The cast of Angel: 10 years on

Feature Sarah Dobbs 5 Mar 2014 - 07:00

Sarah digs into the post-Angel careers of David Boreanaz, Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Charisma Carpenter and more...

It’s been about a decade since the last episode of Angel, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off series about the vampire with a soul, aired. The final episode of season five, Not Fade Away, first appeared on US television screens on 19 May 2004. That seems simultaneously like a very long time ago, and not very long ago at all, because time is vast and human brains are small and fallible, but it’s safe to say that in TV years, it’s a pretty long goddamned time.

The men and women behind the characters we used to spend one night a week with have gone on to other things – some bigger and better, others kind of rubbish – and unless you’re a particularly obsessive superfan, you’ve probably lost track of at least some of them. To mark the tenth anniversary of the last time Angel and co faced off against the forces of darkness, here’s a roundup of where they all are now.

(A quick warning, though: even if you’ve come completely to terms with the passage of time and your own mortality, there are a couple of extra-sad updates in this article, so prepare yourselves now…)

David Boreanaz

If there’s one Angel star you probably have more or less kept up with, it’s David Boreanaz. Because soon after Angel finished, he jumped into another TV show which is still running now. Comedy crime drama Bones isn’t a million miles away from Angel, really; it might not feature any supernatural monsters, but it has a similar detective/mystery-of-the-week vibe. As Special Agent Seeley, Boreanaz gets to keep on fighting the good fight.

As well as his TV work, Boreanaz has made a few movies, though nothing that particularly set the world on fire. He’s the baddie in The Crow: Wicked Prayer, a city boy bank robber in The Hard Easy, and, um, a sort of romantic con man in Mr Fix It.

So Hollywood may never have exactly come calling, but Boreanaz seems to be making a decent living on the small screen, and if nine series’ worth of a show say anything, it’s that he’s probably pretty comfortable there.

Charisma Carpenter

One of the few Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters to make the jump to Angel (along with Angel himself, obviously) Cordelia Chase became a fascinating, layered character over the years we got to spend with her. Charisma Carpenter could do comedy as well as pathos, and could also be brilliantly bitchy when the occasion called for it. She seems to have wanted to disassociate herself from those kinds of characters, though, turning down a role in The Faculty to avoid typecasting, but maybe that wasn’t a smart decision, since she hasn’t really done a great deal of note since Angel ended.

Carpenter has had a few recurring TV roles – on Charmed, Veronica Mars, and Greek – though none of those were quite as memorable as Cordie. A long, long string of TV movies followed, before she landed a minor role in The Expendables. A couple of terrible horror movies followed, then another TV stint on The Lying Game. She’s currently filming something called Girl In Woods, and though it’s not fair to judge a movie on its poster and IMDB description alone, it doesn’t look altogether promising.

Glenn Quinn

Here’s one of the sad stories I told you to prepare yourself for. Glenn Quinn was only in the first season of Angel, where he played the half-demon Doyle; some sources claim the character was always meant to be killed off early, while others say that Quinn’s real life drug problems meant he had to be written out.

It seems kind of poor taste to speculate about it much further, since, whatever the truth, Quinn died from a drug overdose at the tragically young age of 32. His last work was R.S.V.P., a comedy crime drama about the perfect murder.

J. August Richards

Whedon fans will probably have spotted J. August Richards recently: he’s playing Mike Peterson on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. For the sake of avoiding potential spoilers, I’ll leave that one there for now, though it seems like his character is gonna get plenty more to do in future episodes.

Between Angel and Agents, Richards appeared in various other TV shows, including CSI Miami, The Mentalist, Warehouse 13, and Arrow. He’s also played a recurring character on legal dramas Conviction and Raising The Bar.

Oddly, he’s only made one film, the crime thriller Paved With Good Intentions, but it seems like he might have had more film-related ambitions – he wrote, directed, and produced a short film, Privacy Policy, back in 2007. Still, for now it seems like he’s firmly back in the world of telly.

Alexis Denisof

The former stuffy Watcher-turned-rogue demon hunter was another one of Angel’s most interesting characters, so it’s sort of a shame Alexis Denisof hasn’t gone on to do amazing things since. After Angel finished, Denisof had a recurring role in Joss Whedon’s little-loved sci-fi show Dollhouse, and then did some guest appearances on How I Met Your Mother. He also took a role in the soccer mom comedy Little Women, Big Cars, and appeared in five episodes of the post-apocalyptic sci-fi show H+. (Seriously, has anyone seen any of these things?)

