Inside Kevin James' Relationship With Steffiana De La Cruz

It's hard to imagine Doug Heffernan married to anyone other than Carrie — when you watch the seemingly always-on reruns of the sitcom "The King of Queens," you tune in for the on-screen chemistry of the show's portrayers, Kevin James and Leah Remini. But off-screen? The two are strictly pals, and James has romantic eyes for only one other woman: his wife, Steffiana de la Cruz. 

The couple, who celebrated their 19th anniversary in 2023, met and married while James' was starring in his break-out role as Doug. While neither confirmed it was love at first sight, it had to be close. After meeting on a blind date in 2001, an engagement followed in 2003, and their wedding in 2004. On their anniversary, James posted a brief but loving tribute to his wife on social media, telling de la Cruz, "You are my world." 

While James has admitted he incorporates some of their life into his stand-up comedy routines and his on-screen projects, the pair live a mostly private existence. That being said, we have seen de la Cruz on the red carpet supporting her husband, and the duo appears to have a solid relationship. 

The couple has a showbiz connection

"You're all I need... and the kids... and Friday night pizza... and Sunday pasta... but that's it... you, the kids, pizza, pasta," wrote Kevin James on Instagram, in a quirky love-letter to his wife, Steffiana de La Cruz. Together for over two decades, the couple can't seem to get enough time together, and James has solved that problem by including his wife in some of his projects.

De La Cruz was a model and actor before she met her husband, and he's taken full advantage of her skills. On her own, she appeared in movies like "Cement" and "Stealing Harvard," and had a small role in the TV series "Pacific Blue." Adding to her small screen resume, she was brought in as a guest star to join the cast of "The King of Queens" — four different times. You may also recognize her from her pop-ups in the James-starring movies "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2," and "Zookeeper," and from his most recent TV series, "Kevin Can Wait." 

But James knows his wife isn't in the relationship just for his connection to showbiz. "You've got to be careful in Hollywood," he explained on "The Ellen Show." The actor shared how he would test de la Cruz by saying things like, "Just thinking about maybe giving up the show and opening up a candle shop." He knew she was in it for good when she didn't even blink at his proclamations. "She loves me for me," he said. 

Kevin James and Steffania de la Crus have four kids

Kevin James and his wife Steffiana de La Cruz have added four children to their family. Daughter Sienna-Marie was born in 2005, followed by another girl, Shea Joelle in 2007. Son Kannon Valentine was introduced in 2011, and daughter Sistine Sabella rounded out the gang in 2015. While their life is playing out in happily ever after style, not everything that has happened in the couple's relationship has been storybook. James' proposal to de la Cruz, for example, didn't go quite as planned. 

The "Home Team" star had the idea to pop the question while gazing out a window at sunset. "It was perfect," he told Oprah. But Mother Nature had other plans, and de la Cruz didn't realize what was happening. "I was just about to ask her when a cloud went over the sun," the actor lamented. "I'm waiting there for the cloud to pass and she's like, 'Oh, there's a dead fly on the sill' and 'I have to go to the bathroom' and all that." James threw the idea of perfection out, and went ahead with the proposal anyway.

While his wife tends to lead a private life, James' other steady woman has no problem being in the spotlight, and sharing her opinions. His "The King of Queens" co-star Leah Remini has retained a real-life relationship with James, and has hung with de la Cruz. "Kevin James' beautiful wife, Steffiana de la Cruz is as beautiful inside as she is out," she declared on Instagram.