Johnny Galecki became one of television’s most successful stars thanks to his role on The Big Bang Theory. But now that the long-running comedy has wrapped up and fans have laughed along with (or wept over?) the series finale, the actor is no longer bound by its rigorous filming schedule.
While he’s certainly embracing his newfound career-related freedom in some ways that you’d likely expect, Galecki’s also engaging in other activities that might be a little surprising for those who still picture him as the beloved and adorably awkward (if fictional) experimental physicist, Dr. Leonard Hofstadter. Frankly, while sitting down to chat with Behind the Brand in May 2019 about life after the hit series, Galecki explained that he was eager to “let Leonard run [his] course through [his] bloodstream.” Obviously it’s going to take a bit for this famous figure to ease out of his former role. And in the meantime, since he readily admits that he’s “not good at taking time off,” the star is keeping himself pretty darn busy with fulfilling professional projects and exciting personal developments.
From letting the fondness for his recent past linger to embarking on life-changing endeavors, find out what Johnny Galecki is doing now that his days on the set of The Big Bang Theory have ended — that is, until a revival inevitably pops up.
Johnny Galecki's saying goodbye to The Big Bang Theory
It’s not easy to say goodbye. After premiering on CBS in September 2007, The Big Bang Theory ran for 12 successful seasons until the final episode aired in May 2019. After over a decade on the show, it’s not surprising that Johnny Galecki has taken his time to leave it behind.
The actor spent the following months regularly posting about the series and his former castmates on Instagram. In September 2019, for example, he shared side-by-side photos of himself and Kaley Cuoco (who played peppy Penny, the love interest of Galecki’s character on TBBT), along with the caption, “What a difference 12 years of fake marriage makes. [Love] you, Mooks.”
Around the time of the 2019 Emmys, Galecki shared an emotional video featuring clips from the series, as well as a look at its stars working behind the scenes, writing, “Thank you, [Television Academy] for highlighting one of my very favorite moments and sharing #bts emotions and hard work made by all on the crew, Writer’s Room and staff. Much [love].”
But he can appreciate a new Big Bang Theory fan base
Bidding adieu to The Big Bang Theory may be even harder than expected for Johnny Galecki considering it’s already set to make a comeback. Yup, the series was almost immediately picked up by WarnerMedia’s HBO Max after its original run ended in May 2019. Available for longtime devotees and ready for new fans to discover starting in the spring of 2020, TBBT will also continue to enjoy reruns on TBS until 2028, giving viewers plenty of time to watch and rewatch each of its 279 episodes.
The show’s co-creator, Chuck Lorre, released in a statement to People, “I am forever grateful to have been part of something as extraordinary as The Big Bang Theory. All of us … recognize that 12 seasons of laughter is a gift to be cherished. And now we are extremely excited that TBBT will be joining the HBO Max lineup and be available to both existing and future fans of the show.”
It looks like Galecki will remain part of mainstream viewing for years to come.
Johnny Galecki is sticking with The Conners
The Big Bang Theory‘s Leonard Hofstadter isn’t Johnny Galecki’s only character that lives on. Long before becoming the on-screen best friend of Jim Parsons’ Sheldon Cooper, Galecki appeared on ABC’s Roseanne as David Healy, the on-and-off boyfriend of one of the show’s main figures, Darlene Conner (played by real-life bestie Sara Gilbert). In 2018, he stepped back into the role for its spinoff, The Conners. While his more recent appearances weren’t a guarantee that he would join the show in future seasons, Galecki revealed in August 2019 that fans could indeed look forward to seeing more of his character.
While posting an on-set picture of himself with co-stars Gilbert and Laurie Metcalf — Wait, are they both helping him into a pair of slick black jeans? Oh yes, they are! — Galecki added the caption, “I may be putting the (literal/figurative) pants of #davidhealy back on for one or two more stories on @theconnersabc this year. Twenty some years later I’m still in awe of this freaka** carnie group who adopted me early on and still learn so very much from each of them whenever in their presence.”
This came after Galecki spoke with Parade about the matter, saying, “There’s no plan, but there’s a personal hope on my part. That’s kind of my second home with those folks, and I still have a bit of a high school crush on that character, so I sure hope so.”
