Remember when “Girlfriends” was on UPN? Man, Monday nights would never be the same. “Girfriends” was black women’s own version of “Sex and the City,” but something they could relate to just a little bit more (not everyone can splurge on Manolo Blahnik shoes like some people). These sistas were smart, funny, classy (except for Lynn at times), fashionable, and did I mention funny? Their broke, busted and disgusted relationships and somewhat all over the place lives were what kept us tuned in every Monday, and without the show, we wouldn’t have had the good years of “The Game,” (its spinoff) and positive representations of black women. Those WERE the days. Let’s see where the cast is at nowadays…
Tracee Ellis Ross
Good ‘ol Joan Clayton. Such a good friend, but so unlucky at love. If you watched the show, you know she dated her share of interesting characters (a former sex addict, a younger man who temporarily got her on drugs, an actor, so on and so forth), and her rocky relationships were what made her so easy to relate to. She was the den mother, and a low-key fashion icon. In real life, Ross is still known for her fashion sense, and after a period of being in and out of the public eye, she got back to television and had a few film roles. She did the VERY random movie, “Labor Pains,” had a guest role on CSI as Laurence Fishburne’s ex-wife, and of course, we know she became the lead actress on the BET show, “Reed Between the Lines.” She’s also slated to be a star on a new NBC drama called “Bad Girls.” I know Diana is too proud!
When this show started, for a while there, I couldn’t stand Maya Wilkes. She was always saying, “Oh HELL no!” and had too much of a paranoid mindset and bad attitude. But the more I watched her, the more interesting she became (and funny!), especially when she was trying to repair her relationship with Darnell. After the show ended, she also went in and out of the public eye. She did one episode of “CSI” and “The Exes,” and acquired some more film roles for her resume: “The Great Divide,” “The Inheritance,” and she just completed “The Mudman” and “A Beautiful Soul.” Brooks also became a mother. She has a daughter named Dakota with the very fine actor D.B. Woodside.
Talk about somebody really going MIA! Well, anyway, White played the very promiscuous but extremely deep (yet lost at the same time) Lynn Searcy. Lynn spent a lot of time on the show exploring her sexuality, trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life (which involved making documentaries and later, trying to be a singer), and of course, mooching off of Joan. In real life, White was gone for a minute, but has popped back up all over the place. On top of parting from her famous poet husband Saul Williams, White did the movies “Spoken Word,” “Dysfunctional Friends,” “The Marriage Chronicles,” and just finished two new films: “Mafia” and “No Mo Games.” You probably also peeped her out during her short stint on the show “Vampire Diaries” as Abby Bennett Wilson.
Jill Marie Jones
Don’t lie, you might not have liked Toni Childs, but was or was the show NOT the same without her? The bougie real estate agent who prided herself in being all about the mighty dollar made the show crazy without going over the top. She caught chlamydia while creeping on her artistic boo, tried to sleep with Joan’s man, fell out with Joan, got married to a white Jewish man, had a baby, went through some sort of depression or denial about motherhood, got divorced, fell out with Joan again, became a great mother, went through a custody battle, and wound up moving to NYC (and ended her friendship with Joan). Jones left the show after her contract ended, and after that, she had a few interesting parts here and there. She was in “The Perfect Holiday” with Queen Latifah, “Drool,” “The Longshots,” did a short-lived TV show called “Gillian in Georgia” (as Gillian) and last did a film in 2011 called “35 and Ticking.” Come back to primetime Jill!
Who didn’t love the awkward yet hilarious William Dent? A powerful partner at the law firm Joan worked at, he was not only her friend, but her boss. He also went through some very interesting twists and turns as a character. He tried to get married and then was left at the altar, and even tried to get in a relationship with Joan. But in the end, he married the money hungry, man eating Monica and tamed her. After the show, Hayes was in a documentary called “Hummingbird Magic,” did a couple episodes of the TV show “Femme Fatales,” but in the end, the brotha stepped out of the spotlight.
Can I just say how fine I thought Kain was in “Juice” back in the day? Anyway, he transferred those good looks over into his role as Darnell, Maya’s husband. He dealt with cheating, Maya’s friends (who he didn’t like at one point), and trying to do something bigger career wise after having a child with Maya early in life. Though the TV couple divorced, we were glad to see the two reconcile near the end of the show. After his time on the program, Kain had guest roles on shows like “CSI” and “Medium,” and he also had roles in the films “Paradise Broken,” and “For Colored Girls.” Even though, it’s safe to say everyone hated him in “For Colored Girls.” You know why…
To be honest, when I think of the character of Monica Brooks, I think I liked her better as a b***h. I’m just saying, when she was the vicious girlfriend of William who all the girls couldn’t stand, she was feisty and fun, but when she got married to William, I think the writers tried to make her a nicer replacement of Toni…No thanks. Either way though, Sharp was great on the show, and afterward, she had guest roles on “Cold Case,” and “Detroit 1-8-7,” but she was most recently a regular on the series “Are We There Yet?”
Richard T. Jones
I KNOW you didn’t think I was going to look up all of Joan’s ex-boyfriends did you? Therefore, I picked the most important boo of all, Aaron, who played her fiance around show’s end. A military man, Aaron was deployed to Iraq, and Joan moved out of her famous crib to stay in his. He wasn’t a huge character, but he was the fella that Joan was finally going to settle down with, and we all know that was HUGE for her character. Jones, who I’m sure you know from “The Wood,” stayed very busy after his stint on the show. He was the trifling Mike in “Why Did I Get Married?” (and the sequel), played James on “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” was in the movie “Super 8” and “The Great Divide,” and just finished the films “Forgiveness,” “Note to Self,” and is working on “Atlas Shrugged: Part 2.”
As Dr. Todd Garrett, Pace was the short, but well off plastic surgeon who captured Toni’s heart. Unfortunately, their marriage didn’t go off so well, and in the end, they ended up separating and Dr. Garrett moved to NYC. After a custody battle, Toni moved to NYC with her daughter, Morgan, to be closer to Dr. Garrett. After the show, Pace went on to do some video game voicing, and a lot of straight-to-video movies, including “The Confession,” and “The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption.” He was also in a movie called “My Trip to the Dark Side,” and just finished the sequel to it this year (“My Trip Back To the Dark Side”).
Cee Cee Michaela
I had to include Michaela as the crazy cop Yvonne because I loved her character. Though she and William got off to a rough start, they ended up being very much in love and he tried to marry her. However, her character ditched William at the altar (you probably remember that information earlier in Hayes’ profile). After the show, Michaela did the movies “Angels Don’t Sleep Here” and “Hair Show,” and had a guest role on “Joan of Arcadia.” But after that, she went pretty MIA too. However, she did get married after the show in 2011, and has a purity website which promotes abstinence until marriage. She also owns a few businesses and does public speaking.
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