6:30am PDT, Sep 22, 2021
In the late ’80s and early ’90s, “The Wonder Years” was appointment television for families across the country. The coming-of-age dramedy that follows the life of a teen in a stereotypical suburban family in the late ’60s quickly became one of the most acclaimed shows of its time. Featuring an ensemble led by breakout sensation Fred Savage, the saga of the Arnold family won numerous Emmy, Peabody and Golden Globe Awards and was named by Rolling Stone and TV Guide as one of the greatest programs of all time. Nearly 30 years after it wrapped, ABC is launching a remake of “The Wonder Years” that’s focused on a new American family. In honor of the reboot’s premiere on Sept. 22, 2021, Wonderall.com takes a look at where the original cast is now…
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Fred Savage starred as Kevin Arnold, the loveable teenager growing up in a suburban middle-class family in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The show depicted Kevin’s life from 12 to 17 and storylines were told through his reflections as an adult. Millions tuned in each week for updates on Kevin’s social and family lives. Fred’s acclaimed work in the series earned him an outstanding lead actor in a comedy series Emmy nomination at 13, making him the youngest actor ever acknowledged in the category.
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After “The Wonder Years” ended in 1993, Fred Savage returned to regular high school and later attended Stanford University. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and graduated in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in English. The Chicago native returned to acting with the 1996 TV movie “No One Would Tell” and a lead role in the 1997 sitcom “Working,” which ran for two seasons and also marked his directorial debut on a few episodes. He then had scene-stealing parts in the 2002 films “Austin Powers in Goldmember” and “The Rules of Attraction.” Fred made guest appearances on shows like “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Boy Meets World” and lent his voice to animated projects including “Family Guy,” “Kim Possible” and “Justice League Unlimited.” He then focused on directing for TV, starting on children’s shows like “Even Stevens,” “That’s So Raven,” “Phil of the Future,” “Hannah Montana” and “Zoey 101.” In 2006, he led the short-lived sitcom “Crumbs” before returning to work behind the camera to cement his place as one of the industry’s hardest working comedy directors. Fred’s gone on to helm episodes of “Modern Family,” “Black-ish,” “2 Broke Girls,” “Ugly Betty,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Party Down,” “The Conners” and “Happy Endings.” In 2007, he directed his first feature film, “Daddy Day Camp.” He also returned to acting with lead roles on the FOX comedy “The Grinder” opposite Rob Lowe for one season in 2015 and on the Netflix series “Friends From College” for two seasons from 2017 to 2019. Fred’s latest project is directing and executive producing the “Wonder Years” reboot. He married childhood sweetheart Jennifer Stone in 2004; they have three children.
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Danica McKellar played Gwendolyn “Winnie” Cooper, Kevin’s main love interest and neighbor. When Winnie was introduced, she was dealing with the death of her older brother in the Vietnam War, which caused her parents to separate due to their collective grief. Winnie and Kevin’s “will they-or-won’t they” relationship served as one of the show’s most compelling aspects, until they finally start dating. Their on-and-off coupling became a running theme for the rest of the show, with viewers catching every episode hoping that things would finally work out for the pair.
Like Fred Savage, Danica McKellar also focused on school after finishing “The Wonder Years,” studying at the University of California, Los Angeles. She earned a mathematics degree, graduating summa cum laude, in 1998, and as an undergraduate co-authored a scientific paper that became the Chayes–McKellar–Winn theorem. She then authored several bestselling math-related books primarily targeting adolescent readers interested in the field. The Southern California-born star initially struggled to get back into acting, nabbing occasional guest spots on TV shows like “Even Stevens,” “The West Wing,” “NYPD Blue,” “NCIS,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Bang Theory.” She had more luck booking voice work on the animated programs “Static Shock,” “Justice League,” “King of the Hill,” “Young Justice” and “DC Super Hero Girls.” She can also be heard in the animated films “Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo,” “Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam” and “The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-WrestleMania!” For the last decade, Danica has found a resurgence of success in the world of TV movies, starring in countless romances for Hallmark Channel as well as its “Matchmaker Mystery” film series. Her extensive holiday-themed tenure at the network includes the projects “Crown for Christmas,” “My Christmas Dream,” “Coming Home for Christmas,” “Christmas At Grand Valley,” “Christmas at Dollywood” and “Christmas She Wrote.” In 2014, she competed on season 18 of “Dancing With the Stars,” finishing sixth. The following year, she starred on the Netflix original series “Project Mc2.” The actress was married to composer Michael Verta, with whom she has a son, from 2009 to 2012. She then wed lawyer Scott Sveslosky in 2014.