This actor's keeping busy with other projects
After years of starring on one of the industry’s most popular shows, it would be understandable if Johnny Galecki wanted to take a step back from the business, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Along with taking a relatively minor part as a character named Henry in 2019’s A Dog’s Journey, Galecki’s company, Alcide Bava Productions, is behind the comedy Bait & Tackle, which CBS bought in November of that same year, earning him the role of executive producer.
According to Deadline, “Bait & Tackle revolves around three adult siblings who must step up to run the family business — a small town bait & tackle shop — when the family patriarch retires.”
Galecki discussed producing with Behind the Brand that May, saying, “I think I made the mistake that a lot of actors make, which was I assumed that the process started on my start date, the first day of rehearsal, and ended with the wrap party.” He added, “And that’s probably about 15 percent of the process … And so I wanted to be more a part of the storytelling. I wanted to be in the room when that seminal idea is hatched. And [be] part … of a small, skeletal collaboration, that grows into a bigger one and helps nurture and cultivate these ideas and have that kind of shared pride in these projects.”
Johnny Galecki is also into the music scene
Along with being a successful actor and emerging producer, Johnny Galecki is also an enthusiastic musician who’s been dipping his toes into the other side of the entertainment industry for years and is still getting into the groove on a regular basis. Not only did he appear in two music videos in the past — Dave Matthews Band’s “Satellite” in 1995 and Badflower’s “Heroin” in 2018 — he often takes to Instagram to post photos of himself playing guitar on his own or attending industry events with musicians like singer-songwriter Randy Houser.
But Galecki isn’t only good at guitar. As a multi-instrumentalist, he’s also a pretty decent drummer. The actor even played on stage in front of an audience with Houser, who told Taste of Country in 2017, “Johnny has become one of my dear friends and a lot of times when he gets through taping (The Big Bang Theory) he’ll just jump on the bus and go ride with me for a few days.” The “Like a Cowboy” singer added, “At first he was a little bit shy about it, but I was like, ‘Get your a** up here.'”
Galecki is also known to pop up as a surprise guest to play with bands like Badflower or hang out backstage with Yungblud, proving that he’s ready and willing to be a part of that rockstar lifestyle. At least, from time to time.
He's traveling with friends and family
Johnny Galecki may have kept himself busy with other work since his time with The Big Bang Theory came to an end, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not also taking time to enjoy a schedule that’s presumably a little more flexible — and that means traveling.
Anyone who follows the star on Instagram will know that he’s shared glimpses at his enviable trips, including posting photos of himself posing in front of a big red barn in Nashville, standing under colorful umbrella art in Paris, sitting in front of a carousel in Florence, and hanging out barefoot on a rocky beach in Sicily.
Wherever he happens to be, Galecki is often not alone. The actor has spent plenty of time with his friends, who are sometimes famous themselves, such as The Conners co-star Sara Gilbert. He’s also made time for family, which is why he posted an adorable shot of himself with his baby godson (the son of friend and musician Randy Houser) chilling on the star’s motorcycle … though not riding it as the little dude is still a bit too tiny for that.
The Big Bang Theory star's spending plenty of time with his girlfriend
Johnny Galecki has also spent time with someone rather special: His girlfriend, Alaina Meyer (whose professional background is a bit of a mystery, but identifies on social media as a “Jill of all trades”).
The two have been dating since sometime in 2018 and first went Instagram official in July of that year when the actor posted a black-and-white photo of himself and credited Meyer for the shot. From there, they’ve regularly shared images of themselves celebrating special occasions and enjoying sweet moments together. For instance, Meyer’s fun-filled collection of pictures that she posted for her boyfriend’s birthday in 2019, along with the message, “Happy birthday to this miraculous man! I feel so lucky every day I get to wake up with him. I love you mister.” Galecki returned the sentiment on Meyer’s birthday that year, sharing his own gallery of images. “Happy Birthday to @alainamariemeyer,” he wrote. “My Queen. My muse. My friend. My Love. You are an incredible light and I will never let you forget it.”
Galecki and Meyer have also enjoyed each other’s company while out at events, including a boat ride during the opening of the remodeled Statue of Liberty Museum. In the corresponding pictures, the couple is either posing like the super cool duo they obviously are or sharing an embrace that’s almost too cute for words.
Is Johnny Galecki headed toward marriage?
