The Nostalgia Is Strong: What the Cast of Boy Meets World Is Up to Now

Rider Strong is celebrating his 40th birthday, so it's officially time to check in with the cast of the beloved '90s sitcom
By Natalie Finn, Corinne Heller Dec 11, 2019 11:00 AMTags
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TV Cast Reunions That Made Our Nostalgia-Loving Hearts Swell

The nostalgia quotient of the cast reunion that took place in March at the 2019 Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle was off the charts.

Ben SavageDanielle Fishel, Rider Strong, Will Friedle and William Daniels all together again was the stuff of... well, it was the stuff an epic Friday night was once made of!

"Dream. Try. Do Cons. #emeraldcitycomiccon," Fishel wrote on Instagram, alongside a group photo. "#family," wrote Friedle.

Savage also posted a photo of himself with Mr. Feeny, er, Daniels, writing, "Always my teacher and friend," the actor wrote.

You guys...

Instagram

They had such a delightful time, they reunited again at FAN EXPO Boston this summer.

"Always family," Savage captioned a group pic taken in August, which by then included a new mom in the group.

With certain recent milestones in mind, as well as the fact that Rider Strong is celebrating his 40th birthday today, there's no time like the present to check in on the whole cast of Boy Meets World:

Ben Savage

We were there for Cory Matthew's biggest moments in life: his first kiss, his first fight, the first time he drank beer—the list goes on and on. While Mr. Matthews started off the series as your average adolescent sports-loving, prioritizing friends-over-studying C-student, fans grew up with Cory and watched him become a loyal man with a kind heart.

Savage graduated from Stanford in 2004 with a degree in political science and continued to pop up on TV (Party of FiveChuck) and the occasional indie film, but  sweetheart Danielle Fishel reprised their roles on the 2014 Disney Channel spin-off Girl Meets World, featuring Cory and Topanga, who got married at the end of the original series, as parents of daughter Riley. 

Since that show ended in 2017, Savage (who, incidentally, is Fred Savage's little brother) has appeared on shows such as The LeftoversSpeechlessCriminal Minds (as a young Jason Gideon) and Homeland (as young Saul, making that two gigs playing a Mandy Patinkin character as a younger man). His Instagram indicates he has a girlfriend (they went to a wedding together in November 2019 and celebrated his mom Joanne's birthday in L.A.), but he has kept her identity private.

Danielle Fishel

Girl next door Topanga Lawrence was kind, passionate, patient and super-smart—and she had one of the all-time great heads of hair on TV. She also taught us that vanity is not a trait worth having (remember when she cut off those gorgeous locks to make a point?!) and that there's nothing wrong with declaring that you found your soul mate at only 5 years old. 

Between Boy Meets World and Girls Meets World, Fishel—whose first kiss was a smooch for the show with Ben Savage—was mainly herself on TV, appearing as a correspondent on The Tyra Banks Show and hosting Style Network's The Dish. She also went back to college at 27 and earned her degree in 2012, proof it's never a bad time to check off items on the to-do list. 

While in school she fell for a fellow student, Tim Belusko, whom she was married to for two years before quietly divorcing in 2016. She married Drop the Mic host Jensen Karp in 2018, with former co-stars Savage (who congratulated his "favorite TV wife" on her engagement) and Will Friedle in attendance.

Fishel and Karp welcomed a son named Adler in June 2019. He was born a month early and spent some extra time in the hospital with a lung ailment, but the family of three is now happy and healthy at home. The proud mom has also launched a hair care line, Be Free by Danielle Fishel. Which, obviously, makes sense.

Rider Strong

Shawn Hunter was Cory Matthew's bestest bud of all time and his partner in hi-jinks. He had a troubled upbringing and could be a smart-ass who didn't appear to care about school or his future, but Shawn's innate sweetness and vulnerability overshadowed any bad-boy tendencies. 

After Boy Meets World, Strong most notably starred in Eli Roth's 2002 sleeper horror hit Cabin Fever and its 2009 sequel, was one of the stars of the short-lived Pepper Dennis and voiced Brick Flagg in the animated series Kim Possible before returning to play Shawn in seven episodes of Girl Meets World. Most recently you could hear his voice on Disney XD's Star vs. the Forces of Evil.

Rider has also been behind the camera, writing, directing and producing some shorts and the 2017 TV movie Micah the Asshole Ghost with brother Shiloh Strong (who was originally up for the role of Eric Matthews).

In 2013, Strong married Alexandra Barreto and their son, Indigo, was born in December 2014.

Will Friedle

Eric Matthews offered up the advice, "Life's tough, get a helmet." Thanks, big brother.

