It has been over a decade since the cast of Glee first sang their way onto our screens. And although five years have passed since they last spontaneously broke out into song and dance, the cast of talented and relatable characters still hold a soft spot in our hearts. Luckily Netflix’s recent addition of Glee allows us to rewatch and sing along to all our favorites.
But even still, our lives are missing the drama, antics, and show-stopping performances that we’ve come to know and love. To fill that void, we are taking a look at what the cast has been up to since they last sang together. Whether they are performing on broadway or are focusing on their family life, check out where life after William McKinley High School has brought the cast of Glee.
Lea Michele Since Rachel Berry
New Direction’s star soloist, Rachel Berry has had her share of ups and downs. Following graduation, she carried with her the lessons she learned from the Glee club and never stopped working towards her dream of making it to Broadway. Just like Rachel, singer and actress Lea Michele was born to be a star. Making her debut at the age of eight, Michele started her career on Broadway way before taking on the role of Rachel.
Since Glee, she has starred in the Fox series Scream Queens as well as on the ABC sitcom The Mayor. She has released three studio albums and has published two books. Recently Michele was called out by former Glee cast members for her behavior on set. Despite the media frenzy revolved around this, Lea has been concentrating on her pregnancy as she is expecting her first child with her husband, Zandy Reich.
Chord Overstreet Since Sam Evans
Everyone’s favorite charmer, Sam Evan’s literally wooed his way into every cast member’s heart at one point or another. I mean, who could say no to those pouty lips, awkward impressions, and sweet serenades? Glee fans will be happy to know that following graduation, Sam was last seen still on the market and still busting out acoustic solos at a moment’s notice.
And the same can be said for the actor that took on the role, Chord Overstreet. Since wrapping up at Glee, Overstreet has been pursuing his musical career. In 2016 he released his first single “Homeland.” That same year he also opened for Demi Lovato and The Jonas Brothers on their Future Now Tour. He released his first EP, Tree House Tapes in 2017, and his single “Hold On” even earned a platinum certification.
Jenna Ushkowitz Since Tina Cohen-Chang
Tina Cohen-Chang had arguably one of the biggest character arcs of the show. She went from a loner goth with a fake stutter to a confident prom queen with a sassy attitude to boot. That being said, whether you were rooting for Mike Chang or Artie Abrams, Tina remained a hopeless romantic through and through. Jenna Ushkowitz was no stranger to the stage when she landed the role of Tina.
By age ten, she was already performing on Broadway, and she returned to the stage after her six-season run on Glee. In 2018 she won her first Tony Award for the musical Once on This Island, which she produced. Ushkowitz also found time to create an adoption foundation called Kindred, and to executive produce the documentary, Twinsters. Today she also hosts a podcast called Showmance alongside Glee co-star Kevin McHale.
Chris Colfer Since Kurt Hummel
Kurt Hummel made waves through the halls of McKinley high school as the first openly gay student. Although his life in Lima, Ohio was full of obstacles, Kurt always came out on top and eventually makes it to New York to pursue his dreams. Just like his character, actor Chris Colfer has also become a guiding role model for those who share his story. He was even named by Time as one of the “100 Most Influential People.”
Colfer’s time as Kurt earned him several awards including a Golden Globe and three People’s Choice Awards. After Glee, the star became a New York Times number-one selling author for his novel, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell. Chris also wrote, starred in and executive produced the film Struck by Lightning which he later turned into a novel. Overall Colfer has published 16 books.
Amber Riley Since Mercedes Jones
As one of the original New Directions Gleeks, Mercedes Jones knew she was destined for stardom all the way back in season one. She has since blown us away time and time again with her powerful vocal chords, diva status and no-nonsense dedication to performing.
Amber Riley’s portrayal of Mercedes earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award as well as several prestigious award nominations. After Glee, Riley went on to appear in season 17 of Dancing with the Stars. She later starred in the West End’s debut of Dreamgirls where she played the role of Effie White. In 2017 she teemed up with Beverley Knight and Cassidy Janson to form a musical theater supergroup named The Leading Ladies.
Grant Gustin Since Sebastian Smythe
Vindictive yet talented Dalton Academy Warbler, Sebastian Smythe definitely knew how to keep things interesting. As one of the show’s main villains, Sebastian is one of the many characters to have a personal vendetta against the New Directions. While he got over his differences with the group, we aren’t sure if he ever got over his crush on Blain.
