Where Are They Now: The “That ’70s Show” Edition
In 1998, a period sitcom premiered on Fox that would come to enchant and engage viewers all over the world. That show was called That ‘70s Show, and it focused on the lives and adventures of a group of teenage friends living in the fictional suburban town Point Place, Wisconsin from May 17, 1976 to December 31, 1979. With a clever title and a heaping amount of wistfulness, That ‘70s Show avoided becoming just another television sitcom. It ended up being the only freshman show to survive the 1998 premiere season, and continued on for 200 episodes. Part of the reason for this—aside from the witty writing that was ripe with popular culture references from that time period—was the show’s quirky cast of characters. It’s hard to forget Eric Forman, Donna Pinciotti, Steven Hyde, Michael Kelso, Jackie Burkhart and Fez because the writers, as well as the actors and actresses who portrayed them, made them so memorable and unique.
Many of the actors and actresses from That ‘70s Show went from being virtually unknown faces in the television industry to successful stars and starlets. So, where are your favorite cast members now? Let’s take a trip back to Point Place and find out!
Topher Grace (Eric Forman)
Topher Grace scored the lead role in That ‘70s Show after the casting director saw his performance in a high school play; prior to that show, he had never acted professionally, which is surprising because his portrayal of Eric Forman remains one of my favorite to date. Smart-alecky and Star Wars-obsessed, Eric Forman was the centerpiece of the show for all but the last season—which is the reason why I never watched the last season! I did, however, tune in for the show’s series finale, which featured the return of both Eric and Kelso.
After leaving That ‘70s Show, Grace moved on to movies for the most part, landing roles in several blockbuster films such as Spider-Man 3, Valentine’s Day, Predators, Take Me Home Tonight, The Calling, Interstellar, American Ultra and Truth. He also starred in a television mini-series called The Beauty Inside, and recently guest-starred on the TV show Drunk History as the character Milton Bradley. Fans can expect to see him in three upcoming movies: One Shot, War Machine and Delirium.
Laura Prepon (Donna Pinciotti)
Laura Prepon, who played the beautiful and strong-willed character Donna Pinciotti, went on to have a very successful career after the show said its final goodbye to fans. The year that the show ended, she starred in the thriller Karla opposite Supernatural star Misha Collins. From 2007-2008, she played the character Hannah Daniels on the TV series October Road. After that, she managed to land guest spots and recurring roles on several other TV shows, including In Plain Sight, Medium, House M.D, How I Met Your Mother and Castle before scoring the starring role of Chelsea in the sitcom Are You There, Chelsea? That show only lasted one season, however. Fans can now see her in the hit Netflix dramedy Orange Is the New Black as the character Alex Vause.
Danny Masterson (Steven Hyde)
Danny Masterson, who played Steven Hyde, one of my favorite characters on the show, has had a very interesting career since the show ended in 2006. Like Topher, he focused much of his attention on starring in movies, some of which include Spin, Capers, Yes Man, Made for Each Other, The Bridge to Nowhere, The Chicago 8, Alter Egos and, most recently, Urge, co-starring Pierce Brosnan, Ashley Greene and Alexis Knapp. Additionally, he also guest-starred on several shows, including Raising Hope, White Collar, Haven and Royal Pains. In 2012, he scored a starring role of lead character Milo in the TBS sitcom Men at Work. Fans can expect to see him in three upcoming movies: Killing Winston Jones, Hot Bot and The Ranch.
Mila Kunis (Jackie Burkhart)
Did you know that Mila Kunis was fourteen years old when she was cast as Jackie Burkhart? Although actors and actresses had to be 18 years old to get a role on the show, she truthfully claimed that she would be 18 years old on her birthday, not specifying which birthday, and won the role. Since That ‘70s Show ended, Kunis has had an incredibly successful career. Nowadays, most people know her as the voice of Meg Griffin on Family Guy, but she’s been involved in many other projects, too. She’s starred in a multitude of movies, such as Moving McAllister, After Sex, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Boot Camp, Max Payne, Extract, The Book of Eli, Date Night, Black Swan, Friends with Benefits, Ted, Oz the Great and Powerful, Blood Ties and Jupiter Ascending. She also guest starred on the show Two and a Half Men and been a regular face in commercials for Jim Beam. Fans can expect to see her in the upcoming movie Bad Moms. She is currently married to That ‘70s Show costar Ashton Kutcher, with whom she has a daughter.
