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‘Boy Meets World’ Cast Then And Now: Find Out What Happened to the Stars of the Beloved 90s Sitcom

Can you guess which star has gotten into politics?


Boy Meets World was a smart and zany coming-of-age sitcom focusing on a cast of Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) and his group of pals, which included Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong), Jack Hunter (Matthew Lawrence), Topanga Lawrence (Danielle Fishel) and older brother Eric (Will Friedle) as they grew up in Philadelphia.

The friends-and-family comedy ran as part of ABC’s “TGIF” lineup for seven seasons from 1993 to 2000, and told the story of the main character, Cory, whose trials, tribulations and hijinks were on display as the gang started out at Jefferson Elementary before they moved onto high school and finally attended Pennbrook University.

Guided by the wisdom of his tough-yet-kind teacher-turned principal Mr. George Feeny (William Daniels), well-meaning parents Amy (Betsy Randle) and Alan (William Russ), and Jonathan Turner (Anthony Tyler Quinn), the weekly series dropped loads of laughs along with nuggets of wisdom on children of the 90s. Thrown in for the cute factor: Little sister Morgan (played by Lily Nicksay from 1993-1995 and Lindsay Ridgeway from 1996-2000).

The laughs we loved

'Boy Meets World' Cast
‘Boy Meets World’ CastDarcy/MovieStillsDB

In its final season, 8.7 million viewers tuned in to see the antics of the Matthews family and their friends a part of the Boy Meets World cast. Guest stars included The Monkees: Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork (Read on as Micky Dolenz Reveals 10 Little-Known Secrets about ‘The Monkees’ TV Show); 90s TV darlings Keri Russell, Melissa Joan Hart, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Staci Keanan; movie sirens Brittany Murphy and Mena Suvari; 70s-80s sitcom stars Dick Van Patten and Nicole Eggert; future Desperate Housewives star Marcia Cross; model Kathy Ireland; and that paragon of luxury, Robin Leach, host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

A new generation of fans

In 2014, there was a revival called Girl Meets World, which aired on Disney Channel for three seasons. The update told the story of married couple Cory and Topanga and their daughter, Riley (Rowan Blanchard) and her best friend Maya (Sabrina Carpenter). Riley must face the world with her dad as her history teacher.

These days, you can get your fill of nostalgia on the iHeartRadio podcast, Pod Meets World, hosted by Fishel, Strong and Friedle, where the cast dishes on tidbits of behind-the-scenes scoop from the days before smartphones ruled our worlds. They break down each episode by rewatching it then basking in the memories and interviewing related guests. Started in 2022, the gang has clocked nearly 150 episodes and they’re still going strong.

The Boy Meets World cast, today

Here, we reveal what became of the beloved Boy Meets World cast.

Ben Savage as Cory Matthews

Ben Savage in 1998 and 2023
1998 / 2023SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images ; @bensavage/Instagram

The younger brother of Fred Savage, who was riding high on Wonder Years (1988-1993) fame, fronted the quintessential 90s show as the “boy” in the Boy Meets World cast starting in 1993. Fred had given his career a boost: Ben got his start playing his brother in the family comedy Little Monsters in 1989, and appeared on the 1960s-1970s sendup Wonder Years.

Boy Meets World followed him from sixth grade through college as he dealt with typical coming-of-age woes including girls, parents, siblings and friends.

After Boy Meets World ended, Savage graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science. During college, he interned for former US Senator Arlen Specter and was part of the fraternity Sigma Chi. He returned to play the history-teacher/dad in Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World revival from 2014-2017.

2023 has been a busy year for him: He wed Tessa Angermeier in Los Angeles, and applied to run for Congress in California. He is a Democrat and will appear on the ticket in 2024.

Danielle Fishel as Topanga Lawrence

Danielle Fishel in 2000 and 2022
2000 / 2022SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images ; David Livingston/FilmMagic/Getty Images

After getting her start on Full House, Fishel made her mark in the Boy Meets World cast, but her stint was almost over before it began. The actress, who debuted on the show at age 12, replaced the actress cast as Topanga in the first episode as she was slated for a smaller role. However, show creator and producer Michael Jacobs threatened to fire Fishel for speaking too quickly.

