It might be hard to believe now, but only a short few years ago, terms like binge-watching and Netflix-and-chill didn’t exist. Lost might have been the first binge-watch friendly show of the modern era, even though binging the first few seasons meant going to Blockbuster Video; an ancient relic of yesteryear; to try and rent what rapidly became must see viewing.
On September 22, 2004 ABC premiered a series that was part Twilight Zone and Fantasy Island. Depending on which character the flashbacks and eventually flash forwards and sideways would focus on, Lost was also a medical drama, a crime thriller, a comedy, a conjob caper or anything else that you could possibly name. For the better part of six seasons it did.
The series made big-time out of many of the original starring cast and supporting players. Some have kept that fame, while others not so much. Here is the initial cast of the first two seasons of the epic game-changing series and where they are now.
22 L Scott Caldwell
In a lot of ways, the character of Rose was the heart and soul of the first season of the show. She helped the cast fill out as she was just a survivor of the plane crash. She certainly wasn't going to run around adventuring all over the island. She also, like any hopeful wife would do, or person for that matter, gave words of encouragement to many of our heroes, especially Jack, all while holding out hope that her husband Bernard was still alive and somewhere else on the Island.
An accomplished character actor from way back, L. Scott Caldwell had roles in movies like The Fugitive long before getting cast as Rose. The stage and screen actress has never stopped working since debuting in Hollywood in the seventies and has continued to work steadily since performing on Lost.
In addition to Rose, Caldwell is also most known for playing Ricky’s adoptive mother on The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, as well as Lydia’s mother on the most under-rated cop drama ever, Southland. Most recently the warmth-filled actress can be seen on shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and How To Get Away With Murder.
21 Sam Anderson
One of the tail-end survivors, Rose’s husband Bernard had gone to use the bathroom when Oceanic 815 had gone down, which is why we didn't see him at all during the first season. Of course, we heard him over a walkie-talking telling Boone, “we’re the survivors of 815,” during the first season and wouldn't have this mystery solved until the top-ten episode, “The Other 48 Days,” when we first met Bernard and got to see what happened to the tail-end survivors of 815.
Just like Rose, Bernard was more of a real-person and less like an action hero, but he did answer the call to arms when his ability to shoot a rifle was needed in “Through The Looking Glass,” when he famously kept telling Rose, “I’m not Rambo.”
Before the Island, Sam Anderson’s biggest role was that of Mr. Gorpley on Perfect Strangera. But the man, like his Island wife, has been “hey I know that guy” character actor for decades now, appearing in Forrest Gump, and most recently the mega-tear jerker, This Is Us, as a judge in the seventh episode of the second season.
In his private life, Anderson is the father of twins and a member of the Mystery Writers Of America.
20 Henry Ian Cusick
As luck would have for all parties involved, Henry Ian Cusick had been introduced to Lost co-creator, Carlton Cuse, through neighbour and mutual friend, actor Brian Cox. Cuse had been looking for a Scott or Irishmen and there Cusick was to play the very important role of Desmond David Hume.
As Hume, Cusick created a memorable character for the ages. Seemingly, he was just a guy who got trapped on the Island and was made to believe he was saving the world every 108 minutes just by pushing a button. From there he gain some sort heightened awareness and was able to save the survivors.
After the Island, the Peruvian-born Scotsman was able to parlay his stardom from the show to stay in the sci-fi and fantasy world in shows like The 100, and Marvel’s The Inhumans, along with stints on 24, Law And Order-SVU, and Scandal. Here's hoping when Marvel redoes the X-men eventually, Cusick gets cast as Banshee.
19 Tania Raymonde
While Tania Raymonde would eventually become very integral to the plot of the show’s grander mythology, at first, she was just another member of the nefarious group of Others that torment our favorite group of survivors. But as fate would have it, she happened to be the abducted daughter of Island crazy-lady, Rousseau and raised by the leader of the Others, Benjamin Linus, finally taken down at the hands of mercenaries sent to the Island by Charles Widmore.
Her death on the show was heralded by critics as a powerful scene. The actress herself has been putting those acting chops to good use in TV movies, playing Jodi Arias, a woman who was convicted of killing her boyfriend, although she maintained it was self-defense in Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret.
Raymonde has also been trying her hand behind the camera as well. At 17, she wrote and directed a short film called Cell Division. Currently, she is directing Little Saigon, a movie she also wrote, and she is also currently on the Amazon series, Goliath.
18 Michael Emerson
Michael Emerson was renowned stage actor and had several roles in TV and movies before being cast for a guest stint on the show as a man supposedly named Henry Gale who had been marooned on the Island when his weather balloon popped. It wouldn't take too long before the survivors realized “Henry” was a very dangerous man - Benjamin Linus, leader of the Others! Played to 100% creeptastic perfection by Emerson.
