THEN AND NOW: The stars of 'Friends'
"Friends" premiered on NBC in 1994. NBC
NBC's hit show "Friends" premiered in September 1994 and focused on the lives of six characters.
Since the series ended in May 2004, the cast has directed other TV shows and films.
Jennifer Aniston stars on "The Morning Show," and Paul Rudd is now a Marvel star.
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Jennifer Aniston played Rachel Green, by far the most stylish character on the series.
Rachel had two sisters named Jill and Amy, played by Reese Witherspoon and Christina Applegate. Warner Bros. television
At the beginning of the series, Rachel left her fiancé Barry at the altar. In an effort to be independent and not live on her father's wealth, she got a job at Central Perk and cut off all of her credit cards.
By the end of the show, she had a daughter named Emma with Ross who had been in a relationship throughout the series.
Aniston won a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Alex Levy on Apple TV Plus' The Morning Show.
Jennifer Aniston in January 2020. Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP
Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are serving as executive producers on the show, which has a second season on the way.
Aniston has continued to demonstrate her comedic skills with tons of films over the years.
She starred in comedies like "He Just Not That Into You", "Horrible Bosses" and "We Are the Millers". Aniston was also recognized for her philanthropic efforts with St. Jude's Research Hospital and Stand Up to Cancer.
The actress has always spoken loudly about closing questions about her personal life. In 2016, she wrote a powerful essay in which she clapped back on people who physically shamed her and speculated on whether or not she is pregnant.
"I'm tired of the athletic control and body embarrassment that goes on daily under the guise of 'Journalism', 'First Amendment' and 'Celebrity News'," she wrote.
"We are complete with or without a partner, with or without a child," added Aniston. "We can decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone."
Her essay was also praised by then-husband Justin Theroux, whom she married in 2015. The couple announced their separation in early 2018.
Aniston starred as former beauty contest queen Rosie in the 2018 Netflix movie Dumplin, and co-directed Murder Mystery with Adam Sandler.
Aniston and the main characters on "Friends" also meet for an unwritten special for HBO Max.
David Schwimmer played Ross Geller, a paleontologist who had been obsessed with dinosaurs since childhood.
Ross had had a crush on Rachel since they went to high school together. NBC
Ross had a son named Ben with a woman named Carol whom he divorced after learning that she was a lesbian. Ross had another failed relationship with Emily whom he married after a whirlwind relationship in England. They split after Emily asked Ross to cut off contact with Rachel, but he refused.
Schwimmer appeared on NBC's "Will & Grace" revival and the film "The Laundromat" (2019).
David Schwimmer in October 2019. Birdie Thompson / AdMedia / MediaPunch / IPX
The actor pronounced Melman the giraffe in the "Madagascar" films. Schwimmer played as Robert Kardashian in The People vs. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story. His performance as a lawyer also earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Film at the 2016 awards ceremony.
Schwimmer also had a recurring role as Debra Messing's on-screen love interest, a blogger named Noah, in the revival of Will & Grace.
In October 2018, Schwimmer made headlines for his seemingly eerie resemblance to an alleged criminal in Blackpool, England. The "Friends" star noticed the news and made a parody video in which he pretended to steal a case of beer and plead innocent.
Schwimmer currently plays the sitcom "Intelligence," which was released in 2020 on Peacock (NBC Universal's Streaming Service).
Ross' younger sister and cook Monica Geller was portrayed by Courteney Cox.
Monica was very competitive and didn't want to lose. NBC
Monica's cleanliness frustrated her friends, but they always went to her apartment to hang out when they weren't at the Central Perk.
She and Chandler married in season seven and adopted twins from a woman named Erica, played by Anna Faris. At the series finale, Monica and Chandler moved out of their purple apartment to raise their children in Westchester, out of town.
Cox will repeat her role as Gale Weathers for the star-studded film "Scream 5".
Courteney Cox played Gale Weathers-Riley on "Scream 4". Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP
The cast for the upcoming film includes returning cast members Neve Campbell and David Arquette as well as Jenna Ortega, season two star of You and actor Jack Quaid of The Boys.
After "Friends", Cox played "Cougar Town" on her own show. The series lasted six seasons and began on ABC and ended in 2015 on TBS.
You may also have seen the actress on shows like Shameless, Modern Family, and Drunk History.
In 2014, Cox got engaged to Snow Patrol guitarist Johnny McDaid, whom she met through Ed Sheeran. During an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in January 2019, Cox said that she and McDaid are no longer engaged, but they are still together.
"He's not my fiancé. We were engaged to be married, but now we're just together," she said. "It's actually better than before. Everything is better."
She's still good friends with costars Aniston and Kudrow, and the three women are part of a group chat. Occasionally they also meet.
Matthew Perry portrayed Chandler Bing, who always made sarcastic comments.
His full name is Chandler Muriel Bing. NBC
Chandler was initially afraid of engagement, but that changed when he started dating Monica in season five.
Perry continued to appear primarily on television shows and was open to his struggles with substance abuse.
Matthew Perry appeared on "Scrubs" and "The Good Fight". Theo Wargo / Getty Images
During "Friends," Perry became addicted to pain medication, lost weight dramatically, and checked into rehab in 1997. Since then, he has made an effort to focus on sobriety.
In August 2018, the actor announced that he had been hospitalized for several months after undergoing gastrointestinal surgery. Perry also alerted fans after he tweeted that he was "kicked out of therapy". He later clarified and wrote, "Simple people, it was just a session. I'm back in therapy where I belong."
