‘Friends’ Cast, 25 Years Later: Who’s Had the Best Career — and What Should They Do Next?

IndieWire | 9/22/2019 | Staff
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When you think of “Friends,” you think of the cast first. Sure, the writing was great — from the dialogue to the slow-burn romances — and the staging, blocking, and presentation were all key to making it a comedy for the ages, it’s the six friends that made NBC’s sitcom iconic.

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Cast - Friends - Series - Level - Stardom

Though some of the cast was known prior to “Friends,” this series launched them into another stratosphere — a level of stardom that gave them the financial security and audience draw to do just about anything they wanted, while it also came with the curse of only seeing each actor as their “Friends” character.

They all found a way to balance perceptions with reality, either leaning into audience expectations or steering clear in order to pave a new path. But who’s been the most successful? If “Friends” was the launching pad, who’s landed a prime spot in the stars? Among the cast of six — Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow — who’s succeeding artistically, commercially, or both?

Thing - Years - Friends - Zeitgeist - Actors

One thing’s clear, 25 years later: “Friends” isn’t drifting out of the zeitgeist, and neither are its actors. So take a look back on what they’ve done since “Friends,” and let’s consider together what we want to see them do next.

Bottom Line: Courteney Cox was one of the better known cast members when “Friends” began — the front-row dancer pulled onstage by Bruce Springsteen, Alex P. Keaton’s girlfriend on “Family Ties,” Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriend on “Seinfeld,” and the Miami Dolphins’ best publicist in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” — and she had one of the better runs while “Friends” was on the air, too, courtesy of the “Scream” franchise. And among the main cast, she also has the...
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