The guy played the role so well that his next big role after, the altruistic, yet mysterious Harold Finch on Person Of Interest, that you always felt like he'd turn his back on John at any second. Most recently, he took his “smartest guy in the room” act to Arrow as the vengeful cyber-hacker, Cayden James.
Wherever Emerson lands next, there is no doubt whatever show it is will benefit greatly from his tremendous talents. Perhaps we'll even get to see a touching side of Emerson, too. In either event, any show or movie would be jackpot lucky to land his talents.
17 Cynthia Watros
Debuting during the second season’s “The Other 48 Hours,” Cynthia Watros’ Libby quickly became the heart of the show. Hugo “Hurley” Reyes was the series’ comic relief and conscience for so many different characters, and Libby was those things for Hugo. The pair didn't have much time together, but their relationship was a sweet one, and then a bittersweet one after Libby was taken down by Michael.
Offscreen and behind the scenes, Watros was one of several Lost actors that were bagged for DUI in Hawaii in 2005. Although her time on the show was brief, the character returned for the finale to be reunited with Hurley.
After the show, Watros continues to play but parts in several shows, as well as her marriage to restauranteur, Curtis Gilliland, mother to their two children. Die-hard fans will continue to be flummoxed by the lack of conclusion to Libby’s story. With all kinds of reboots nowadays, perhaps there's still hope for Libby’s story.
16 Michelle Rodriguez
When Michelle Rodriguez first appeared in a cameo spot during the first season finale, fans knew there was clearly going to be more to this character than just a brief flirtation with Jack before boarding the plane. After all, at the time, Rodriguez was one of the biggest female action stars in the world - why not have her be thrust into this grand-sweeping action-heavy Island drama?
Once on the island, she had a tryst with Sawyer, and was going to assist Jack in training an army to fight the Others. Similar to Cynthia Watros, Rodriguez also got nabbed with a DUI while shooting the show in Hawaii and both characters met their fate in the same episode. Thankfully, no one ever really stayed dead on Lost, and we would see Ana-Lucia Cortez a few more times.
After the series ended - Rodriguez returned in the penultimate episode - Michelle resumed her role in The Fast And Furious movies which have become more and more actioned pack, and she got to tussle with the two baddest MMA girls-turned actresses ever, Gina Carano and Ronda Rousey. She's set to next be seen in the Robert Rodriguez/James Cameron adaptation of the manga, Battle Angel.
15 Naveen Andrews
When Lost debuted in 2004, it had been a long time since a cast this ethnically diverse was seen on TV. The series also refused to adhere to conventional wisdom and had made one of the more popular heroes, Sayid not just a soldier trained in the art of torturous interrogation, but an Iraqi soldier trained how to interrogate people, by a US military man, no less.
Played with a sensitivity that could've gotten lost in a role like this, British actor, Naveen Andrews was able to show a softer side to the character and turn up his more terrible nature when called upon. It helped make Sayid Jarrah a more rounded and tragic character for the show.
Andrews has made a few appearances in TV and movies since the show went off the air, but has spent most of his time teaming up with Lost creative team members on the short lived, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, and the upcoming James Patterson series, Instinct.
14 Emily De Ravin
At first glance, it seemed like Claire Littleton was just another survivor that needed to be cared for, especially considering that she was super preggers when Oceanic 815 crashed. Through flashbacks and events that transpired on the Island, there was more to Claire and her unborn baby then we first thought. After having one of the most sweet-natured relationships on the Island with Charlie, she was left behind when the Oceanic Six left the Island with Aaron in tow.
Being left behind without her son did drive Claire a little mad. A trait that the actress was able to transfer over when she played Belle on Once Upon A Time. In a twist on the Beauty And The Beast story, the Beast Belle falls for isn't a cursed prince, but the nefarious Mr. Gold instead.
Off-camera, Ravin is currently enjoying motherhood. Her daughter Vera, with filmmaker, Eric Bilitch is going to turn one in March 2017.
13 Matthew Fox
An eye opens. A man darts from where he is in the forest to the coast. Plane wreckage everywhere. Chaos and mangled bodies everywhere. He springs into action helping anyone and everyone along the way. Fans of Lost were fixated on Jack ever since, and so were the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. He became their de facto leader, trying to keep them all safe and get them all home.
Played by Matthew Fox, the character as we know and love him almost wasn't. He was originally going to die in the first episode, leaving Kate to lead and was going to be played in a cameo role by Michael Keaton. Thankfully, ABC execs intervened and said you can't get rid of the guy you've established as your main character after 20 minutes. Keaton declined an on-going role and Fox was cast.
While the guy could have certainly cashed in on his good looks and become a Hollywood megastar, Fox has always seemed to have taken smaller roles, even if there in bigger movies. He has given great performances in films like Emperor and the western-horror movie, Bone Tomahawk.
