For seven seasons, we laughed, cried, and drank too much coffee with Lorelai and Rory on Gilmore Girls.
The series was one of the generation-defining cult classics of the 2000s, but the mother-daughter dramedy gained a whole another era of relevance — not to mention a new generation of fans — when it started streaming on Netflix.
Countless streams, hundreds of biting references, and a reunion revival later, it’s a beloved classic that’s only getting better with age. On May 15, 2022, Gilmore Girls celebrates the 15th anniversary of its series finale on The CW. How time flies!
Where is the Gilmore Girls cast now?
Some of your favorite townies ended up winning Emmy Awards and becoming Academy Award-nominated movie stars. Others continued to hit us with the feels on the small screen and one of our best-loved Gilmore girls became a best-selling author.
Meanwhile, there’s an unlikely superhero among the cast of Gilmore Girls, as a certain Stars Hollow standout joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But most, if not all, of the cast returned for the Netflix revival that gave us a glimpse into a pivotal year in Lorelai and Rory’s lives.
What has Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Melissa McCarthy, and the rest of Stars Hollow’s best been up to since the original series and Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life ended?
As our fearless leader Lorelai Gilmore, Lauren Graham delivered a tour de force performance that included unparalleled quick-witted humor and raw emotional honesty. Gilmore Girls simply wouldn’t be what it became without the talent of Graham at the helm. Since her tenure as the small town single mother, Graham has notched more work in film and television to her belt while penning a trio of bestselling books. What can’t she do?
When the original series ended on The CW in 2007, Graham co-starred in a number of films in a supporting role. Graham appeared in Because I Said So, Evan Almighty, Flash of Genius, The Answer Man, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story before returning to the small screen in 2010. In a role strikingly similar to that of Lorelai Gilmore, Graham starred as single mother Sarah Braverman in NBC’s television adaptation of the film Parenthood. The series came from the team behind Friday Night Lights and lasted for six seasons, though it was an underrated critical darling for its entire run.
While starring on Parenthood, Graham broke into the book world with her debut novel Someday, Someday, Maybe, which was loosely based on her post-college experiences as a struggling actor in New York City. Of course, Graham took the lead once again when Gilmore Girls returned for its four-episode revival A Year In the Life on Netflix in 2016. Coinciding with the revival’s release, Graham also released her memoir Talking As Fast As I Can and in 2018 published advice for graduates with In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It.
Following the end of Parenthood, Graham later returned to television in a recurring role on NBC’s underrated musical comedy series Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. In 2021, she landed the leading role in the Disney+ series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, which is in its second season.
For seven years, Alexis Bledel played the precocious and complex Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, but she was never pigeonholed as the “good girl” type — at least not for long.
By the time the series ended in 2007, Bledel had banked a solid run of films with Tuck Everlasting, Sin City, and the hit adaptation The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and kept the ball rolling. In 2008, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 followed the original and in 2009, Bledel’s charming starring role in rom-com Post Grad leaned into the Rory persona.
Prior to Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life debuting on Netflix, Bledel kept busy with movie roles here and there as well as guest stints on shows such as ER and Mad Men. Bledel spent much of her time involved in President Obama’s campaign for re-election in 2012 and was involved with a Gavin & Stacey remake that never made it to air in the United States.
However, after marrying Mad Men co-star Vincent Kartheiser and welcoming a son, Bledel landed an acting role that could serve to eclipse her time as Rory Gilmore.
Mere months following the high of Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life, which included a jaw-dropping cliffhanger for Bledel’s character, the actress appeared in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale in 2017. Bledel won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series and was promptly promoted to a series regular for the second season.
As Ofglen (Emily) in the Emmy-winner for Outstanding Drama Series, Bledel continues to earn critical acclaim and picked up another Emmy nod, this time for Outstanding Supporting Actress. She’ll next be seen in the upcoming fifth season of the series.
You wouldn’t expect clumsy chef Sookie St. James to break out as the biggest star of Gilmore Girls, but Melissa McCarthy won over our hearts one laugh at a time. It was clear to see that McCarthy was destined for much more than the spunky sidekick, even though she played all of Sookie’s eccentricities to perfection.
