See the Cast of ‘Charmed’ Then and Now
Way back when, on a little TV network called UPN, Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano starred in the hit show ‘Charmed,’ in which they played three sister witches, known as the Charmed Ones, battling the forces of evil while trying to maintain some sense of normalcy. As the years went by — especially towards its eighth and final season — the storylines became wicca ridiculous and the dialogue became too cheesy for many to stomach. But ultimately, the show still lingers in the hearts and minds of its dedicated fans. Let’s take a look back at the cast and see where they are now.
Shannen Doherty, Prue Halliwell
Then: As the eldest of the on-screen sisters, Shannen Doherty, of ‘90210’ fame, played Prue, the witch with the power of telekinesis (initially only activated by intensely squinting her eyes) and astral projection. The actress left the show after season 3 amidst rumors that she was feuding with co-star Alyssa Milano. However, her official statement was that “there was too much drama on the set and not enough passion for the work.” So Prue was killed off.
Now: While she’s by no means “out of work,” Doherty hasn’t found as bright a spotlight as the one given to her through ‘Charmed.’ If you haven’t seen the more recent ‘90210’ series on The CW, any number of her made-for-TV movies or that now-canceled Syfy reality show she hosted, ‘Scare Tactics,’ you’ll now her best as that woman on the Education Connection commercial … this commercial:
Holly Marie Combs, Piper Halliwell
Then: Doherty and Holly Marie Combs had been friends for years before the two joined up for ‘Charmed.’ Combs played the middle sister with the power to stop time, which eventually grew to incorporate molecular acceleration (i.e. blowing stuff up) as the seasons went on. Prior to the series, she was known best for her role in the show ‘Picket Fences,’ a gig she landed at the age of 18.
Now: Aside from a really small part in Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Oceans 11′ — she was that woman playing poker — she was featured in a couple TV movies before landing the role of Ella Montgomery on ABC Family’s ‘Pretty Little Liars.’
Alyssa Milano, Phoebe Halliwell
Then: Actress Lori Rom was originally cast in the role of Phoebe Halliwell, the youngest sister in this witchy trio with the power of premonition, but left after filming the (unaired) pilot for “personal reasons.” That’s when producer Aaron Spelling replaced her with his ‘Melrose Place’ star Alyssa Milano. The actress became, reportedly, the bane of Doherty’s existence. While Milano was outspoken about their rocky relationship, sources at the time said Doherty was so fed up with her that she gave the network an ultimatum — “it’s her or me.” And we know how that ended.
Now: Milano is probably the most well known of the original ‘Charmed’ cast. She’s currently making the press rounds to promote her latest series, ABC’s ‘Mistresses,’ but she also popped up in the movie ‘New Year’s Eve,’ and TV shows like ‘My Name Is Earl’ and ‘Romantically Challenged.’
Rose McGowen, Paige Matthews
Then: Once Doherty exited, ‘Charmed’ needed a third sister to complete the “Power of Three,” so ‘Jawbreaker’ actress Rose McGowan was cast as the sisters’ long-lost sibling, Paige Matthews, the half-white lighter (i.e. angel) half-witch love child of momma Halliwell and her white lighter. At the time, McGowan’s most recognized accomplishment was dating and getting engaged to her then-hubby Marilyn Manson.
Now: Yes, that is what McGowan looks like today. Draw your own conclusions. After her ‘Charmed’ life came to an end, the actress picked her movie career back up with roles in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Death Proof'; Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Grindhouse,’ ‘Machete’ and ‘Planet Terror'; ‘Conan the Barbarian'; stints on TV series like ‘Nip/Tuck,’ ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘Law & Order: SVU'; and more.
Brian Krause, Leo Wyatt
Then: Brian Krause went from hunky handyman/white lighter/the love of Comb’s Piper to elder white lighter to mortal and back again throughout his run on ‘Charmed.’ Prior to that, he was seen in movies like ‘An American Summer,’ ‘Naked Souls’ with Pamela Anderson, ‘Return to the Blue Lagoon’ and the Stephen King-adapted ‘Sleepwalkers.’
Now: Krause has since popped up in various shows, like ‘The Closer,’ ‘Castle,’ ‘CSI: Miami’ and ‘Mad Men,’ as well as a number of under-the-radar films, like ‘Ashes,’ ‘You’re So Cupid!,’ ‘Gabe the Cupid Dog’ and other poorly titled ones.
Julian McMahon, Cole Turner
Then: Kicking off ‘Charmed’ season 3 was the introduction of Julian McMahon’s Cole Turner, a half-demon half-human “soldier of fortune” charged by “The Source” of all evil to destroy the Charmed Ones. His character became a mainstay in the series after falling in love with Phoebe, becoming mortal, then becoming the new Source, and … let’s just say he had a complicated arc.
Now: After ‘Charmed’ got the axe, McMahon found new life as a lead on the hit series ‘Nip/Tuck,’ plus his role as Doctor Doom in those two horrible ‘Fantastic Four’ movies. You can catch him next in the upcoming DirecTV drama ‘Full Circle,’ which features Kate Walsh (‘Private Practice’), David Boreanaz (‘Angel,’ ‘Bones’) and Minka Kelly (‘Gossip Girl’).
