To this day, Friends stands as one of America’s most beloved sitcoms of all time. The show premiered on September 22, 1994 and lasted an extremely successful ten seasons, with the finale on May 6, 2004. Fans all over the world started getting hooked to the series about six friends living in the same apartment building in Manhattan. And not before long, we all felt like we were part of their gang (and wished that we has a close-knit group of friends like them!) So when Chandler and Monica had their twins, and when Rachel got off the plane, we all cried tears of joy, because that is just how close we felt to the show and the cast.
With the outstanding success of Friends, came the big breaks for many of the actors and actresses on the show. In fact, to this day, even though all of the lead cast members have gone on to have amazing careers, they are still remembered for the role that first made them famous on Friends. One thing the sitcom was known for was the strong female cast. Of course, we aren’t just talking about Rachel, Monica and Phoebe- there were plenty more guest stars who appeared on the show. These lovely ladies played girlfriends, ex-wives, rivals, sisters, crushes etc. Even if they only appeared in a handful of episodes, they deserve praise for their incredible talent and for keeping us entertained throughout the years. What would the show have been like without all of Ross’s and Joey’s love interests? And how could we have gone on without the obnoxiously funny Janice? Obviously, the show wouldn’t have been the same without them.
Read on to find out how the women of Friends have changed over the years and where they are now. We are certain that many of the actresses on this list you have forgotten were on the show!
Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green – Then
Rachel had a pretty privileged upbringing, and was best friends with Monica from a young age. Rachel met Monica’s older brother, Ross, who developed a crush as soon as he laid eyes on her. Years later, Rachel runs into Monica and the gang in Central Perk, after leaving her fiancé on the wedding alter. Throughout the series, Rachel has several failed relationships, including an on and off again one with Ross. Rachel and Ross end up having a baby together, even though they were “just friends.” Luckily for us fans, Rachel got off the plane in the series finale and the two lived happily ever after (finally.)
Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green – Now
Jennifer’s role as Rachel launched her career in acting, and still to this day it is probably the character she is most remembered for. Of course, the 48-year-old is still extremely successful today and has been in a number of popular films such as Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers and Cake. She just finished filming a comedy drama musical film titled Dumplin’ which will be released next year. Jennifer was married to Brad Pitt from 2000-2005 and in 2015 got married again to actor/screenwriter Justin Theroux.
Helen Baxendale as Emily Waltham – Then
Emily was Rachel’s boss’s niece who started dating Ross in the middle of the fourth season. After their relationship quickly advances, Ross proposes to her. They decide to have their wedding in London where Emily is from. Unfortunately, the wedding is ruined after Ross says Rachel’s name instead of Emily’s when reciting his vows. They do go on with the marriage, but Emily is humiliated and hides from Ross. Ross eventually convinces Emily to go to New York with him and she accepts under one condition, that he stops seeing Rachel. Unable to do so, their marriage ends and they get a divorce.
Helen Baxendale as Emily Waltham – Now
After Helen left Friends in 1999, new roles opened up for her. She played Rachel Bradley in a British comedy-drama series called Cold Feet and most recently Lorna in the British sitcom titled Cuckoo. Now at 47, the actress just finished working on her most recent film, also British, called Heidi Queen of the Mountain where she will be playing Seb.
Jane Sibbett as Carol Willick – Then
Carol is a sixth grade teacher and also Ross’s first wife, who left Ross after admitting to him that she is attracted to women. Before they got a divorce, they slept together which resulted in a pregnancy and Ross’s first child, a son named Ben. Although in the beginning Carol said that her and her new partner Susan will raise the child, and Ross considers staying out of the complicated situation, he eventually changes his mind after hearing the baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
Jane Sibbett as Carol Willick – Now
Jane got her first big break after appearing as Jane Wilson in the NBC soap opera Santa Barbara in 1986. She also appeared as Heddy Newman in the Fox comedy series Herman’s Head right before she landed the role as Ross’s ex-wife. Since then, the 54-year-old actress is still acting here and there but recently came back from a long break to star as Mrs. Darling in the movie Jessica Darling’s It List. Next year, she will be appearing in a new comedy series called Menopause.
Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay – Then
Phoebe was Monica’s roommate before Rachel, and she is known for her sometimes offbeat but caring personality. She frequently plays guitar and sings at Central Perk. In season 4, Phoebe agrees to being the surrogate for her brother, Frank Jr. and his wife Alice’s baby. She ends up pregnant with triplets and gives birth to babies Chandler, Leslie and Frank Jr. Jr. In the 9th season of the show, Phoebe meets Mike Hannigan (Paul Rudd) and the two begin dating and eventually get married.
Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay – Now
Very much like her costars, Lisa’s role in Friends was what launched her career. Although it was hard for people to see her as characters other than Phoebe, she eventually landed some pretty good jobs. While she was still playing Phoebe, she starred as Michele in the cult classic 90s comedy Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. After Friends, she appeared in some films until she co-created a comedy series called Web Therapy, which she starred in from 2008-2015. Most recently, the now 54-year-old has appeared in the movies Neighbors 2 and The Girl on the Train.
Courteney Cox as Monica – Then
Monica is Ross’s younger sister and Rachel’s best friend. In High School, Monica gained a large amount of weight and at one point peaked at 255 pounds. She met Ross’s friend Chandler at her parent’s house on Thanksgiving and had a crush on him until she heard him call her “Ross’s fat sister.” She was so upset that she decided to shed all of her extra weight by the following Thanksgiving, which she managed to do. Years later Monica became a chef and moved in with Phoebe. Later on, Monica and Chandler secretly date until everyone finds out (Ross being last.) In the finale of season 7, the two finally get married and in the series’s finale, they become parents to twins.
Courteney Cox as Monica – Now
Courteney’s role in Friends caused her to land an incredible amount of acting jobs throughout the 90s and early 2000s. She played in Scream 1, 2 and 3 while also playing Monica. After Friends came to an end, she went on to appear in a few TV series, one of them being costar Lisa’s Web Therapy. In 2009, she starred as the lead in the TBS sitcom Cougar Town which ran for 6 seasons until 2015. She got married to actor David Arquette in 1999, but their relationship ended in divorce in 2013. Since then, the 46-year-old seems to be taking a break from the acting world.
Elle Macpherson as Janine Lecroix – Then
Janine was Joey’s Australian roommate who moved in for a short amount of time after Chandler moved out. Joey didn’t know anything about his roommate when she moved in and chose her only because of her looks. He eventually got scared that she was turning him into a girl by placing feminine decorations all over the apartment. He starts to form a crush on her, but his friends warn him not to get involved with a roommate. The two start dating until she criticizes Monica and Chandler and even tells Joey that they have to move, which prompts Joey to break up with her.
Elle Macpherson as Janine Lecroix – Now
The Aussie beauty hasn’t acted a whole lot since her appearance on Friends but she did work as the producer for Britain’s Next Top Model from 2010-2012. She had a successful modeling career herself, breaking the record for most Sports Illustrated Swimsuit covers (5) and even co-hosted the Miss Universe 2001 pageant alongside Naomi Campbell. The now 53-year-old seems to be taking a break from the limelight and focusing on being a mom to her two sons.
Aisha Tyler as Charlie Wheeler – Then
Charlie is a paleontology professor who Ross brings to Monica’s house after meeting her at the NYU campus. He introduces her to the gang, and as she talks about her last boyfriends (both geniuses) Ross starts to doubt his intelligence and loses his confidence, letting Joey swoop right in. Charlie and Joey start dating until she realized that she had nothing in common with him, so she starts dating Ross. Charlie and Ross date until her ex-boyfriend/Nobel prize winner Benjamin Hobart confesses that he still loves her and Charlie leaves Ross.