12 Jorge Garcia
With a cast of about 80,000 roles and some never even utter a word of English, you would think that Carlton Cuse, J.J. Abrams, and Damon Lindeloff were smart enough to have a pov character for the audience. But in reality, the role of Hurley was specifically created for Jorge Garcia the day he had auditioned for the show. Thankfully the fun-loving dude was able to be a character anyone watching could relate to.
Always ready to lend a helping hand, but more importantly, able to provide release and comfort to the other castaways - Hugo was undoubtedly the heart and soul of Lost, and it's easy to see how he winds up being the caretaker of the Island.
Garcia has since been keeping busy doing stand-up comedy, as well as being part of the cast of Alcatraz, which sadly never really got off the ground. He returned to Hawaii, where the series was filmed to co-star on Hawaii Five-O, which reunited him with Daniel Dae Kim. He is also currently producing a coming-of age indie movie called When We Were Pirates.
11 Maggie Grace
While nowhere near the comedy that Gilligan’s Island was, comparisons were still going to be drawn. In honor of that comparison, it puts Maggie Grace square in the Ginger category as the pretty face with a heart of gold. As Shannon however, that heart wasn't so golden, and she would prove to be manipulative at times, until fans saw her heart come out over her feelings for departed brother, Boone and of course Sayid.
While Shannon wasn't the fan favorite a lot of other characters were, Maggie Grace was still able to infuse some emotion into the character, making her death scene mean something. After the show, she would go on to co-star as Liam Neeson’s daughter in the Taken films, and as part of the Twilight saga.
For Grace’s fans, you're about see a lot more of her - she's set to join the cast of Fear The Walking Dead.
10 Josh Holloway
If Solo: A Star Wars Story was being filmed several years ago, Josh Holloway would have been the most perfect choice for the role of a young, roguish, space-pirate. After all, Josh Holloway was more or less doing his best Gambit/Han Solo impression while adding his own spin on the tropes, as he played career-grifter turned Island hero, James “Sawyer” Ford.
As the resident Island bad boy, previously unknown Holloway became a sensation overnight (much like the rest of the cast), as the love triangle between Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, which was the backbone of many episodes throughout the series. This was until Sawyer found what he needed all along in Juliet, an Other who turned on her people.
The father of two now stars on another hit sci-fi and fantasy series, Colony, where he plays a father trying to keep his family safe during an Alien occupation.
9 Malcolm David Kelley
Out of all of the castaways, two of them were the most interesting in terms of the magical properties of the Island - John Locke and Walt Lloyd. Walt arrived in the care of his estranged biological father Michael Dawson, and the two had an uneasy relationship at first. Then Walt began to exhibit special abilities on the Island, sadly this became an unresolved plot, left to the fans’ to conjure up their own opinions of how and why Walt could do some of the things he could do.
Some of this was due to the actor’s ridiculous growth spurt in between the second and third seasons of the show. Malcolm from being a little kid to looking like a grown man overnight - not good for a show where every episode is more or less a day on the Island.
Don't feel bad for Malcolm though, in the years since the show, he has had roles in several movies, including Detroit. He also is pursuing a music career, as one half of MKTO, alongside Tony Oller.
8 Daniel Dae Kim
If you ever want to learn how to win an audience over and have a character turn from hated and disliked to being one of the more beloved on the show, look no further than Jin-Soo Kwon. Premiering in the pilot episode, we'd learn through flashbacks that Jin was a simple Korean farmer who had fallen for a mobster’s daughter and went to work for him as an enforcer for his business.
While he is a complete piece of work to Sun at first, Jin begins to see the error of his ways and the couple begins to reconcile. It's emotional and heartwarming to watch, thanks in part to Jin’s portrayal by 24 alum, Daniel Dae Kim.
The father of two has gotten to reap the benefits of working on two shows back-to-back both set in Hawaii, since that is where he has set up shop for his family. He also own a production company, 3AD, the production company behind The Good Doctor.
7 Yunjin Kim
Prior to Oceanic crashing, Sun was getting set to leave her husband. She had even been practicing English, which helped her on the Island speak to some of the survivors while playing the “No Engrish” game with some of the other castaways. Their first 48 days on the Island are uneasy, but eventually Jin and Sun begin to fall for one another again.
Originally auditioning for Kate, the creators of Lost loved actress Yunjin Kim and wrote the role of Sun especially for her. Her experience and fame in Korea helped create a global audience and feel of the show.
After the series ended Yunjin went on to marry her manager, Jeong Park in 2010. In 2013, she was cast as one of the stars of Mistresses. While she still hasn't had her American film debut, she continues to star in films in her native Korea.
