Lauren Graham (Lorelai Gilmore)
THEN: Lauren Graham was a maternal dream as Lorelai Gilmore, a single mother raising her teenage daughter in the small town of Stars Hollow. She worked as the manager of a local inn, and spent her spare time drinking far too much coffee and making questionable romantic choices. Graham came into the role after making previous television turns in Townies, Good Company, Caroline in the City, and Conrad Bloom in the mid-’90s.
NOW: After saying goodbye to Lorelai with Gilmore Girls‘ 2007 series finale, the actress starred alongside Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, and Piper Perabo in the rom-com Because I Said So. She went on to appear in Flash of Genius (2008) and It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010), and saw her greatest success with the starring role of Sarah Braverman in NBC’s Parenthood from 2010 to 2015. She’ll return to role of Lorelai once more for Netflix’s Gilmore Girls reboot, expected later in 2016.
Alexis Bledel (Rory Gilmore)
THEN: Alexis Bledel played the youngest Gilmore girl, Rory. She started the show as a high school student with big dreams, slowly transitioning to an elite private school and then onto the Ivy League. Rory navigates dating life and growing up as she eyes a future as a journalist. The part was Bledel’s very first credited on-screen role, coming to the star after she made an uncredited appearance as an unnamed student in 1998’s Rushmore.
NOW: While still playing Rory, Bledel made the transition to the big screen, starring in Tuck Everlasting (2002) and Sin City (2005) before picking up one of her most famous roles to date as Lena Kaligaris in the 2005 film adaptation of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. One year after Gilmore Girls‘ wrap, Bledel reunited with Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, and Blake Lively for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. in recent years, the actress starred in Post Grad (2009) and Violet & Daisy (2011), and picked up a 2012 arc as Beth Dawes on Mad Men. After a recent appearance in the short-lived Fox show Us & Them, Bledel will play Rory in the Netflix reboot.
Milo Ventimiglia (Jess Mariano)
THEN: Rory found her brooding bad boy in Jess Mariano, played by Milo Ventimiglia. The actor joined Gilmore Girls in its second season, playing a high school student who comes to stay with his uncle Luke in Stars Hollow. Despite his intelligence, he slacked off in school, finally finding his place as an adult when he becomes a published author. Ventimiglia racked up roles in the ’90s before coming to the small town, booking small parts in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and She’s All That.
NOW: Ventimiglia played Jess on and off throughout Gilmore Girls‘ run, also appearing in Boston Public and American Dreams during that time. He also starred alongside Sylvester Stallone in 2006’s Rocky Balboa, and appeared in Pathology (2008), That’s My Boy (2012), and Grown Ups 2 (2013). The star, who will also hit Netflix for the reboot, is perhaps most famous for his TV work, which includes turns in Heroes as Peter Petrelli, Gotham as Jason Lennon, The League as Agent Baker, and a current gig in This Is Us as Jack Pearson.
Scott Patterson (Luke Danes)
THEN: Scott Patterson kept the Gilmore girls in coffee as diner owner Luke Danes. After making an appearance in Little Big League (1994) and mid-’90s TV cameos in Seinfeld and Will & Grace, Patterson took on the role of the local proprietor. A close friend to both Rory and Lorelai, Luke finally falls for Lorelai but things get complicated when he learns of a child he didn’t know he had, ending the series with the couple’s fate in limbo.
NOW: In Gilmore Girls’ final year, Patterson began a stint as Agent Peter Strahm in the Saw movies. He also made a late 2000s turn as Gary Tolchuck in The CW’s Aliens in America, and made cameos in 90210 and CSI: Miami. Patterson will play Luke once more alongside his former costars.
Matt Czuchry (Logan Huntzberger)
THEN: Matt Czuchry played Logan Huntzberger, Rory’s college boyfriend. The heir to a newspaper fortune, Logan met Rory at Yale and got off to a rocky start while working on the Yale Daily News together. In the final season, as he navigates complicated business ventures, Logan proposes to Rory but the two never make it down the aisle. Czuchry made a name for himself in the early 2000s with gigs in Freaks and Geeks, Young Americans, Eight Legged Freaks, and Veronica Mars. Before appearing as Logan, he also starred opposite his onscreen rival Ventimiglia in a 2000 episode of Opposite Sex.
NOW: Soon after Gilmore Girls‘ final episode, Czuchry picked up a gig as Chris Kennedy in the Friday Night Lights TV show. He also appeared as Tucker Max in the big-screen adaptation of the author’s book I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell before spending seven years playing Cary Agos in The Good Wife. Czuchry is expected to play Logan in two episodes of the reboot.