Aisha Tyler as Charlie Wheeler – Now
To Friends fans, Aisha will probably always be recognized as Charlie, but the actress did continue with her acting career after she left the show in 2003. She played Marianne Taylor in 24, Mia Dickerson in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Andrea Marino in Ghost Whisperer. Her most recent role has been as Dr. Tara Lewis in Criminal Minds and the voice of Lana Kane in the FX animated series Archer.
Winona Ryder as Melissa Warburton – Then
Melissa is Rachel’s former sorority sister from college. During their senior year, after drinking too much at a party, the two ended up kissing. Melissa fell in love with Rachel, who never saw it as anything more than a crazy college experience. Later, Rachel runs into Melissa and invites her out to dinner. Phoebe, who doesn’t believe that Rachel was ever so wild, comes along to the dinner and Rachel kisses Melissa to prove herself. Melissa is clearly still in love with Rachel, who apologizes and says she is just a good kisser.
Winona Ryder as Melissa Warburton – Now
Winona is known as one of the most iconic actresses of the 90s, and is still going strong. She started acting in the late 80s, with her first big roles as Veronica in the movie Heathers and of course Kim in Edward Scissorhands. She has starred in many more successful films and TV shows since then. The now 46-year-old is currently playing Joyce Byers in the highly-rated Netflix series Stranger Things.
Jessica Hecht as Susan Bunch – Then
Susan is the woman who Ross’s ex wife, Carol, cheated on while still married to Ross. Susan and Carol later get married and since then, Ross and Carol never got along. Ross resented Susan for “stealing” his wife away from him and Susan hated Ross for his romantic history with Carol. While Carol was in labor, Ross and Susan both competed over who would bring Carol ice chips, which results in her kicking both of them out of the room.
Jessica Hecht as Susan Bunch – Now
After playing Ross’s enemy from 1994-2000, Jessica has done pretty well for herself. She appeared in the movies Sideways and The Forgotten. In 2008, she landed the role of Gretchen Schwartz in Breaking Bad which she played until 2013. Her most recent role has been in the Amazon series Red Oaks where she plays Rebecca Horowitz. The 52-year-old has been married to Adam Bernstein (who directed shows like Breaking Bad and Californication) since 1995.
Christine Taylor as Bonnie – Then
Bonnie is Phoebe’s friend who she tries to set up with Ross, after asking Rachel of course. Rachel remembered her as having a bald head, so she assumes that Ross would not be interested anyways. However, when Ross meets Bonnie it is obvious that she is no longer bald and is very beautiful. Ross and Bonnie start dating and Rachel gets extremely jealous and eventually convinces Bonnie to shave her head again. Ross and Rachel get back together and he leaves Bonnie.
Christine Taylor as Bonnie – Now
Christine got her first big break in the late 80s when she was casted as Melody Hanson on the Nickelodeon show Hey Dude. She became one of the “it” girls of the 90s and early 2000s appearing in movies such as The Craft, The Wedding Singer, Zoolander and Dodgeball. She married costar Ben Stiller in 2000, but sadly the two separated this year after 17 years of marriage. The couple have two children together, a 15 year-old daughter and 12-year-old son.
Lauren Tom as Julie – Then
Julie dated Ross during the beginning of the second season. They met in grad school and the two fell for each other. Rachel didn’t like her much and tried to sabotage her by telling Pheobe to give Julie an ugly haircut. Rachel disliked her even more after she found out that she took Monica shopping, and felt that Julie was trying to steal all of her friends from her. Ross and Julie break up after Rachel confesses her love to Ross via his answering machine.
Lauren Tom as Julie – Now
Lauren has been acting since the 80s when she played Miko on The Facts of Life. She continued to play minor roles until grabbing the recurring role as Julie in Friends. After that she received more work and appeared as Dot in Grace Under Fire and Ginger Chin in DAG. She also worked as a voice actress for several animated shows such as Futurama, The Simpsons, Samuri Jack and Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero (just to name a few.) The 56-year-old’s most recent work has been in the Disney Channel’s series Andi Mack where she has a regular role as Celia Mack.
