At just 31 years old, Kaley Cuoco has become one of the most successful and popular actresses of our generation. She has been starring on CBS hit The Big Bang Theory since its debut in 2007, a highly successful sitcom that has peaked at close to 20 million viewers in its 10th season. She has been a regular cast member, appearing in every episode except for two, which she missed due to an injury. Her success has secured her an incredible salary of over $1 million per episode of BBT, as well as a huge fan club. Her net worth in 2016 was estimated at $45 million.
Kaley’s personal life has piqued the interest and curiosity of fans worldwide. Her great sense of humour and cute girl-next-door looks have made her a favorite celebrity crush. In 2016, her divorce from tennis star Ryan Sweeting was confirmed, but the blonde beauty did not stay single for long. She is currently dating equestrian Karl Cook, whom she hooked up with as soon as she broke things off with Sweeting. One thing’s for sure, the girl has no shortage of interested male prospects!
Beauty and talent aside, there are a lot of things that aren’t known about Kaley. She has been able to maintain a fairly private life, despite her immeasurable fame. We love nothing more than uncovering secrets and unleashing hidden talents. Let’s take a look at 15 Shocking Things You Didn’t Know About Kaley Cuoco.
15. She Wasn’t The First Pick For Big Bang Theory
It’s hard to imagine Big Bang Theory without Kaley Cuoco playing our favorite character, Penny. When the show originally piloted, Penny’s character did not exist. The original main female lead was a character named Jane, played by Canadian actress Amanda Walsh. CBS rejected the original synopsis, and it was only then that Chuck Lorre and the writing team for BBT went back to the drawing board and created the lovable character, Penny. From 2007 to 2010, the show was still in its infancy, and Kaley was making roughly $60,000 per episode. In 2010, with an established fan base of millions of viewers, the cast’s salaries were increased to $200,000 per episode. Again in 2014, they negotiated their income. With an estimated 18 million viewers tuning in regularly, the top actors, including Cuoco, are now making $1 million per episode.
14. She’s Into Horses
It’s no secret that Kaley’s boyfriend, Karl Cook, is an equestrian. Her love for horses, however, started before the pair met. In fact, she’s so good that she enters herself (and her horses) in competitions where she competes alongside the greatest in the world. She told Jimmy Kimmel that she often uses an alias when competing, as she doesn’t want the paparazzi showing up at the events and scaring her horses. Riding seems to be her refuge from the Hollywood lifestyle, keeping her grounded and active. She has been riding since the age of 15, and has accumulated quite the collection of her own horses, including Poker Face, Zaza, Benji and Thor. In 2010 she fell from one of her horses, and subsequently had her foot crushed. She had to get multiple surgeries to fix the broken bones, and this resulted in her missing two episodes of filming of The Big Bang Theory.
13. She Is A Really Good Tennis Player
Super-sporty Kaley has many athletic talents! Not only was she previously married to tennis star Ryan Sweeting, she actually has a pretty good game of her own. Before she made it big as an actress, Kaley was actually quite a successful tennis player. She was well-known in the junior leagues, and ranked 6th at the 2000 National Open Championship in the junior category. Not bad! Since her acting career kicked off, her tennis matches have become recreational in nature, but she still enjoys hitting the courts. While married to Sweeting, the pair was often seen playing friendly matches against each other. She has also maintained a lifelong friendship with tennis brothers’ Mike and Bob Bryan, who she still supports on and off the courts.
12. She Played An Animated Dog
Like many successful stars of our generation, Kaley also got her debut on the Disney Channel. Although she had previously appeared in episodes of My So-Called Life and 7th Heaven, her voice acting on Brandy & Mr. Whiskers was one of her first long-term contracts. Airing from 2004 to 2006, Kaley was the voice behind Brandy Harrington, the lead character/sassy dog. Kaley was quite busy in the early 2000’s, as she was also cast as Bridget in ABC’s 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter. The show was very successful in its first and second seasons, amassing just over 10 million viewers per episode. The show ran from 2002 to 2004, spanning 3 seasons. The death of actor John Ritter in 2003 resulted in a decline in viewers for the third and final season, and the show was not renewed.
