Friends is totally iconic and despite ending in 2004 – yes, 2004 – we still binge watch episodes of the hit show like it came out yesterday.
The popular American sitcom saw six best friends journeying through life together, experiencing the many curve balls and highs and lows it throws at us, in the most comical way.
Between 1994 and 2004, we laughed, we cried… and we still don’t know what the left phalange is! And since going their separate ways, the Friends cast – Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry – have all got up to very different things.
Let’s take a look at what the famous names behind our favourite sitcom characters – including some of their supporting cast like Maggie Wheeler who played Janice, and James Michael Tyler who played Gunther – are up to now…
While in our heads Rachel and Ross are living it up somewhere as a happily married couple, off-screen the actress behind the blonde bombshell has become one of the most famous stars in the world. Yes, Jennifer Aniston is now a household name and has won Primetime Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards. The 51 year old, who doesn’t look a day over 30, has starred in the likes of Marley & Me, Horrible Bosses and Bruce Almighty all of which have been huge box office successes. On the romance front, the beautiful star has endured failed relationships with actor Vince Vaughn and musician John Mayer, and she also experienced a very public split from former husband Brad Pitt. Jennifer then went on to marry Justin Theroux in 2015, but they split two years later.
Could we BE anymore excited that we’re talking about Matthew Perry? Yes, actor Matthew, 51, played iconic character Chandler Bing who never failed to amuse with his quips and endless sarcasm. Since Friends ended, Matthew has battled drink and drug addiction, with the star coining himself as a "sick guy" during a 2013 interview with ABC News. On the acting front, Matthew has appeared in The Whole Nine Yards and 17 Again, and was in a relationship with actress Lizzy Caplan from 2006 until 2012. The actor was recently spotted out and about sporting a very different look to that of his Friends days.
David Schwimmer gave us endless laughter as character Ross Geller on Friends. Ross is noted for his goofy but loveable personality, oh and his love for dinosaurs of course. And since starring in Friends, David Schwimmer has gone on to enjoy a successful career. The 53 year old, who is dad to a daughter named Cleo, nine, directed his first film, Run Fatboy Run with Simon Pegg in 2007, and more recently he portrayed Robert Kardashian in The People v. O. J. Simpson. Perhaps our favourite post-Ross role, however, was David playing Melman the giraffe in all of the animated Madagascar films. On the romance front, the star was married to artist Zoe Buckman, who he divorced in 2017 after seven years of marriage.
Courteney Cox is the amazing actress behind the amazing Monica Geller, who struggled through her childhood obesity issues before landing Chandler Bing and living happily ever after. Away from Friends, Courteney, 56, who is best pals with Jennifer Aniston, has a 16 year old daughter named Coco who she shares with former husband David Arquette. Now, Courteney is in a relationship with singer Johnny McDaid. On the career front, Courteney put cleaning-obsessed Monica to one side and earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for her role as Jules in Cougar Town for six years. She also set up her own successful production company, Coquette Productions, with husband David.
When Phoebe Buffay wasn’t singing Smelly Cat or having a weird sibling rivalry with twin Ursula, she was wowing us with her hilarious charm on the sitcom. The popular character is played by actress Lisa Kudrow, who has gone on to have a little more success than Phoebe did with her singing career. Lisa, 57, has starred in the likes of P.S. I Love You, Dr. Dolittle 2, Hotel For Dogs and The Girl On The Train since leaving Friends, but also revealed her struggles with body dysmorphia after the sitcom. "You see yourself on TV, and it’s that, ‘Oh my god, I’m just a mountain of a girl’," she said in 2019. "And I’m already bigger than Courteney and Jennifer. [I was] taller, bigger. My bones feel bigger, I just felt like this mountain of a woman next to them." Lisa has been married to French advertising executive Michel Stern since 1995 and they share 22 year old son Julian Murray Stern together.
Joey Tribbiani never failed to put a smile on our faces during his time on Friends. The actor did try to launch a spin-off named Joey after Friends finished, but it never really took off, much to our disappointment. However, away from Joey, Matt, 53, has won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and was nominated for four Primetime Emmys, so it’s safe to say he hasn’t been doing too badly. He was also announced as the host of Top Gear for the 18th series in 2016. And Matt has an adorable daughter named Marina who is now 16 years old, who he shares with ex wife Melissa McKnight. Currently, the 53 year old is dating Irish Top Gear producer Aurora Mulligan.
Oh my god…. Sorry, we just had to! Yes most of you will recognise Maggie Wheeler as the talented actress behind the weird and wonderful character of Janice, who recently made a rare appearance on the This Morning Show. The 59 year old looked incredible during the interview, joining from her home in New York City, rocking lengthy brunette waves and stylish clear glasses. When she’s not chasing after Chandler on-screen, in real life Maggie is married to Daniel Borden Wheeler, and the pair share two children together, named Gemma and Juno. In fact, Maggie was pregnant at the same time as her character Janice was, while filming the show! During her recent interview, Maggie said she’s hopeful she’ll be invited to appear in the Friends reunion special, and we hope so too!
James Michael Tyler
Oh Gunther, who could forget him? Played by James Michael Tyler, Gunther is perhaps best known for his undying love for Rachel Green while working in Central Perk, as well as his somewhat awkward nature. However, despite being a staple part of Friends, the actor isn’t keen to see a reboot. Talking to Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield in 2019, James said: "Why mess with perfection? I don’t know if a reboot would have the same weight or quality. They tied it up in a nice little bow." The 58 year old married Barbara Chadsey in 1995, before the pair divorced in 2014. The star has appeared in unaired pilot satire sitcom Nobody’s Watching, and a handful of films since leaving the sitcom.
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