Taking on the role of Sebastian was actor and singer Grant Gustin. Today he is known for his role as Barry Allen in the CW series The Flash, which first aired in 2014 and is still running today. This was after he first appeared as the Flash on the CW series Arrow. He has also reprised the role on the CW’s Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow.
Vanessa Lengies Since Sugar Motta
Taking on the role as the least vocally talented member of the New Directions was the sassy and ever so stylish Sugar Motta. Thanks to her self-diagnosed Asperger’s syndrome, Motta allowed herself to be brutally honest with everyone and anyone and proved to basically have no filter.
Contrary to her character, actress Vanessa Lengies actually can bust a tune. Her acting career was well in motion before she began her reoccurring role in Glee. Among her many TV and movie roles, she is mostly known for her time playing Roxanne Bojarski in the NBC comedy American Dreams. Since Glee, she has starred in several projects including the series Second Chance and the mini-series Resident Advisors.
Jane Lynch Since Sue Sylvester
The show’s arch-nemesis, Sue Sylvester remained committed to destroying the Glee club for the show’s entire six-season run. As “America’s winningest” cheerleading coach, Sue never failed to offer extraordinary challenges for all Glee club members. But still, she somehow remained one of the show’s most beloved characters. Filling the shoes of Sue Sylvester was the star-studded, Jane Lynch.
Lynch’s performance not only earned her a Golden Globe, but it also brought her to the stage. Clearly, she doesn’t share Sue’s hate for musical theater. In 2013 she made her Broadway debut as Miss Hannigan in Annie. She also earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that same year. Lynch has taken part in various projects following her time with Glee. This year she is set to star in the Netflix comedy series, Space Force.
Marshall Williams Since Spencer Porter
Although he only made his way to Glee club in the show’s final season, Spencer Porter managed to make quite an impression. As McKinley’s first openly gay jock, Spencer felt an immense pressure to be as “manly” as possible. So getting him to join the Glee club took some persuading. As you can imagine, he was eventually sueded to give into the power of show choir and never looked back.
Taking on the role of Spencer is Canadian actor and model, Marshall Williams. As a model, Williams has worked with big-name companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Diesel and M.A.C Cosmetics. Other than Glee, Williams is also known for his starring role in the 2014 Disney Original Movie, How to Build a Better Boy. Today he is starring in the Hallmark series When Hope Calls.
Heather Morris Since Brittany Pierce
As the reigning queen of random one-liners, spaced out remarks, and killer dance moves Brittany S. Pierce certainly lived up to her namesake. As you might have guessed, prior to Glee, Heather Morris enjoyed a successful dance career. In 2007 Morris was one of Beyoncé’s backup dancers on The Beyoncé Experience world tour
In fact, Morris was initially brought to the set of Glee to teach the “Single Ladies” routine to the cast. The show just so happened to be seeking a third cheerleader at the time, so they gave the role to Morris. These days Morris is focused on being a mom to her seven-year-old son which she shares with baseball play Taylor Hubbell. She also hosts a weekly podcast called The Dance Room.
Erinn Westbrook Since Bree
Bree’s time in Glee was relatively short-lived, showing up early on in the show’s fifth season. Despite that, she managed to stir up quite a bit of drama among the members of New Directions. Leave it to a cheerio to make their lives difficult. Taking on the role of this classic mean girl was actress Erinn Westbrook.
Westbrook began her career in LA as a model. She appeared in ads for Nike, Vineyard Vines, Seventeen Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine. Following her time in Glee, Erinn starred in MTV’s drama, Awkward. Recently she starred as Magnolia Barnard in the Netflix series Insatiable.
Noah Guthrie Since Roderick Meeks
Making his way to the Glee club in the show’s sixth and final season was Roderick Meeks. Meeks was a transfer student that was having trouble making friends so he chose to find comfort in wearing his headphones and listening to music all day. Thankfully New Directions came to the rescue and Meeks was able to make new friends while doing what he loved best.
Like many musicians these days, Noah Guthrie was first discovered after he began posting covers on his Youtube channel. His cover of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” went viral and gained him the attention he needed to land the role of Roderick. In 2014, Noah released his debut album Among the Wildest Things. Following Glee, in 2018, he brought his talents to America’s Got Talent and even made it all the way to the semifinals.
Dianna Agron Since Quinn Fabrary
Quinn Fabray certainly had her fair share of high school drama through the years. But no matter what life threw her way, Glee club was always there to support her and bring her back to herself. As one of the most popular girls at McKinley Highschool, Quinn always had her eyes on being the best of the best and didn’t let up on that post-graduation either.
