What the Cast of "Girlfriends" Has Been Up to Since the Show Left the Air

·5 min read
What the Cast of "Girlfriends" Has Been Up to Since the Show Left the Air

From Oprah Magazine

  • Girlfriends is a dramedy about close friends that ran from 2000 to 2008.

  • The show starred Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Persia White, and Jill Marie Jones as a group of tight-knit...you guessed it, girlfriends.

  • All eight seasons of Girlfriends will arrive to Netflix on September 11.

Thanks to Netflix, the '90s are coming back. A slate of classic Black sitcoms, like Moesha and Sister, Sister, are arriving to the streaming service throughout the fall of 2020. One of the shows we're most excited about is Girlfriends, a long-running sitcom following a close-knit group of, well, girlfriends.

The series originally ran on UPN and The CW from 2000 to 2008, lasting for 8 seasons and a whopping 172 episodes. The show's central foursome was played by Tracee Ellis Ross, Persia White, Golden Brooks, and Jill Marie Jones. Today, the cast of Girlfriends is still busy in TV and movies.

Over the show's eight seasons, Joan Clayton (Ross), Antoinette "Toni" Garrett, (Jones), Lynn Ann Searcy (White), and Maya Denise Wilkes (Brooks) experience highs and heartbreaks, and love and loss, while side-by-side—most of the time.

After six years of Girlfriends, Jones left the show because her contract expired, and was seeking other opportunities. Jones's decision translated to her character, Toni, having a major fight with her best friend, Joan. From there, Girlfriends fans faced another tough turn: The show was cancelled abruptly after its eighth season, without an official moment of closure. Jones, who was supposed to return for the finale, never did.

Fans had to wait over a decade for a Girlfriends reunion—and it was on a different show entirely. In 2019, over a decade after their show went off the air, the cast of Girlfriends reunited in an episode of black-ish entitled "Feminisn't." Perhaps if (and when) Girlfriends ignites a sensation on Netflix, a movie reunion will come next. For now, here's where the cast of Girlfriends is today.

Tracee Ellis Ross

Photo credit: CW/Getty
Photo credit: CW/Getty

Tracee Ellis Ross, now 47, played Joan Carol Clayton, the ringleader of her group. Since Girlfriends went off the air, Ross's star has grown. Today, she's best-known for starring in the sitcom black-ish, about a Black family in L.A. Her character, Bow Johnson, juggles being an accomplished doctor and a mother to five (!) children. The daughter of the great Diana Ross, she flaunted her own excellent voice in the 2020 movie The High Note.

"I felt that theme [of this movie] was universal. But it's also so specific and personal to me, because it made me realize and remember this dream that I have to sing! That was me stepping through a very big fear of mine and toward a big dream of mine," she told OprahMag.com earlier this year.

Golden Brooks

Photo credit: CW/IMDB
Photo credit: CW/IMDB

Golden Brooks's Girlfriends character, Maya, started as an assistant to Joan at her law firm. Today, Brooks remains a staple in TV shows. She was on Hart of Dixie, another highly binge-worthy CW drama available to stream on Netflix. Brooks was a show-stopper in Patti Jenkins's true-crime series I Am the Night, which intertwined L.A.'s doomed "Black Dahlia" with a coming-of-age story.

Soon after Girlfriends ended, Brooks became a mother. Her daughter, Dakota Tao Brooks Westside, was born in 2009. Brooks's stint on the reality show Hollywood Divas gives a glimpse into her real life–or at least, the reality TV version of it.

Persia White

Photo credit: CW/IMDB
Photo credit: CW/IMDB

For fans of Girlfriends, Persia White is better known as Lynn Searcy. But for fans of The Vampire Diaries, she's Abby Bennett Wilson, a recurring cast member—and part of a famous TV show couple.

In 2014, White married her Vampire Diaries co-star, Joseph Morgan. Her daughter, Mecca White, is in her 20s. Today, White is an animal right's activist and a passionate vegan.

Jill Marie Jones

Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

Jill Marie Jones left Girlfriends at the end of season six, prior to the rest of the cast. “What people don’t realize is that Girlfriends was my third audition,” Jones explained to the Atlanta Black-Star. “I landed the role when I was 25 and the show was on at the time for six years, putting me at 31 years old. So I made the decision to see what else is out there, because I didn’t know how much longer things would last. So I chose to leave to strike while the iron was hot.”

After Girlfriends, Jones has dabbled in the horror genre, appearing in shows like Ash vs Evil Dead and Sleepy Hollow. Today, she stars in Monogamy.

Reginald C. Hayes

Photo credit: Getty
Photo credit: Getty

Reginald C. Hayes won three NAACP Image Awards for his work as William Dent, the sole guy friend in the group.

Along with Brooks, Hayes was on the CW show Hart of Dixie. However, his recent film credits have tapered off, aside from a 2020 appearance on the Jim Carrey show Kidding and his black-ish appearance, along with the other Girlfriends cast.

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