What The Cast Of Girlfriends Is Doing Today

The worst part about falling in love with a television show is having to abruptly say goodbye when it is canceled. Not having a proper finale not only leaves you heartbroken, but it can also leave you on a major cliffhanger. No sitcom cancellation was as heartbreaking as when "Girlfriends" abruptly went off the air in 2008. The CW sitcom centered on a friendship group of four Black women as they navigated their careers and relationships. 

When the show originally aired in 2000, the cast was virtually unknown. However, as "Girlfriends" grew in popularity, the cast quickly made a name for themselves with their iconic, relatable characters. Years after the cancellation, fans have pleaded with the show's writers for a reboot or a movie to conclude the storylines of Joan (Tracee Ellis Ross), Maya (Golden Brooks), Lynn (Persia White), and Toni (Jill Marie Jones). Each member of the main cast has publicly stated that she would happily sign on for a reboot as a gift to their fans.

In September 2020, all eight seasons of "Girlfriends" were made available to stream on Netflix. Longtime fans of the series rejoiced, while a new audience discovered the brilliance of the series. Twenty-three years later, the show is as relevant as ever. As viewers, we certainly miss the cast of "Girlfriends," and many of us are wondering what they're up to today (as well as when their schedules might be free for their long-awaited reboot). Let's take a look at their current lives.

Tracee Ellis Ross landed another big sitcom

Though Tracee Ellis Ross comes from a famous family (her mother is music icon Diana Ross), she made her name for herself with her portrayal of Joan Clayton on "Girlfriends." The show's fans rooted for Joan to find the Prince Charming she was desperately searching for. Despite her success with the series, calls weren't coming in after it was canceled in 2008. "When Girlfriends ended, I thought the pearly gates of Hollywood were going to open," she told The Atlantic. "They did not." In fact, it wasn't until 2014 that Ross returned to a hit television show. 

ABC's "Black-ish" was not only a successful sitcom to follow up "Girlfriends" with, but it also earned her an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe win. The success of "Black-ish" helped spawn "Mixed-ish," a spin-off centered around her character. "Black-ish" ran for an impressive eight seasons and ended in 2022. 

The past couple of years have included plenty of big moves for Ross. In 2019, she launched Pattern Beauty, her own hair care line for curly and textured hair. It was a long time coming for Ross, who wrote her first hair care pitch in 2008 after "Girlfriends" ended. That following year, Ross starred in her first leading film role opposite Dakota Johnson in "The High Note." In 2023, Ross received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Spelman College. "Make space for yourself, for your whole self," she told the graduates in her speech.

Golden Brooks is now on Disney

On "Girlfriends," Golden Brooks played the outspoken Maya Wilkes. Brooks brilliantly showed off her acting chops with her comedic timing and emotional range while also handling more serious storylines. However, when the show was canceled in 2008, Brooks put her career on pause. In 2009, she welcomed a baby girl and that she took a year and a half off from acting to raise her. After she returned, Brooks continued to book guest roles on shows like "CSI: Miami," and a recurring role in "Hart of Dixie." In 2019, she landed a role on the TNT limited series "I Am the Night," co-directed by Patty Jenkins. "You just have to keep working," Brooks told Entertainment Tonight when asked about the difficulty of landing roles. "I get told 'no' all the time, but one 'yes' from Patty Jenkins — and that's a big yes — I think that 'yes' is going to springboard to other yeses." 

In 2023, Brooks landed a major role in the Disney Channel show "Saturdays," on which "Black-ish" star Marsai Martin serves as co-executive producer. In the series, Brooks plays the mother of skater enthusiast Paris Johnson. Landing a spot on a Disney Channel show gave Brooks bragging rights to her own daughter. "She won't care about me, but she will care about 'Oh my gosh, look at Danielle. Did you see Paris' hair?'" Brooks told UPI. "This is going to be great for young girls."

Persia White has ventured into music

On "Girlfriends," Persia White played the musically inclined, free-spirited Lynn Ann Searcy. Lynn struggled to hold down a stable job, but in real life, White has done plenty of work since the show was canceled. In 2009, the actress and singer released her debut album, Mecca, which included two songs featured on "Girlfriends." Her next big role came in 2012 on Season 3 of "Vampire Diaries," on which she played Abby Bennett Wilson. While filming, White met her co-star Joseph Morgan, and the two soon fell in love. In July 2014, they tied the knot in Jamaica. "It had a very rustic feel to it," the actress told People. "There was nothing about it that was overwhelming or very huge or fabulous in that way. We tried to keep everything really intimate and beautiful and sort of going along with nature."

In 2019, White reunited with the "Girlfriends" cast on a special episode of "Black-ish." The reunion was something fans had been waiting for. "So many people approach us all the time, going, 'Are you guys going to do something together? I don't feel represented, like, I wanna see us on TV,'" White said in an ABC interview. "There's a need for it." In August 2023, the actress and singer released her second album, "Love Letters." Speaking to Essence, White described the album as deeply personal and recalled crying in the studio while recording it.