Taking on this auspicious role was actress Dianna Agron. Prior to Glee, Agron made several appearances on other hit shows such as Veronica Mars and Heroes. Following Glee, Agron made her way to the silver screen with movies like Bare, The Crash and Berlin, I Love You. She also made her Broadway debut in 2015 as Dahlia in McQueen. In 2016 Agron married Winston Marshall, a member of the band Mumford & Sons.
Mark Salling Since Noah Puckerman
As yet another dramatic character arc, Noah Puckerman certainly changed for the better throughout his years at McKinley. He went from a ruthless bully to a caring and open-minded friend. And that’s all thanks to the Glee club. Puck was part of New Direction’s up until his graduation.
Sadly, not all our Glee stars went on to have a happy, successful career following their time at McKinley High School. Unfortunately, Mark Salling, who played the role of Puck, ran into some legal troubles in 2015. He was looking to face between four and seven years in prison. However, Salling took his own life prior to his sentencing.
Melissa Benoist Since Marley Rose
In just one season, Marley Rose managed to steal the hearts of Gleeks everywhere. And it’s not just thanks to her choice in strange head attire. Marley took us through a whirlwind of personal issues, that were, per usual incited by high school bullies and then brought to a halt by the support of Glee club. Luckily, through the help of some heartfelt solos, Marley was able to come out on top of all her inner demons.
Mellisa Benois has seen nothing but success since her time playing Marley. After Glee, Benois went on to star in several films including The Longest Ride, Patriots Day and Sun Dogs. Today she is most known for her portrayal of Supergirl in the CW series, Supergirl. She also reprised the role in The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman. In 2018, Benois made her Broadway debut, playing Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
Harry Shum Jr. Since Mike Chang
Mike Chang might have started off as just a quiet back up dancer but he quickly became one of One Direction’s star performers. And who couldn’t want more of Mike Chang after seeing those killer dance moves? He won us over with those moves, and later on his voice as well, making him a complete Glee package just destined for post graduation stardom.
The man behind the moves was actor, singer, dancer and choreographer, Harry Shum Jr. This guy was no stranger to performing before being cast, having danced alongside artists like Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, and Mariah Carey. Since Glee, Shum has appeared in motion pictures, including Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, and Crazy Rich Asians. Today he is mainly known as Magnus from the show Shadowhunters.
Laura Dreyfuss Since Madison McCarthy
Another sixth season addition, Madison McCarthy makes up one out of two members of the dynamic duo that is the McCarthy twins. Her time with the New Directions was short but sweet and her and her twin brother, Mason quickly became a crowd favorite.
While starring in Glee, actress Laura Dreyfuss was also shining on Broadway, taking on the role of Zoe Murphy in the musical Dear Evan Hansen. Following the show’s last performance in 2018, Dreyfuss returned to television, appearing in The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel and taking on a starring role in the 2019 Netflix series The Politician.
Billy Lewis Jr. Since Mason McCarthy
Joining Glee club alongside his twin sister in the show’s sixth and final season was the talented Mason McCarthy. With just one season, Mason and his sister Madison became a force to be reckoned with. Like many before him, Mason managed to kill it both as a cheerio and as one of the newest additions to the New Directions, even scoring a few notable solos.
New York-based singer and stage performer Billy Lewis Jr. had quite a Regional Theater track record before joining Glee. He was featured in productions such as The Who’s Tommy, Spring Awakening, Hair, and Hedwig & the Angry Inch. In 2014 he also released his debut EP. Since Glee, he has returned to the stage, appearing in musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar.
Becca Tobin Since Kitty Wilde
Mean girl, Kitty Wilde certainly turned over a new leaf as her time with the Glee club went by. Her manipulating ways and jealous tendencies caused quite a stir throughout the show’s final few seasons. However, Kitty still managed to become a caring, well-liked person as the life lessons of the Glee club worked their magic.
The role of Kitty was taken on by actress, singer, and dancer Becca Tobin, who was performing in Broadway’s Rock of Ages before landing the gig. Following Glee, Tobin has appeared in several television shows and made for TV movies. She also co-hosts a podcast called LadyGang which premiered as a talk show on the E! Network in 2018.
Max Adler Since David Karofsky
What’s a high school television series without a committed high school bully? And as far as bullies go, David Karofksy really raised the bar. That is until he revealed his true self later on in the show. But we don’t want to spoil too much for anyone who is new to the wonderful world of Glee.
Karofsky’s character was brought to life on screen thanks to actor Max Adler. Following Glee, Adler had a recurring role as Tank in ABC Family series Switched at Birth. In 2014, he also starred in an independent film called Believe Me. This March 2020 Adler welcomed his first child, Dylan Remington.
