it was that their nearest and dearest helped make the day happen. “It brings all your loved ones even closer together, which is kind of a good thing for a wedding.”
Shanola Hampton is in it for the long haul
Owners of Shameless‘ dive bar The Alibi, Kev and Veronica have somehow survived bigamy, a threesome with the latter’s mom, and a complicated polyamorous relationship with a Russian sex worker to become the most dependable couple in the show’s crazy world. Shanola Hampton’s real relationship has been long-lasting, although let’s hope she hasn’t had to overcome as many outlandish obstacles.
The actor who plays Veronica Fisher tied the knot with Daren Dukes at the turn of the century. Dukes is a fellow actor whose credits include Static, Criminal Minds, and The Marriage Tour. The couple have remained at each other’s sides ever since, becoming parents in 2014 to daughter Cai MyAnna and then again two years later to son Daren O.C.
So what does Dukes make of all the bedroom action his wife has to shoot on the Shameless set? Well, it appears as though ignorance is bliss. On a 2015 episode of the HollywoodLife podcast, Hampton revealed, “[Daren] doesn’t like the touching part of it. Not only is he never on set, he doesn’t want to know the days I’m shooting those scenes. He’d rather not know.” However, she has still tried to put him at ease by insisting that the sex scenes are “more comical than they are passionate.”
Steve Howey's longterm relationship is no more
Just like his rather dim-witted Shameless character Kev, Steve Howey seemed to have found his one true love when he tied the knot with Person of Interest star Sarah Shahi at a Las Vegas ceremony in 2009. Howey and Shahi went on to welcome son William Wolf into the world that same year, and in 2015, People reported they became parents to twins Knox Blue and Violet Moon. Things still appeared to be going swimmingly until the two actors dropped a bombshell in the summer of 2020.
Indeed, the once-happy couple, who first met on the set of Reba McEntire’s eponymous sitcom, revealed in a joint statement obtained by People that they filed for divorce. Luckily, however, the pair appear determined to keep things as amicable as possible. In the announcement, they shared that they “are so grateful for the past 10 years together” and “are committed to continuing our lives as a loving family.” And being a family is their prime concern. “As we enter into this new phase of our lives, our priority will remain co-parenting our children with so much love, mutual respect and friendship,” they said.
Joan Cusack got hitched long before her Shameless days
Sheila Jackson provided one of the show’s most memorable exits at the beginning of the fifth season when she drove off in an RV, leaving her good-for-nothing on/off partner behind. You couldn’t exactly blame her. Frank Gallagher had just blown up her house in a disastrous home brewing accident and he’d spent the entirety of their time together either cheating on her or cheating her out of money.
Thankfully, Joan Cusack appears to have a much steadier home life than the sexually adventurous agoraphobic she played in Shameless. The older sister of Hollywood star John Cusack has been happily married to Richard Burke, the CEO of a workforce management firmed called Envoy Global, since 1996. The pair also have two sons together.
The two-time Academy Award nominee has worked to figure out her work-life balance. “Juggling parental responsibilities with those of being a wife and a career woman while also being a member of school and church communities is difficult,” she told Family Circle in 2011 (via HuffPost). “Every day I feel like I dropped the ball somewhere, but I’ve learned not to beat myself up over it because that won’t help.”
Dermot Mulroney's married to a woman of many names
My Best Friend’s Wedding star Dermot Mulroney didn’t exactly bring much Hollywood glamor to the Shameless world when he joined the cast in season five. The actor played Sean Pierce, a heroin-addicted man who breaks Fiona’s heart when news of his relapse is blurted out just as they’re about to say “I do.”
Mulroney has managed to get to the end of the wedding ceremony twice in real life. He first walked down the aisle with his Survival Quest co-star Catherine Keener in 1990. The pair divorced 17 years later. Mulroney quickly got hitched to Tharita Cesaroni-Catulle, an Italian film producer.
Cesaroni-Catulle didn’t take the name of the man once dubbed People‘s Sexiest Jack of Arts, but seven years after tying the knot, TMZ, reported she was ready to change her moniker. According to the outlet, she apparently took steps to switch her name to Prima Apollinaare. (In 2018, The Tattler noted that “it’s not clear” if she went through with the name change.) We’re not exactly sure what the inspiration was. Perhaps it’s a nod to the singer/actor who starred opposite Prince in Purple Rain, or maybe she’s into the works of French’s foremost early 20th century poet? But it sounds pretty cool either way.
Ethan Cutkosky's young love is no more
Undoubtedly the most unruly member of the Gallagher clan, Carl had to wait until Shameless‘ sixth season to get a love interest, fellow high school student Dominique. But he ultimately ends up bonding more with her father, a strict cop who inspires him to enroll in military school.
Around the same time, Ethan Cutkosky began dating Brielle Barbusca, an actor who’d briefly shown up in the Showtime drama as a single mother. And Barbusca’s ties with Shameless don’t end there. She’s also best friends with Emma Kenney, who plays the Gallaghers’ youngest sister, Debbie.
As you’d expect from two teenage stars in the Instagram age, Cutkosky and Barbusca were more than happy to show off their romance on social media. They’d even posted for photos on the latter’s 18th birthday just hours before the former got into trouble with the law over reckless driving. But the complete absence of any new loved-up pictures, and entire removal of any previous ones, suggests that their relationship has fizzled out.
Kate Miner has a musical beau
Tami Tamietti made quite the impression on her Shameless debut, throwing up on the best man at her sister’s wedding in season nine. She eventually ends up dating the unfortunate victim, Lip Gallagher, and even goes on to have his baby during a relationship that could never be described as particularly healthy.
Actor Kate Miner’s love life is quite different. According to People, she married musician Justin Miner in 2012, and the two have no problems in mixing business with pleasure, either. Kate has performed with Justin’s eponymous band, and the couple have worked together on music for several TV series, including Elementary.
Formerly known as Kate Lang Johnson, the lead of short-lived mystery Persons Unknown met her other half when they were both studying at the University of Southern California. After getting hitched in Palos Verdes, California, the happy couple honeymooned on the island of Jamaica before returning to the Big Apple to watch their alma mater’s football team do battle with Syracuse University.
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