“What I know specifically was said is, ‘All I know is, if you don’t come back tomorrow doing this entirely differently, you are also not going to be here,’ referencing the girl I had replaced,” Fishel said on the Pod Meets World podcast in 2023.

To save her career, she and her mom spent the evening “going over every single line” and Jacobs thanked her for her hard work during rehearsal the following day. “Let’s give Danielle a round of applause, you did exactly what I asked of you,” she remembered him saying. “Thank you, thank you. Congratulations, it was wonderful.”

The actress began dating *NSYNC’s Lance Bass when she was on the show, which led to moments of hilarity for the Boy Meets World cast. “We had a dance-off every Friday night…*NSYNC would come to our show [and] the boys would do ‘I Want It That Way’ in front of the audience just to zing it to *NSYNC,” Matthew Lawrence said on the Pretty Messed Up podcast. “It became a thing!”

It wasn’t all light and laughter, though. She mentioned on a 2023 broadcast of Pod Meets World that a male executive pined for the day she would turn 18, but she was too naïve to understand what that meant. “I had people tell me they had my 18th birthday on their calendar,” Fishel said. “I had a male executive — I did a calendar [shoot] at 16 — and he specifically told me he had a certain calendar month in his bedroom.”

She continued, “I felt like it was validation that I was mature and I was an adult and I was capable and that they were seeing me the way I was, not for the number on a page. And in hindsight, that is absolutely wrong.”

After the show ended, Fishel hosted The Dish from 2008-2011. Then, she played the mom in Girl Meets World from 2014-2017, and now hosts the rewatch podcast with Strong and Friedle. Fishel married Jensen Karp in 2018, and they have two sons, Adler and Keaton.

Rider Strong as Shawn Hunter

Rider Strong in 1999 and 2023
1999 / 2023SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images ; Greg Doherty/Getty Images

Small roles on Home Improvement and Empty Nest paved the way for Strong to become Cory’s best friend, who ends up moving in with the family to escape his bad home life. He caught Fishel’s eye and the actress has admitted she crushed on Strong during the show’s heyday.

“One of my favorite things about Rider, and it still stands to this day, Rider is very effusive,” she said on their podcast in 2022. “He will tell you how he feels and he’s very free with his compliments, but he doesn’t throw them out willy-nilly. When Rider compliments you it is thoughtful, it has meaning, and you can tell… it’s coming from a very real place.”

His look was key to his role. “hated my hair,” he told Cosmopolitan in 2013. “I came to the audition with that hairstyle, got the part, and the director Michael Jacobs never let me cut it from there on out.”

One sore spot Strong had about the show was that the season five episode, “Prom-ises, Prom-ises,” didn’t take the responsible route when Topanga (Fishel) considered having sex with Cory (Savage) after prom. “I remember being very upset during that entire week,” Strong remembered on the podcast in 2022. “I was very upset with the adults on our set — the way that they were approaching this, specifically because we were not discussing safe sex.”

He continued, “The fact that we would not bring up Cory and Topanga using condoms or having a discussion about birth control at all, and yet the entire episode was about whether ‘will they’ or ‘will they not’…I just remember being so upset, and I brought it up. I remember talking to Michael [Jacobs] about it, saying, ‘Can we talk about this?'” Sadly, his concerns were dismissed.

“We were growing up in the era of AIDS, this is something that we have to talk about. When you are discussing losing your virginity, you discuss how you’re going to do it and how to be safe about it, and he completely blew me off.” Strong added, “That was incredibly irresponsible.”

After the show, he graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with a degree in English Literature, and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Vermont’s Bennington College. Acting-wise, he went onto the horror franchise Cabin Fever, starred on Broadway in The Graduate and returned for Girl Meets World, in which he continued his role as Cory’s BFF. Strong married Alexandra Barreto in 2013, and their son Indigo was born in 2014.

Will Friedle as Eric Matthews

Will Friedle in 1999 and 2023
1999 / 2023SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images ; Greg Doherty/Getty Images

After bit parts on True Blue and Law & Order, Friedle was cast as Eric, the detached older brother of the Matthews clan. He almost didn’t make it: Another actor filmed the pilot after Friedle was sick and missed his audition.

“He was the same size as Ben [Savage], and they knew Ben was going to grow and they wanted an older brother so they recast,” Friedle told Entertainment Tonight in 2022. “But I always tell people, if that actor was five inches taller, I’m not sitting here right now.”