Anna Faris as Erica – Then
Erica is the young woman who delivers Chandler and Monica’s twins. In the beginning, Erica confused Chandler and Monica’s file with a doctor and reverend couple, and the two go along with it until Monica admits who they really are. Eventually, they won Erica over despite their lie, because she was convinced that the only reason they lied was because they wanted a child so badly.
Anna Faris as Erica – Now
Anna was the female comedian of the late 90s and 2000s and became famous for her roles in the Scary Movie franchise. She has played in several movies since such as The Hot Chick and The House Bunny. In 2013, she came to television as the lead Christy in the hit dark-comedy CBS series Mom, which is now on its 5th season. In 2009, she married actor Chris Pratt and the two have a 5-year-old son name Jack. Sadly, the couple split this year, leaving many shocked as they seemed like the perfect pair.
Reese Witherspoon as Jill Green – Then
Jill is Rachel’s youngest sister who comes to the apartment looking for Rachel in attempt to start a new life, just like Rachel did. Jill ends up shopping excessively using her father’s credit card numbers which she has memorized, and even gets together with Ross just to make Rachel angry. Eventually, Ross ended the relationship after realizing that it could stop something from ever happening between him and Rachel in the future. Jill left and and asked Ross if he liked men on her way out, since he had rejected her offer after all.
Reese Witherspoon as Jill Green – Now
Reese Witherspoon is probably one of the biggest names in Hollywood, and became famous well before her appearance on Friends. Reese has starred in Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde, Walk the Line (which she won Best Actress for), Wild and many more. Most recently, the stunning actress, who is now 41, played one of the leads in the award-winning HBO series Big Little Lies (where she performs alongside the equally incredible Nicole Kidman.) She was married to 90s heartthrob Ryan Phillippe from 1999-2007, and the two have a teenage daughter and son together. In 2011, she married a talent agent named Jim Toth.
Denise Richards as Cassie Geller – Then
Cassie is the cousin of Monica and Ross. She is so beautiful that Chandler, Ross and even Phoebe start to form a crush on her when she comes to visit them in New York. It causes a bit of tension seeing as Chandler is her cousin’s fiancé and Ross is her cousin. While Ross and his cousin are sitting on the couch watching a movie and drinking wine, he misinterprets the situation and thought that she had feelings for him too so he tries to kiss her. She dodged him in disgust.
Denise Richards as Cassie Geller – Now
With Denise’s stunning features, it is no surprise that she started working as a model before moving on to acting. In 1998 her career took off after appearing in the steamy Wild Things movie. Since then, she has had a large variety of roles in both television and film. The now 46-year-old married costar Charlie Sheen in 2002 (right before appearing on Two and a Half Men) which ended in divorce in 2006. The couple have 2 daughters together, and in 2011 Denise adopted a baby girl.
Christina Applegate as Amy Green – Then
Amy is Rachel’s younger sister who comes to visit Rachel twice, each time due to boyfriend problems. After she is later engaged to a wealthy father of her ex-boyfriend, Rachel convinces her to leave him and to try to make a new life on her own. In an attempt to start over, Rachel lets her sister babysit her daughter Emma which ends in Emma coming home with pierced ears. Rachel and Ross flip out and kick her our of the apartment. Before she leaves, she announces that she has decided to become a “baby stylist.”
Christina Applegate as Amy Green – Now
Christina’s first big break came way before her role on Friends. She played Kelly Bundy in the long-running sitcom Married with Children for 10 years. She went on to play several more roles, including Veronica Corningston in the Will Ferrell movie Anchorman. Samantha also appeared as the lead in an ABC comedy Samantha Who? Most recently, she appeared alongside Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell in the comedy Bad Moms.
Paget Brewster as Kathy – Then
Chandler asked Kathy out on a date after he sees her in Central Perk. Unfortunately, she was already waiting for a date… with Joey. Chandler falls for her despite her dating Joey and the two bond and even watch a late-night movie together. Kathy falls for Chandler as well and Joey, at first angry, allows Chandler to go after her. They date until he finds out that she is cheating on him with a cast mate in her play.