Johnny Galecki and his girlfriend Alaina Meyer appear to be madly in love, which is why it wouldn’t be surprising if they’ve gone ahead and gotten engaged or even said “I do.” It’s probably also just one reason why many fans thought that the two had tied the knot when the couple showed up on social media wearing what looked like wedding rings.
Back in December 2018, the actor shared a black-and-white photo of the cute pair, while including a caption that indicated that they were in “#Vegas” at the time — ya know, Las Vegas, where quicky marriage ceremonies happen all the time. Observant social media followers also noticed that the two both had rings on their left-hand fingers that really look like wedding bands.
However, when a fan asked Galecki about the situation in the comments section, the actor didn’t reply directly. Instead, it was Meyer who seemingly responded that same day by posting a pair of pictures of herself and her boyfriend on Instagram, along with the simple yet sufficient (if somewhat disappointing to those romantics out there) caption: “#notmarried.” However, she also added, “yet…” with a winky face emoji. That final suggestive hint that matrimony might indeed be in their future plans hasn’t helped to quell the buzz around their relationship status, especially since they’ve continued to faithfully wear those rings.
The Big Bang Theory alum is embracing first-time fatherhood
While Johnny Galecki and Alaina Meyer aren’t married yet, their relationship has taken a huge step forward: In May 2019, the duo revealed that they’re expecting their first child. The star took to Instagram to share the life-changing development, writing, “We are absolutely over the moon to announce that we will soon be welcoming a little one into this crazy and wonderful world.” Along with asking the public to “respect [their] privacy during this celebratory time,” the message added a touchingly personal and poetic sentiment: “There truly is love out there for all. We hope ours is the ember of yours, as we feel yours is the ember of ours.”
Later that same month, the pair relished in a paint-splattering party, which is when they found out that they were having a boy. “A day I’ll never forget,” Galecki expressed in the caption of a post that showed the coverall-wearing parents-to-be sharing a kiss. The actor has also posted other baby-related pictures since the pregnancy announcement, such as this image of his Sunday reading material: a book titled The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be. Granted, a book can’t prepare you for the true reality of having a newborn in the house, but at least this dedicated dad is trying to do all that he can before the big day.
Johnny Galecki is selling his fire-damaged property
Life isn’t always sunshine and roses for Johnny Galecki. In 2017, the star’s California ranch was damaged in the state’s devasting wildfires. “My heart goes out to all in the area who are also experiencing loss from this vicious fire,” he said in a statement (via CNN). “If the people of Santa Margarita have taught me anything it’s that, once the smoke has cleared, literally and figuratively, it’s a time to reach out and rebuild.”
However, Galecki was either unwilling or unable to rebuild his own piece of the neighborhood, and in 2019, he put the property on the market for $825,000 (down from the $1.2 million he paid for it in 2011). The new owner would be able to enjoy the 160-acre estate that used to be the home of a 3,588-square-foot log cabin that included three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. While that burned down in the fire, a 4,000-square-foot barn-style workshop survived. According to Architectural Digest, the building features room to store vehicles, as well as “a separate 1,000-square-foot unfinished two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with its own outside entrance.”
The property also includes several rustic outbuildings scattered across seven acres of vineyards (“five acres of Cabernet vines and two of Zinfandel”), an “infinity-edge swimming pool and spa, and several ponds,” and “pomegranate, orange, and nut trees.” Hopefully, this property that experienced a nightmare fire will be the location of someone’s dream home once again.
Oh, and Johnny Galecki's only getting richer
Johnny Galecki is incredibly rich and (as long as he doesn’t blow his formidable fortune) he’ll continue to add to his buff bank account thanks to The Big Bang Theory alone.
When the show first hit screens in 2007, Galecki was making just over $1 million per season, according to Celebrity Net Worth. However, that’s just a fraction of the $1 million per episode that the actor was bringing in at the end of the highly successful series in 2019. In fact, according to Forbes, Galecki was the second-highest-paid actor on TV in 2018, making $25 million pretax in just 12 months thanks to his main gig and side projects. However, he was beat out for the No. 1 spot by his TBBT costar Jim Parsons, a.k.a. Sheldon Cooper, who made $26.5 million.
Thanks to this staggering salary over so many years, Galecki is estimated to be worth around $100 million at the time of this writing. He’ll also reportedly continue to make around $10 million per year for the next decade thanks to the syndication of the comedy series, which will be making fans laugh — and making the stars of the show a lot of money — for years to come.
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