Gillian Anderson – The X-Files
Although she has starred in a variety of movies and shows, Gillian Anderson is best known for her role as Agent Dana Scully in one of the most successful Sci-Fi shows of all time, The X-Files.
Gillian Anderson – Now
Anderson’s portrayal of Fox Mulder’s partner Scully has earned her universal acclaim and many awards, including a Golden Globe in 1997 for “Best Actress in a Television Drama Series.” After a 15 year hiatus from The X-Files, with some spin-offs along the way, Anderson finally reprised her role in 2016 when the Sci-Fi show was renewed for a six-episode miniseries. On the back of its success, the show is scheduled to return for the 11th season, with the first episode airing on January 3, 2018.
Kevin Sorbo – Andromeda
At the turn of the millennium, Kevin Sorbo tried his luck in Sci-Fi when he was cast in the role of Dylan Hunt in show Andromeda. The series was heavily inspired by unused work by Star Trek‘s creator Gene Roddenberry and saw Sorbo as the main character of the show, captain of the Andromeda Ascendant. Before portraying the character for five seasons, Sorbo also played the role of Hercules in the hit series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
Kevin Sorbo – Now
Since his time as Captain Dylan Hunt came to an end, Kevin Sorbo has gone on to make numerous guest appearances in some of the biggest shows on TV. These include The O.C., Two and a Half Men, and Hawaii Five-0. In 2001, he took part in the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and won a whopping £32,000. His most recent TV appearance came in 2017 when he portrayed King Lar Gand of Daxam in the superhero show Supergirl.
Amanda Tapping – Stargate SG-1
After the success of 1994’s hit movie Stargate, producers decided to make a TV show inspired by the original story. Many characters came and went over the 214 episode-run, but one of the mainstays of the Sci-Fi show was Amanda Tapping who portrayed the iconic character Samantha Carter. Due to her ever-presence on the show, Carter was considered one of the standout characters. Tapping received numerous award nominations for her role, including the Leo Award for “Dramatic Series: Best Lead Performance – Female.”
Amanda Tapping – Now
Overall, Tapping’s Samantha Carter is the most used character in the Stargate franchise, having starred in 208 episodes of SG-1 and making appearances in spin-offs such as Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. Since her time with Stargate came to an end, Tapping has had a handful of roles elsewhere, but nothing will eclipse her success in the hit Sci-Fi show. Tapping has made guest appearances in shows such as Supernatural and most recently, the Netflix show Travelers. She also directed the show’s pilot.
Kyle McLachlan – Twin Peaks
One of the most enigmatic roles of the last three decades has to be Kyle McLachlan’s portrayal of Agent Dale Cooper. The main character of David Lynch’s bizarre show Twin Peaks, Cooper is a charismatic detective who has an unshakeable thirst for a good cup of coffee and a donut. He arrives in the small town of Twin Peaks to try and solve who murdered Laura Palmer. However, he gets caught up in a series of mysterious, supernatural events.
Kyle McLachlan – Now
McLachlan’s role as Dale Cooper wasn’t the first time that he worked under David Lynch. The actor owes a lot to Lynch after he cast him in his debut role in the Sci-Fi cult classic Dune. In recent times, McLachlan has had something of a resurgence, having starred in numerous shows such as How I Met Your Mother and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. McLachlan recently reprised his role as Dale Cooper for the long-awaited third season of Twin Peaks, which was released in 2017.
Tricia Helfer – Cylon Number Six, Battlestar Galactica
Ever since its original run in the late-70s, Battlestar Galactica has always been about the battle between the Twelve Colonies of Mankind and robots known as the Cylons. Creators of the 2004 reboot stayed true to the mythology and brought new Cylon characters into the fold, such as Tricia Helfer’s Cylon Number Six. She was part of the main cast for the entirety of its run and even received a Leo Award for “Best Lead Performance by a Female – Drama.”
Tricia Helfer – Now
After the main run of the Battlestar Galactica reboot, Helfer reprised her role of Cylon Number Six for the direct-to-video movie Battlestar Galactica: The Plan. Since then, Helfer has made numerous cameos on TV shows such as Two and a Half Men, Supernatural, and Suits. One of her most recent roles came in 2016 when she joined the main cast of the hit show Lucifer. Outside of TV, Helfer is involved with numerous causes, such as pollution control and animal rescue.