Josh Saviano played Paul Joshua Pfeiffer, a bright student who was Kevin’s long-time best friend. Kevin and Paul’s friendship started as one of the show’s most loving bonds, but their relationship fractured as the series went on. Paul eventually transferred to a prep school, leaving Kevin to make new friends. After he eventually moved back to the same school as Kevin and Winnie, things were never quite the same for the buddies. In the final episode, it was revealed that Paul attended Harvard and became a lawyer.
When “The Wonder Years” came to an end, Josh Saviano left acting behind to attend Yale University, where he became president of the Sigma Nu fraternity. He graduated in 1998 with a degree in political science and then worked as a paralegal for a New York City law firm. In 2000, he worked for an Internet firm before earning his law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. The former star was admitted to the bar in New York and, like his “Wonder Years” character, built a successful career as an attorney. He joined the firm Morrison Cohen and became a partner in 2013. He left in 2015 to found two start-up endeavors: the law firm JDS Legal and celebrity brand consultancy Act 3 Advisors. Josh made a brief return to acting, playing a lawyer on three episodes of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 2014 and 2015. He’s and wife Jennifer, who share daughter Noa, have been married since 2002.
Wayne Arnold, Kevin’s annoying older brother, was played by Jason Hervey. Wayne enjoyed physically tormenting his sibling, routinely referring to him as “butthead” and other off-color nicknames. The nuisance struggled both in love and in school and eventually decided to join the Army because of his poor academic performance. When he was unable to pass the physical, he instead took a job at the same company as his dad and began a serious relationship with a divorcée named Bonnie. Sadly, he was left heartbroken when she reconciled with her husband.
When “The Wonder Years” wrapped in 1993, Jason Hervey had trouble finding more acting work outside of a few TV movies and guest parts. As a result, he moved behind the scenes, becoming an executive producer on World Championship Wrestling until the company’s closure in 2001. Jason also formed the production company Bischoff Hervey Entertainment and produced a series of TV movies including “First Daughter,” “First Target” and “First Shot” as well as reality shows like “I Want to Be a Hilton,” “Scott Baio Is 45… and Single,” “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling” and “Party Monsters Cabo.” From 2001 to 2003, he was the senior vice president of media and communications for the HealthSouth Corporation in Alabama. The Los Angeles native lent his voice to animated shows “100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd” and “Justice League Unlimited” and hosted and executive produced the 2008 reality series “Confessions of a Teen Idol.” In 2010, he joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as an executive producer and has continued producing TV programs in the years since. More recently, he worked on the Nickelodeon sitcom “See Dad Run” and the TrueTV reality show “Hardcore Pawn: Chicago.” The entrepreneur also has a cannabis brand in the works with imprisoned “Tiger King” star Joe Exotic. In 2016, Jason spent a weekend in jail after a DUI arrest. He and wife Shannon, who have two children, married in 1998.
Alley Mills starred as Norma Arnold, Kevin’s housewife mother. She met her husband, Jack, as a college freshman and decided against finishing school to instead move across the country with him when he graduated. On the show, she was seen as the friendly and upbeat parent who’s less conservative than her husband but a woman who increasingly yearns to break out of her homemaker role. Norma eventually got her degree and began working at a software startup late in the series.
Right after “The Wonder Years” came to an end, Alley Mills moved to the hit drama “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” in a recurring role as the titular character’s sister. She also nabbed guest spots on shows like “Touched by an Angel,” “Popular,” “NYPD Blue,” “Girlfriends” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” The Chicago-born star also appeared in TV films such as “Moment of Truth: Caught in the Crossfire” and “Family Reunion: A Relative Nightmare.” Her next big break came in 2006 when she joined the cast of the daytime soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful” as Pamela Douglas, appearing on more than 600 episodes. Alley’s contract with the show ended in 2019, but she made a return appearance in August 2021. While doing the show, she also got parts in indie films like 2009’s “A Golden Christmas,” 2011’s “Satin,” 2014’s “Maybe Someday” and 2019’s “The Fiddling Horse.” She was married to author and actor Orson Bean from 1993 until his death in 2020 at 91.
The patriarch of the Arnold clan, Jack, was portrayed by Dan Lauria. Kevin’s father — a Korean War veteran who grew up during the Great Depression and served in the Marine Corps — was a quiet, strict and conservative parent who was often frustrated with a changing society. The family man started the show working in a middle-management position at a large military defense corporation, which he hated, and later started his own business.
