Frank Grillo and Wendy Moniz – the heat they generated on-screen paid dividends off, resulting in a 20-years-and-counting marriage with two happy and healthy children.
How Did Frank Grillo and Wendy Moniz Meet?
On Guiding Light, Grillo played Hart Jessup, the often shirtless farmer perpetually waffling between Moniz’s deliciously devious Dinah Marler and Laura Wright’s saintly Cassie Layne.
Behind the scenes, the pair exuded the same heat that emanated between their on-screen characters, but they were both cautious about moving any closer towards each other.
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Grillo was in the midst of finalizing a divorce and Moniz had dissolved her own union in 1996, the same year that Grillo had joined the GL cast. As she explained it, “On a Friday the actor who played Hart before Frank was abruptly fired. Frank had the role on Monday.”
Though Moniz would later claim that Grillo was, “like this angel who dropped into my life,” they remained only good friends, though tabloids at the time alleged otherwise, until Kathy Grillo was no longer his wife. Afterward, they moved in together.
Wedding and Expanding the Family
Two years later, on October 28, 2000, they were married. It would be the second adventure they embarked on together when counting their joint 1999 exit from the CBS soap. “We loved working together,” Moniz explained, “but it was time to go.”
The couple’s relationship remained stronger than ever in the ensuing years and they eventually expanded their family – which already included Grillo’s son Remy – with two sons of their own; Liam (born June 13, 2004) and Rio Joseph Grillo (born January 25, 2008).
News of the former pregnancy proved to be a case of life imitating art, as Moniz had been playing an expectant mother on The Guardian (a primetime procedural starring Simon Baker) for a month prior.
The Couple That Acts Together…
Post daytime decamp, Grillo and Moniz starred opposite each other in one (very) short-lived television program – the NBC sitcom Battery Park. Subsequently, their careers would not intersect again for 16 years.
At that time, Moniz accepted an offer to join the cast of Kingdom, a gritty series about the lives of mix martial artists, as recurring character Roxanne Dunn, a no-nonsense lawyer determined to keep Grillo’s Alvey Kulina out of prison.
The couple’s devoted GL fans still refer to the event as the time “Hart” and “Dinah” reunited, proving once and for all the impact of both daytime dramas and the existence of the undeniable, innate chemistry shared between the two actors.