It’s been 20 years since ‘Gilmore Girls’ premiered and cemented its place in our hearts. Take a look at the actors who played some of the most beloved characters from Stars Hollows then and now.
Viewers first journeyed to Stars Hollow on Oct. 5, 2000, when Gilmore Girls premiered. That’s when we first met Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Although many thought they might just stop by for a cup of Lorelai’s favorite coffee, fans followed the mother-daughter pair, their friends, and family for 7 seasons! The series came to an end in 2007, but fans weren’t quite ready to say goodbye.
In Nov. 2016, creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino revived Gilmore Girls as a 4-part series, Gilmore Girls A Year In The Life. Most of the stars of the original show returned for the revival. Edward Herrmann, who played Richard Gilmore, sadly passed away in 2014. The final moments of the revival left it wide open for more in the future, and we’ll keep holding out hope. In the meantime, see the stars of Gilmore Girls then and now.
Alexis Bledel (Rory Gilmore)
Alexis Bledel, now 39, took on the role of Rory Gilmore when she was just 19 years old. As Rory, she maneuvered high school and adolescence with her friends and got caught up in a love triangle or two. After her time on the show, Alexis appeared in The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2, reuniting with castmates Blake Lively, America Ferrera, and Amber Tamblyn. Alexis also had a recurring role in the Emmy-winning series Mad Men in 2012 as Beth Dawes. Her most acclaimed work, however, has been for her incredible work in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, where she played Emily Malek. For her performance, Bledel earned her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 2017. She earned a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for the same role in 2018. Now, the actress is currently signed on for a third installment of The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants
Lauren Graham (Lorelai Gilmore)
After Gilmore Girls ended, Lauren Graham, 53, went on to play another beloved character, Sarah Braverman on Parenthood. She starred in all 6 seasons of the family drama. That’s where she met her longtime boyfriend Peter Krause, who starred as Adam Braverman. She reprised her role as Lorelai for Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life and appeared in many movies. She recently played Joan on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist and will star in The Mighty Ducks reboot series for Disney+.
Milo Ventimiglia (Jess Mariano)
Milo Ventimiglia, 43, didn’t join Gilmore Girls as brooding bad boy Jess Mariano until season 2, but he remained a fan-favorite from the moment he came to Stars Hollow. Following his run on Gilmore Girls, Milo went on to star as Peter Petrelli in the TV series Heroes. He has starred in a number of television shows over the years, but his biggest role to date other than Jess is playing Jack Pearson on This Is Us. Jack Pearson has become one of the most treasured TV characters of the last decade. For his work on the show, Milo has been nominated for three Emmy awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series between 2017 and 2019! This Is Us season 5 will return in Oct. 2020.
Melissa McCarthy (Sookie St. James)
Since her time in the kitchen as a chef at the Independent Inn, Melissa McCarthy, 50, a.k.a. Sookie St. James, has become one of the most respected and beloved actresses in Hollywood. After appearing on the original series run of Gilmore Girls, Melissa joined the cast of ABC’s Samantha Who? starring Christina Applegate. She played Dena on the show between 2007 and 2009 and followed up her work with a star-making performance in 2011’s Bridesmaids. Melissa’s comedic prowess, which she gained by studying at the legendary improv conservatory The Groundlings, came through full force in the raunchy comedy. Her role as Megan earned Melissa her very first Academy Award nomination! Years later, she earned her second Oscar nod for her leading work in 2018’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? She also notably starred in the hit CBS sitcom Mike & Molly. Now, Melissa is set to take on the role of Urusla in the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
Scott Patterson (Luke Danes)
There was no one quite like Luke Danes on Gilmore Girls. He served a mean cup of coffee, and Luke’s Diner deserves to be a national landmark. Right after Gilmore Girls ended in 2007, Scott Patterson, 62, starred as Agent Strahm in Saw IV and Saw V. He starred in the short-lived series The Event and reprised the role of Luke for all 4 episodes of Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. He has a number of movies in the works, including The Rogue, Liberty, and Sons of Summer.
Liza Weil (Paris Geller)
Paris Geller was and always will be an icon. Paris was brutally honest, ambitious, and one of the best characters on the show. Liza Weil’s performance was truly remarkable. The actress, now 43, went on to join the Shonda Rhimes universe as Amanda Tanner on Scandal for a handful of episodes. Liza then made the move over to another Shondaland show, How To Get Away With Murder. She starred alongside Viola Davis as Bonnie Winterbottom for all 6 seasons. In addition to Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life, Liza reunited with Amy and Dan for a guest stint on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Jared Padalecki (Dean Forester)
Jared Padalecki, 38, stole our hearts as Rory’s first boyfriend, Dean. He made his last appearance on the show in 2005 and starred in a series of horror films right after that: House of Wax, Cry Wolf, and Friday the 13th. From 2005 to 2020, Jared has played Sam Winchester on the long-running series Supernatural. The actor is set to star in the Walker, Texas Ranger reboot for The CW.
Kelly Bishop (Emily Gilmore)
Kelly Bishop, 76, starred as Gilmore matriarch Emily Gilmore for all 7 seasons, alongside the late Edward Herrmann, who played Richard Gilmore. Kelly followed up Gilmore Girls by reuniting with Amy and Dan for their ABC Family series Bunheads. She appeared in all 4 episodes of Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life. She has since starred in the movies The Salzburg Story and Art of Falling In Love.
Keiko Agena (Lane Kim)
There was no one quite like Lane Kim in Stars Hollow! In the years after Gilmore Girls, Keiko Agena, now 47, had roles on Scandal, House, Castle, and more. She notably starred as Pam Bradley in 13 Reasons Why, as well as Aiko Hakari in The First. Keiko currently stars as Dr. Edrisa Tanaka in the FOX series Prodigal Son.
Matt Czuchry (Logan Huntzberger)
Matt Czuchry, 43, joined Gilmore Girls in season 5 as the charming Logan Huntzberger, Rory’s new love interest. When Gilmore Girls ended, Matt nabbed the role of Cary Agos in The Good Wife. He starred on the show for all 7 seasons. He appeared in Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life as well. Matt is currently starred as Dr. Conrad Hawkins in the FOX series The Resident, which has been renewed for a fourth season.
Sean Gunn (Kirk Gleason)
Sean Gunn, now 46, starred as the quirky Kirk throughout the 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls. He notably provided performance capture for the character of Rocket in Guardians of the Galaxy, which was directed by his brother, James Gunn. Sean also played Kraglin in the film. He returned as Kraglin in the Guardians sequel and provided performance capture for Rocket as well. He did the performance capture for Rocket in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. He is set to star as John Monroe/Weasel in the 2021 film The Suicide Squad.
Yanic Truesdale (Michel Gerard)
Yanic Truesdale’s character Michel Gerard kept things running alongside Lorelai and Sookie at the Independence Inn and Dragonfly Inn. In 2016, he reprised the role of Michel in the Gilmore Girls revival. Yanic, now 50, has had a number of roles in TV shows, including The Catch, The Fixer, and French-Canadian series Mauvais Karma and La théorie du K.O. His most recent roles have been in the TV series The Wedding Planners and Les Mecs.
David Sutcliffe (Christopher Hayden)
David Sutcliffe, now 51, first showed up as Christopher, Rory’s dad and Lorelai’s ex, in season 1. He continued to make appearances over the 7 seasons, especially in season 7. Right after Gilmore Girls, David booked the recurring role of Kevin Nelson in Private Practice. He has also starred in the TV series Proof and Mistresses. David appeared in one episode of the Gilmore Girls revival. His last role was as Philip Hayward in the TV series The Romanoffs.