Vietnam War vet Dan Lauria served as an officer in the Marine Corps before pursuing acting. When “The Wonder Years” finished, the veteran actor remained busy with guest parts on hit ’90s shows like “Party of Five,” “Boy Meets World,” “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.” He also had parts in the theatrical blockbuster “Independence Day” and the acclaimed miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon.” The Brooklyn-born star has booked numerous guest spots in the decades since, appearing on programs such as “Smallville,” “JAG,” “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “Blue Bloods,” “NCIS” and “This Is Us.” He also hit the big screen in 2002’s “Big Momma’s House 2” and 2008’s “The Spirit” and worked on the stage including on Broadway as Vince Lombardi in the 2010 play “Lombardi” and Jean Shepherd in a 2012 production of “A Christmas Story: The Musical.” From 2012 to 2014, he had a lead role on the sitcom “Sullivan & Son.” Dan was more recently seen in the 2020 films “The Way Back” opposite Ben Affleck and “Holidate” with Emma Roberts. He married Eileen Cregg in 1991; the couple divorced in 2001.
Rounding out the Arnolds was Karen, Kevin’s mature hippie older sister, played by Olivia d’Abo. She often clashed with her overbearing father due to her free-spirited approach to life and turned to her mom to act as a mediator. Karen and Jack fell out when she moved in with her boyfriend, Michael, during her freshman year of college, but they reconciled when she got married and moved to Alaska to start a family.
Shortly after “The Wonder Years,” Olivia d’Abo appeared in the films “Point of No Return,” “Wayne’s World 2,” “Greedy” and “Kicking and Screaming” and landed a lead role on the sitcom “The Single Guy.” She also found a significant amount of work as a voice actress, lending her talents to projects like “Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm,” “Batman Beyond,” “The Legend of Tarzan,” “Justice League,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Ultimate Avengers.” Since the ’00s began, the London native has done a number of TV guest spots on shows such as “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “Spin City,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Alias,” “Eureka,” “Elementary,” “Psych” and “Jane the Virgin.” She’s also appeared in the TV movies “We Have Your Husband,” “When Duty Calls” and “Millennial Rules.” Olivia’s also dabbled in music, performing backing vocals for Julian Lennon and singing a duet with Seal. The singer-songwriter released her debut album, “Not TV,” in 2008. She was also seen in the 2005 Broadway production of “The Odd Couple” alongside Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane. In 2015, Olivia started a weekly podcast, “Every Friday with Dan and Olivia,” with friend Dan Miles. She was married to musician Patrick Leonard from 2002 to 2012; the exes share son Oliver.
Before he became one of television’s biggest stars on “Friends,” David Schwimmer played Michael on “The Wonder Years.” Michael was Karen’s live-in boyfriend and, eventually, her husband. Like his partner, he was also a hippie, but the less-opinionated of the two. Kevin looked up to him as a role model and a friend. He upset Karen’s dad when he and his girlfriend moved in together before they were married, but he eventually won him over when he secured a good job in Alaska.
Right after “The Wonder Years” ended, David Schwimmer had guest spots on “NYPD Blue” and “Blossom” before landing his first lead role on the short-lived sitcom “Monty.” Luckily, that same year, he also booked the series that would make him a household name: “Friends.” The hit NBC comedy ran for 10 seasons, won countless awards and became one of the most popular shows in TV history. His work as Ross Geller, the goofy, booksmart member of the group, earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Primetime Emmy Award nomination. While starring on the sitcom, David had his first lead feature role in 1996’s “The Pallbearer” and appeared in the films “Kissing a Fool,” “Six Days, Seven Nights,” “Apt Pupil” and “Picking Up the Pieces.” He also acted on HBO’s award-winning miniseries “Band of Brothers.” Once “Friends” wrapped, he branched out by starring in the indie drama “Duane Hopwood” and lent his voice to the hit “Madagascar” film franchise. The New York native also took to the stage for his West End debut in the 2005 play “Some Girl(s)” and his Broadway debut in the 2006 play “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial.” He then moved behind the camera for his directorial debut with the 2007 comedy “Run Fatboy Run.” David’s since had guest parts on shows like “30 Rock,” “Entourage” and “Will & Grace” and appeared in the films “Nothing But The Truth,” “John Carter” and “The Laundromat.” He also directed the 2010 feature “Trust.” The star had a major TV comeback in 2016 with roles on the acclaimed series “Feed the Beast” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” the latter of which nabbed him a second Primetime Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Robert Kardashian. Since 2020, he’s starred on the Peacock comedy series “Intelligence,” which aired its second season in 2021. David was married to British artist Zoë Buckman from 2010 to 2017; they share a daughter who was born in 2011.