Class is back in session! For everyone who enjoys watching a good, old fashioned sitcom about the trials and triumphs of high school students, there’s now a new comedy to dive into, as Head of the Class has finally started streaming on HBO Max. The series is based on the classic of the same name, which ran on ABC from 1986 through 1991, and followed a group of gifted students whose teacher tried to get them out of their comfort zones.
If you’re planning to check out the show, or already have, you might be wondering where you’ve seen the actors who make up the new Head of the Class cast, and we’ve got that information right here. The show features One Day at a Time’s Isabella Gómez as the new teacher, and returning cast member Robin Givens, but if you want all the details on where you’ve seen this cast before, look no further!
Isabella Gómez (Alicia Gómez)
As the teacher who’s determined to teach her students some valuable lessons about life, along with the debate skills they actually signed up for, Isabella Gómez plays Alicia. The actress is probably best known for her enthusiastic turn as Elena Alvarez on One Day at a Time, which was infamously cancelled by Netflix to much fan outcry. While the four seasons (it ran from 2017 through 2020, with the final season airing on Pop) spent on that family comedy brought Gómez the most praise and attention she’s seen so far in her young career, you could have easily seen (or heard) her somewhere else.
In 2014, Gómez nabbed her first screen credit for the drama Matador, which ran on the El Rey Network. She went on to voice the role of Megan in Big Hero 6: The Series, and take a guest voice role in Star vs. the Forces of Evil as Teen Mariposa in a 2019 episode. Gómez also made a guest appearance in Modern Family in 2016, and is now filming Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
Jorge Diaz (Elliot Escalante)
Jorge Diaz plays Alicia’s English teacher friend, Elliot, at school, who may eventually become more than just a friend. Diaz has racked up an impressive list of nearly 70 credits since making his screen debut in the short-lived Telemundo Spanish-language series, Solo en America, in 1998. But, his best known roles will likely be that of Paulie on the Hulu drama East Los High, and JD Guzman on The CW’s telenovela-style dramedy, Jane the Virgin.
Diaz has also done a lot of voice work for video games such as Grand Theft Auto V, Dead Rising 3, and Ghost Recon: Wildlands, while also doing voiceovers for series like Cleopatra in Space, Fast & Furious Spy Racers, Elena of Avalor, The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants, The Lion Guard, and Disney’s popular animated series, The Owl House. On TV, the actor has also appeared in Runaways, Arrested Development, Days of Our Lives, and The Good Place, and starred in the horror film Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones in 2014.
Jolie Hoang-Rappaport (Makayla Washington)
Robyn’s best friend Makayla is played by Jolie Hoang-Rappaport. After getting her start on the series All About the Washingtons in 2018, the actress is probably best known now for her role as Zoe on Amazon Prime’s Just Add Magic and Just Add Magic: Mystery City. She also played Bian on HBO’s celebrated superhero drama, Watchmen, in 2019.
Hoang-Rappaport also portrayed Gemma on Nickelodeon’s Cousins for Life, appeared on The Big Show Show, and did voice work for We Bare Bears, Adventures in Wonder Park, and the upcoming The Monkey King.
Gavin Lewis (Luke Burrows)
The original Head of the Class had its own preppy guy among the students, and Gavin Lewis fills that part in the new show as aspiring politician Luke. While Lewis got his start on an episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! in 2015, he went on to star as the titular Prince Emil on Netflix’s Prince of Peoria for one season, and appeared as Moody Richardson, the younger son of Reese Witherspoon and Joshua Jackson’s characters, in Hulu’s 2020 miniseries, Little Fires Everywhere.
Lewis has also appeared in shows such as NCIS: Los Angeles, Roswell, New Mexico, No Good Nick, The Kicks, and voiced the character of Eugene in the TV movie, Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie in 2017.
