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What Happened To The Cast Of Dollhouse?

Compared to the wildly successful Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Joss Whedon's next two major TV ventures stand out as being canceled too soon. Those unfortunate follow-ups are the much-beloved Firefly and his 2009 series, DollhouseThe sci-fi series, starring Buffy alum Eliza Dushku, may have only lasted two seasons, but Whedon crammed about 10 seasons of dramatic storytelling into its 27 episodes.

Dollhouse explores a sketchy cabal that recruits "volunteers," known as "dolls" and "actives," who give up five years of their life to the organization in exchange for a lot of cash and a clean legal slate. After taking on missions for the wealthy (including sex work, altruistic events, and being hunted as human sport), these "dolls" have their memories wiped. But things get complicated when Dushku's character, Echo, begins remembering pieces of her missions and her former life, and soon unravels a much larger conspiracy. Oh, and Whedon throws in the apocalypse, because he's Joss Whedon. 

Which Dollhouse alums went on to lead major MCU roles? Who created a nerd empire after the series' conclusion? Which actor became a Star Wars staple? The Dollhouse cast has been working hard since the show's 2010 conclusion, and we're here to dish on the specifics.

Eliza Dushku (Echo and others)

Eliza Dushku made a major impression as Faith Lehane on Buffy and Angel. A few years later, she snagged the starring role of Echo on Dollhouse. Directly following the show's demise, the actress had several guest appearances on shows like The Big Bang Theory, The Cleveland Show, and White Collar.

Doctor Who fans may have noticed her voice on Torchwood: Web of Lies, an expansion on the fourth season of Torchwood, where she voiced Holly Mokri. Dushku also teamed up with fellow Buffy and Dollhouse alum Felicia Day to play herself in Day's web series, The Guild. In one of her scenes, Dushku chats with Dollhouse co-star, Dichen Lachman, at a celebrity party Day's guild crashes. Dushku then made an especially fun appearance on the Princess Rap Battle web series. She played Rapunzel alongside Buffy alum Tom Lenk as Flynn, as they faced off against Frozen's Anna and Kristoff. 

In 2019, Dushku explained to Time that she wasn't necessarily quitting acting, but wanted to go back to school and start a family. Accordingly, the late '10s saw a slowdown in Dushku's work. The actress also went through a hard time following her contributions to the #MeToo movement, but she made it clear to Time that stepping away from acting was her choice and not a result of getting driven from the industry. We'll see the actress on screen again if and when she chooses.

Harry Lennix (Boyd Langton)

On Dollhouse, Harry Lennix portrayed the lovably loyal Boyd Langton, bodyguard to Dushku's Echo and one of few characters with just one personality throughout the show. Lennix has been busy since the show's cancelation, appearing in recurring guest roles on shows like Emily Owens M.D., Billions, and The Blacklist. Lennix also made a splash in the DC Extended Universe as General Swanwick in Man of Steel. The actor later reprised the role in the 2016 sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It was later revealed that Swanwick is, in fact, J'onn J'onzz, better known as DC Comics' shape-shifting Martian Manhunter. 

Toggling between film and TV, Lennix starred alongside Torrey DeVitto in Evidence, fellow Whedonite Gina Torres in Mr. Sophistication, and The Mandalorian's Giancarlo Esposito and Rosario Dawson in They Die By Dawn. In 2020, he worked with Torres again in Troubled Waters, in which he starred as comedian Ron Waters

Fran Kranz (Topher Brink)

Everyone loves a morally ambiguous nerd who's willing to do some pretty shady things for science, right? Fran Kranz's Topher Brink is one of the most complex single-personality characters on the show. While he basically flips a coin on doing the right or wrong thing, he's not a wholly bad person — a tension Kranz expertly plays up.

In the two years following the end of Dollhouse, Kranz scored not one, but two major roles in Whedon projects. In the satirically brilliant horror film Cabin in the Woods, Kranz traded his evil genius Dollhouse status for a bong and a "can't do" attitude in the role of Marty. After that, he got down and dirty with the Bard, playing Claudio in Whedon's film adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, which features multiple Dollhouse alums.

The actor also starred in films like Don't Fade Away, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, and Before I Disappear, alongside talents like Emmy Rossum, Paul Wesley, and Ron Perlman. Kranz didn't totally leave TV behind, though: He also scored roles in series such as Dallas, Elementary, and Homecoming.

Tahmoh Penikett (Paul Ballard)

Dollhouse's Detective Paul Ballard just doesn't quit, and neither does his actor, Tahmoh Penikett. Penikett has gone on to lead a vibrant TV career since the sci-fi series ended, appearing on shows like Mortal Kombat: LegacyHavenFairly LegalCastle, and Bomb Girls. Beyond TV, Penikett played Jed Eubanks in Zach Snyder's Man of Steel

Penikett made his mark on the CW with guest roles on ArrowMatt Lanter's Star-CrossedReign, and Beauty and the Beast. Notably, he scored a considerable stint on Supernatural as the unanimously hated angel, Gadreel. Penikett also appeared as a multi-episode guest star on ContinuumStrange EmpireTaken, and Deep Six. The actor met up with Dollhouse co-star Alan Tudyk for his spoofy nerd series, Con Man, in 2016, and Dichen Lachman for two Altered Carbon episodes in 2018. One year later, Penikett appeared in two episodes of BH90210, despite not having been in the original series.  

