It’s hard to remember when Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan weren’t together. But both became famous before they ever even knew one another. When then-21-year-old Burton landed the breakout role of Peyton Sawyer on One Tree Hill in 2003, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who would later star on The Walking Dead, was in his late 30s. The actors were on different paths in life at the time, but fate — and Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles — would bring them together. The couple has been inseparable ever since.
At the start of their relationship, Burton had just exited One Tree Hill, and Morgan was headed to New Mexico to film a movie called The Resident. Morgan talked Burton into joining him, as he recalled to HuffPost Live in an interview, and, ever since, the stars have maintained a loving, low-key relationship. While, on the outside, Burton and Morgan may appear to be total opposites, the pair has proven to be perfect for each other over the course of their romance. From a blind date to babies, to living on a farm in upstate New York, this is the untold truth about Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s relationship.
Timing was everything for Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Before dating each other, Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan were each in a serious relationship with someone else. Burton was married to One Tree Hill assistant director Ian Prange, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan was engaged to Weeds star Mary Louise Parker.
Burton married the One Tree Hill assistant director in 2004, but the couple later divorced in 2009 (via Country Living) — the same year Burton left the show. Their marriage was kept relatively private by the star, as the couple was rarely photographed together. As for Morgan, he began dating Parker in 2006, after guest-starring as her dead husband on Weeds. The couple, who maintained an off-and-on relationship for two and a half years, became engaged; however, the engagement ended in April 2008, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Burton and Morgan met through mutual friends in 2009 (via HuffPost Live), and have been together ever since, proving that timing is everything — especially when it comes to romantic relationships!
Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan had a Supernatural introduction
Sometimes friends know you better than you know yourself, and Supernatural star Jensen Ackles and his wife, One Tree Hill actress Danneel Ackles, knew their friends Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton were perfect for one another. The married couple convinced their single pals to go on a blind date with each other — and it was a success!
As Morgan explained in an interview with HuffPost Live, “I happened to be single and Jensen said, ‘I’ve got a girl you should meet,’ and so I went to a bar and I met Hilarie at a bar with Jensen and Danneel, and, well, the rest is kind of history.” The Walking Dead star explained that a lot of drinking was done during the date to relax and the group ended up back at his place drinking “shots of tequila.” The actor thought Burton was “really cool” and convinced her to join him in New Mexico while he filmed a movie. Burton must have enjoyed her trip because, as Morgan stated in the interview, she’s “stuck” with him now.
Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan kept their romance a secret
While Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan began dating in 2009, they didn’t publicly announce their relationship to the world right away. In May 2010, Us Weekly reported on the couple’s mysterious relationship, citing a source who claimed “their relationship moved really quickly.” The magazine also reported that, during this time, Burton wasn’t photographed from May 6, 2009 to April 20, 2010.
On April 20, 2010, the pair showed up arm and arm at the Los Angeles premiere for Morgan’s film The Losers, ultimately confirming their relationship to the media. Burton and Morgan were all smiles and couldn’t keep their hands off of each other as they posed for pictures.
When asked about her relationship with Morgan while promoting her role on the USA Network series White Collar, Burton told the Associated Press in August 2010 that she and Morgan were “really happy,” adding, “We’re a very good team. And we got very lucky that our family is what it is.” As it turns out, the relationship between the television stars wasn’t the only thing they were keeping a secret.
Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan surprised fans with the birth of their son
Meeting Jeffrey Dean Morgan changed Hilarie Burton’s life in more ways than one, as it ultimately led to her becoming a mom. In 2010, the former MTV VJ gave birth to a baby boy named Augustus, or Gus. The actress kept the details of her son’s birth and her relationship with Morgan a secret for as long as she could, explaining to the Associated Press in August 2010, “I want to protect them like a mama wolf should.”
Over the years, the couple have become more open about their relationship and have shared adorable moments with their son. At the Breaking Dawn: Part 1 premiere in November 2011, Morgan gushed to People about his then-20-month-old son learning to say “no” for the first time. He went on to explain that while parenthood can be difficult, he and Burton have managed to survive, saying, “It’s hard. Between the two of us, we’ve had our hands full. But we’ve managed to do it without any help.”
Now Gus is old enough to accompany his parents on red carpets — including the April 2018 premiere of Morgan’s movie Rampage.
Did Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan secretly get married?
While Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan have become more open about their relationship over the years, they still have never officially confirmed whether or not they are married. However, Morgan has referred to Burton as his wife on several occasions, including in one HuffPost Live interview. When describing their first date, Morgan said, “Jensen Ackles introduced me to my significant other on a blind date. Hilarie, my wife, was on a show called One Tree Hill for a hundred years and worked with Jensen’s wife, Danneel, on that show. And I happened to be single … and the rest is history.”
The mystery surrounding the couple’s nuptials has prompted media to dig deeper into Burton and Morgan’s relationship, and, according to PopSugar in September 2017, Burton has been spotted with a ring on her wedding finger. Additionally, in September 2017, People reported the couple were married in 2014.
Whether the pair is officially married or not, their relationship seems to be doing well!
Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been a supportive husband to Hilarie Burton
Before Hilarie Burton was a successful actress, she was a VJ on MTV’s TRL. During this time, Burton reportedly experienced some unwanted sexual advances from actor Ben Affleck, and the moment resurfaced after Affleck commented on sexual abuse allegations against now-disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein. As BuzzFeed reported in October 2017, Twitter user Shanice Brim tweeted about the time Affleck “grabbed Hilarie Burton’s breasts on TRL once,” adding, “Everyone forgot though.”
Burton responded with her own tweet on Oct. 10, 2017, saying, “I didn’t forget,” and thanked the person for bringing the moment up. Video footage of the assault resurfaced on YouTube, placing Affleck in hot water. In a tweet, Affleck apologized for “acting inappropriately.”
Affleck’s apology seemed to be enough for Burton’s husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who told Entertainment Tonight in October 2017, “I don’t want to make a big deal of it because she didn’t, but yeah, I think everything that’s come out in the last couple of weeks, starting with Harvey Weinstein … anybody who has talked about it and even those that haven’t yet are incredibly brave, and I think it’s time for change.”
Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan made an unexpected red carpet announcement
At the 2017 Emmy Awards, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton made a surprising announcement on the red carpet: They were expecting their second child together! As reported by People, Burton, dressed in a gorgeous coral Lanvin gown, showed off a baby bump while husband Morgan lovingly touched her belly. The couple looked over the moon as they posed for photos.
The very public announcement was somewhat out of character for the pair, who kept Burton’s first pregnancy with son Gus a secret until after his birth. But, judging by the size of Burton’s bump on the Emmys red carpet — keeping her second pregnancy a secret was not an option.
Soon after the big reveal, Morgan opened up about the pregnancy to Us Weekly at the Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead in October 2017, saying, “I’m very excited. I think in my life, I think that being a dad is my favorite thing in the world, bar none.” He added, “So the opportunity to do it again, and maybe not screw it up as bad as I have already, that would be great.”
Jeffrey Dean Morgan spilled the beans about their second child's gender
Judging by the giant smile plastered across Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s face while posing beside pregnant wife, Hilarie Burton, at the 2017 Emmys, it was obvious he was excited to welcome his second child. However, Morgan’s excitement got the best of him during a Supernatural convention in New Jersey in September 2017, when he accidentally revealed their future baby’s gender to fans on stage. Morgan took to his Instagram to share a photo of himself looking distressed after he accidentally shared his future baby’s gender, writing, “I texted @hilarieburton right after I spilled the little girl beans… and, as usual… she was a rockstar.”
When Morgan’s wife announced their daughter’s birth in an Instagram post in March 2018, she poked fun at her husband’s inability to keep a secret, captioning the post, “@jeffreydeanmorgan is off in Europe… And he’s self aware enough to know his track record for ‘spilling the beans’ isn’t so great (bless his heart!). So before he starts tripping up in an attempt to maintain our privacy, he asked that I go ahead and post something about our little girl’s birth.”
Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan struggled to grow their family
In February 2018, Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan welcomed their second child, a girl named George, as reported by People. In March 2018, Burton shared the news in a touching Instagram post, and she revealed her difficulty conceiving their second child, saying, “It took a long time for Jeffrey and I to have this baby.”
Burton also revealed in the post that she suffered miscarriages and resented other celebrities who so easily conceived their children, writing, “The first time I got pregnant, it took a year and a half. … We picked out names. And we lost that baby. More losses followed, and as so many couples know, it was heartbreaking. It still is heartbreaking.”
Even after finally conceiving George five years later, Burton remained cautious throughout her pregnancy, explaining in the post, “So when this pregnancy started, we were cautious. I didn’t want to celebrate for fear of jinxing it… I checked her heartbeat every day, up until the day she was born. And now that she is here, I just stare at her in wonder all day.”
