Modern Family first graced our screens way back in 2009 (Yes, you read that right, 2009!) and it has been an unstoppable phenomenon ever since. As one of America’s favourite Modern Families (do you see what I did there?) it can be easy to forget the fact that while they all play the roles of relatives incredibly well on-screen, they actually all have their own lives and their own families offscreen.
I know I know, I don’t like thinking about it either, but sadly (for us) It’s true. Below is a list of our favourite characters from the show and their real life partners, so why not have a scroll through and aquatint yourselves with the families of our favourite family? You never know, you may be pleasantly surprised the pairings you find!
1. Ed O’Neill and Catherine Rusoff
Ed O’Neill plays the grouchy, head-of-the-household lead character Jay Pritchett.
This is hilariously similar to the role of Al Bundy, which is a character he played across 10 years in the classic hit 80’s show Married with Children.
In Modern Family, Ed’s character is married to the fabulous Gloria Delgado (Sofia Vergara), but in real life Ed is actually married to actress Catherine Rusoff, who also starred with him on Married With Children.
The pair have been married since 1986 and have two daughters together, Claire and Sophia.
Rusoff also starred in The Whereabouts of Jenny with husband Ed O’Neill in 1991. What a great looking couple!
2. Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello
Sofia Vergara plays the hot-blooded Colombian second wife of Jay Pritchett. In the initial seasons of Modern Family, she is viewed by the family as a “Trophy Wife” (And let’s be honest, you can see why).
She is a fan favourite in the show, and although initially seen as nothing but a gold-digging second wife, but as the show goes on we start to see a very caring, loving and maternal side to her… not to mention a real bad ass b*tch side too!
Vergara was married to her high-school sweetheart Joe Gonzalez as the age of 18, however shortly after the birth of their son Manolo in 1991, the marriage fell apart and they were divorced in 1993.
In 2012 it was announced that Sofia and her boyfriend Nicholas M. Loeb were engaged, however the engagement was then called off 2 years later. 2 months after announcing the failed engagement, Vergara started dating Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello (swoon!)
Vergara and Manganiello were dating for just 6 months before the two got engaged and then were married a year later and are still together today. Seriously though… have you ever seen a more glorious looking couple than this!?
3. Julie Bowen and Scott Phillips
Julie Bowen plays the highly-strung, oldest child of Jay Pritchett and first wife DeDe, Claire Dunphy.
Claire is married to Phil Dunphy and they have 3 children together. At the beginning of the show she’s a “Stay at Home Mom”, however in later seasons we see her join her father Jay in the family business of “Pritchett’s Closets and Blinds.”
Claire Dunphy is not a huge fan of her fathers second wife Gloria (Vergara) at all and makes this known whenever possible during the first few seasons. She is a self-confessed daddys girl and is always looking for ways to impress him.
Julie Bowen married real estate investor and software developer Scott Phillips back in 2004. They have 3 sons together; Oliver (2007) and twins John and Gustav (2009).
Sadly however, after 13 years of marriage and “trying to keep it together for the kids” 47 year old Bowen decided to finally file for divorce in February 2018 after their relationship broke down.
4. Ty Burrell and Holly Burrell
Phil is a fun-loving, easy going and somewhat “nerdy” Dad, which is a stark contrast to Claire’s over-protective, highly stressed and responsible personality. Together, they make a wonderful (and hilarious) parenting team!
In real life, Ty Burrell is married to Holly Burrell (Formerly known as Holly Ann Brown pre-marriage).
They both started out in entertainment at University, however, unlike Ty, Holly decided to take a different career path and is now a professional chef. Ty adores his wife, whom he secretly married in 2000, and states that because of her, he knows what unconditional love is. (awwwwww!)
In 2010 the Burrell’s announced the adoption of their first daughter, Frances, and then again 2 years later they announced the adoption of their second daughter, Greta.
5. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita
Jesse Tyler Ferguson plays Mitchell Pritchett, the gay, younger brother of Claire and youngest child of Jay Pritchett from his first marriage to DeDe. He is a very timid but highly intelligent person, and a successful lawyer.
However, later on in the series Mitch and Cam are able to actually get married once the laws in California against Gay Marriage are changed. They also end up adopting a Vietnamese baby whom they name Lily Tucker – Pritchett.
Ironically enough, Jesse Tyler Ferguson is actually married to a lawyer in real life. Justin Mikita and Ferguson were dating for two years before announcing their engagement in 2012.
They were married in 2013 by playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner. Although they are childless at the moment, Ferguson hopes to start adding to their family within the next 5 years.
6. Eric Stonestreet and Lindsey Schweitzer
Eric Stonestreet stars in the role of Cameron Tucker; the wonderfully eccentric, farm-born partner of Mitchell Pritchett. Just like Phil and Claire, they are the exact opposites.
Cameron has a great line in one of the episodes where he describes himself as a Dreamer and Mitchell as a Realist, but goes on to say how the two both equally balance each other out.
Cam is primarily a “House Husband”, however he literally went to “Clown College” and often dresses up for family parties in his Clown persona costume, “Fizbo”. Despite his flamboyancy, Cam is often the more “manly” one out of the couple.
To the shock of a lot of fans (and I’ll admit, me included), Eric Stonestreet isn’t actually gay. In fact, in the past he has been linked to Hollywood starlets as big as Charlize Theron and his (ex) long-time girlfriend Katherine Tokarz.
