What Has The Friends Cast Been Up To Since The Show Ended?

The Friends cast
(Image credit: NBC)

NBC was on top of the network television world in the 1990s up to the early 2000s, thanks in part to a little show called Friends. The sitcom ran for 10 seasons until its highly-rated finale in 2004 saw Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross moving on to new chapters in their lives, as did the actors who portrayed them. 

Perhaps you were too busy on your most recent binge of the series with your Max subscription to notice what else the stars have done in the time leading up to their highly anticipated, deeply emotional reunion special in 2021 and beyond. Well, the actors have been involved in many notable TV shows, some acclaimed films, and a few other intriguing projects, in the nearly two decades since they parted ways. Let's go over the most essential highlights from the careers of the Friends cast since they said goodbye to Monica’s apartment, each other, and us.

Rachel smiling in Joey's apartment on Friends

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green)

Following her Emmy-winning, fashion trend-setting time as Rachel Green, Jennifer Aniston took on film roles of various tones – from 2005’s romantic crime thriller Derailed to the 2008 tearjerker, Marley & Me, and later playing memorable parts in raunchy comedies like We’re the Millers and Horrible Bosses. She also proved her exemplary talents by taking on several ambitious projects from in front of and behind the camera, like directing a segment of Five – a Lifetime anthology film that explored the topic of breast cancer – and executive producing and giving a Golden Globe-nominated performance in the tragic 2014 drama Cake.

Some of Aniston’s biggest hits in recent memory can be found on streaming, such as her three Netflix original movies: 2019’s Dumplin’, Murder Mystery, and the latter’s even more successful 2023 sequel, which she reunited with Adam Sandler for. The actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist is also serving as executive producer and star of one of the best Apple TV shows, The Morning Show, which is returning for a fourth season in 2025, and is also signed on to produce a reimagining of 9 to 5 with writer Diablo Cody.

Monica Gellar is angry on Friends.

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Television)

Courteney Cox (Monica Geller)

As a seemingly extreme departure from Monica Geller’s clean freak persona, Dirt – a short-lived FX drama set at a celebrity gossip tabloid – was the title of Courteney Cox’s first television show following the sitcom’s end. However, her most successful post-Friends TV role to date is leading creator Bill Lawrence’s funny favorite, Cougar Town, which aired on ABC for the first half of its run before being picked up by TBS for the second half.

Some of Cox’s most notable movies and TV shows outside of that include a Adam Sandler movie called Bedtime Stories from 2008, her 2014 feature-length directorial debut, Just Before I Go, and the Starz original horror-comedy series, Shining Vale, which premiered in 2022. That same year, she reprised her most iconic film role – Gale Weathers from the Scream movies – in the beloved horror movie franchise’s fifth installment before coming back for the Scream VI cast the following year. In late March 2024, Variety reported that she is talks to star in the upcoming Scream 7.

Phoebe in apartment hallway on Halloween in Friends

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe Buffay)

Lisa Kudrow struck gold in her apparent mission to never repeat herself in her career following her Emmy-winning performance as the lovably ditzy Phoebe Buffay on Friends by creating two characters who have since made a splash in the comedy lexicon on television programs that oddly shared a somewhat similar fate. Her acclaimed HBO comedy, The Comeback – in which she played fallen star Valerie Cherish – was cancelled after one season before returning for another nine years later. That followed the time her successful webseries, Web Therapy – on which Friends co-stars have appeared to receive terrible advice from her as narcissistic therapist, Fiona Wallace – was acquired in 2011 by Showtime, where it ran for four seasons.

Outside of her success in television comedies – which also includes funny Netflix shows BoJack Horseman and the Steve Carell-led Space Force – Kudrow has led an eclectic big screen career that includes more comedies – of the raunchier kind, like Neighbors or Booksmart, or the family-friendly kind, like the Boss Baby movies voice cast – as well as dramas like 2016’s The Girl on the Train. She continues to lead Fox’s Housebroken voice cast as Honey – a character like Fiona Wallace, if she were a dog – and Deadline reported that she has been tapped to star in Ray Romano's dark Netflix comedy, No Good Deed.

Matt LeBlanc on Friends

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani)

While most of his Friends co-stars found success by eagerly reinventing themselves, Matt LeBlanc has seemed most comfortable sticking to a very familiar routine, having quickly reprised Joey Tribbiani in a self-titled spin-off that was cancelled after two seasons. Furthermore, in 2012, the actor won a Golden Globe for playing a fictionalized version himself on the Showtime series, Episodes, which lasted five seasons. That same year, he took a position as a presenter for the popular British docuseries Top Gear, which he maintained until 2019.

In 2014, he starred in his first movie since 2003’s Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle – a rom-com with Ali Larter called Lovesick – and, two years later, was cast as the lead of the family sitcom, Man with a Plan, which lasted four years on CBS and remains his most recent acting credit. Perhaps he just wants to live life outside of the spotlight for a while – like he did after Joey was cancelled – and that’s a decision we can certainly respect.

David Schwimmer reading a question in Friends.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

David Schwimmer (Ross Geller)

It is nearly impossible to look at David Schwimmer and not see Ross Geller, who also bears a few similarities to Melman – the neurotic giraffe he voiced in his most successful post-Friends effort, the Madagascar movies (including the 2009 Christmas special). However, with the exception of his Peacock exclusive action-comedy series, Intelligence, some of his more recent credits have served as a dramatic departure from his Friends days – such as AMC’s short-lived culinary drama, Feed the Beast; the first season of American Crime Story (as Robert Kardashian); and Steven Soderbergh’s Netflix original crime dramedy, The Laundromat.

Even more interesting than Schwimmer’s post-Friends acting career is his directing career, which includes 10 episodes of said sitcom, two episodes of Joey, his 2008 theatrical feature debut with the Simon Pegg-led comedy, Run Fatboy Run, and a dark drama called Trust two years later. In 2023, Schwimmer lent his voice to Netflix's animated comedy series Captain Fall and his upcoming dramedy, Little Death, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2024. He is also set to star in Disney+'s Goosebumps Season 2, as Deadline reported.

Matthew Perry on Friends.

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing)

The Friends cast lost one of its beloved members on October 28, 2023, when Matthew Perry passed away at the age of 54 after drowning in his home jacuzzi. One of the first of Perry's most notable acting credits following his wild success as the hilariously awkward Chandler Bing was his Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated performance in the 2006 made-for-TV biopic, The Ron Clark Story. That same year, he teamed up with The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin for the NBC drama, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which proved not as popular as Tina Fey’s similarly plotted NBC comedy, 30 Rock, and was cancelled after one season. 

This seemed to start a pattern of Perry leading one-season shows (ABC’s Mr. Sunshine and NBC’s Go On), which he broke in 2015 with his revamp of The Odd Couple, also starring his 17 Again co-star, Thomas Lennon. His final acting credit was playing Ted Kennedy in the 2017 political miniseries, The Kennedys After Camelot. He followed that by putting his energy into seeking therapy, sobriety, and taking the time to help those with the same problem, as he detailed in his revealing 2022 memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

While not all of them are here with us any longer following Matthew Perry's untimely passing, you can still see the Friends cast all together by binging the classic sitcom any time you want. So, in that way, they truly will always be there for you, because you’re there for them, too.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.