Whatever Happened To The Cast Of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman?

"Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" was just what viewers wanted: sweeping shots of bucolic 1860s life in a small Western town, handsome and burly men, orphaned children, a powerful female lead, and of course, lots and lots of drama. Jane Seymour plays Dr. Michaela "Mike" Quinn on the program, a doctor from Boston who moves to a tiny town in Colorado to start her own medical practice. She falls in love with a rustic mountain man, adopts three orphaned children, and goes on to save the town in many ways. 


The primetime drama was the last successful Western on broadcast TV, airing from 1993 to 1998, according to Entertainment Weekly. And successful it was, with four Primetime Emmy wins, six Emmy nominations, and 20 other wins from Western Heritage Awards to Family Film Awards. Many would credit the show's immense success — and subsequent cult status — to its incredible cast. But where is that cast now? Where did they go after they left Colorado Springs? 

Jane Seymour is still a Hollywood icon

Jane Seymour played Dr. "Mike" Michaela Quinn, the ambitious protagonist of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." Throughout the series, Michaela deals with gender biases, patients in crisis, and the harsh living conditions of the Wild West. In real life, Seymour faced her own harrowing struggles before joining the series. The actor revealed on NPR's "All Things Considered" that she was bankrupt and in desperate need of work. "I called my agent and I said, 'I will do anything. Please tell the networks,'" Seymour recalled. A short time later, she received the script for "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman."


Despite the lucky break, Seymour didn't immediately see potential in "Dr. Quinn." Namely, she didn't think viewers would be interested in a Western series with a female protagonist. But as we know, "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" was indeed a massive success. Looking back on the show that revived her career, Seymour said, "One of the proudest things I've done is 'Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.' It was such a remarkable series."

But what's Dr. Quinn up to these days? The short answer: a lot. Jane Seymour has continued to dominate the entertainment industry with appearances in "Smallville," "Jane the Virgin," and "The Kominsky Method," in addition to numerous film roles. "I've been offered more work than I've ever been," she told The Guardian in 2022. Seymour became a leading lady again in 2022 when she was cast as the titular character in the quirky detective series "Harry Wild."


Joe Lando got a new look and expanded his acting resume

When Joe Lando appeared in the pilot episode of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," he became an instant heartthrob. Lando played Sully, the tomahawk-throwing hunk who falls in love with Dr. Quinn. Lando's rugged appearance and luscious hair made him a perfect fit for the role of Sully. "He's real. He's not the typical star jerk with any kind of pomp and ego trip," Beth Sullivan, creator of the series, said about the character in a 1993 interview with the Los Angeles Times.


After the series ended, Lando cut his legendary locks. The dramatic hair transformation allowed him to play a broader range of characters. "People wanted me to cut my hair while I was working on the show to do other things but I'd always have to get around it since, first and foremost, I was obligated to 'Dr. Quinn,'" Lando told Chicago Parent. "So I always had to find a way to fit the hair into the story. You can't play a banker and have long hair and have it work."

Since his "Dr. Quinn" days, Lando has enjoyed an eclectic entertainment career that includes several made-for-TV movies, soap operas, and horror films. He also maintains a close relationship with his former castmates. In 2021, the actor reunited with Jane Seymour and William Shockley to celebrate his 60th birthday. Furthermore, Lando and Seymour rekindled their on-screen chemistry in 2022 when they co-starred in "A Christmas Spark."


Chad Allen quit acting to become a clinical psychologist

Chad Allen played Matthew Cooper on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," the eldest of the three children that Dr. Quinn adopts after their mother is killed by a venomous snake. Allen did well in the Western drama, gathering a few awards and several nominations. What fans probably remember most, however, was in 1996 when the young actor was publicly outed as gay by a tabloid. But photos of Allen kissing another man didn't slow him down and he continued to work as an openly gay actor for almost 15 years. 


These days, however, Allen gave up a life in entertainment to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist. As he told fans in a YouTube video, Allen hoped the career change would help him "affect the world in a slightly different way." Despite the shift, Allen is still thankful for his time on screen, including "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." "It's been an incredible journey ... working on the incredible shows that I've been able to work on over the years," he gushed. 'I'm incredibly grateful and always will be."