On the acting front, Perry starred as Ted Kennedy in "The Kennedy's After Camelot". He also starred in "The Odd Couple", "Go On" and "Mr. Sunshine".
In February 2020, Perry was the last of the six main characters on Friends to join Instagram, much to the delight of his colleagues and fans.
Lisa Kudrow played Phoebe Buffay, known for her incredibly catchy "Smelly Cat" song.
Phoebe had a fancy sense of style. NBC
Phoebe worked as a massage therapist and in her spare time played guitar at Central Perk. She also had a twin sister named Ursula who had a brief date with Joey.
Kudrow is now an actor, producer, and writer.
Lisa Kudrow in November 2019. Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP
After "Friends", Kudrow landed parts in films such as "P.S. I Love You", "Neighbors", "Easy A" and "The Girl on the Train". You may also have seen her as Congressman Josephine Marcus on several episodes of ABC's "Scandal."
In addition, Kudrow gave her voice to the characters of "BoJack Horseman" and "The Boss Baby". She also played Lori-Anne Schmidt in "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and Sheree in "Grace and Frankie" as well as guest appearances on "The Good Place".
Kudrow also created and starred on the Showtime series "Web Therapy," which ran for four seasons and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy.
Her last roles were on Netflix's "Space Force" with Steve Carell and "Feel Good".
The actress, who played Charmaine in "Booksmart", shared her struggles with body image and said she felt "like that mountain of a woman" next to Aniston and Cox.
"I have a whole battle all the time," Kudrow told comedian Marc Maron while appearing on his podcast. "I ended up 'So what? All right. You're older. That's a good thing. Why is that a bad thing?'"
Matt LeBlanc played as the fighting actor Joey Tribbiani.
He wasn't the smartest person in his group of friends. NBC
Joey was a womanizer and became obsessed with food, especially pizza and meatball sandwiches. His signature pick-up line was "How are you?"
LeBlanc's last role was on the CBS sitcom "Man With a Plan," which lasted four seasons.
Matt LeBlanc played Lucy Liu's on-screen friend in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Alexander G. Seyum / Invision / AP
After "Friends", LeBlanc landed a spin-off series called "Joey". The series did not match the success of its predecessor and ended after two seasons.
Since then, LeBlanc has appeared in Kudrow's "Web Therapy". The actor's role on Episodes, which ran from 2011 to 2017, earned him a Golden Globes win for best actor performance in a comedy or music television series.
LeBlanc was also the cohost and presenter of the British show "Top Gear" from 2016 to 2019.
Paul Rudd portrayed Mike Hannigan, Phoebe's husband.
Mike initially didn't want to remarry after going through a failed relationship. NBC
They met after Joey Phoebe went on a blind date for season ninth.
On the final season of Friends, Mike and Phoebe got married outside of Central Perk because of a blizzard that ruined their previous ceremony plans.
At the wedding, Monica was the maid of honor, Joey officiating, Rachel was a bridesmaid, and Chandler gave Phoebe away. Ross was hired to carry Mike's dog Chappy, who was named best man.
Rudd is now a Marvel star.
Paul Rudd in February 2020. Scott Roth / Invision / AP
Rudd's credits after "Friends" include roles in the comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", "I Love You, Man", "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and the 2013 sequel "Anchorman".
He also played as Bobby Newport in the hit series "Parks and Recreation", which also included his future Marvel costar Chris Pratt.
Rudd appeared in his first standalone MCU film "Ant-Man" in 2015.
Since then he has also appeared as Ant-Man / Scott Lang in "Captain America: Civil War" and "Ant-Man and the Wasp". He repeated his role in Avengers: Endgame, which was released in April 2019, and starred in Netflix's "Living With Yourself".
He will return as Ant-Man for a third film entitled "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania".
Maggie Wheeler played Janice, whose catchphrase was "Oh my god."
Janice had a clear nasal voice. NBC
In the first few seasons she had a relationship with Chandler over and over again.
Maggie Wheeler has appeared in countless shows.
Maggie Wheeler had a role in the 1998 film The Parent Trap. Brett Cove / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Wheeler has voiced the character Trinette McGoon in the animated series "Archer" for years. You may have seen her on "Hot in Cleveland," "Californication," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Shameless."
During an interview with ITV's "This Morning," the actress revealed how she brought up Janice's exaggerated laugh.
"[It] happened organically in the first rehearsal because I had to find a way to laugh because Matthew Perry is so funny," Wheeler said.
She added, "I only created Janice's laugh as a safety measure when Matthew made me laugh."
In 2019, actress Trudy Pickering voiced in the animated film "Addams Family".
Before reaching fame on the Disney Channel, Cole Sprouse played Ross and Carol's son.
Ben's godfather was Chandler. NBC
During season seven, Rachel babysat Ben and taught him a few pranks to make her known as "Fun Aunt Rachel".
Sprouse played Cody in "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and currently plays Jughead Jones in "Riverdale".
Cole Sprouse in February 2020. Evan Agostini / Invision / AP
The show is currently in its fifth season and has been extended to include one more episode.
After "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" and his spin-off series "The Suite Life on Deck", Sprouse took a break from acting and studied archeology at New York University. He also interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History.
Sprouse and his twin brother Dylan Sprouse graduated in 2015. Cole didn't start playing again until he got a role as Jughead in "Riverdale," based on the Archie comics.
"I read the pilot for 'Riverdale' and really enjoyed it. When I got the role, I decided to fulfill my obligation and see where it would take me," he told Bustle of his decision to return to the limelight move. "It seemed like the right project because it was interesting and well-written. It was a new character that I hadn't tried before."
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