See What Amanda Bynes, Jennie Garth and the Rest of the What I Like About You Cast Are Up to Now

Amanda Bynes considers What I Like About You a highlight of her career and Jennie Garth grew to love her like a sister. See the TV siblings and the rest of the cast then and now.

By Natalie Finn Apr 07, 2024 7:00 AMTags
Watch: ‘What I Like About You’ Star Jennie Garth Briefly Addresses Dan Schneider

It's not hard to figure out what fans liked about What I Like About You.

Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth played sisters in the WB sitcom, which for most of its four-season run anchored the network's Friday prime-time sitcom block, and their chemistry as happy-go-lucky teen Holly Tyler and responsibly adulting Val Tyler was spot-on.

And not least because they shared an April 3 birthday, Nickelodeon alum Bynes about to turn 16 and Garth—in her first role as a parental type following her coming-of-age success on Beverly Hills, 90210—just shy of 30 when they shot the pilot in March 2002.

At that time, Garth was already a mom to then-4-year-old daughter Luca, but teenagers "kind of freaked me out a little," she wrote in her 2014 book Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde. Bynes, however, was "lovely and incredibly professional" and actually made her "less fearful" about what she'd face when her own kid got older.

Amanda Bynes' Biggest Roles

And while they haven't been in touch for some time, Garth has remained protective of Bynes in the years since they worked together, recently telling The Hollywood Reporter, "I just love her and I would love to see her at any point."


As for WILAY cocreator Dan Schneider, whose behavior behind the scenes of his hit Nickelodeon shows has come under renewed scrutiny, Garth added, "I don't want to talk about Dan Schneider ever again in my life."

But she and Bynes have each said they'd be up to revisit WILAY, having great memories from their time together, so... Never say never?


"That show was so much fun to make," Garth told Yahoo! Entertainment in 2022. "Fans of that show are super loyal. Like, it was kind of a cult following of its own."

And Bynes has called it no less than her favorite project she's been a part of.

"That TV show was super fun," the 38-year-old said in a Cameo posted to TikTok in February. "I loved working with Jennie Garth and Leslie Grossman, Wesley Jonathan and Simon Rex. It was such a great experience."

Starting to feel a little nostalgic? Same. Which is why you should read on to see what Garth, Bynes, Jonathan, Rex and the rest of the cast of What I Like About You looked like then and what they're up to now:

Jennie Garth

If Kelly Taylor dumped Dylan and moved to New York...

But responsible, regimented Val Tyler was a world away from Garth's star-making role on Bevery Hills, 90210. Doing comedy was "scary as hell," she wrote in her 2014 book Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde, before she got over her fear of looking silly and learned to "hold for the laugh."

After What I Like About You ended in 2006, she played older, wiser single mom Kelly in the CW's 90210, had a short-lived detective series, Mystery Girls, with Tori Spelling and starred in a slew of TV movies.

After joining the original cast for BH90210 in 2019, she continued to lean into her roots and started the 90210MG podcast with Spelling.

The 52-year-old shares daughters Luca, 26, Lola, 21 (Garth wrote that the WB took the news in stride when she found out she was pregnant as soon as What I Like About You was first picked up and she concealed her "compact bump" during filming), and Fiona, 17, with ex-husband Peter Facinelli. They divorced in 2013 and she married Dave Abrams in 2015.

Meanwhile, the subject of a WILAY reunion comes up a lot, and Garth has said she's up for it, under certain conditions.

"I would want to do the show with Amanda," she said in 2022 on Behind the Velvet Rope With David Yontef. "I would just want to make sure she was in a place where she wanted to do it."

Amanda Bynes

By the time her run as the charmingly impulsive Holly Tyler ended, Bynes had already made the jump to movies, starring in 2003's What a Girl Wants and 2006's She's the Man. She also stood out in 2007's Hairspray and 2010's Easy A—which surprisingly turned out to be her last film to date.

Bynes dropped out of the 2011 comedy Hall Pass and later said that watching Easy A sent her spiraling.

"I literally couldn't stand my appearance in that movie and I didn't like my performance," she told Paper in 2018. "I was absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting after seeing it."

In 2012, Bynes memorably started making headlines for run-ins with the law, concerning tweets and erratic behavior and, in 2014, she was placed in a conservatorship under her mother's care. (It was terminated in March 2022.) That November she tweeted that she'd been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and manic depression and was seeing a psychiatrist.

She told Paper that she "definitely abused Adderall" as a young actress and, at the time of the interview, had been sober for almost four years.

In the meantime, Bynes enrolled at L.A.'s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, eventually graduating in 2019. More recently she went to school to become a manicurist and is now studying to get her board certification.

But while she didn't miss acting, she missed her WILAY costars and would work with them again. "I loved this show," she told TMZ in 2022, "so I'd be down to return to acting for this revival."

Wesley Jonathan

Born Wesley Jonathan Waples, the California native made his TV debut at 11 on a 1990 episode of 21 Jump Street and was a veteran actor by the time he scored the role of Holly's best friend Gary in 2002, the 24-year-old convincingly passing for 16.

He's been working ever since, from single episode appearances on the likes of NCIS, to playing Cedric the Entertainer's brother on TV Land's The Soul Man, which ran for five seasons, to costarring in the 2023 Tubi movie Best Friend.

Jonathan's been married to Tamera Mitchell since 2016 and they welcomed daughter Faye on Aug. 10, 2014.

On Pod Meets World in February, the 45-year-old recalled how WILAY fans rooted at first for Gary and Holly to get together, but he thought it was "very cool and very different" that they were just friends, with "no romantic innuendo."

