It’s autumn, so that means it’s time for Gilmore Girls. The drama-comedy series, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, ran for seven seasons between 2000 and 2007. But what have the Gilmore Girls cast been up to since then?
Helped by its availability on the streaming service Netflix, Gilmore Girls has become a certified classic. The series has been praised for its exploration of mature themes, wrapped up in an accessible, fun, and wildly entertaining format. Gilmore Girls follows three generations of Gilmores as they all learn to deal with their personal and professional lives, while navigating their relationships with one another.
After its release to streaming service Netflix, the renewed popularity led to a four-episode miniseries followup titled Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. This explored the lives of the main cast of the show years after the main series had ended, debuting in 2016. But what have the Gilmore Girls cast been up to since then?
Who is in the original Gilmore Girls cast?
- Lauren Graham
- Alexis Bledel
- Kelly Bishop
- Scott Patterson
- Edward Herrmann
- Melissa McCarthy
- Liza Weil
- Keiko Agena
- Milo Ventimiglia
- Sean Gunn
- Jared Padalecki
Lauren Graham was the shining star in the Gilmore Girls cast. Graham managed to make Lorelai Gilmore simultaneously infuriating, sympathetic, and deeply complex. She was also, of course, hilarious, and her friction with her mother (and sometimes her daughter too) was always a highlight.
Since the show ended, Graham has had a career in Hollywood comedy movies like Evan Almighty, as well as her fair share of rom coms. However, she is still best known for her work on TV series, and she took on the lead role in the series Parenthood from 2010 to 2015, and currently has a major role as Alex Morrow on the Disney Plus series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers.
Of course, when the call came, Alexis Bledel returned as Rory for the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life revival series. However, her biggest role since the original series ended has been as Emily Malek in The Handmaid’s Tale.
The actor played a significant recurring role in the dystopian drama series between seasons 1 and 4, after which she departed the show. Her role in the series was so critically acclaimed that in 2017 Bledel won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. In addition to The Handmaids Tale, Bledel has also appeared in a number of smaller movies, and she had a minor recurring role in one of the best TV series ever made, Mad Men.
Now in her late 70s, Kelly Bishop’s career has started to take on a slower pace since Gilmore Girls ended. She has taken on some larger roles, here and there, such as her time in the comedy series Bunheads. Most recently, and maybe of most interest to Gilmore Girls fans, Bishop reunited with Sherman-Palladino and has had a recurring role in the latest season of her new series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
In a series about women, Scott Paterson played one of its most important men: Luke Danes. Luke was the series-long love interest of Lorelai Gilmore. His occasional awkward grumpiness was the perfect balance to Lauren Graham’s Lorelai.
Since that time, Patterson has returned to screens in plenty of roles. Notable among these are appearances in: Aliens in America, and the sci-fi series The Event. In 2018, he also voiced commissioner Gordon in the animated Batman movie Batman: Gotham by Gaslight. He does not have any ongoing recurring roles, but we’re sure that Patterson will pop up again before too long.
Edward Herrmann was one of the few members of the original Gilmore Girls cast who could not return for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. This is because the actor died in 2014 aged 71. His death was incorporated into Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and if you ever need a dose of Richard Gilmore just think back to Emily’s huge, ridiculous portrait.
After Gilmore Girls, and before his death, the multi-award winning actor doubled down on his passion for history, and continued narrating countless History Channel documentary series.
Melissa McCarthy has had a phenomenal career since Gilmore Girls ended, even picking up two Oscar nominations along the way. These were for her supporting role in the comedy movie Bridesmaids, and her leading role in the drama movie Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Increasingly, the actor has become known for her range and while she is best known for her comedic performances, she is also an equally talented dramatic presence.
The formidable, impressive, and often terrifying Paris Geller was brought to life by Liza Weil. Since leaving Paris behind, Weil has continued to work with Sherman-Palladino on Bunheads and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, while also taking on a main role in the legal thriller series How to Get Away with Murder. Most recently, the actor can be seen in Westworld as Deborah.
Keiko Agena played the ace drummer Lane in Gilmore Girls and like Lorelai, had to deal with her own fair share of friction with her mother. Since the end of her character’s story, Agena has taken plenty of roles in new TV series.
Perhaps most well-known among these roles is her part in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. However, other roles also include Viola Goto in Better Call Saul (AKA Kim Wexler’s paralegal) and, most recently, Dr Edrisa Tanaka on the crime drama series Prodigal Son.
Milo Ventimiglia played Rory’s on-and-off love interest, Jess. Jess, who was Luke’s nephew, came in and out of the show between seasons 2 and 6, and is now a fan favourite, and one of the most popular picks for Rory’s best boyfriend.
Since the end of Gilmore Girls, Ventimiglia’s most defining role has been as Jack Pearson in the critically acclaimed drama series This Is Us. The actor portrayed one of the series’ main characters for 6 years, bagging an Emmy nomination as well as plenty of others. This leaves Ventimiglia and his career in an excellent position, and you can expect to see plenty more of the actor in the near future.
Sean Gunn, brother to superhero movie director James Gunn, has had an interesting career since his time as Kirk on Gilmore Girls ended. He has played the Ravager lieutenant Kraglin Obfonteri in the Guardians of the Galaxy action movie series, taking on a more important role after Yondu’s death. He also played Weasel in Gunn’s DC movie foray, The Suicide Squad.
Aside from that, the actor has had one-off roles in plenty of TV series like Bones and Chris Pratt’s The Terminal List. Expect him to continue popping wherever his brother does, taking on the more weird and wonderful roles that he’s so good at.
Rory’s first love, Jared Padalecki, was central to some of the early drama in the series with his role as Dean. However, he is best known by far for his leading role in the fantasy series Supernatural opposite Jensen Ackles. He was in the series from its beginning to its conclusion, playing the role of Sam Winchester for 327 episodes over the course of 15 years.
Now, with Gilmore Girls and Supernatural behind him, the actor has taken on the lead role on The CW show Walker.