Take Julia Roberts, for example. For years, her life seemed perfect — she had a successful career and a healthy bank account, and she was celebrated as one of the most beautiful women in the world. Still, it was only when she found her one true love, Danny Moder, that she felt really happy. Here is their wonderful love story.
Julia Roberts and her husband, Danny Moder, have been married since 2002 and have three children. This is the second attempt at marriage for both Moder and Roberts. She was once married to actor and musician Lyle Lovett, but apparently, the stars weren't in line for them.
Her marriage to Moder, however, is a different story. The actress gave a guest appearance in 2018 on Gwyneth Paltrow's podcast, "Goop," and opened up about their relationship. In this interview with Paltrow, she got asked a lot of burning questions about her career, roles she’s played and of course, her personal life.
In the Public Eye
Being in the spotlight has some benefits. It usually comes with great wealth, fans who adore you, and flashy events. But it has its negative sides too, like paparazzi and people sticking their noses in your relationships, among other things.
Roberts and Moder soldiered through it all. The good and the bad and have chosen to keep some things out of the public eye after seeing how much it can take over your life. It has a lot to do with how private they are about their love life — not an easy feat to achieve when you have such a high-profile career and you’ve always been badgered by the paparazzi.
As advertised, Roberts and Moder are particularly private, but opening up to Paltrow about the couple's life wasn't that hard. The two (Roberts and Paltrow) are dear and close friends, and have a long history together. Roberts even attended Paltrow’s engagement party in 2018, and the two have been posing together for pics since the start of both of their careers.
The two first met when they starred in the movie "Hook" together in 1991 (Paltrow played young Wendy, and Roberts was Tinkerbell) and have been nurturing their friendship ever since. So having a heart-to-heart with each other didn't feel as revealing to Roberts.
An Early Start
In the past three decades, Julia Roberts has been nurturing one of the most prolific acting careers in Hollywood. People around the world instantly recognize her thanks to her iconic roles and dazzling smile.
She had her first noticeable role in the 1989 film "Steel Magnolias" as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie. Her character suffered from type 1 diabetes and a whole lot of family stress. The film was well received by critics and got good ratings from audiences too. The Academy nominated her for a Best Supporting Actress award for this role, and it was by no means the last they've seen of her.
A Steel Fist
While "Steel Magnolias" was very successful and put her on the map as an actress of worth, shooting it was a very difficult experience for Roberts. It was her first big role, which meant nothing to Director Herbert Ross, who treated her harshly despite Roberts being an effortlessly sweet and easy actress to work with.
According to her co-star Sally Field, Ross went after her as if it was a quest for vengeance. Shirley MacLaine, another co-star, said that Roberts was often in tears and doubting her own talent. Little did young Julia know, things were about to get a lot better.
The Pretty Woman Effect
Julia's most famous role is definitely that of Vivian Ward, the streetwalker with the ultimate happy ending in "Pretty Woman" (1990). This is a real Cinderella story from beginning to end, and they couldn't make a better choice than Roberts for the lead character. This was Roberts’ ninth role played in Hollywood, and it certainly increased her rankings in the show biz sector and only catapulted her further into the world of fame.
Sharing the screen with Richard Gere, Roberts was nominated for another Academy Award, this time as Best Actress. From there, the road for numerous blockbusters and starring credits was paved.
Jackie of All Trades
While Roberts portrayed romantic characters beautifully, she soon switched to other genres. There was more than just pretty women to Roberts, and she was about to reveal a much more extensive range in her character portrayals.
Sure, the romantic roles didn't disappear. There were romantic comedies like "Notting Hill" (1999) and "Runaway Bride" (1999). “Notting Hill” is even considered a cult classic today. She dominated the romcoms for a good portion of the 90s but is also an absolute gem in dramas such as "Eat Pray Love" (2010) and "Closer" (2004). No character was too big for her to slip into.
Doing It All
Dramas and romantic comedies are just a drop in the bucket when it comes to Roberts's career. Soon enough, directors and movie producers realized that a jewel landed in Hollywood, and soon enough everyone was eager to work with her and have her star in their flicks.
