Glee Ended 5 Years Ago: Where Is the Cast Now?

It's been five years since we said goodbye to Glee. Find out what everyone's been up to since they stopped roaming the halls of McKinley High.

By Billy Nilles 20 Mar, 2020 2:00 PMTags
Watch: 5 Years Since "Glee": E! News Rewind

Can you believe it's been five years since we said goodbye to McKinley High?

It was five years ago today, on March 20, 2015, the the Fox smash-hit Glee signed off for good after six history-making, record-breaking seasons full of show choir shenanigans, slushies to the face and more amazing song mash-ups than we could fit onto our iPods. (Remember iPods?)

Not only did the show elevate creator Ryan Murphy to showrunner superstar status, leading to his empire of hits like American Horror Story, American Crime Story and more, but it became the launching pad for so many careers. After all, this is the show that introduced us all to Lea Michele, Amber Riley, Darren Criss and Melissa Benoist, to name but a few.

While the Glee family has suffered some loss over the years, with star Cory Monteith's tragic and fatal overdose in 2013 just as production on season five was about to commence prompting Murphy to decide to end it all with season six and, later, Mark Salling's suicide in 2018 after pleading guilty to a charge of possession of child pornography, the rest of the cast has been out there thriving. 

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With the anniversary of the show's conclusion in mind, we thought it was time to check in on the cast and see what they've been up to since they said goodbye to New Directions. Of course, because Glee was such a massive show with a sprawling cast and plenty of celebrity cameos, we kept it to just those who were lucky enough to earn series regular status throughout the show's run. Otherwise, this would've just been impossible

Lea Michele

Since breaking out as the indefatigable Rachel Berry, Michele went on to star in Ryan Murphy's Fox follow-up Scream Queens, which ran for two seasons. She followed that up with a lead role in the short-lived ABC sitcom The Mayor. In 2019, she returned to ABC as the lead in their holiday film Same Time, Next Christmas. An established recording artist by the time Glee wrapped in 2015, she's gone on to release her second and third studio albums, 2017's Places and 2019's Christmas in the City. In April 2018, she announced that she was engaged to boyfriend Zandy Reich. The two tied the knot on March 9, 2019 in Napa.

Matthew Morrison

After six seasons as the eternally optimistic Will Schuester, Morrison returned to his Broadway roots starring in the lead role of J.M. Barrie in the production of Finding Neverland. He's gone on to guest star on shows like Younger, The Good Wife and Grey's Anatomy and returned to Murphy's orbit with a starring role in American Horror Story: 1984. Since 2019, he's served as one of the celebrity "dance captains" on the U.K. competition series The Greatest Dancer. On March 6, 2020, he released his third studio album, Disney Dreamin' with Matthew Morrison. He and wife Renee Puente welcomed a son, Revel James Makai Morrison, in October 2017. 

Jane Lynch

Since stepping out of Sue Sylvester's track suits, Lynch has continued her hosting duties on NBC's hit game show Hollywood Game Night, while guest-starring shows like Criminal Minds, The Good Fight, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She's won two Emmys since Glee, one for her hosting work on HGN and the other for her work on Amazon's popular period piece. She's also lent her voice talents to animated series Final Space, Big Hero 6: The Series and more. In 2016, she released the holiday album A Swingin' Little Christmas, featuring the ensemble from her See Jane Sing cabaret show launched the year prior. She has been in a relationship with screenwriter Jennifer Cheyne since 2017.

Chris Colfer

Already an establish author after publishing his first book during his six-season run as Kurt Hummel, he's published 15 books in total as of September 2019. He's been a bit quiet on the acting front since Glee wrapped in 2015, appearing on an episode of Netflix's Julie's Greenroom in 2017 and as a guest-judge on RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars in 2018. He also had a cameo in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, released in 2016.

Dianna Agron

After leaving Glee and Quinn Fabray behind in 2015, with the show's latter three seasons spent as a recurring guest star rather than series regular, Agron got engaged to Mumford & Sons musician Winston Marshall. The two tied the knot on October 15, 2016 in Morocco. The same year Glee ended, she made her stage debut in McQueen, a fantasy-based play based on the life of late fashion designer Alexander McQueen that ran from May 12-June 6 at London's St. James Theatre. While she's made no TV appearances in these last five years, she has appeared in a handful of films, including Ralph Breaks the Internet and Berlin, I Love You. In the latter, she also served as director for her section of the film.