David Duchovny – The X-Files
Alongside Dana Scully is the one and only, Fox Mulder. Together, the detective duo has dived into the deepest and darkest corners of potential alien activity in the hit Sci-Fi show The X-Files. David Duchovny’s portrayal of Mulder earned him universal acclaim, having been ranked by TV Guide as #7 on their list of the “50 Greatest Sci-Fi Legends.” For his performances, Duchovny was nominated in 1997 and 1998 respectively for the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.”
David Duchovny – Now
Since his breakout role on The X-Files, Duchovny has branched out to other genres and has starred in a variety of movies and TV shows. He has made numerous cameos on shows such as Frasier, The Simpsons, and Sex in the City, to name a few. Then, in 2007, Duchovny got his next big break in a very different kind of show, being cast as the self-destructive womanizer Hank Moody in the hit sitcom Californication. He also reprised his role as Fox Mulder in the recent reboot of The X-Files.
Shiri Appleby – Roswell
In 1999, young actress Shiri Appleby portrayed the main role of Liz Parker in the Sci-Fi series Roswell. The show, which ran for three seasons, was based on the book series Roswell High; a set of stories detailing teen aliens integrating into human societies. Although the show received mixed reviews throughout its run, it did generate a decent fan base. This was in no small part due to Appleby’s work on the show. What is she doing nowadays?
Shiri Appleby – Now
Since her time on Roswell, Shiri Appleby’s finest hour in Hollywood came in 2007 when she had a minor role in the Tom Hanks-led Charlie Wilson’s War. However, it was her work on TV that maintained her reputation as one of the most underrated actresses in the industry. Appearances on shows such as Six Degrees, ER, and Girls made her a recognizable name. She has also been part of the main casts of dramas such as Life Unexpected and most recently, Unreal.
Dirk Benedict – Battlestar Galactica
There’s is no doubt that Dirk Benedict will be best remembered for his role as Lieutenant Templeton “Faceman” Peck in the iconic show The A-Team. However, one of his first breakthrough roles came in 1978 when he starred in the original run of the hit Sci-Fi franchise Battlestar Galactica. Benedict played the main role of Lieutenant Starbuck and despite the show’s short run, his performance helped generate a dedicated fanbase and paved the way for future iterations of the show.
Dirk Benedict – Now
The reality is that Dirk Benedict’s acting career has remained within the realm of TV and rarely has he crossed over onto the big screen. Since his time on Battlestar Galactica and The A-Team, Benedict has made the odd appearance here and there on shows such as Murder, She Wrote and Baywatch. His most recent cameo came in 2010 when he briefly appeared in the film remake of The A-Team, with Bradley Cooper starring as his character, Faceman.
Marina Sirtis – Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation saw a new breed of characters take over from the likes of Captain Kirk and Spock. One of those characters was Deanna Troi, who was portrayed by actress Marina Sirtis. The Betazoid Troi was the counselor of the USS Enterprise-D for the entirety of the show’s run and eventually became a commander. With many dedicated fans developing a love for the character, Troi was known for her extravagant hairstyles.
Marina Sirtis – Now
Marina Sirtis continued to reprise the role of Deanna Troi in movies such as Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: Nemesis. In more recent times, she has starred in critically acclaimed movies such The Grudge 3 and 2004’s Academy Award-winner Crash. She has also been a part of some of the most iconic TV shows in recent memory, such as Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, and Scandal, to name a few. She even made a voice-cameo on Family Guy.
Sheila Larken – The X-Files
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s respective portrayals of Agents Mulder and Scully are the two stars of The X-Files. However, there are plenty of other characters who were integral to Sci-Fi show’s run. Take Sheila Larken, for example. This actress will be remembered by diehard fans as Margaret Scully, the mother of Dana. Although her role on the show was sporadic, she was given an emotional sendoff, when she passed away in the 2016 episode, “Home Again.”
Sheila Larken – Now
It is amazing how many big shows Sheila Larken has made appearances in outside of her time on The X-Files. Her resume includes shows such as Bonanza, Hawaii Five-0, Starsky and Hutch, Little House on the Prairie and The Incredible Hulk, to name a few. These days, Larken lives a pretty quiet life in Bellingham, Washington. She spends her time with her husband, TV producer R.W. Goodwin. Ironically, he was an executive producer on none other than, The X-Files.
Michelle Trachtenberg – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer had an array of young, talented actors, including the likes of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, and Seth Green, to name a few. Then there was one young actress who became part of the main cast towards the end of the show’s run, Michelle Trachtenberg. After originally becoming famous for her role in the movie Harriet the Spy, she was cast as Dawn Summers, the younger sister of the title character, Buffy.