Keiko Agena (Lane Kim)
THEN: Rory found her best childhood friend in Lane Kim, played by Keiko Agena. The daughter of a strict and religious Korean mother, Lane had big dreams of playing in a rock band and found herself with a surprising future when she married young and had twins. Agena picked up the gig after making earlier TV appearances in Sister, Sister, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Felicity.
NOW: As she continued her turn as Lane, Agena lent her voice to a few episodes of Kim Possible as Yori and hit the big screen in 2004’s Hair Show. She spent the late 2000s booking cameo roles in ER, Castle, and House M.D., and, in recent years, had a small part in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), picked up a three-episode arc in Shameless, and appeared in an episode of Scandal. Agena will return for the reboot.
Jackson Douglas (Jackson Belleville)
THEN: In his first major role, Jackson Douglas played Jackson Belleville, a produce supplier with a soft spot for Sookie St. James (Melissa McCarthy). The two begin dating, eventually tying the knot and welcoming two children together. As he played the vegetable enthusiast, Douglas made brief appearances on MADtv and Grounded for Life.
NOW: Douglas, who will return as Jackson in Netflix’s Gilmore Girls revival, made a cameo in 2012’s The Guilt Trip but largely focused on voice work after the show. He has lent his vocals to a variety of Family Guy episodes through the years, playing Jason Voorhees, Dale Robinson, and a vacuum repairman, among others.
Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore)
THEN: Kelly Bishop played Emily Gilmore, the mother to Graham’s Lorelai and grandmother to Bledel’s Rory. A member of high society, Emily is focused on charity dinners and her granddaughter’s future, and attempts to reconnect with her daughter through a system of bartering. An industry vet, Bishop spent decades acting before playing Emily. Her pre-Gilmore credits include roles in Hawaii Five-O, As the World Turns, Law & Order, and Murphy Brown, and a gig as Baby’s mother, Marjorie Houseman, in Dirty Dancing (1987).
NOW: As Gilmore Girls aired, Bishop picked up cameo work in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, going on to appear in Army Wives and Mercy after the 2007 finale. The actress, who will also appear in the reboot, hit the big screen in Friends with Kids (2011), and starred as Fanny Flowers in ABC Family’s Bunheads in 2013.
David Sutcliffe (Christopher Hayden)
THEN: First appearing at the end of Gilmore Girls‘ first season, David Sutcliffe played Christopher Hayden, Lorelai’s high school boyfriend and Rory’s father. He pops in and out of the Gilmore girls’ lives, also welcoming a second child with a woman named Sherry, and finally reconnecting with Lorelai as the series winds down. Sutcliffe came into the role after booking small screen roles in Will & Grace, Friends, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
NOW: As he made intermittent appearances as Christopher, Sutcliffe starred in The Division and I’m with Her, also hitting the big screen in Under the Tuscan Sun (2003) and Happy Endings (2005). After Gilmore, he played Officer Kevin Nelson on Private Practice from 2007 to 2009, and continued his TV work with a 2013 gig on Cracked and a 2015 turn on Proof. Sutcliffe is currently expected to hit Netflix in one episode of the reboot.
Edward Herrmann (Richard Gilmore)
THEN: Edward Herrmann boasted one of the longest résumés of any Gilmore Girls star when the premiere aired in 2000. He began his acting career in the 1970s, appearing in star-studded films like The Great Gatsby, The Great Waldo Pepper, and Take Down. Herrmann brought real-life characters to the screen when he played Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lou Gehrig in TV movies, earning Emmy nominations for his turn as the 32nd President of the United States. Before taking on the role of Richard Gilmore, the husband to Emily, father to Lorelai, and grandfather to Rory, Herrmann also made appearances in Reds (1981), Annie (1982), The Lost Boys (1987), Ri¢hie Ri¢h (1994), and Nixon (1995), and hit the small screen in M*A*S*H, St. Elsewhere, The Practice, and Wings.
NOW: Herrmann spent seven years playing the Yale alum businessman, also appearing in Intolerable Cruelty (2003), The Aviator (2004), and Factory Girl (2006) during that time. After the show ended, he had an arc as Dr. Norman Shales on Grey’s Anatomy, going on to make appearances in 30 Rock, Law & Order, How I Met Your Mother, and The Good Wife. Herrmann turned to voice work in his final years, lending his vocals to American Dad! and The Wolf of Wall Street. The actor died at the age of 71 in 2014.
Liz Torres (Miss Patty)
THEN: Liz Torres found her place in Stars Hollow as Miss Patty, the town’s dance instructor with a colorful past, wild dating life, and love for gossip. Torres started playing the owner of the dance studio after more than three decades in Hollywood. Her early work was largely focused on television, with gigs in Phyllis and All in the Family in the ’70s, The Jeffersons and Checking In in the ’80s, and Emmy-nominated turns in The Famous Teddy Z in 1989 and The John Larroquette Show in the ’90s.
