Friends’ immense popularity can be gauged by the fact that a special reunion episode that aired on Thursday is the biggest in pop culture right now. Evidence suggests that it is likely to prompt fans to subscribe to HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s streaming service.
That the show, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, is still as popular as it was in the 1990s is testament to the star strength of its actors. The series’ actors, most notably the big six, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer, were a huge factor in making Friends iconic.
Here’s what the stars have been doing in their careers since the show ended.
Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green)
Jennifer Aniston became arguably the most famous actor among the main cast members of Friends. (Photo: Warner Bros Television)
Jennifer Aniston, it can be argued, became the most famous actor among the main cast members of Friends. She starred opposite Jim Carrey in the 2003 comedy Bruce Almighty. She was also a protagonist in other hit comedy films such as The Break-Up, Marley & Me, The Bounty Hunter, Just Go with It, Horrible Bosses and We’re the millers, and so on. In 2019, she made a comeback on television with Apple TV + with The Morning Show, which also starred Reese Witherspoon, a guest role in Friends, and Steve Carell. She is also an executive producer on the show.
Courteney Cox (Monica Geller)
Courteney Cox as Monica in Friends. (Photo: Warner Bros Television)
When Friends started airing, Courteney Cox was the biggest star in the cast. In addition to Friends, she was also part of another 90s sensation, the horror slasher movie Scream. During her post-Friends career, Cox’s best-known works included the drama series Dirt and sitcom Cougar Town. Cox has also tried to provide direction with 2014’s Just Before I Go, albeit with less than ideal results.
Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay)
Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe in Friends. (Photo: Warner Bros Television)
Shortly after Friends ended, Kudrow was part of HBO’s comedy drama The Comeback, in which she starred, wrote, and produced. She has also appeared in critically acclaimed recent shows such as The Good Place, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and so on. Her famous credits are PS I Love You, Booksmart and The Girl on the Train.
Matt LeBlanc (Joey TribmaTTHbiani)
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani in Friends. (Photo: Warner Bros Television)
Matt LeBlanc directed the Friends spin-off series Joey, which was based on his character in the original show. He has made numerous appearances as himself on the popular British non-fiction automotive program Top Gear. He was the lead role in the sitcom Man with a Plan, which ran from 2016 to 2020. He has also appeared in such shows as Episodes and films such as Jonah Hex and Lovesick.
Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing)
Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing in Friends. (Photo: Warner Bros Television)
After Friends, Matthew Perry starred in such films as The Ron Clark Story, Numb and Birds of America. When it comes to television, he has a starring role in The Odd Couple, a recurring role on The Good Wife, Mr. Sunshine.
David Schwimmer (Ross Geller)
David Schwimmer as Ross Geller in Friends. (Photo: Warner Bros Television)
After Friends ended, Schwimmer prioritized film and theater. He starred as the titular character in the 2005 movie Duane Hopwood. He also voiced Melman in the Madagascar movies. His most famous role after Friends has to be the portrayal of Robert Kardashian in American Crime Story. He has also had special or short appearances on shows such as Curb Your Enthusiasm and 30 Rock.
Paul Rudd (Mike Hannigan)
Paul Rudd and Lisa Kudrow in Friends. (Photo: Warner Bros Television)
Rudd, now a big star, had a recurring role on Friends as Phoebe’s love interest Mike Hannigan and her third husband. He is best known for playing the role of thief turned superhero Scott Lang or Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. He has also appeared in such films as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Mute, This Is 40, among others. He also hosted NBC’s variety show Saturday Night Live several times.
Cole Sprouse (Ben Geller)
Cole Sprouse and David Schwimmer in Friends. (Photo: Warner Bros Television)
Then a child actor, Cole Sprouse played Ross’ son with Carol Willick. He has since appeared in such films as The Kings of Appletown and Five Feet Apart. His best-known role comes in the Riverdale TV series, in which he plays the lead role of Jughead Jones.
Maggie Wheeler (Janice)
Maggie Wheeler as Janice in Friends. (Photo: Warner Bros Television)
Wheeler, who played the recurring role of Janice on Friends, was also a part of other shows such as ER, Californication and Archer (via voice). She also appeared in Dr. 2006 Dolittle 3.
James Michael Tyler (Gunther)
James Michael Tyler played the role of Gunther in Friends. (Photo: Warner Bros Television)
James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther in Friends, hasn’t been as active in showbiz as other cast members on the show. He has appeared in such shows as Scrubs, Episodes and cooking show Iron Chef America.