11. She Dated Co-Star Johnny Galecki For Two Years
One of the biggest storylines of The Big Bang Theory is the ever-progressive romantic relationship between Penny and Leonard. When they first met on set, the two unlikely lovebirds actually hit it off. For two years, they managed to keep their off-screen romance super private, only really coming clean after their split in 2009. Apparently, they were both so concerned with the integrity of the characters, that they did not want people to know of their off-screen love. They were so private, in fact, that it took a toll on their relationship. Kaley has said that despite it being a wonderful relationship, the hush factor might’ve been detrimental to their longevity. Clearly, being coworkers could make for a complicated and messy break-up, but the pair have maintained a great off-screen friendship and they have remained mature on-set.
10. They’re Not Real
Kaley has never hidden the fact that she went under the knife to enhance her bust. In 2014, she was interviewed by women’s magazine Redbook, where she explained her reasons for choosing surgery. Prior to having the procedure done, Kaley explained that she suffered from low self-esteem due to her smaller chest. She felt disproportioned, and opted for surgery to balance her frame out. The results? Kaley feels much more confident in her skin, and does not regret her decision at all. She had the procedure done when she was just 18 years old, and has said that it was the “best decision she ever made”. Clearly, the starlet didn’t need to change anything, as she was already a stunning beauty, but we respect her choice to make alterations to her body! All the more power to her for being comfortable enough with her decision to talk about it openly!
9. She’s BFF With Amy Davidson
They played sisters on 8 Simple Rules, but in real life, the pair are inseparable besties. Amy Davidson and Kaley Cuoco have maintained a very close relationship since starring in the hit show together in 2002. Amy was very involved in Kaley’s marriage preparations before she tied the knot with Ryan Sweeting. The pair, along with former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky and actress Lacey Chabert escaped for a girls’ weekend in Palm Springs, California in November 2013, shortly before the wedding. The pals have remained close and have supported each other’s’ careers since they stopped being costars when 8 Simple Rules wrapped up. Amy has not secured any long-term roles, but has appeared in episodes of CSI, House, Bones and Better Call Saul in the last decade.
8. She’s A Smarty-Pants
Despite playing a somewhat ditzy character on The Big Bang Theory, Kaley is actually quite the smarty-pants. Due to her aspiring acting career, Kaley’s parents home-schooled her to keep up with her unstable schedule. Her mother was a stay-at-home mom, which enabled her to be available for lessons around the clock. Kaley was always very serious about her studies, and got her high school diploma early, at the age of 16. Once she had graduated, she was able to focus more of her time on her acting. It’s clear in interviews that Kaley is a naturally bright girl. She is very well-spoken and seems knowledgeable beyond her years. Her fellow cast members might have higher academic titles than her, but in real life, Kaley takes the cake.
7. She Loves Jennifer Aniston
Let’s be honest here: everybody loves Jennifer Aniston. From her iconic role as Rachel on Friends, to her many hilarious roles in romantic comedies, Jen is one of the more likeable stars in Hollywood. Kaley is not exempt from the Friends mania that most 80’s and 90’s kids have become obsessed with. In fact, she opened up to Seth Meyers last spring about her biggest celebrity inspiration. At the NBC tribute to director James Burrows, Kaley came face to face with her favorite star. She describes the excitement and glee that she felt when she had the opportunity to finally meet Jennifer. Kaley really wanted to ask Jen for her number, but opted for a more cool approach instead. Who knows, these two might end up being besties!
