Chris O’Donnell has been voted Hollywood’s Hottest Husband by Redbook readers. It seems that the Irish American father’s decision to choose his family over a movie career made him a sure bet for the prize position.
O’Donnell married his wife, Caroline, in 1997 and they have five children, all with good Irish names; Lily Anne, 10, Christopher 'Chip' Eugene, nine, Charles McHugh, six, Finley, four, and Maeve Frances, two.
Being from an Irish Catholic family with seven children, in Winnetka Illinois, he always wanted a large family, but it was a conscious decision to pick his family life over the fame and fortune that might have come out of his big break in the 1995 “Batman Forever” movie, when he played Robin.
“I knew when I got into this business I couldn't have it both ways: I could live the playboy lifestyle, which is not a bad thing to do, or have a traditional family life, which is how I grew up. And that was more important to me,” said O’Donnell.
After the huge success of “Batman Forever” O’Donnell was being offered roles left, right and center.
He said “I was being offered these huge films that would have taken my career to a different level, and I decided to put on the brakes. I knew if I continued on that track, I probably wouldn't have gotten married.”
However looking back over O’Donnell’s career since then he has been constantly working on films and TV series. He says that each role was very carefully chosen to fit in with his family life. In fact he confessed to having turned down the lead role in “Men in Black” in 1997.
His wife, Caroline, singing his praises, said, “He plays a vital role in our children's lives, and that's a big turn-on. The first time I met him, I watched him with his nieces and nephews and thought, ‘He's going to be a great dad.’ It's what drew me to him in the beginning.”
With five kids in the family O’Donnell reckons that is enough children, for now at least.
O’Donnell said “To be honest, we got to four and said, 'Wow, this is a lot.' We really wanted to have another girl, but we thought, That's crazy. A year later, we found out [we were pregnant] and were like, 'Okay, a little miscommunication there.' But things work out for a reason, and we can't imagine our life without Maeve. Look at those little pigtails -- she's Cindy Lou Who!
“When I'm sitting in the backyard at the end of the day with a glass of wine, watching the kids having fun and clowning around, for me, that's what it's all about. I have my own worries and concerns and frustrations, but I'm doing something I love to do. My wife and kids are in good shape. What is there not to be happy about?"
With a well managed career work balance, O’Donnell is currently starring as Special Agent G. Callen in “NCIS: Los Angeles.” He is also currently working on the sequel to the movie “Cats & Dogs” called “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.”
The Irish pub that became home base for 9/11 ground zero rescuers