NOW: Torres played Miss Patty through Gilmore‘s final season, and continued her television work after 2007. She made cameos in Private Practice in 2008, American Dad! and Desperate Housewives in 2009, Scandal in 2012, and Devious Maids in 2013. She will play Miss Patty once more later this year, thanks to Netflix.
Jared Padalecki (Dean Forester)
THEN: A favorite of the early seasons, Jared Padalecki played Dean Forester, Rory’s first kiss and first boyfriend who works at Doose’s market. A new kid in town, Dean moves to Stars Hollow from Chicago and quickly falls for Rory. The two date for months but eventually break up, leaving Dean available to meet his future wife Lindsay — a relationship that does not end well. Padalecki came into the role after playing bit parts in A Little Inside (1999) and the 2000 TV movie Silent Witness.
NOW: As he played Dean, Padalecki filled out his resume with New York Minute (2004), Flight of the Phoenix (2004), and House of Wax (2005). The actor went on to star in Friday the 13th (2009), and picked up his biggest gig as Sam Winchester, lending his voice to 21 episodes of Supernatural‘s animated series, and appearing in Supernatural for more than 10 years. He is set to return to Dean in one 2016 episode.
Melissa McCarthy (Sookie St. James)
THEN: Melissa McCarthy starred as Sookie St. James in all seven season of Gilmore Girls. A clumsy chef, Sookie works at the inn with Lorelai and is her best friend. Over the course of the show, she marries and has kids with Jackson and continues her culinary evolution. She booked the gig after after making her first appearance in cousin Jenny McCarthy’s The Jenny McCarthy Show.
NOW: During the show’s run, McCarthy starred in Charlie’s Angels (2000), Pumpkin (2002), The Third Wheel (2002), and The Nines (2007). After the show’s wrap, she quickly became the most famous alumni. McCarthy’s comedy career took off with a late 2000s role in Samantha Who?, soon transitioning to big-screen work with The Back-up Plan (2010), Life as We Know It (2010), Bridesmaids (2011), This Is 40 (2012), Identity Thief (2013), The Hangover Part III (2013), The Heat (2013), Tammy (2014), St. Vincent (2014), and Spy (2015). The star spent 2010 to 2016 appearing on Mike & Molly, but is not expected to return to the Gilmore Girls revival as she tweeted to a fan asking about her involvement, “Thanks for the invite, but sadly no one asked me or Sookie to come back to Stars Hollow. Wish them all the best!!”
Yanic Truesdale (Michel Gerard)
THEN: Quebec native Yanic Truesdale joined Gilmore Girls as Michel Gerard, a Frenchman who runs the desk at Lorelai’s inn. His sophisticated taste and hatred for carbs always brought a little humor to the job. The role was hardly a stretch for Truesdale, as he spent much of his career appearing in French-language TV shows and TV movies.
NOW: Truesdale continued to act after Gilmore Girls aired its series finale, largely focusing on French productions. The star branched out in recent years, opening a cycling studio called Spin Énergie in Montreal. He recently took a break from the stationery bike to return to Michel for Gilmore Girls‘ Netflix run.
Liza Weil (Paris Geller)
THEN: In one of her first roles, Liza Weil played Paris Geller in all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls. A school rival-turned-college roommate-turned-close friend of Rory’s, Paris meets Rory at Chilton, going on to attend Yale with her frenemy. She excels at the university, and develops a relationship first with an older college professor who later passes away, and later with her former Yale Daily News editor Doyle (Danny Strong). Weil’s pre-Paris roles include a memorable turn as Karen Larson in The West Wing.
NOW: Weil found her way to Shondaland soon after Gilmore. She played Alison Clark in a 2009 episode of Grey’s Anatomy, going on to cameo in a 2011 episode of Private Practice. She continued to work with Shonda Rhimes, playing Amanda Tanner in six 2012 episodes of Scandal before nabbing the role of Bonnie Winterbottom in How to Get Away with Murder. She will step away from Annalise Keating for enough time to film an episode of the Gilmore Girls revival.
Sean Gunn (Kirk Gleason)
THEN: One of Gilmore Girls‘ most frequent stars, Sean Gunn played Kirk Gleason for seven years after making a brief season one appearance as a minor character named Mick. A jack-of-all-trades, Kirk worked various odd jobs around Stars Hollow and develops over the seasons as he considers moving out of his mother’s house and finally gets a girlfriend when he meets Lulu.
