The Wonder Years is one of the greatest shows from the ’80s. It helped launch the careers of some very recognizable child actors, while simultaneously becoming one of the most iconic shows of a generation. It was nominated for an Emmy after only 6 episodes aired on television.
The cast had a lot of kids involved and in order to find the right one the creators Neal Marlens and Carol Black interviewed five different casting directors, all of them said the same kid: Fred Savage. He led the show with what the creators called a “natural quality” and helped propel it to the iconic level it remains today.
But where is our favorite family now?
Fred Savage – Kevin Arnold
He became the youngest actor ever nominated for an Emmy as the Lead Actor for a Comedy Series for his work on The Wonder Years. Savage was already well known as the grandson from The Princess Bride, but this show launched him to fame in a way no one could have predicted. He has been in a bunch of TV shows and movies since, including Austin Powers: Goldmember and more recently the show The Grinder with Rob Lowe.
Danika McKellar – Winnie Cooper
It really was her big break out role after appearing in a few small parts on shows like Captain Planet and the Planeteers and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! She later appeared on The West Wing for an arc and then started doing a lot of voice over work. She has done voices for a lot of cartoon heroes for shows like Young Justice, DC Super Hero Girls, and Transformers: Rescue Bots. She also is an incredibly accomplished in the field of mathematics. She has published many papers since getting her Bachelor of Science in Math and has a theorem named after her that she coauthored with Professor Chayes and fellow student Brandy Winn.
Josh Saviano – Paul Pheiffer
The smart best friend plays an important role in Kevin’s life. The show focuses a lot on their relationship and how they deal with their problems, whether it’s attending different schools or meeting new friends. Josh Saviano seems to have taken a few cues from Paul, as after the show wrapped he decided to go to law school and become a lawyer. He now works in New York, only returning to TV for three episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims unit between 2014-2016.
Dan Lauria – Jack Arnold
Kevin’s dad was a bit of a tough guy. He was a war veteran, served in the Marines, and worked with electronics for a while but eventually opens his own business making furniture. Lauria himself seems to have been busy as can be since the show ended. He has had countless parts on popular shows including Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Pitch.
But what about the rest of the family?
Alley Mills – Norma Arnold
It seems like most sitcoms have the two parents as total opposites. While Jack is a it gruff, Norma is sweet and friendly. She represents a lot of the feminist movements from the time and wants to break free from the housewife role. Since the show ended she has been keeping busy, most notably as Pamela Douglas on The Bold and the Beautiful. She has appeared in 570 episodes between 2006-2017 which seems insane! And it’s not even all she’s doing! She has also been in a lot of TV movies.
Jason Hervey – Wayne Arnold
Kevin’s biggest bully was his very own brother. He kind of has a bit of a hard time romantically in the show, but he does eventually take over his father’s furniture business. It’s been a while since Hervey has acted, most recently he was doing some voice fork for a show called 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd. He hasn’t acted since 2004 but now works behind the scenes specializing in content creation.
Olivia d’Abo – Karen Arnold
Karen was the “hippie” sister who was much more free-spirited than the rest of the family which tended to clash with her father’s conservative beliefs. She ended up getting married and moving to Alaska with her husband and she has a child. Disney fans may recognize her voice as Jane from the disney movie Tarzan & Jane. She also did some voices for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and had a role on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. More recently she has been doing a few different TV movies and has some new world coming out soon.
Daniel Stern – Narrator
The story was being told by “Kevin” who was narrated by Daniel Stern. He is well known for his roles in Home Alone, City Slickers and Diner. He has recently been in the show Manhattan, Getting On, and even revisited his character of Phil from City Slickers in a short called “City Slickers in Westworld”.
The Wonder Years will live on as one of the greatest shows of its time. We all watched it, and we all loved it.
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