Already have an account?
Get back to the

‘Grace Under Fire’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

Find out about the tension on the set with star Brett Butler

Grace Under Fire, created by Chuck Lorre and produced by Carsey-Werner Productions, graced television screens from 1993 to 1998. It captivated audiences with its blend of humor, heart and realism, tackling themes like single parenthood, addiction and the struggles of making ends meet.

Set in a fictional Missouri town, the series revolved around Grace Kelly, portrayed by the talented Brett Butler. Grace Kelly was a woman who embodied resilience in the face of adversity. As a single mother of three, she navigated the challenges of raising her children while juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet. Grace is a recovering alcoholic, divorced from an abusive husband, struggling to bring up three children on her own. That doesn’t sound like a premise for a sitcom, but finding humor in difficult situations is what made the show such a success.

Here, we looked at the cast of Grace Under Fire and where they are now.

Brett Butler as Grace Kelly

Brett Butler; Grace Under Fire
1993/2012 Vinnie Zuffante / Stringer / Getty // Steve Granitz / Contributor / Getty

Brett Butler, born in 1958 in Montgomery, Alabama, brought depth and authenticity to the role, drawing from her own experiences of overcoming personal hardships before finding success in comedy.

Before her breakthrough role on Grace Under Fire, Butler honed her comedic skills performing stand-up comedy across the country. Her sharp wit and relatable humor caught the attention of television executives, landing her the lead role of Grace Kelly. The role catapulted her to stardom and earned her critical acclaim, including a Golden Globe nomination in 1994 for Best Actress in a Television Series.

However, Butler fought her own personal demons during the show and publicly battled substance abuse. Due to her erratic behavior on-set, she was dismissed from the show and ABC canceled the series in 1998. She told The Hollywood Reporter, “At the bloody bitter end, I really was difficult. I was out of my mind. Drugs will do that to you. The show should have been pulled sooner than it was.”

She had a hard time finding work after that and credits Charlie Sheen with helping her out. Sheen lobbied hard to get Butler the part as a cocktail waitress on his sitcom Anger Management. She ended up being on the show for two years, from 2012-2014. “If it wasn’t for Charlie, there’s no way I would have been on that show,” she says. “It literally saved me.”

Unhappy woman with hand on hip; grace under fire
Brett Butler in “The Walking Dead” (2018)

After that, Butler played an adoptive mother on ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder; she appeared on the HBO series The Leftovers; and she had a recurring role on season nine of AMC’s The Walking Dead. She also played the mother of Reese Witherspoon’s character on Apple TV+’s The Morning Show.

However, by 2021, amid the production slowdown caused by COVID-19, Butler once again fell on hard times and a friend created a GoFundMe account for her, since she couldn’t pay her bills or rent. Her most recent acting gig was on an episode of Fantasy Island in 2023.

Did you know?
Butler published her memoir, Knee Deep in Paradise in 1996.

Casey Sander as Wade Swoboda

Casey Sander; Grace Under Fire
2000/2019 Kevin Winter / Staff / Getty // Jean Baptiste Lacroix / Stringer / Getty

The role of Wade Swoboda, Grace’s love interest, was played by Casey Sander. Born in 1956, in Washington, D.C., Sander’s portrayal of Wade added depth to the series, exploring themes of second chances and forgiveness.

Before joining the cast of Grace Under Fire, Sander appeared in numerous television shows including The Love Boat, Jake and the Fatman, the Golden Girls and Punky Brewster.

After Grace, he had a reoccurring role in Home Improvement as well as on the TV series Tucker. In 2012 he landed a recurring role in Marvin Marvin and in 2012 he landed a spot on The Big Bang Theory. Most recently, he had several appearances in 2020’s The Ranch and in 2022 he made a guest appearance on Mythical Quest.

Did you know?

Sander has played a police officer on three sitcoms: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Grace Under Fire and The Big Bang Theory.

Julie White as Nadine Swoboda

Julie White
2003/2023 Bruce Glikas / Contributor / Getty // Cindy Ord / Staff / Getty

Born in 1961, in San Diego, California, Julie White played the role of Nadine Swoboda, Wade’s no-nonsense ex-wife and Grace’s close friend. White’s comedic timing and sharp wit brought levity to the series, often serving as the voice of reason amidst the chaos of Grace’s life. Before playing Nadine, White had bit parts in several shows including The Heidi Chronicles and Law and Order. Her break-out acting role came when she was cast as Nadine Swoboda in Grace Under Fire.

After the career-defining role, she continued to act. She had a regular role as Maggie Shaw in NCIS: Hawaii; Lorraine Zimmer in Designated Survivor and Maddie Bigs in Alpha House.

