Modern Family will conclude with the Season 11 finale in April, which marks the end of an era for ABC. The network was home to a series that was a critical darling during its height and kept on going for its fans. Remarkably, the Modern Family regulars who debuted back in Season 1 remain on board as Season 11 comes to and end. Now is the time to look back at Modern Family Season 1 and see how the cast has changed by Season 11.
The Modern Family cast matured from Season 1 to Season 11, with the kids grown into young adults and much of the cast enjoying career opportunities that they likely would not have gotten if not for the super successful sitcom. Let's start with the man who had the most sitcom experience coming in to Modern Family Season 1: Ed O'Neill.
Ed O'Neill (Jay Pritchett)
Best known prior to Modern Family as Al Bundy of Married... with Children, Ed O'Neill plays the Modern Family patriarch Jay Pritchett. 63-years-old when Modern Family Season 1 launched back on September 23, 2009, O'Neill will be just shy of 74 when the Modern Family series finale airs. Jay went through a lot of changes over the years as he became more accepting and more... well, modern as a husband, father, and grandfather.
Ed O'Neill proved his comedy chops weren't limited to Married... with Children on Modern Family, as Jay evolved over the years without losing the ability to deliver laughs. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the Emmys three times thanks to Modern Family. He mostly stuck with Modern Family for work since 2009, although he has done plenty of voice work, with roles ranging from Zyrtec commercials to Wreck-It Ralph to Finding Dory.
Julie Bowen (Claire Dunphy)
Julie Bowen was an accomplished TV actress prior to playing Claire on Modern Family Season 1 thanks to Ed and Boston Legal. Claire shifted over the years from housewife to working mom to now grandmother of a couple of twins. Bowen herself gave birth to twins in 2009, and her baby bump is visible for eagle-eyed viewers of the pilot. 39-years-old when that pilot aired, Bowen is now 50. She divorced from her husband in 2018, but remains "very good friends" with him.
Julie Bowen did a lot of voice work during Modern Family's run, with projects like DuckTales and Tangled: The Series. That said, she also has live-action films like Horrible Bosses (2011) and Knife Fight (2012) to her name. Modern Family is undeniably her biggest critical success, with six consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress, with Bowen taking home the trophy in 2011 and 2012.
Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy)
The 52-year-old Ty Burrell has spent 11 seasons tackling the role of Phil Dunphy, the goofy dad of the Dunphy crew with a big heart and inconvenient fear of clowns. His bond with his kids changed as they grew up, but his marriage with Claire remained strong. Burrell worked as a voice actor throughout Modern Family's run, with roles in Finding Dory and the 2020 animated sitcom Duncanville. He also had some live-action appearances, with Muppets Most Wanted in 2014 and episodes of Key and Peele.
Notably, Ty Burrell signed a deal with 20th Century Fox TV in 2014 to develop comedy projects, and he produced and starred in the web series Boondoggle, which scored him an Emmy nom for Short Form Comedy in 2017. 42-years-old when Modern Family Season 1 premiered in 2009, Burrell accumulated eight Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor, winning in 2011 and 2014.
Sofia Vergara (Gloria Delgado)
Sofia Vergara debuted on Modern Family as Gloria Delgado at 37, playing the much-younger Colombian wife of Jay Pritchett, mother of Manny and eventually Joe. Gloria is traditional and superstitious, but deeply loving of her family. For Modern Family, Vergara has been nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy four times. Vergara (now 47) largely appeared in live-action during her Modern Family stint, including Hot Pursuit in 2015 with Reese Witherspoon and Bottom of the Ninth in 2019 with husband Joe Manganiello.
Back in 2019, Deadline reported Sofia Vergara as set to star and produce an untitled female ensemble comedy film. Her first major project following the end of Modern Family will see her move from ABC to NBC as a new judge on America's Got Talent. Vergara has stated that she's "extremely proud to be the first Latin judge on the show."
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell Pritchett)
The youngest of the adult cast at 34 when Modern Family Season 1 premiered in 2009, Jesse Tyler Ferguson (now 44) has played the gay son of Jay, brother of Claire, husband of Cam, and father of Lily. Originally high-strung and struggling with his relationship with his father, Mitchell was able to loosen up and embrace his family as the years passed. Ferguson primarily stayed off the big screen over the past decade, with TV roles on shows like Hot in Cleveland and Nightcap.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson managed to squeeze in some musical theater productions during his years on Modern Family, and certainly not small roles. Ferguson also appeared in Taylor Swift's "You Need To Calm Down" music video. He and his husband are expecting their first child this year. He joins his Modern Family costars in stacking up the Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy nominations, with five to his name.
