Courteney Cox Was a Fangirl of Michael Keaton Before Dating Him

They spent their first date talking about their "dream homes."

Courteney Cox and Michael Keaton in formalwear as a couple
Photo: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images


Golden Globe-nominated actress Courteney Cox, 58, and Oscar-nominated actor Michael Keaton, 71.

How They Met

In true actor fashion, Cox met Keaton in 1989 after she told a mutual friend how much she liked Keaton’s performance in the 1988 film Clean and Sober. Perhaps hoping to avoid a tabloid frenzy, the pair had their first date at Cox’s house. "We talked for five hours," the Friends star told People. "We talked about our dream homes — the great ones we’d seen and the kind we’d like to build ourselves."

Courteney Cox and Michael Keaton as a couple and both wearing sunglasses and blazers
Kypros/Getty Images

Why We Loved Them

Cox and Keaton were incredibly private, favoring a home-cooked meal (made on the 6-burner stove Keaton got Cox as a housewarming gift) over a splashy red carpet event. According to Cox, they were totally in sync. “We were sympathetic on so many levels,” the actress said of her and Keaton. “If something weird happened, we would turn to each other and just say, ‘I know.’”

When They Peaked

We stan a coordinating blue jeans and belt situation.

Courteney Cox and Michael Keaton as a couple wearing coordinated blue jeans and belts
Ron Galella, Ltd./Getty Images

The Breakup

After nearly six years together, Cox and Keaton reportedly split in July of 1995. “It’s the most important relationship I’ve ever had, and I think he’s the most wonderful person I’ve ever met,” Cox told People a few months later, adding, “We still love each other.” At the time, Cox didn’t rule out a reconciliation, telling the outlet, “With us, you can never tell.” But there was at least one staunch supporter of a reunion in their midst: Cox’s mom, Courteney Copeland. “They were always trying to work on themselves,” Copeland told People of her daughter and Keaton. “They need to forget that and accept each other the way they are — and just get married.”

Just prior to the split, there were rumors that Cox and Keaton had planned to do just that. “I bet that three-carat diamond is really beautiful,” Cox told the L.A. Times in reference to the tabloid reports, “but I never saw it."

Courteney Cox and Michael Keaton as a couple wearing black suits on the red carpet
Jim Smeal/Getty Images

Though neither party has come out and explained what precipitated their split, Cox told USA Today, “Relationships are tougher than I thought,” two years following the breakup. She added, “I’ve got a lot of work to do on myself,” but remained hopeful about dating within the industry: “Actors dating actors can work out. The most important thing is to be with someone who’s creative and passionate about what they do.”

Where They Are Now

Cox’s prophecy about dating actors panned out (kind of). In 1999, she wed fellow actor and Scream alum David Arquette. They welcomed daughter Coco Arquette soon after Friends aired its finale in 2004. The pair split in 2010. Cox has been dating Snow Patrol singer Johnny McDaid on and off since she finalized her divorce from Arquette in 2013.

On the professional front, Cox reunited with her Friends co-stars for a highly anticipated reunion in May 2021 — for which she earned an Emmy nomination. Cox is currently starring in Shining Vale, a comedy horror series on Starz. She will reprise her role as Gale Weathers for the sixth installment of Scream, slated for release in March 2023.

Keaton has remained private about relationships in the decades since his split from Cox, though he’s been dating girlfriend Marni Turner for six years.

The Birdman star has several projects in development, including the noir thriller Knox Goes Away and The Flash, scheduled for release in summer 2023.

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