6. The Internet Rumour That She Was William Shatner’s Daughter
This is actually pretty funny. In 2013, Kaley starred with William Shatner in a Priceline commercial, in which she played his secret daughter. Nerdy fans of The Big Bang Theory and Star Trek rejoiced. This teaming up of two favorites was almost too much stimuli. What else were a bunch of stimulated dweebs to do? In no time, they were diving into theories that Kaley might actually be William Shatner’s daughter! What a treat! Clearly the speculation was just Internet garble, as we know that Kaley’s real life father is alive and well, and his name is Gary. He is a realtor living in California, and has no familial relation to the Shatner family. Either way, this is a silly rumour that amused both Kaley and William, so no harm done!
5. She Has Been Criticized For Her Instagram Posts
Kaley got herself into some hot water with fans and patriots during the 4th of July festivities in 2014. A photo was posted to Instagram that depicted three of her dogs sitting on an American flag that had been draped on the ground. The fiasco led to hundreds of negative comments being posted on the post. Kaley was quick to apologize, however, taking to Instagram once again to set the record straight: “I sincerely apologize to anyone that has been offended by my previous post. This is no way reflects my feelings toward what the American flag represents. Living in the public eye can be extremely difficult at times. Every mistake and every imperfection is amplified. I am not perfect. I am a proud American, today, tomorrow, always.” This would not be the last time she offended the people of the Internet. In December of 2014, she was criticized for making anti-feminist comments in an interview with Redbook.
4. She Almost Lost Her Foot After A Horseback Riding Accident
Kaley might be a seasoned pro when it comes to horseback riding, but even the best of the best are not exempt from accidents. In 2010, she fell off her horse during a training session. The horse was perturbed by the commotion, and trampled her foot and leg while running away. Her ankle snapped immediately, and the star was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. Before going in, the doctors examined her broken and crumbled foot, and told her that there was a chance they would not be able to save her foot from amputation during surgery. Lucky for the star, the team of doctors were successful in their surgery, and she got off with a badly broken foot and leg. She missed two episodes of Big Bang Theory, and subsequently spent the rest of the season in sitting scenes. Two years after the accident, she got back on a horse and resumed her passion.
3. She Isn’t Always Lucky In Love
Despite being one of the most sought-after and beautiful actresses in Hollywood, Kaley’s experiences with romance have not always been positive. She has had a number of failed relationships, including two (maybe three?) engagements, one marriage (that led to a divorce) and a slew of short-term relationships that ended in heartbreak. The beautiful starlet seems to be a bit of a serial dater, as well. She began dating addiction therapist Josh Resnick in the aftermath of her breakup with Johnny Galecki. The two were engaged by October 2011, and the relationship subsequently ended in March 2012. Just days later she was dating actor Henry Cavill, another short-lived romance that fizzled within weeks. The next year she hooked up with tennis star Ryan Sweeting, whom she got engaged to within three months. Three months later they were married, and after less than two years…they were divorced. Slow down, Kaley!
2. She’s Loaded
It’s no surprise that Kaley is one of the most successful TV stars of our generation. At only 31 years old, the actress has amassed a net worth of over $45 million. She has close to 60 acting credits to her name, having started out in Hollywood as a young child actor. Her fame rose year by year and she is now making upwards of $1 million per episode of The Big Bang Theory. Not to mention the extra cash she takes home for doing interviews, special events and promotional appearances. Money is definitely not a concern to this successful babe. Kaley has moved into a Hollywood mansion previously owned by Khloe Kardashian. A full remodeling job has given the home a more personalized touch.
1. She’s Musical
So we already know that Kaley is way more talented than the average human. She acts, she is super athletically gifted, she is naturally beautiful and she rides and trains horses like it’s nobody’s business. But of course, there’s more. The actress is also very musical. She play drums and sings, and even recorded a version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” for the Humane Society to support homeless and abandoned animals, a cause that she has been very passionate about for years. Her then boyfriend was Christopher French, a musician and member of the band Annie Automatic. He assisted in the recording of the song, which was all done during her time recovering from her foot surgery in the hospital. As if we needed another reason to love her.