Eric Stonestreet (Cameron Tucker)
Eric Stonestreet was 38 when Modern Family launched in 2009, and Cam proved to be a devoted husband and father, a lover of farms, and a clown enthusiast with a clown alter ego by the name of Fizbo. Prior to Modern Family, Stonestreet (now 49) mostly landed one-off TV roles, with the exception of 13 episodes of CSI. Following Modern Family Season 1's launch, he landed live-action gigs like an episode of American Horror Story in 2011 and The Loft in 2015, as well as voice roles in both Secret Life of Pets films, the Sofia the First animated series, and more.
Unsurprisingly considering this is Modern Family, Eric Stonestreet has been nominated for an Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy three times, winning twice. In 2019, Stonestreet became a partial owner of the Kansas City Royals. He has expressed interest in working with Modern Family on-screen husband Jesse Tyler Ferguson again.
Sarah Hyland (Haley Dunphy)
The eldest of the Dunphy kids was played by 19-year-old Sarah Hyland when Modern Family Season 1 launched. Haley was never the smartest of the Dunphys, but she always meant well and went on to marry on-again/off-again boyfriend Dylan and give birth to twins. Now 29, Hyland has worked on a variety of projects during the 11 seasons of Modern Family while also struggling with health issues and public perception. She underwent two kidney transplants throughout the run of Modern Family.
Despite keeping busy with Modern Family, Sarah Hyland found time to star in projects like Vampire Academy and the Dirty Dancing remake. She appeared in the controversial latest season of Veronica Mars and also worked as a voice actress, with roles on The Lion Guard, Lego DC Comics Superheroes, and more. Hyland already lined up her next network TV role following Modern Family, which may mean that Haley-centric spinoff won't happen.
Ariel Winter (Alex Dunphy)
Only 11 when Modern Family Season 1 premiered, Ariel Winter has played Alex Dunphy, a.k.a. the brainy middle child of the Dunphy family. Although Alex has always been competitive, she loves her family and uses her brains to help them... and mess with them, but she has her their backs. Winter is now 22, and most of her jobs during Modern Family were voice roles, with Sofia the First as a highlight. More recently, she played a very non-Alex Dunphy character for Law & Order: SVU.
Ariel Winter's personal life involved a lot of ups and downs as she grew up during Modern Family, which she described as "difficult" and "awful." After being emancipated from her mother, Winter underwent breast reduction surgery. She went through further changes due to medications that resulted in weight loss, and she has made all kinds of headlines with her bold wardrobe choices.
Nolan Gould (Luke Dunphy)
Believe it or not, Nolan Gould is less than a year younger than on-screen sister Ariel Winter, despite the endearingly goofy Luke seeming so much younger than the much-brainier Alex. Only 11 when Modern Family's first episode aired on ABC, the 21-year-old Gould is a member of Mensa with an IQ of 150, according to Gould himself on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. At the age of 13, he tested out of high school.
Compared to his Modern Family costars, Nolan Gould didn't tackle too many projects during Modern Family, but he does have some notable projects to his name. On top of an appearance in 2011's Friends with Benefits, he went for horror with 2012's Ghoul, and starred in the 2019 drama Yes. Gould told PopCulture that he "took an interest" in Yes because it was so different from Modern Family, but he also told PopCulture in 2019 that he's "one hundred percent on board for a spinoff or a reboot or anything."
Rico Rodriguez (Manny Delgado)
At 11-years-old when Modern Family Season 1 premiered, Rico Rodriguez was pretty young to be playing Claire and Mitchell's step-sibling and the Dunphy kids' step-uncle, but Manny with his sensitivity, love of the arts, and surprisingly grown-up tendencies (played for laughs) always delivered. Now 21, Rodriguez got his big break with Modern Family and didn't branch out a whole lot during the run of the series. He did some voice work on TV projects like Mad and The Lion Guard, played himself in The Muppets in 2011, and landed some one-off TV roles including on R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour and Austin & Ally.
Notably, Rico Rodriguez wrote a book back in 2012, called Reel Life Lessons... So Far. The book included his thoughts on growing up in the spotlight thanks to Modern Family's success, overcoming challenges, and starring on a show with Sofia Vergara playing his mom.
Few shows can hang on to so many members of the Season 1 cast, let alone the full cast of series regulars. See the Modern Family cast in their final episodes airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. The series finale airs on April 8, so there is a limited number of episodes remaining until the final credits roll. Be sure to tune in! For some viewing options once Modern Family wraps with Season 11, check out our 2020 midseason premiere schedule.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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