Paget Brewster as Kathy – Now
For Paget, the role as Kathy in Friends was her first major and recurring role. After that, her career started to take off and she has appeared in many TV shows such as Love & Money, The Trouble with Normal and Community. Her most recent, and longest-running role is as Emily Prentiss in Criminal Minds, who she has been playing since 2006. In 2014 she married film score composer Steve Damstra.
Alexandra Holden as Elizabeth Stevens – Then
After Ross gets anonymous teacher evaluations back, he discovers that he has an admirer. Elizabeth, a student who is much younger than him, admitted to having a crush on him. The two go on a date, even though it is against the school’s rules. They decide to hide the relationship from the school and continue dating until Ross decides that she is too immature for him and breaks up with her.
Alexandra Holden as Elizabeth Stevens – Now
Alexandra is known best for her work in movies The Hot Chick and Dead End. Since Friends she has played only minor role in TV movies and series. She appeared in a few episodes of Friday Night Lights and Franklin & Bash. In 2015 she took a break from acting, but the now 40-year-old seems to be back as she just finished shooting for an upcoming crime thriller called Other Monsters.
Bonnie Somerville as Mona – Then
Mona dated Ross during the show’s 8th season. They started dating just as Ross found out that Rachel was pregnant with his child. Ross later on asked Rachel to move in with him, which Mona found out on Valentine’s Day. Although she was always very understanding of Rachel and Ross’s relationship, she ultimately understood that Ross will always have feelings for Rachel, and that she couldn’t compete, so she broke up with him.
Bonnie Somerville as Mona – Now
Bonnie appeared in 7 episodes of Friends before moving on to different series such as In-Laws and The O.C. Her more recent work has been in a CBS series Code Black, where she played Christa Lorenson. Last year she also appeared in a Hallmark holiday TV movie called Love You Like Christmas. Her next movie role is going to be as Sally Cummings in the upcoming film directed and written by Bradley Cooper and starring Lady Gaga titled A Star is Born.
Maggie Wheeler as Janice Litman Goralnik – Then
Janice is Chandler’s long-time on and off again girlfriend. Se is known her her overly obnoxious and loud nasally voice and her trademark dramatic cry of “OH MY GOD!” Every time Chandler tried to break up with her, she ended up bursting into tears and making him feel guilty. After he learns how good Phoebe is at breaking up with people without making them cry, he asks her to break up with Janice for him. She agrees and breaks it off with total ease.
Maggie Wheeler as Janice Litman Goralnik – Now
While Maggie was appearing as the loud-mouthed Janice on Friends, she was also appearing as Linda Gruenfelder on Everybody Loves Raymond. Since then, most of her roles have been minor, but she did get to appear in some huge shows such as How I Met Your Mother, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Californication. Since 2009 Maggie has been using her unique voice to for the character of Trinette in the popular FX animated series Archer.
Morgan Fairchild as Nora Tyler Bing – Then
Nora is Chandler’s mom who also works as a graphic adult novelist. She divorced her husband, Chandler’s father, after finding out that he was seeing the pool boy. At one point, Nora tried to make a move on Ross and when Chandler found out he got extremely mad at Ross but later on used the opportunity to tell his mother what he really thinks of her and her behavior. She appeared again at Chandler’s wedding where she had to face her ex-husband who is now a woman.
Morgan Fairchild as Nora Tyler Bing – Now
Morgan has been acting since the 70s, she landed her first big role as gorgeous blonde Jennifer Pace in the soap opera Search for Tomorrow. She later on played Constance in another soap opera, Flamingo Road. She has been in several movies and TV shows since such as Fashion House and The Bold and the Beautiful. Most recently, the 67-year-old soap star has been looking younger than ever playing Anjelica Devaraux in one of the longest-running soaps in history, Days of our Lives.