Jeffrey Dean Morgan delivered their children
Both Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan were elated over the arrival of their baby girl, George. While Burton shared the news via an emotional Instagram photo, Morgan informed fans with a tweet that read, in part, “Hey y’all… baby gal morgan is spectacular.”
Morgan continued to gush about his beautiful baby girl to People in April 2018, explaining how he helped deliver her with the help from a midwife: “As soon as her head breached I reached in there, grabbed her by the cheeks and got her out. Hilarie was over it, so it was awesome. I got to deliver both my kids, for real, it was cool.”
When The Walking Dead star appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live in April 2018, he detailed the deliveries of both of his children again, and he explained that he and Burton came up with their daughter’s name after watching an episode of Bonanza: “There was an episode, ‘A Girl Named George,’ and I loved the name. And Hilarie loved the name.”
Jeffrey Dean Morgan was not a fan of Hilarie Burton's show One Tree Hill
Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton have been in a loving relationship for a long time — but somehow Morgan has never seen an episode of the TV show that made his wife famous. During an interview with Entertainment Tonight in September 2018, Morgan was asked if he had ever seen Burton’s popular TV series One Tree Hill, and the actor responded by saying he had “never seen the show.”
Morgan continued, “I hear [she was amazing]. …We have a lot of, kind of, mutual fans. They tell me how great she was, but you gotta understand that I’m a little bit older than she is. So I think when One Tree Hill was cool with everybody, I was probably 40, you know? So, I kind of missed it!”
One Tree Hill ran on the WB and later the CW from 2003 to 2012, and Burton played music-loving Peyton Sawyer. The actress left the series in 2009, around the time she began her relationship with Morgan.
Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan tell ghost stories for a good cause
Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan have big hearts, and, for some time, the two have been sharing ghost stories to raise money for children. The fundraising event — aptly titled Ghost Stories – is an evening of spooky storytelling hosted by Burton and Morgan and featuring appearances by celebrity guests like Paul Rudd. Proceeds for the event are donated to Astor Services for Children & Families in Rhinebeck, N.Y., an organization that provides children with education, welfare, and mental health services.
The couple has donated funds from the event to provide residential renovations, has created registry wishlists filled with items to decorate children’s rooms, and has gotten their hands dirty painting during renovations.
In April 2017, Morgan told the Daily Freeman that their efforts to help Astor house have given them “a great opportunity … to kind of give back to the community that, obviously, we love.” Burton told Hudson Valley magazine in March 2019, “It is one of the bigger honors of my life to be a part of something that has such a profound effect on our population in New York State.”
Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan had a sweet business idea
Besides giving back to their community of Rhinebeck, N.Y., Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are local business owners. They are co-owners of Samuel’s Sweet Shop with friend and fellow actor Paul Rudd, his wife, and another couple. The shop, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in April 2019, was frequented by Burton and Morgan, who were friends with the shop’s previous owner, Ira Gutner, before he passed away in 2014. The couples then stepped in to save the shop when it was in danger of being sold, according to USA Today Travel.
Morgan was asked about the store when he appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in February 2016. The Walking Dead star explained, “Paul and I had been friends for a while and we just didn’t want it to turn into a smoothie stand or something. … So now we are the proud owners of Samuel’s Sweet Shop!”
The couple has casually promoted the store on social media in the past, with Burton sharing photos of her coffee inside the shop, and the Morgan family has also been seen on Samuel’s Sweet Shop’s Instagram page.
Hilarie Burton and Jeffrey Dean Morgan enjoy farm life
When Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton were in the Hudson Valley for a movie Morgan was filming, the couple decided they liked the New York region too much to leave. So the actors ditched the glitz and glam of Hollywood life and settled onto a 100-acre farm in Rhinebeck, N.Y. Burton detailed the move in an interview with Hudson Valley magazine in March 2019, saying, “We drove through Rhinebeck and stopped at Samuel’s [Sweet Shop] so Jeffrey could get a cup of coffee.” She added, “The quality of life here has changed our mindset. You don’t necessarily live to work, you work to live here.”
In an interview with On TV Today in 2018, Burton shared, “I am very happy living here on our farm … If I never work again, I’m a happy camper, because I have all these other amazing creative outlets.” Burton also explained she and Morgan “daydreamed” about purchasing a farm and a shop “the first weekend we met,” and now it has become a reality for the stars. Clearly, they’re living their best lives.
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