Jessica Bowman hasn't acted since 2011

Jessica Bowman wasn't the first actor to play Colleen Cooper in "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." The role was originally held by Erika Flores, who played Colleen in Season 1 and 2 and then left the show in the middle of Season 3. While there are many rumors as to why Flores left "Dr. Quinn" — she wasn't getting enough money, her dad didn't want her to act, etc. — none were ever substantiated, per Distractify. No matter the reason for Flores' departure, it made room for Bowman to bring new life to Dr. Quinn's adopted daughter.


Bowman played Colleen Cooper for three seasons and 88 episodes of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." Since then, she's been in a few movies like "Young Hearts Unlimited," "Lethal Vows," and "Joy Ride." She even had an uncredited appearance in the comedy "50 First Dates" starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. However, Bowman seems to have since chosen a more quiet, private life as she hasn't collected any acting credits since 2011.

Georgann Johnson died in 2018

Georgann Johnson played Elizabeth Quinn, the proper East Coast mother of Dr. Mike Quinn, on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." The veteran performer brought her impressive acting chops to eight episodes of the Western drama between 1993 and 1997. Sadly, Johnson died at the age of 91 in 2018, according to an obituary her family published in the Los Angeles Times.


While fans perhaps loved her best for her turn on "Dr. Quinn," Johnson had a laundry list of acting credits that spanned Broadway, TV, and film. She appeared in TV hits like "Seinfeld," "JAG," "Cold Case," and "Ghost Whisperer" in addition to her work onstage in such works as the original production of "The Pajama Game." She was married to Jack Tenner, a Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles. "She said some of her happiest times as an actor were the improvisations she and Jack did to raise funds at the many events they attended. She will be greatly missed," her family wrote in her obituary.

William Shockley turned the Wild West genre into his personal brand

William Shockley portrayed Hank Lawson, the town saloonkeeper and brothel owner. Hank was mainly known for his gruff, chauvinistic behavior, although he did have a few redeeming moments throughout the series. Overall, fans had a major love/hate relationship with this complicated character. For Shockley's part, he didn't mind playing a quasi-villain. In fact, he was inspired by Hank. "I loved the privilege of developing a character over a 6-year run," Shockley told Media Mikes in 2014. "He was one guy on the surface and a totally different person in his heart."


Shockley was already a veteran actor when he landed "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." He first became interested in acting as a teenager. "I'd been involved in sports up to that point and had wanted to pursue a career in pro baseball, but the acting bug took root and I never looked back," he told NCIS LA Magazine. Shockley's first big break came in 1987 when he landed a role in "RoboCop." Several years later, "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" helped launch his entertainment career to new heights.

After the series ended, Shockley found his niche in the Western genre. He co-wrote and performed in several Western films, including "The Gundown," "The Legend of 5 Mile Cave," and "Far Haven." In 2017, he co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed short "Common Threads." As if he wasn't busy enough, Shockley is also a production company executive and a musician.


Orson Bean died in a tragic accident in 2020

Orson Bean played Colorado Springs' general store owner Loren Bray on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." Bray was crotchety and often troublesome, which was totally unlike long-time comedian Orson Bean. The funny man brought his natural charm to the game show "Tell the Truth” as well as several hit shows like "How I Met Your Mother," "Modern Family," and "Grace and Frankie." In addition to his acting talents, Bean was a dedicated humanitarian, founding a school and two arts-based organizations, The Sons of the Desert and the Pacific Resident Theater Ensemble.


Sadly, Bean's life was cut short in 2020 when he was hit by a car in Los Angeles at the age of 91. As reported by AP News, the actor was crossing a street in Venice when he was clipped by one car and then struck by another. The Los Angeles County coroner's office investigated his death as "traffic-related," but eventually concluded that it was an accident.

Frank Collison is working steadily in theater

Dr. Quinn and Byron Sully's relationship wasn't the only romantic plotline on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." There was also the unlikely love between Myra, one of the sex workers at the local brothel, and Horace Bing, the town's telegraph operator. Frank Collison brought Horace Bing to life for 118 episodes of the Western drama, taking Horace's relationship with Myra from hopeless love to marriage, children, and eventual divorce.