Alex Newell Since Unique Adams
Wade “Unique” Adams made waves on Glee as one of the first openly transgender characters on television. As a way to express her female identity Wade created a bold alter ego named Unique. Unique is confident and unashamed of who she was born to be. She shines on stage despite the personal struggles that she faces through the halls of McKinley.
Just like Unique, singer, and actor Alex Newell is a true trailblazer. Since Glee, Newell has starred on Broadway as Asaka in the revival of Once on This Island. He also landed a recurring role as Mo in the NBC series Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Somehow Alex has also found time to release his debut dance album called Power and several non-album singles. He also went on tour with Glee co-star Adam Lambert.
Matthew Morrison Since Will Schuester
Not only was Mr. Schuester the one to reopen Glee club, but he was also the one who fought to keep the Glee club running year after year. It was through Glee that he was able to teach students how to express themselves through song. Playing Will was natural for Broadway star, Matthew Morrison. He had been performing on Broadway since he was a college freshman when he starred in Footloose.
Since then, he has performed in many Broadway musicals including Hairspray and The Light in the Piazza. Following Glee, he took on the lead role in the Broadway production of Finding Neverland. He has also appeared in TV and film, most recently as Trevor Kirchner in American Horror Story:1984. He has also released three studio albums, the latest of which, Disney Dreamin’ with Matthew Morrison, was released just this past March 2020.
Samantha Marie Ware Since Jane Hayward
As another season six addition to the Glee club, Jane Hayward definitely shone under the limelight, even if her time on the show was short-lived. She quickly won us over with her killer voice and no-nonsense attitude, it’s no wonder the Glee club was able to live up to the reputation of its original members.
Samantha Marie Ware first turned heads after landing the role of Nala in the Chicago cast of The Lion King. She soon after took on the role of Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon National Production. Following Glee, she went back to the stage to perform in the original Chicago cast of Hamilton An American Musical. She has also appeared in several TV series including Margot vs Lily in 2016 and What/If in 2019. She also played Tisha in the Netflix biopic, Barry.
Samuel Larsen Since Joe Hart
Joining Glee club in the third season was the previously home-schooled teen, Joe Hart. Other than music, Joe is mainly guided by his Christian upbringing. Prior to joining Glee club, he joins McKinley’s God Squad with Mercedes, Quinn and Sam.
Joe is portrayed by actor and singer Samuel Larsen. He was brought to Glee after winning the reality competition The Glee Project in 2011. He returned for its second season as a mentor. Following Glee, he appeared as a guest star on Hawaii Five-0. He also starred in several movies, most recently as Zed Evans in the film After. Joe has released six studio albums between 2012-2017 both as a solo artist and with his band, Bridges I Burn.
Jonathan Groff Since Jesse St. James
Jesse St. James did not make life easy for Rachel Berry and the rest of the New Directions. As the male lead of Vocal Adrenaline, he was their main competition and he did not take that role lightly. Jesse had his share of ups and downs and at the risk of a spoiler, his sweet side does surface eventually. Jesse was portrayed by actor and Broadway star, Jonathan Groff.
Groff rose to fame for his lead role in the Broadway production of Spring Awakening, where he performed alongside his future Glee costar, Lea Michele. Following Glee, he returned to Broadway to play King George III in Hamilton, which earned him a Tony Award. Groff also voiced the role of Kristoff in Frozen and Frozen II. Among other notable TV appearances, Groff also landed a lead role in the Netflix crime drama Mindhunter.
Gwyneth Paltrow Since Holly Holliday
Substitute teacher Holly Holliday always seemed to slide in to save the day whenever she was needed most. Her laid back attitude and positive outlook on life offered a sweet relief from McKinley High’s regularly occurring drama. With her nonchalant words of wisdom and by singing her way into their good graces, the Glee club embraced Ms. Holliday as a regular visitor. Here’s a Glee cast member that needs no introduction.
Golden Globe, Oscar, and Emmy Award-winning actress, Gwyneth Paltrow was already a huge star before appearing in Glee. At the same time as playing Holly Holliday, she also landed the role of Pepper Pots in the Marvel universe. Following Glee, Paltrow began to focus more on her lifestyle company, Goop, and authoring several cookbooks. She recently played a supporting role in the Netflix series The Politician.
