The Couple Next Door star Sam Heughan: What’s he famous for, and is he dating Outlander co-star?

Scottish actor's chemistry with Caitriona Balfe is sizzling

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Scottish actor Sam Heughan first stole our hearts as the dashing Jamie Fraser in time-travel romance Outlander, but does he have a girlfriend in real life?

His off-the-charts chemistry with co-star Caitriona Balfe has aroused the curiosity of fans ever since the series began. But are they dating?

Sam’s currently starring in Channel 4 thriller The Couple Next Door, alongside Eleanor Tomlinson, Jessica De Gouw and Alfred Enoch. But what else has he starred in?

Here’s everything you need to know about Sam, his relationship with Irish actress Caitriona Balfe, and if he has a girlfriend.

Sam Heughan as Danny in The Couple Next Door
Sam Heughan portrays cop Danny in The Couple Next Door (Credit: Channel 4)

Who is Sam Heughan? What’s he famous for?

Sam Heughan is a Scottish actor born in Dumfries and Galloway on 30th April 1980.

He is best known for his role as Jamie Fraser, a hunky Highlands warrior and the husband of time-travelling protagonist Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe). The series is currently in its 7th season on Lionsgate+ and has already been renewed for an 8th and final season. Sam also produces and stars in Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and Graham, alongside his Outlander co-star Graham McTavish.

Sam starred alongside Mila Kunis in 2018’s The Spy Who Dumped Me, as well as opposite Vin Diesel in 2020’s Bloodshot. In 2021, Sam portrayed Oscar-winning actor Paul Newman in Sky Cinema’s Roald Dahl biopic To Olivia. That same year, he took the lead role of Tom Buckingham in Andy McNab film adaptation SAS: Red Notice.

In 2022, he appeared on Channel 4 crime drama Suspect, which has been renewed for a second series.

This year, Sam starred alongside Priyanka Chopra and Celine Dion in romcom Love Again. He’s also currently starring in suburbia thriller The Couple Next Door, in which he plays Danny – a traffic cop with a big secret.

Sam Heughan in Suspect
Actor Sam Heughan in C4 series Suspect (Credit: Channel 4)

Can he speak Gaelic?

Sam’s convincing portrayal of a historic Scottish rebel meant it was only natural that fans asked how good his Gaelic was. While Sam could not speak Gaelic before he was cast as Jamie, Outlander’s Gaelic consultant Gillebrìde MacMillan told The National the actor was “fantastic” at learning.

He continued: “All the cast were really keen on making sure there was as much Gaelic as possible in the show to make it as authentic as possible.”

Who is the girlfriend of Sam Heughan? Is he dating Caitriona Balfe?

Sam Heughan recently said he is single and “still looking” for a girlfriend. He confirmed to People in May 2023 that: “I’ve done all of the gift-giving and turning up when least expected, but, so far, I’m still looking.”

Despite their intense chemistry, he has never dated Caitriona Balfe. She married her long-term partner, music producer Tony McGill, in 2019, giving birth to their son in 2021.

Sam has previously been linked to model Monika Clarke. The romance rumours were sparked when he was photographed cosying up to the Australian in New York in early 2022.

He’s also been linked to Irish Twin Peaks star Amy Shiels, as well as American actress Cody Kennedy and the English actress Abbie Salt. He has not confirmed any relationships publicly.

Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe at the Outlander Season 7 premiere at Tribeca
Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe at the Outlander Season 7 World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival (Credit: Roger Wong/INSTARimages)

Are Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish friends?

Sam Heughan and Outlander co-star Graham McTavish – who portrays war chief Dougal MacKenzie – are close friends. So close, in fact, that the pair decided to team up again to produce and star in Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and Graham in 2021.

The series is a travelogue, which sees Sam and Graham explore the beauty of their native Scotland. The second series in 2022 saw the pair visit New Zealand, discovering its Scottish roots.

If there’s still any doubt as to their strong bond, just this month (November 2023) the pair released a book together: Clanlands in New Zealand: Kiwis, Kilts, and an Adventure Down Under.

Speaking to Collider about their friendship, Sam said: “You never know who you’re going to get on with. It’s incredible. I think we have similar humour.”

Sam Heughan in Bloodshot (2020)
Sam Heughan in 2020 film Bloodshot (Credit: Cover Images)

Does Sam Heughan have a twin brother?

Sam Heughan does have a brother, named Cirdan. Although they are not twins. Cirdan is Sam’s older brother.

Sam confirmed on The Kelly Clarkson Show in 2021 that both he and his brother were named after characters from The Lord of the Rings. Sam after Frodo’s stalwart companion Samwise Gangee. Meanwhile, Cirdan was named after the elf who is the shipwright taking elves to the Grey Havens.

The pair have no other siblings.

Will Sam Heughan be the next James Bond?

As ED! first reported back in 2020, Sam has been tipped to be a contender for the massive film role of James Bond. He told Metro this month (November 2023) that: “It’s a great character, and I’d certainly love to see another Scottish Bond.”

He added that he’d actually auditioned for the super spy years ago and would “love to have another opportunity. It’s a great franchise for sure. I love it.”

Ladbrokes currently has odds on Sam being the next James Bond at 40/1, though these have been as high as 4/1 previously. Currently, Aaron Taylor-Johnson (5/2), James Norton (3/1) and Henry Cavill (7/2) are looking like better bets.

Read more: The Couple Next Door cast includes Outlander’s Sam Heughan, Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson, and Harry Potter star Alfred Enoch

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The Couple Next Door airs from Monday, November 27, 2023 at 9pm on Channel 4.

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Susan Brett
TV Writer