More than just Friends: what the sitcom’s stars did next

As Jennifer Aniston receives her Hollywood Walk of Fame star, we take a look at life after Central Perk for the other five Friends...

imagenotavailable1

Jennifer Aniston has been honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her name is now immortalised alongside such showbiz giants as Michael Jackson and Groucho Marx.

Advertisement

The erstwhile Rachel Green has earned her place among Hollywood’s elite with performance after performance of romantic comedy gold.  From Along Came Polly in the autumn months of her Friends tenure through The Break-up, Marley and Me and Love Happens to The Switch, Just Go with It and now Wanderlust, Aniston has proved herself as a leading lady.  

But while Aniston is honoured for her meteoric rise since Friends, what have her five co-stars been up to since Central Perk closed its doors for the final time in 2004?

Courteney Cox

As well as Friends, Cox’s name has become somewhat synonymous with Wes Craven’s Scream film franchise, and the actress reprised her role as Gale Weathers-Riley in the fourth instalment of that series when it was released in 2011. Other than Scream 4, Cox has largely confined her post-Friends work to small roles in TV series, the major exceptions being Dirt, the media-set drama series in which she starred as Lucy Spiller, and Cougar Town, a drama about the life and times of a recently divorced 40-something woman, in which Cox again plays the lead role, and which premiered its third season on Valentine’s Day this year.

Lisa Kudrow

Proving that she’s nothing like Friends’ spaced-out Phoebe, Kudrow embarked on a self-referential HBO sitcom in 2005 called The Comeback, in which she plays a washed-up actress who was a big star in the 1990s attempting to relaunch her career. Since that came to an end after one series, Kudrow has busied herself with creating and writing Web Therapy, which began life in 2008 as an online-only series before being picked up for TV in 2011.

Matt LeBlanc

LeBlanc didn’t shake off Joe Tribbiani after Friends, instead resurrecting the character in a spin-off called, simply, Joey. While the show ran for 46 episodes, it wasn’t anywhere near as critically acclaimed as Friends and came to an end in 2006. Since then, he’s played a fake version of himself in Episodes as the star of a British couple’s fictitious sitcom.  He’s also produced a couple of films.

Matthew Perry

While Friends was still in production, Perry appeared in several episodes of Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing, as well as taking a turn in Ally McBeal and Scrubs.  He reunited with Sorkin in 2006 to play executive producer Matt Albie in comedy drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and in the same year played Ron Clark in the TV movie The Ron Clark Story.  Perry has appeared in several films post-Friends, including The Whole Ten Yards, Numb and 17 Again.  His most recent television appearance was in Mr Sunshine, a short-lived single camera comedy which Perry exec produced – it was cancelled after one season due to poor ratings.  Just days ago it was announced Perry would take up a recurring role in The Good Wife.   

David Schwimmer

Advertisement

Mr Schwimmer took a break from comedy during his time on Friends to surprise many with a sober performance as Herbert Sobel in Steven Spielberg’s 2001 mini-series Band of Brothers.  Post-Ross, Schwimmer has made a number of cameo appearances on television, including playing himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm, cropping up as environmental campaigner Greenzo in 30 Rock and taking guest roles in Entourage, Joey and Little Britain USA.  The majority of his work has been on the big screen since 2004,  with voice roles in three Madagascar films, a starring gig in Duane Hopwood and appearances in Big Nothing and Nothing but the Truth.  Schwimmer has also directed several flicks, including Run Fatboy Run and Trust.