Michelle Trachtenberg – Now
There’s a lot more to Michelle Trachtenberg than just her time spent on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Most of the actress’s success since her time as Dawn Summers has come from cameos on TV shows such as Six Feet Under, House, and Weeds, to name a few. In recent times, Trachtenberg has revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that she actually received a lot of criticism from die-hard Buffy fans over the years for her portrayal of Dawn Summers.
Jeri Ryan – Star Trek: Voyager
Originally credited as Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero One. Jeri Ryan became an iconic part of the Star Trek franchise when she made her first appearance in season four of Star Trek: Voyager. Her characterization as the natural foil to Captain Kathryn Janeway was supposed to be an homage to the way that Spock was used in the original series. She was an instant hit with the fans and starred until the very end of the show.
Jeri Ryan – Now
With a string of minor roles in movies under her belt, Jeri Ryan has seen more success in TV shows since Star Trek: Voyager came to an end. With appearances on shows such as Two and a Half Men, Boston Public, and Shark, Ryan has rarely been out of work. A self-confessed Francophile, Ryan started dating French chef Christopher Émé in the early 00s and are still together to this day. They got married in 2007 and had a daughter called Gisele the following year.
Katee Sackhoff – Battlestar Galactica
When Battlestar Galactica had a reboot in 2003, Katee Sackhoff was cast to portray a female revised version of the original Lieutenant Starbuck, played by Dirk Benedict back in 1978. She went by the name of Lieutenant Kara “Starbuck” Thrace and was a mainstay throughout the Sci-Fi show’s four-season run. She has been described by one critic as “one of television’s most complex ever-evolving characters” and this is in no small part due to Sackhoff’s terrific performance as “Starbuck.”
Katee Sackhoff – Now
Katee Sackhoff has constantly been on the periphery of some of TV’s biggest shows. Since Battlestar Galactica came to an end, Sackhoff has cameoed on shows such as Robot Chicken, Law & Order, Nip/Tuck, and even The Big Bang Theory. In recent times, Sackhoff has been heavily involved in Lucasfilm’s animation department, having portrayed the role of Bo-Katan Kryze, first on the show Star Wars: The Clone Wars and then on Star Wars Rebels. She is currently a recurring character on CW’s The Flash.
Mitch Pileggi – The X-Files
Although Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are the key duo of The X-Files, the next most frequent character in the Sci-Fi series has to be Walter Skinner, played by Mitch Pileggi. Not only has the character been a recurring character for most of the show’s run, he has also played a key role in the feature films attached to the series. Also, the character has crossed over into another supernatural TV show, Fox’s The Lone Gunmen.
Mitch Pileggi – Now
Like David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi reprised his role as Walter Skinner in the 2016 miniseries. However, The X-Files isn’t Pileggi’s only claim to fame, having secured roles in both TV and film. During the Sci-Fi show’s hiatus, the actor made appearances in ER, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and The West Wing. Pileggi’s most high profile film appearance was in 2017 when he made a brief appearance in Transformers: The Last Knight. He was credited as a TRF group leader.
Peggy Lipton – Twin Peaks
It was not just Kyle MacLachlan who stole the show in David Lynch’s strange TV show Twin Peaks. The show had a long cast full of star-studded performances and one of the standout characters of the show was Norma Jennings, played by the beautiful Peggy Lipton. The model/actress was already a household name by the time the show came out, having won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in ABC’s The Mod Squad.
Peggy Lipton – Now
The evergreen Peggy Lipton is from a family of stars, having married the man behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Quincy Jones, back in 1974. Together, they had two daughters who would also go on to become successful actresses in their own rights, Rashida and Kidada Jones. Although Lipton and Jones divorced in 1990, the family remain close. Just like Kyle McLachlan and the most of the other cast members, Lipton reprised her role as Norma Jennings for the third season of Twin Peaks.
Gina Torres – Zoe Alleyne Washburne
Both a passionate lover of her friends and a thorn in her enemies’ sides, Zoe Alleyne Washburne is one of the protagonists of the show Firefly. Unlike many heroines who start off out of their depth only to become stronger with age, Gina Torres portrays a more experienced female who happens to be second-in-command of the Serenity. What also makes her role so interesting is her moral ambiguity. She is even described by husband Hoban “Wash” as a “warrior woman.”
Gina Torres – Now
Make no mistake about it; there is so much to Gina Torres than just Firefly. Since her time on the Sci-Fi show came to an end in 2003, she has starred in numerous shows such as Angel, CSI, 24, and The Shield, to name a few. She eventually got another main role in the drama Standoff. However, the show was canceled after just one season. She also had a recent main role in Suits, as well as guest appearances in shows like Revenge and Westworld.
