"Married… with Children," which was the first prime-time series to air on the then-fledgling Fox Network, premiered on April 5, 1987, and followed the adventures of the Bundys, a stereotypical "white trash" dysfunctional American family living in a fictional suburb of Chicago. The sitcom, which often stirred up controversy with its crude and sexual humor, ended up running for a total of 11 seasons before ending in June 1997.
Ed O'Neill played Al Bundy, a once glorious high school football player turned hard-luck women's shoe salesman.
O'Neill had a variety of movie roles during the show's 11-season run, including "K-9," "Dutch," "Wayne's World" and "Blue Chips." After the series ended in 1997, he found minor roles in movies like "The Bone Collector," "Spartan" and "Redbelt" and had parts in the TV series "The 10th Kingdom," "John from Cincinnati" and "The West Wing." He also starred in the short-lived dramatic series "Big Apple" and "Dragnet," playing an updated version of Sgt. Joe Friday in the latter, before landing his current role in the sitcom "Modern Family" in 2009. His "Modern Family" role earned him three-straight Emmy nominations between 2011 and 2013, the firsts of his career.
Katey Sagal played Peggy Bundy, Al's lazy, big-haired redheaded wife. Peggy was portrayed as refusing to cook or clean and an inattentive mother, at best, who often nagged Al for money and/or sex.
Two years after "Married… with Children" went off the air, Sagal landed a gig voicing one-eyed spaceship captain Turanga Leela on the animated TV show "Futurama," a role she continued in through the series' original run through 2003 and again when it was revived from 2010-13. She also played Cate Hennessy, the wife of John Ritter's character on "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," from 2002 through 2005. She then had recurring roles on the TV shows "Boston Legal," "Eli Stone" and "Lost" before landing the role of Gemma Teller Morrow on the FX motorcycle gang TV series "Sons of Anarchy" (pictured) in 2008. She also serves as the narrator for the sitcom "A to Z," which premiered in October 2014.
Christina Applegate played the Bundys' oldest child, Kelly Bundy, a stereotypical dumb blonde notorious for her extreme stupidity and promiscuity.
Since "Married… with Children," Applegate has starred in three short-lived sitcoms, "Jesse" from 1998 to 2000, "Samantha Who?" from 2007 to 2009 and "Up All Night" from 2011 to 2012. She also scored roles in movie such as "Jane Austen's Mafia!," "The Sweetest Thing," "View from the Top," "Wonderland" and, most notably, "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy." Most recently she has appeared in the movies "Going the Distance," "Hall Pass" and "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues."
David Faustino played Bud Bundy, the family's youngest child. Bud was portrayed as the smartest member of the family and the first to go to college, but more often was ridiculed for his inevitable failures with women.
Faustino has had a variety of roles on TV series and low-budget movies since "Married… with Children" ended. In 2009, he developed and starred in "Star-ving," a weekly Internet comedy series in which he played an exaggerated version of himself. He also had a cameo in 2013 on Ed O'Neill's sitcom "Modern Family." He's lately found a career as a voice artist, voicing the character Mako in Nickelodeon's "The Legend of Korra" and Dagur in Cartoon Network's "Dragons: Riders of Berk," a spin-off of the movie "How to Train Your Dragon."
Amanda Bearse played Marcy, Peggy's best friend and Al's constant foil. She was also the only one besides O'Neill and Sagal to appear in all 263 episodes of the show.
Bearse, who came out publicly as a lesbian in 1993, has had only a handful of acting roles since the show ended, including recent roles on the TV series "Drop Dead Diva" and "Anger Management." Instead, she has focused on directing, which she first began while starring on "Married… with Children" by directing more than 30 episodes of the series. She went on to direct episodes of shows such as "Dharma & Greg," "Reba," "MADtv" and "The Big Gay Sketch Show."
David Garrison played Steve Rhoades, Marcy's first husband, a straight-laced banker who was often pulled into Al's schemes. Garrison appeared in more than 70 episodes before Steve was written out of the show its fourth season as leaving Marcy to become a forest ranger at Yosemite National Park. However, he returned to play the character in four more episodes between 1992 and 1995.
Garrison left "Married… with Children" to return to live theater. In the years since, most of his on-screen roles have come as cameos on TV shows, including "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," "Judging Amy," "The Practice," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "The West Wing" and "Law & Order." His most recent credits include 2013 cameos on "The Good Wife" and "30 Rock." On stage, he originated the role of the The Wizard in the original touring company of "Wicked" when it began on March 8, 2005, and later played the role on Broadway for 15 months. He's also recently starred in "Silence! The Musical" as Hannibal Lecter in New York City and as Fagin in a 2013 production of "Oliver!" in New Jersey.