She has appeared in thrillers (like "The Pelican Brief" and "Conspiracy Theory") and has even done some voice acting, lending her vocal cords to animated characters like in the film "Smurfs: The Lost Village." Some films did better than others, of course, but for the most part her work has been incredibly successful.
Finally, an Oscar!
One of the most significant peaks in Roberts's career is her portrayal of the title character in "Erin Brockovich" (2002). This was a moment every Hollywood star waits for, and for Roberts, it wasn't a long wait.
Based on a true story, her character was an unemployed single mother of three who fought to stop a mega-corporation from harming her town. This role finally turned her from an Oscar nominee to an Oscar winner as Best Actress. Not only did she win an Academy Award for her role, but the film itself got 33 wins in total, so it was a massive success for Roberts and also for the makers of the movie.
Bringing the Titles Home
Roberts's success wasn't limited to critical acclaim. She has also reached unbelievable financial achievements, becoming the highest-paid actress in the world for most of the 1990s. She has kept raking in big bucks ever since.
The star's titles don't just stop there. She has even surpassed her tight homie and fellow Hollywood costar George Clooney, who has only attained the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ title two times now. She, on the other hand, has earned the title of the most beautiful in the world from People magazine for five consecutive years! She joked about this and stated that she would mention it to the Clooneys in the annual Christmas Card she sends to them.
The Best of the Best
With an acting career in Hollywood that stretches over more than three decades, it's no surprise that Roberts has had the chance to work with the creme de la creme of the Hollywood gentry. She is one of the best faces in Hollywood and therefore, has been paired with no less than the best of the best.
Other than Richard Gere, Roberts's line of impressive co-stars includes Catherine Zeta-Jones and George Clooney ("Ocean's Eleven"), and most recently (“Ticket to Paradise”), Denzel Washington ("The Pelican Brief"), Brad Pitt ("The Mexican"), Owen Wilson (“Wonder”), Natalie Portman (“Closer”), and Tom Hanks ("Charlie Wilson's War").
Roberts has had a slew of hunky co-stars to play her characters' love interests. As it happens in the entertainment industry, sometimes their names have been romantically linked to hers off-screen life as well. Like many Hollywood stars, Roberts began mixing with her own kind of Hollywood icons.
In 1988 and 1996, she acted alongside Liam Neeson in the romantic comedy "Satisfaction" and the biographical thriller "Michael Collins" (respectively), and the two became romantically involved in real life following their on-screen involvements. Her subsequent dating pool was mostly comprised of actors such as Dylan McDermott, Jason Patric, and Matthew Perry.
The Real Runaway Bride
In 1990, Roberts starred in the movie "Flatliners," where she met her co-star actor Keifer Sutherland. Sparks immediately started flying, and it was less than a year until the two got engaged. However, their relationship didn't last, and the pair broke things off just three days before their wedding date.
This engagement only lasted for about ten months, so it was clearly not meant to be. On top of that, a day before the scheduled wedding, Roberts traveled to Ireland. She did that with the actor Jason Patric (Sutherland's friend), and the two later had a short relationship that followed.
In 1992, after seeing some significant ups and downs in her love life, Roberts was cast in "The Player." Working on this movie had a very unexpected ending, and Roberts got more than just a great role.
Her co-star in the film was country musician Lyle Lovett, in his very first film role, and we have a feeling you already know where this is going. Lovett and Roberts fell deeply in love. It was so intense that they were married in three weeks. Or shall we say eloped, because how can you possibly plan a wedding in less than a month?
But They Didn't Last
Allegedly, Roberts was a fan of his music before the pair met, and she would play his tapes in the early 90s. During their two years together, they co-starred in a second film together — "Ready to Wear" (1994). Roberts and Lovett's romance ended just about as quickly as it started. In fact, the two got divorced after only two years of marriage.
The assumption today is that the thing that broke the two apart was career pressures. Two Hollywood stars, each outdoing the other, we can confidently say that it wasn't meant to be. Luckily, it was an amicable split so there were no hard feelings when they ended things in 1995.