Jill Marie Jones is still acting

While playing Toni Childs on "Girlfriends," Jill Marie Jones quickly became a fan favorite for her impeccable style and witty one-liners. Unfortunately, at the end of Season 6, Jones quietly departed the show and left many fans confused. At the time, rumors circulated about her abrupt exit, with many believing it was a dispute over money or a feud with her co-stars. 

However, Jones has since revealed that she left "Girlfriends" because her contract was up and she wanted to pursue movies — which was something she was unable to do while on a network series. "I've never made a decision based on money," she told Essence in 2008. "I was on the show for six years and I think that's a good run. There's so much more I want to do in my career and so much more I want to know and learn, but my departure definitely had nothing to do with money." 

In 2019, when the cast sat down for an interview with Charlamagne Tha God, Jones' co-stars revealed that they had no hard feelings about her departure from the show despite not having known about it ahead of time. Jones explained that she didn't regret leaving but regretted not speaking to them about it. In 2018, the actress starred on three seasons of "Monogamy," which premiered on UMC. In 2023, Jones played a guest-starring role on the hit Showtime series, "The Chi."

Reggie Hayes struggled financially for a while

On "Girlfriends" the all-female friend group had one leading man — William Dent. William was the hilarious honorary girlfriend whom the ladies confided in. Reggie Hayes brilliantly portrayed the character for eight seasons. During the height of the show's popularity, Hayes was approached for a spin-off due to the audience's love for William. 

"I was getting a lot of winks and nods about [a spin-off], and it just didn't work out," Hayes told The Chicago Tribune. Despite showcasing his comedic talent, Hayes struggled to land roles after the show's cancellation. He struggled financially and was forced to downsize his life completely. "Those were pretty awful years. I made it work with my little residual checks for a year and then I ended up moving into my sister's garage for six years," the actor said. After struggling to get by, Hayes sought out regular day jobs. "I tried being a bouncer for a while, and everyone in the club wanted their picture taken with me," Hayes said.

In 2020, after the show became available to stream on Netflix, Hayes spoke openly about living with congestive heart failure. "We're still not sure what's going on, I gotta take more tests," he said shortly after going to the hospital. "But I have congestive heart failure and it was difficult to breathe." It has not been all bad for the "Girlfriends" star. In 2022, he made a guest appearance for two episodes on the hit sitcom, "Abbott Elementary."

Keesha Sharp has continued to land big roles

Keesha Sharp made her grand entrance on "Girlfriends" in Season 3. Sharp portrayed the strong-willed addition to the friend group who marries the lovable William Dent. Since the show's cancellation in 2008, Sharp has made a name for herself snagging television and film roles. In 2016, she played Dale Cochran, the wife of defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, in the Emmy-nominated "The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story." A year later, Sharp played alongside Chadwick Boseman in the film "Marshall," earning her an NAACP Image Award nomination. 

After "Girlfriends," her longest recurring role was on Fox's "Lethal Weapon." Sharp played Trish Murtaugh, the wife of co-star Damon Wayans' character. Sharp replaced her "Girlfriends" co-star Golden Brooks in the role. The actress has continued to book guest roles on successful television shows. Her most recent role is Professor Harper Bonet on the third season of "Power Book II: Ghost," produced by rapper 50 Cent

As talk of a "Girlfriends" reboot continues to buzz, Sharp made it known that she's down to return as Monica. "I would love it! Look at all the shows that are coming back and they're doing well," Sharp told Entertainment Tonight in 2018. "I don't know if we could do [a full series] but at least a movie like 'Sex and the City.' Why can't we do that? That would be fun! I would love to see where these characters ended up and where they are now."

Khalil Kain has produced his own play

Before joining "Girlfriends" as Darnell, Khalil Kain played memorable roles in movies and television shows. Kain acted alongside rapper Tupac Shakur in the 1992 cult-classic film "Juice." Kain also appeared on successful shows like "Living Single" and "Moesha." He even played a young Tiger Woods in "The Tiger Woods Story." However as fate would have it, Kain would later book his "Girlfriends" role after his "Juice" co-star Flex Alexander left the show. Kain took over the role of Darnell in Season 2, and the rest was history. 

Since the show's cancellation, Kain has continued to work as an actor and evolve as a writer. In 2022, he penned and produced the play "Lambs to Slaughter," which tackled the issue of gun violence. The play infused music and spoken-word poetry to convey how it can traumatize an entire family. "As a father, I know the vulnerability of us as a people and of our family structure," Kain explained, according to Enspire Magazine. "Every time you send your kid into the street, you worry how vulnerable they are." He released an album in 2019 with the same title. 

Working on "Lambs to Slaughter" helped Kain heal from the pain of losing loved ones to gun violence. "I know for a fact doing this work and getting this play out into the world, I'm walking around healthier," he said in a Negro Ensemble Company discussion. "It's been very much an exorcism for me."