Adam Sandler has had a number of on-screen loves, from Jennifer Aniston to Drew Barrymore and Salma Hayek. But only one woman in his movies can steal his heart, that is Jackie Titone Sandler.
You might recognize her as the waitress at the sports bar in Big Daddy, or the wife of Sandler’s childhood basketball rival Tardio in Grown Ups, but to Adam, she’s the mother of his two daughters, Sadie and Sunny, and his wife of twenty years this June.
Starting out as a model, Jackie was casted as a waitress in Sandler’s 1999 film Big Daddy. That was the first time they crossed paths and Adam was immediately infatuated with her.
They started dating soon after the movie’s release and she went on to cameo in many of his films thereafter. It wasn’t until 2002 that he finally asked for her hand in marriage.
“I played basketball that afternoon, trying to calm down, and then I was driving, I was saying stuff out loud and trying to, you know, make sure I hit all of the right things so she would remember nice stuff, and I did all right,” he recalled about the day of his proposal. “She called her grandmother right after and her mother, and they all said, ‘Yeah, I heard the applause over the phone,’ and stuff.”
They wed the following year, and three years after that, they welcomed their first daughter Sadie. With a wildly successful career on Saturday Night Live and a fantastically popular run of movies throughout the 90s and early 2000s, it seemed like Adam could conquer any barrier in his life. But fatherhood was something that caught the comedian off guard.
“You know what was funny? When my kid was born, I was so nervous, I didn’t know what I felt,” he told Access Hollywood in 2006. “Five minutes later, maybe 10 minutes later, it was me and the kid and a nurse. We walked down alone to just check the vital signs and all that stuff, and I had a chemical reaction in my body, where I loved the kid so much, and I was so nervous for her, and that’s when I lost my mind for the kid.”
Two years later, their family of three expanded to four with the birth of their daughter Sunny, outnumbering Adam even more as the only guy in the family, 3 to 1.
Not only has Jackie made countless cameos in his films since Big Daddy, but she’s also helped in production and even has encouraged him to jump out of his comfort zone in more serious roles, most notably for his role in the 2019 historical fiction film Uncut Gems.
“She gives me strength and courage to jump into this stuff,” he said of the Critics Choice Award nominated film. “She read it and was like, ‘You have to do it.’”
Not only that, but seeing how many times he has locked lips with his female co-leads on screen, Jackie is the biggest supporter and even eggs him on to really get into the kiss, even if he’s uncomfortable for her sake.
“She encourages me [to kiss Drew],” he joked on Ellen regarding his film Blended, which he co-starred with Drew Barrymore. “There’s no jealousy at all. She’s just like, ‘Get in there.’”
Even her and Jennifer Aniston, who has starred with Sandler multiple times, most recently in Netflix’s Murder Mystery 2, have the closest of friendships, and use their relationship to make Adam live a healthier lifestyle.
“[Jennifer] and my wife have a nice time tag-teaming to try to make me a healthier human being,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2021. “Like, they want me to stretch more — [to] eventually be able to touch my toes, which I’m about 9 inches away from.”
Adam and Jackie have proven to hold together a strong marriage and their shared sense of humor has really been a plus for the pair who are often seen on screen together in the many, many comedy movies that Adam has made.