Another Romantic Chapter
Next in line to capture Roberts' heart was actor Matthew Perry, who you probably know as Chandler from the cult classic series "Friends." She even gave a guest appearance on the show. Unfortunately, things didn’t last as long as they may have wished, and this relationship, too, came to an end.
In 1998, Roberts met her next romantic partner, actor Benjamin Bratt from "Law & Order," and gave a little cameo in his show too. The two dated for quite some time and even went to the 2000 Oscars together. Allegedly, the two enjoyed fine dining together but not so much the spotlight.
In 2000, Roberts acted in the film "The Mexican" alongside Brad Pitt. They supposedly had a slight fling and dated at the time. While Bratt and Roberts had a pretty steady relationship, it apparently wasn't true love in the long run. The two split up in 2001, but Roberts met her one true love a little before that happened.
The man in question was an interesting cinematographer — Danny Moder. Back then, they both had significant others — Roberts had Bratt, and Moder was still married to film makeup artist Vera Steinberg. By 2001, they broke up with their spouses, and in 2002, they made things official and married.
Chatting on Set
You're probably wondering how on earth a non-celebrity might even consider approaching a Hollywood A-lister in the first place. We were wondering the same thing. Well, interestingly, chatting with Roberts on set wasn't all that complicated for Moder according to him.
Roberts states that she is quite relaxed on set and that the crew not only gets to see her most professional side but also her most frazzled one. Seeing the entirety of someone's personality makes them pretty approachable, and that was no different when Moder approached her on the set of the film he was involved in making – “The Mexican.”
Moder — the Backstory
Danny Moder was born in Los Angeles and started working in the Hollywood film industry in the year 1992. The first movie he worked on as a production assistant is "Crimson Tide," an action thriller directed by Tony Scoot and it was released in 1995.
From there, he climbed through the ranks of backstage odd jobs. As a camera and electric team member, he worked on films like "Enemy of the State" (1998) and eventually started creating his own movies. Some of the films he created include "Fireflies in the Garden" (2008) and "Secret in Their Eyes" (2015), starring Roberts.
Despite her flashy career, Roberts is a pretty modest person, and it has been said that she is effortlessly easy to work with. When she married Moder in 2002, it was in a low-key ceremony held in New Mexico at a ranch owned by the actress (thanks to all the wealth she’d built up from her Hollywood career). The guest list totaled sixty people, which is rare for a Hollywood-style venue.
The couple kept things simple, exchanging handwritten vows and wearing non-traditional clothes. Instead of the usual gown and tux, the two opted for a pink floral gown for the bride and a red/tan ensemble for the groom.
Let the Babies Come
Despite both of them being previously married, neither Roberts nor Moder had children when they met. It was as if they were each other's first-ever crush, with no history behind them or no strings attached from previous relationships.
All of that changed though when the two wedded and decided to welcome kids of their own shortly after marriage. Today, they are a much bigger family with a total of five members in the Roberts-Moder family. Today, however, the two have three children of their own. First came the twins — Phinnaeus and Hazel-Patricia, born in 2004. In 2007, the twins were joined by a younger brother named Henry Daniel.
The Kids Have Some Interesting Names
In the summer of 2009, Roberts was busy filming the movie "Eat Pray Love." In this popular romantic drama, Roberts stars as Elizabeth Gilbert, a woman who goes on a life-changing trip around the world. Gilbert discovers mysteries about her own self and completes an inner journey in her soul.
The journey helps her re-discover herself and what's really important in life. One location in her journey is an Indian ashram where she discovers the power of prayer. Apparently, shooting in this location has greatly impacted Roberts, and she even gave her children Hindu names that same year: Laxmi, Ganesh, and Krishna Balram.
All families have their own dynamics, and the Roberts-Moder household is pretty busy. When giving an interview with Vanity Fair, Roberts shared a little about what it's like for them to balance their family life with their three children on top of their bustling careers.
According to her, there are days when things run pretty smoothly and days that are incredibly hectic. One can only imagine both parents having their flashy careers in Hollywood and on top of that the three children that they are raising. Just like everyone else, they too are constantly learning and developing their parenting skills.