Michael Bailey Smith, Belthazor
Then: Belthazor, Cole Turner’s demonic form, was portrayed by Michael Bailey Smith. In addition to playing the energy ball-hurling baddie-turned-goodie-turned-baddie, Smith also portrayed Shax, the wind demon who killed Prue, the first iteration of The Source in the season 3 finale, and he played a sight-stealing grimlock in two episodes throughout the series. At the time, he was known around the block for appearances in ‘Roswell,’ ‘Family Matters,’ ‘Malcolm in the Middle,’ ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ and many, many more.
Now: His post-‘Charmed’ career is just as lengthy and varied as before he boarded ‘the series. ‘Two and a Half Men,’ ‘The Hills Have Eyes,’ ‘Chuck,’ ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Men in Black 2′ are just a handful of movies and TV shows he’s been featured in. Smith’s latest project, ‘Blood Shot,’ is a horror flick that sees him tackling the vampire look … which, funny enough, looks like the grimlock look.
Dorian Gregory, Darryl Morris
Then: Though Ted King’s Andy Trudeau overshadowed him in ‘Charmed’ season 1, Dorian Gregory’s Darryl became more prominent following King’s departure. Darryl ended up lasting until season 7, which was fortunate for Gregory, considering his previous gigs bounced from show to show (‘Moesha,’ ‘3rd Rock From the Sun,’ ‘Girlfriends,’ ‘Lois & Clarke: The New Adventures of Superman’).
Now: Gregory essentially disappeared from the spotlight, having only appeared randomly in shows like ‘The Bad Girl’s Guide,’ ‘The Bernie Mac Show’ and ‘Without A Trace.’ His latest endeavor, ‘Deceitful,’ came out back in June as a straight-to-DVD release.
Ted King, Andy Trudeau
Then: Remember Andy Trudeau, the inspector in love with Shannen Doherty’s Prue, from back in the day? Chris Boyd (’21 Jump Street’ TV series) was originally set for the role, but, once ‘Charmed’ was picked up to series, he bailed for unknown reasons.
Now: You might have seen King on shows like ‘Sex and the City’ (he was Samantha’s conquest who told her she had to shave her … you know), ‘Law & Order: SVU’ and ‘Frasier,’ or how about when he became a day-time soap star on ‘General Hospital’ and then on ‘One Life to Live’?
Kaley Cuoco, Billie Jenkins
Then: Kaley Cuoco was virtually unknown before (and during) her role as Billie, a young witch who befriended and apprenticed under the Charmed Ones, though eventually was tricked into attempting to destroy them.
Now: Of course, we all know Cuoco now as Penny, the lovable next-door neighbor and love interest to Leonard (Johnny Galecki), on CBS’ hit show ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ She’s since been known for being the new “Price Line Negotiator In Training,” dating (and then very shortly after not dating) Superman himself, Henry Cavill, and contributing to the ‘Big Bang”s 2013 Emmy nominations.
Greg Vaughn, Dan Gordon
Then: Who could forget good ol’ pretty-boy neighbor Dan with his bevy of chest hair? He wanted so bad to be Piper Halliwell’s one and only, but she had always been in love with Krause’s Leo. Plus, Dan couldn’t get over the fact that Piper was a witch when he eventually found out. That was a deal breaker …
Now: Vaughn took the route of his co-star Ted King by becoming a soap opera stud. After making cameo appearances in ‘Nash Bridges,’ ‘Glory Days,’ ‘Will & Grace’ and ‘Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,’ he was featured first on ‘The Young and the Restless’ and then later for a longer run on ‘General Hospital.’ You can see him now on ‘Days of Our Lives.’
Finola Hughes, Patty Halliwell
Then: Finola Hughes played Patty Halliwell, the mother of the Charmed Ones, and though her death in the story occurred even before the pilot episode, she popped up multiple times throughout ‘Charmed’ via time travel, flashbacks and ghostly appearances. Aside from ‘L.A. Law,’ ‘Jack’s Place,’ her lengthy run as Carol on ‘Blossom,’ and voicing Lara in the ‘Superman’ animated series and made-for-TV movie, Hughes had a regular spot on ‘All My Children’ prior to joining.
Now: Surprise, surprise, Hughes entered the realm of day-time soap opera following her run on ‘Charmed.’ She’s currently enjoying her run on ‘General Hospital,’ in which she reprised her role of Anna Devane since her first appearance on the show in 1985.
Jennifer Rhodes, Penny “Grams” Halliwell
Then: Jennifer Rhodes has appeared in more than 80 different television shows, including ‘Designing Women,’ ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ ‘Fame,’ ‘Friends’ and ‘3rd Rock From the Sun,’ but she’s known best for playing the Charmed Ones’ Grams. Rhodes guest starred 14 times throughout the eight seasons, making her one of the series’ guest stars with the most appearances.
Now: Following ‘Charmed,’ she continued racking up more TV cameos, having added ‘Gilmore Girls,’ ‘Cold Case,’ ‘CSI,’ ‘The Mentalist’ and more to her list. She’ll be seen next in the film ‘Lovesick,’ which stars Matt LeBlanc of ‘Friends’ fame, Ali Carter (‘Heroes’), Chevy Chase (‘Community,’ ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’) and Rachel Harris (‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’).