For a TV star on a long-running, highly popular TV series, Big Bang Theory actor Kaley Cuoco isn't afraid to speak her mind — even if what comes out of her mouth often gets her in hot water.
Whether it's contradicting herself on her stance on feminism, talking about how she loves to "serve" her man, or secretly dating her co-star, Cuoco is often in the headlines for things other than her acting.
Now in its 12th and final season, the Emmy-award-winning show has made Cuoco a multi-millionaire, currently pocketing $US1 million ($A1.4 million) per episode for playing the role of Penny on the hit comedy.
She began her acting career at the age of six and was probably best-known as a child actor on the TV sitcom 8 Simple Rules starring Katey Sagal, David Spade and the late John Ritter.
Cuoco's mother was a model and stay-at-home mum, raising her as "a ham, made to be in front of the camera," Cuoco has previously said.
But her mother also wanted Cuoco to enjoy other interests, so she began playing tennis — going on to become a nationally ranked junior tennis champion. As she grew older, she also enjoyed horseback riding.
She has gone on to marry twice, with both her husbands sharing her sporty pursuits. Her first, Ryan Sweeting, was a professional tennis player. Her second, Karl Cook, is a professional equestrian.
'I LIKE THE IDEA OF WOMEN TAKING CARE OF THEIR MEN'
Her first wedding to professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting was in 2013, and the following year Cuoco did an interview with Redbook, a homemaker magazine, pumped from her wedded bliss. For whatever reason, the journalist asked her, "Are you a feminist?"
"Is it bad if I say no?" Cuoco replied, going on to explain: "It's not really something I think about.
"Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around … I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that's because I've never really faced inequality.
"I cook for Ryan five nights a week. It makes me feel like a housewife; I love that.
"I know it sounds old-fashioned, but I like the idea of women taking care of their men. I'm so in control of my work that I like coming home and serving him. My mum was like that, so I think it kind of rubbed off."
"I'm not that weird person," she said in another interview that year, reflecting on the perception that a lot of comedic actors have "that deep, dark thing".
"I have my stuff, but I don't go to that dark place. Things are just way too good."
Keeping it light, she went on to gush about how getting a boob job had fixed her body.
"I had no boobs," she said. "And it really was the best thing ever.
"I always felt ill-proportioned. My implants made me feel more confident in my body. It wasn't about trying to be a porn star or wanting to look hot and sexy."
Cuoco endured enormous backlash for her comments, and apologised on her Instagram for her comments claiming she was taken out of context. She joked on stage with Kevin Hart at The People's Choice Awards that she was on "an apology tour".
Cuoco took to her Instagram to claim her comments were taken out of context, saying, "I apologise if anyone was offended."
She reiterated her stance in a number of interviews.
"Of course I'm a f***ing feminist," a by-then-divorced Cuoco told Cosmopolitanin 2016. "I bleed feminism. I get equal pay to my male co stars on a big show, I have my own home, I'm as independent as you could possibly be. Maybe I didn't understand the question."
SECRET RELATIONSHIP WITH CO-STAR
During the fourth season of The Big Bang Theory, Cuoco and her on-screen boyfriend Johnny Galecki revealed that for two years they had secretly dated, broken up and were now friends.
They had kept it secret because they wanted to avoid scrutiny and allow their fans to focus on the sitcom's romantic plot line, which ultimately sees the characters become engaged and marrying.
"I get the curiosity, but I don't want to distract from the story (of Leonard and Penny)," Galecki said of the secret romance.
"It was a wonderful relationship," Cuoco said in 2010, "But we never spoke a word about it and never went anywhere together."
On navigating the friendship, working relationship and post-breakup situation, Cuoco said: "It took a minute, a bit of awkwardness."
After concealing their relationship for two years, the pair managed to manoeuvre their way into friendship.
They are now close and speak fondly of one another. Galecki, 43, is dating 21-year-old Alaina Meyer. Galecki sat front row at Cuoco's recent wedding.
"By the grace of God, we became best buddies and moved on in such an elegant way," Cuoco said recently. "(He's) one of my closest friends."
Following her breakup with Galecki, Cuoco got engaged for the first time to Josh Resnik, an addiction specialist, in October 2011. He proposed "during a quiet date night at home," according to the actor's rep, (truly is every girl's dream proposal).
Just under five months later, when an interviewer mentioned wedding plans, Cuoco said, "I'm not engaged anymore," confirming the relationship was over. She didn't elaborate, and changed the subject.
'THE GREATEST WEDDING OF ALL TIME'
Cuoco's first marriage (second proposal) was to professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting. The pair met in 2013 and had a whirlwind romance, which saw him propose within three months.