Part of the Family
Two people who got an up-close peek into the Roberts-Moder household are actors Lucas Hedges and Kathryn Newton. They were about to become Roberts's onscreen children and had to study and analyze what it was really like to be a member of this family.
The two played the parts of Roberts's children in the drama "Ben Is Back," and Julia had them come over and meet her actual kids. Hedges and Newton stayed over for a while, merging the on-screen family with the real-life one quite successfully. Talk about bringing your work home and really taking acting to the next level.
The Kids Are Unimpressed
You would think that the children of one of the most famous actresses in Hollywood would appreciate their mother's standing in the industry. Well, apparently, Roberts's kids are not very impressed by it.
When coming on as a guest for Oprah Winfrey's show, she said her kids don't really grasp how incredibly famous she is. It looks like her films appeal to an audience of a different age group, so her children don't perceive her as a celebrity. This really comes as no surprise since Roberts made her biggest mark on Hollywood in the '90s and early 00s, which was a time when her kids were not even a wink in the sky yet.
Famous Like Taylor Swift
Roberts elaborated on her children's perception of her fame when they questioned her about it. She said that when her fame started dawning on them, they started to enquire about it. Who wouldn’t when your mother, Julia Roberts? Her diplomatic reply was that many people know who she is or have seen a movie featuring her, given she has so many acting credits to her name.
She never detailed the many projects she was involved in and didn't describe each movie or nomination she had to her name. The children's following question was if she's more famous than Taylor Swift. That's a younger audience for you.
Starting a rumor is incredibly easy in Hollywood, and Roberts knows all about it. Every once in a while, tabloids or online pseudo-journalists pop up with a rumor that she and Moder are about to break up, and that their marriage may end in divorce.
According to her, it can sometimes do nothing but hurt her feelings because she takes such pride in her marriage, and rightfully so since Roberts have been going strong for over 20 years now. But her number one priority is to make sure her children know the truth — mommy and daddy are very much in love and by no means are separating.
Despite being regularly targeted by the paparazzi and tabloids alike, Roberts and Moder are known to lead a pretty private life out of the spotlight when possible. So joining Instagram was a big step for her when she finally made her account in the summer of 2018. However, it was a necessary step that helps her take better control over false rumors about her marriage.
Her opening an Instagram account was actually an idea offered by her children. Now featuring over 11 million followers, she's still learning how to balance Instagram with her private lifestyle. She is definitely not as active as most celebrities but at least she gets to control her narrative slightly.
No Such Thing as Mastering Motherhood
Much like other mothers in showbusiness, Roberts was asked about her mothering skills and about what she believed was the proper way to educate and teach. She even spoke about it when getting interviewed by Oprah.
According to her, she has her ups and her downs, just like with everything else in life, and with motherhood. Some days she feels like she's got it, and other days — not so much. As she puts it, there is no such thing as mastering motherhood, and people need to know that before they decide to embark on a parenting journey, otherwise, they may be in for some big surprises.
There's Nothing Wrong With Reaching Out
Parenting, as we all know, is easier when done by two parents, as opposed to a single mom or single dad doing the job alone. Roberts made it a point that she believes women shouldn't be responsible for every single thing all the time if they have a loving and supporting partner.
During her interview with Oprah, she said there is nothing wrong with reaching out to a partner, friend, or even your own children if you need a hand for whatever reason. We think everyone can take a page out of Julia’s book, considering how hectic things can get at times.
Shout It From the Rooftops
There is no doubt that Roberts's best relationship is the one she has with Moder, and she speaks about it very proudly and openly. He is the love of her life, and he is, without a doubt, her best friend and the only person that she’s been able to stick with for such a long time.
She was interviewed about it not only by Oprah but also by actress and friend Gwyneth Paltrow on her podcast, "Goop." The podcast interview was open and candid, and she wasn't afraid to gush over her husband and let the world hear all about it.
A Seismic Shift
When featured in Paltrow's podcast, Roberts described the impact her husband had on her life as a "seismic shift." She couldn't visualize her life without him, and he was, many times, her better half that she couldn’t do without, especially when times get tough and life gets too hectic. He has always remained her rock.
