- “Glee” premiered on Fox in May 2009 and helped launch the careers of the show’s young stars, like Lea Michele (who portrayed Rachel Berry).
- The show lasted for six seasons before ending in 2015.
- Since then, the cast members have gone on to get married, write books, and release solo music.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“Glee” lasted for six seasons on Fox and focused on the misfit students at McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio, who found a common interest in a glee club led by Will Schuester (portrayed by Matthew Morrison).
From its start in May 2009 to its conclusion in 2015, the award-winning show featured tons of musical numbers and teenage drama, in addition to the rivalry between Mr. Schuester and Cheerios coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch). At the height of the show’s popularity, Lea Michele (Rachel Berry), Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson), Chris Colfer (Kurt Hummel), and the other young cast members became breakout stars.
Here’s what the stars of “Glee” have been up to.
Matthew Morrison starred as Will Schuester, the leader of McKinley’s glee club.
He was a former student at McKinley and a member of the glee club in the ’90s. At the start of the show, Will was married to Terri. He later married Emma Pillsbury, the school’s guidance counselor, and they welcomed a son during season five.
After “Glee” ended, Morrison returned to Broadway and guest-starred on a few shows.
He starred as J.M. Barrie in a Broadway production of “Finding Neverland” from 2015 to 2016. You might have also seen the 41-year-old Emmy nominee on “Younger,” ‘The Good Wife,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Most recently, he appeared on season nine of “American Horror Story.”
In early 2019, Morrison appeared as a dance captain on a competition series called “The Greatest Dancer.”
He’s a real-life father, too. In 2017, Morrison and Renee Puente (who he has been married to since 2014), welcomed a son named Revel James Makai.
“We wanted to revel in our child and we were like, Revel, that is just so cool and we will call him Rev for short,” he told “E! News” in October 2017.
Morrison also cofounded a company called Sherpapa, which sells apparel geared toward new fathers.
Morrison released an album in 2013 titled “Where It All Began.” He dropped an album in March 2020 called “Disney Dreamin’ With Matthew Morrison,” which he described as “a tribute to my son” with tracks from “Aladdin” “Toy Story” and other Disney classics.
Jane Lynch portrayed Sue Sylvester, the tracksuit-loving coach of the Cheerios, McKinley’s cheerleading team.
She and Will were constantly at odds with each other and Sue often devised schemes to interfere with the glee club. In the end, she left the high school behind and became the Vice President of the US.
Lynch has kept busy by guest-starring on shows, hosting, and performing.
Lynch hosted NBC’s Emmy-winning game show called “Hollywood Game Night.” In addition, the 59-year-old actress released a holiday album in 2016 called “Swingin’ Little Christmas.”
She recently voiced characters in “UglyDolls,” The Stinky & Dirty Show,” “The Simpsons,” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” Lynch also participates in concerts with Kate Flannery(Meredith from “The Office”).
In fall 2019, Lynch hosted an episode of the revamped “Inside the Actors Studio” on Ovation and interviewed David Oyelowo. She has also appeared as Diana Reid on “Criminal Minds” for years.
Lynch guest-starred as a comedian named Sophie Lennon on “The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel,” too. For the role, she won a Primetime Emmy in 2019 and took home a SAG Award in 2020 after winning the award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.
Cory Monteith became a breakout actor for his role as Finn Hudson, a high school football star with a passion for singing.
He sometimes gave into peer pressure and felt judged for joining New Directions. After the death of Monteith in 2013, his character was killed off. They didn’t reveal that cause of Finn’s death and instead focused on his life and impact.
McKinley’s auditorium was renamed the “Finn Hudson Auditorium” in honour of him.
Monteith died of an overdose in July 2013 at 31 years old.
He was found dead in his Vancouver, Canada, hotel room. Later reports stated that alcohol and heroin were found in his system.
In 2011, Monteith spoke about his history of drug abuse during an interview with Parade. He said that at 13 years old, he began drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. Six years later, he went to rehab.
In March 2013, Monteith admitted himself into a treatment facility for his substance abuse. The following month, he had completed rehab and was photographed in public with Lea Michele.
Monteith’s “Glee” costars have since honoured the late actor on the anniversary of his death and on his birthday (May 11).
In May 2019, Morrison posted a heartfelt video on Instagram and said that he ran out of photos to post of Monteith on his birthday. Instead, Morrison and his wife paid tribute by putting together a puzzle of Monteith’s hometown.
“I love keeping his memory alive, and his bright light shining,” Morrison captioned the video. “He inspired so many, including myself. I hope you all embrace the ones you love extra tight this weekend (especially your Mums!), and take some thoughtful moments to remember loved ones passed.”
Lea Michele played Rachel Berry, an ambitious student who had her sights set on becoming famous someday.
By the show’s end, she successfully became a star and Tony winner.
Rachel also had an on-again, off-again relationship with Finn and later married Jesse St. James (played by Michele’s real-life best friend Jonathan Groff).
Michele has released three studio albums.
Her debut album, “Louder,” was released in 2014 and included a song dedicated to Monteith called “If You Say So.” The couple reportedly started dating in 2012 until his death in July 2013.
“Listening to it, it’s therapeutic and difficult,” Michele told Billboard of the emotional track. “It will always represent the most devastating thing that’s ever happened to me in my whole life.”
Michele’s sophomore album, “Places,” was released in 2017 and she dropped a holiday album called “Christmas in the City” in 2019.
Michele also remains good friends with “Glee” costar Darren Criss, and the two embarked on a joint tour in 2018 called the LM/DC Tour.
In addition to music, Michele also released two books, New York Times Bestseller “Brunette Ambition” (released in 2014) and “You First: Journal Your Way to Your Best Life” (which came out in 2015).
On the acting front, the 33-year-old starred as antagonist Hester Ulrich on “Scream Queens,” which was created by Ryan Murphy. She also played a political advisor named Valentina Barella on the short-lived ABC comedy series called “The Mayor.”
In March 2019, Michele married Zandy Reich, who’s the president of the clothing brand AYR. The actress met Reich at her best friend’s wedding and they went public with their relationship in July 2017. Michele and Reich are expecting their first child together.
Chris Colfer portrayed Kurt Hummel, one of the school’s most fashionable and talented students who was able to hit high notes.
After graduating high school, he attended the New York Academy of the Dramatic Arts (NYADA) with Rachel.
Colfer is now the author of a best-selling book series called “The Land of Stories.”
The Golden Globe winner released six books as part of the series. In March 2019, Colfer revealed a new book series called “A Tale of Magic.” The second book in the series will be released in October 2020.
Colfer has also appeared on “Hot in Cleveland,” “Julie’s Greenroom,” and “Chopped Junior” (on which he served as one of the judges).
Artie Abrams, played by Kevin McHale, joined New Directions because of a dare, but he came to enjoy being part of the club.
Artie went to film school and became a director.
McHale released his debut solo EP called “Boy” in May 2019.
Speaking to Out in March 2019, the 31-year-old said that during previous years when he hadn’t publicly confirmed his sexuality, he felt pressured to sing about girls or be “less specific” and avoid using pronouns in his lyrics.
“I’m singing about guys so I’m going to talk about guys,” McHale told Out. “I was so unhappy with what I was doing before that whenever I’d think about putting out music again, that’s what would happen. I allowed myself to write and sing freely and these songs came out.”
In addition, McHale co-created an app called +ONE, designed to make it easier for friends to make plans and meet up. He also appeared on “The X Factor: Celebrity” in 2019.
He’s also up for a “Glee” reunion.
“I was talking about it with Amber Riley a couple [of] weeks ago and she said it would be fun,” McHale told People. “She tried to put one together a couple [of] years ago and it didn’t work out. It would be fun to do it and raise money for charity and do a one-off concert.”
Naya Rivera played a Cheerio and New Directions member named Santana Lopez.
She married Brittany during season six.
Rivera died in July 2020 at 33 years old after disappearing in Lake Piru, California.
In recent years, Rivera starred as Collette Jones on YouTube premium’s “Step Up: High Water,” a spin-off of the “Step Up” franchise. She also guest-starred on “Devious Maids” and “American Dad!” and was a judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in 2017.
Rivera welcomed a son named Josey Hollis Dorsey with then-husband Ryan Dorsey in September 2015. The couple got married in Mexico in 2014 but had a messy split in the years following.
In November 2016, Rivera filed for divorce from Dorsey. The following year, she reportedly filed a request to dismiss the divorce. In November 2017, Rivera filed for divorce again after an altercation that resulted in the actress being arrested and charged with misdemeanour domestic battery. The charges were later dropped.
Rivera and Dorsey’s divorce was finalised in June 2018 and the two stars have joint custody of their son.
In her 2016 memoir titled “Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up,” Rivera shared surprising revelations about her personal life and her time on “Glee.” Rivera said that she had an abortion after her breakup with Dorsey (the two previously dated before splitting and rekindling their relationship years later) and showed up to the set of “Glee” the next day to continue working.
She also opened up about her past struggles with anorexia, her friendship with Monteith, and her relationship with costar and ex Mark Salling.
In July 2020, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department reported Rivera as missing and being searched for at Lake Piru. Rivera rented a pontoon boat and her son was found alone on it hours later.
A body was found five days later, and authorities said they were “confident” that it was Rivera.
Jenna Ushkowitz starred as Tina Cohen-Chang, one of the original members of New Directions.
Tina was chosen as the prom queen on season five. By the show’s end, she became an actress and starred in one of Artie’s movies.
Ushkowitz launched a podcast called “Showmance” with “Glee” costar McHale.
Ushkowitz also had a cameo in Katy Perry’s 2017 music video for “Swish Swish.”
The 33-year-old has a successful theatre background, too. In 2016, she starred as Dawn in a Broadway production of “Waitress.” In 2018, “Once on This Island,” which she co-produced, won a Tony Award for best revival of a musical.
