If you were a television addict in the early 2000s, chances are good you were a fan of television’s Gilmore Girls, or at the very least knew someone who was. The show was an immediate sensation for the now-defunct WB network, a channel famous in Hollywood for airing shows thought to be too juvenile, too sappy, or too weird for the bigger networks.
On the surface, Gilmore Girls was a lighthearted comedy-drama centering on the lives of Lorelai and Rory, a single mother and her precocious teenage daughter, and their interactions with friends and family in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. But the show also touched on deeper issues, such as class, gender equality, and family dynamics.
Praised for the quality of the acting and its distinctive fast-paced, pop-culture-imbued dialogue, Gilmore Girls made a profound impact of the viewing public. It should come as no surprise, then, that with all 7 seasons of the show now available for streaming on Netflix, the quirky characters of Stars Hollow have experienced a newfound resurgence in popularity.
But while viewers take a trip down nostalgia lane in 2015, where are the actors who made our favorite characters come to life? What have they been doing in the nearly 8 years since the show ended? Some are still working consistently, one has gone on to become a bigger star than the whole cast put together, while others have retreated from the public eye. This is the ‘Girls cast in 2015.
13. Lorelai (Lauren Graham)
Lorelai was the heart and soul of Gilmore Girls, there’s no denying that. She was the main character, the one the show’s target female demographic was most likely to identify with. Lorelei was brought to life by actress Lauren Graham, who, since leaving Stars Hollow, has added several film credits to her name, including Evan Almighty and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. By far her most famous post-Gilmore role, however, was as Sarah Braverman on NBC’s hit TV show, Parenthood, which recently aired its series finale.
12. Rory (Alexis Bledel)
Alexis Bledel has certainly forged an eclectic career path since her turn as Rory Gilmore came to an end in 2007. She’s done it all, from off-Broadway theatre to guest spots on mainstream television shows (ER, Mad Men). She’s also starred in a handful of movies that you’ve never heard of, such as The Kate Logan Affair and Parts Per Billion. She has also done considerable modeling work, regularly popping up on all of those magazine covers lining supermarket checkout aisles. In other Rory-related news, Bledel recently married her Mad Men co-star Vincent Kartheiser.
11. Sookie (Melissa McCarthy)
Without a doubt the biggest name to come out of Gilmore Girls, Melissa McCarthy is a bonafide A-lister today. But she first gained widespread recognition for her role as Sookie St. James, the kooky and offbeat best friend of Lauren Graham’s Lorelai. Since the show ended, McCarthy’s star has only risen. Her first major big screen role came in 2011’s Bridesmaids, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. More recently, she has starred in films like The Heat, Identity Thief, and Tammy. She also found success on the small screen again, starring in the CBS comedy Mike & Molly. Sookie’s not showing any signs of slowing down, either. She plays the titular character in the upcoming comedy Spy and was recently announced as one of the main characters in next year’s Ghostbusters reboot/sequel.
10. Luke (Scott Patterson)
Actor Scott Patterson appeared as the character Luke Danes throughout the entire run of the show. After the show’s series finale, Patterson jumped around from job to job, mostly featuring in low-budget movies and doing guest spots on various TV shows. He showed the world his dramatic acting chops starring in a string of avant-garde arthouse pieces creatively titled Saw IV, Saw V, and Saw VI, respectively. In 2010, he appeared as a series regular on the short-lived NBC series The Event, but his character was killed off after only 18 episodes (unlike the remainder of the cast, who survived four whole episodes longer until NBC eventually axed the series). Most recently, Patterson appeared in an episode of CSI: Miami in 2011. Since then, he’s stayed mostly under the radar – probably just laying low to avoid all the unwanted residual Saw attention.
Scott Patterson sighting! pic.twitter.com/cPoEv58kmK
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) November 11, 2013
9. April (Vanessa Marano)
Vanessa Marano had a recurring role on GG as Luke’s daughter, April. Marano was young when she took the job–only 12 at the time–but she was already a seasoned veteran in Hollywood, having appeared in such shows as Without A Trace and Malcolm in the Middle. Since the show ended, however, Marano’s career has been downright prolific. She starred in episodes of popular television shows like The Ghost Whisperer, Medium, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She also landed major recurring roles in The Young and the Restless and Dexter. Currently, she stars as Bay Kennish in the ABC Family drama Switched at Birth.