Jacob Artist Since Jake Puckerman
Filling in for his older half brother, Noah, Jake Puckerman did wonders for the family name during his time at Glee club. From his vocal talents to his killer dance moves, Jake added an extra flair to the New Directions that they hadn’t seen before. And while, like his brother, he was far from perfect, the younger Puckerman definitely won us over during his short stint with Glee.
Jake’s dance moves can all be attributed to the talents of actor, singer, dancer Jacob Artist. Following Glee, Artist went on to star in the ABC drama-thriller series Quantico. He also guest-starred in the sixth season of American Horror Story and has appeared in various films such as Blood Money in 2017 and Haunting on Fraternity Row in 2018.
Jayma Mays Since Emma Pillsbury
We are all admittedly obsessed with “the will they won’t they” storyline of Will Schuester and Emma Pillsbury. As one of the quirkiest love interests in the history of television, Ms. Pillsbury must find a way to navigate around her crush for Will as well as her OCD for order and cleanliness. And all while staying professional as the school’s guidance counselor.
Portraying the easy to fall for Emma Pillsbury was actress Jayma Mays. Following Glee, Mays continued in her acting pursuits both in film and television. Some of her most notable roles include playing Debbie in The Millers, voicing Dulcinea in The Adventures of Puss in Boots, and as Carol Anne Keane in Trial & Error. In 2016 she gave birth to her son Jude Jones whom she shares with her husband and fellow actor, Adam Campbell.
Burt Hummel Since Mike O’Malley
No doubt, the award for best father in Lima Ohio goes to the ever so patient and understanding Burt Hummel. Although Kurt might not have turned out to love sports and fixing cars as his father had hoped, Burt never stopped supporting and standing up for his son whenever he needed it most.
Burt was played by veteran actor Mike O’Malley. Prior to Glee, O’Malley was already well known for his starring roles in The Mike O’Malley Show, Yes, Dear, and My Name is Earl. Following Glee, he continued to act, appearing in films like Sully and Concussion as well as several television appearances. He also began focusing more on his writing. He created the series Survivor’s Remorse and is also a writer on the hit Showtime series, Shameless.
Dean Geyer Since Brody Weston
We were all hoping that Finchel would last forever, but in season four, when Rachel moved to New York to attend NYADA she met a new love interest. Brody Weston was an upperclassman at NYADA that helped Rachel adjust to her new life and get over her breakup with Finn. To find out whether or not they last, you’ll have to watch the show.
You wouldn’t have guessed this when watching Glee but the actor that portrayed Brody, Dean Geyer, is actually a South African Australian singer. After Glee, Geyer played in several international films including the Georgian film Landmine Goes Click. He also appeared in the crime series Shades of Blue, alongside Jennifer Lopez.
Kristin Chenoweth Since April Rhodes
Never failing to pop in out of nowhere and put on a show was McKinley drop out, April Rhodes. Granted her vocal talents exceeded her skills in keeping her life and alcoholism in check, that doesn’t mean she wasn’t a good time. Despite her rocky path and trying to sort her future out, she was always there to help Will try and save the Glee club at its most vulnerable moments.
Who better to play the feisty and talented April Rhodes than Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth? Chenoweth made her Broadway debut in 1997 and she has dominated the scene ever since. She returned to Broadway following Glee and has also appeared in several movies and TV series both as an actress and voice actress. She has also released two studio albums since Glee, The Art of Elegance in 2016, and For the Girls in 2019.
Darren Criss Since Blaine Anderson
Hopeless romantic Blaine Anderson won all our hearts over as we watched him and Kurt Hummel become relationship goals. As a former Dalton Academy Warbler, Anderson brought some added poise to McKinley’s Glee club, and we aren’t just talking about the coordinated bowties. Blain Anderson was played by actor, singer, songwriter Darren Criss, who has seen nothing but success since Glee came to a close.
In 2018 Criss starred in the second installment of American Crime Story. His performance won him an Emmy and a Golden Globe. He also starred in the Netflix show, Hollywood, which released just this past May 2020. Criss also made time to perform on Broadway in both Hedwig and the Angry Inch as Hedwig and in American Buffalo as Bobby.
Lauren Potter Since Becky Jackson
Breaking barriers and taking names was the ever so saucy McKinley high student Becky Jackson. As a proud member of the cheerios, Becky acted as Sue Sylvester’s right-hand man throughout the show. Her confidence and no mercy attitude made her a force to reckon with. You did not want to get on the wrong side of Becky. Actress Lauren Porter became quite the role model following her time playing Becky Jackson.
Porter was even appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities by President Barack Obama in 2011. Following Glee, in 2015, Porter took on the role of ambassador for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. She has since appeared in a couple of short films and several television shows, including Switched at Birth and Chicago Med.