And Bynes, needless to say, "was a sweetheart."

Leslie Grossman

Another cast member who has lovely memories of WILAY.

"That show was a really fun and good time in my life," Grossman said on E!'s Busy Tonight in 2018, "and we had such a good time doing that."

When she joined the cast as Lauren, Val's at-times exhausting BFF, toward the end of season one, she had already won fans for life playing the deranged Mary Cherry on Ryan Murphy's gone-too-soon WB dramedy Popular.

And while you've seen her face in so many shows, those two series were her most memorable roles until she joined Murphy's American Horror Story in 2017 and ascended to the throne of scream queen. She'll also be in the next installment of the prolific producer's Netflix true crime anthology series, Monsters: The Lyle and Erik Menendez Story (the first season tackled Jeffrey Dahmer).

"Forever, people were like, 'You’re too weird: Your face is weird. Your voice is weird. We don't get you,'" Grossman, now 52, told The Daily Beast in 2022, reflecting on her slow burn in Hollywood. "I had to figure it out for myself. I kept myself employed, doing series, doing guest star parts, doing pilot after pilot—pilots that didn't get picked up." 

But Murphy got her. She added, "Ryan was always like, 'I like all that you're selling. I buy what you’re selling, and I’m gonna give you a platform so everybody can see what I like in you.'"

On the personal front, Grossman shares daughter Goldie, 17, with Jon Bronson, who filed for divorce in 2020 after 20 years of marriage.

Simon Rex

Before Rex spent one season on WILAY playing Val's not-meant-to-be boyfriend Jeff, the former MTV VJ was already a familiar face on the WB from costarring in Jack & Jill and an arc on Felicity—and he stuck around after, showing up in Summerland and Everwood.

He's also known for getting silly in the Scary Movie franchise and Superhero Movie and his rap career as Dirt Nasty, but by the time Rex got the call about being in the 2021 dark comedy Red Rocket, he was thinking about pursuing "any other form of income."

"I had a good run when I was younger in the early 2000s," he told Forbes. "I was working a lot, and then your career kind of fizzles."

Watching himself in Red Rocket, though, Rex said, "I'm like, ‘Holy s--t!...It took a long time, 25 years, but I can finally call myself an actor and own it.'"

He ended up winning Best Male Lead at the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards for his turn as a washed-up porn star who returns to his Texas hometown and makes many bad decisions—and, sure enough, the phone started ringing again.

The 49-year-old, who's said he has "a hard time subscribing to the idea of marriage," is also cofounder of the men's skin care line Mox.

Nick Zano

Vince was the love interest for Holly fans were waiting for—and they kept waiting, until the pair finally got out of their own way in the series finale.

But Zano's status as a WB heartthrob was set before he went on to movies like 2009's The Final Destination and many TV shows, including Cougar Town, the reboots of 90210 and Melrose PlaceTwo Broke Girls and Happy Endings.

He also was a star of Netflix's long-running DC's Legends of Tomorrow and the comedic action hero series Obliterated.

Now 45, Zano shares a 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter with longtime partner Leah Renee.

Michael McMillian

One of the Kansas native's first big jobs was booking the recurring role of Holly's first love, Henry—and he later wrote the season three episode "Girls Gone Wild."

While that onscreen romance didn't work out, acting was a go for McMillian, now 45. Among his dozens of credits, standouts include playing Hilary Duff's love interest in 2010's Beauty & the Briefcase, reverend-turned-vampire Steve Newlin on True Blood, the long-lost son of Jane Leeves' Joy on Hot in Cleveland and lawyer Tim on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He's also done a lot of voice work and authored the comic book series Lucid.

In 2023, he appeared on 9-1-1: Lone Star and Bookie—and he's preparing for the role of husband, sharing Dec. 26 on Instagram that he's engaged.

Allison Munn

It was touch and go for Tina and Holly's friendship (Tina, you don't sleep with your BFF's lovelorn ex) and Tina's eventual love match with Gary throughout the whole series, but all slights are forgiven in the end.

Munn, 49, has since done tons of TV work, most notably playing teacher Lauren on One Tree Hill, mom Anne to the titular quadruplets in the Nickelodeon sitcom Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, and the wife of WWE star the Big Show (Paul Donald Wright II) in Netflix's The Big Show Show.

The South Carolina native also ended up with OTH's David in real life, too: Munn's been married to actor Scott Holroyd since 2007 and they share 12-year-old son Nathan and 8-year-old daughter Nora.

Dan Cortese

The MTV Sports host turned actor was a veteran hunk from the likes of Melrose Place, Seinfeld (Jerry dubbed him a "mimbo") and Veronica's Closet when he showed up as Val's so-appealing-yes-she'll-eventually-marry-him boss Vic. (But not before he moves to California and is gone for two seasons, finally returning to New York as a firefighter.)

"I have an 8-year-old son that I take to school every day," Cortese told the Futon Critic in 2009, "so the teenage girls and the moms recognize me and want to talk about that show."

He continued to act, but is best known as a cultural entity—he most recently played himself in The Curse with Emma Stone—and as the host of energetic-sounding series such as Crash Course, My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad and Guinness World Records Unleashed.

In 2020, he invoked his Seinfeld catchphrase with the title of his memoir, Step Off! My Journey From Mimbo to Manhood.

The 56-year-old prince of Malibu shares son Roman, 23, and daughter India, 20, with ex-wife Dee Dee Hemby and son Enzo, 5, and daughter Luna, 2, with Carolina Londono, his wife since 2014.