How Jason Bateman’s Wife Amanda Anka Keeps Him Grounded

Who doesn’t love Jason Bateman? The former child actor is now a beloved Hollywood star. He is best known for his role as Michael Bluth in the cult hit Arrested Development and the devious Marty Byrde on Netflix’s Ozark. Bateman hosts the hilarious SmartlessPodcast with Sean Hayes & Will Arnett, real-life buddies.

But what about Jason Bateman’s family? Is it as happy as his Hollywood career? Jason Bateman’s wife, Amanda Anka, has had a lot to do with his success—both personally and professionally. Here’s an inside look at Jason Bateman’s marriage and what the Game NightStar has some words to say about the support that he receives from his children.

Jason Bateman And Amanda Anka’s Romance Was The Ultimate Slow Burn

Jason Bateman and his wife, Amanda Anka, in 2004
(Peter Kramer/Getty Images).

According to GQ, Jason Bateman and Amanda Anka met their first time at an L.A. Kings basketball game in their teens. While they liked each other immediately, they didn’t start dating for another 10 years because—as Anka puts it—”I just wasn’t into where he was at.” What she’s referring to is the party lifestyle that Bateman had adopted as a young, up-and-coming Hollywood star.

Since the age of 12, I have worked tirelessly on shows such as Little House on the Prairie Silver Spoons It’s Your Move, The Hogan FamilyBateman was an experienced Hollywood performer when he reached his early adulthood. He was also financially independent, and was ready to have fun.

“It was like Risky Business for 10 years,” Bateman says of that time period. “My parents were out of town, they left me a bunch of money, the car, and the house, and I didn’t know when they were coming home. I’d worked so hard that by the time I was 20, I wanted to play hard. And I did that really well.”

Bateman eventually found enough calm to realize that he wanted a family and to settle down. Anka was now one of his closest friends. “I looked around at relationships in my life that did last and those were friendships,” Bateman said in 2013. “And I wasn’t sexually attracted to buddies, so I found a female buddy that I was sexually attracted to and asked her if she wanted to give it a go and that’s why it’s lasted so long.”

The couple married in 2001 and now have two daughters together—Francesca Nora, born in 2006, and Maple Sylvia, born in 2012.

Bateman’s Partying Nearly Destroyed Their Marriage

Bateman’s wild antics had subsided to a certain extent, but he continued to party with Anka after he married. According to US Weekly, She finally gave him the ultimatum to get in shape or go home. The pair came close to splitting up, and it wasn’t until Anka left Bateman behind to take Christmas vacation without him that he realized he needed to change his ways.

Fortunately, the wake-up call really worked, prompting Bateman to ask himself: “Do you want to continue being great at being in your twenties, or do you want to step up and graduate into adulthood?”

The Break-Up actor also revealed that things started to fall into place for him once he decided to straighten out—including the reemergence of his career. “Along comes Arrested Development along comes Amanda, my wife still to this day, and sobriety, too,” he told GQ. “All of these things came together in my early thirties. It has fuelled and continued to fuel my respect for people and their work for this business. I really feel lucky that ambition is matched with access right now.”

Bateman believes that Anka and he share a strong bond because of their friendship. “Our marriage has defied the odds and works really well,” the OzarkActor said in a 2013 interview with Redbook magazine. “We are really aware of our boundaries. We know how and when to bug each others. If you don’t get along, it’s garbage. If you have a girlfriend, you can get into a fight and drive away. We learn to fight quickly or not at any cost. I wanted to marry my friend. Friends last longer.”

Family keeps Bateman Grounded

(Kathy Hutchins /

Bateman will no longer be attending late-night parties. “I can’t get him off the couch to go to a party,” Anka joked in an interview with GQ. “This is a guy who wants to go get frozen yogurt and come home.” 

Now Bateman prefers being a family man—and he credits Anka with making it all possible. “Being a father of two is everything I wanted,” the Arrested Development star told Redbook. “I’m a big fan of marriage and being a dad. Amanda, my wife, makes it easy. She spoils me; she makes the husband part simple.”

In a backstage interview during the 2019 SAG Awards, Bateman elaborated on how Anka helps keep his family functional, especially when he’s out of town so often for work. “She’s got a full-time career herself, and she’s able to be an incredible mom, and she’s also almost a full-time dad too because I’m out of town so much,” Bateman explained. “I’m floored by that. That keeps me grounded. That reminds me that I’ve got a real strong example to kind of live up to what she’s showing. That keeps me from taking any of this for granted or just doing it half-assed.”