Dollhouse aside, Denisof’s best work seems to happen when he’s on a Whedon project. He was excellent in Much Ado About Nothing, the zero-budget Shakespeare adaptation filmed in Joss’s house – though for those of us who haven’t quite got over seeing him as Wesley, his real accent might’ve been a bit jarring.

Denisof had a minor role in Avengers Assemble, and has just turned up in a couple episodes of Grimm. So he’s still about, if you’re looking for him. And in real life, he married fellow Buffyverse alumni Alyson Hannigan (who also now stars in How I Met Your Mother) and they have two kids. Who will probably not be allowed to watch Buffy or Angel until they’re much, much older.

Amy Acker

Speaking of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing brings us to Amy Acker. She played the vulnerable genius Fred in Angel, but got to really flex her acting muscles in the Shakespeare play as the prickly Beatrice. If you’re a Joss Whedon fan and haven’t got round to seeing it yet, you really, really need to.

Acker’s been pretty solidly busy since Angel ended, too. She had a recurring role in Alias, appeared in a handful of episodes of Tim Minear’s doomed Drive, and popped up on an episode of Ghost Whisperer. She, too, had a recurring role on Dollhouse, though in fairness pretty much everyone was wasted on that show. She did yet more telly work on the ironically named crime show Happy Town, and in a couple episodes of superhero comedy No Ordinary Family.

She re-teamed with Joss Whedon for a minor role in The Cabin in the Woods, before finding a regular home on Person of Interest. According to the IMDB, she’s also in a handful of films currently in production.

Andy Hallett

Here’s the other sad one. Andy Hallett played the karaoke-singing demon Lorne in Angel, though you might have to squint a bit to recognise him without the vivid green makeup. After Angel, he voiced the cricket in children’s animation Geppetto’s Secret, and was beginning to pursue a music career, but a heart condition caused by a complication from a dental infection led to his early death, aged just 33. Which just doesn’t seem fair.

Julie Benz

Julie Benz was in the very first scene of the very first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and as Angel’s sire, it only made sense that she made the jump over to his show, too. Well, it sort of made sense, given that Darla got killed off in an episode of Buffy, but she was such an interesting character the writers just kept bringing her back.

After Angel, she’s done a hell of a lot of TV work: first a string of TV movies, and then an episode of Supernatural, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI Miami. She appeared in the second best Saw sequel, Saw V, and in Rambo and Punisher: War Zone before returning to the small screen for a regular role in Dexter. She also played recurring characters in Desperate Housewives, No Ordinary Family, and A Gifted Man. Most recently, she scored a regular part in the post-apocalyptic sci-fi show Defiance. With all the sci-fi and horror these actors end up doing, it’s almost like they’re being typecast or something…

Vincent Kartheiser

Here’s someone who managed to escape, though. On Angel, Vincent Kartheiser played one of the Whedonverse’s most hated characters: Angel’s son, Connor. Apparently he’s not bothered about being hated, though, because he’s currently playing another terrible, awful, infinitely punchable character in Mad Men. Pete Campbell might be one of the most horrible characters ever to appear in anything, and Kartheiser seems to take a kind of glee in making him progressively slimier and more detestable. Which is a talent, definitely, just maybe not one everyone would fancy having.

Between the two TV shows, Kartheiser made a handful of terrible films, and did some voice acting in reptile Western Rango and in detective game L.A. Noire, alongside his Mad Men co-star Aaron Staton. His latest project is an in-production movie called Red Knot, where he plays a horrible husband whose wife abandons him on their honeymoon on board an Antarctic research vessel. Let’s face it, though, Mad Men is what he’s gonna be remembered for.

Christian Kane

Remember how super-evil lawyer Lindsey sometimes played guitar in Angel? Yeah, that was all Christian Kane. He now plays in a country rock band, Kane (bet he thought long and hard about that name, right?) and has actually had some success in that scene.

Acting-wise, he’s done alright since Angel, too. He was in Friday Night Lights, and in the TV show Close to Home, before landing a regular role on crime drama Leverage – for five seasons. Since 2012, he hasn’t been in much, but he has just finished filming a movie about the Kentucky Derby, 50 to 1, alongside Skeet Ulrich.

Stephanie Romanov

Multi-lingual former models probably have lots of options open to them, career-wise, no? Weirdly, it’s hard to know much about what Stephanie Romanov, Angel’s other main evil lawyer, has been up to since the show finished.

The IMDB has just four post-Angel credits for her: The Final Cut, a sci-fi thriller starring Robin Williams; Tricks, an indie movie no-one seems to know anything about; Last Night, a relationship drama starring Keira Knightley; and Slumber Party Slaughter, a nonsensical horror movie about strippers and haunted cemetaries. Lilah, what happened?

