Where Are They Now? Stars of Clarissa Explains It All
Children of the ’80s and the ’90s should know all about “Clarissa Explains It All,” the show that was centered-around Clarissa Darling and all of her life happenings, including school, puberty, boys, and so on.. The show first aired on March 23, 1991 and ran until December 3, 1994, airing a total of 65 episodes. With the show having been off the air for almost 20 years, it’s definitely time for an update on the cast.
Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa Joan Hart played the main character in the show, Clarissa Darling. During the show Clarissa tells the audience her personal problems and speaks to them as if they were in the same room. After the show ended, Melissa Joan Hart moved onto Sabrina the Teenage Witch. More recently Melissa has had roles in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Nine Dead, and Melissa & Joey. Melissa has also gotten married and become a mom to three!
Jason Zimbler played the role of Ferguson W. Darling, Clarissa’s annoying, mischievous, and redheaded brother. The two were constantly bickering and picking at each other during the show. During the show Jason was quite young, and after Clarissa ended, that was the end of his career in acting. Nowadays Jason is a full-time software designer for HBO.
Elizabeth Hess played was the mother figure, Janet Darling, in the show. Clarissa often went to her for advice as she seemed to be the voice of reason. Once the show ended, Elizabeth Hess had a few television appearances here and there. She had roles on Law & Order, Soldier’s Heart, and most recently, Handsome Harry in 2009. She’s now a teaching coach and has gotten involved in theatrical works.
Joe O’Connor played the role of Clarissa and Ferguson’s father, Marshall during. On the show he is an architect known for designing unique tourist and retail attractions. Clarissa too goes to him for advice, but realizes her mom has more of an open ear. He was best known for calling Clarissa “sport.” Once the show ended Joe went on to several different shows including Without a Trace, Reno 911!, Weeds, Mad Men, The Young and the Restless, and NCIS.
Sean O’Neal played the role of Sam Anders, Clarissa’s best friend. Sam is often portrayed as being an optimistic figure in her life as he’s known for his saying “What’s the worst that can happen?” Once the show ended, Sean moved onto several other television roles including ones on Noir, RahXephon, and Development Hell. Apart from sporadic acting jobs, Sean has also focused on his singing career.
Nicole Rochelle (Leach at the time) first appears in Season 4 of the show as Olivia DuPris. She is one of Clarissa’s friends at Thomas Tupper High. Though she had a brief role on the show, she’s had plenty of success. Nicole has had roles on NYPD Blue , Swift Justice , Law & Order , Chappelle’s Show , and most recently, La maison des Rocheville.
Susan Greenhill played the role of Sam’s estranged mom, Debbie Anders, who finds herself spending a lot of time traveling with the women’s Roller Derby team. She only appeared in a few episodes during the show. After her role in the show, Susan’s acting career didn’t exactly blow up into something huge. However, she has had roles on Law & Order, Chappelle’s Show, and New World Order.
Sara Burkhardt played the role of Hillary, one of Clarissa’s friends at high school. She mostly appears in season 2 of the show. Sources show that Sara’s acting career didn’t really go anywhere and Clarissa remains to be her only roles on the small screen.
James Van Der Beek
James Van Der Beek played the role of Paulie Slicksinger, a guy who Clarissa meets at a party when she’s disguised as her punk rock alter ego. In the end Paulie learns that Clarissa has put on a facade though he is flattered that she went through all the trouble. Even though he didn’t have a main role in the show, James’ career has blossomed since. He’s been on several tv series including Mercy, The Big Bang, The Storm, One Tree Hill, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, and How I Met Your Mother.
Cassidy Rae played the role of Elise Quackenbush, who becomes Sam’s crush. Clarissa urges Sam to ask Elise out and the two eventually date, but then their relationship crumbles after they spend too much time together. After the show Cassidy Rae has been in a few tv-based roles including Brutally Normal, Just Shoot Me!, Rude Awakening, and Zoe, Duncan, Jack & Jane.
Heather MacRae played the role of Aunt Mafalda, Clarissa’s aunt who she really doesn’t like. In many of the episodes, Clarissa plots ways to get rid of her. When the show ended Heather had various other minor roles on several different tv series including Frasier, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Sopranos, and Sex and the City.
David Eck played the role of Clifford Spleenhurfer. Clifford bullied Ferguson in several episodes, that was until Clarissa confronts him and makes him stop. Crazily enough Clarissa dates Clifford, but the relationship doesn’t work. David Eck’s acting career didn’t advice and he hasn’t appeared on the big or small screen since.
Shannon Woodward was given the role of Missy on the show. Even though she only had an appearance of three episodes, Shannon’s career as an actress has been quite successful. Recently she’s had parts in The Riches, Raising Hope, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and ER.
Marisa Lauren had two appearances as Stacey on the show Clarissa, and the show proved to be a great lauching pad for her career. Once the show ended, Marisa Lauren moved onto several diferent shows including South of Nowhere, 90210, Greek, and Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight.