Over a year after the sudden death of his first wife, comedian Patton Oswalt announced that he’s engaged to actress Meredith Salenger. The couple were first seen together publicly just last month.
The 47-year-old Salenger began in Hollywood as a child actress, making her film debut in a small part in 1982’s Annie. She put her career on pause to go to school, and resumed acting in the late 1980s. She also has two siblings, Eden and Andrew.
Here’s a look at Salenger and her relationship with Oswalt.
1. They Went Public as a Couple at the Premiere for ‘Baby Driver’ in June
Oswalt and Salenger’s relationship has moved very quickly. People Magazine reported that they made their public debut in June 2017 for the Los Angeles premiere of Baby Driver. They were seen holding hands and shared photos of themselves together during the premiere.
“It’s new and they’re very happy,” a source told People, adding that they met through actress Martha Plimpton, who is a mutual friend. “They started chatting as friends and it blossomed from there,” the source said.
Oswalt himself didn’t share photos since he’s on a social media break. “Time for my break. See you guys September 5th. It’s going to be a hot, violent summer. Every time you choose love it delays the apocalypse,” he tweeted.
However, he did confirm their engagement with a Star Wars joke.
2. The Engagement Comes Over a Year After Oswalt’s Wife Michelle McNamara Suddenly Died
Salenger posted several photos on Instagram on July 6 to announce their engagement. One photo showed her “rock” of an engagement ring, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on her finger.
A more serious post showed how Oswalt proposed, with “Will you marry me Meredith Salenger” written on tiles. She said yes, of course. Another photo shows Salenger with Oswalt’s daughter, Alice.
The engagement comes a little over a year after the death of Oswalt’s first wife, Michelle McNamara. The comedian and true crime writer were married in 2005. McNamara died in her sleep on April 21, 2016.
Oswalt later revealed to the Associated Press that the cuase of death was an undiagnosed heart condition. “We learned today the combination of drugs in Michelle’s system, along with a condition we were unaware of, proved lethal,” Oswalt said in February 2017.
3. Salenger Has a Degree in Psychology From Harvard University
As Salenger notes on her resume, she earned a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University. She also earned a training certificate in “Mediating the Litigated Case” from Pepperdine University in 2009.
When Salenger isn’t acting, she is a mediator at the Agency for Dispute Resolution in Beverly Hills.
“I am acutely aware that there are retired judges and attorneys with years of legal experience acting as mediators who simply cannot bring two parties in conflict to a place of mutual agreement the way I have,” Salenger’s resume objective reads. “In addition to my degree in Psychology from Harvard and 30 years experience as an actress, my neutrality and genuine support make each party feel comfortable, causing the parties to feel like their solution best serves their interests.”
According to her LinkedIn page, Salenger has also been a mediator for the California Lawyers for the Arts since 2011.
4. Salenger Started Taking Acting Classes When She Was 8 Years Old
Salenger was born and raised in Malibu. Even though she started taking acting classes when she was eight years old, she told the Chicago Tribune in 1985 that her parents didn’t push her into the business.
“I announced to my mother one day when I was 8 that I wanted to be a serious actress,” she told the Tribune. While she studied acting and dance, she landed a small role in Annie, which was her first film.
In 1985, she became a Disney star, appearing in The Journey of Natty Gann in the title role. The film also starred a young John Cusack and was directed by Jeremy Kagan.
Salenger appeared in films infrequently through the end of the 1980s. Her other credits include The Last Frontier, The Kiss and Dream a Little Dream. In 1995, she starred in the horror movie Village of the Damned.
5. Salenger Voiced Characters in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’
Salenger has also taken on voice acting roles. She’s Best known for voicing Barriss Offee and other characters on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Coincidentally, Oswalt is a huge Star Wars fan.
Salenger also had an uncredited voice role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and voiced various characters in the animated Mad show.
She still acts in front of the camera. She appeared in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy in 2016 and has been in the TV movies The Perfect Daughter and Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret. Other recent credits include Hollywood Heights, Anger Management, Crush and Damages.