The Personal Reason George Stephanopoulos Missed 'GMA' Last Week

The 'Good Morning America' host stepped away from the ABC show to spend time with his wife, Ali Wentworth.

Viewers tuning into Friday's airing of Good Morning America were not greeted by the familiar faces of the usual trio of George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, and Michael Strahan. Sitting in Stephanopoulos's place alongside Roberts' replacement of Eva Pilgrim was GMA Weekends host Whit Johnson, though the longtime ABC host had a very sweet reason for missing Friday's broadcast: it was his wife Ali Wentworth's birthday.

Although Stephanopoulos had been in the New York City GMA newsroom Monday through Thursday, he took a step away from the long-running morning program on Friday to spend time with his wife as Wentworth celebrated her 59th birthday. While the GMA co-anchor did not mark the occasion on his social media accounts, Wentworth shared several posts from her big day, including one image of herself and her husband, who she married in 2001 and marked their 22nd wedding anniversary in November, walking hand in hand along a palm tree-lined street. She captioned the snapshot, "Birthday walk!"

The birthday post, which followed the couple's family vacation to Japan over the holiday season with their two grown-up daughters, Elliott and Harper, was met with plenty of birthday messages. Taking to the comments section, Mariska Hargitay wrote, "Love you both to the moon and back," with another of Wentworth's followers commenting, "Happy birthday to one of the funniest ladies ever!" Stephanopoulos's GMA co-star Ginger Zee added, "Happy birthday fellow Capricorn! One day apart."

While GMA absences are relatively common, Stephanopoulos' Friday absence did spark some concern among viewers. Not only was his absence abrupt and initially unexplained, but it also came just after he and Wentworth announced a major new career move. Earlier in January, the couple announced a continuation of a former project, Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, which they produced through their production company. The documentary was initially released on Hulu in January 2023, though Stephanopoulos and Wentworth announced it would air on ABC Network for one night only on Jan. 8. The documentary is still available to stream on Hulu.

Stephanopoulos and Wentworth first met after being set up on a blind date through a mutual friend. Although Wentworth admitted at a book signing in Sarasota back in 2012 that she "didn't care about politics, and figured he'd be the last person I'd be interested in," per Hello! magazine, she quickly realized they had a lot in common. The couple were engaged after dating for just two months. They went on to tie the knot at a ceremony performed by Stephanopoulos' father in 2001. The couple moved their family to NYC more than a decade ago when Stephanopoulos accepted a job as a co-anchor at Good Morning America.