Friedle showed up as Eric again on Girl Meets World, but in the meantime, his voice became ubiquitous, emanating from the animated shows Kim PossibleTeen Titans Go!DC Super Hero Girls and Disney XD's Guardians of the Galaxy—featuring Friedle  as Star Lord Peter Quill, among others.

Years before he attended Fishel and Karp's wedding, he was best man at the 2004 nuptials of Step by Step star Jason Marsden, TGIF cross-over programming at its finest. In December 2019, he sported a T-shirt with Topanga's face on it, a bit of swag courtesy of Danielle Fishel's hair care line.

Friedle tied the knot with Susan Martens in 2016 and they celebrated their third anniversary in Italy. A more recent Instagram post: "My wife made me my very own mask! #loveduringthepandemic."

William Daniels

George Feeny was a tweed jacket-wearing no-nonsense type, but he was also a devoted teacher who cared about his students and could turn any of the kids' conundrums into a learning opportunity. Cory Matthews got a double dose, because Mr. Feeny was his neighbor as well.

Daniels, a two-time Emmy winner for St. Elsewhere as well as an original star of the musical 1776 and the voice of David Hasselhoff's car K.I.T.T. on Knight Rider, secured himself a new generation of fans from Boy Meets World. After serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1999 until 2001, he continued to make guest appearances on the likes of ScrubsBoston Legal and The Closer and had an arc on Grey's Anatomy in 2012. Now 93 (a birthday marked by several of his former co-stars on social media), Daniels' most recent acting role was playing Mr. Feeny again on Girl Meets World, but he was right there with the cast for their 2019 reunions.

Daniels has been married to Bonnie Bartlett since 1951 and they have two sons.

Betsy Randle

Amy Matthews was more of a presence than some TV parents get to be when a show centers on the kids' antics, always there with a comically exasperated line or two, followed by unconditional love.

After Boy Meets World, the married mother of two most notably played Mrs. Winterbourne on Charmed and returned for a few episodes of Girl Meets World as Cory and Eric's mom.

William Russ

In the grand tradition of Jason Seaver, Steven Keaton and Tony Micelli, Alan Matthews was a pretty cool TV dad.

Russ, whose film work includes The Right Stuff and American History X, remained a busy character actor after Boy Meets World, appearing on Boston LegalThe Young and the Restless90210ColonyNCIS: Los Angeles and, more recently, Bosch and 9-1-1, to name a few. (And, along with his TV wife, a couple episodes of Girl Meets World.)

In real life, Russ is dad to a son and daughter with wife Clare Wren.

Lee Norris

Stewart Minkus was the brainy side-eye-giving teacher's pet before going mysteriously MIA for three seasons—supposedly after Cory and Shawn willed him to disappear, according to a scene in the series finale. Fortunately, he came back in time to graduate from high school with everyone. So where had he been? "The other part of the school... over there," Minkus explains.

Rider Strong claimed at Wizard World Comic Con, per Looper, that Norris' character was written out because of the popularity of fellow TGIF geek Steve Urkel over on Family Matters, and the Boy Meets World creatives didn't want to double down on comedic nerdom. 

Norris, who got his acting start as little Chuckie Lee from The Torkelsons, went on to graduate from Wake Forest, play another small-screen geek, Marvin "Mouth" McFadden, on The CW's long-running drama One Tree Hill, and return as Minkus for a few episodes of Girl Meets World. He has since been on a couple episodes of The Walking Dead and at some point over the years he got in good with David Fincher, because he was in both Zodiac and Gone Girl.

He's been married to wife Andrea since 2011.

Matthew Lawrence

Shawn's older half-brother Jack Hunter (they shared the same deadbeat, much-married dad) showed up in season five and they moved in together for awhile along with Jack's best bud—conveniently, Eric Matthews.

The Mrs. Doubtfire star was also on the sitcom Brotherly Love with real-life siblings Andrew and Joey Lawrence, and has been in numerous indie films and a guest star on shows such as Boston PublicCSI: MiamiWorkaholicsMelissa and Joey and, most recently, Hawaii 5-0.

Matthew first met professional dancer Cheryl Burke when Joey competed on Dancing With the Stars in 2006, and they dated for about a year. But after going their separate ways for a decade, they reunited, got engaged in 2018 and married each other on May 23, 2019.

Trina McGee

Finally, Shawn Hunter's scarred cold heart was pierced by Angela Moore.

McGee has been in a number of made-for-TV movies and short-lived TV series and also reprised her Boy Meets World role on an episode of Girl Meets World.

She is also an artist and mother of three kids, two of them with ex-husband Courtland Davis.

Maitland Ward

Rachel McGuire was the girl both Eric and Jack lusted after during the college years of BMW, and she dated Jack before deciding they should just be friends. They did, however, join the Peace Corps together.

Ward starred in the 2004 comedy White Chicks with Marlon and Shawn Wayans, married Terry Baxter in 2006 and won three AVNs after making her adult-film debut in 2019's Drive.

Gushing about her supportive husband, Ward-Baxter told In Touch Weekly in January 2020, "He is a very good photographer, too. He has taken pictures of me along the way, like on my social media."

Lily Nicksay

The first of two Morgans, Nicksay played played Cory and Eric's little sister from 1993 to 1995—then scored a role in the Michelle Pfeiffer-Robert Redford romantic drama Up Close and Personal.

As she grew up, the actress guest-starred on a few TV shows, including The Mentalist, 8 Simple Rules and Judging Amy and later returned as Morgan for the finale of Girl Meets World.

She has been going by Lily Gibson since marrying songwriter Dave Gibson in 2015, and was credited with that name on a 2019 episode of NCIS.

Lindsay Ridgeway

After the "longest nap ever," Morgan re-appeared from a year of absence as an older, entirely different girl.

Ridgeway, who took over the role of Morgan in 1996 until the series' end in 2000, graduated from UC Riverside in June 2007 earned her master's in counseling from the University of Redlands in 2010. Also a singer, she has performed the national anthem at pro sporting events around Los Angeles, and worked part time for the LA Kings hockey team as a member of the Kings Ice Crew.

She also came back as Morgan for the Girl Meets World finale.

Linda Cardellini

Lauren, one of the few people who could get between Cory and Topanga.

Cardellini graduated from Boy Meets World to the shamefully short-lived Freaks and Geeks, and after that it was off to the races in Scooby-DooERBrokeback MountainMad Men (earning an Emmy nomination), New Girl and the Netflix drama Bloodline. She also joined the Marvel Universe as Clint/Hawkeye's wife, was in the 2019 Best Picture Oscar winner Green Book, and co-stars in the Netflix dramedy Dead to Me.

Meanwhile, the actress is mom to daughter Lilah-Rose with longtime partner Steven Rodriguez.

Ethan Suplee

Frankie "The Enforcer" Stechino did the physically imposing bidding of whichever bully was in charge at John Adams High School, though over the years the secret poetry enthusiast proved to have a soft spot for Shawn and Cory.

Suplee's estimable credits include American History X, Remember the Titans, Unstoppable and playing Randy Hickey on all four seasons of My Name Is Earl. He was also in Martin Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street, played Billy on the Netflix comedy The Ranch, and most recently he re-teamed with Edward Norton for the noir drama Motherless Brooklyn and appeared in the controversial horror-satire The Hunt.

He has been married to Brandy Lewis since 2006 and they have two children together. Last but not least, in January 2020 a photo he posted of his newly shredded self, the result of a hard-won battle to lose weight and get healthy, went viral.

Adam Scott

After Harley Keiner ended up in reform school, Griff Hawkins took his place as chief bully at John Adams High.

Since then, Adam Scott has become the consummate onscreen funny guy, with the occasional snide wise-ass and morose midlife-crisis-having married guy thrown in for good measure. His greatest hits include the intense, graphic HBO drama Tell Me You Love Me; the hit comedy Step Brothers; Starz' beloved Party Down; the even more beloved Parks and Recreation; the sporadic and hilarious The Greatest Event in Television History on Adult Swim; Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years LaterThe Good Place and, of course, Big Little Lies, playing Reese Witherspoon's incredibly patient and understanding husband, Ed.

In real life Scott has two kids with his Naomi Sablan, his wife since 2005.

Anthony Tyler Quinn

The leather jacket-wearing, motorcycle-riding Jonathan Turner was the cool teacher at John Adams High, and Shawn went to live with him after his dad took off yet again—even though apparently that wasn't Shawn's idea of a good plot twist.

"They only brought him in because Friends became a hit," Rider Strong recalled to Vanity Fair in 2011. "And ABC was like, 'We need twentysomethings on every show. Including on this kids' show that's only watched by teenagers.' And, remember, they had him and they had the character of Eli, who was the black young teacher. And they were going to have this whole twentysomething storyline. I don't know what they were thinking, but it was a complete disaster. It didn't work at all."

However, Shawn was devastated when Mr. Turner was in a motorcycle crash at the end of season four—which Turner recovered from off-camera and was never seen again until he resurfaced on Girl Meets World, having married a nurse he met in the hospital after the accident.

In the meantime, Quinn joined the drama on Melrose Place for a four-year stint, was on Pretty Little Liars in 2012, and popped up on Feud: Betty and Joan in 2017. 

He's been married to Margaret Quinn since 1985 and they have two children.

(Originally published March 15, 2019, at 7:58 a.m. PT)

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