When the show ended, Friedle went into voiceover work for a variety of cartoons and video games. He wed Susan Marten in 2016. He returned for Girl Meets World, and joins his former costars Strong and Fishel on iHeartRadio’s Pod Meets World.

William Daniels as George Feeny

William Daniels 2002 and 2022
2002 / 2022Justin Kahn/WireImage/Getty Images ; Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Acclaimed actor Daniels wasn’t so sure Boy Meets World was for him, and threatened to quit after the first table read due to the way his teacher character was portrayed.

“I said, ‘Well, that’s a funny name and I don’t wanna make fun of teachers,” Daniels recalled on Pod Meets World. “I respect them and they’re unpaid and all that.'” Jacobs rewrote the script, and explained the origin of the character.

“He told me what my role was based on, which was a mentor of his when he was in high school,” Daniels said, adding, “I realized the plot would be written with respect.”

The two-time Emmy winner, who previously starred in 1980’s Blue Lagoon, 1982-1986’s Knight Rider (voicing K.I.T.T. the car), and 1982-1988’s St. Elsewhere, got his start as a teacher on the show who gets to know the kids, including the Matthews family, who live next door, and then gets promoted to principal.

He has been married to actress Bonnie Bartlett, who is also an Emmy winner, since 1951, and the pair share adopted sons Michael and Robert. Best known for her roles on St. Elsewhere, Little House On The Prairie and Twins, she clocked a five-episode stint on Boy Meets World, playing Pennbrook College dean Lila Bolander-Feeny, who eventually becomes his wife.

He celebrated his 96th birthday with the cast at Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo in April 2023. “He’s still giving [advice],” Friedle told PEOPLE in 2022. “He still shoots out the pearls of wisdom. His wife, Bonnie, as well. Talking to them is still magical.”

Betsy Randle as Amy Matthews

Betsy Randle in 2016 in the Boy Meets World cast
Date Unknown / 2016Darcy/MovieStillsDB ; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Before she became the “mom on Boy Meets World,” Randle had small parts on sitcoms, including a recurring role on Home Improvement. As the matriarch of the show, Randle could be found dispensing wisdom to her young costars on-and-off screen. After the show, she appeared on Charmed, and returned to Girl Meets World.

She has two children, Jessica and Aaron, with film editor husband John Randle. She is remembered fondly. Of the podcast, Strong told TV Insider, “Being able to meet and talk to the grown-up cast members as fellow adults is satisfying. We just had Betsy Randle on. It was so great to appreciate how much she contributed to the show. She is a solid actress who was always showing up and helping create an incredible set environment. So to thank her for that and to connect with her and say, ‘I was the same age you were when you were doing the show. I can see it from your point of view now.’”

William Russ as Alan Matthews in the Boy Meets World cast

William Russ in 2008 in the Boy Meets World cast
Date Unknown / 2008 Darcy/MovieStillsDB ; Tiffany Rose/Getty Images

Before landing the role as the patriarch of the Matthews family, Russ could be found on The Dukes of Hazzard, Remington Steele, Miami Vice and St. Elsewhere. Onscreen wife Randle admitted she had “a huge crush” on him but it was not “out of control” during her 2022 Pod Meets World interview.

Related: ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ Cast: See the Stars of the Southern Comedy Then and Now

“We had such fun chemistry,” Randle explained. “There was one time we had to really kiss, and Cory’s videoing. The writers are watching this go down, and he says, ‘now come on, our director Ken said you have to really kiss her…’ so I’ve got a thing of ice cream in my lap and he starts to kiss me, and the ice cream starts falling out of the bowl.”

He has worked steadily since Boy Meets World ended, securing recurring roles on Boston Legal, The Young and the Restless, 90210 and Bosch. He returned for Girl Meets World and he shares two children with wife Claudia Wren.

Lily Nicksay (married name, Gibson) as the original Morgan Matthews

Lily Gibson

Nicksay played precocious little sister Morgan, nicknamed “Weasel,” but her role was recast in 1995.

“I think there was some issues that had to do with growing up,” William Russ said of the recasting on Pod Meets World in 2022. “I’m not sure she was very happy at the time and Michael Jacobs, to his credit, could see that. He decided what was best personally for her was to let her try something else, go somewhere else.”

