Most Successful TV Cast (Post-Series Ending)

Often times when a show is successful, cast members often have a tough time moving forward. The Seinfeld gang has had this trouble.

What tv cast has gone on to the greatest success?

No shows with rotating casts or sketch shows (SNL for both) . Those folks aren’t playing the same characters.

The one that comes to mind is the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Moore was nominated for an Oscar. Ted Knight had Too Close For Comfort. Gavin MacLoud had the Love Boat. Ed Asner went on to play Lou Grant (not really a true spinoff). Valerie Harper had Rhoda and Valerie. Cloris Leachman was on Facts of Life and got some Oscar buzz recently. John Amos went to Good Times. Betty White had the Golden Girls and Mama’s Family.

Party of Five is doing pretty well. Neve Campbell has a nice career. Scott Fox is on one of the hottest shows on TV. For some ungodly reason Jennifer Love Hewitt keeps finding work (A LOT OF WOMEN HAVE A NICE RACK!), Scott Wolf is now on Everwood. Lacey Chabert bounces around a bit.

Cheers is a split decision. While guys like Norm and Cliff are hopelessly typecast, a few have had excellent careers. Grammer obviously kept playing Frasier. Dansen had a great run as Becker. Kirstie Alley had some nice film work, Veronica’s Closet and an upcoming sitcom about being overweight. And Woody Harrelson has been nominated for an Oscar and continues to fight the good fight for hemp rope.

Any others?

The Andy Griffith Show.

Andy had a pretty good run with Matlock.

Opie grew up to be Richie Cunningham on Happy Days and is currently Ron Howard, Oscar-winning director.

Jim Nabors had Gomer Pyle, USMC, and, I guess, his singing career.

Don Knotts had success in movies and also as Mr. Furley on Three’s Company.

George Lindsey (Goober) was on Hee Haw for a long time.

The Andy Griffith Show is generally considered the gold standard for afterlife. Completely overlooked, however, is Mary Tyler Moore’s failed attempt at a variety show after her beloved sitcom ended.

Moore’s cast of regulars included

Michael Keaton
Dick Shawn
David Letterman
Swoozie Kurtz
Judith Kahan
James Hampton

You may not remember Kahan and Hampton immediately, but do an IMDB search and they’ll be familiar.

Not bad for a thoroughly bad show.

Cybil Shepherd had a bit of a career after Moonlighting. I think her sidekick did OK too. :wink:

The surviving members of Monty Python’s Flying Circus ended up doing pretty well for themselves.

The folks from Happy Days seem to have done ok post-TV cancellation:

  • Ron Howard: Director
  • Henry Winkler: Movie roles and stuff
  • Tom Bosley: Trash Bag fame
  • Scott Baio: Joanie Loves Chachi and Charles in Charge

Some of the Taxi cast moved on post-TV cancellation:

  • Danny DeVito: Movies
  • That one smart guy: He’s been in movies and TV stuff too
  • The scientist guy from Back to the Future who also played a Klingon

Another example of success after the TV show was cancelled is the cast from Star Trek , who all went on to do several movies, but that’s probably cheating.

-Tony Danza: Who’s the Boss and the Tony Danza Show

“East Side/West Side” which ran for one season in 1963 had George C. Scott (Oscar winner), Elizabeth Wilson (Tony Award winner) and Cicely Tyson (Oscar nominee and multiple Emmy award winner)

Does that really count? Every character he’s ever played in a sitcom has been named Tony. :dubious:

The Dick Van Dyke Show?

The OP didn’t ask for good actors, just successful ones. :smiley:

Yeah, Morey Amsterdam, Rose Marie, and Richard Deacon were HUGE after that show!

Well, there was a lousy, short-lived sitcom called “Working Stiffs.” It lasted just a few weeks, but the two unknown stars (Michael Keaton & Jim Belushi) have done okay since then!

Not to mention Anson Williams, who has a successful directing career, and Marion Ross, who has continued to perform on TV in some high-profile roles.

Oh, and Ted McGinley.

Yes, but Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore and Carl Reiner have all gone on to HUGE success. Perhaps the show produced fewer stars than The Andy Griffith show or Happy Days, but IMHO it produced the most “successful” stars by far.

Yeah Taxi had

Danny DeVito … movies
Judd Hirsch … Tony winner on stage
Tony Danza … TV, movies, stage, song and dance, own production company
Marilu Henner … movies TV
Christopher Lloyd … movies
Andy Kaufman … movie about him
Jeff Conaway … more TV and movies
Carol Kane … tons of movies and TV

just a quick sidejacking, but who did Ted McGinley play in Happy Days? :stuck_out_tongue:


Lorne Greene had plenty of work off the Ponderosa, including Captain Adama in the original Battlestar Galactica series.

Pernell Roberts had a big hit with Trapper John, M.D.

Michael Landon had huge successes with Little House on the Prairie as well as Highway to Heaven.

Alas, Dan ‘Hoss’ Blocker died before the series went off the air.

And I don’t know what happened to the guy who played Hop Sing.

Victor Sen Yung died in 1980.

Well, Saturday Night Live isn’t really a series, and it hasn’t ended (although most of its humour has). Still, consider:

Eddie Murphy
Chevy Chase
Jane Curtin
Dan Ackroyd
John Belushi
Gilda Radner
Steve Martin
Chris Rock
Adam Sandler
Mike Myers
Dana Carvey
Martin Short
Billie Crystal
Chris Farley
Phil Hartman
Jon Lovitz
Dennis Miller
Rob Scneider
Bill Murray

  • I’m sure others who I can’t recall

Of course, the cast of SNL’s predecessor, Second City TV also did well:

John Candy
Eugene Levy
Martin Short
Dave Thomas
Rick Moranis
Harold Ramis
Andrea Martin
Catherine O’Hara