Johnny Galecki’s 43rd birthday is kicking off with a bang. The Big Bang Theory star’s special day on April 30 started off with a sweet message from his TV wife. Galecki, who has played Leonard Hofstadter on the top-rated CBS sitcom for more than a decade, received a birthday greeting from his co-star Kaley Cuoco, proving these two stars remain close both onscreen and off.
Cuoco posted an adorable throwback snap of the duo to Instagram. The photo, taken from the future TV couple’s very first press tour, is captioned with a message to Johnny.
“Happy happy birthday to the best TV husband a girl could ask for!” Kaley wrote. “This pic was taken during our first press tour in Rome. I don’t think we had any idea the ride we would be on! Love u Mooks!”
Johnny Galecki’s Big Bang Theory character, an experimental physicist with an impossibly high IQ, started out as friends with his new neighbor Penny (played by Cuoco), but the two eventually formed a close bond and married. In real life, Johnny and Kaley also dated for about two years, splitting up in 2010. But as can be seen by Kaley’s cute birthday message, the Big Bang Theory co-stars have remained close friends even after their split.
Johnny Galecki confirmed as much a few years ago in an interview with CBS Watch magazine.
“We’re dear friends, still,” the actor said of Cuoco in 2013. “She’s not an ex, she’s a part of my life.”
Galecki also revealed the reason why the couple opted to keep their real-life relationship on the down low.
“I just don’t like to speak about it,” he said at the time. “And not because I’m trying to be enigmatic; I just worry that it will conflict with people’s acceptance of (Big Bang Theory characters) Leonard and Penny…. I get the curiosity, but I don’t want to distract from the story.”
In addition to Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki has another TV wife. The actor’s Roseanne character, David Healy, is still “hitched” to Sara Gilbert’s Darlene Conner. While viewers of the Roseanne reboot know there’s currently trouble in paradise for David and Darlene, in real life Galecki and Gilbert are as close as can be. And in a funny twist, they also dated back in the day.
Gilbert hasn’t reached out on social media to her TV husband for his birthday—yet— but she recently shared a cute post in which they discussed what they wanted to name their son on the Roseanne reboot. You can the text exchange below.
You can see Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco on The Big Bang Theory Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.