Dior Goodjohn (Robyn Rook)
The rebellious and STEM-focused member of Alicia’s class, Robyn, is played by Dior Goodjohn. The actress has slowly been building her career since 2013, when she played Little Santana in 2013’s “Lights Out” episode of Glee. Goodjohn appeared on two sitcoms in 2019, Disney Channel’s Raven’s Home, and CBS’ The Unicorn, but Head of the Class is her first leading role. Hopefully, this will continue to be the start of a wonderful career for the young talent.
Brandon Severs (Terrell Hayward)
Every good teen show needs at least one jock, and Brandon Severs takes on that role as swim team star Terrell, who also happens to be the son of returning original Head of the Class character, Darlene, who is once again portrayed by Robin Givens. Severs should be known to fans of one of the best Disney+ original shows , Diary of a Future President, where he played Liam for the first two seasons, and for Disney Channel’s prank show Walk the Prank, where he starred as Dusty.
Severs also appeared in the Quibi’s Emmy-Award winning drama, #FreeRayshawn, as Miles, and has been seen in shows like Raven’s Home, Days of Our Lives, The Neighbors, The Whispers, and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn. He recently completed work on a currently untitled TV movie, which will star Hamilton and One Night in Miami’s Leslie Odom Jr.
Adrian Matthew Escalona (Miles Mendelson)
Playing Luke’s stylish (but somewhat meek) best friend, Miles, we have Adrian Matthew Escalona. Right now, Miles stands as Escalona’s first and only screen credit. But, with Head of the Class, the young star has certainly proven that this show shouldn’t be his last.
Katie Beth Hall (Sarah Maris)
As the principal’s popular daughter, Sarah, we have Katie Beth Hall. The actress might be best remembered for her one-episode guest spot on Better Call Saul, where she played Young Kim in the “Wexler v. Goodman” episode from 2020.
Christa Miller (Principal Maris)
The school has a very no-nonsense principal for Alicia to deal with, and that would be Sarah’s mom, Principal Maris, who’s played by Christa Miller. Miller is one of the more easily recognizable faces among the Head of the Class cast. Not only does her screen career go back to the popular ‘80s sitcom Kate & Allie, but fans of TV will know her from several beloved comedies where she had starring or recurring roles. This list is made up of The Drew Carey Show, her part in the Scrubs cast, and Cougar Town.
Miller has also appeared on shows like Whiskey Cavalier, Private Practice, CSI: Miami, Seinfeld (where she played two different characters, one in 1993, and the other in 1995), Party of Five, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Northern Exposure. She also voiced Cleopatra in Clone High (which is being rebooted soon), and starred in the 2008 mini-series The Andromeda Strain.
Robin Givens (Darlene Merriman)
As mentioned above, original Head of the Class cast member Robin Givens has returned for the HBO Max show to bring Darlene back to the small screen, as the mom to one of Alicia’s students. Because of her time on the 1980s sitcom, Givens’ career took off, and she’s since appeared in a number of movies and TV shows, and now has over 100 screen credits. Givens has been on The CW’s teen thriller, Riverdale, since 2017, and is now also on Batwoman, where she plays Jada Jet.
Givens also led the 2019 series, Ambitions, and has had memorable roles on The Fix, The Bold and the Beautiful, Saints & Sinners, 90210, Chuck, House of Payne, One on One, Drop Dead Diva, Moesha, Burn Notice, Everybody Hates Chris, The Game (where she played herself), Once Upon a Time, and many more series. The well-known star has also lent her talents to many movies, like Boomerang, A Rage in Harlem and the Damon Wayans superhero comedy Blankman, along with TV movies or mini-series like The Women of Brewster Place with Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan: An American Hero, and the 2020 Lifetime holiday film Dear Christmas.
That wraps it up for the main players and most notable guest stars you’ll be able to watch in Head of the Class on HBO Max. If, though, you binge the whole 10-episode first season and feel that you want more of overachieving students being pushed to live a little by their fun-loving teacher, then you can stick with the streaming service and watch the original Head of the Class, to see where it all started (especially for Robin Givens’ Darlene).
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