November seems to be Gilmore Girls Month on Taking Up Room. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because November is when their limited series hit Netflix. Anyway, I was watching The Sentinel a few months ago and saw a familiar face pop up. Who was it? I’ll tell you all later. Long story short, it occurred to me that it might be fun to look at what some of the major and recurring cast members were doing before they moved to Stars Hollow.
“Some” is the operative word, though. I left out a ton of well-liked faces and then had to make more deep cuts after that, not to mention a lot of the cast members were bit players and character people so they’re hard to find pre-GG. Lots of research and hard choices going on, believe me.
So this list isn’t too cumbersome, I decided to serve it up in two parts. Here we go…
Todd Lowe (Zach)
Before he played a rock star, Todd Lowe dated a rock star. Well, kinda–his uncredited self squired Mandy Moore’s Lana Thomas to the Baker Beach Bash in 2001’s The Princess Diaries. Lowe’s scenes are microscopic, but it’s fun seeing him.
Kathleen Wilhoite (Liz)
Kathleen Wilhoite is a busy lady, and the first time I saw her was on the “Ready Or Not” episode of Family Ties, where she played Mallory’s friend, Kathy. While Mallory makes cookies and mulls over whether or not to lose her virginity to her boyfriend, Rick, Kathy relates her own cautionary tale.
Mädchen Amick (Sherry)
Three years prior to declaring that green is the new pink, the actress who would be Sherry portrayed Capeside film teacher Nicole Kennedy on Dawson’s Creek. Her big claim to fame is that she briefly dated Dawson’s dad and told Dawson Hollywood would eat him alive. It’s funny that her first two characters for the WB were both interloper types we couldn’t wait to see ride off into the sunset. However, Mädchen is still cool.
Gregg Henry (Mitchum)
Gregg Henry’s screen career is large and varied, and one of his pre-Gilmore Girls roles is villain Robert Gant in the atrocious Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, one of the few films to get a zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes. At least he got to see a lot of stuff blow up.
Michael DeLuise (T.J.)
Michael DeLuise is a very recognizable face, and among his earlier credits he was tough guy Matt in 1992’s Encino Man. Matt might look like he has it all together, but what he really has is a little jealousy problem. When Matt’s former girlfriend starts hanging out with Dave (Sean Astin), Matt staples him to a bulletin board.
Liz Torres (Miss Patty)
One of Liz’s early TV appearances was as business exec Elena Beltran in 1981’s Checking In, a spinoff of spinoff The Jeffersons. Had it lasted longer than four episodes, it might have been America’s answer to Fawlty Towers.
Matt Czuchry (Logan)
Mr. Czuchry landed a pretty hefty part as Sean McGrail, best friend of leading man Will Krudski (Rodney Scott) and leading lady Bella (Kate Bosworth) in the Dawson’s Creek spinoff Young Americans. The series ended all too soon, but it was enough for Czuchry to make his presence felt.
David Sutcliffe (Christopher)
Right before he starred on Gilmore Girls, David Sutcliffe played Matt Brewer on 2000’s Grapevine. An attempt at revamping a failed 1992 show of the same title, Grapevine featured four main characters talking to the camera and each other about relationships, theirs and other people. There’s not a lot of information about the show, and it’s a good thing it tanked, or we might not have seen Sutcliffe as Christopher.
Chris Eigeman (Jason)
Eigeman has made his mark on such shows as Malcolm In the Middle and Outer Limits, but my favorite of his pre-GG appearances was as Arnold Rimmer on the ill-executed and ill-fated American version of Red Dwarf. He does well enough, but the pilot is boring and except for Hilton Battle as Cat, the casting choices are weird. Plus, while British Rimmer’s holographic status is indicated by a shiny silver “H,” American Rimmer gets a shiny red button on his forehead and it looks like a ginormous zit. Oh well.
Sean Gunn (Kirk)
The man who would be Kirk was just starting out when Gilmore Girls came along, but right before heading to Stars Hollow, Sean Gunn appeared twice on the Buffy spinoff, Angel, playing spa manager Mars and Brachen demon Lucas.
Rose Abdoo (Gypsy)
Before she repaired cars at Hewes Brothers, Rose Abdoo was a Chicago dressmaker in 1996’s My Best Friend’s Wedding, costuming an uncomfortable Julia Roberts.
Emily Kuroda (Mrs. Kim)
Prior to stepping inside Kim’s Antiques, Emily Kuroda took on various bit parts in various TV shows, making her debut in 1982 on Remington Steele. She does a good turn as Karen Matsuga on “The Spoilers” episode of MacGyver.
Okay, another part is on the way tomorrow. Hope you’re enjoying this, all, and thanks for reading…
Gilmore Girls is available on DVD from Amazon.
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