Mercedes McNab

Mercedes McNab played another one of those Buffyverse characters that probably shouldn’t have stuck around for as long as they did, but were so much fun the writers couldn’t resist bringing them back again – and again and again. Cordelia’s former best friend, Harmony, should’ve been dead when she got bitten by a vampire at the end of Buffy’s third season, but she turned up in a later Buffy episode as a unicorn-obsessed vamp, and eventually made the jump to Angel as a receptionist for Wolfram & Hart.

McNab seemed to have a talent for comedy, but hasn’t really done much of it since Angel finished. Instead, she had minor roles in Reaper and Supernatural, and then got stuck in low budget horror movies – you might’ve seen her in Hatchet and Hatchet II, but chances are Dark Reel, XII, Thirst, Vipers, and Medium Raw: Night of the Wolf have passed you by. (That last one might be worth watching just for the title though.) Her most recent project is Glass Heels, a 2011 TV movie about strippers.

That ended on a pretty depressing note, didn’t it? Anyone up for an Angel marathon, to remember the good times?

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Disqus - noscript

Makes you want to have a whip or start a Kickstarter campaign for nostalgic reasons or simply to stop a few actors wandering around Mulholland with 'will work for food' signs.

Elisabeth Rohm (Detective Lockley) has done well for herself too.

Didn't know about Andy Hallett - sadtimes! Great article! Really good reading.
I miss Wesley...

Daniel Dae Kim has done pretty well for himself (Lost, Hawaii Five-O)

Three things.

Boreanaz is clearly actually a vampire.

Amy Acker is getting exponentially hotter as she gets older. (Which I mention from a purely subjective and scientific standpoint, so as not to contravene DoG's recently imposed policy/suggestion).

I should have ten Andy Hallet CD's full of showtunes on my shelf today. When you're done here, head to youtube and search 'Lady Marmalade Andy Hallet'. Have a listen, have a cry and raise a glass to the bloke.

Yeah, Boreanaz could realistically still be playing Angel now. And Amy Acker? YES.

Now do Buffy!

We did, in 2012! Disqus will eat my comment if I put in a link, but search for "The cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 15 years on" and you'll find it.

Wait, it ate my comment anyway? That's just rude.

Of course, Mercedes McNab's most memorable role was probably pre-Buffy/Angel, in Addams Family Values...

Naughty! Comments like that are BANNED on DoG now. Kindly refer to this week's "Can we have a chat about comments on articles?" article, specifically the sub-section "discussing the sexual attraction of the man/woman/CG animal in question"! Amy Acker would be mortified that you are objectifying her in this manner*

*with thanks to DoG member 'littletime'

ow, Andy... yeah, was at a whedon convention when that was announced. convention turned into an informal wake. Damn. miss him.

Vincent: such a good actor - he's an absolute sweetheart with an evil sense of humour in real life but enjoys playing sleazeballs and vile characters because he gets all the brilliant lines.

I also volunteer for the kickstarter to get Stephanie more work.

I know, remember hearing the news when he passed on, given he and I share the same name and almost the same age it is sobering. Great talent, sadly missed.

Vincent Kartheiser's Conor must be the best example of a character everyone hated that some how turned it around. Turns out nice well-balanced Conor who pops up in Season 5 is a delight. All it took was Angel almost selling his soul to Wolfram and Hart and a complete mind-wipe then un-wipe for Conor. Proof it can be done.

And if the fate of some of Angel's cast doesn't make you depressed enough, try googling the cast of the mighty Babylon 5, and prepare to slit your wrists... So many greats taken too soon.

Or even better get Joss Whedon to write a new Buffy/Angel TV special and get the all the members of the Scooby gang back together!

That's it - I'm going to start Angel from the beginning, it's been way too long.

Numfar! Do the Dance of Joy!

"McNab won't play, Bertie Mee won't risk him".

Amy works in Supernatural too

What's with the lack of love for Dollhouse? Granted, it wasn't as amazing as Angel, Buffy, or Firefly but the concept was unique and very cool and there were some great characters. . .except for Paul. Also H+ was a pretty entertaining dystopian view of technology dependence gone awry, and I hope there will be another season of it! If you're interested, you can watch it for free on youtube.

"She, too, had a recurring role on Dollhouse, though in fairness pretty much everyone was wasted on that show".