According to her, meeting him was the first time she felt like her life has changed forever in the best way possible. With more than 20 years of being in a relationship together and three gorgeous children later, they still keep getting closer and better together.
What's Their Secret?
So, after failed relationships, including a divorce and a broken-up engagement in the past, what makes Moder so special and their relationship work so well? As the separation rate is so high, especially in Hollywood, what makes this work? There is probably a lot more to it than the interview, but Roberts told Paltrow all about it.
She calls him her "favorite human" and says she is more interested in his opinion or point of view than anybody else's. They have a great friendship, and they just enjoy being together, no matter where they are. It is purely as simple as that.
Even After All These Years
We are all familiar with the different stages that relationships go through, and we all know that time is a huge factor to consider. Danny and Julia have had their ups and downs, they have yelled at each other and been disappointed by one another, however, they never lose the way home.
Paltrow asked her friend about their decades spent together and Roberts said that the years have been kind to them and brought them closer together. After spending all this time together (over 20 years, to be more precise), their relationship is deeper and more complex in the best way possible.
The Power of Differences
When asked to elaborate on the things that make her and Moder work so well together, Roberts had her answers all locked and loaded. She was prepared for everything, and there was no surprising her with questions that could potentially put her on the spot. No siree.
She explains that they do things differently and that their differences create a certain harmony between them. You know how it goes, It’s almost like they finish each other’s sentence, and one's yin is the other's yang. To put it simply — they complete each other and are a match made in heaven.
The Big Four-Oh
Other than meeting and marrying Moder, Roberts has had different turning points in her life. She’s been there and done that when it comes to the Academy Awards. She’s not only had children but twins at that. Another one of those big turning points was turning forty. Now in her 50s, she has a full perspective on that event in her life.
She spoke to Paltrow about the great benefits that came with the age. Roberts admitted that this was when she started to find self-acceptance and inner strength — something that she believes many women go through when they enter their 40s.
Knowing Her Priorities
After starring in iconic films and being famously known as the most beautiful woman in the world (a staggering five times), you'd think everyday events wouldn't be very exciting for Roberts. But being such a modest woman, even smaller things still manage to touch her and send her into a frenzy of excitment.
After all, the woman's successful career has taken her far and wide on Hollywood’s doorstep, all while banking her some serious cash. That's more than most of us even dream of. Still, the actress considers her 40th birthday epiphanies and relationship with her husband far more monumental.
Half a Century
If you thought turning forty was the last of Roberts's meaningful birthdays, you are sadly mistaken. The celebration of her fiftieth birthday was just her kind of incredible. The initial plan was to get away with her hubby for five days and have no contact with the outside world whatsoever, and just bathe in and enjoy each other’s company.
However, halfway through these five days of bliss, she realized that she was actually missing her kids terribly. Being the perfect hubby that Moder is he then secretly arranged for all three of them to come and surprise their mom, which moved her to tears.
Owning Her Destiny
Those who listened to Paltrow's "Goop" podcast may have noticed she turned out to be quite a persistent interviewer, not really shying away from asking questions that may seem rather private to some. Paltrow took advantage of the situation and wanted to hear some more, and really got down to asking her some deep questions about her marriage and relationship with Moder.
She asked Roberts if Moder was the first real shift for her, to which she answered, "I think that what I felt was that I really had a sense of ownership of my destiny. I’ve never said that before." This kind of love really does sound incredible.
A True Gush-Fest
You thought the gushing was over? Think again. Just when we thought that all nice things could be said about a relationship, Roberts took it a step further. Apparently, Roberts couldn't stop coming up with new ways to describe just how much she loves that hubby of hers. She loves him in a way anyone would want to be loved.
She called her marriage to Moder the best decision she's ever made. In the background, listeners of the podcast could hear Paltrow being audibly touched by her friend's words. There are not many successful relationships in Hollywood, and if cupid strikes your way, it must be cherished.
Those of you who watched Roberts in the movie "Eat Pray Love" know that finding love is often what you need to find happiness. Roberts obviously has that. She has it all. Is there even anything that she doesn’t have?