6 Evangeline Lilly
Arguably, while everyone who starred on the show had their star shine a little brighter, Evangeline Lilly became a star because of Lost. As Kate Austen, Lilly played a woman on the run who wound up on the Island and became one of the more trusted members of the group, despite having plenty of secrets of her own. Even right up until the end of the series, Kate maintained her duplicitous nature to benefit of the castaways.
After the series ended, Lilly has enjoyed a great deal of success on the silver-screen, being one of the few actors to share dual-credits of being in both a J.R.R. Tolkien movie and a Marvel comics movie. She played Tauriel, an original creation of Peter Jackson in The Hobbit movies and Hope Van Dyne, the Wasp in the upcoming Ant-Man And Wasp and fourth Avengers film, due in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
5 Dominic Monaghan
Another member of the Tolkien-Marvel club, Dominic Monaghan brought Merry to life brilliantly in The Lord Of The Rings and after Lost, brought his talents to the abysmal X-Men Origins: Wolverine. On the Island as Charlie Pace, Monaghan has one of the more genuine relationships on the series with Claire, even leaving his famous DriveShaft rings in Aaron’s crib before heading to the Looking Glass Station.
Off the Island, Dominic was dating co-star Evangeline Lilly at the time. After the series ended, Monaghan again tried to catch lighting in a bottle as being part of the ensemble cast of Flash-Forward, which was supposed to be ABC’s next big event series after Lost. But the series was cancelled before the first season could wrap up.
Since 2013, avid outdoorsman Monaghan has been producing and hosting his own showWild Things, which features the actor traversing the globe showing us all kinds of creepy-crawlers.
4 Terry O’Quinn
There's an odd, but kind, but creepy, but seemingly enlightened elderly John Locke roaming around the Island, parading around as some mystical outdoorsy type of guy. Sawyer even nicknames him “Colonel Kurtz,” after Brando’s nutso character from Apocalypse Now. Locke’s story told in “Walkabout,” became the first truly crazy moment of the series, when it was revealed that this man of nature was actually paralyzed before Oceanic crashed.
Played by Terry O’Quinn, John Locke had every reason to be a man of faith against Jack’s man of science argument, knowing full well the healing properties of the Island. While they sane faith would be the death of him, Locke goes down as one of the best characters of modern TV history.
The esteemed character actor has simply been plugging along since the end of the series, guest-starring in shows like Falling Skies. Since 2017, he has been part of the main cast of the Hulu series, Castle Rock.
3 Harold Perrineau
After being the voice of Oz as Augustus Hill for so many years, it's a little jarring to see Harold Perrineau out and about and walking around. But sure enough, the Brooklyn native is very capable of walking and played Michael Dawson on Lost. The tragic role called for Perrineau to display the acting chops of a man who would do literally anything to keep his son safe, regardless of the circumstances, consequences, or his own soul.
Since the series ended, the father of two (his wife Brittany Robinson has cameoed on the show as the Lotto girl who reads the numbers) has given more memorable performances on shows like Sons Of Anarchy (as Damon Pope) and Manny on Constantine.
He has also been pursuing a musical career, releasing a single “Stay Strong,” back in 2007 and is collaborating with his on-screen son in MKTO, appearing in their video for “Thank You.”
2 Ian Somerhalder
If Maggie Grace was eye candy for the boys, then her TV brother, Ian Somerhalder provides an easy-on-the-eyes character for the ladies to watch. As Boone, a rich kid who wants to do good but has been pushed aside by Jack, he tends to follow Locke around, even becoming a bit of a wild man himself. Sadly for Boone it also led to his death, which was the first major one of the series.
It clearly wasn't the end for Somerhalder, who returned to the cast on several occasions to haunt a few folks. In between his Lost cameos, Ian also played heartthrob vampire, Damon Salvatore on the smash hit, The Vampire Diaries from 2009-2017.
Strangely enough, two actors who played vampires got married when Ian married Twilight star, Nikki Reed in 2015 and have a daughter together, Bodhi Soleil.
1 Adewale Akinnooye-Agbaje
If watching Harold Perrineau walk was interesting after watching him in a wheelchair on Oz for six seasons, then watching Adewale Akinnooye-Agbaje play the soulful Mr. Eko was baffling after seeing him play cold-blooded sadistic inmate, Simon Adebisi on the very same show. But “Triple A” was able to pull it off and become one of the show's best characters of the first few seasons.
As a fearless drug lord turned priest, Eko was brave, and ruthless in his convictions. The actor though, didn't want to stay in Hawaii and was written off violently during the third season after being taken down by the Smoke Monster.
Adewale has continued to build an impressive resume - becoming part of the DC Cinematic Universe as Killer Croc in Suicide Squad, and Malko on Game Of Thrones. He is also currently directing a film called Farming, loosely based on his life.