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What The Cast Of 3rd Rock From The Sun Is Doing Today

It might have been off the air for years at this point in time, but 3rd Rock from the Sun was a high quality sitcom that delighted fans for six seasons. If you're fuzzy on the premise here's a refresher: It follows a crew of aliens who land on Earth to study human behavior. They disguise themselves as a normal family unit living in a Cleveland apartment, and attempt to blend in with humanity. Naturally, they're terrible at this, leading to all kinds of humorous situations.

As with any good sitcom, 3rd Rock from the Sun's success can be credited to its excellent cast. Anchored by the versatile, award-winning John Lithgow, it also features Kristen Johnston, French Stewart, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, among other talented performers. 3rd Rock from the Sun also boasts some seriously impressive 1990s fashion, so nostalgia-hounds should definitely give it a look.

3rd Rock ran from 1996 to 2001, and many of its actors have moved on to bigger (and sometimes surprising) things. Here's a look at what all the regulars from the series are doing today.

John Lithgow: Dick Solomon

John Lithgow is an extraordinarily versatile actor. He can do broad, mainstream comedy, as his time on 3rd Rock from the Sun as Dr. Dick Solomon, leader of the extraterrestrial research team studying the planet, demonstrates. He can pull off intense, menacing villainy, as his Golden Globe-winning performance on Dexter showcases. And he can easily move between the two — you never quite know what you're getting from a Lithgow character, other than an impressive performance.

Lithgow continues to keep up a busy working schedule, though he seems to have leaned more into dramatic roles recently, rather than comedic ones. Lithgow has added to two impressive television ensembles in his recent work: You can catch him as Winston Churchill on The Crown, and on HBO's Perry Mason as Elias Birchard Jonathan. Lithgow has also been part of several major films in recent memory. He helped anchor the 2019 remake of Pet Sematary, and also played an unnerving and totally convincing Roger Ailes in Bombshell.

Kristen Johnston: Sally Solomon

Kristen Johnston was a massive star in the late 1990s: She had major roles in films like Austin Powers and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, in addition to her lead role on 3rd Rock from the Sun. She played Sally, the research expedition's security officer.

Through the years, Johnston has continued to appear in movies and on television. She starred in another sitcom about a decade after 3rd Rock ended called The Exes, which also starred 3rd Rock castmate and series love interest Wayne Knight. She has also made extended guest appearances on series like ER, Kim Possible, and Ugly Betty.

Johnston still appears in the occasional film: Some of her recent work includes Small Town Wisconsin, The Wedding Year, and For the Love of George. Her biggest, most recent success comes from the sitcom Mom. Johnston first appeared on Mom as Tammy in season five, and has been featured in about 40 episodes since her debut.

French Stewart: Harry Solomon

When a sitcom features a group of aliens trying to fit in on another world, it's certainly something to stand out as "the weird one." That's exactly the case for Harry on 3rd Rock from the Sun, played by French Stewart. He's eventually given the title of communications officer, only because he has a transmitter jammed in his head. This often involves Harry dropping to a knee, holding his arms up, and shouting a message coming in from the team's home planet.

Over the years since 3rd Rock ended, French Stewart has had guest appearances on tons of different television shows, though he hasn't gotten too many recurring roles. He does have a recurring spot as Rudy on the sitcom Mom, alongside his 3rd Rock costar Kristen Johnston. Stewart also has some recent film roles to his name, including parts in Like Magic, Never Too Late, and the star-studded A Fall From Grace. Fun fact: French is a family name that goes back generations.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Tommy Solomon

All four of the leads on 3rd Rock from the Sun were well established actors when they were cast, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Even though he was only 15 when the show debuted, he had been an extremely successful child actor for years, with starring roles in productions like Angels in the Outfield. On 3rd Rock, Gordon-Levitt played the team's information officer, ironically the oldest and most savvy of the foursome.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has continued to find success in both films and television in the years since 3rd Rock from the Sun went off the air. He's worked twice with Christopher Nolan, starring in Inception and scoring a supporting role in The Dark Knight Rises. He directed the 2013 feature film Don Jon and started an artist collaboration series called HitRECord on TV. Recently, he starred in the Netflix film Project Power alongside Jamie Foxx. Of all the actors on 3rd Rock from the Sun, Gordon-Levitt seems like the one whose career was most bolstered by the series.

Jane Curtin: Mary Albright

3rd Rock from the Sun is part of a long tradition of  "aliens terribly disguised as people" comedy. One of its most prominent predecessors is Coneheads. Jane Curtin is a particularly fun casting choice in that regard: She helped bring the Coneheads to life in the SNL skits and the film, then turned it around by playing the straight man character, Mary Albright, on 3rd Rock. Her deadpan reactions to the weirdness of the Solomon "family" are still hilarious.

Curtin has utilized her comedic talents repeatedly over the course of her long career, but she is much more than just a comic actor. She's had roles in dramatic television series like United We Fall, Unforgettable, and Crumbs, and does great work in one-off appearances, like her appearance in a 2017 episode of Broad City. Curtin has also found plenty of success in film. She had a supporting role in the Oscar-nominated Can You Ever Forgive Me, and appeared in The Heat and The Spy Who Dumped Me.

