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Julia Roberts and Danny Moder Celebrate 21 Years of Marriage: A Timeline of Their Longtime Romance
2023/07/06

After 21 years, it's safe to say Julia Roberts and husband Danny Moder's marriage has stood the test of time in Hollywood.

The pair first met on set of the 2001 film, The Mexican, and tied the knot a year later, in a private ceremony held on Independence Day in 2002. Roberts and Moder would go on to welcome three children, twins Phinnaeus and Hazel, 18, and son, Henry, 16.

While the couple has kept the bulk of their relationship under wraps, they do document the occasional date night, anniversary and birthday tribute, the most recent of which came on July 4, 2023, when Roberts marked the couple's 21-year wedding anniversary.

The 55-year-old actress celebrated her 21st wedding anniversary by posting a rare PDA pic with Moder.

In the sweet shot, Roberts and Moder, 54, are engaged in a passionate kiss. The actress captioned the pic "21," before adding fireworks emojis and the hashtags "#truelove #heckyeah #fromhereonout."

Speaking about their long-lasting love to CBS Sunday Morning in October, Roberts said, "It's just never consumed me, being an actor. It is my dream come true, but it is not my only dream come true. The life that I have built with my husband, the life that we've built with our children, that's the best stuff. To come home at the end of the day, triumphantly to them."

In honor of their major marriage milestone, ET is taking a look back at their romance of over two decades, from meeting on set to raising a family.

Meeting on set

Roberts and Moder first met in 2000 while filming the movie The Mexican. Moder was working as a cameraman on the film, while Roberts starred as Brad Pitt's love interest, Samantha. At the time, Moder was married to celebrity makeup artist Vera Steimberg, while the Pretty Woman star was dating Benjamin Bratt.

In June 2001, Roberts split from Bratt after nearly four years of dating. Moder, meanwhile, finalized his divorce from Steimberg in early 2002.

"He sorted his whole thing out, separate and apart from me," Roberts said in a 2003 interview with Oprah Winfrey. "And I sorted my life out, separate and apart from him. I think that's the only reason we were able to ultimately fall in love with each other and be together."

A Fourth of July wedding

The pair tied the knot on July 4, 2022, at Roberts' 82-acre ranch in Taos, New Mexico. The ceremony was meant to be kept secret, with guests invited simply told to "celebrate Independence Day." But at midnight, candles and Chinese lanterns appeared, and Roberts and Moder surprised the crowd by stepping into a circle of scattered rose petals to exchange simple handwritten vows.

"I think that first kind of real … 'seismic shift' was meeting Danny," she told Gwyneth Paltrow in 2018. "Getting married to Danny. That was the first, like, my life will never be the same in the most incredible, indescribable way."

Roberts called marrying the cinematographer "the best decision" of her life.

"I felt I really had a sense of ownership of my destiny," Roberts added. "I've never said that before, to examine it like that. He truly is the best decision I ever made in my entire life was to hitch my wagon to Danny Moder." 

Twins make four

On Nov. 28, 2004, Roberts and Moder welcomed twins, a son and daughter named Phinnaeus and Hazel.

"Hazel is an old-fashioned name, and she's a strong, perfect Hazel," Roberts said during a 2009 appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

As for Phinnaeus, "My husband wanted to name him Finn, which I quite liked, but it seemed like a nickname," the actress later explained on Live with Regis and Kelly. "So I said we had to have a proper name, and then we can call him Finn."

Baby No. 3

On June 18, 2007, the couple welcomed their third child, a baby boy named Henry.

"[Henry woke up the other morning and said], 'It's a beautiful day, Mama.' Which makes 5:30 [a.m.] a whole lot prettier," Roberts told Winfrey of the toddler in 2010. "That's the thing about being new to the world, you're just so … impressed with everything. The older you get, the grumpier you get."

Packing on the praise

Back in 2015, Roberts credited Moder for her powerful performance in the thriller, Secret in Their Eyes.

"We've done a number of things together, and it's always kind of nerve-wracking for me because he's my husband and I want him to think I'm awesome," Roberts said of Moder, who worked with her on the movie. "But this was a collaboration where I realized that if he hadn't been there I don't think I could have fashioned together the performance that I wanted to."

Stronger than ever

During a 2018 interview with Gwyneth Paltrow, Roberts said her marriage to Moder only gets better with time, telling the Goop founder that a "seismic shift" happened when she met the cameraman.

"I think that first kind of real… 'seismic shift' was meeting Danny," Roberts said. "Getting married to Danny. That was the first, like, my life will never be the same in the most incredible, indescribable way… He truly, to this day, to this minute, is just my favorite human. I'm more interested in what he has to say or his point of view just more than anybody. Really, we're so lucky in that way. We just really, really like each other and we just enjoy each other's company."

"It just gets deeper, it just gets more complex," she added of her marriage over the years. "You're young and you fall in love and go, 'Oh, yeah, we're going to get married and we're going to build a house and will have kids,' and all these things that we all kind of dream of, but you don't know if you're going to like the same couch, and you don't know if he is going to want to get, like, patterned towels. Then, of course, the bigger ones are, will you parent in a way that has balance to it, that holds hands in philosophy? You just don't know these things until you are right there doing it, and we are so fortunate that there is some kind of inexplicable harmony to the way we do things, because we do things differently .... but there's something together that makes all the sense in the world."

Bring on the PDA

After attending the Golden Globes in January 2019, Roberts shared a PDA-packed selfie of the pair on Instagram. In the photo, Roberts and Moder shared a kiss in the backseat of a car while holding onto an In-N-Out burger.

"Fun Night W My Fella," Roberts, who was up for best actress in a television drama for her leading role in the Amazon original Homecoming captioned the photo. "Congratulations to All! And to all a good ( burger) night."

Marriage memories

Moder and Roberts celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary in 2021 by sharing a photo from their New Mexico wedding.

"Today we start our 20th year of marriage. This photo was on a dusty road before that big idea … just holding onto this beautiful girl one day at a time. One epic day at a time," Moder wrote.

For her part, Roberts shared a picture of the pair hugging on the beach, wrapped up in a towel.

"19 years ❤️🤍💙 Just getting started! #conwings😉," she wrote.

Love on a dress

Roberts made her love for her husband known with a one-of-a-kind gown. Worn at the world premiere of Ticket to Paradise in London, the custom Alexander McQueen garment was stamped with her and Moder's initials along with the year they wed.

The floor-length black lace gown also had the initials and birth dates of their three children.

The words "Hope," "Darling" and "Love" were seen on the dress as well.

Kennedy Center Honors

In December 2022, Roberts and Moder attended the Kennedy Center Honors to help pay tribute to Roberts' long-time friend and frequent co-star, George Clooney.

The couple were photographed at the event, where they were all smiles. Moder was dapper in a black suit while Roberts, meanwhile wore a custom Moschino that featured a collage of framed photos of Clooney.

21 years together

On July 4, 2023, the couple marked 21 years of marriage. Roberts celebrated the marriage milestone by posting a rare PDA pic with Moder.

In the sweet shot, Roberts and Moder are engaged in a passionate kiss. The actress captioned the pic "21," before adding fireworks emojis and the hashtags "#truelove #heckyeah #fromhereonout."

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