thirtysomething cast: Where are they now?
The stars of the Emmy-winning drama series have continued to have thriving careers. Find out what they're up to these days.
thirtysomething, then and now
Before This Is Us, there was thirtysomething, an ensemble drama about a group of friends in their 30s living in Philadelphia and trying to navigate the challenges of career, family, love, and growing up. Thirtysomething remains a beloved series for its groundbreaking exploration of the angst and unique challenges facing baby boomers entering adulthood. Even though it only lasted four seasons, it had a lasting impact on the television landscape influencing everything from Seinfeld to Parenthood. A sequel series called thirtysomething(else), which was meant to focus on the adult children of the show's original characters, filmed a pilot in 2020 with much of the original cast, but it was passed on and canceled by ABC before it ever went to air.
The term "thirtysomething" first entered the Oxford English Dictionary as a word to describe people in their 30s in 1993 as a result of the show's popularity. Many of the cast members have gone on to memorable roles (on and off camera) in TV in the years since.
Mel Harris (Hope Murdoch Steadman)
Mel Harris was a relative newcomer when she was cast as Hope Murdoch Steadman, a dissatisfied stay-at-home mom with dreams of being a writer.
Since then, Harris had a series regular role on Brady Bunch-esque divorce comedy Something So Right, as a twice-divorced woman who finds love again (Harris herself has been married six times). She had recurring roles on Hulu's Shut Eye (2016) and Bravo's Imposters (2017), as well as guest-starred in a holiday episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as Greg's (Santino Fontana) mom.
Ken Olin (Michael Steadman)
Before thirtysomething, Ken Olin made memorable impressions with his swarthy good looks in single-season stints on Hill Street Blues and Falcon Crest. He shot to major stardom as Michael Steadman, a man struggling to be a good husband and father while working in advertising and dreaming of being a writer. On thirtysomething, Olin also fed his appetite for behind-the-camera work, directing several episodes.
Olin is now a major force in television, executive producing shows like Alias, Brothers & Sisters, Sleepy Hollow, and This Is Us. He still regularly directs as well, often on the shows he has a hand in producing, notably helming the devastating "The Train" episode of This Is Us, as well as its heart-wrenching series finale.
Timothy Busfield (Elliot Weston)
Timothy Busfield had already had major recurring roles on Reggie and Trapper John, M.D. when he took on the role of Elliot Weston, a graphic designer who works with and is friends with Michael and Hope Steadman.
Since thirtysomething ended in 1991, Busfield has gone on to a string of supporting roles on screens big and small. He's been a favored player of writer Aaron Sorkin, appearing as White House Correspondent Danny Concannon on The West Wing and Studio 60 director Cal Shanley on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
Busfield has had regular roles on shows such as the 2019 Fox series Almost Family and the ABC thriller For Life from 2020 to 2021. Busfield also took an interest behind the camera during thirtysomething and has moved steadily into television directing in the years since, overseeing episodes of This Is Us, Nashville, Rosewood, and more.
Polly Draper (Ellyn Warren)
Polly Draper first caught Hollywood's eye with her portrayal of thirtysomething's Ellyn Warren, Hope Steadman's childhood friend and a career politician with a rocky love life. She earned an Emmy nomination for playing Warren in the show's first season.
Since then, Draper has guest-starred on a diverse range of shows from The Good Wife to Billions to Hacks. The actress has also switched more to writing and directing, creating Nickelodeon's musical comedy series The Naked Brothers Band, which starred her two sons Nat and Alex Wolff, and the 2018 film Stella's Last Weekend, among others.
Peter Horton (Gary Sheperd)
Peter Horton broke hearts as the womanizing literature professor Gary Sheperd, who met abrupt tragedy only shortly after settling down with Susannah Hart.
Horton continues to act in guest star roles and appeared more regularly on the short-lived Brimstone and The Geena Davis Show. But, after delving into television directing on thirtysomething, his interests have mainly been behind the camera. He's directed numerous episodes of television, including the pilot episode of Grey's Anatomy, on which he also served as an executive producer from 2005 to 2007. He has also directed multiple episodes of New Amsterdam, another series he executive produced.
Melanie Mayron (Melissa Steadman)
Melanie Mayron won an Emmy for her portrayal of Melissa Steadman, a successful photographer who was also Michael's cousin and Gary's ex-girlfriend.
She has continued to take on guest-starring roles in television, and most notably, recurred on Jane the Virgin as Marlene Donaldson, Jane's (Gina Rodriguez) college adviser.
Mayron is yet another member of the thirtysomething cast to build an active life behind the camera. She's directed episodes of shows ranging from Dynasty to Grace and Frankie to Julia to Pretty Little Liars.
Patricia Wettig (Nancy Krieger Weston)
Already married to Olin when she scored the role of Nancy Weston, Wettig and her real-life husband often confused audiences as her character was married to Busfield's Elliot. She had a recurring role on St. Elsewhere before breaking out as a dramatic actress as dissatisfied homemaker and aspiring artist Nancy Krieger Weston.
Wettig had a memorable role as Billy Crystal's wife in 1991's City Slickers, but has since mostly appeared in recurring roles on television ranging from Alias to portraying the vice president (and eventual president) on Prison Break. She had another major role as Holly Harper, the family friend and secret mistress of William Walker (Tom Skerritt), on Brothers & Sisters.
David Clennon (Miles Drentell)
David Clennon already had a robust list of credits when he signed on to play Miles Drentell, Michael and Elliot's ethically challenged, ruthless boss.
Clennon reprised the role nearly a decade later on Once and Again, marking the rare appearance of the same character on two series that are not spin-offs or directly correlating properties. In addition to many guest-starring roles, he's played recurring characters on Ghost Whisperer, Weeds, House of Cards, Code Black, and more.
Patricia Kalember (Susannah Hart)
Patricia Kalember had several series regular roles under her belt when she joined thirtysomething in its second season as Susannah Hart, the social worker who won the heart of womanizing Gary Sheperd and ultimately faced immense tragedy.
Kalember has had an impressive onscreen career since, portraying level-headed sister "Georgie" Reed Whitsig on the NBC drama Sisters. She recurred as a judge on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as featuring on shows like Veep, Madam Secretary, and Orange Is the New Black. She's also been seen as Kate Egan on Starz's Power, as well as the 2022 spin-off Power Book IV: Force, and played Joan on Amazon's reboot of The Tick.
Some of Kalember's film work includes roles in Jacob's Ladder (1990), Signs (2002), Rabbit Hole (2010), and Limitless (2011).
David Marshall Grant (Russell Weller)
As Russell Weller, David Marshall Grant played one of the first "gay best friends" on television and was the subject of a story line that cost the network several sponsors when an episode depicted his relationship with another man.
Grant has continued to act, playing A.D.A. Charlie Harmon on Law & Order, as well as guest-starring on shows like Alias, CSI: Miami, and Party Down. He had a memorable turn as Andy's (Anne Hathaway) father Richard in The Devil Wears Prada (2006).
However, like many of his costars, he's concentrated his efforts behind the camera, executive producing shows like Smash, Code Black, and A Million Little Things.