One injustice? According to Friedle, director David Trainer lost his temper when he directed the young actress to throw away a doll. As his frustration mounted with her many takes, he threw the doll out the window.

“She didn’t want to be there,” Friedle said on the podcast. Fishel found her “naturally funny and cute as a button,” but “I think eventually she got to a point where she was like, ‘This isn’t as fun as you guys all think it is.’”

These days, she professionally goes by her married name, Lily Gibson, after marrying songwriter Dave Gibson in 2015. She returned for Girl Meets World, and has appeared on NCIS.

Lindsay Ridgeway as the second Morgan Matthews  

Lindsay Ridgeway in 2016 in the Boy Meets World cast
2016Al Pereira/Getty Images

Beginning in season three, Ridgeway took over the role of little sister Morgan, sticking with it from 1996-2000.

“They needed to bring the character back, because it was a whole other dynamic of the show and a whole other audience of the show,” Friedle shared on the podcast in 2022. The Girl Meets World finale featured both Gibson/Nicksay and Ridgeway as Morgan. She graduated with her master’s in counseling from California’s University of Redlands.

Matthew Lawrence as Jack Hunter in the Boy Meets World cast

Matthew Lawrence in 1999 and 2023in the Boy Meets World cast
1999 / 2023Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images ; Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic/Getty Images

As the younger brother of Joey Lawrence, who made it big with 1991-1994’s Blossom, he was shoe-in for the role of Jack, Eric’s college roommate and Shawn’s long-lost half-brother, who joined the crew beginning with season five in 1997.

Lawrence had already enjoyed a steady career that began with Dynasty in 1983 and saw him take on roles in movies including Mrs. Doubtfire and Planes, Trains and Automobiles, and on shows including Gimme A Break! and Drexell’s Class.

After the show ended, he could be found in films including The Hot Chick and various TV shows. He returned for Girl Meets World. He divorced Dancing With The Stars performer Cheryl Burke in 2022, and now dates TLC singer Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas.

Anthony Tyler Quinn as Jonathan Turner in the Boy Meets World cast

Anthony Tyler Quinn in 2023
2023Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

The laidback, “cool” teacher mentored Shawn and his friends, but his role ended in season four after his character fell in love with his nurse at the scene of the accident. He returned for Girl Meets World.

“What amazes me about this show is that people are always coming up to me and not only telling me how much they love the show, but how much the show means to them, and how much my character means to them,” he told The Huffington Post in 2012. “Even my daughter has people all the time that geek out and say, ‘Your dad was the teacher on Boy Meets World? I love that guy!’”

Trina McGee as Angela Moore in the Boy Meets World cast

Trina McGee in 1999 and 2018 in the Boy Meets World cast
1999 / 2018SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images ; Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Trina McGee, who appeared in 59 episodes from 1997-2000, played Shawn’s girlfriend and Topanga’s best friend. However, she was the only lead character to miss the finale.

“I was told, in kind of a weird, off-handed way by a very important person, that you guys all went to [showrunner] Michael Jacobs, and you said, ‘We don’t want her in the last episode. She’s somehow taking our light.’ [That] was the gist of it,” she revealed on Pod Meets World in 2022.

“I was under the impression that y’all got together and did not want me in the last show, for some reason I was going to take some shine or something to that effect,” she continued. “That was really hurtful to me for a long time.”

 In January 2020, she tweeted about racism she faced on the show saying she was called “Aunt Jemima” and “a bitter b—ch.” In April 2020, she revealed it was Friedle who called her Aunt Jemima, and he publicly apologized twice.

He acknowledged that he really wasn’t educated enough in his early twenties to know he was truly offending me,” she posted on Instagram. “THIS SHOULD AND COULD BE A TEACHING MOMENT FOR ALL. For all people of all races or different backgrounds. He has conveyed to me how much this has changed his perception of comedy. And humanity.”

She continued, “Will apologized to me and I forgave him, I then apologized to him for making the statements public because his joke came out of just not knowing, not viciousness and he forgave me. That’s what friends do.”

To catch up with more beloved casts, keep reading!

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‘Beaches’ Cast Then and Now: Catch Up With the Stars of the Classic ’80s Tearjerker

‘Schitt’s Creek’ Cast Then and Now: Catch Up With This Hilarious Crew of Characters


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