Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 6 April 2020

The one where they all did their own thing: What have the cast of 'Friends' done since the show ended?

With news that the six Central Perk pals are reuniting for a special show, we take a look at what they've done since the sitcom finished in 2004

Their 10-year run ended on May 6, 2004, when the cast of Friends put down their coffee cups and left Central Perk for good.

However, the small screen's six most famous pals are set to return for a one-off special, it was announced on Friday.

The original cast of the Emmy-winning US sitcom will take part in a reunion special for WarnerMedia’s new streaming service HBO Max, nearly 16 years after the show ended after 236 episodes.

The New York-set show made household names out of Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer, who were mostly unknown when the pilot first aired in September 1994.

The special is being called a “celebration of the beloved show” and will be shot on the same Burbank, California, soundstage where the original episodes were filmed.

But what have the sextuplet been up to since the show drew to a close? Below, we take a look at where Ross, Rachel and co are now.

Jennifer Aniston

Rachel Green became, arguably, the biggest Hollywood star out of the six during her time on Friends, thanks to her work in films such as Bruce Almighty, critically acclaimed The Good Girl and Along Came Polly, as well as her much-publicised marriage to, and subsequent divorce from, Brad Pitt.

Since 2004, Aniston has appeared in a number of blockbusters, including The Break-Up (2006) in which she starred against Vince Vaughn, the heart-rending Marley & Me (2008), and 2009 ensemble rom-com He's Just Not That into You. The last decade also saw Aniston feature in Horrible Bosses (2011), and We're the Millers (2013) both of which took in hundreds of millions at box office. In terms of her most-praised performance, the accolade would have to go to Cake (2014), in which Aniston played a woman struggling with chronic pain, and earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for her role.

The 51-year-old returned to the small screen in 2007 with an Emmy-nominated cameo on Tina Fey's NBC comedy 30 Rock, and guest-starred in an episode of Dirt that same year. Last year, Aniston teamed up with Reese Witherspoon to star in and co-produce Apple TV+ drama The Morning Show, her first lead TV role since Friends ended.

Behind the camera, Aniston co-founded a production company, Echo Films, in 2008, which has produced films including Netflix's 2019 drama Dumplin', in which she played a former beauty queen. she also released her own perfume in 2010, co-founded haircare line Living Proof in 2007, and has fronted campaigns for the likes of SmartWater, L'Oreal and Aveeno.

Off-screen, Aniston wed actor Justin Theroux in 2015, though the two announced their split in 2017.

Lisa Kudrow

She may have played kooky Phoebe Buffay for 10 years, but Kudrow acted in some of her best-known work while she was still starring in Friends (think cult comedy Romy and Michele's High School Reunion and The Opposite of Sex).

Following the end of Friends, Kudrow, now 56, co-created, wrote and executive produced HBO series The Comeback (2005). She also starred in the drama, which followed a washed-up sitcom star desperate to forge a reprisal.

Kudrow has predominately stuck to cameos and supporting roles on screen in the past 16 years, though has been prolific behind the camera, racking up a number of producing credits. The actress is a producer of Showtime comedy Web Therapy (2011-2015), in which she also starred, and producer of TLC reality show Who Do You Think You Are, which charts celebrities' ancestry.

On screen, her most famous post-Friends performances include turns in Easy A (2010), Neighbors (2014), The Girl on the Train (2016) and 2019's Booksmart.

Off-screen, Kudrow is married to advertising executive Michel Stern. The couple welcomed their son in 1998; Kudrow's pregnancy was written into a Friends storyline.

Courteney Cox

Before she played Monica Geller, Cox had a few notable credits to her name, making her perhaps the most famous of the early friends: a turn in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and a starring role in Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark video.

She also starred in horror favourites Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997) and Scream 3 (2000) while starring on the sitcom.

Post-Friends, however, Cox has dialled things back a notch, with a handful of TV and films roles in the following years. Pregnancy meant the star declined the lead role of Susan in comedy-drama Desperate Housewives, though Cox later took a small-screen lead role and producer credit in FX drama Dirt (2007), where she played a tabloid newspaper editor. The show was cancelled a year later. Cox, 55, has also starred in a few indie movies, such as November (2005), and cameoed on a number of TV shows, including Scrubs.