Enver Gjokaj (Victor and others)

After California native Enver Gjokaj donned a Russian accent for Victor, one of his many characters on Dollhouse, he went on to have a thriving career in TV and film. Following Dollhouse, Gjokaj appeared on TV shows including Lie to Me, Community, and Person of Interest. The actor even appeared in Joss Whedon's The Avengers as an unnamed "Young Cop."

From there, he scored recurring roles on Dexter, Vegas, Witches of East End, and Rizzoli & Isles. He teamed up with former Dollhouse co-star Dichen Lachman for the 2014 film Lust for Love. When he starred as the lovable Agent Sousa on Marvel's Peggy Carter spinoff, Agent Carter, however, he truly struck gold. MCU fans couldn't get enough of him and his low-key charm. Many mourned when Sousa met his end in the course of duty, but if Captain America's taught us anything, it's the ease with which comic book storylines can pull beloved characters from the past. Jed Whedon (Joss' brother) and Dollhouse alum Maurissa Tancharoen brought Agent Sousa back from the dead for the final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D in 2020. As ABC canceled his series Emergence after just one season that same year, this was a nice bright spot in a challenging time.

Dichen Lachman (Sierra and others)

Chances are, you've probably seen Dichen Lachman since her stint as Sierra on Dollhouse. In the wake of the series' cancelation, Lachman has been hard at work on almost every show you could possibly think of. Her guest credits include roles on NCIS: Los AngelesHawaii Five-0, and Torchwood, along with multi-episode arcs as Suren on Being Human and Tani in Last Resort. The actress first appeared as Jiaying on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. during the season two Peggy Carter-centric episode, "The Things We Bury." She carried on the role for a few episodes, and later returned for two additional episodes during the show's final season. 

In 2014, Lachman scored recurring roles on The 100 and Shameless, later appearing as Roulette on Supergirl in 2016. That's right: She's toeing the line between DC and Marvel. Digging her heels into sci-fi ground again, Lachman starred in Anthony Mackie's seriesAltered Carbon, playing Reileen Kawahara until the series' 2020 cancelation. Luckily, she has a recurring role on the series Animal Kingdom to keep her busy. 2020 saw the actress star alongside Alicia Silverstone, Aisha Tyler, and Rob Corddry in the film Bad Therapy. Lachman also snagged a role in the Chris Pratt-led Jurassic World: Dominion

Amy Acker (Dr. Claire Saunders and others)

Having blown Joss Whedon away with her performance as Winifred Burkle on Angel, Amy Acker furthered her sterling reputation by expertly carrying out one of the biggest plot twists on Dollhouse as Dr. Claire Saunders. But that wasn't the last we'd see of her in the Whedonverse. 

Before her next Whedon adventure, she had recurring roles on Happy Town and No Ordinary Family before joining Clueless' Jeremy Sisto and Supernatural's Courtney Ford in the 2011 movie musical Sironia. She dusted off her Santa hat that same year, appearing in the TV movie Dear Santa. Acker soon reemerged in the Whedon fold alongside Kranz in Cabin in the Woods, where she played yet another doctor embroiled in a sketchy transgression of sci-fi (and horror) ethics.

2012 proved to be a busy year for the actress, who appeared on GrimmOnce Upon a Time, and teamed up with Joss Whedon, Kranz, and Angel co-star Alexis Denisof as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. That same year, she scored what would become a 65-episode arc on Person of Interest. Who knew her stint on Dollhouse would become so useful? As in that sci-fi drama, the actress played multiple characters on Person of Interest as well. Like many of her fellow Dollhouse alums, she also appeared in an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before winning larger roles in The Gifted, Suits, and Alan Tudyk's Con Man

Reed Diamond (Laurence Dominic)

Reed Diamond is an expert at playing the no-nonsense good guy in a suit, or the no-nonsense bad guy in a suit. Either way, he's known for coming to a TV series for a handful of episodes to shake things up. (He dies a lot.) In Dollhouse, he veered more toward the "bad guy" persona, with his character Laurence Dominic giving little care to the actives in his charge. Directly following his stint as Laurence, Diamond took on the equally shady buttoned-up character Jason Pillar in 24. From there, he joined Dollhouse co-stars Franz, Lachman, and Acker in Much Ado About Nothing, where he played — you guessed it — a suited-up Don Pedro. Why mess with something that works? 

Lending his charisma to a slew of procedural dramas, Diamond had multi-episode stints on BonesThe MentalistFranklin & BashWayward PinesMinority Report, and Underground. He even had a 2014 arc on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Daniel Whitehall. The actor then reunited with 24 star Kiefer Sutherland for three seasons of his show, Designated Survivor. Veering slightly away from his usual roles, Diamond landed a six-episode arc on The Purge before taking on the role of Hansen Foundry, the new Dean of Discipline in season four of 13 Reasons Why. We are pleased to report that despite the genre differences, Diamond still wore baller suits in both shows. 

