On this day (Sept. 11) in 2000, popular sitcom “Girlfriends” debuted on UPN. The series ran for eight seasons before being cancelled in 2008. The “Girlfriends” cast members have gone on to appear in other projects across television and film and pursue other business endeavors. Check out what the cast members are up to today inside.
The beloved sitcom celebrates 23 years since it first aired on September 11, 2000. The TV series “Girlfriends” ran for eight seasons, featuring a beautiful cast. The show followed four Black women living and working in Los Angeles. “Girlfriends” tackled how they navigated the drama of dating and relationships. The sitcom created by Mara Brock Akil starred Tracee Ellis Ross, Golden Brooks, Persia White, Jill Marie Jones, Reggie Hayes, Keesha Sharp and Khalil Kain.
“Girlfriends” played an integral role in how Black women were represented onscreen. It showed that Black women can have healthy friendships while balancing family, career and their social lives. Black girls saw several versions of themselves, understanding that they can be anything they want to be. In the 90’s, these types of shows were few and far in between.
The show originally aired on UPN before being moved to The CW. Since “Girlfriends” was cancelled in 2008 after eight seasons, the cast have been up to their own projects across film, TV and business. Ross has had one of the most steady and successful careers of the crew, starring in ABC’s “black-ish,” launching her own haircare line Pattern Beauty and gracing the covers of countless magazines. Other cast members have had their own success in entertainment and we look forward to sharing their achievements in the gallery below.
Happy 23 years of “Girlfriends” and may their impact live on forever!
Check out where our favorite girlfriends are today below:
1. Tracee Ellis RossSource:Focus Features
Ross played the role of Joan Clayton, a young lawyer who desperately wanted to get married. Towards the end of season 7, the young lawyer gets engaged to Aaron Waters whom she had met while rehabilitating homes in New Orleans. She moves into his house and rents her apartment to Lynn.
The actress went on toplay the lead role on “black-ish,” which aired on ABC, as Dr Rainbow ‘Bow’ Johnson. She held the role since 2014. The actress, who is the daughter of Diana Ross is a singer and a former model. Tracee is also a producer and director.
Miss Ross won the 2009 NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Image Award in the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series category for her role in Girlfriends. She was also the first African-American actress to win the Best Actress Golden Globe in a TV comedy in 34 years for her role on Black-ish.
Ross runs a hairline, Pattern Beauty.
2. Jill Marie JonesSource:Getty
On the show, Jones portrayed Joan’s childhood friend Toni Childs. After the sitcom ended, she appeared in The Perfect Holiday alongside Gabrielle Union. She was also featured on “Sleepy Hollow” on a recurring role among several others. Since 2018, she has appeared on a web series called “Monogamy,” which is available on Netflix. She is also an executive producer for the show.
Why did Jill Marie Jones leave “Girlfriends?” Jill was only on the series for six seasons. There were several speculations on why she left. In an interview with Essence, the actress clarified that she left the sitcom to do movies and therefore, chose not to renew her contract.
Jill’s co-stars also could not tell why she left. Her exit was a shock to them as well. Jones said that she was new to the industry and did not know that one needed to announce about their departure. However, she mentioned that she would do things differently if she left the show today.
3. Golden BrooksSource:Getty
Golden acted as Maya Denise, who was Joan’s assistant at the law firm and ends up as an author and housewife. Brooks is a mother of one girl, Dakota Tao Brooks-Woodside. The TV star has also starred in several movies and TV shows since “Girlfriends.”
Brooks’ roles include “Hart of Dixie” (2012-2013), “Lethal Weapon” in 2016 as a guest star and “Holywood Divas” for three seasons between 2014 and 2016. In 2018, she starred in the Darkest Minds, Everything that Glitters and TV show, “Yellowstone.” Brooks also starred in the short series, “I am the Night” in 2019.
Brooks more recently co-starred in Disney’s “Saturdays.”
4. Persia WhiteSource:Getty
White played the role of Lynn Searcy, who was Joan and Toni’s college roommate. By the end of the show, she had started a band and signed a record deal. The actress has expressed a desire to have a reboot of the show.
Since leaving the sitcom, Persia starred in several movies and TV series, including “Vampire Diaries” as Abby Bennet, mother of Bonnie the witch. In 2017, she also featured in two Christmas movies – Miss Me This Christmas and You Can’t Fight Christmas. The actress is married to Joseph Morgan, with whom she co-starred on “Vampire Diaries.”