Remember when TV Guide used to give a cover to the “Best Show You’re Not Watching”? Party of Five won the notoriety in 1995 – despite having super low ratings, the show became a cult hit and even had a spin-off (that lasted all of a season) in 1999. The show centered on the five siblings of the Salinger family whose parents were killed in a drunk driving accident. The siblings take over the running of their family’s restaurant, Salingers.
So – what happened to the cast?
Scott Wolf as Bailey Salinger
Scott played Bailey, the 16-year-old Salinger brother whose rebellious ways get turned around based on his new-found responsibility. Besides a brief substance abuse problem in the series, he’s a pretty steady guy.
Scott’s career was also pretty steady after the end of the show – he starred in a few episodes of Spin City as Tim Connelly, picked up a few roles in TV movies, and ultimately found success with the TV show Everwood. After it ended in 2006, he hopped right onto the TV show The Nine, and two years later, had a role in V. You’ll soon see him in the comedy Such Good People.
Scott actually married an ex-contestant from The Real World, Kelley Limp, from the New Orleans season. The two have been married since 2004, and have two sons together.
Neve Campbell as Julia Salinger
Julia was just a bit younger than Bailey, but suffered a few more roadblocks – peer pressure, sexual harassment, and drugs.
Neve maintained a pretty active film life while the show was still running – notably Scream, Wild Things, and The Craft. In fact, she was going to leave the show to focus more on film, before the show faced cancellation. While she reprises her role in Scream 4, which came out in 2011, her resume has been focused slightly more towards TV roles in the recent years. In 2007 she played two different roles on Medium, and lent her voice to two episodes of The Simpsons. She also played Olivia Maidstone in 2009′s The Philanthropist, and Joanna Yaeger in Titanic: Blood and Steel which aired in 2011.
Neve has been divorced twice, but recently gave birth to her son, Caspian, at the age of 38 with her boyfriend J.J. Feild.
Matthew Fox as Charlie Salinger
“A Fox and a Wolf on ONE SHOW?” – Me, at the age of eleven. Oh yes, young Karen. Two people with animal names can be on the same 90′s drama.
Matthew played Charlie Salinger, the oldest of the party. He’s 24 in fact, which makes him close to a decade older than Bailey and Julia. Thus, one can figure that Charlie kind of becomes the head of the household after the tragedy with his parents. Big responsibility, bro.
From September 2004 until May 2010, Fox played the role of the dedicated yet troubled surgeon, Dr. Jack Shephard, on Lost. Fox originally went for another role, but J.J. Abrams decided Jack – who was originally going to be a character in just the pilot – was a better match. After the show ended, Matthew swore off television and focused solely on movies. (Maybe he also had problems with the finale?) In 2006, Fox co-starred with Matthew McConaughey in the sports drama, We Are Marshall, and this year, he starred alongside Brad Pitt in World War Z.
That all sounds good, but Matthew doesn’t necessarily have the cleanest of records. On August 28, 2011, he was reported to have punched a female bus driver in the chest and pelvic area after he attempted to board a party bus reserved for a private bachelor party in Ohio. He also had a DUI in 2012. Not cool, Matthew – you have two kids (non-fictional this time) to think about.
Lacey Chabert as Claudia Salinger
It’s going to be really hard to not fill Lacey’s section with Mean Girls quotes. I mean – she’s Gretchen Weiners, you guys.
Lacey played Claudia, the youngest girl of the Salinger clan. She was extremely talented with music, and had a special relationship with her brother Bailey. Even though I remember thinking she was a tad bit annoying, I liked her the best – after all, she was around my age, and had to deal with a tragedy that was pretty much well over my head. So, she had all right to be annoying. Also, she once pawned her violin for family money. You go, Claudia.
Here’s something fun – Lacey was the original voice of Meg Griffin in Family Guy, before being replaced by Mila Kunis. That hasn’t stopped her from lending her voice to numerous other projects, including Eliza Thornberry in The Wild Thornberries, Kaycee in the Bratz television franchise, Beth in Allen Gregory, and Dani in Transformers: Rescue Bots. She has about 8 projects lined up so far that are due to air this year and next, and you can currently spot her in a few episodes of the TV show Baby Daddy as a therapist Amy Shaw.
Jacob Smith as Owen Salinger
To be fair, Jacob was the third Owen. Having a baby on a show is tough, and I chose to highlight Jacob because he had the most … words.
In 2002, he costarred with Taylor Momsen in Hansel and Gretel. Jacob was then cast as one of twelve children in the family comedy Cheaper by the Dozen, which was released in December 2003 and became a box office success. He also starred in the sequel, before disappearing from the screen all together.
How dare Jacob go off and be a normal young adult.
Jennifer Love Hewitt as Sarah Reeves Merrin
Before JLH shelled hoodies for Old Navy (I have one! It’s pretty great) she starred as Sarah, Bailey’s girlfriend who appeared on the show during season two. Bailey actually cheated on her, even though she was pretty darn loyal. I guess the show rewarded her by giving her the aforementioned spin-off opportunity, but sadly Time Of Your Life didn’t really impress the critics.
She’s been in a few classic (to me) movies, like Can’t Hardly Wait and Heartbreakers, starring alongside the amazing Sigourney Weaver. She’s probably better known for a few long-standing TV shows, like Ghost Whisperer and currently, The Client List.
JLH has been engaged about a billion times, but now she’s engaged and pregnant with the child of Brian Hallisay – her costar on The Client List. Hallisay just recently got in a bit of trouble with the paparazzi, after they tried to snap a few pictures of JLH’s baby bump.
Due in December, here’s what she had to say to US Weekly about motherhood:
“I think most people, when they’re getting ready to be a mom, they go, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to have all of the answers right now… But every kid is different, every parent is different and every child and parent relationship is different, so you just sort of have to wait until you’re in it and do the best that you can to try and be Zen in the middle of it all.”
Paula Devicq as Kirsten Bennett
Kirsten started out as the “nanny” of the family, hired to help keep track of things after the death of his parents. Soon after, her and Charlie formed a relationship, and were engaged – despite Charlie being on the fence, and being a bit of a womanizer.
Interestingly enough, it was Bailey that Paula was interested in off camera, as the two briefly dated. After the end of the show, Paula was in the TV series 100 Centre Street until 2002, but ultimately found more success with the TV show Rescue Me, where she played Sondra. You can see her next in the film The Haunted Secret, which is currently in post-production.
Winner: Why is this decision always such a tough call? Hmm. Point goes to Matthew Fox. He’s seemed to choose pretty steady projects. Just try to avoid the police log in the future, guy.