If you grew up in the ’90s, chances are you remember watching the ABC sitcom Spin City, that first aired in 1996. It was created by Family Ties creator Gary Goldberg and Bill Lawrence, who would go on to create Scrubs. The series lasted 6 seasons until its final episode in 2002. It was a hit, and it is not difficult to see why. First of all, it included a tremendous cast made of stars from the ’80s and ’90s such as Michael J. Fox, Charlie Sheen and Heather Locklear. Add some clever writing, a fictional NYC government, and plenty of romantic twists and guest stars and you have yourself a pretty successful show. The series went on to get nominated nine times at the Golden Globes, and won four times.
In general, TV shows tend to change their cast all the time. New characters come in as old ones leave and are replaced. We see it all the time in most of our favorite shows, and typically we continue watching and the ratings stay about the same.
When the lead role of a series suddenly has to depart, it can be detrimental to the success of the series and its ratings. A loss of a main character can, in many cases, make even the most loyal of fans stop watching the show. I mean, let’s face it… was Two and a Half Men ever truly the same without Charlie Harper? And did anyone continue to watch Nashville after Rayna James was killed off?
Unfortunately, this is what happened to Spin City after the show’s lead, Michael J. Fox, had to depart from the show in 2000, at the end of the 4th season due to his battle with Parkinson’s disease. Although the whole cast of the show was remarkable, and we all had our favorites besides Mike, Fox’s role was the centerpiece of the sitcom. Without him, it just wasn’t nearly as funny or charming. Although Charlie Sheen did his best assuming the lead role of Charlie Crawford, it simply wasn’t enough and the series, that was once on the top, was suddenly suffering low ratings and the show was cancelled in 2002.
It has now been 15 years since we said goodbye to the cast of Spin City, yet we can still recall our favorite episodes and characters. The cast was filled with incredibly talented actors and actresses, but for now let’s focus on the women of the show- who were all equally funny, talented and stunning in their own right.
So what are the many marvelous women of Spin City up to today?
Connie Britton as Nikki Faber
Nikki was the the Mayor’s accountant for the majority of the series, and was also the main love interest of Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty. Nikki was played by Connie Britton, who may be a familiar name today, but at the time was still a fairly fresh face in Hollywood. She appeared in the movies The Brothers McMullen as well as No Looking Back, and had a small part on the show Ellen. Landing the role on Spin City was a dream come true for the young actress, and she played the part for 4 seasons until her departure.
Connie Britton – Now
After Connie said goodbye to her longtime cast of Spin City, she landed recurring roles in series like The Fighting Fitzgeralds, The West Wing and Lost at Home. In 2006, she landed her next large role as Tami Taylor in the football drama series Friday Night Lights. Of course, nowadays we know her as famed country singer Rayna Jaymes from the popular CMT series Nashville. After her surprising and disappointing exit from the series, she played Josette Frank in the film Professor Marston and the Wonder Women and has a small part on Showtime’s SMILF.
Victoria Dillard as Janelle Cooper
Victoria Dillard played the role of Mike’s secretary, Janelle Cooper, who later on gets promoted to the mayor’s secretary. Victoria started performing in the Dance Theatre of Harlem as the age of 5, and continued to work with the company until she was 18-years-old. She then made a switch to TV and appeared in her first ever TV role on Star Trek: The Next Generation where she played a ballerina. Followed by that were small roles in series like Seinfeld, Tribeca and L.A. Law. She made the big break she was looking for in 1996, when she was casted in Spin City.
Victoria Dillard – Now
After Victoria left the show in 2000, she appeared in Ali with Will Smith, followed by a few small parts in Law & Order and The Unusuals. Since retiring from TV and film in 2009, she has been focusing back on her roots in dancing and theater. She is currently living in New York City where she writes screenplays for the stage, and dances in her free time.
Heather Locklear as Caitlin Moore
Heather Locklear was brought in to play Caitlin Moore in 1999, and stayed until the series finale. She worked as Mayor Winston’s campaign manager while he ran for Senator. She was also known as Charlie Crawford’s (played by Charlie Sheen) love interest and the former rival/love interest of Mike Flaherty. Heather was already a famous actress, known for her longtime roles in soap operas such as Dynasty and Melrose Place.
Heather Locklear – Now
After the series ended, Heather continued landing roles in series like LAX and Boston Legal, and even reunited with Charlie in an episode of Two and a Half Men. She now has a recurring role in TLC’s series Too Close to Home where she plays First Lady Katelyn Christian. She has been married to Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee and Bon Jovi’s lead guitarist Richie Sambora, who she has one 20-year-old daughter with.