Nathan Fillion – Malcolm Reynolds
Zoe’s superior was none other than Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds, played by Nathan Fillion. The captain of the Serenity was originally written as a dark, reserved anti-hero in the show’s pilot. However, producers didn’t like the tone of his character and asked the writers to portray Mal as a more uplifting personality. Therefore, the Mal we see in episodes one and two are very different people. Mal was ranked as number one in SFX Magazine‘s Top 100 Sci-Fi Icons of the Century.
Nathan Fillion – Now
The Edmonton, Alberta native has a knack for voicing roles in many of your favorite video games. Since 2005, Fillion has had voice roles in games such as the Halo series, Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell and Con Man: The Game. In TV, Fillion has starred in shows such as Lost, Desperate Housewives, The Big Bang Theory, and Castle. He has also made appearances in numerous movies such as Monsters University, Cars 3, and even made cameos on both Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
Anna Torv – Olivia Dunham
A slow burner in the TV world of Sci-Fi, Fringe eventually developed a loyal fanbase with its deep mythology that revolved around parallel universes. One of the keys to the show’s success was its strong, female protagonist, played by Anna Torv. Olivia Dunham is an FBI agent who delves into fringe science and helped blend the genres of crime and Sci-Fi with her fascinating explorations into strange phenomena. She also played an alternative version of Dunham in a parallel universe.
Anna Torv – Now
Truth be told, the Australian actress hasn’t had a huge number of projects under her name since her time on Fringe came to an end in 2013. Anna Torv’s most notable role since then came in 2017 when she was cast in a lead role as Wendy Carr in the David Fincher-helmed, Netflix crime drama Mindhunter. She was also in a relationship with fellow Fringe co-star Mark Valley, who played FBI agent John Scott. However, the couple separated one year after tying the knot.
Christopher Judge – Stargate SG-1
Alongside Samantha Carter, one of the longest standing characters in Stargate SG-1 was the Jaffa warrior Teal’c, portrayed by Christopher Judge. As time went on, the character became more prominent and Judge even wrote a couple of episodes. He is instantly recognizable in the Sci-Fi world for the emblem on his forehead and his generally unique appearance. Like Carter, Judge’s character was well received by fans and critics alike, receiving a Saturn Award nomination in 2002 for “Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series.”
Christopher Judge – Now
The reality is that Christopher Judge simply hasn’t done that much since Stargate SG-1 came to an end in 2007. One interesting little tidbit about Judge is that he made a brief cameo in The Dark Knight Rises, credited as Mercenary Assassin #3. His most recent cinematic role came in 2015 when he starred in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! As far as TV roles go, Judge made appearances in episodes from shows such as NCIS: Los Angeles and The Mentalist. He is married and has four kids.
Annabeth Gish – The X-Files
Unlike Mitch Pileggi who, in some shape or form, has always been a part of The X-Files, Annabeth Gish joined the cast in 2000, portraying FBI Special Agent Monica Reyes from Season 8 onwards. Although her time on the show was limited in comparison to other characters, Gish left a huge impression on the fans and provided another female point-of-view that many felt was desperately needed in the show. Gish had a string of minor roles both in TV and film before The X-Files.
Annabeth Gish – Now
During the hiatus of The X-Files, Gish was finally considered as one of the hottest properties in TV and as a result, secured a number of roles in other popular shows. Her reputation only got bigger and bigger. During the last decade, she has starred in numerous other shows such as Parks and Recreation, Sons of Anarchy, and Scandal. Gish ended up getting married to The X-Files stunt man Wade Allen and the couple have two sons.
Avery Brooks – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Many critics praised Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, with TV Guide calling it “the best acted, written, produced and altogether finest” in the franchise. One huge part of this was the performance of the main character, Benjamin Sisko, played by Avery Brooks. For the first three seasons, he was a commander and brought a strong sense of maturity to the role, before becoming the Captain from season three onwards. What is Brooks doing nowadays?
Avery Brooks – Now
For someone who is approaching his 70s, Avery Brooks hasn’t actually had a lot of roles in his career. As far as cinema goes, Brooks’ most high-profile role came in 1998 when he starred alongside Edward Norton in the intense drama American History X. Other than a handful of minor roles in TV and theater, Brooks has lived a relatively low-key life since Deep Space Nine came to an end in 1999. He is happily married with three kids and currently resides in Princeton, New Jersey.