8. Lane (Keiko Agena)
At 27 years of age, Lane first took on the role of Rory’s 16 year old best friend and main non-Lorelai confidant throughout the run of the show. Post-Gilmore Girls, Agena’s acting roles have been few and far between, but impressive nonetheless. Once the show ended, Agena guest-starred in episodes of Private Practice, Castle, and House. She also had a main role in 2011’s Transformers sequel, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The now 41 year old rounds out her resume with a guest role on Scandal and a small recurring bit on Showtime’s Shameless.
7. Kirk (Sean Gunn)
Kirk is basically Stars Hollow’s very own Cleetus Spuckler. He’s a very odd man whose misfortunes and borderline personality disorders are played for laughs. Kirk is played to a tee by real life oddball Sean Gunn, whose post-GG career looks like it was stitched together from several different Wikipedia filmographies. In addition to conventional acting roles, Gunn dabbles in everything from voiceover work to motion-capture to stand-in jobs. Most recently, Gunn did mo-cap and stand-in for the characters Rocket Raccoon and Thanos in last year’s smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy, which was written and directed by his brother James. Sean also had a live action role in Guardians as one of the Ravagers, Kraglin.
6. Paris (Liza Weil)
Paris was Rory’s one-time rival who eventually became a close friend to the younger Gilmore girl. When the show ended, she did the usual rounds on all the network police procedurals and medical dramas, including Law & Order: SVU, CSI:CSI, Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice. She subsequently found recurring roles on Scandal and the short-lived ABC Family ballet dramedy Bunheads. Currently, 37 year old Weil can be seen starring in ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder.
5. Dean (Jared Padalecki)
Dean was the show’s token heartthrob in the early seasons and Rory’s first love interest. His character left the show because his relationship with Rory ended (badly). But the real reason for his departure was because actor Jared Padalecki had secured a starring role in the WB’s new horror/mystery/crime-fighting show Supernatural. Padalecki’s resume has been pretty sparse since leaving Gilmore Girls, with just a few non-ghost jobs here and there, due mostly to the incredible longevity of Supernatural, which is still going strong and was recently renewed for an 11th season!
4. Jess (Milo Ventimiglia)
Milo Ventimiglia may not be a household name, but he’s had a long and successful career, both pre- and post-Gilmore Girls. Once the show was over, Ventimiglia landed small roles in Boston Public, Law & Order: SVU, and Chosen. But his greatest success arguably came as superhero Peter Petrelli in NBC’s wildly popular show Heroes. Ventimiglia recently landed a recurring role on another superhero-themed show, FOX’s Batman prequel Gotham.
3. Logan (Matt Czuchry)
Matt “Take Me to” Czurchy appeared in the final few seasons of Gilmore Girls as Rory’s privileged boyfriend. Czuchry guest-starred in several high-profile shows after his run on GG was up, including Veronica Mars and Friday Night Lights.
In 2009, however, he landed a main role on the acclaimed CBS drama The Good Wife opposite Julianna Margulies. He must like his job on that show because it’s the only credit to his name in the last five years, save for one throw-away TV movie.
2. Michel (Yanic Truesdale)
Yanic Truesdale portrayed a walking stereotype of French pretension Michel Gerard for the entirety of the show. The Quebecois actor’s resume is a little thin since Gilmore Girls ended, mostly studded with minor roles in French language Canadian shows. He had a role in the 2014 Canadian miniseries The Fixer. Other than that, he’s reportedly enjoying time out of the limelight and has opened a spinning studio in Montreal. He currently splits his time between L.A. and Montreal, returning to his hometown during the warm summer months.
1. Richard & Emily (Edward Herrmann & Kelly Bishop)
Richard and Emily were Lorelai’s snobby WASP parents who always seemed to be more concerned with appearances and what people thought than with their daughter’s happiness. The two were a never-ending source of conflict, albeit minor, for the show. Both Herrmann and Bishop continued to work at impressive levels after the show had concluded. Herrmann appeared in shows like 30 Rock, Drop Dead Diva, and How I Met Your Mother. Bishop showed up in several episodes of Law & Order: SVU (along with everyone else on the planet, it seems). She also had recurring roles in The Good Wife and Bunheads.
Bishop is still going strong, but, sadly, Herrmann passed away in late 2014 after battling cancer.