Jennifer Esposito as Stacey Paterno
After Janelle’s promotion to secretary of the mayor, Stacey Paterno entered the show as Mike’s newest secretary and Paul’s biggest enemy. Stacey was played by Jennifer Esposito, who was still a pretty new actress at the time, having only appeared in small roles in TV shows and film. The role as Stacey was her first recurring role, and just what she needed to kickstart her new career.
Jennifer Esposito – Now
Jennifer left the show after two years, and continued to land movie roles such as Ruby in Summer of Sam and the lead Susan Reese in The Proposal. In 2004, she got casted in Academy Award-winning Crash followed by recurring roles in Judging Amy, Samantha Who? and Blue Bloods. She most recently appeared in The Affair and NCIS. She was married to Bradley Cooper for only four months, until she filed for divorce in 2007. She is now married to Kate Winslet’s ex, Louis Dowler.
Lana Parrilla as Angie Ordonez
Lana Parrilla played Angie Ordonez, who worked as Charlie’s secretary for one season until leaving suddenly without any explanation. Lana appeared in a small part in the teen sitcom Grown Ups and in the films Very Mean Men, Spiders and Semper Fi. Playing Angie was truly the actress’ first big gig, and helped her career take off to where it is today.
Lana Parrilla – Now
After her sudden departure from the show, she did go on to land more recurring roles in series such as Boomtown, 24, Windfall, Swingtown and Miami Medical. Of course she is now known for her longtime and current role as the Evil Queen, Regina Mills in ABC’s Once Upon a Time, which she has been playing since 2011. In 2014, she got married to husband Fred Di Blasio.
Faith Prince as Claudia
Faith Prince appeared as Claudia for a recurring role as president of Paul’s fan club, and his love interest for a number of episodes throughout the series. Faith Prince was known prior to her Spin City days for her roles on stage, especially in musical theatre. In 1992, she won a Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical and has also received three other Tony nominations. Her role in Spin City was one of her first recurring on-screen roles and certainly not the last.
Faith Prince – Now
She appeared on episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Huff, Drop Dead Diva and Melissa & Joey as recurring roles. She most recently was seen in a couple episodes of Modern Family where she played Lorraine and in the series Chicago Justice where she played Holly Washington. She returned to the stage in 2010’s national tour of Billy Elliot as well as 2012’s Broadway revival of Annie. In 2016, she played Shirley in Broadway’s Disaster!.
Beth Littleford as Deirdre West
Beth Littleford appeared on a number of episodes as Stuart Bondek’s slightly crazy girlfriend Deirdre West. At the time, Beth was known as being one of the original correspondents on the Comedy Central satirical news series The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Her role as Deirdre West was only her second real acting job. The comedic character was a perfect fit for the hilarious comedian, and also a perfect nudge her career needed.
Beth Littleford – Now
Since her role on Spin City, Beth has appeared in dozens of shows such as Method & Red, One on One, Rules of Engagement, Desperate Housewives, and several more. She has also voiced characters in Family Guy and The Cleveland Show and has appeared in films such as Crazy, Stupid, Love ad Drillbit Taylor. Her most recent role was on an episode of Mom where she played the character Lorraine. The actress is now a mom of two, and divorced from her husband of 17 years Rob Fox in 2015.
Heidi Klum as herself
Heidi Klum made several guest appearances on the show in 1998-1999 where she played herself, a famous supermodel, who goes on several dates with Mike. Of course Heidi was one of the most well-known and most beautiful models from the ’90s and 2000s, but her role in Spin City gave her a chance to prove that she is more than just a pretty face and that she can also act.
Heidi Klum – Now
Heidi continued to make appearances in series and films after, such as How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives and The Devil Wears Prada, but in most of them she played herself. She is now known for producing the two-time Emmy Award winning fashion designer reality show, Project Runway. She also has been a judge on America’s Got Talent since 2011. The still stunning 44-year-old is now a mommy to 4 children, who she had with her ex-husband and singer Seal.
Denise Richards as Jennifer Duncan
Denise Richards joined Spin City in 2001 for a few episodes as Charlie’s love interest. Of course, the pair were off-screen lovers as well and got married only one year later. At the time, Denise was already a popular name, and her classic beauty made her quite an icon of ’90s. She starred in the steamy film Wild Things, as a bond girl in The World Is Not Enough and as Lt. Carmen Ibanez in Starship Troopers.
Denise Richards – Now
Denise and Charlie split in 2006 and have two daughters together. The actress is still looking as young as ever, and still making several appearances in TV shows and films. She most recently appeared in an indie film titled A Violent Man and starred in a thriller titled American Satan. In 2011, Denise adopted a baby girl named Eloise. She still frequently gets together with her ex-husband Charlie Sheen for some family time with their daughters.