For seven seasons, McCarthy provided the comic relief on a show that was already pretty hilarious on the regular. From Sookie’s love story with Jackson to crying deep-fried tears on Thanksgiving and all the way exclaiming “Norman Mailer, I’m pregnant!” at the Dragonfly, Sookie was the best friend on television.
After wrapping the final season of Gilmore Girls in 2007, McCarthy jumped right back into another best friend role opposite Christina Applegate in the short-lived ABC sitcom Samantha Who? In 2010, McCarthy appeared in knockout supporting roles in romantic comedy films Life As We Know It and The Back-Up Plan, paving her way toward superstardom.
The same year, McCarthy scored the title role of the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly, which ran for six seasons and landed her three Emmy nominations and one win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Of course, in 2011, McCarthy starred in Bridesmaids in the one true breakout role of a lifetime. Her fearless performance of Megan earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, an achievement that’s rare for comedy actresses.
McCarthy launched a successful film career with comedies such as Identity Thief, The Heat, Tammy, Spy, The Boss, Ghostbusters, and Life of the Party, many of which she co-wrote and produced with her husband, director Ben Falcone. In 2016, McCarthy was named the second highest-paid actress in the world.
On top of her success on the big screen, McCarthy has also been crowned a member of the illustrious five-timers club at Saturday Night Live, for which she’s snatched five consecutive Emmy nominations for her hosting gigs, winning in 2017.
McCarthy returned for a scene in A Year In the Life and sent our hearts aflutter. But she’s still one of the most sought after stars in Hollywood, appearing next in the latest adaptation of The Little Mermaid as Ursula and the Netflix comedy series God’s Favorite Idiot.
Who’s else could have brought the rough around the edges Emily Gilmore to life than Kelly Bishop? Although Emily and Lorelai were at odds more than they weren’t for the seven seasons of Gilmore Girls (and its revival), Bishop fleshed Emily out with a quality that made fans love her.
Behind that icy exterior was a woman who truly cared, even when she had interesting ways of showing it. Emily Gilmore had some iconic moments in her world excess, but never forget the moments when she was brought back down to Earth at the mall or at Luke’s Diner.
When Gilmore Girls wrapped in 2007, Bishop followed up her series regular role with guest stints here and there on shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Army Wives, NBC’s short-lived medical drama Mercy (starring Orange Is the New Black’s Taylor Schilling), and The Good Wife. Bishop also appeared in the 2011 film Friends with Kids starring Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott.
In 2012, she reteamed with Gilmore creator Amy Sherman-Palladino for the then-ABC Family dramedy series Bunheads starring Sutton Foster about a dancer living in a small town.
Prior to her work on Gilmore Girls, Bishop regularly performed in theater, winning a Tony Award for her performance of Sheila (a role she originated) in 1975’s performance of A Chorus Line. Bishop returned to theater in the 1990s before taking time out for Emily Gilmore.
She again returned in 2008 for a production of Becky Shaw and in 2011 as a replacement for Jessica Walter in Anything Goes alongside eventual Bunheads costar Sutton Foster. Bishop returned for A Year in the Life, most recently appeared in Netflix’s Halston, and will recur in the fourth season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
One of the best things about Gilmore Girls was that it featured a cast of relatively unknown performers, meaning fans go to know and follow the careers of a whole new crop of talent. Scott Patterson, who had been a professional baseball player in the 1980s before breaking into acting, played the gruff but lovable Luke Danes.
Luke’s Diner was the place to be in Stars Hollow and the regular stop for Lorelai and Rory throughout any given day. Although Luke’s flannel and baseball cap might have stayed the same, Lorelai brought out the best in him over seven seasons.
Following the end of the Gilmore era, Patterson remained in the CW family until 2010. He starred in the network’s short-lived sitcom Aliens in America for 18 episodes between 2007 and 2008. In 2010, Patterson appeared in the second season of 90210, The CW’s reboot of the ’90s phenomenon, as Liam’s (Matt Lanter) ex-con father for three episodes. He followed up that guest turn with a series regular role on NBC’s one-and-done sci-fi drama series The Event in 2011.
