For many TV fans, characters on their favorite shows are like members of an extended family. As you see them week after week, you become involved in their lives, learn their hopes and fears, laugh at their jokes and cry with them over their losses. Just like family, when they’re no longer around, there’s a hole in your life. Unlike family, they don’t keep in touch when their shows get cancelled. Here’s what some TV actors who were beloved characters once upon a time have been up to since they left their famous roles.
Michael Richards – Kramer on Seinfeld
Known as Jerry Seinfeld‘s jobless, scheming neighbor who helped himself to all Jerry’s possessions including his cereal, Richards‘ character was the everyman fans could relate to, the familiar combination of frenetic energy, hare-brained schemes and genuine compassion. When Seinfeld ended, Richards starred in his own sitcom which was quickly cancelled, followed by several guest appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm. He was a regular on the comedy Kirstie from 2013 to 2014. But Richards’ life also had darker moments. He allegedly attacked a photographer in 2010 for snapping his photo and two years later delivered a racist rant at a Los Angeles comedy club aimed at two African American hecklers.
According to Time magazine, Richards took some time after the comedy club incident, trying to resolve his anger issues. He later moved away from Los Angeles and closer to his mother whom he took care of. With a few small show appearances Richards took on hobbies such as photography and hopes to get back into comedy work soon.
Lark Voorhies – Lisa on Saved By The Bell
Voorhies may hold the record for playing the same character in seven different TV shows and two made-for-TV movies. Between 1987 and 2008, she played Lisa Turtle in Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style (TV Movie) Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas (TV Movie) and Robot Chicken (voice over). She also appeared on two soap operas, playing Wendy Reardon on Days of Our Lives and Jasmine Malone on The Bold and the Beautiful. Voorhies raised questions about her mental state when she reportedly muttered to herself and people who weren’t there during a People magazine interview in 2012, and then wrote three books with peculiar titles including True Light, Reciprocity and Trek of the Cheshire, which fed the buzz about her mental state. She now keeps busy with her own company Yo Soy Productions and claims to be just fine.
Karyn Parsons – Hilary on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Although no one on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rose to the superstar status of leading man Will Smith, Parsons played the character of Hilary Banks on three different TV series including Prince along with Blossom and Out All Night. She met Alexandre Rockwell in New York in 1999, seven years after her exit from TV series, and married him. She has two sons from her first marriage and a daughter and son with Rockwell. They live in New York where Rockwell owns and operates a downtown nightclub.
According to Reddit, Parsons and her husband are currently working on their own independent film titled Little Feet in which her children will be acting. The couple needed to raise $35,000 for the project and ended up with $76,465. Hope to see it in theatres soon!
Nate Richert – Harvey on Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Richert’s first professional acting job was as Harvey Kinkle, the archetypal boy-next-door love interest of title character Sabrina. The couple captured the hearts of viewers with their sweet romance that chronicled the roller coaster emotional ride of puppy love for four seasons. Richert was written out in season four to accommodate Sabrina’s transition to college. When ratings dropped, Richert was called back to reprise his role in season five, where he remained until the show’s cancellation two seasons later. In the final episode, Sabrina cancelled her wedding to another guy to once again be with Harvey. Although Richert had a few small parts in the years that followed, he gave up acting in 2006 to concentrate on his music career. His specialty is bluegrass and he’s produced a digital solo album called Halogen Moon.
Michael Fishman – D.J. on Roseanne
Fishman was only 7-years-old when Roseanne Barr tapped him to play her son D.J. on the breakout TV sitcom Roseanne, a role he played for 9 years. Parts on Seinfeld, Hitz and Walker Texas Ranger followed. After marrying Jennifer Briner in 1999 and becoming a first-time father, Fishman joined Barr as her sidekick on The Roseanne Barr Talk Show. When Jennifer and he were expecting their second child, Fishman decided to work behind the scenes to give him more time for parenting. He delved into many aspects of production from set building and set design to camera operating, assistant directing and props. Fishman received a Nomination for an Emmy for “Outstanding Set Design / Art Direction” on Sports Science in 2007 where he was the primary builder and fabricator in the Art Department. Fishman has expressed an interest in acting again should the perfect part become available.
Angela Kinsey – Angela Martin on The Office
Kinsey‘s role as the beleaguered employee Angela Martin was her first big showbiz break but she wasted no time in moving on when the show ended. She appeared on Hot in Cleveland, had a recurring role on New Girl, and is one of the stars of the upcoming The Hotwives of Atlanta, a spoof of housewife reality shows, and The Impression Guys. She filed for divorce from her husband of 10 years in 2010, with whom she had a daughter, Isabel, in 2008. The child’s godmother is Jenna Fischer, Kinsey’s best friend and co-star on The Office.
Danielle Fishel – Topanga on Boy Meets World
For 7 years Fishel played the charming, poufy-lipped Topanga on the family favorite Boy Meets World, a role that started out as a one-time guest spot. As the girlfriend of the star character Cory Matthews, she grew up in the role and became a teen idol. When the show ended, Fishel guest starred on a variety of TV shows and made-for-TV movies. In 2014 she was cast as the lead in Girl Meets World, which tells the story of Topanga and Cory Matthews all grown up and rearing two children of their own. It turns out that quite a few of the original cast members (Ben Savage, Rider Strong, William Russ and Betsy Randle) will be on the show as well. In 2013, Fishel married Tim Belusko.
Barry Watson – Matt Camden on Seventh Heaven
Watson spent 10 years playing Matt Camden on Seventh Heaven, the role he’s arguably most famous for. But his acting career began 6 years earlier when he landed a role on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives in 1990 when he was only 15 years old. Following that 6 month gig, he went home to Dallas and graduated from high school. After his role on Seventh Heaven ended in 2006, he starred in What About Brian and Samantha Who?, had a recurring role in Gossip Girl, and most recently played Davis Polk on the TV series Heart of Dixie. He’s been married and divorced twice and has two children.
Scott Patterson – Luke Danes on Gilmore Girls
As the gruff diner owner with a heart of gold, Patterson made the character Luke Danes memorable for 7 seasons on the popular show Gilmore Girls. When the show ended in 2007, Patterson hit the ground running, starring in Aliens in America as well as headlining in the cult hit movie series Saw IV, Saw V and Saw VI. Patterson also had notable roles on stand out shows such as 90210, The Event, and CSI: Miami and has 3 projects in pre-production to be released in 2015. Patterson lives in Los Angeles and enjoys painting and writing music in his spare time.
Zachary Ty Bryan – Mark Taylor on Home Improvement
Bryan was only 10-years-old when he landed his most memorable role as Mark Taylor on the classic TV comedy Home Improvement, a character he played for 9 years when the show ended in 1999. He’s stayed busy since then with a string of roles in many TV shows and movies, including Touched By An Angel, ER, Boston Public, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, Cold Case, Burn Notice, Knight Rider, and the 2006 movie The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Bryan has noted he would like to continue acting should the perfect role come about, he married Carly Matros in 2007.