Her most famous role since 2004 was in ABC comedy series Cougar Town (2009-2015), where she played a newly single mother looking for romance.

Off-screen, Cox divorced actor David Arquette, with whom she shares daughter Coco and production company Coquette Productions, in 2013. She is currently in a relationship with Snow Patrol band member Johnny McDaid.

David Schwimmer

Ross Gellar famously told ex Rachel Green they were "on a break", but Schwimmer didn't take much of one after Friends wrapped.

The actor took on a few parts while filming the sitcom, most notably in Second World War miniseries Band of Brothers (2001), but really diversified after the show ended.

Schwimmer, who directed 10 episodes of Friends during its run, further flexed his directorial muscle by helming 2007 British comedy Run Fatboy Run, starring Simon Pegg as a man who signs up for a marathon to woo his former fiancee. Schwimmer also directed several episodes of the US remake of sketch show Little Britain, directed off-Broadway play Fault Lines in 2008, and made his second feature,Trust, in 2010.

The 53-year-old also appeared in front of the camera in 2005 indie Duane Hopwood, where he played an alcoholic, voiced Melman the giraffe in animated favourite Madagascar, and played small roles in 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage. Schwimmer, unlike most of his Friends co-stars, has also dabbled with acting on stage, appearing in Some Girl(s) in London with Catherine Tate and Lesley Manville in 2005, and on Broadway in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial in 2006.

Though he has appeared on screen routinely since 2004, Schwimmer's most famous role since Friends is arguably portraying Robert Kardashian in critically acclaimed FX series American Crime Story: The People v. OJ Simpson. The actor, who is due to star in upcoming British sitcom Intelligence this year, scored an Emmy nod for his role as the real-life lawyer.

Off screen, Schwimmer has a daughter, Cleo, with ex-wife Zoe Buckman.

Matthew Perry

The actor behind caustic-tongued Chandler Bing isn't just known for his comic chops, as he proved with an Emmy-nominated turn as White House counsel Joe Quincy in The West Wing, which he first starred in shortly before Friends wrapped. Perry, now 50, also popped up in Hollywood films including Fools Rush In (1997) and The Whole Nine Yards (2000), as well as Ally McBeal, while simultaneously portraying Bing.

Post-Friends, however, Perry has had a lower profile than most of his co-stars, starring in smaller series and films and taking long breaks from the spotlight.

He has tried his hand at directing – an episode of hospital comedy Scrubs – and dabbled with stage acting, performing opposite Minnie Driver in 2003's Sexual Perversity in Chicago and in 2016's The End of Longing, Perry's stage-writing debut.

The actor has several other writing credits to his name, notably 2011 sitcom Mr Sunshine, which he originated, and CBS sitcom The Odd Couple, which he also starred in and produced. When it comes to big-screen successes, the most famous is Perry's turn as a father who reinhabits his teenage body in 2009's 17 Again. He's also appeared in legal TV dramas The Good Wife and The Good Fight.

Perry has openly spoken about his addiction battles off screen, and has since helped advocate for recovery programmes. He was awarded a Champion of Recovery award from the Office of National Drug Control Policy in 2013, for opening a sober living house in his former California mansion.

Matt LeBlanc

He was so loveable as Joey Tribbiani that LeBlanc, 52, was the only friend to score his own spin-off series (or agree to one, depending on how you read the situation).

The actor fronted TV show Joey from Friends' end until 2006, charting the jobbing Tribbiani's life in Hollywood after he left New York to find fame.

Following the spin-off's cancellation, LeBlanc took a five-year hiatus from acting, before returning in Episodes in 2011. The TV series, which ran until 2017, saw LeBlanc play a satirical version of himself; part of a husband-and-wife writing team who travel to Hollywood to remake their British TV series. The actor won a Golden Globe for his performance. He has since fronted CBS sitcom Man with a Plan since 2016.

LeBlanc has also branched into presenting, acting as one of the new hosts of motoring TV show Top Gear between 2016 and 2018.

Off screen, LeBlanc has a daughter with his former wife, Melissa McKnight.

Updated: February 22, 2020 03:29 PM

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