Friends turns 25: Where are they now?

Where are they now? 25 years after it first aired, the cast of Friends have enjoyed more success than others. REUTERS
The one where MiNDFOOD looks at what the cast of Friends are up to, 25 years after the hit sitcom first aired.

When it premiered on NBC on September 22, 1994, no-one could have quite predicted the enduring success that “Friends” would have across the globe.

When the comedy juggernaut finally came to a halt after 10 seasons and 236 episodes, the light-hearted US sitcom had already become one of the most culturally and financially successful TV series of all time.

Supported by some of the best writers, producers and directors of the time, there would be no “Friends” as we know it without Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow.

So what have each of the gang been up to since the show’s finale in 2004? Who’s still dining out on the show’s success? And who’s gone on to even better things?

Matthew Perry

The wisecracking grin behind the loveable Chandler Bing, Matthew Perry had been making moves away from comedy during the latter series of Friends, landing a recurring role in “The West Wing” and, earning him two Emmy nominations and, later, the lead role in the ill-fated series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

Chandler has since made a segue back towards the laughs, though, starring in sitcoms “Mr Sunshine”, “Go On” and a CBS reboot of “The Odd Couple”.

Jennifer Aniston

Arguably the greatest success story of the six-strong cast, Jennifer Aniston used Friends to launch her career to mega-star status.

Yet she also forged her own path to Hollywood A-lister in her own right, quickly managing to establish herself as a huge box-office drawcard and proving that there was far more to the versatile actress than just “Rachel from Friends”.

She’s still enjoying critical – and, indeed, financial – success thanks to current HBO series “Big Little Lies”, as well as highly-anticipated “The Morning Show” which launches on Apple TV on November 11.

Her enduring success is built on a slew of post-Friends blockbusters, including the likes of “Bruce Almighty”, “Marley & Me,” “The Break-Up,” “Just Go With It,” “Horrible Bosses,” and “We’re the Millers”.

Her work on movie adaptations, “The Fixer” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” is also on the horizon.

David Schwimmer

Moving right along to Rachel’s on-again, off-again boyfriend and fiance, Ross may not have been the most “liked” character on the show, the man who played him enjoyed popularity among fans and studios away from the Friends set.

Schwimmer was nominated for an Emmy for his part in “The People v. O.J. Simpson” and has made recurring guest appearances on “Will & Grace”.

You can also expect to see him in upcoming Netflix series “The Laundromat” with Meryl Streep, while he’s also building on his directing skills in “Thank You For Being a Friend,”.

He also stars in current comedy series “Intelligence”.

Matt Le Blanc

Not unlike Chandler, Matt Le Blanc’s character, the Italian-American wannabe actor Joey was a hit among fans for his jokes, his smiles and his relatable, cheery affability.

And that’s endured way beyond Friends, whatever he’s turned to.

Starring in the only spinoff of “Friends” to-date, Le Blanc reprised his role in “Joey” but only ran for two seasons after fielding poor reviews throughout.

Joey was returned again in Showtime’s “Episodes,” which enjoyed far greater success and landed Le Blanc a Golden Globe 

He dabbled in action movies (“Lost in Space” and two “Charlie’s Angels” films) but now, the laughs and smiles are back, with Le Blanc about to embark on a third season CBS sitcom series “Man with a Plan.”

Courtney Cox

After saying goodbye to Monica, Cox has struggled to emulate the dizzy heights of Friends ever since.

She landed her own show called Cougar Town in 2009. That lasted for six seasons, allowing her to try her hand at directing, but reprising her place in the “big time” has been hard to come by.

Despite that, her documentary series “Nine Months with Courteney Cox” has been renewed for a second season on Facebook.

She’s also Executive producer of an upcoming pilot by Maz Jobrani on Fox – due to be an animated series about three generations of immigrants who struggle to adjust to life after moving to the US.

Lisa Kudrow

Who can forget kooky Phoebe? Despite playing perhaps the most unique and quirky of the six characters, Lisa Kudrow has managed to shake off the Phoebe tag and distance herself from her previous, eccentric character of 10 years.

You’ll hear her voice in the animated Fox comedy “Therapy Dog”, while she’s a regular in the UK Channel 4 series “Feel Good.”

Kudrow has also landed herself as executive producer and a regular role alongside Whitney Cummings in Amazon’s “Good People.”

She’s also EP of docuseries “Who Do You Think You Are” and the gameshow “25 Words or Less.”


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