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Joey Lawrence knew right away Samantha Cope was the one.
The ’90s heartthrob — best known for his roles as Joey Russo on Blossom and Joe Longo on Melissa & Joey — married Cope shortly after meeting her on the set of Lifetime’s My Husband’s Secret Brother, directed by Lawrence’s brother, Andrew.
The actor told PEOPLE in August 2021, “Coming out of what has been one of the most unpredictable years for everyone, neither one of us could ever have imagined the blessing of meeting your best friend and soulmate. But that’s what happened!”
“To fall asleep every night laughing together is now the new normal,” he said. “And to not only share a life together but to be able to create together and work together is truly fulfilling. We are beyond excited to see what the future holds for us.”
So who is Joey Lawrence’s wife? Here’s everything to know about Samantha Cope and her relationship with the former teen idol.
She’s an animal lover
Cope isn’t just a proud dog mom to her two fur babies — Jax and Dakota (who has her own Instagram account) — she’s also an animal advocate.
She often volunteers at the nonprofit animal rescue Big Heart Ranch in Malibu, California. According to her bio on the foundation’s website, she is certified in equine therapy and spends her spare time saving and rehabilitating shelter pups.
“It always cracks me up how many people reach out to me and say — ‘it really seems like you hang out with more animals than people!’ 😂TRUE,” Cope captioned a photo of her holding a baby goat on Instagram in June 2020. “I have always found animals to be so therapeutic and special. Anyone else feel this way? #animalrescue.”
She’s an actress
Both Cope and Lawrence are actors. Though she is most known for TV movies, Cope appeared on The WB drama The Lake and Private, the show adaptation of the Kate Brian novel of the same name. She also played Brooke on season 2 of HBO’s Insecure, along with guest appearances on Rizzoli & Isles, Master of None, Workaholics and NCIS: Los Angeles.
Her other film credits include Revenge for Daddy (2020), An Organized Killer (2021) and Love at the Christmas Contest (2022).
She met Lawrence while filming a Lifetime movie
Cope and Lawrence met in 2020 on the set of the Lifetime movie My Husband’s Secret Brother, which premiered on the network on Sept. 17, 2021.
“New movie airing on @lifetimemovies this week! #MyHusbandsSecretBrother (originally titled ‘[A] Deadly Deed’) will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the movie that led me to my future hubby,” Cope captioned an Instagram post in September 2021 of the film’s poster. “That amazing October morning… driving to work — about to start a new project, having no idea that God had even bigger things in store.”
In addition to costarring in My Husband’s Secret Brother, Cope has collaborated with Lawrence (and his brothers) on several projects, including 2021’s Mistletoe Mixup, directed by Lawrence’s brother, Andrew, and featuring middle brother Matthew. The couple also starred in and co-wrote the 2023 Tubi original Frankie Meets Jack with Jen Bashian. Andrew pulled double duty as director and actor in the film, which follows the titular characters as they bond over their shared love of dogs.
Lawrence told PEOPLE in February 2023 that he and Cope are “super comfortable” working together on-screen.
“There’s a second hand there that [means] you don’t have to worry about anything,” Lawrence said. “There’s a lot of trust there, obviously a familiarity there. We met doing a movie, which is weird, because that’s never happened to me in my life, all the 41 years of doing this.”
Cope added, “It’s really great being on set with somebody that you can be super honest with. We give each other creative ideas.”
She got engaged to Lawrence in 2021
On Aug. 12, 2021, Lawrence confirmed he and Cope were engaged on Instagram, writing, “well…guess the cats outta the bag 😂🤍! We appreciate all the amazing support and kind words everybody has sent our way.”
He continued, “We are beyond excited to see what the future holds for us and to know we will grow old and super wrinkly together is the ultimate blessing.”
The engagement news came just over a year after Lawrence met Cope and filed for divorce from his wife of nearly 15 years, Chandie Yawn-Nelson, with whom he shares daughters Charleston and Liberty. Lawrence was also previously married to Michelle Vella from 2002 through 2005.
“Life is an amazing journey,” he said during an appearance on People (the TV show!) in 2021. “I was married a very long time, married young and everything and then had my kids, which were great and they are amazing, and then life is life and is imperfect.”
Lawrence added, “Last year was just a brutal year for everybody, but personally, too, it was a brutal year. And then, when you least expect it, you meet the greatest person ever truly.”
She married Lawrence in May 2022
Cope and Lawrence tied the knot in a romantic outdoor ceremony at Temecula Creek Inn in Temecula, California, on May 1, 2022. The couple exchanged vows while surrounded by close friends and family, including the groom’s brothers, Matthew and Andrew, who both gave speeches at the farm-to-table dinner reception.
“From day one, it was such a safe place to be myself,” Cope told PEOPLE. “He loves everything about me and celebrates all those weird quirks about me. I was so blessed to be in a position to receive that. Two weeks in, I was like, ‘I will be with you forever.'”
“When you meet the right person, if you’re lucky enough, it cuts to the chase so quick,” Lawrence added. “I have somebody who is like-minded and has the same love language, and we communicate the same way. That’s super important. And I am so thankful.”
She shares a daughter with Lawrence
Cope and Lawrence welcomed a baby girl named Dylan Rose on Jan. 16, 2023.
“We welcomed her into this world with the most amazing midwife, everyone is happy and healthy and we are overjoyed with gratitude 🙏🏼🤍,” Lawrence captioned a series of photos of their newborn. “Wow what a beautiful journey. thank you for all your continued love surrounding this beautiful new life! stay tuned for baby spam xoxo.”
Although Dylan Rose is the couple’s first child together, Lawrence is also the proud father of two daughters, whom he wrote were “all so smitten” with their younger sister.
“I’m obsessed and she tolerates me,” Cope captioned a photo of her holding her pink-clad baby in March 2023. “Guess I’ve already figured out #parenthood 💖”
She praised Lawrence for his “positive” attitude
Cope and Lawrence aren’t afraid to let the public know how much they love one another.
“Life is so full of blessings but also little unpredictable battles,” she wrote in an appreciation post in July 2021 for Lawrence, alongside a sweet selfie of the pair. “I can’t thank you enough for staying positive even in the toughest of times. You’re my fav babe #gratitude.”
Lawrence commented on the post, writing, “Babe… you are an incredible pillar of strength love and kindness and continue to amaze me everyday,” Lawrence commented below. “Life certainly is a bumpy and unpredictable ride…but knowing the rest of my ride will be with you — makes it all worth it. And you are indeed my fave babe. #gratitude 🤍.”