After Garrison left the show, "Happy Days" and "The Love Boat" alum Ted McGinley joined the cast as Jefferson D'Arcy, a pretty-boy scam artist to whom Marcy wakes up one morning and discovers she is married. Jefferson was portrayed as a habitually unemployed, lazy lout who uses his charm and sexual advances to distract Marcy when he gets caught taking advantage of her.
McGinley, who had also starred in 1984's "Revenge of the Nerds" playing Stan Gable, the head of the jock-run Alpha Beta fraternity, reprised that role in the third and fourth movies in the franchise in 1992 and 1993, both produced for TV, while on "Married… with Children." He later had recurring roles on the TV shows "Sports Night" and "The West Wing" and was a regular on "Hope & Faith" from 2003 to 2006. Most recently he's had cameos on the TV shows "Sullivan & Son," "The Mentalist" (pictured) and "Mad Men."
While the family's dog, Buck, was, of course, played by an actual dog, his inner thoughts, often disparaging the Bundys, were given voice by several actors over the show's run, most often by Kevin Curran, a writer, story editor and supervising producer on the show. In the sixth season episode "Psychic Avengers," Curran appeared briefly onscreen during the end sequence where, thanks to gypsy's curse, the Bundy family is turned into monkeys and Buck is turned into a human.
Curran, who won three Emmys for his work on "Late Night with David Letterman" in the 1980s, went on to join "The Simpsons" in 2000, where he is currently a co-executive producer and has since won three more Emmys for his work on the animated series.
Shane Sweet joined the show during its seventh season, playing Seven, the son of Peggy's cousins Zemus and Ida Mae, played by Bobcat Goldthwait and Linda Blair. While he was dropped off at the Bundys' house to care for, fans never took to the character and he was unceremoniously dropped from the show after five episodes. The last mention of the character came with the D'Acys claiming he showed up at their house and won't leave. He was later alluded two twice in the eighth season, with an image of Seven being one of the things that pops out of Kelly's head while cramming for a quiz-show appearance and his face appearing under the word "Missing" on a milk carton.
Sweet has appeared in a handful of TV shows and movies since his stint on "Married… with Children," including roles on "The Jeff Foxworthy Show," "Baywatch," "Picket Fences," "Star Trek: Enterprise" and "Caprica." But most of his roles have come behind the scenes, providing voices for characters in the movies "Toy Story," "Marmaduke," "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" and "Big Hero 6," and additional voices and dubbing work on box office hits like "A Good Day to Die Hard," "The Hunger Games" and "Scream 4." He's also a musician and has been in the bands Atalanta and The Celestial Matinee (pictured, center).
One of the running gags on the show was Al's club "NO MA'AM," which stood for National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood. Among the members was his friend and co-worker Griff, played by Harold Sylvester starting in the show's ninth season in 1994.
Since "Married… with Children," Sylvester has had roles on a variety of TV series, including "The Army Show," "City of Angels," "Cold Case" and "Malcolm in the Middle." He is also known for his earlier film roles in movies such as "An Officer and a Gentleman," "Uncommon Valor," "Innerspace" and "Corrina, Corrina." In 2013, he produced the YouTube series "How Men Become Dogs" (pictured), which he also appeared in and directed one episode of.
E.E. Bell played another one of Al's friends and NO MA'AM club members, Bob Rooney. The character, always referred to by his full name, worked as a butcher and played on the same football team as Al at Polk High.
Bell has since had roles on television shows, including recurring roles on "The Amanda Show" and "The Bold and the Beautiful" and cameos on shows such as "The West Wing," "Bones," "House," "How I Met Your Mother," "Glee" and Raising Hope." He's also had minor roles in movies like "Air Force One," "My Giant," "Herbie Fully Loaded" and "Water for Elephants."
Dan Tullis Jr. played Officer Dan, another of Al's buddies and NO MA'AM members who works full-time as a Chicago uniformed police officer.
Tullis has had only a handful of acting roles since "Married… with Children" ended, all of them minor roles on the TV series "Arli$$," "Home Improvement," "The Drew Carey Show," "Son of the Beach" and "The District." He currently serves as a radio and television spokesman for Select Quote Insurance, a life insurance company. Tullis identifies himself by name at the start of each ad so as to avoid confusion with "Major League" and "24" actor Dennis Haysbert, a spokesman for competitor Allstate Insurance.
Tom McCleister played Ike, yet another of Al's friends and NO MA'AM buddies. Ike worked as an auto mechanic and was an "Elvis is alive" conspiracy theorist.
McCleister has had a variety of minor roles in TV shows such as "Home Improvement," "Roswell," "CSI," "Angel," "Crossing Jordan," "Weeds," "Bones" and "Cold Case" since the show ended in 1997. He's also had roles in the movies "Crazy in Alabama," "Cradle 2 the Grave" and "Million Dollar Baby." Most recently he played a pawn shop owner in the pilot episode of the Cinemax series "Banshee."