Ashton Kutcher (Michael Kelso)
Ah, Kelso—the show’s resident “village idiot” character! Ashton Kutcher did marvelously at portraying Kelso on the show, which is a testament to how talented of an actor that he was then and how talented he grew to become. After he left That ‘70s Show as a regular character, his career skyrocketed. He starred in a plethora of movies, including The Butterfly Effect, Bobby, The Guardian, Valentine’s Day, No Strings Attached, New Year’s Eve, Jobs and Annie. He also became a regular character on Two and a Half Men after Charlie Sheen left the show, and stayed on that show for four years. Fans can expect to see him in the upcoming TV series The Ranch and in the movie The Long Home. He is currently married to That ‘70s Show costar Mila Kunis, with whom he has a daughter.
Fez was another of my favorite characters on the show, and Wilmer Valderrama played him brilliantly. After That ‘70s Show ended, Valderrama went on to have a remarkably successful career in television and movies. He starred in several movies, such as Unaccompanied Minors, The Dead One, Columbus Day, Days of Wrath, Larry Crowne and The Adderall Diaries. In addition, he’s been involved in a multitude of television projects. Some of his television credits are Chadam, Wizards of Waverly Place, Royal Pains, Are You There, Chelsea?, Awake, Men at Work, Handy Manny, Raising Hope and Suburgatory. He’s currently starring in two television shows: as Carlos Madrigal in From Dusk Til Dawn and Detective Will Blake in Minority Report.
Lisa Robin Kelley (Laurie Forman)
Lisa Robin Kelley made her acting debut when she was 21 in a 1992 episode of Married With Children, and went on to guest star in many popular shows, including Murphy Browne, The X-Files, Sisters and Silk Stockings and appeared in several straight-to-DVD movies. She got her big break when she scored the role of Laurie Forman on That ‘70s Show, but was fired after three seasons when her drug problem interfered with her work. She briefly returned to the show during its fifth season, and was offered a regular role in the sixth season, but she was only in a few episodes before she was replaced by Christina Moore. After leaving the show in 2005, she was featured in two short films: Food Chain: A Hollywood Scarytale and SUX2BME. Sadly, Kelley passed away in 2013 from a drug overdose. She was forty years old.
Debra Jo Rupp (Kitty Forman)
Kitty Forman, the warm and bubbly matriarch of the Forman family, was easily one of my favorite characters on the show, and Debra Jo Rupp fit the role to a tee. Interestingly, her parents did not want her to go into acting and tried to prevent it at all costs, even to the point of sending her to a college that had no drama program. Nevertheless, fate seemed to be on Rupp’s side; in her freshman year in college, the school added a drama program, and she happily enrolled in it.
As an actress, she began her career by guest-starring on several hit television shows, including Friends, Seinfeld and Empty Nest, and was a regular on five different quickly cancelled TV shows in the ‘90s before finally landing the role of Kitty Forman on That ‘70s Show. After that show ended, Rupp continued acting in television, earning roles on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, As the World Turns, Better With You and Hart of Dixie. She also did several movies, including Jackson, She’s Out of My League and The Opposite Sex. Fans can expect to see her in the upcoming movie Fair Market Value.
