One of America’s favorite families entertained audiences for 11 seasons. After its 1997 conclusion, the cast may have split, but their journeys continued on. Those people who portrayed the Bundy family went on to forge remarkable paths to keep up that trend of success. In fact, the Married… with Children cast never really stopped providing entertainment after the show ended. With thirty years passing since the show first aired, it’s time to see what everyone’s been up to.
The premise of Married… with Children is timeless, and the appeal is evident in how many iterations we see on TV even today. The show follows a wacky family and their acquaintances. Each individual has a colorful personality that makes them truly unforgettable. We see this formula in other shows as well, but its the Married… with Children cast who put their own special blend to it. Thankfully for us, they kept up their craft so viewers could enjoy their work. Where is everyone now, three decades since this all started?
When we said sitcoms focused on families are popular, we meant it. One of America’s most iconic, dysfunctional patriarchs, Al Bundy, was portrayed by Ed O’Neill. Modern audiences see him frequently in episodes of Modern Family, a show that follows his new fatherly role of Jay Pritchett. Pritchett has his life put together better than Bundy, in a few ways, but O’Neill is still able to bring the comedy. Life seems full of nods to the past because just as Married… with Children aired for 11 seasons, O’Neill’s Modern Family signed off on an 11th and final season.
The esteemed actor is known for many other roles unrelated to family mayhem, however. After Married… with Children, O’Neill went on to act in several movies. His prevalence varied from film to film, but his resume includes Dutch, Little Giants, The Bone Collector, Wayne’s World, and The 10th Kingdom. Soon, he returned to television. He appeared in a remake of Dragnet. It was impossible to ignore a creative nod to his roots, and he acted opposite Katey Sagal on 8 Simple Rules. Nothing like a friendly family reunion with your television wife!
Speaking of Sagal, here is one woman who saw how well she performed on TV and kept up with it. She stuck to pursuing roles on various shows, primarily ones viewers could enjoy for some good, fun entertainment. Viewers of any age enjoyed her performances, as she became involved in everything from Shameless and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation to Rugrats and Glee.
Though her list of television appearances is more extensive, that doesn’t mean Sagal has no movie credits to her name. These include, among several others, Jack and the Beanstalk, Pitch Perfect 2, and several Futurama titles. By 2011, Sagal won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Sons of Anarchy. Two years ago, she published a memoir titled Grace Notes. Outside of her acting career, Sagal uses her platform to drive activism.
The Bundy family’s first bundle of joy came in the form of Kelly Bundy. Kelly grew to be a ditzy airhead that viewers of O’Neill’s Modern Family might cite as inspiration for Haley Dunphy. This role got actress Christina Applegate involved in the entertainment industry at a young age, much like other performers. From there, she stuck to her craft for decades to come, and she earned a lot of recognition for it. Unlike Sagal, Applegate mixed numerous films into her resume at the get-go. While the genres vary and can include some very heavy topics, for the most party comedy permeates every title.
From comedies like Bad Moms (2016) to accounts of real-life individuals in Grand Theft Parsons (2003), Applegate has done quite a bit since Married… with Children ended. For her work on TV, movies, and even Broadway, Applegate received an Emmy Award and a Tony and Golden Globe Award nomination. Today, she can be seen on one of Netflix’s many titles, this one a dark comedy titled Dead to Me.
Faustino doesn’t need Grandmaster B as Bud Bundy did. Al and Peggy’s second son could not often catch a break. What he lacked in coolness he made up for with brains, but unfortunately for Bud, he just never seemed to figure out how to comfortably be around others. His fixations on typical teenage problems reflected the awkwardness of that age range. While Bud and Kelly relentlessly made fun of one another, anyone else who did similarly got told off by the Bundy siblings. Clearly, family members stick together.
Faustino is doing well for himself without reverting to a bad-boy rapper alter-ego. Acting runs in the family, as he and his siblings made appearances in Married… with Children. David got his start very early on. At 3 months, he appeared on the Lily Tomlin Special. His first role in earnest started as a small but honorable one on Little House on the Prarie (1980). Faustino has numerous roles that span many different styles and genres of entertainment. Younger audiences know him best as the voice of Mako, a central character in Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra. In this role, he became central in continuing the grand legacy of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Following the life of one colorful family is fun, but other characters are essential for rounding everything – and everyone – off. Many Americans can relate to having diverse experiences with neighbors, cultivating relationships that are cordial, competitive, and everything in between. Marcy Rhoades (or D’Arcy) is a neighbor who is fascinating to watch compared to the Bundy family. While Marcy is Peggy’s best friend, she and Al have an intense, ongoing rivalry fueled by Marcy’s strong views that seem at odds with Al. Both sides of this feud fire off at one another with abandon.
Like her peers, Amanda Bearse has other works that make her very well known. She is additionally famous for her role in Fright Night (1985), one in a collection of horror films that would take America by storm in the coming decades. Fright Night went on to become a cult classic, Her more recent titles include Drop Dead Diva, Anger Management and Sky Sharks. Outside of her successful career, she is the proud mother of a daughter, Zoe, who she adopted.
Fortunately for Al, and unfortunately for his neighbor Steve Rhoades, not everyone who lives nearby butts heads with the Bundy father. Rhoades is an ally to Al, reluctant though that alliance may be. For better or worse, he becomes mixed up in Al’s increasingly ridiculous schemes, though this banker does have one line in the sand no one is allowed to cross: his prized Mercedes Benz must never meet any harm.
Rhoades eventually left to seek his fortunes elsewhere and so too did actor David Garrison. Most often, he can be found onstage cultivating his acting career, and what a magical career it has been! His biggest performances are related to the Land of Oz, including that of The Wizard on Broadway and on several tours of Wicked. His performance in the latter even earned him a Carbonell Award in 2006.
While Garrison found great success, his character Rhoades did not immediately have the same experience. Rhoades tries to start afresh with Marcy, his and Marcy’s chances are impeded by Jefferson D’Arcy, played by Ted McGinley. This arrangement does not work out for anyone except D’Arcy. The man lazes about worse than Peggy, all to scam and cheat and use his relationship with Marcy to earn him money.
In contrast, McGinley pursued success in a more wholesome way. His appearances are centralized to TV shows and another big role of his ended up being Charley Shanowski on the ABC sitcom Hope & Faith. He can also be seen on The Love Boat, Dynasty, and Happy Days. In his personal life, McGinley is the proud father of sons Beau and Quinn with actress Gigi Rice. He has been unafraid to use his career to explore hardships from his personal life. He admitted on TODAY that his faith-based role in Do You Believe? was enriching for him as a person.