Then five months after meeting the pair married in a "secret" New Year's Eve ceremony, with 22 bridesmaids and groomsmen, a Cirque du Soleil motif and "fire and ice" theme.
Sweeting's own career saw his ranking peak at world 64th seed. (He enjoyed a 2nd seed as a junior.) But he also has a rumoured history of drug addiction. In 2006, at the top of his professional career, years before meeting Cuoco, he was arrested for high-range DUI and possession of an illicit substance.
Sweeting was stopped by police for speeding in Florida and recorded a blood-alcohol level of 0.133, nearly twice the state's legal limit. He was arrested and charged for speeding, DUI and possessing prescription ADHD pills Adderall with intent to sell or deliver (which is a felony). He was 21 years old at the time of the arrest.
Four months after the wedding Cuoco spoke about the speedy engagement, saying, "I admit it happened fast, but that's who I am. When we met, I knew he was the one.
"No one stops me — can't change my mind, that's it," she said of the decision to wed Sweeting without hesitation.
"What was amazing in that room, it was so full of love. It was like nothing I'd ever been to before, and it was exactly what we wanted it to be."
She referred to the evening as "The greatest wedding of all time."
A year into their marriage, dogged by divorce rumours, Cuoco posted a loving anniversary post on her Instagram account: "Ryan, you are kind, gentle, patient, giving, silly, and the most loving creature on Earth. You are my everything." She has still not deleted the sweet post.
Despite her kind words, things weren't rosy, and they announced their intention to divorce via a joint statement in September 2015. They had been married for less than two years.
The couple's rep said at the time: "(They) mutually decided to end their marriage. They ask for privacy at this time. No further statement will be issued regarding this matter."
'I MARRIED SOMEONE WHO COMPLETELY CHANGED'
Rumours surfaced as they separated that Sweeting had relapsed, his issues with drugs and alcohol resurfacing from years prior, and was once again dependent on prescription painkillers and alcohol. After attending rehabilitation he went missing for "for a period of time … like four days," a source told Page Six.
Sweeting's addiction problems reportedly worsened after he suffered a back injury and had major surgery in 2013. Unconfirmed reports and an uncited entry on Sweeting's Wikipedia page claim after this he became addicted to pain medication. After the surgery Sweeting struggled on the court.
He eventually announced his retirement in 2015 while still married to Cuoco. The announcement came the month before he and Cuoco announced their divorce.
Cuoco was initially quiet about what caused the split, but has since opened up and made it clear that she lays the blame solely on Sweeting, saying there were "circumstances I couldn't get past".
"My ex ruined that word (marriage) for me. I married someone the first time who completely changed."
Earlier this year, she told Cosmopolitan: "The person I ended up with was not the person I originally met.
"And that wasn't my fault ― that was his. I knew how much I had to give and how much I wanted to receive.
"I knew even deep down, I know this is just not the right thing. The right thing is coming for me, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it," she said recently of the marriage.
A few months after her divorce was finalised, she bought two new horses — and then began dating equestrian Karl Cook.
'I FINALLY FOUND MY HORSE GUY'
He is a well-regarded sportsman — and Cuoco is a self-described horse girl, crediting the animals and lifestyle with bringing her a certain peacefulness.
"I go to the barn, I'm not in makeup, it's dirty and that smell … and you can't bring your phone."
Before they met, Cuoco knew who he was, but Cook had actually never heard of or seen her before.
"It was great because he never kissed my arse at all and he never cared about any of that," Cuoco said. "He loved that I loved horses. It became a big talking point for us.
"He's an amazing, amazing rider and jumper," she told E! News.
"We met at a horse show. I finally found my horse guy," she told reporters.
Cook's father is the co-founder of financial software company Intuit, and one of the richest self-made software billionaires in the world. His net worth is $4.7 billion ($US 3.2 billion) according to Forbes.
For their horse-themed wedding, which saw the couple exchange rings in front of a giant horseshoe made of flowers and leaves, Cuoco confessed she struggled to write her marital vows, eventually saying at the altar: "I would go to my phone and I'd go to my notes and I couldn't write anything.
"And I didn't really understand why. And it's because there really weren't enough words to describe how I actually, truly feel about you."
Cook's own vows included a description of how he "understand(s) you plucking my eyes with my unibrow comes from a place of love". Possibly the most stomach-turning vows ever.
Four months after the June wedding, Cuoco said she'd be totally cool if he ditched her.
"I don't need Karl for anything," she said. "If Karl left me tomorrow, I'd be fine. And he knows that, and he would be fine too."