Simbi Kali: Nina

Simbi Kali played Nina, a coworker of Mary's. Nina often serves as a bit of a Swiss Army knife on the show, and is distinguished by her sardonic sense of humor. Kali is a talented enough actress that you believe her motivations in nearly every episode, no matter what outlandish task she's completing.

Kali got started with a guest appearance on The Sinbad Show, and landed a small, recurring role not long after on Martin. She has appeared in small roles on a variety of shows over the years, including Weeds and The Bernie Mac Show. She has also appeared in a handful of films. Kali has also done a lot of voice work, especially in the world of video games. You can hear her in Guild Wars: Nightfall, The Incredible Hulk and, most recently, Detroit: Become Human. Kali's most recent on-screen appearance came in a 2017 episode of Better Things.

Elmarie Wendel: Mrs. Dubcek

Elmarie Wendel, who played the Solomons' landlady Mamie Dubcek, had a long and storied career well before joining the cast of 3rd Rock from the Sun. She started acting on screen fairly late, all things considered — other than a 1961 short film, her first credit came on a 1982 episode of Crisis Counselor, when she was already over 50. Prior to that, she had been a successful Broadway actress, including a part in a touring production of Annie.

After 3rd Rock from the Sun came to a close in 2001, Wendel had a few recurring guest roles on other television series like George Lopez, NYPD Blue, and General Hospital. She also utilized her distinct voice in video games and animation: You can hear her in 2012's The Lorax as Aunt Grizelda, and she also voiced characters in Fallout 4 and Fallout 76.

Wendel passed away in 2018 at the age of 89. She is remembered by several of her 3rd Rock costars as funny, kind, and sweet.

Wayne Knight: Officer Don Orville

You probably know him as Newman from Seinfeld, or the "You didn't say the magic word!" guy from Jurassic Park, but Wayne Knight also had a regular role on 3rd Rock from the Sun. He played Don Orville, the bumbling police officer who frequently deals with the Solomons and serves as a love interest for Sally.

Knight will probably be remembered best as Newman, but his career is actually remarkably wide-ranging. He regularly does voice work in high-profile productions like The Legend of the Three Caballeros, Kung Fu Panda, Harley Quinn, and Madagascar. He also does plenty of dramatic work, like his supporting role in The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.

As his voice work indicates, Knight is still mostly known for comedy, or at least comic relief characters. His last recurring sitcom role came on The Exes, which reunited him with Kristen Johnston from 3rd Rock. He also had a small but memorable role in the Coen brothers' film Hail, Caesar!

Ian Lithgow: Leon

Remember that recurring student in Dick's class, who bears an uncanny resemblance to his teacher? That's because that character, Leon, was played by John Lithgow's son, Ian Lithgow. 3rd Rock from the Sun wasn't the only time the two worked together, either.

After 3rd Rock ended, Ian Lithgow didn't take on many acting roles for a long while. That's because he was going to school: Lithgow studied clinical psychology and is a practicing psychologist in New York. The allure of acting still brings Ian back in front of the camera on occasion. Starting in 2014, he began appearing on television again, as well as a few minor roles in small films. You may have caught him on shows like Girls, Bull, or The Blacklist. He also appeared on an episode of Perry Mason as Byron Jonathan– a series that his father, John Lithgow, has a recurring role on.

David DeLuise: Bug

David DeLuise went on to much bigger success after 3rd Rock from the Sun came to an end. His recurring role as Bug, a student in Dick's class, is substantial, but not massive. However, younger audiences (or those with kids) probably know him as Jerry Russo from The Wizards of Waverly Place. Yes, DeLuise played the patriarch of the popular Disney Channel series' Russo family, who runs a sandwich shop and also wields magical powers. He's made quite a few family-friendly turns since then as well. DeLuise has appeared in several of the Pup Star films, which are part of the Air Bud franchise. He's also appeared in a few Christmas movies as part of that series. More recently, it seems like DeLuise might be dipping his toes back into more adult fare. He appeared on a 2019 episode of NCIS, as well as an episode of Shameless the same year.

Danielle Nicolet: Caryn

Danielle Nicolet played Caryn on 3rd Rock from the Sun, one of Dick's students. She is part of about three dozen episodes, and is most prominently featured in storylines that focus on Dick's class. Nicolet has shown quite a bit of range in her career, and continues to land successful roles in major films and series.

Nicolet's biggest role probably came in 2016, when she appeared with Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson in Central Intelligence. Nicolet has found a lot of success on television: She's had recurring roles on series like Second Time Around, The Starter Wife, Heartland, and Born Again Virgin. Recently, she landed an ongoing role as Cecile Horton on The Flash.

Nicolet has also done quite a bit of voice work. She has played Storm in several Marvel productions, voiced a few characters in the English dub of Naruto: Shippuden, and has appeared in video games like Mortal Kombat X.