Idina Menzel Since Shelby Corcoran
As we now know, Shelby Corcoran ended up being way more than the coach of New Direction’s biggest competition, Vocal Adrenaline. She ended up playing a huge role in both Rachel’s and Quinn’s lives, which of course made for some killer duets throughout the series. By the time she took on the role of Ms.Corcoran, Idina Menzel was already a Broadway legend.
In 1995 she made her debut in Rent and in 2003 she originated the role of Elphaba in the Broadway musical Wicked, which won her a Tony. Since Glee, Menzel returned to the stage and has also released several albums. Among other appearances in TV and film, Idina is mostly known for voicing the role of Elsa in Frozen and Frozen 2 where she sang the Oscar and Grammy award-winning song, “Let It Go.”
Blake Jenner Since Ryder Lynn
One of New Direction’s male leads in the show’s fourth and fifth season was football player turned Glee Cluber, Ryder Lynn. Through his short time on Glee, Ryder managed to capture us with quite a storyline involving love traingles, catfishing, and of course, a collection of emotional solos.
Taking on the role of Ryder was actor and singer Blake Jenner, who was given the role after winning the second season of The Glee Project. Since Glee, Jenner has had roles in films like The Edge of Seventeen and Billy Boy, which he also wrote and produced. Most recently Jenner has starred in the Netflix drama, What/If.
Damian McGinty Since Rory Flanagan
Irish exchange student, Rory Flanagan made a great addition to the New Directions in Glee‘s third season. And not only due to the fact that Brittany was convinced he was an actual leprechaun. Unfortunately, he did have to leave McKinley after one year, but he did manage to nail some great solos before taking off.
If you were wondering if Rory’s Irish accent was real or not, the answer is yes. He was played by Irish actor and singer Damian McGinty. McGinty was the co-winner of The Glee Project’s first season, along with Samuel Larsen. Since Glee the Irish star has mainly focused on his music. He has released two EPs and two studio albums.
Romy Rosemont Since Carole Hudson
Romy Rosemont got her big break a bit later in life than many of the other cast members. She played Carole Hudson, Finn’s mother, and Burt’s wife following the death of Finn’s father Christopher. Her character didn’t have it easy in life, struggling to hold down several jobs as a single mother.
Rosemont’s career did well on the back end of Glee. She was offered larger parts on Primetime television shows such as Secrets and Lies, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and CSI: Miami. But she’s also been popping up in films here and there, taking supporting roles in Kung Fu Panda 2 and The Avengers.
Jessalyn Gilsig Since Terri Del Monico
Whenever we saw Terri Del Monico, we knew there was trouble. She was around during the first two seasons of the show. By lying to her husband about being pregnant, Will Schuester, she gained some serious notoriety. This scandal, combined with her relentless undermining of his ambitions firmly put her in the bad guys category. Not to mention, she hated Emma Pillsbury, whom we all loved.
Terri Del Monico was played by the Canadian actress Jessalyn Gilsig. In the 1990s, she lived in New York and played in some Broadway productions. She eventually landed a role in Boston Public, which was her breakthrough. A decade later, she played in Glee. Since Glee, you can catch Gilsig on Vikings, which aired until 2019 as well as in Scandal where she played the role of Vanessa Moss.
Dot-Marie Jones Since Coach Beiste
When coach Beiste came onto the scene in the first episode of the second season, she immediately clashed with Will. When she came to William McKinley High School, she brought startlingly good coaching record, which prompted school officials to opt to reduce the glee club’s budget. In the third season, we saw her courage shine through, as she came out as transgender and made the transition.
Dot-Marie Jones was perfect for the role in every way. She brought attitude and talent to the table and never looked back. In real life, she really was an athlete, so her hands-on experience helped her convey the roll as the tough-as-nails coach. These days, the American actress is still going strong – her most recent role was in 5 Teenagers Walk Into a Bar, whose release we eagerly await.
Iqbal Theba Since Principal Figgins
Principal Figgins (“Principal” is apparently his actual first name) was always a little austere, but he certainly was not unfair. The duality runs deeper. Figgins is an authoritative figure, but yet he’s insecure about his own self-worth. Though a little harsh (he insisted that they place in the Regionals if they were to keep going), he always did believe in the glee club.
The man who made Principal Figgins come to life is Pakistani-American actor Iqbal Theba. Born in Karachi, he came to the U.S. in the early 1980s to try his hand at a career in engineering. It didn’t work out. Well, unless you count being a famous actor as engineering happiness. Over the last couple of decades, he has played in a bunch of projects other than Glee. The most notable include The Kite Runner and an iteration of Transformers.