Joanna Going as Julia Rhodes
Joanna Going played the part of Julia Rhodes, a consultant Caitlin hires and pushes Charlie to make a pro-feminist appearance on Rosie O’Donnell’s show. Joanna was known for playing several parts on ’90s TV shows such as Lisa Grady in Another World, Victoria Winters in Dark Shadows and Kathleen McDermott in Going to Extremes. She also starred in the 1994 film Wyatt Earp as Josie Marcus.
Joanna Going – Now
Nowadays, Joanna is probably most well-known for her recurring role as First Lady Tricia Walker in House of Cards and as Christina Kulina in the Audience drama series Kingdom. However, she has been in several series such as Mad Men, From Dusk Til Dawn and The Arrangement. Joanna is now the mom to one 14-year-old daughter with her ex-husband, Nip/Tuck actor Dylan Walsh.
Queen Latifah as Robin
Queen Latifah made an appearance in a couple episodes of Spin City in 2001, where she played a political adviser and psychic who starts to freak people out, especially Caitlin, with her predictions. Queen Latifah, who was also known for her rap, hip-hop and singing career, had appeared on multiple TV shows of the ’90s, and was most known for her part as Khadijah James in the series Living Single.
Queen Latifah – Now
Only a year after appearing on Spin City, she landed the role as Matron Mama Morton in the movie musical Chicago. In the role she was able to show off her acting talent as well as her gifted vocal range. She is currently starring as one of the leads, Carlotta Brown, in the new Fox series Star, where she is also able to show off her voice and musical abilities.
Olivia d’Abo as Allison Wright
Allison Wright, who later on becomes Allison Flaherty, marries Mike Flaherty in the sixth season of the show. Allison was no unfamiliar face at the time, and was known best for previously playing Kevin’s rebellious teenage hippie sister, Karen Arnold, in The Wonder Years. She had also appeared in the series The Single Guy and Party of Five, and also voiced Melanie Walker in Batman Beyond.
Allison Wright – Now
After her role on Spin City, Allison focused on mostly voice acting, and has voiced characters in Justice League, The Legend of Tarzan, Invader ZIM and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. She also had a brief but recurring role as Nicole Wallace in Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She has appeared in a few less popular films and TV shows since then and was recently the lead in the sci-fi film The Circuit.
Bree Turner as Tracy Crandall
Bree Turner played Tracy Crandall, a young woman with a wealthy father who dates Charlie and upsets her father. Similar to her on-screen character, Bree was known for her famous father, Kevin Turner, a former NFL linebacker. In the late ’90s she started her acting career, but found it tough landing more significant roles, and mostly was casted in non-speaking roles. In 1999, she landed her first speaking role as Tina in MTV’s controversial Undressed, followed by a brief recurring role as Brenda in Moesha.
Bree Turner – Now
Since playing Tracy on Spin City, she landed several more roles in TV shows like Cold Case and Good Girls Don’t. However, it wasn’t until 2012, that she landed her largest role to date, as Rosalee Calvert in NBC’s Grimm, which she played for all 6 seasons until the show was cancelled earlier this year. Bree is now a mother to two children with her surgeon husband Justin Saliman.
Courtney Thorne-Smith as Danielle
Courtney Throne-Smith played Danielle Brinkman, who was an old friend of Mike’s and the new Asst. D.A. When Courtney landed her two-episode role on Spin City, she had just finished playing a longtime role as Allison Parker on the soap Melrose Place. Although the real reason why she left the soap so suddenly is not known, rumors say that it had to do with an off-screen breakup she had with costar Grant Show.
Courtney Thorne-Smith – Now
Courtney landed a spot on Ally McBeal as Georgia Thomas followed by an even larger role, possibly the role she is best known for, as Cheryl on According to Jim. She later on appeared as a recurring on-again-off-again love interest to Alan on Two and a Half Men. Since then, Courtney hasn’t been acting as much as she used to but did appear in a couple episodes of the comedy series Fresh Off the Boat, and in a TV movie Site Unseen: An Emma Fielding Mystery.
Carla Gugino as Ashley Schaeffer
Carla Gugino played Ashley, the reporter who dated Mike. She made several appearances from 1996-1998, until she eventually left the series all together. Pre Spin City, she was acting in series like Falcon Crest, Ferris Bueller and The Buccaneers. She also appeared in the movie Troop Beverly Hills and Michael. Most of the roles were minor, and getting casted on one of the most popular sitcoms at the time, Spin City, helped her gain the attention she needed to go up in the industry.
Carla Gugino – Now
Not too long after leaving the show, Carla landed a recurring spot as Dr. Gina Simon on the series Chicago Hope. After that she landed one of the lead roles in the movie Spy Kids (followed by the 2nd and 3rd movies). She has continued to land large roles in movies such as Sin City, Night at the Museum, Watchmen and San Andreas. The actress is set to appear in the upcoming San Andreas 2, alongside her on-screen romance Dwayne Johnson.