As the theme song famously noted, the characters in Dawson's Creek didn't want to wait for their lives to be over. They wanted to know, right now, what would it be. Now that it's been nearly 18 years since The WB drama series left the air in 2003, it can feel like a lifetime has passed since these characters were regularly seen on TVs. When the show finished its run, several of the actors involved moved on to many different, often exciting, new projects. Notably, one star in particular has found incredible critical and commercial success throughout her prestigious, award-winning acting career.
James Van Der Beek (Dawson Leery)
As the titular Dawson Leery, James Van Der Beek found his star-making role in this WB drama series. During his time on the show, the actor would also star in Varsity Blues, Texas Rangers, The Rules of Attraction, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. After Dawson's Creek came to an end, Van Der Beek gained acclaim for playing a fictionalized version of himself on Don't Trust The B---- In Apartment 23. He was also in the main cast for CSI: Cyber, and he voices a role on Vampirina. He was in Pose, and starred in Labor Day, Downsizing, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, and the short film, Power/Rangers, which he co-wrote. Most recently, Van Der Beek appeared on Season 28 of Dancing with the Stars. He'll be seen in Bad Hair next month, and also starred in Quibi's Princess Bride remake.
Katie Holmes (Joey Potter)
Playing the part of Joey Potter, Katie Holmes had one of the lead roles in Dawson's Creek. Previously best known for The Ice Storm, her screen debut, this WB series paved the way for Holmes' career as an actress. Through the show's success, Holmes played prominent roles in Go, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Wonder Boys, The Gift, Phone Booth, and Pieces of April, all during her time on the series. When the show wrapped, Holmes was most notably seen in Batman Begins, Thank You For Smoking, Mad Money, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Jack and Jill, The Giver, Miss Meadows, Woman in Gold, and Logan Lucky. Plus, in 2016, Holmes made her directorial debut with the indie drama All We Had, which the first-time filmmaker also produced and starred in. Earlier this year, Holmes starred in Brahms: The Boy II and The Secret: Dare to Dream.
Michelle Williams (Jen Lindley)
As Jen Lindley, a New York City transplant in the town of Capeside, MA, Michelle Williams found fame through her main role on Dawson's Creek. Since then, Williams has received a great deal of acclaim and accolades for her dramatic film performances, notably in Wendy And Lucy, My Week With Marilyn (for which she won a Golden Globe), Blue Valentine, Manchester by the Sea, Brokeback Mountain, Take This Waltz, Meek's Cutoff, and more. Williams currently has four Oscar nominations, and she also won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her lead performance in the miniseries, Fosse/Verdon. Additionally, Williams also earned a Tony nomination for her 2016 performance in Blackbird. She was also seen in Venom, Shutter Island, The Greatest Showman, and Oz the Great and Powerful. Most recently, Williams starred in After the Wedding. Next, she'll be seen in Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
Joshua Jackson (Pacey Witter)
In the role of Pacey Witter, a longtime friend of Dawson and Joey's (with strong romantic feelings for the latter), Joshua Jackson stole many hearts during his time on Dawson's Creek. His character was a constant presence throughout the show's entire run, and he fueled a burning love triangle between the three lead characters. Prior to his role in this series, Jackson was best known for The Mighty Ducks movies and Scream 2. During his time at the Creek, Jackson was also seen in Cruel Intentions, Muppets From Space, and The Skulls. When the show wrapped, Jackson became the star of Fringe and The Affair. He also starred in Cursed, Bobby, Shutter, One Week, Lay the Favorite, and Bobby, to name a few films. Last year, the actor starred in Netflix's acclaimed mini-series, When They See Us. He was last seen in Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere.
Mary Beth Peil (Evelyn Ryan)
As Evelyn Ryan, Jen's grandmother, Mary Beth Peil was seen throughout all six seasons of Dawson's Creek. Once primarily a stage and opera actress, Peil didn't make her screen debut until 1992's Jersey Girl. Therefore, Dawson's Creek became one of the actress's first prominent screen roles. Following her time on this popular series, Peil starred in 2004's The Stepford Wives, Shortbus, Flags of Our Fathers, Mirrors, and Collateral Beauty. She also appeared in nearly fifty episodes of The Good Wife, as well as episodes of Fringe and Law & Order: SVU. In this time, Peil still acted on stage, notably in productions of Nine, Sunday in the Park with George, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Follies, and Anastasia, for which she received a Tony nomination. Most recently, she starred in the short-lived series Katy Keene earlier this year.
Mary-Margaret Humes (Gail Leery)
In the role of Gail Leery, Dawson's mom, Mary-Margaret Humes played a primary role in the first four seasons of Dawson's Creek, followed by recurring appearances in Seasons 5 and 6. The former Miss Florida USA winner has appeared in more than 50 shows over the course of her acting career, including The Dukes of Hazzard, The Love Boat, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Matlock, Blossom, Murphy Brown, and more. Dawson's Creek, however, remains her most well-known role. Since the series concluded, Humes continued to appear on various TV shows, including Grey's Anatomy, CSI: NY, Criminal Minds, Luck, and Saving Grace. She also starred in several TV movies. The more recent ones include 2018's Home By Spring and Christmas in Love, and 2019's A Feeling of Home and Winter Love Story. In February, Humes starred in A Valentine's Match.
Nina Repeta (Bessie Potter)
Playing the part of Bessie Potter, Joey's sister, Nina Repeta was seen throughout all six seasons of Dawson's Creek. Prior to her role in this WB series, Repeta appeared in episodes of Matlock and starred in Radioland Murders. Additionally, during her time on Dawson's Creek, the actress was also seen in 2002's Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Since the show's finale, however, Repeta hasn't appeared on screen quite as consistently as some of her former Dawson's Creek co-stars. She's appeared in episodes of Palmetto Pointe, The Originals, and Good Behavior, also starring in Southern Gothic, The Remaining, and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Most recently, Repeta starred in the 2018 short film, Long Drive To Yadkin. She had a child in 2008, which might explain why she hasn't appeared in as many movies and shows since Creek wrapped up in 2003.
John Wesley Shipp (Mitch Leery)
As Dawson's dad, Mitch Leery, John Wesley Shipp was seen prevalently throughout the first four seasons of Dawson's Creek. Before he joined this WB series, Shipp was best known for playing the lead character on The Flash in the early '90s. The actor also appeared on soap operas like As the World Turns and Guiding Light throughout the '80s. Following his time in Dawson's Creek, Shipp appeared in One Life To Live, and he was also seen in episodes of Teen Wolf, Drop Dead Diva, JAG, CSI: NY, and The Closer before he reprised his role as Barry Allen in The CW's The Flash, also playing this part in episodes of Supergirl and Arrow. Most recently, Shipp was in an episode of Blindspot, and starred in the TV movie Ruby Herring Mysteries: Prediction Murder. Next, he'll be seen in Climbing Life.
Kerr Smith (Jack McPhee)
Playing Jack McPhee, Kerr Smith was a primary cast member on Dawson's Creek from his Season 2 introduction through the show's sixth season. His role gained considerable attention, particularly for sharing what was considered "TV's first passionate kiss between two men" with Adam Kaufman. Prior to playing Jack, Smith was notably seen in The Broken Hearts Club and As the World Turns, but while the show was on the air, he starred in Final Destination. After the Creek ran dry, he played a main role in E-Ring, Justice, and Life Unexpected. He also had recurring roles on CSI: NY, Eli Stone, NCIS, The Fosters, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and, most recently, Riverdale. Kerr also starred in Cruel Intentions 3, My Bloody Valentine 3D, and When Hope Grows. Additionally, last year, Smith starred in episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles and Into the Dark.
Meredith Monroe (Andie McPhee)
Playing the part of Andie McPhee, an academic, ambitious fellow classmate at Capeside High School, Meredith Monroe joined Dawson's Creek in Season 2 and became a main cast member in Seasons 3 and 4. During her time on the show, Monroe was also seen in Minority Report, New Best Friend, and Manhood. Since Dawson's Creek came to a close, the actress has bounced between film and television, notably with her recurring role in Criminal Minds, Hart of Dixie, and 13 Reasons Why, as well as roles in NCIS, Bones, CSI, Psych, Hawaii FIve-0, CSI: NY, House, Cold Case, Wake, Castle, Drop Dead Diva, Private Practice, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, S.W.A.T., and The Edge of Seventeen.
Busy Phillips (Audrey Liddell)
As Audrey Liddell, Busy Phillips joined Dawson's Creek in Season 5 and became a main cast member for the show's sixth and final season. Prior to her role in this WB drama, Phillips was best known for her work in the beloved short-lived sitcom, Freaks & Geeks. Following the show's conclusion, Phillips became better known for her standout role in Cougar Town. She also played roles in ER, Love, Inc., Undeclared, Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles, Vice Principals, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She also starred in White Chicks, He's Just Not That Into You, Made of Honor, The Gift, and I Feel Pretty. From 2018-2019, Phillips hosted her own talk show, Busy Tonight. Additionally, in 2018, Phillips published her memoir, This Will Only Hurt A Little, which became a New York Times bestseller. She also recently appeared in an episode of Camping.
Chad Michael Murray (Charlie Todd)
Just a couple years before he played the lead role in One Tree Hill, Chad Michael Murray played Charlie Todd, Jen's college boyfriend, in Dawson's Creek's fifth season. In what is certainly his most noteworthy "before he was famous" role, this appearance helped to solidify Murray as a mainstay on The WB/CW. This tradition continues as the TV actor is currently playing a role in Riverdale. In addition, he's also known for his roles in Freaky Friday, A Cinderella Story, 2005's House of Wax, and Fruitvale Station. He also played a supporting role in Agent Carter, and appeared in Left Behind, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia, and A Madea Christmas. Murray was recently seen in Survive the Night, and a pair of holiday-themed movies, Write Before Christmas and Love in Winterland.
Who is your favorite Dawson's Creek star? Let us know in the comments!