Collison must have loved the dramatic arc of Horace's character, because after the show ended, he stayed committed to acting in film, TV, and on the stage. According to his website bio, the gangly thespian appeared in movies like "The Village," "Hidalgo," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," and the award-winning "Wild at Heart." He also graced television screens in "Monk," "Seventh Heaven," and "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Throughout his career, Collison has remained dedicated to the stage, too. He helped found the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice, California, and as per his website, even appeared in Zoom-based plays during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geoffrey Lower got into flipping houses with his wife

Every good Western drama needs a reverend, and the one on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" was Reverend Timothy Johnson, played by Geoffrey Lower. Lower appeared as the reverend in 118 episodes of "Dr. Quinn," spread between 1993 to 1998. In that time, we saw Rev. Johnson go from a spurned lover (Dr. Quinn herself rejected him) to a blind man dedicated to serving his parish no matter what.


But what's Lower been up to since he said goodbye to Rev. Johnson? Quite a lot, actually. The actor continued working on both the stage and screen, appearing in "NCIS," "JAG," and "Disrupted," as well as plays "And The Band Played On" and "Johnny Skidmarks." But perhaps what's most interesting about Lower's life after "Dr. Quinn" is that he got his real estate and general construction licenses and started flipping houses with his wife in Los Angeles.

Henry G. Sanders became a playwright

Some might argue that "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" was ahead of its time as the Western drama tackled some pretty heavy issues — like, for instance, the entire character of Robert E. In the show, Robert E. is a formerly enslaved person who was separated from his wife and children — a very serious plot line for a show such as "Dr. Quinn." Actor Henry G. Sanders brought depth and emotion to Robert E. for 107 episodes, perhaps drawing on his own tumultuous life as inspiration. According to the Chron, Sanders served in the army and survived two tours in Vietnam before heading out to Los Angeles and falling into acting.


The publication also reported that Sanders didn't set out to become an actor. In fact, he went to L.A. in search of a publisher for his novel. While that novel never got published, the writer-turned-actor never put down his pen. Since "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," he's written several plays that went on to be produced. 

Barbara Babcock was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease

Barbara Babcock played Dorothy Jennings for 98 episodes of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." The actor brought plenty of spunk and grit to the role, as Dorothy Jennings did not have it easy on the show. As the editor of the Colorado Springs Gazette, she was always nearby when crazy things happened, and she even survived a single mastectomy — performed by Dr. Quinn, of course. 


So, what's Babcock been up to since "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" ended? A lot! As reported by Carmel Magazine, she spent many months traveling all over the world, from Kenya and South Africa all the way to Peru, but finally put down semi-permanent roots in 2002 when she moved back to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, to refurbish and live in her old family home. "I wanted to leave Los Angeles during the 46 years I spent there," the actor revealed to the publication in 2018. Sadly, the actor was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease two years after settling in her newly renovated home. "That was a big jolt, obviously," she revealed. "I asked the doctor, 'How long do I have?' ... His answer was, 'eight to ten years.' That was 14 years ago."


Jonelle Allen is focused on social justice

Jonelle Allen played the character Grace, an African-American woman who owned and operated her very own cafe. Allen played Grace for 107 episodes of "Dr. Quinn" over five years. According to an interview with ABC7, Allen was overjoyed at the opportunity to accurately portray the strength, resilience, and beauty of Black people in the American West. "I used to believe, because of seeing old movies and stuff, that Black people weren't in the old west ... We were there," she explained. "We were very much involved in the foundation of the old west."


Allen didn't end her fight for social and racial justice when she left "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." According to ABC7, she teaches at the Young American College for the Performing Arts and still performs around the country — despite still facing racism in the entertainment industry. However, Allen is not slowing down. As she told ABC7, "The thing is what one resists, one persists, and I was like, 'I am persisting!'"

Jim Knobeloch moved to Australia

Most people would be horrified to learn that back in the day, barbers doubled as doctors. Small-town folk would go in for a trim and then be like, "Oh, can you also do something about this dysentery?" And that's exactly what Jake Slicker, played by Jim Knobeloch, did in the fictional town of Colorado Springs on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" — at least until Dr. Mike Quinn showed up. Knobeloch brought the barber-surgeon to life in the Western drama for 128 episodes.


Since then, Knobeloch kept acting for a while, appearing in a few TV shows and scoring a bit part in "King Kong." But then he moved to Australia. "In approximately February 2002 I decided to make Australia my permanent home," Knobeloch said in legal documents published on Leagle. "I enjoyed living in Australia over California, and it was my belief that [my wife] and I would live in Victoria, Australia permanently, and raise our children there." Apparently, Knobeloch's wife denied ever agreeing to live in Australia, and the two separated.