Alan Tudyk (Alpha/Stephen Kepler)

Since playing the villainous Alpha, Alan Tudyk has packed his resume chock-full of widely varied roles. Following his portrayal of Dutch in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Tudyk went on to voice Simone in Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked and lent his voice to Oliver Queen in Young Justice. In 2011, he starred alongside Jeremy Sisto in Suburgatory for 47 episodes, before voicing Alistair Krei in Big Hero 6. He later landed the role of Blondie in The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.

Further cementing himself as an incredible voice actor, Tudyk voiced the Duke of Weselton in Frozen and Duke Weaselton, whose name is indeed a reference to the previous character, in Zootopia. The Disney train didn't stop there: Tudyk voiced the beloved Rogue One droid, K-2SO, giving mainstays like C-3P0 a run for their money. Honoring his place in fandom, Tudyk even created his own satirical convention-centric show, Con Man.

In 2017, Tudyk lent his voice to Dangerboat on the Prime Video series The Tick, before making his way to Netflix's Drew Barrymore-led zombie series, Santa Clarita Diet. 2019 was an incredible year for the actor, who voiced Iago in the live-action Aladdin, multiple characters in Frozen II, and won the role of Mr. Nobody in Doom Patrol. From there, he focused primarily on voice acting in shows like Rick and Morty, Harley Quinn, Robot Chicken, and American Dad, even voicing the Devil himself in 2021's The Devil May Care.

Mark Sheppard (Tanaka)

While Mark Sheppard only appeared as Tanaka in three Dollhouse episodes, the dynamic British actor makes an impression in any role he takes on, big or small. After his departure from Dollhouse, he continued his recurring roles on Leverage, White Collar, and Warehouse 13. He snagged one of his most notable roles as Crowley on Supernatural in 2009. There, he played a mercurial crossroads demon who toggles between homicidal tendencies, surprising bouts of morality, ancient witch mommy issues, and a grudge against Satan (which is all too relatable). Sheppard appeared on 70 episodes of the show, making Crowley one of few characters on the series who last so long, before he departed Supernatural on his own terms in 2017.

Following a two-episode stint on Chuck, Sheppard scored the culturally significant role of Canton Delaware III on Doctor Who. Delaware is an FBI agent ousted from the Bureau for being engaged to a Black man in 1969. In 2013, the actor played Ackley in the film Sons of Liberty. The film hones in on a special ops team tasked with finding and stopping the detonation of a miniature atomic bomb by a group of radicals. From there, he appeared on White Collar, Warehouse 13, and Doom Patrol.

Maurissa Tancharoen (Kilo)

While Maurissa Tancharoen is more of a writer and producer than an actress, she's appeared in Easter egg cameo roles in many of her projects. This includes Dollhouse, where she played Kilo for three episodes. 

Tancharoen married Joss Whedon's brother Jed Whedon in 2009, the same year Dollhouse debuted. Prior to that, she lent her writing talents to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, where she popped on her acting cap to play a groupie. She even had a cameo as Alina in Felicia Day's mini-series The Guild, and its subsequent music video, "Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?" In 2012, she performed a background role in Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing.

After Dollhouse, she offered her writing chops to Spartacus: Gods of the Arena for the episode "Missio." Her biggest break came in 2013, when she co-created the series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. alongside her husband. Along with her duties as co-creator, she wrote 17 episodes of the series, which spanned 136 episodes over nine seasons, ending in 2020. She didn't appear on the long-running Marvel series until 2019, when she played Sequoia.

Felicia Day (Mag)

Felicia Day got her big break on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where she played slayerette Vi during the show's final season. Day went on to star in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Though Day only appeared in two episodes of Dollhouse, her character Mag helps jumpstart the post-apocalyptic aspect of the series. 

Day went on to win recurring roles on shows like The Legend of NeilDragon Age: Redemption, and Eureka. Cementing her status as a go-to Hollywood nerd, Day scored a guest role on the season seven Supernatural episode, "The Girl With the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo." While her character, hacker extraordinaire Charlie Bradbury, is only in 11 episodes, she makes a mark as a thoughtful LGBTQ+ character. After voicing Betty on the animated series Adventure Time in 2017, the actress went on to play Poppy on The Magicians and voiced Mary Jane on the 2019 animated Spider-Man series.

Acting isn't Day's only passion. As a big gamer, tabletop aficionado, writer, and producer, she was the perfect person to start the nerdy production company Geek and Sundry with Sheri Bryant in 2012. There, she produced YouTube and Twitch content, like her mini-series The Guild (which she began in 2007), and a retro gaming YouTube series with her brother Ryon Day called Co-Optitude. She left the company in 2016, and has since contributed to nerd culture in other ways, like her 2019 book, Embrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash Creativity.