Demi Lovato Since Dani
Dani’s tattooed arms, constant guitar in hand, and free-spirited attitude made her a memorable character in Glee‘s fifth season. She joined Kurt’s band Pamela Landsbury, and then later helped form One Three Hill when some of the band members were booted out. While working together at the diner, Dani and Santana even end up booing up for a while.
Demi Lovato might be even cooler in real life than she is when she plays Dani in the show. After making it big as a young star on the Disney Channel, Lovato became an unstoppable pop star. Since Glee, Lovato has continued singing and acting and has since earned various awards, topped charts and continues blowing us away with new music. She even released a couple of amazing singles this year, during quarantine.
Kate Hudson Since Cassandra July
Cassandra July, or sometimes known as Crazy July, is a real firecracker. She’s tough, and even a little mean, especially to Rachel. Whereas Rachel basked in her prominent favor with Will, with Casandra, it was all tough love. Cassandra picked on her quite constantly as part of her approach to teaching. She’s known as Crazy Casandra because during a play, she threw out an audience member’s phone who forgot to activate his silent mode.
You all know the actress that played Casandra: Kate Hudson. She’s the daughter of Goldie Hawn and she’s a superstar in her own right. Maybe she’s best known for her roles in Almost Famous or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Following her Glee days, she’s been in over a dozen works, including voice acting in Kung-Fu Panda 3, and more recently, in A Story Takes Flight alongside Gwyneth Paltrow.
Ashley Fink Since Lauren Zizes
In the first season, we are introduced to Lauren Zizes as an independent and quirky girl. She’s president of the AV club and she’s on the school wrestling team, but her presence isn’t that frequent. In the second season, she gains momentum as her story arc evolves when agrees to join New Directions on condition that Puck joins her for 7 Minutes in Heaven. Throughout the season, we enjoyed their turbulent and cute relationship.
In a case of casting at its finest, the realizer of Lauren Zizes is Ashley Fink. As soon as her family moved to L.A., she began to pursue a career in the performing arts. When she grew up, following appearances on Make It or Break It, she was cast in Glee. After the hit show wound down, she continued her acting career, starring in shows like TripTank and What/If. She currently has a few projects in the works.
Dijon Talton Since Matt Rutherford
Matt Rutherford appeared here and there in the first season. Always rocking the varsity football jacket, singing backup vocals, and hanging out with Puck and Mike. Then, for four whole seasons, we don’t see him. But in the two-part series finale, he appears as a flashback and we see him for a few seconds here and there. Though a minor character, his recurrence after the finale does show that there’s a special spot for him.
Dijon Talton’s role in Glee got him a golden ticket to show-biz. Since his appearance on the smash-hit musical, he has played in a bunch of stuff, some movies, some T.V. series. Notably, he played in How to Get Away With Murder. A couple of months ago, he gave an interview to The Model Experience Podcast, where he talked about his journey. We recommend you give it a listen.
NeNe Leakes Since Roz Washington
We first met Roz Washington in the third season, where she is the coach of William McKinley High School’s new swim team. In a later episode, she goes head to head with Sue in a power struggle for control over the Cheerios. Roz proves herself a force to be reckoned with and is always around to keep Sue on her toes.
NeNe Leakes started to get traction in the acting business for her consistently skillful performance on The New Normal. Then, when she ended up on Glee, she was launched to significant critical acclaim. Ever since, she has been taking it pretty easy, doing some acting, but also dabbling in the fashion business and comedy; in 2016, she went on tour as a comedian!
Jake Zyrus Since Sunshine Corazon
Sunshine Corazon first appears in season three as an exchange student from the Philippines. From the start, it’s clear that she’s a tremendously talented vocalist. Rachel, therefore, feels threatened. So threatened, in fact, that she tried to sabotage an audition of Sunshine’s, who would later admit that she certainly felt tension around Rachel.
The role of Sunshine was taken on by Filipino singer, Jake Zryus, formally known as Charice. After acquiring a reputation by singing on Ellen DeGeneres, he got to Glee. After that, he continued singing and playing both in Philipino productions and western ones. He also appeared on the Philipino version of The X Factor, eventually achieving icon status. Since Glee, Zyrus also began his gender transition, after declaring that he identified as male.
