Inside the Real Life Loves of Glee's Stars

Here's what you missed since Glee: Most of the cast found their permanent duet partners and a few have even begun starting families. In honor Amber Riley's birthday, let's check in.

By Sarah Grossbart 15 Feb, 2021 12:00 PMTags
Watch: "Glee" Star Amber Riley Is Engaged: See Her Huge Sparkler!

And here's what you missed on Glee...

Okay, not so much on Fox's smash hit, but in the lives of the theater kids it elevated to instant stardom with its 2009 premiere. Because, FYI, for those who haven't been paying attention the last half-decade, Quinn and Kitty traded their cheerleader uniforms for business attire, each actress taking charge of the trajectory of their career with ventures into directing and podcasting. Rachel Berry is now a mom and, no, not as a surrogate to Kurt and Blaine's baby as the 2015 finale foretold. 

Also, Tina and Artie truly aren't a couple, though real-life pals Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale (both in separate, longterm relationships) fielded that question enough to have the idea serve as a basis for their new podcast, Showmance.

As for the rest of the graduates and faculty of McKinley High, for as much loss befell Ryan Murphy's creation, with the tragic deaths of Cory Monteith, Mark Salling and Naya Rivera, they've found a fair amount of love as well.

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Since their final bow on screen, several cast members have locked in a duet partner and have even begun creating their own mini show choirs. Sign us up for whatever Broadway show stars Matthew Morrison's son Revel!

So fill up you slushie cup, scroll through our gallery and help us decide who's worth of Class Couple status.

Lea Michele

Much like her driven alter ego Rachel Berry, Michele is living out her happy ending. Though a Tony is still in the offing (will she accept a SAG and a handful of People's Choice Awards for now?), she found her partner in clothing brand owner Zandy Reich and now they've recently made their duet a trio. A little more than a year after their March 2019 Napa vows (and a few months after several of her co-stars alleged she was difficult to work with), she welcomed son Ever in August. "They are at home bonding with the baby and resting," a source told E! at the time. "He has been very calm so far and sleeps a lot."

Matthew Morrison

Three years in, the actor is still, uh, reveling in life with son Revel James Makai Morrison and wife Renee Puente. "You know I have a lot of love for a lot of people but I never experienced the love I have for my son," the Disney Dreamin' with Matthew Morrison artist told E! News in early 2020. "It's one of a kind and it's tested constantly but it's enduring and it's so strong and the bond we have is so special and I'm absolutely loving this journey." 

Jane Lynch

"Finding love in my 50s has been a blessing," the five-time Emmy winner told Parade in 2019 of reuniting with partner Jennifer Cheyne a few years earlier. Together in the early 2000s—before she donned Coach Sue Sylvester's track suits and enjoyed a brief marriage to psychologist Lara Embry—"We broke up and then reconnected a decade later and just fell back together so easily and lovingly," the 59-year-old said of life with the Cheyne and their rescue dogs. "We're very different people now—we don't have the same insecurities we used to have. We live very peacefully. We have our own routines and separate spaces to retreat to within our home, but then we'll have coffee together in the morning and meet for a meal."

Chris Colfer

Now an accomplished author, having published some 15 books, the 30-year-old has kept his personal love story largely to himself. First spotted with actor-producer Will Sherrod at the 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards, the actor—his latest roles have included Netflix's Julie's Greenroom and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie—confirmed he did, in fact, have a boyfriend during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live the following year. And, as with any other longtime couplings, Sherrod makes the occasional cameo on his partner's Instagram. 

Jenna Ushkowitz

Together since meeting through a dating app in June 2018 (their successful first date lasted nearly seven hours), the 34-year-old brought her love David Stanley to be a guest on her and Kevin McHale's Showmance podcast in late 2019. "He's not your fiancé?" McHale teased of the California native, who works in politics and non-profits, pointing out their trip to Italy's Amalfi Coast as an ideal proposal spot. "Not yet, babe." However, the time did come in August when he finally got down on one knee and presented Ushkowitz with a massive sparkler. "Yes," she gushed on Instagram, "a million times, yes." 