Kevin McHale

Since leaving Artie Abrams and his wheelchair behind, McHale has hosted British comedy panel show Virtually Famous, appeared in the 2017 ABC miniseries When We Rise, and competed on The X Factor: Celebrity in the UK in 2019. His first solo EP, Boy, was released in 2019. He and former Glee co-star Jenna Ushkowitz have been hosting the podcast Showmance since 2019, as well. In April 2018, he came out of the closet, revealing his relationship with actor and recording artist Austin McKenzie, his When We Rise co-star.

Heather Morris

After breaking through as airhead dancer Brittany S. Pierce, the one-time Beyonce back-up dancer has competed on Dancing With the Stars (she was shockingly eliminated during the sixth week of competition in season 24), appeared on GLOW and Raven's Home, and starred in the indie films Most Likely to Die and Folk Hero & Funny Guy. In May 2015, she married boyfriend and father of her son Elijah, Taylor Hubbell. The couple welcomed a second boy, Owen, in February 2016.

Amber Riley

After six seasons as loud and proud Mercedes Jones, Riley appeared as Addaperle, the Good Witch in NBC's live presentation of The Wiz in December 2015. She followed that up with a run as Effie White in a West End production of Dreamgirls that ran from 2017-17. She's also guest-starred on the shows Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and A Black Lady Sketch Show. In 2019, she performed the role of Emcee in ABC's The Little Mermaid Live! This past February, she revealed that she'd finished recording the material for her debut EP.

Naya Rivera

Immediately after leaving Santana Lopez behind, Rivera began a recurring role in the third season of Lifetime's Devious Maids. In September 2015, she and then-husband Ryan Dorsey welcomed their son Josey Hollis. However, the following November, she filed for divorce. It was called off in October 2017, but after she was arrested a month later and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery against Dorsey after allegedly hitting him in the head (the charges were later dropped at his request), she re-filed in December. In June 2018, the divorce was finalized. That same year, she took a starring role in the short-lived YouTube Red series Step Up: High Water. The show ran for two seasons. She's also become a published author, with her memoir Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up published in 2016.

Jenna Ushkowitz

After saying goodbye to Tina Cohen-Chang, Ushkowitz produced the 2015 documentary Twinsters, appeared in the film Hello Again, co-founded the podcast network At Will Radio, appeared on Broadway in Waitress in a July-October 2016 run, won a Tony in 2018 as a producer of the celebrated revival of Once on This Island, and launched the podcast Showmance with former co-star Kevin McHale.

Mike O'Malley

As Burt Hummel, aka the best dad on Earth, O'Malley made quite an impact despite only being a series regular for one of Glee's six seasons. Since the show wrapped, he's appeared on shows like Survivor's Remorse (which he also created and executive produced), The Good Place, and The Morning Show. He's also appeared in the films Concussion and Sully. He and My Name Is Earl creator Greg Garcia co-wrote the book for the musical Escape to Margaritaville, featuring the songs of Jimmy Buffett, that ran on Broadway from February through July of 2018. The married father of three will next be seen in TNT's Snowpiercer series adaptation, while executive-producing Heels, Stephen Amell's Arrow follow-up on Starz.

Darren Criss

After stealing Kurt and our hearts as the charming Blaine Anderson beginning with the show's second season through its last, Criss returned to Broadway to take on the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch before headlining the national tour. He's also remained a part of the Ryan Murphy family, making a guest appearance in American Horror Story: Hotel before taking on the lead role of Andrew Cunanan in 2018's The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which won him a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He'll next appear in Murphy's Netflix series Hollywood, where he also serves as an executive producer. In 2020, Criss will return to Broadway to star in a production of David Mamet's American Buffalo alongside Laurence Fishburne and Sam Rockwell. He'll also star in, write and executive produce the Quibi series Royalties. In January 2018, he and girlfriend of seven years Mia Swier announced their engagement. They tied the knot on February 16, 2019.

Harry Shum Jr.

Life after Glee for the talented dancer has been pretty sweet. He landed a lead role in Freeform's beloved Shadowhunters, which aired from 2016-19 and won him the E! People's Choice Award for The Male TV Star of 2018. He's made guest appearances on the shows Tell Me a Story and Awkwafina is Nora from Queens and popped up in the films Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, Burn and Crazy Rich Asians, with his character in the latter expected to be a central role in the in-the-works sequel. In November 2015, he and girlfriend of nine years Shelby Rabara got married in Costa Rica. They welcomed a daughter, Xia, in March 2019.