Adam Lambert Since Elliot Gilbert
Former-American Idol singer Adam Lambert debuted in the fifth season of the show. His role as Elliot “Starchild” Gilbert was so well-liked that they decided to give him a character arc worthy of more than one episode. His performances on the show as the NYU student earned him critical acclaim.
Since appearing in the show, he has continued to wow fans with his solo music career. He released his third album, The Original High, in 2015, which reached number three on the U.S. Billboard 200. But most impressively from 2014 to 2020, he has been touring with legendary rock band Queen as the lead vocalist for Queen + Adam Lambert.
Skylar Astin Since Jean Baptiste
Jean Baptiste appears in the show’s fifth season, taking on the role of the obligatory show choir nemesis. Jean Baptist is the talented lead singer of Throat Explosion. He has a competitive personality and an aggressive sense of humor that go so far as to intimidate Blaine right before the competition.
After appearing in Glee in 2014, Skylar Astin has most notably appeared as Jesse Swanson in the Pitch Perfect film series. He also played Greg Serrano in the final season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and he is currently taking on the role of Max in the TV Series Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.
Josh Sussman Since Jacob Ben Israel
Josh Sussman plays Jacob, the editor of the school newspaper who also has his own gossip blog. His attraction to Rachel leads him to blackmail her to show him affection, and she continues to feel apprehensive of him. He also briefly acts as a replacement for Finn in New Directions.
Appearing in all seasons of the show, his acting career picked up while he was still appearing as Jacob from 2009 to 2014. He appeared briefly on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody but caught a bigger role as Clayton for a couple of episodes in Drake & Josh. He also played Hugh Normous in Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place. Since Glee, he has continued to pursue his acting career. Most recently he starred in the TV series Glitch Techs.
Rock Anthony Since Rick Nelson
Richard Nelson aka “Rick The Stick” Nelson never made it to the Glee club but he definitely made his presence known throughout the halls of McKinley High. As a member of the hockey team he enjoyed bullying those less popular than him. Despite this, he still made it into the running as both senior class president and Prom King.
Rick The Stick was portrayed by actor Rock Anthony. And we are happy to report that those ginger locks are au naturel, although these days Anthony has strayed away from rocking that mullet. Fair enough. Since Glee, it would appear that Anthony has strayed away from acting, having only taken on small projects and his last being in 2017. Whether or not he plans to make a comeback is unclear.
Cory Monteith Since Finn Hudson
Former co-captain of the New Directions, Finn Hudson was hugely responsible for bringing the jocks and cheerleaders to the Glee Club. And despite putting his status as the coolest kid at McKinley on the line, he never stopped following his passion for music and for Glee specifically.
Late actor Cory Monteith tragically passed away on July 13, 2013. As a result, Finn Hudson’s passing had to be written into the show. The episode “The Quarterback” was created as a tribute to Finn and Cory. Following this tribute, the cast and crew then took a brief hiatus. Monteith and his co-star Lea Michele were dating up until his unexpected passing.
Naya Rivera Since Santana Lopez
Since season one, the no-nonsense cheerio, Santana Lopez was not someone you wanted to get in the way of. However, just like her vocal talents, this character ends up having some killer range. Throughout her six-season run, and namely, through her relationship with Brittany, she managed to show off her soft side and became a groundbreaking character for both the LGBTQ and Latinx community. Taking on the role of Santana was actress and singer, Naya Rivera.
Since Glee, Rivera, who took on her first TV role as a child actress in 1991, made her film debut in the horror film At the Devil’s Door. She has also since released a debut single, has appeared on several shows, released a memoir, and started her own clothing company. Sadly, on a recent boat trip on Lake Piru with her four-year-old son, Josey, Rivera tragically drowned and lost her life. Luckily she was able to use the last of her strength to save her son. The world lost a talented performer and loving mother and our hearts go out to her loved ones.
Kevin McHale Since Artie Abrams
Another Glee club OG, Artie Abrams was never willing to let his physical disabilities get him down or in the way of his ambitions. Despite not being able to get up and dance like his fellow Glee Club members, Artie still managed to bust a move and steal the show with his killer vocals. As convincing as his performance was, actor and singer Kevin McHale is not in fact bound to a wheelchair.
As you can see, McHale is able to walk and seems to walk himself to the gym on the daily. In 2015, McHale starred in the indie film Boychoir. He also made several television appearances since Glee, including placing 7th in The X Factor: Celebrity and making a brief cameo in the Spanish Netflix drama, Elite. McHale currently co-hosts a podcast called Showmance alongside Glee costar Jenna Ushkowitz and is the host of a Dash Radio show Sick of My Own Voice.