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Married… with Children, Then and Now
It’s been two decades since we said goodbye to the Bundys, the dysfunctional family at the center of Married…with Children. The Fox sitcom ran for 11 seasons and over 250 episodes, airing its finale on June 9, 1997. Ahead, see what Al, Peggy, Kelly, Bud, and all the rest of the cast are up to now.
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Ed O’Neill was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards for playing the misanthropic Al Bundy on Married…with Children. Since the series ended, his credits include 1999’s The Bone Collector, the 2000 miniseries The 10th Kingdom, the 2003–04 Dragnet remake, 2004’s Spartan, and 2016’s Finding Dory — but his most notable post-Married role has been that of another sitcom patriarch. Since 2009, O’Neill has played Jay Pritchett on Modern Family, for which he has been nominated for three Emmys and won four SAG Awards (as part of the ensemble).
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At the beginning of her career, Katey Sagal pursued music, performing backing vocals for a variety of famous artists, including as one of Bette Midler’s Harlettes. She has released two solo albums, 1994’s Well… and 2004’s Room. Before she became Al Bundy’s vapid wife Peggy on Married…with Children (for which she received four Golden Globe nominations), Sagal’s screen acting credits included a handful of TV movies and a role on the short-lived Mary Tyler Moore sitcom Mary. Post-Married, she had a guest role on That ‘70s Show, on which she played Steven Hyde’s mother; starred on the short-lived 2000 sitcom Tucker; had a lead role on 8 Simple Rules, which ran from 2002–05; and voiced the character Leela on Futurama. In addition to her role as Peggy, Sagal is best known for playing Gemma Teller Morrow, Jax Teller’s mother, on Sons of Anarchy from 2008–2014. Most recently, she appeared in the films Pitch Perfect 2 and Bleed for This and the new TV remake of Dirty Dancing. She is currently part of the main cast of CBS’ Superior Donuts.
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David Faustino was 13 years old, with a little over that many film and TV appearances under his belt, when he signed on to play Al and Peggy’s son Bud Bundy in 1987. Since Married…with Children ended 20 years ago, he’s racked up dozens of credits in film and TV, including appearances in episodes of Modern Family, Entourage, and Bones. He has done extensive voice acting, most notably playing the character Mako in both the video game and TV series The Legend of Korra. In 2009, he created and starred in his own web series, Star-ving, which is loosely based on his life and on which all three of his main Married…with Children costars appeared.
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Christina Applegate had already appeared in a handful of films and TV series when she joined Married…with Children as Al and Peggy’s promiscuous daughter Kelly at the age of 15. She has been extremely prolific since then, with major roles in the 1991’s Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, 2002’s The Sweetest Thing, 2003’s View from the Top, 2015’s Vacation, and 2016’s Bad Moms. Her best-known film role, however, is as Veronica Corningstone in 2004’s Anchorman and its 2013 sequel. On TV, Applegate starred in Jesse from 1998–2000, in Samantha Who? from 2007–09, and in Up All Night from 2011-12. She has hosted Saturday Night Live twice, in 1993 and 2012, and won an Emmy in 2003 for her guest role on Friends, where she played Rachel’s sister. An accomplished stage actress, Applegate picked up a Tony nomination for starring in the 2005 revival of Sweet Charity; she was also one of the founding members of the Pussycat Dolls in 1995.
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Before he joined the cast of Married…with Children as Jefferson D’Arcy in 1989, Ted McGinley already had an impressive resume in film and TV, having been a series regular on Happy Days from 1980–84, on The Love Boat from 1983–87, and on Dynasty from 1986–87, as well as having played the main frat-boy antagonist in 1984’s Revenge of the Nerds, among other credits. Since Married, McGinley has had recurring roles on Sports Night and The West Wing, a main role on Hope & Faith from 2003–06, and made appearances on series including The Mentalist, Mad Men, and Castle, among other series and films.
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Before she starred on Married…with Children as Peggy’s best friend Marcy, Amanda Bearse had a recurring role on All My Children from 1982–83 and starred in the 1985 horror film Fright Night. Since the end of the series, she had made appearances on Drop Dead Diva and Anger Management, but her focus has shifted from acting to directing. In addition to having helmed 31 episodes of Married…with Children, Bearse has directed episodes of The Jamie Foxx Show, Jesse, Dharma & Greg, Reba, and MADtv, among other series.
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Though best known in the TV sphere for playing Steve Rhoades on Married…with Children and having appeared on dozens of other shows, including The West Wing, Law & Order, 30 Rock, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, David Garrison is primarily a stage actor. He was nominated for a Tony for best Feature Actor in a Musical in 1980 for his performance in A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine; his other theatre credits include Pirates of Penzance, Titanic, and most notably Wicked, in which he has played the Wizard both on Broadway and in touring productions.