'Ally McBeal' cast 20 years later: Where are they now?

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“Ally McBeal” became a pop culture phenomenon after its 1997 debut. The legal comedy-drama — which followed the courtroom, office and personal dramas of a group of lawyers in Boston — had unforgettably quirky characters and weird fantasy sequences (remember the Dancing Baby?) that made it a hit with viewers. It also sparked national conversation, and a Time magazine cover, about modern feminism. The brainchild of David E. Kelley, who would go on to create hits like “Boston Public” and “Big Little Lies,” won two Golden Globes and an Emmy in its five seasons on FOX. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show’s final episode on May 20, 2022, join Wonderwall.com as we check in with the cast of the classic show.

Keep reading to see what Calista Flockhart, Lisa Nicole Carson, Vonda Shepard and the rest of the Cage & Fish community are up to (and look like!) today…

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Calista Flockhart played the series’ title character, Ally McBeal, a lovelorn lawyer who joins a Boston law firm after leaving her previous firm due to sexual harassment by her boss.

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Calista Flockhart, who won a Golden Globe award for her portrayal of Ally McBeal, went on to star on the ensemble drama “Brothers & Sisters,” which she followed with a stint on “Supergirl.” In 2000, she appeared in Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues” and joined the playwright on a trip to Kenya to protest violence against women, particularly female genital mutilation. Calista has maintained a low profile both professionally and personally since “Ally McBeal” ended. The actress — who turned down the role of Susan Mayer, which later went to Teri Hatcher, on “Desperate Housewives” — wed Harrison Ford in 2010 after meeting him at the 2002 Golden Globe Awards. They’re parents to son Liam, whom Calista adopted in 2001.

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Lisa Nicole Carson played prosecutor Renee Raddick, Ally McBeal’s saucy and sweet best friend and roommate.

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Lisa Nicole Carson was axed from “Ally McBeal” over her erratic behavior on and off the set and a 2000 hospitalization after a breakdown at a New York City hotel. She stepped away from show business in 2001. “When you lose your mind it’s as traumatic as it sounds,” she told People magazine in 2015, revealing she’d suffered her first psychiatric breakdown in 1997, which was followed over the next seven years by “too many breakdowns to count.” Lisa made a guest appearance in the final episode of the NBC series “Harry’s Law” in 2012, reprising the role of her “Ally McBeal” character, Renee Raddick. And in 2017, she starred in the BET miniseries “The New Edition Story.”

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Gil Bellows portrayed litigator Billy Thomas, one of Ally McBeal’s many exes and arguably the love of her life.

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After “Ally McBeal,” Gil Bellows nabbed a role on “The Agency” and has worked steadily ever since, becoming a familiar face on shows like “Eyewitness” and “Patriot.” In 2020, he and his actress wife, Rya Kihlstedt, starred in the Freeform miniseries “Love in the Time of Corona,” one of the first scripted TV shows set and shot during the pandemic. The couple’s children, Ava and Giovanni, and even the family dog, Rose, took part. “It was effectively like a little experiment,” Gil told KTLA 5, adding that his family’s scenes were filmed inside their house with a crew stationed outside. “It’s a little time capsule of this time, and I think it’s a very uplifting story about connection in this time where everybody feels a little isolated and challenged by COVID.”

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Jane Krakowski played sassy secretary (and resident office gossip) Elaine Vassal.

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Jane Krakowski’s career took off after the series ended, with her most notable role being the endearingly vain star Jenna Maroney on “30 Rock.” The actress re-teamed with Tina Fey for the Netflix comedy “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and has worked steadily both on stage and on the small screen. She starred in 2019 as Emily Norcross Dickinson, mother of poet Emily Dickinson, on the Apple TV+ comedy “Dickinson,” and has hosted the reboot of the game show “Name That Tune” since 2021. Jane has a son, Bennett, with ex-fiancé Robert Godley, from whom she split in 2013.

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Thanks to her role on the ’90s classic “Melrose Place,” Courtney Thorne-Smith was a familiar face to viewers when she played lawyer Georgia Thomas on “Ally McBeal.” She originally auditioned for the show’s title role but ended up as Ally’s nemesis-turned-friend who’s married to Ally’s former flame Billy Thomas (played by Gil Bellows, pictured here with Courtney).

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Courtney Thorne-Smith’s departure from the show generated headlines when she revealed publicly that she had left because of the overwhelming pressure to be thin. Her post-“Ally McBeal” career has included long-running roles on some of TV’s biggest sitcom hits: “According to Jim” and “Two and a Half Men.” Since 2017, Courtney has starred in a series of TV movies, the “Emma Fielding Mysteries,” which air on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel. She also dabbled in writing and in 2007 published “Outside In,” described at the time as a comedic novel about the flip side of fame. Courtney told the New York Post in 2020 that she keeps in “good contact” with “Ally McBeal” alums Gil Bellows, Greg Germann and Peter MacNicol and their families. “I’m the hostess,” she said. “I get people over for dinner.” The actress is married to marketing company exec Roger Fishman, with whom she welcomed son Jacob in 2008.