However, Eric Stonestreet supposedly has a new lady in his life currently, who he’s “enjoying spending time with.”. Lindsey Schweitzer is a paediatric nurse whom he met at a Big Slick weekend in Kansas City in 2017. So, still early days, but watch this space!
7. Sarah Hyland and Wells Adams
Sarah Hyland plays the oldest of the Dunphy children, Haley Dunphy. She was conceived during a Duran Duran concert, and upon the discovery of the pregnancy, Claire and Phil eloped in a bid to hide the fact that Haley was conceived out of wedlock.
Haley is very fashion-focused, party-focused and social-focused… however not very school focused. She enjoys boys, beauty and tormenting her two younger siblings. She reminds Claire a lot of herself when she was younger… which is probably why Claire is so hard on Haley during her teen years.
Throughout the series, we see Haley with a number of “male suitors”, however there is a couple that are fairly more long term than others, namely Dylan Marshall (played by Reid Ewing) who is Haley’s unambitious, musician, high-school “on again off again” boyfriend across for many years, much to Claire’s dismay.
In real life, however, Hyland has done pretty well for herself. Despite the turbulent end to her last long-term relationship with Greek Charming boyfriend Matt Prokop, she’s now found love with former The Bachelorette contestant Wells Adams.
The pair have been dating since 2017 after being friends for a while, and actually met via Twitter. “He slid into my DMs” Hyland told Kimmel during guest spot on his talk show, and went on to say they bonded over their love of tacos and tequila.
8. Ariel Winter and Levi Meadon
Ariel Winter plays the middle child of Claire and Phil, Alex Dunphy. She is intelligent and socially inapt, so in other words, the complete opposite to older sister Haley.
Alex is the pride of the Dunphy household. She is an over-achiever with a sarcastic attitude, however due to being the middle child, is often left in background as she’s the child the Dunphy’s “have to worry about the least”.
Unlike older sister Haley, we very rarely see Alex with a boyfriend until she goes to college, however there are a few crushes involved along the way, my favourite being “Michael” who asks Alex to the the prom, however has an incredibly flamboyant personality which causes the entire family to believe that he’s gay.
Ariel Winters is currently dating actor Levi Meadon, despite him being a solid 10 years older than she is. The pair have been seeing each other for almost a year now currently live together, which she loves.
It’s a well know fact that Winters has struggled for many years with her curvaceous body and constant body shaming from the public. However she she’s that Meadon makes her feel like a princess no matter what, and well folks, that’s good enough for me! Age is just a number after all.
9. Adam DeVine and Chloe Bridges
Adam Devine doesn’t appear on our screens until much later on in the Modern Family series, but that doesn’t make him any less of one of the show’s stars in my eyes!
DeVine joins the series as baby Joe Pritchett’s “Manny” (That’s male-nanny for anyone who isn’t in the know). Being old-fashioned, Jay is extremely uncomfortable with having a man look after his baby boy, however his warm and wholesome demeanour eventually wins him (and the rest of the world) over.
Upon entering the show, former lifeguard Andy Bailey is engaged to “the most wonderful girl in the whole world” Beth, his childhood sweetheart back home. However, on his way back home to see her, Beth breaks up with him via text while Haley drives him to the airport. Not all is lost, however, as soon Andy and Haley become and item themselves, and it is MAGICAL.
In reality DeVine is dating Pretty Little Liars star Chloe Bridges (talk about the odd couple!). The two met on the set of horror comedy The Final Girls, and have been dating since 2015.
Bridges also had a comedy in DeVine’s and Zac Efron’s comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Although keeping it low-key at the beginning of their blossoming romance, the pair certainly aren’t hiding anything now, and can be frequently seen next to each other on red carpet events and sharing cute pictures of each other on their Instagram profiles. You go DeVine!
10. Shelley Long and Bruce Tyson
Shelley Long plays the estranged (and slightly strange) first wife of Jay Pritchett and mother to Claire and Mitchell, DeDe.
As you can probably imagine, it wasn’t easy for poor DeDe to see who she had been replaced with (aka, Gloria Delgado) so it’s safe to say that after a few inappropriate outbreaks, namely at Jay and Gloria’s wedding, things between her and the rest of the family were a little strained.
DeDe always relied on the love and forgiveness of self-confessed “Mommy’s Boy” Mitchell however, and was still able to gate crash (and often ruin) further various family events. One day however, DeDe seems to have a change of heart after realising that at least she’ll always be the only biological mother to Jay’s kids… that is until Gloria reveals that she is in fact pregnant with Jay’s third child (by blood).
Shelley is well known for her role as know-it-all waitress Diane Chambers in the 80s hit TV show Cheers. Although her first marriage ended in divorce, she met her second husband, broker Bruce Tyson in 1979. The two then got married a few years later in 1981.
Sadly, after 23 years of marriage (and one year of being separated), Bruce Tyson eventually walked out on Shelley and their family (one daughter and a son) in 2004. Shelley is currently trying to put her life back together after the turmoil of her divorce from Tyson.
So there you have it, that wasn’t too painful now was it? Although I’ll admit, I am going to deny the fact that Cameron and Mitchell aren’t a real life couple until the day I die! (Sorry to their significant others, but, I’m sure you understand). Are their any of these couples you’re particularly surprised by? Have I completely ruined your day? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to like and share with your friends and family too! AA x