The actress opened up about the issue in an interview she gave on Oprah's O Magazine. She stated that she is the happiest she's ever been and that the joy comes from being content with what she has. To be fair, a solid bank account, a loving partner, a beautiful family, and a successful career do sound very satisfying. What more could you possibly wish for?
Love and Marriage
Oprah obviously had some follow-up questions. After all, it seemed that Roberts has found the formula for happiness, and it was Oprah's duty as a journalist to share it with the world.
When inquiring about the reason that made her so content, Roberts confessed that it is largely thanks to her marriage. Not her career, not her money — just love. Pure true love. With such a successful marriage that’s been going strong for over two decades, we guess you can’t really go wrong. We just hope that things will stay as happy as they are with the pair until the end of their days.
Shining a Light
Roberts's interview for O Magazine quickly turned into a hymn praising her husband for all the glory and love that he brings to Roberts and their family. "My husband Danny has really shined the light for me," she said. She spoke greatly of him and wasn't shy to confess that she adores him.
"Because of being married, I’ve met people and experienced all these little things that have nurtured my life. Not so much changed it, just nurtured it in a way that’s astounding." It sounds like Roberts and Moder really have the best thing going in Hollywood. How touching!
Her Most Comfortable Self
When she discovered the impact Roberts's marriage has had on her life, Oprah was just as relentless as Paltrow. To us, money and a great, successful career seem enough to make one happy, however, Roberts never paid attention to all of these. Maybe because they came fairly easily to her.
Just like her non-Hollywoodian fans, she wanted to know what Moder has added to the life of someone who seemingly had everything. Roberts emphatically responded that with him, she doesn't need to alter herself or pretend to be someone she’s not. She can just be as comfortable as she pleases. There was no need for acting.
Not only does he make her feel comfortable, but he also helps her overcome her own personal fears and challenges. One example of that is Roberts's fear of heights. In 2018, she posed in evening gowns for a Harper's Bazaar photoshoot.
Oh, and she did it while hanging by a rope from the side of a rock. When Oprah met her for a later interview, the actress confessed that Moder was the one who talked her into it and talked her through it. So not only is he the perfect human being for her, but he also manages to help her overcome big challenges that she may face. That's what we call being someone's rock.
Real Life Happy Ending
And now, for the question you've all been waiting for — how does a marriage work between a rich and famous Hollywood star and a not-so-famous person? Well, it does. Roberts and Moder are living proof. Perhaps this is one of the secret ingredients for a successful marriage to thrive in Hollywood. Maybe it’s best that not both parties are ultra-famous.
Just like in "Notting Hill" — the answer is yes. For those of you who don't know, in "Notting Hill," Roberts plays the part of a famous actress who falls in love with a simple bookseller. So, for once, a silver-screen happy ending has successfully made its way into real life.
Just a Simple Person
When Oprah asked about the fame difference issue, Roberts was ready with an answer, like she was ready to brace all the other deep questions regarding her personal marriage life. She said she is a pretty simple person, but her job makes other people think that she is somehow more interesting than others when in actual fact, she’s just a normal person like all of us.
Basically, she said that she is pretty much the same person she was before Hollywood and that they are just two people with different jobs who got married. This kind of down-to-earth demeanor is one of the things that make her so popular.
The 18-Year Mark
In the summer of 2020, Roberts and Moder celebrated their 18th anniversary, proving to everyone that they are stronger than ever. They were together for almost two decades and felt as if they had just met.
When Roberts is not being directly interviewed about her husband, she tends to keep her private life to herself. So when she does open up about their love life or share an endearing post on the gram, it almost feels like a treat. She treated everyone when she took to Instagram for their 18th anniversary and posted the most adorable picture of them with the caption "18 years #heckyes."
It's All About Love
Roberts obviously keeps other people interested for a reason, even if that reason is her unbelievably long and happy marriage. She shows us that no matter how successful you are, the one thing that matters most is having a person to share your life with.
In the summer of 2023, the pair took to Instagram to celebrate their 21st anniversary together. It doesn’t seem like their love is fading for each other any time soon either, but rather like things are just getting better and better. And in Hollywood, where relationships rarely last very long, it's incredibly refreshing to hear something that restores our faith in true love.