'Gimme a Break!' Cast 33 Years after TV Series Finale: Some Even Changed Professions
"Gimme a Break!" charmed viewers with their quirky, blended family years ahead of programs like "The Cosby Show." Here's a look at the cast members after the show ended.
It's been over thirty years since the show came out, and we bet you'll be surprised to know what the cast members have been up to since.
Like many actors from his era, John Hoyt began his acting career on stage as well. The Yale graduate was a teacher before he decided to become a full-time actor. Hoyt's acting focus was either in comedies or in historical flicks.
Before starring on the show, John Hoyt appeared in "Spartacus," "Attack of the Puppet People," "When Worlds Collide," "The Conqueror," and "Hogan's Heroes."
After an acting career that lasted over four decades, he retired from acting after "Gimme a Break!" Hoyt passed away on September 15, 1991, a few weeks shy of his 83rd birthday.
Like his co-star, Carter, Dolph Sweet's acting career started on-stage before performing on-screen. Before fame, Sweet was a war hero. He served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II as a navigator on a B-24 bomber. He was honored with the Distinguished Flying Cross and The Purple Heart for his service.
He spent two years in a German POW camp after his plane got shot down during one of his missions. His experiences and demeanor lead him to get typecasted into tough-guy roles.
On-stage, he appeared in "Romulus," "Streamers," and "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window" before debuting on television with "The Defenders."
He later landed regular roles on soaps such as "Dark Shadows," "The Edge of Night," "Somerset," and "Another World."
"Gimme a Break!" became Sweet's last work because of his unfortunate cancer diagnosis, which took away his life in 1985. He is survived by his wife of eleven years and son from his first marriage.
The '80s was a great decade for young Kari Michaelsen. She was a successful teen actress that enjoyed steady work during that time frame. Before landing the eldest daughter's role on "Gimme a Break!," Michaelsen already had seven on-screen acting credits to her name.
Being on the show led to more roles available for her, including spots in "Hart to Hart" and "The Incredible Hulk."
A few years after the show had ended, Michaelsen studied business and focused on becoming a motivational speaker. She has been a host, media consultant, public speaker, and brand ambassador throughout her life.
Michaelsen has even worked with the Get Motivated Business Seminars as a motivational speaker, where she met and shared the podium with several acclaimed speakers and leaders.
Virginia-born Lauri Hendler was already having a successful career as a child actor before joining the cast of "Gimme a Break!". She had already featured in several television shows and movies since starting her acting career in 1978.
Among those roles are spots in "A New Kind of Family" and "Magnum P.I." Since appearing on the hit '80s show, Hendler has enjoyed a steady yet considerably modest career in television and voice acting.
She has had guest appearances in shows like "Charmed," "Shameless," and most recently "Runaways." She's voiced characters in both video games and several hit video games like the "Saint's Row" games, "Wing Commander Academy" and "Elder Scrolls: Skyrim."
LARA JILL MILLER
After the show had ended, Lara Jill Miller decided to step away from acting on-screen to pursue a law degree. Soon after, she decided to return to acting but now mainly works as a voice actor. While her face might not be as easily recognized, she's voiced many characters we love.
She played the character Izzie in the Emmy-winning series "Sci Girls" and appeared on "Vampirina," "Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!" and "Digimon."
Miller attended New York University and Fordham School of Law, where she graduated as Magna Cum Laude. She later passed the bar exam in three states and practiced her license in New York.
Joey Lawrence's acting career kicked off on "Gimme a Break." In its third season, he joined the show as a recurring character that later became a leading cast member and stayed until the show ended its run in season 6.
Three years after the series ended, Lawrence starred in "Blossom," which launched him from child actor to number 25 in "TV's 25 Greatest Teen Idols."
The star has enjoyed a steady career in film and television over the years following his time on the hit '80s sitcom. His most recent work includes his own show titled "Melissa & Joey," with fellow then-teen sensation Melissa Joan Hart. He's also enjoyed a recurring role on "Hawaii Five-0."
Before nabbing the lead role on the show, Nell Carter's career focused much on Broadway. In 1970, Carter attended Bill Russell's School of Drama and made her Broadway debut in "Soon." She won a Tony Award in 1978 for her sultry turn in the Broadway musical "Ain't Misbehavin'."
She later made it to television as a part of the soap "Ryan's Hope" and "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo." Her performances as the star of "Gimme a Break!" earned Carter three nominations and one Primetime Emmy Award win for Best Actress in a Comedy. She also earned two Golden Globe Award Nominations.
After the show's run, she starred in "You Take the Kids," followed by "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper." Her other appearances include "Amen," "227," "Touched by an Angel," "Ally McBeal," "Reba," "Hair," and "The Grass Harp."
Sadly, Carter passed away at the age of 54 after collapsing in her home from a fatal heart attack. Her 13-year-old adopted son found her.
HELEN WENT HUNTING
It might be tough to think that Oscar winner, four-time Emmy, and Golden Globe awardee Helen Hunt would have a tough time landing roles. But earlier in her career, she auditioned for the role of Katie Kanisky. She didn't get it but got a guest appearance instead. She did land the role of a lifetime on "Mad About You."
Are you just as amazed at the careers of the cast of "Gimme a Break!" turned out? Stay tuned for more throwback topics and updates on your favorite celebrities, films, and television shows.