She also had a role in all three Transformer movies: Transformers (2007); Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009); and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011).

Most recently she appeared in 2023’s American Horror Story and she leant her voice to the 2022 animated series Big Mouth.

Did you know?

White is close friends with Anne Hathaway 

Kaitlin Cullum as Libby Kelly in Grace Under Fire

Kaitlin Cullum; Grace Under Fire
1994/2004 Vinnie Zuffante / Stringer / Getty // Mark Sullivan / Contributor / Getty

Born in 1986 in Los Angeles, California, Kaitlin Cullum played the role of Libby Kelly in Grace Under Fire. It was her break-out role in acting.

After that, she appeared in movie The Little Princess in 1995. In 1999 she was in Galaxy Quest and in 2000 she had a spot in Growing Up Brady. She had guest appearances in 8 Simple Rules (2003-2005) and Malcolm in the Middle. Most recently she was seen in the movie Jug Face (2013).

Did you know?

As a child, Cullum has appeared in over twenty television commercials.

Dylan and Cole Sprouse as Patrick Kelly in Grace Under Fire

Dylan and Cole Sprouse
1999/2024 Frank Trapper / Contributor / Getty // Eric Charbonneau / Contributor / Getty

Born in 1992 in Tuscany, Italy, twins Dylan and Cole Sprouse played the role of Patrick Kelly in Grace Under Fire.

While the boys were born in Italy, they grew up in Long Beach, California. The twins started doing commercials at a young age. In addition, the Olsen twins signed Dylan and Cole to start a clothing line for boys.

Dylan and Cole got their first real acting job as Patrick on Grace Under Fire. After the show ended they continued to act. Dylan and Cole starred on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody from 2005 to 2008. After it concluded, the dynamic duo led the three-season spinoff The Suite Life on Deck from 2008 to 2011. The pair also appeared in The Suite Life Movie in 2011.

In 2021, Dylan appeared in the show Saturday Morning All Star Hits. He was also in the 2024 movie Beautiful Wedding. In 2023, Dylan married model Barbara Palvin in her native Hungary.

From 2017-2023 Cole Sprouse appeared in the TV series Riverdale. Most recently he was in the 2024 movie Lisa Frankenstein. Cole has been dating model Ari Fournier for three years.

Did you know?

Although born in Italy, the Sprouse twins are not of Italian descent. Their American parents moved back to their native California four months after Dylan and Cole were born.

Jon Paul Steuer as Quentin Kelly in Grace Under Fire

Jon Paul Steuer as Quentin Kelly in Grace Under Fire
1994/ 2013Vinnie Zuffante / Stringer / Getty; IMDB

Born in 1984, in Escondido, California, Jon Paul Steuer played Quentin Kelly, Grace’s rebellious teenage son. Steuer’s portrayal of Quentin captured the angst and vulnerability of adolescence, resonating with viewers.

Before his role on Grace Under Fire, Steuer appeared in a few tv shows including Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also appeared in the movie Little Giants.

But his big break came playing Quentin on Grace Under Fire. However, Steuer told A.V. Club that he quit “when everything kind of hit the press with all those negative stories about Brett Butler. It was pretty barbaric. I couldn’t go to the grocery store without people staring and pointing at me, because I was on the cover of every tabloid at every checkout stand.”

He said it was really overwhelming and that he didn’t go into acting for the stardom, fame or attention, but instead did it because he like acting. But with all the bad press about Brett Butler, the spotlight quickly turned on him.

He said, “I was right on the cusp of puberty, going through that awkward stage. To be put under a microscope like that is kind of a bizarre addition to your life.” He said he tried to forge on with acting after quitting the show, but all the casting agents were interested in was the gossip about Brett Butler.

He then decided to quit acting and go into music. In 2003 Jon took the stage name of Jonny P. Jewels, formed the glam punk band Kill City Thrillers with four other musicians and became the lead singer. In 2005, the band changed its name to Soda Pop Kids and worked consistently until 2009. Then in 2011, Jon became the fifth member of a Portland-based punk rock group called P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. They performed in nearby states and in 2014, the band went on a European tour. Jon remained with the band until his death.

He died in 2018, at the age of 33, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Did you know?

Three different actors played the part of Quentin Kelly. Noah Segan played the role in the pilot. Jon Paul Steuer took over in episode two and played the role the longest, for 73 episodes. Sam Horrigan played Quentin in the final seasons.

For more on your favorite casts, keep reading!

‘A Different World’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

‘Roseanne’ Cast Then and Now: A Look Back at the Stars of the Groundbreaking Comedy

Cast of ‘Seinfeld’ Then and Now: See What the Hilarious Crew Has Been Up To

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.