Janet Carroll played Gary, Al's boss as the owner of Gary's Shoes. She joined the show as a recurring character in the ninth season, first appearing in a 1994 episode in which Al, who had never actually met Gary before and assumed she was a man, changed the store from a women's shoe store to men's. Carroll played Gary six more times over the course of the series.
Carroll, perhaps most recognized for her role as the mother of Tom Cruise's character in 1983's "Risky Business," also had recurring roles on the TV series "Murphy Brown" and "Melrose Place" in the 1990s. She went on to cameos on shows such as "3rd Rock From the Sun," "7th Heaven," "Ally McBeal," "Judging Amy," "Brothers & Sisters," "Scrubs" and "Law & Order: SVU." She died of brain cancer at age 71 on May 22, 2012.
Dot-Marie Jones appeared in a handful of episodes, first appearing as "Lola" in a ninth season episode in 1994. She had four more recurring appearances as a character named "Dot," two more in the ninth season and two in the 10th. Jones, a former bodybuilder and a 15-time world arm wrestling champion who was still early in her acting career when she made her first "Married… with Children" appearance, has since appeared on a wide range or TV series in cameo roles. She has also had roles in the movies "Patch Adams" and "The Boondock Saints," but is best known these days for her Emmy-nominated recurring role as coach Shannon Beiste on the TV series "Glee."
Tim Conway made four appearances during the show's 10th season, playing Ephraim Wanker, Peg's father, who, as it was referenced many times throughout the series, had forced Al to marry his daughter at gunpoint.
Conway, the comedy legend known for the sitcom "McHale's Navy" and the comedy variety show "The Carol Burnett Show," continues to work today, including cameos on shows such as "Two and a Half Men," "Glee" and "Melissa & Joey," and recent voice roles on the animated shows "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "DreamWorks Dragons."
"Married… with Children" also featured a variety of cameos over the course of its 11 season, both by well-known actors and others just getting started out in the business. One of the most memorable was future "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc, who played Kelly's boyfriend Vinnie Verducci on three episodes in 1991.
Comedian Sam Kinison appeared in the memorable 1989 episode "It's a Bundyful Life: Part 2" as Al Bundy's guardian angel, who shows him what life would be like without him having been born in a take-off of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life."
Joey Lauren Adams, who went on to star in "Dazed and Confused," "Mallrats" and "Chasing Amy," appeared as Peggy's cousin Effie in a 1991 episode. She also made appearances as two other characters in other episodes of the show.
A pre-"Baywatch" Pamela Anderson made appearances as separate characters on two episodes of the show in 1990 and 1991.
Giovanni Ribisi (pictured) appeared in episodes in 1987 and 1989 playing Bud's friend Teddy. Stephen Dorff, who would go on to star in movies such as "Blade" and "Cecil B. DeMented," also appeared with Ribisi in the 1989 episode playing Boz, another one of Bud's friends.
Tiffani Thiessen, at the time just beginning her run on "Saved by the Bell," appeared in a 1990 episode playing Bud's date, Heather McCoy, who humiliated him years earlier by running his underwear up a flagpole.
Milla Jovovich, who would later star in "Dazed and Confused," "The Fifth Element" and the "Resident Evil" movies, appeared in a 1989 episode playing Yvette, a foreign exchange student who comes to live with the Bundys.
David Boreanaz, who later found fame on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" before starring on "Bones," received his first credited role in a 1993 episode playing Frank, Kelly's motorcycle riding boyfriend.
Boreanaz's "Buffy" and "Angel" co-star Julie Benz, who also went on to star on "Dexter," also appeared in an episode of "Married… with Children," this time a 1994 episode playing Sascha, a girl who wanted to lose her virginity to Bud.
Eric Dane, who would go on to fame on "Grey's Anatomy," played a college radio DJ in the 1995 episode "Radio Free Trumaine," which was originally intended as a backdoor pilot for a potential spin-off series starring "Married… with Children" stars David Faustino and David Garrison.
That same episode also featured future "Felicity" star Keri Russell as April Adams, a fellow Trumaine college student being dated by Bud.
Fergie, better known these days as a member of The Black Eyed Peas, appeared in a 1994 episode playing a woman who asks to cut in front of Bud while he and Kelly are waiting in line for concert tickets.
"Glee" star Jane Lynch appeared in a 1994 episode playing Greta, a hotel guest who pays Bud to "walk" her dog Winky.
Denise Richards appeared in a role credited simply as "Girl #2" in a 1991 episode.
Charles "Chip" Esten, better known to fans of improv comedy for his appearances on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?," appeared in two episodes during the show's final season in 1997 as Lonnie, a dim-witted mechanic whom Kelly falls for. Esten, who's also had roles on "Party of Five," "The Office," "ER" and "Big Love," is better known these days for playing country music star Deacon Claybourne on the TV series "Nashville."
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