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Peter MacNicol won an Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series in 2001 for his portrayal of Ally’s adorably weird boss, lawyer John “The Biscuit” Cage.

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Peter MacNicol went on to star on another widely lauded series, the HBO comedy “Veep,” which netted him a second Emmy in 2019. He’s also appeared on “Grey’s Anatomy,” “All Rise,” “24,” “Numb3rs” and “CSI: Cyber.” Peter has been married to nonprofit head Marsue Cummings since 1986 and has an offbeat hobby worthy of The Biscuit: playing the bagpipes.

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Lucy Liu initially auditioned for the role of Nelle Porter. It ultimately went to Portia de Rossi but series creator David E. Kelley was so impressed, he created the character of cold-as-ice attorney Ling Woo just for Lucy.

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Post-“Ally McBeal,” Lucy Liu’s star rose quickly thanks to her role in the “Charlie’s Angels” films and her turn as an unforgettable assassin in “Kill Bill: Volume 1.” She also voiced Master Viper in the “Kung Fu Panda” franchise and appeared on TV shows including “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Southland” before playing Joan Watson on “Elementary” for seven seasons. Lucy also has devoted herself to humanitarian causes, serving as a UNICEF ambassador and a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. She welcomed son Rockwell in 2015 via a gestational surrogate.

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Portia De Rossi joined the show in its second season, playing sarcastic and ambitious lawyer Nelle Porter.

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Portia de Rossi went on to join the cast of critical darling “Arrested Development,” playing Lindsay Bluth Funke. Later came starring roles on the series “Better Off Ted” and “Scandal” before she left acting for an art curation and publishing business. She also penned “Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain,” her 2010 autobiography about her struggle with eating disorders. The Australia-born actress married Ellen DeGeneres in a ceremony at their Beverly Hills home in 2008, and she told Instagram followers in 2020 that she was standing by the TV host amid allegations that “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was a toxic workplace. “She is the kindest, most generous, most loving, loyal, trustworthy person I have ever known,” Portia (seen here with Ellen in 2022) told People magazine in 2021. “We’ve grown together as a couple, and we really consider each other and put our relationship first.”

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Greg Germann played Richard Fish, the neurotic senior partner at Cage & Fish.

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After “Ally McBeal” ended, Greg Germann starred in films including “Sweet November” and “Down to Earth.” On the small screen, he worked steadily on shows like “Desperate Housewives,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Friends From College” before joining the cast of “Grey’s Anatomy” in the show’s 14th season. Greg has been married to Martha Champlin since 2013 and has a son, actor Asa Germann, from a previous marriage.

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Singer Vonda Shepard played herself, crooning at the piano in the bar frequented by Ally and the rest of the firm. But her biggest contributions to the show were off camera: Vonda co-wrote the theme song, “Searchin’ My Soul,” and was the series’ de facto producer of more than 500 songs with major artists ranging from Sting and Gladys Knight to Randy Newman and Jon Bon Jovi (keep reading for more on his “Ally McBeal” role). Vonda’s hard work earned the show a Billboard Award for selling the most TV soundtrack records in history.

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Vonda Shepard never stopped making music after the show ended. The singer-songwriter, pianist, bassist and guitarist has released 15 albums — eight solo, three live and four “Ally McBeal” soundtrack albums — and sold more than 12 million in total. Vonda (seen here in a shot she shared on Instagram in October 2019) continues to write and perform around the world, but she credits David E. Kelley with changing her life when he cast her as a singer after seeing her perform at a gig. “‘Ally McBeal’ was an incredible gift to me,” she told Music in SF in 2018. “It was much more than just a good career move — it gave me new life.” Vonda married fellow musician and producer Mitchell Froom in 2004; they welcomed son Jack in 2006.

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Regina Hall played lawyer Corretta Lipp, initially a recurring role that was made a main character in the show’s fifth season.

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Regina Hall’s career took off after “Ally McBeal” and she racked up starring roles in films including “The Best Man,” “Think Like a Man,” “About Last Night,” “Girls Trip” and the “Scary Movie” series. On the small screen, she starred for three seasons on Showtime’s dark comedy “Black Monday.” Behind the scenes, Regina has been busy writing and running her production company, Rh NEgative. More recently, she co-hosted the 2022 Academy Awards with Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes. Though the telecast was dominated by the Will Smith slapping incident, Regina used the occasion to poke fun at her single status, using fake pandemic protocols in a bit where she singled out Hollywood hotties like Timothée Chalamet, Tyler Perry, Bradley Cooper, Simu Liu, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin and more to be swabbed backstage… with her tongue.

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James Marsden’s character, attorney Glenn Foy, joined the practice in the show’s fifth season.

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James Marsden went on to build a big Hollywood career, most notably playing Scott Summers (aka Cyclops) in the “X-Men” franchise and Tom in the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movies. He’s also starred in plenty of romances and rom-coms including “The Notebook,” “Enchanted” and “27 Dresses.” On television, James’s impressive resume includes the HBO drama “Westworld,” the Netflix comedy “Dead to Me” and the CBS All Access miniseries “The Stand.” The actor married Lisa Linde in 2000 and they had two kids — son Jack Marsden in 2001 and daughter Mary James Marsden in 2005 — before divorcing in 2011. He had a son, William Costa-Marsden, in 2012 with Brazilian model Rose Costa and has been dating British singer Edei (real name: Emma Deigman) since 2015.

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Robert Downey Jr. was hailed for bringing new life to the show when he joined the cast in season 4 as lawyer Larry Paul, Ally’s most promising love interest. He snagged the role a week after getting out of prison for cocaine possession — and while he was a hit with fans, he was written out as he continued to struggle with drug addiction before getting sober in 2003.

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Robert Downey Jr. battled back from years of addiction, arrests and rehab stints to become one of Hollywood’s biggest and most beloved celebs. After he was let go from “Ally McBeal” and got sober, he returned to the big screen when his close friend Mel Gibson paid the actor’s insurance bond for the 2003 film “The Singing Detective.” Then came roles in acclaimed films including “Gothika,” “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Zodiac,” “Tropic Thunder” and “Sherlock Holmes.” No role has been more iconic than Tony Stark, the complicated superhero he first played in 2008’s “Iron Man” and went on to reprise in multiple Marvel projects. RDJ has been married to Susan Levin, a production company executive he met in 2003 while filming “Gothika,” since 2005. They welcomed son Exton in 2012 and daughter Avri in 2014.

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Hayden Panettiere portrayed young Maddie Harrington, who shows up on Ally’s doorstep and reveals she’s the daughter Ally never knew she had (thanks to an egg she donated for research to make money during college).

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Hayden Panettiere’s career took off after “Ally McBeal” with parts on shows like “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and starring roles on the popular series “Heroes” and “Nashville.” She also racked up movie credits including “Racing Stripes,” “I Love You, Beth Cooper” and “Scream 4.” Her personal life has been considerably more rocky: After dating “Heroes” co-star Milo Ventimiglia for several years starting in 2007 (when she was 18 and he was 30), she began a relationship with then-world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2009. After several years of on-off romance, they got engaged in October 2013 and in December 2014, she gave birth to their daughter, Kaya. But the actress struggled with postpartum depression, she later revealed, and voluntarily checked into a facility for treatment several times. After she and Wladimir split, he retained primary custody of Kaya in his native Ukraine (she’s reportedly now safe in the United States following the 2022 Russian invasion). Hayden began dating aspiring actor Brian Hickerson in 2018. He’s been arrested on domestic violence charges multiple times and served jail time in 2021 after pleading no contest to two felony counts of injuring the actress. Since his release, Hayden (seen here with Paula Abdul at an event in August 2021) has been quiet about their relationship, but in March 2022, she was videotaped with Brian as he got into a brawl outside a Los Angeles hotel.

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Josh Hopkins played attorney Raymond Millbury starting in the show’s fifth season.

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Josh Hopkins reunited with Calista Flockhart when he joined the cast of “Brothers & Sisters,” playing one of her love interests on the ABC drama. He went on to star on “Cougar Town” and “Quantico.” In 2020, Josh announced a new gig: co-host of the Basketball.com podcast “The Rex Chapman Show” with his longtime friend and former NBA player Rex Chapman. Josh, who’s never married, has been linked with beauties including Courteney Cox, Cheryl Burke and Erin Andrews.

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Jon Bon Jovi played Victor Morrison, yet another one of Ally’s love interests, in the show’s fifth season.

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Jon Bon Jovi is best known for his long and successful music career, having released 15 studio albums and two solo albums since the formation of the band Bon Jovi in 1983. But he’s also quietly been acting since the ’90s in films like “Moonlight and Valentino” and TV shows including “Sex and the City” and “The West Wing.” In 2021, Jon received an honorary degree from Princeton University, which recognized him for his contributions to music, history, education, literature, public service, public health, social justice and ending homelessness. The New Jersey native has been married since 1989 to his high school sweetheart, Dorothea Hurley. They have four kids: daughter Stephanie and sons Jesse, Romeo and Jake (who’s made headlines for his romance with “Stranger Things” actress Millie Bobby Brown!).


































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