Kevin McHale

Having come out in April 2018, the actor and podcaster insists he was never really hiding his sexuality. "If somebody was a big fan and following everything I was doing [on social media], like the people I interact with on Twitter on a daily basis, I think there was zero surprise. People knew," he told Marc Malkin. His three-year romance with actor Austin P. McKenzie, however, "I wanted to protect." (The two met while filming the 2017 miniseries When We Rise, a careful friendship eventually developing into more.) Still, it can be hard to hide their obvious affection both on Showmance and social media. As the 32-year-old captioned a PDA 'gram: "We're gross." 

Heather Morris

At the height of her fame as dancer Brittany S. Pierce in 2011, the 33-year-old made a shocking confession to Fitness about University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball player Taylor Hubbell: "I want to marry him so bad. That's what I really care about. I want to marry Taylor and have kids with him. I love acting, but if it affects my relationship, then I won't continue doing it." Nearly a decade on, she's sacrificed neither, continuing to book gigs and raising sons Elijah, 7, and Owen, 4, with now-husband Hubbell. 

Darren Criss

"I will say this: I dragged my feet," the Golden Globe winner recently confessed to People about finally marrying partner of a decade, writer-producer Mia Swier in 2019. "But, we were together for a long time before. By that point in our lives, it was a validation and sharing of our life and existence. In many ways, it's not been a change at all." The biggest shift has been his view on weddings. Unconvinced their New Orleans vows would be the best day of his life—"I was like, really? Because I've had some really good nights—and days, okay?"—he now says the "magical experience," er, took the cake: "If I could, I'd get married every year for the rest of my life."

Harry Shum Jr.

A little more than three years after he married actress Shelby Rabara, a sometimes Glee guest star, in Costa Rica (fellow show alum McHale, Ushkowitz and Amber Riley were on hand), the star of Freeform's Shadowhunters became a dad to daughter Xia in March 2019. And while he told E! News months earlier he was thrilled for every part of fatherhood, one step in particularly excited him: "I can't wait to dress her up. I always see those cool shoes. These shoes are so little and they're so small. They're so light. It's weird, I look at those shoes and I'm like, please everyone give me all the shoes so I can give her these cool shoes to have."

Becca Tobin

"You'll never, ever see a post where I say, 'I'm so lucky to marry my best friend'—any of that garbage. It makes my stomach turn," the straight-shooter (i.e. cheerleader Kitty Wilde) told Lady Gang cohosts Keltie Knight and Jac Vanek ahead of her Jackson Hole wedding to entrepreneur Zach Martin in December 2016. (Lynch officiated the affair attended by Michele, Ushkowitz and McHale.) But filming herself shooting a dessert-themed fetish video for him? The 35-year-old Act Like a Lady author was all in. 

Melissa Benoist

Hopeful Marley Rose seems to have gotten her storybook ending. The 31-year-old wed Supergirl costar Chris Wood at a Sept. 2019 ceremony in Ojai, Calif. Six months later, there was even more happy news to celebrate for the star, who shared in Nov. 2019 her terrifying experience with domestic violence in a prior relationship (she did not name an alleged abuser). "A non-canine child is coming to our family very soon!!!" Benoist told her Instagram followers. "@christophrwood has always been an old dad by nature but now he's going to be a real one." Their family became that much more super in Sept. 2020 when they welcomed son Huxley Robert Wood.

Jayma Mays

Every bit as dedicated as guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury, the actress returned to work (filming the crime-documentary spoof show Trial & Error) just two weeks after having son Jude Jones with husband Adam Campbell in August 2016. With both she and the British actor committed to jobs, "The first month for me was absolutely nuts," the 40-year-old shared with People. "Our parents, both sets, graciously came out and stayed with us for about six to eight weeks to get us on our feet before we had extra help come in. But it was nuts."

Dot-Marie Jones

While still appearing as McKinley High's beloved Coach Beiste, the 57-year-old actress put on a show of her own in December 2013. Inviting friends and loved ones to their L.A. home for a holiday party, she and girlfriend Bridgett Casteen (engaged two months earlier at Disneyland) surprised guests with news they were actually attending a wedding. More than six years on, the retired athlete and actress is still Jones' forever crush. As she posted on Instagram Apr. 29, "I LOVE YOU WHOLE HEARTEDLY BABE."

This story was originally published on Monday, May 4, 2020 at 3 a.m. PT.