Then + Now: The Cast of ‘My-So Called Life’
Few shows spoke to teens of the ’90s like ‘My So-Called Life,’ the story of angsty Angela Chase, who had to juggle typical high school woes like studying, friendships, and a gut-wrenching crush on the cutest boy in school. Let’s take a look back at the cast of this tragically short-lived series and see what they’re up to now.
Claire Danes (Angela Chase)
Then: Claire Danes played Angela Chase, the angst-ridden teen at the heart of the show who ditches her goody-goody friends and replaces them with new, cooler friends once she gets to high school. It was also at this time that Danes invented her patented Claire Danes cry-face.
Now: Back in 2010, she won an Emmy, Golden Globe and a SAG Award for playing the title role in the HBO film ‘Temple Grandin.’ These days, Danes is still using her cry-face in movies and on TV, most notably on the hit Showtime series ‘Homeland.’ The actress is married to ‘Hannibal’ star Hugh Dancy, and they recently welcomed a child together.
Bess Armstrong (Patty Chase)
Then: Bess Armstrong played Patty Chase, Angela’s mom and one of the coolest TV mothers of all time. She’s the main breadwinner of the household and isn’t afraid to give a little sass.
Now: Armstrong appeared in the fifth season of ‘Mad Men’ and has a recurring role on the Showtime series ‘House of Lies.’
Tom Irwin (Graham Chase)
Then: Tom Irwin played Angela’s dad, Graham Chase. He’s the more soft-spoken one in the household and struggles with his wife being more successful than he is.
Now: Irwin starred on all three seasons of the TV series ‘Saving Grace,’ and currently stars on the new steamy Lifetime series ‘Devious Maids.’
Lisa Wilhoit (Danielle Chase)
Then: Lisa Wilhoit played Danielle, Angela’s kid sister who is oft-overlooked by her own family because of how major everyone else’s problems are, but she makes up for her diminished role in the family with amazing comic relief.
Now: After making appearances on ’7th Heaven’ and ‘Greek,’ Wilhiot landed a plum gig lending her vocal talents to the animated series ‘Family Guy,’ where she voices Connie D’Amico and a few other supporting characters.
A.J. Langer (Rayanne Graff)
Then: Langer played rebellious Rayanne Graff — beneath her wild nature lies a troubled girl being raised by a single mom. Rayanne eventually overdoses on drugs and booze at her own party.
Now: Langer took a hiatus from acting in 2005, and returned in 2011 with a 12-episode arc on the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ spin-off, ‘Private Practice.’
Jared Leto (Jordan Catalano)
Then: Jared Leto portrayed Jordan Catalano, the object of Angela’s affection and a wannabe rock star. Though he plays at being a bad boy, Angela discovers he’s really just suffering from a learning disability that keeps him from succeeding at school.
Now: Jordan would be proud of Jared, who fronts the rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. Leto continues to act, and has moved into directing as well — he recently released a documentary called ‘Artifact’ about his band’s struggle with their label.
Wilson Cruz (Rickie Vasquez)
Then: Wilson Cruz starred as Rickie, one of Angela’s new, cool friends, who also happens to be bisexual and wears some of the coolest clothes ever.
Now: Cruz has appeared on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Single Ladies,’ and has starred in several films, including ‘Party Monster’ and ‘He’s Just Not That Into You.’
Devon Odessa (Sharon Cherski)
Then: Devon Odessa played Sharon Cherski, Angela’s childhood friend whom Angela sort of ditches once they reach high school. Though she’s way more conservative than Angela’s new peers, she eventually becomes more open-minded.
Now: Odessa stopped acting in 2008, but prior to that she appeared on ‘That’s So Raven’ and ‘Noah’s Arc.’ Her last film credit is the 2008 flick ‘Broken Angel.’
Devon Gummersall (Brian Krakow)
Then: We saved the best for last, obviously. Devon Gummersall played Brian Krakow, Angela’s nerdy, socially awkward friend who has been nursing an unrequited crush on her for years.
Now: Gummersall grew up and away from Brian Krakow and certainly doesn’t seem so nerdy and awkward anymore. In recent years, he’s appeared on ‘Drop Dead Diva,’ ‘Castle,’ and ‘Fairly Legal.’