Kurtwood Smith (Red Forman)
Out of all the characters on That ‘70s Show, Red Forman, the patriarch of the Forman family, was my all-time favorite. Snarky, tough and hot-tempered, he was always around to deliver some of the show’s best one-liners, and I honestly believe that his character wouldn’t be the same if they had cast someone other than Kurtwood Smith in the role. After the show ended, he became involved in several television projects, including Handy Manny, Psyche, House M.D., Squirrel Boy, Medium, 24, Worst Week, Neighbors from Hell, Chaos, Resurrection, Regular Show and Agent Carter. He’s also landed roles in a number of movies, such as Entry Level, Cedar Rapids and Hitchcock. Fans can expect to see him in the upcoming movie Amityville: The Awakening.
Don Stark (Bob Pinciotti)
Who could ever forget Bob, Donna’s odd yet loveable dad, played by the always delightful Don Stark? After That ‘70s Show ended, Stark got involved in many other projects. He guest-starred on several TV shows, such as Stargate SG-1, The Young and the Restless, Supernatural, Melissa & Joey, Workshop, Law and Order: LA, Corey and Lucas for the Win, NCIS, American Horror Story, Anger Management, Red Sleep, Hit the Floor and Castle. He also did a number of movies, including Dark House, My Name is Jerry, Meeting Spencer, John Carter, Random Encounters, Hello My Name is Doris and Safelight. Fans can expect to see him in the upcoming movies C Street, Roswell FM, False Memory Syndrome and Angel Investors, as well as a currently untitled Woody Allen project.
Tanya Roberts (Midge Pinciotti)
Before signing on to play Midge on That ‘70s Show, Tanya Roberts was already an accomplished actress, with some of her notable roles being Julie Rogers in the show Charlie’s Angels, Kiri in The Beastmaster and Stacey Sutton in the James Bond film A View to Kill. In regard to That ‘70s Show, Roberts left the show after four seasons because her husband became critically ill. Since then, she’s only done a few projects. She’s guest-starred on the show Eve as well as the show Barbershop, but for the most part, she’s taken a step back from acting.
Tommy Chong (Leo)
Leo was probably one of the show’s most memorable characters, even though he only appeared in sixty-three episodes out of two hundred. Leo, the resident hippie-stoner, was played by the amazingly talented Tommy Chong, who is famous for his marijuana-themed Cheech & Chong comedy albums and movies with Cheech Marin. Since That ‘70s Show ended, Chong has guest-starred on several shows, including George Lopez, Code Monkeys, Cubed, Franklin & Bash, Satisfaction, Raising Hope and The Millers. He also reunited with Cheech in 2013 to do several short comedy films. Fans can expect to hear his voice in the upcoming Disney film Zootopia.
Josh Meyers (Randy Pearson)
Josh Meyers joined the cast of That ‘70s Show in its final season when Topher Grace left the show. His character, Randy, was intended to be a lot like Eric: smart and funny with just the right amount of smartass to make him likeable. Nevertheless, for many fans, the ambiance of the show was different due to the absence of both Grace and Kutcher, and the show’s eighth season ended up being its last.
Regardless, Josh Meyers went on to have a prosperous career. Most of his work was in television, with him getting guest roles on a multitude of shows, such as Lovespring International, Workshop, The Morning After, Are You There, Chelsea?, Breaking In, Newsreaders, The Mindy Project, Dark Prophet, A to Z and The McCarthys. He is currently a recurring character on two new shows: Amazon’s Red Oaks and Hulu’s The Awesomes.
Christina Moore (Laurie Forman 2.0)
Last but not least, we have Christina Moore, who was brought in to play Laurie Forman after Lisa Robin Kelley left the show. She was only on the show for six episodes, but it was enough to give her a career boost. She went on to star as Butterfly in the movie Without a Paddle, Sarah in the show The Bad Girl’s Guide, Candy Sullivan in the show Hawthorne, Suzanne McKittrick on the show True Blood, Tracy Clark on the reboot of 90210, April on the show Last Man Standing and Christina Ross on the show Jessie. She’s also guest-starred on Will & Grace, Two and a Half Men, Sonny with a Chance, Burn Notice, Rules of Engagement, Castle, Suburgatory and Jennifer Falls. Fans can expect to see her in the movies The Wrong Side of Right, Searching for Fortune and Running Wild.