Harsh, extremely harsh. Perhaps unnecessarily harsh. In fact, definitely unnecessarily harsh. I've only recently watched Dollhouse, and I really don't understand its reputation as the unloved, deformed cousin of Whedon's oeuvre. Granted, it takes a little bit to get going, but once it hits its stride it provides mind-blowing twist after mind-blowing twist. It's a helluva lot bleaker than his other works too - even when you take some of Angel's more existentially challenging moments into account - and deals with some fascinating concepts, both from the hard SF end of the spectrum and in terms of identity. Some proper badass stuff in there too - Alpha, anyone (won't spoil it in case you haven't seen it)? It's all on Netflix, and the whole thing is best watched in quick succession. Amy Acker is brilliant in it as well. In fact, the whole cast is pretty much great, once they settle into their roles.

In conclusion, Dollhouse rocked and I will defend it with my very life.

I think we have to fight to the death now.

Ah, so you did. And I read it at the time. And forgot about it. Whoops!


... OK. Where? And when? And also how?

I mean, I ACCEPT.

Huh? No James Marsters? If Mercedes McNab gets a feature, why not him?

So sad about Andy Hallett.

You missed a credit for Carpenter. She hosted one season (so far) of a show called Surviving Evil on Investigation Discovery. The first show dramatized her run in with a serial killer in her pre-Hollywood days in San Diego.

Flattered. Glad somebody recognised the satire as last time it was taken as a slapdown. I hereby release my 'Naughty warning' comment into the public domain for use on DoG without having to credit me, mostly as a way of teasing DoG for its recent unbearable political correctness (kidding DoG, just kidding)!

Easy to forget what a tough industry acting is, I'd never want my kids doing it. Hopefully they all get shares of royalties.

I learned it when I read the comics "Lorne - Music of the spheres". The authors made it to honour his death by giving Lorne a heroic sacrifice in a story that's all about music.

Tim I'm disappointed, you changed your post by toning down the Amy Acker appreciation. Did DoG threaten to break your legs?

I am currently working my way through Buffy and Angel dvd box sets, watching them in chronological order whenever there is a crossover (I am about to watch the 4 episodes that feature Faith in B S4 and A S1). Anyway I was staggered to see that in the pilot of Angel, in the first scene where he is pretending to be drunk and follows 2 vamps out into the alley and dusts them, that one of those vamps is played by the dude who played Sawyer in Lost.

Great, wasnt sure if it was copyrighted and didn't want to plagurise you with no accreditation!

" ...with thanks to DoGger 'littletime'" didn't sound too great.

Funnily enough I've just finished watching all 5 seasons of Angel...

I think most people just pretended Connor didn't exist. I know I did.

Hear, hear! Again with the Dollhouse-bashing, Sarah! :-P

Good luck trying to get the crossover timings right. I did it a few years ago, and because of the shifting TV schedules, there were regularly occasions where you get two or three episodes of one show before the other. Hard to keep track...

"She, too, had a recurring role on Dollhouse, though in fairness pretty much everyone was wasted on that show."

Just hold on a gosh darn tooting minute!! Wasted?? What the hell, before I read that (and some of the comments here), I honestly thought everyone with any sense shared my opinion that Dollhouse was freaking amazing! What the hell DoG? I think you need to go back and try again - especially series 2; Dollhouse was fantastic TV - up there with the likes of POI for coming up with a new twist to the underlying concept each week.

Thanks for writing about Angel! It's one of my fav shows and I never seen enough articles about it

With Mercedes McNab it's more fun to look pre-Buffy to her small roles in the Addams Family films.

The rushed ending to S2 kinda ended it on a bad note for me, but I also loved Dollhouse.

Acker would presumably had a bigger role in it the longer it continued, but we never got to find out.

Anyway don't get too beat up about the article, they're confusing being insulting with being funny. You can only be that insulting below the line!

Marsters... main talking points include...
Torchwood, Caprica, Smallville (apparently, I also have IMDB!), Warehouse 13 and a film called Dragon Warriors coming out this year.

Oh then there was that Amber Benson film Chance, which was a cute little indie flick, but was made before he was in Angel, I think.

I sat through all of that rubbish, I'm allowed. ;)

We covered James Marsters in the feature on the cast of Buffy 15 years on, so I didn't want to repeat that (except where it was kind of necessary, e.g. David Boreanaz!).

Jeez, what's your beef with Dollhouse? That show is amazing. Sad to see it so underrated.

100% agreed!

true, but I am not relying on the tv gods known as network execs to show them to me, I am watching my own dvd's. And having seen every episode of both shows multiple times I have a reasonable idea of what is going to happen next. So I watch a few of one show until I reach a crossover point, then the other until another crossover and so on.

Amy Acker, Charisma Carpenter and James Marsters have all appeared on Supernatural, also.

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