Everything to Know About Molly McNearney, Jimmy Kimmel’s Wife

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Comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, 56, has been married to his wife, Molly McNearney, 45, for a decade, and they share a sweet family together. Their love story is picture perfect: The couple met at work, and somewhere down the line they fell in love with each other.

Previously, Kimmel was in a relationship with his ex-wife, Gina Maddy-Kimmel. They got married in 1988, and had two kids together, Katie, 32, and Kevin, 30, before getting a divorce in 2002.

Ahead, everything you need to know about McNearney and her relationship with this year’s Oscar host.

McNearney and Kimmel met at work.

Back in 2006, McNearney began working for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, eventually working her way up to the role of co-head writer and executive producer. However, she and Kimmel didn’t exactly have a meet-cute, according to her first impression of him.

When I first met him, he insulted me!” McNearney told Glamour in 2014. “The executive producer brought me into his office and said, ‘This is Molly; she’s my new assistant.’ Jimmy barely looked up from his desk until my EP said, ‘She competes in triathlons,’ and then Jimmy looked up at me and said, ‘That is really stupid! What a waste of time,’ she laughed. “That was the first and only thing he probably said to me the entire first year of working there.”

Not only does McNearney do a ton of work behind the scenes, but you’ve also probably seen her on TV in episodes alongside Kimmel, and she’s hilarious.

Aside from working for Kimmel, McNearney is also the EP for the Emmys and the Oscars. She worked on the shows when Kimmel hosted the Oscars in 2017, 2018, and last year in 2023, and she’ll be returning again as he hosts this year.

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McNearney and Kimmel started dating in 2010.

At some point, their relationship as coworkers turned into something more, and by 2010 Kimmel and McNearney were dating. In the 2014 interview with Glamour, McNearney explained that “all the writers would socialize after the show, and we would just hang out more and more. We really liked each other as friends, and then it just kind of turned. He cooked for me, and that was it. It sealed the deal.”

They had a pretty great first date, too.

“At one of the writers’ meetings—because Jimmy is always thinking about food—he asked us what our five favorite foods were,“ she recalled. "I listed mine, which were pizza, gnocchi pasta, a BLT, crab claws, and a cheeseburger. Shortly after, he had invited me to his house, and I was very nervous. I mean, this is my boss. I was thinking, I gotta be careful here. He opens the door, and the whole house smelled delicious. I walked in, and there was a pizza, a BLT, crab claws, cheeseburger, and gnocchi. He had made them all from scratch. I couldn’t believe it, and I realized how incredibly thoughtful and generous he really was.”

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McNearney admitted to Glamour that she was nervous to tell the Jimmy Kimmel Live! staff the news of their relationship.

“I was very, very nervous because I love our writers so much, and we work so closely together. I was also the only female writer in the room at the time, and I didn’t want to change the dynamic,” she explained. “We love to make fun of Jimmy over here, myself included. When you have camaraderie with your co-workers, one of the parts of that is making fun of the boss a little bit, and now to think, ‘That’s the guy I’m dating,’ I didn’t want that to stop.”

McNearney and Kimmel got engaged in South Africa in 2012 and were married by 2013.

In August 2012, People reported that Kimmel proposed to McNearney at Kruger National Park in South Africa while they were on a romantic getaway. They officially tied the knot one year later on July 13, in Ojai, California.

Of course some pretty big stars were on the guest list, like Jennifer Aniston, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Ben Affleck.

In March 2015, McNearney jokingly called Kimmel “the greatest wife you could ask for” in Entertainment Weekly.

“When we started dating, I would go back and forth between my place and his,” she recalled. “I have my stuff at my house, and I like my own space. One time, he was in the bathroom for a very long time, and I just figured something was going on internally.”

“A few days later, he presented me with this big box that had two of everything in my makeup and Dopp kit, because he saw that I was lugging stuff back and forth, and he wanted me to be comfortable in his home,” she continued. “He was in the bathroom for that hour and a half with my bag going through every single thing: every lotion, razor, deodorant, shampoo, makeup.”

McNearney and Kimmel have two kids together.

Their children are aged 6 and 9.

On July 10, 2014, McNearney gave birth to the couple’s first child together, Jane Kimmel.

“Congratulations to my beautiful and very tough wife Molly on delivering our baby girl this morning,” Kimmel tweeted. “Thanks for all your kind baby wishes—turns out, not ALL tweets are mean!”

Three years later, on April 21, 2017, McNearney and Kimmel welcomed their son, William John “Billy” Kimmel.

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McNearney has opened up about their son’s health issues.

The couple’s son, Billy, was born with a rare congenital heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, and there was a hole in the wall of his heart that prevented oxygen from reaching his blood. He had to undergo two open heart surgeries before he turned one. His first surgery came at only three days old.

In January 2018, McNearney appeared on the Anna Faris Is Unqualified podcast, where she spoke about the whole experience.

“Billy’s great. He had his second surgery and he’ll have one more when he’s older. It was tough,” she recalled.

“But kids are so resilient—he had open-heart surgery on a Monday, and we were home on Friday,” she added.

May 1, 2017 was Kimmel’s first day back hosting his show since Billy’s heart surgery, and in his monologue, he tearfully told the story to viewers. He also used the time to push for universal healthcare.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kimmel told McNearney, “I just want you to watch,” so she knew that her husband would be talking about Billy on the show, but she wasn’t prepared to see him get so emotional and vulnerable in front of the cameras.

“So, there I am, in my living room breastfeeding Billy with my mom beside me, and we’re watching. I sobbed through the entire thing. I couldn’t believe the strength that it took to tell that story a week after it happened. He didn’t have to do that,” she shared.

“Our family has excellent health care; he had nothing to gain from that. He did it for the other people whom we met in that hospital. He came home that night, and I just hugged him, and I wouldn’t let go,” she added.

Both McNearney and Kimmel have both been vocal about spreading awareness on Billy’s condition as well as the importance of good, accessible healthcare for all.

McNearny is usually Kimmel’s plus-one to award shows and red carpets.

The average American couple probably has a fun date night at the movie theater, but McNearney and Kimmel prefer premieres, award shows, and galas. Most recently, they attended the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards together. McNearney wore a textured, red long-sleeve dress, while Kimmel wore a classic black tux with a bowtie. We’ll soon see them at the 2024 Academy Awards.

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