On the big screen, Patterson can be seen in the Saw franchise’s fourth, fifth, and sixth films as Agent Peter Strahm. Of course, Patterson circled on back to Stars Hollow in 2016, reprising his role as Luke (still donning his flannel!) in Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life.
In 2021, Patterson launched a Gilmore Girls rewatch podcast called I Am All In with iHeartRadio. He’s welcomed a number of his former co-stars on the show to talked about episodes of the beloved series. Leaning into his Luke persona, Patterson also launched his own coffee brand.
Fortunately, but also, unfortunately, Jared Padalecki was saddled with the daunting task of being Rory Gilmore’s first boyfriend, Dean Forrester. Given that challenge, Padalecki had to face the scrutiny that came with the early days of shipping, but on the other side of the coin, he quickly became one of the leading heartthrobs on The WB.
Padalecki first debuted as Dean in the first season of Gilmore Girls, then became a series regular in the second and third season before recurring in seasons 4 and 5. Dean faced off against both Jess and Logan, but neither of those guys can say they built Rory a car, now can they?
After leaving Gilmore Girls in 2005, Padalecki boarded his own series on The WB called Supernatural, which made the jump to The CW in 2006 and lasted for a whopping 15 seasons and 327 episodes. In the dark fantasy series, Padalecki stars alongside Jensen Ackles as brothers who hunt demons, ghosts, and other supernatural beings.
Padalecki has also taken his talents to the big screen in horror films such as House of Wax, Cry Wolf, House of Fears, and Friday the 13th. Dean made a small cameo in A Year In the Life, bumping into Rory at — where else? — Doose’s.
In 2010, Padalecki married former Supernatural co-star Genevieve Cortese, and together they have three children. Outside of acting on the small and big screen, Padalecki has used his platform to advocate for mental health awareness by launching the Always Keep Fighting campaign. The campaign raised money for To Write Love On Her Arms, which supports those battling depression, addiction, self-harm, and suicide.
Following Supernatural’s end, Padalecki quickly returned to The CW in 2021 as the leading role in the Walker, Texas Ranger reboot simply titled Walker. The series has been another hit for the star and has been renewed for a third season as of 2022.
If there’s one thing all Gilmore Girls fans can agree on, it’s that Jess was Rory’s best boyfriend. Dean was too clingy and Logan was too Logan, but Jess? Jess was the brooding bad boy with a soft interior once you get past the harsh exterior of his leather jackets and resting you-know-what face.
Ventimiglia first appeared on Gilmore Girls as Jess in the second season, where he promptly stirred the pot and an entire generation’s hearts on fire. When he left the series at the end of the third season, a spin-off about Jess moving to California with his dad had been planned (see: backdoor pilot, “Here Comes the Son”).
When that didn’t pan out, Ventimiglia starred in The WB’s short-lived college drama The Bedford Diaries. A number of guest appearances on television shows led to Ventimiglia grabbing a lead role on NBC’s cult sci-fi drama Heroes.
Between his appearances on Gilmore Girls and A Year In the Life, Ventimiglia also appeared in guest starring roles on the big screen in films such as Rocky Balboa, Gamer, That’s My Boy, Grown Ups 2, and The Art of Racing in the Rain.
Before landing his current role on NBC’s Emmy-winning family drama This Is Us, Ventimiglia starred in a few short-lived series such as Mob City, Chosen, and The Whispers. For his role as Jack Pearson on This Is Us, Ventimiglia has earned two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and, again, stolen the hearts of millions.
Besides maybe Luke’s daughter April, there was never a character on Gilmore Girls quite as controversial as Logan Huntzberger. When Rory went off to college at Yale, she met the handsome rich kid, who was the total opposite of her Stars Hollow upbringing. Logan fit into the WASP-y world of her grandparents than he did in her small town world.
Of course, Logan saw Rory through her most tumultuous era, from stealing a boat and getting arrested to leaving school and severing ties with her mother. As contentious as Logan might have been, you can’t help but love him.