Chord Overstreet

Since his time as Sam Evans on the Fox hit, Overstreet has kept his focus on music, signing to Safehouse Records, a label started by Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, in 2015. He also opened for them on select dates of their Future Now Tour in the summer of 2016. In 2017, he released his debut EP, Tree House Tapes. A year later, he began releasing music under just his last name, with the EP Man on the Moon dropped in 2019 among a stream of one-off singles. In 2020, he made a return to acting with a guest-starring role in an episode of Freeform's The Bold Type.

Jayma Mays

Since her days as Emma Pillsbury, Mays has starred in the short-lived NBC comedy Trial & Error and provided voice work for Netflix's The Adventures of Puss in Boots, while making guest appearances on Drunk History, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, and Great News. She's also appeared in the films Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (reprising her role from the first) and American Made, with a role in the upcoming highly-anticipated sequel Bill & Ted Face the Music up next. In August 2016, she and husband, actor Adam Campbell, welcomed their first son, Jude Jones.

Jacob Artist

After saying goodbye to Noah Puckerman, Artist has had recurring roles on shows like Quantico, The Arrangement and Now Apocalypse, while returning to Ryan Murphy's universe for one episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke in 2016. He's also appeared in the films Blood Money and Haunting on Fraternity Row.

Melissa Benoist

Since her brief time as Marley Rose, Benoist has gone on to big things. Super, in fact. In 2015, she began starring as Kara Danvers on the CBS-turned-CW series Supergirl, currently in its fifth season. In 2018, she starred as David Koresh's wife Rachel in the mini-series Waco. On the film side, she's appeared in titles such as Lowriders, Patriots Day, Sun Dogs and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. She made her Broadway debut in a limited run as the title character in Beautiful: The Carole King Story. In 2015, she and Glee co-star Blake Jenner revealed they were married, however, by December 2016, she'd filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. She began dating her Supergirl co-star Chris Wood and the two were married in September 2019. Two months later, she revealed that a 2015 injury that resulted in a torn iris was actually the result of a domestic violence incident, leading many to believe she was naming Jenner as her abuser without actually saying his name. In March 2020, she and Wood announced they were expecting their first child.

Blake Jenner

Jenner joined Glee in season four after winning the second season of reality competition The Glee Project. Once his time as Ryder Lynn was over, he went on to guest-star in two episodes of Supergirl and appear in the films Everybody Wants Some!!, The Edge of Seventeen and American Animals. He also starred in Netflix's 2019 series What/If alongside Renee Zellweger. He's been added to the cast of Richard Linklater's ambitious film project Merrily We Roll Along, alongside Beanie Feldstein and Ben Platt, that is expected to be filmed over the course of 20 years and come out in 2040. In 2015, he and Glee co-star Melissa Benoist revealed they were married, however, by December 2016, she'd filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. In November 2019, she revealed that a 2015 injury that resulted in a torn iris was actually the result of a domestic violence incident, leading many to believe she was naming Jenner as her abuser without actually saying his name.

Alex Newell

Since his days as Wade "Unique" Adams, Newell has released a steady stream of singles, with his debut EP POWER dropping back in 2016. He made his Broadway debut in the celebrated 2017 revival of Once Upon This Island, earning him a Grammy nomination for the production's album. He currently stars on NBC's new musical series Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist.

Jessalyn Gilsig

After leaving Terri Schuester behind, Gilsig went on to star in the first three seasons of History's hit series Vikings. Since then, she's appeared on shows like The Good Wife and Scandal and in the TV films Evil Men and The Sweetheart.

Becca Tobin

Since leaving Kitty Wilde behind, Tobin has appeared on NCIS: Los Angeles and in the Hallmark Channel films A Song for Christmas, Love at First Dance and Sister of the Bride. In December 2015, she and pals Keltie Knight and Jac Vanek launched the hit podcast The Lady Gang, which aired briefly as a talk show on E! beginning in late 2018. In May 2016, she got engaged to entrepreneur Zach Martin. They made it official on December 3 of that year in a ceremony officiated by Jane Lynch

Dot-Marie Jones

Since her days as McKinley High's beloved Coach Beiste, Jones has guest-starred on shows like Jane the Virgin, Modern Family, American Horror Story: Cult and The Resident. She's also appeared in the films Hurricane Bianca 2: From Russia with Hate and Greener Grass.

Watch: A Blast From Interviews Past: "Glee"

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