'According to Jim' Cast: Then and Now
Whenever you saw James Belushi and Larry Joe Campbell, you knew you were in for a good laugh. Fans loved the typical suburban family shenanigans that revolved around Jim, Cheryl and there three kids: Ruby, Gracie, and Kyle which earned the show 4 Primetime Emmy. So where are the child stars today?
We can’t talk about According to Jim without mentioning the incredible work that Belushi put into the show. He played the lead role alongside Courtney Thorne-Smith for all 8 seasons and even directed 30 episodes, including the series finale episode.
Jim’s character loves blues and the same can be said about Belushi. You may have remembered when Dan Aykroyd and Belushi gave the legendary performance of “Soul Man” in season 4 of Saturday Night Live. Who could forget his Belushi’s harmonica solo? And those iconic dance moves? The blues brother boys from Chicago are a classic.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Speaking of Saturday Night Live, did you know Belushi was an alum? He was the waiter behind the counter of The Olympia Restaurant where they only had chips (no fries), Pepsi (no coke) and “Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger!” This was also around the time Aykroyd, Laraine Newman and Bill Murray were still on SNL.
The series finale featured his fellow Blues Brothers as Danny Michalski. Jim has an after-life experience up in the clouds and Danny rides in with a fully decked out motorcycle to help him through heaven. Of course, Jim ends up red-flagged and ends up in court with God played by Lee Majors, and the devil, played by Erik Estrada.
Jim’s family all testify for him and God sends him back to earth. Andy (Larry Joe Campbell) saves Jim’s life using the Heimlich maneuver and dislodges the shrimp puff stuck in Jim’s throat. Almost immediately, Jim throws a shrimp puff in the air to catch it in his mouth, and the screen cuts to black.
Many people speculated that ABC just up and canceled but that was all hearsay, “We had a contract for eight years and we completed the contract," said Belushi in an AJC interview. After the show’s ending, Belushi went on to star in Broadway play Born Yesterday and also formed a traveling improv group.
A year after the show’s ending, Courtney Thorne-Smith was cast for the recurring role of Lyndsey Mackleroy in Two and a Half Men from season 7 to the show’s ending. Throughout the series, her character is in an on-and-off relationship with Alan until they almost marry. It’s never been determined whether or not she sold the engagement ring.
For the past couple of years, she has starred in several TV movies as Emma Fielding, an archaeologist who finds evidence of a murder mystery that was unsolved for years. In 2020, she guest-starred in an episode of Mom, a sitcom with Anna Faris and Allison Janney that’s in its 7th season.
The oldest of the three kids is Ruby and she definitely is the leader of the siblings. Whether she was From pranking Andy with her sister, Ruby, to going on her first date, fans really got to see Atelian display her acting skills at a very young age.
Atelian was praised for her 8-year run on the show. She was nominated for the Young Artist Awards for Best Performance in a TV (Comedy or Drama) in the Young Actress Age Ten or Younger category from 2002 to 2006. In 2008, she was nominated for the Supporting Young Actress award.
ACTRESS AND DANCER
A California-native, she was born on March 27, 1995, and was taught professional dancing at a young age. She’s trained in tap, ballet, and jazz and attended the Rudenko School of Dance. The performing arts school was led by Barbara Rudenko who ran the school for over 50 years. She also was a part of the all-girl pop band, Pink-E Swear.
Her Instagram is private but she’s pretty active on Facebook. In 2015, she was a part of the L.A. KISS Girls, a dance-squad for the professional arena football team. According to her Facebook, she works as a bartender in Santa Barbara and has been dating her boyfriend since May 2018. Good for her!
Billi Bruno played the middle child and youngest sister, Gracie. She’s a total sweetheart in the show except with her Uncle Andy. Even when Ruby is busy, Gracie always found a way to mess with her uncle, which made for a lot of funny feuds between them.
If you’re a fan of Brad Paisley, you may already know this one! In Paisley’s funny ride through reality television and classic sitcoms, both Bruno and co-star Atelian starred in the music video for Brad Paisley’s song “Celebrity” as Paisley’s famous daughters. Jim Belushi also makes an appearance just to take a bite out of Paisley’s sandwich.
FIRST AND LAST ACTING CREDIT
Throughout the season, we see Gracie grow from being in preschool in the first season to 6th grade in the final season. Bruno’s role as Gracie is her only acting job to date. It was rumored she was cast for the children’s book turned film, Eloise in Paris but legal disputes between Uma Thurman and Handmade, the film company, halted production.
Bruno lives a quiet life away from the limelight. Both her Instagram and Facebook are kept private. It’s been reported that she had a baby when she was 19 years old on April 29, 2017, and hasn’t disclosed any information about her family publically. We wonder if Billi ever thinks about coming back to her acting career.
The dim-witted and lovable Kyle, was the youngest of the bunch until the twins arrive in season seven. For the first 4 seasons, Kyle is a baby, so obviously the character had no spoken lines until the fourth season when Conner Rayburn came onto the scene.
Rayburn starred in the show for 102 episodes between 2004 and 2009. His most memorable moments were when he dressed up as Cinderella for Halloween and when he gifted his dad with a stick for his birthday. There are a lot of heartfelt moments between Kyle and his dad, Jim, who he thinks of like a superhero.
Rayburn has had a more active acting career following the end of the series. He played young Dewey Cox in the spoof biopic Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story in 2007. Dewey Cox, played by comedy legend John C. Reilly is a fictional rock star looking for stardom as a musical legend.
Throughout the years that he played the adorable Kyle, Rayburn also guest-starred in smaller roles for TV shows Monk and Cold Case. In 2008, he was the voice for the little giraffe with the broken leg in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa who pleaded to King Makunga to share the watering hole with the whole tribe.
He also starred as Zach in Old Dogs (2009) as the twin of Ella Bleu Travolta. The movie stars all-stars John Travolta and Robin Williams as brothers. In 2009, he also played a small role in The Invention of Lying, a romcom about a city where nobody can tell a lie.
His last appearance was as Dylan in the animated series “The Cleveland Show.” His role was for season 1 episode 19, “Brown History Month”. Like his other siblings from According to Jim, he’s kept a very private social life since then.
JONATHAN AND GORDON | TWINS
Originally the show was going to stick to just 3 kids in the family. But when Thorne-Smith became pregnant in real life, they decided to write in the twins. They also had to use old television tricks to hide her belly behind counters or pillows.
Jim had announced the pregnancy at the season 6 finale. Season 7 follows Jim and Cheryl’s adventures through her 4th pregnancy and at the end of the season, twin boys are born. Though they drive a lot of the plots throughout most of season 8, they’re rarely seen and there are no credits for the two infants.
TALK OF A 2021 REUNION
The show’s final season had a little under 4 million viewers with a ranking of 149. Fans wondered when, if ever, we would all see the family all grown up. The actors from the great sitcom are a bit skeptical though. Kimberly Williams-Paisley told a reporter, “I don’t want to see old Dana Gibson.”
Williams-Paisley, who played Jim’s arch-nemesis and sister-in-law, said in an interview “I'd rather people go, ‘Oh, please! Please!’ than ‘I can't believe you did that. It was horrible.’” Belushi has also shared the same sentiment about a reunion. “If we did an According to Jim movie and it sucked, then it would, you know, blemish it.”
Millions of fans were sad when the show ended 10 years ago, but it might be best to leave this gem in the past. The kids (now adults) are living their own lives outside of show business and the adults are a part of their own projects. But how many tweets does it take to get a cast back together?