Matt Czuchry joined Gilmore Girls in 2004 during the fifth season, but his recurring role was upgraded to series regular status for the sixth and seventh seasons. During his time on the show, Czuchry also appeared on Veronica Mars in a guest starring role, and after the series ended, he dropped by Friday Night Lights for four episodes.
In 2009, Czuchry starred in the film I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and landed a major role on CBS’ legal drama The Good Wife, which lasted for seven seasons and 156 episodes.
Currently, Czuchry headlines the Fox medical drama The Resident as Dr. Conrad Hawkins alongside Emily VanCamp, a fellow veteran of The WB. Prior to his current leading television role, Czuchry returned for 2016’s Gilmore Girls: A Year In the Life,and Logan became all the more controversial for fans.
Who could forget Rory’s best frenemy Paris Geller? Liza Weil first appeared on Gilmore Girls as a recurring character and was a series regular for the remainder of the series as Paris and Rory grew closer in spite of their competitive drive. Weil captured the ferocity and anxiety of Paris and injected her dialogue with Emmy-worthy comedic timing.
After Gilmore Girls ended in 2007, Weil appeared in a revolving door of guest appearances on the small screen in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI, In Plain Sight, Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice. In 2012 and 2013, Weil recurred on Scandal and Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Bunheads before landing a main role on How To Get Away with Murder.
Weil also brought Paris back to life for the revival, and she was as hilariously hectic as ever. Following A Year in the Life, Weil appeared in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for four episodes and has a recurring role in the Fox crime drama series The Cleaning Lady.
Sure, Paris became one of Rory’s best friends over time, but nothing could come between her true, life-long best friendship with Lane. Rory and Lane remain the perfect picture of female friendship, as they supported each other and swapped CDs as much as they talked about their boy problems. Keiko Agena starred as Lane in all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls and returned in a recurring capacity for the 2016 revival on Netflix.
After Gilmore Girls ended in 2007, Agena could be seen in any number of guest-starring roles in television’s biggest shows. Between 2007 and 2017, Agena appeared on Private Practice, Castle, House, Scandal, Shameless, Grimm, Colony, and Sweet/Vicious. In 2015, she and Will S. Choi launched the Drunk Monk Podcast, which finds them binge-watching Monk while drinking. Agena returned to Netflix in 2017 with a recurring role on the teen drama series 13 Reasons Why.
The erstwhile Lane Kim can also be seen in such shows as This Close, Here and Now, Better Call Saul, Dirty John, The First, and Prodigal Son.
On any other television series, Kirk wouldn’t have been a main character. But on Gilmore Girls, Kirk was much more than the local town color used for cheap laughs. He often played integral roles in the town drama, from hiding Easter eggs a little too well to creating an unexpectedly jarring art film during Stars Hollow movie night. Sean Gunn created the lovable weirdo Kirk and disappeared into the town’s jack of all trades.
When Gilmore Girls ended in 2007, Gunn turned up in small roles in October Road, Glee, Bunheads, and Bones. But his career took an un-Kirk-liked turn when he appeared in his brother James Gunn’s film Guardians of the Galaxy as Kraglin as well as an on-set stand-in for Rocket. He’s since appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, The Suicide Squad, and will next appear in Thor: Love and Thunder and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
As one of the few actors who have the prestigious honor of being a series regular on Gilmore Girls for all seven seasons, Yanic Truesdale doesn’t get nearly enough praise for Michel’s perfectly tuned malaise. Apart from his work on the show, Truesdale hasn’t appeared in very many films and series, though he did appear in a number of French and Canadian titles, such as 2015’s miniseries called The Fixer starring Eric Dane and Kathleen Robertson.
Truesdale returned to his post as Lorelai’s right-hand man in the revival and remains close to Melissa McCarthy. In fact, Truesdale reteams with his former on-screen frenemy in the upcoming Netflix comedy series God’s Favorite Idiot. Talk about a reunion we can’t wait to see!
Gilmore Girls and A Year In the Life are available to stream on Netflix.