NOW: As he played Kirk, Gunn made small screen appearances in 3rd Rock from the Sun and Yes, Dear, also hitting the big screen in Pearl Harbor (2001). After the show’s wrap, he picked up a role as Rooster in ABC’s October Road, appeared in Glee in 2012 and Bunheads in 2013, and brought his talents to 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which was directed by his older brother James Gunn.
Michael Winters (Taylor Doose)
THEN: Michael Winters is still most famous for his Gilmore Girls role of Taylor Doose. He played the town selectman and owner of Doose’s Market, a man with somewhat good intentions who often becomes an annoyance for the townspeople. Before playing Taylor, Winters made ’90s appearances in L.A. Law, Cheers, The Nanny, Home Improvement, Ally McBeal, and Friends.
NOW: As he played Taylor, Winters booked mid-2000s cameo gigs in The Practice, Frasier, NYPD Blue, and Days of Our Lives. While Winters hasn’t held any credited acting roles since Gilmore‘s 2007 wrap, he will return to Taylor for an episode of the revival.
Sally Struthers (Babette Dell)
THEN: Sally Struthers found her home in Stars Hollow as Babette Dell, Rory and Lorelai’s neighbor. A town gossip, Babette loves cats and her husband Morey. Before joining the girls, Struthers was best known for her seven-year turn as Gloria Bunker-Stivic on All in the Family in the 1970s. She also starred in Five Easy Pieces (1970) and The Getaway (1972), continued her small screen work in Gloria, Nine to Five, and TaleSpin, and lent her voice to Dinosaurs.
NOW: During her time as Babette, Struthers picked up a 2002 arc on General Hospital and a 2003-2006 turn on Still Standing. Struthers has made a few rare onscreen appearances since the 2007 finale and will play Babette once more in the reboot.
Danny Strong (Doyle McMaster)
THEN: Danny Strong joined Gilmore Girls in the show’s fourth season, playing Yale student Doyle McMaster. Doyle is the editor of the college paper, and develops a relationship with Paris. The two date for months, taking great joy in the fact that they each did a stint dating the editor of the Yale Daily News. Strong kicked off his acting career in the mid-’90s, hitting the small screen in Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Boy Meets World, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Seinfeld, and the Clueless TV show. Before playing Doyle, Strong spent a few years on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Jonathan Levinson, and had a small role in the Oscar-nominated Seabiscuit.
NOW: Following Gilmore Girls, Strong made a 2011 appearance in How I Met Your Mother, and a 2012 appearance in Grey’s Anatomy. The actor also played Danny Siegel in five episodes of Mad Men, and in recent years, picked up a small role in 2013’s Lee Daniels’ The Butler, for which he also wrote the screenplay, and played Albert Fekus in four episodes of Justified as he co-created Empire. He’ll reunite with his costars for one episode of Gilmore Girls this year.
Emily Kuroda (Mrs. Kim)
THEN: Emily Kuroda brought Mrs. Kim to Stars Hollow. While she cared deeply for her daughter Lane, Mrs. Kim’s strict parenting often led to problems between the two. She was always slightly skeptical of Lorelai and was famous for the rules she kept in the Kim household. A prolific stage actress, Kuroda nabbed the gig after spending nearly two decades on the small screen. Her pre-Gilmore roles included turns in Gung Ho, Matlock, MacGyver, and L.A. Law in the ’80s and Columbo, Knots Landing Doogie Howser, M.D., Melrose Place, and The Young and the Restless in the ’90s.
THEN: Kuroda made appearances as Mrs. Kim through Gilmore Girls‘ final season. Soon after, she picked up a part in CBS’ Under One Roof, and went on to hit the big screen in Hotel for Dogs (2009) and RED (2010). In recent years, she starred as Mrs. Lee in Drop Dead Diva and as Dr. Kimborough in The Bold and the Beautiful, and will return as Mrs. Kim for the Netflix reboot.
Todd Lowe (Zack Van Gerbig)
THEN: Todd Lowe joined Gilmore Girls in the show’s third season, playing Zack Van Gerbig, a member of Lane’s band, Hep Alien. Zack goes through quite the evolution over the course of the series’ back half, eventually marrying Lane and becoming a father. Lowe picked up the role after making previous appearances in Where the Heart Is (2000), The Princess Diaries (2001), and ’90s episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger.
NOW: After saying goodbye to Zack, Lowe continued his television work with roles in NCIS, CSI: Miami, and Bunheads before playing Terry Bellefleur for six years on True Blood. Lowe, who recently made a cameo in a 2015 episode of Criminal Minds, will return for one episode of Gilmore Girls.