Ushkowitz also co-wrote a book released in 2013 titled “Choosing Glee: 10 Rules to Finding Inspiration, Happiness, and the Real You.”
Amber Riley played Mercedes Jones, a confident New Directions member with an impressive vocal range.
Mercedes went on to join a record label and earn a spot as the opening act for Beyoncé’s world tour.
Riley appeared in the 2018 comedy “Nobody’s Fool,” which starred Tiffany Haddish.
Riley also guest-starred on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” starred in a holiday movie called “One Christmas Wish,” and portrayed Addapearle in “The Wiz Live!” From 2016 to 2017, she starred as Effie White in a West End production of “Dreamgirls.”
Riley also won season 17 of “Dancing With the Stars” in 2013 with Derek Hough and appeared in ABC’s “The Little Mermaid Live!” in 2019.
In 2019, she reunited with “Glee” costars Ushkowitz, Harry Shum Jr., Heather Morris, and Becca Tobin for an episode of the TBS show “Drop the Mic.”
Heather Morris starred as Brittany Pierce, another Cheerio.
She seemed to be lacking in common sense, but excelled at maths and was called a “mathematical genius.”
These days, Morris keeps busy with acting and dancing.
Morris, a dancer who toured with Beyoncé prior to joining “Glee,” competed on season 24 of “Dancing With the Stars” with Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
Morris is also the host of a podcast called “The Dance Room.”
Mark Salling played Noah “Puck” Puckerman, who started off as a jock and bully at McKinley.
He welcomed a daughter named Beth with Quinn Fabray during season one.
Salling committed suicide in January 2018 at the age of 35.
Salling died of asphyxia by hanging. He was originally scheduled to be sentenced to prison for possession of child pornography.
In 2017, the actor pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography that involved a prepubescent minor. The LAPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit also obtained a search warrant and found more than 50,000 images of child porn on his computer and flash drive. Salling was also required to register as a sex offender and was expected to serve four to seven years in prison.
Harry Shum Jr. showed off his smooth dance moves as Mike Chang.
Mike had a passion for dancing, but his father wanted him to focus on academics.
Shum Jr. starred as warlock Magnus Bane on Freeform’s “Shadowhunters.”
The show, based on a book series from Cassandra Clare, came to an end in May 2019 after three seasons. He won a People’s Choice Award in 2018 for favourite male TV actor for his role on the fantasy series.
Shum Jr. also starred as Charlie Wu in the hit 2018 movie “Crazy Rich Asians.”
In November 2015, the actor and dancer married Shelby Rabara. The couple revealed the birth of their first child together, a daughter named Xia, with a sweet black-and-white photo shared on social media in late March 2019.
Chord Overstreet joined “Glee” during season two as a transfer student named Sam Evans.
On the series finale, Sam became the new teacher of New Directions.
Chord Overstreet is primarily focused on his music career.
After getting signed to a record label co-founded by Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, Overstreet appeared as the opening act for a few shows as part of their 2016 Future Now Tour. He appears in Jonas’ music video for “Bacon,” too.
Since that tour, he’s released an EP titled “Tree House Tapes” and a few singles: “Hold On,” “Wasted Time,” and “Carried Away.”
In 2020, he released a new song called “Die.”
The 31-year-old actor also had a brief romance with “Harry Potter” star Emma Watson. The two never commented on their relationship, but they were photographed showing PDA in 2018.
Overstreet recently guest-starred on Freeform’s “The Bold Type.”
Darren Criss starred as Blaine Anderson, a member of the Dalton Academy Warblers who later transferred to McKinley.
He married Kurt during season six and Rachel became their surrogate mother.
Criss’ portrayal of Andrew Cunanan on “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” earned him an Emmy, a SAG Award, and a Golden Globe.
In addition to guest-starring as the Music Meister on a crossover episode for “The Flash” and “Supergirl,” the 33-year-old cofounded a musical festival called Elsie Fest, which features a variety of talented musicians.
Criss briefly starred as J. Pierrepont Finch in the Broadway show “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” in 2011. He returned to Broadway three years later to star as the titular character of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
In 2017, Criss created a pop duo called Computer Grames with his brother, Chuck Criss. They released a four-track EP that year titled “Lost Boys Life.” Criss also released a solo EP in 2017 called “Homework.”
Criss married his longtime girlfriend, Mia Swier, in New Orleans, Louisiana, in February 2019. They were joined by Criss’ “Glee” costars, too.
Next, Criss will star in a Broadway revival of “American Buffalo.”
Dianna Agron played a popular cheerleader named Quinn Fabray.
She was also the president of the celibacy club. Quinn’s daughter was adopted by Rachel’s biological mum, Shelby Corcoran.
Agron has mainly appeared in movies since “Glee” ended.
Her credits include “The Crash,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” and “Berlin, I Love You.”
Aside from acting, Agron has also been a supporter of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for several years. In 2016, she travelled to Austria to meet with refugees. She also met Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Agron has been married to Mumford & Sons member Winston Marshall since October 2016.
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