Julia Roberts, America's sweetheart, and Liam Neeson, the Irish heartthrob—it sounds like the makings of a perfect Hollywood romance. And for a brief, blissful period in the early 1990s, it was. Roberts and Neeson dated for two years after connecting on the set of Satisfaction in 1988. Their natural chemistry and charisma made them seem destined for each other.
In interviews, both stars have opened up about their relationship and what drew them together."She was gorgeous and fun," Neeson recalled. "We laughed a lot. She did make me laugh and we bonded over that." Roberts highlighted their shared passion for life and adventure. "The world was, ah, open to Liam," she said. "He was just different. He was "all man" in the old-fashioned sense of the word."
The couple moved in together after wrapping Satisfaction, settling into a farm in upstate New York. "It was a happy time," Neeson told Ellen DeGeneres. "We were living together for two years." Roberts agreed it was idyllic, like a fantasy. "I just felt so free and happy and excited,” she said. “It was a wonderful, wonderful time in my life."
Diane Keaton, Roberts’ costar in Something to Talk About, recalled the dramatic change in her friend after meeting Neeson. “There was a lightness about her. She laughed more. He grounded her in a way no one else could.”
As Radar can reveal, the Pretty Woman actress’ father died of cancer when she was just ten.
Neeson “was her first leading man, but he was also her first big love affair. Within weeks, the two were living together,” says Kelley in Reelz’ latest The Kitty Kelley Files: Julia Roberts clip.
“They embarked on a relationship that lasted for quite sometime,” says The Hollywood Gossip reporter Tyler Johnson when talking of the famous pair that dated from 1988 to 1990.
However, their romance soon fell victim to demanding work schedules and youth. Neeson began spending months at a time filming in Europe, while Roberts’ star rose in Hollywood following Pretty Woman.The time apart and strain of distance put cracks in their foundation.
In a 2019 interview, Neeson admitted the breakup with Roberts devastated him. "I remember reading some years after we split that Julia had said I was the love of her life," he revealed. "After we broke up, I always thought she was the love of mine." Roberts apparently struggled with similar regret, telling friends Neeson remained the standard against which she measured future relationships.
Details from their early courtship reveal just how smitten Roberts was from the start. She had a crush on Neeson after seeing him in The Bounty. Upon meeting him on set at age 22, she fell head over heels, drawn to his humor, talent, and kindness. Neeson treated Roberts with a tenderness beyond her years, sensing her innocence and good heart. Their shared laughter and joy in simple moments fueled an intense
Since their split, Roberts and Neeson have maintained a friendship and mutual respect. They continue to speak fondly of one another, acknowledging the joy and meaning of their early years together. The love and laughter they shared, however fleeting, shaped them in ways that endured.
While Roberts went on to marry cameraman Danny Moder, with whom she shares three children, Neeson's personal life has faced greater turmoil. His wife Natasha Richardson passed away following a tragic skiing accident in 2009. Still, Neeson credits his time with Roberts for opening him up to finding lasting love. Their passionate romance proved he was capable of forging an deep connection and sharing his life in a committed partnership.