Where Are the Stars of ‘Boston Public,’ 20 Years Later?

Boston Public Chi McBride Jeri Ryan Rashida Jones
David Livingston/Getty Images, Cindy Ord/Getty Images for American Heart Association, Rashida Jones

High school dramas are a dime a dozen on television, but how many spotlight the teachers and administrators? Boston Public did just that 20 years ago, premiering October 23, 2000 on Fox.

Created by David E. Kelley of Ally McBeal and Big Little Lies fame, Boston Public took viewers into the classrooms and offices of Winslow High School. “This is a show I’ve wanted to do for a number of years,” Kelley told the Los Angeles Times in 2000. “It’s due to my fundamental admiration for teachers. I still believe they are the most powerful people in the country in terms of the future. Most of them don’t even know it. I guess I’ve just always been struck by the level of commitment and compassion they have in the face of such pessimistic odds.”

The show couldn’t quite match the success as some of Kelley’s other shows—including The Practice and Boston Legal—and Fox canceled it midway through its fourth season. In the years since, however, the stars of Boston Public have kept busy, even earning big prizes at the Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys! Read on for updates on the cast.

Chi McBride
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Chi McBride (Steven Harper)

After playing Winslow High School principal Steven Harper, McBride enjoyed a seven-season run on CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 reboot, which ended earlier this year, and had supporting roles in the TV shows The Nine, Pushing Daisies, Human Target, and Golden Boy.

Jessalyn Gilsig
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Jessalyn Gilsig (Lauren Davis)

After two seasons as social studies instructor Lauren Davis, Gilsig joined the cast of Ryan Murphy’s FX drama Nip/Tuck, and later starred on Glee, and Vikings. She also recurred on Friday Night Lights, Heroes, and Scandal, and next, she’ll star in David E. Kelley’s Disney+ series, Big Shot, opposite John Stamos and Yvette Nicole Brown.

Loretta Devine
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Loretta Devine (Marla Hendricks)

Since playing social studies teacher Marla Hendricks on Boston Public, Devine gave an Emmy-winning performance as Adele Webber, the wife of Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.) on Grey’s Anatomy and starred on Eli Stone and The Carmichael Show. More recently, she appeared in episodes of ABC’s Black-ish, and Starz’ P Valley.

Sharon Leal
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Sharon Leal (Marilyn Sudor)

Leal (aka English teacher Marilyn Sudor) starred on several short-lived series including Hellcats, Recovery Road, and Instinct. She also appeared in the 2005 film Dreamgirls and recurred on The CW’s Supergirl as Miss Martian and on ABC’s The Good Doctor as Breeze Browne.

Rashida Jones
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Rashida Jones (Louisa Finn)

Following her two-season stint as secretary Louisa Finn, Jones went from one hit NBC mockumentary to another, starring as Karen Filippelli on The Office and Ann Perkins on Parks and Recreation. More recently, she headlined the shows Angie Tribeca and Black AF. She also cowrote the Pixar film Toy Story 4 and co-directed the 2018 documentary Quincy—a Netflix film about her father, Quincy Jones, that earned her a Grammy.

Tom McCarthy
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Tom McCarthy (Kevin Riley)

McCarthy, who played fired football coach Kevin Riley in Season 1, is another Pixar screenwriter, having co-written the 2009 film Up. He won the Academy Award for Original Screenplay for the 2015 film Spotlight, which he also directed. He also directed the upcoming crime film Stillwater, starring Matt Damon and Abigail Breslin.

Jeri Ryan
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Jeri Ryan (Ronnie Cooke)

Ryan (teacher turned assistant principal turned guidance counselor Ronnie Cooke) remains best known for the 1995-2001 UPN series Star Trek: Voyager. She revisited the final frontier in this year’s Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access, reprising the part of Seven of Nine. In the years between, she also starred on series such as Shark, Body of Proof, and Bosch.

China Shavers
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China Shavers (Brooke Harper)

After playing student Brooke Harper, Shavers graduated to other great roles roles, including O.J. Simpson’s sister Shirley in FX’s The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, the mother of a young patient in a two-episode Grey’s Anatomy arc, and an air marshal in an installment of CBS All Access’ The Twilight Zone. Next year, she’ll appear in the film Judas and the Black Messiah.

Joey McIntyre
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Joey McIntyre (Colin Flynn)

McIntyre and the other New Kids on the Block reunited their boy band in 2008 after a 14-year hiatus (during which he played English teacher Colin Flynn on Boston Public). The singer has continued to dabble in television: he appeared as a regular in the short-lived CBS comedy The McCarthys, and he played a fictionalized version of himself in the 2017 Pop comedy Return of the Mac, a show he co-created.

Michelle Monaghan
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Michelle Monaghan (Kimberly Woods)

Her nine-episode stint as teacher Kimberly Woods helped launch Monaghan to the big leagues. Her career has taken off, with big parts in Gone Baby Gone, Made of Honor, Eagle Eye, Patriots Day, and the Mission: Impossible series. On TV, meanwhile, she has starred in True Detective, The Path, and Messiah.