Created in 2001 by some guy named J.J. Abrams, Alias was one of the most popular shows of the early 2000’s. An action series based on the espionage adventures of Jennifer Garner’s Sydney Bristow, it mixed classic spy themes with science fiction elements to create a truly unique series.
Garner was great in the leading role, and the show’s format allowed her to demonstrate how many different disguises she could look stunning in (answer: pretty much all of them). But Abrams and his Bad Robot team surrounded her with a terrific supporting cast that ensured viewers would always have a wide selection of fascinating characters to love and hate. Sydney Bristow rarely saved the day alone, after all.
It’s been over 10 years since Alias aired its final episode, and today we’re catching up with the impressive cast. Where are they now?
15. Jennifer Garner – Sydney Bristow
She was the star of the show, so it’s only natural to start with Jennifer Garner. J.J. Abrams cast her in the role of Sydney Bristow on the strength of her guest role on his previous series, Felicity. He chose well, as she immediately made the role her own, and Hollywood took notice of her even before the series ended. During its run, she kept busy during hiatuses with roles in films like Daredevil, Catch Me If You Can and 13 Going On 30.
After the series ended in 2006, Garner made the transition to full-time movie star with ease. Leading roles in The Kingdom, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Valentine’s Day, Miracles From Heaven and more have cemented her as one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses.
14. Victor Garber – Jack Bristow
Victor Garber was a celebrated actor of stage and screen long before he took on the role of Sydney’s estranged and mysterious father Jack Bristow. He may have been best known for his role as Thomas Andrews in Titanic, but his colorful stage roles like Jesus in Godspell are equally notable.
On Alias, he was terrific as the uncompromising Jack Bristow. A man defined by his love for his daughter, he was willing to do anything to keep her safe, even if that meant alienating her.
Garber has continued to showcase his impressive range in the years since Alias. His role as the occasionally bumbling Dr. Martin Stein on Legends of Tomorrow couldn’t be further from the cool and calculating Jack. He has had key roles in critically acclaimed films like Milk and Argo, and has even done voice work in projects like Green Lantern: First Flight and Kung Fu Panda 2.
13. Ron Rifkin – Arvin Sloane
Ron Rifkin brought sinister life to the villainous Arvin Sloane. It was Sloane who ran SD-6, ostensibly a black-ops division of the American government that was actually part of an international crime ring. Even after SD-6 collapsed, he remained a thorn in Sydney’s side. Though he sought redemption for a time, he ultimately returned to his evil roots and became a bigger threat than ever.
Despite achieving immortality (long story) in the series finale, Sloane was buried alive in a cave for all time. Rifkin, on the other hand, has done quite well since the series ended. His biggest post-Alias role was as a regular on the long-running series Brothers & Sisters. He has also had guest roles on shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Gotham and Elementary.
12. Michael Vartan – Michael Vaughn
Initially Sydney’s handler at the CIA, Michael Vaughn became one of her closest confidantes (and eventually a love interest). Michael Vartan excelled in the role of the heroic spy, and the relationship between Sydney and Vaughn was one of the most popular elements of the show.
Since Alias, Vartan has had a number of roles on both the big and small screens. He took a hiatus during the show’s final season to film Rogue, a horror film in which he battles a giant crocodile. Other films on his resume include Demoted and Colombiana.
On television, he had a main role on the medical drama Hawthorne, as well as the short lived series Big Shots. He had a recurring role on Bates Motel, and is a regular on the new series The Arrangement.
11. Merrin Dungey – Francie Calfo/Allison Doren
Merrin Dungey played the role of Francie, Sydney’s roommate who was oblivious to her best friend’s double life. The character met a tragic end when she was murdered and impersonated by the assassin Allison Doren. Dungey was great both as the warm and supportive Francie and the ruthless Allison.
Though she occasionally works in film, Dungey is a prolific television actor. Since her time on Alias ended, she has appeared in both regular, recurring and guest roles on a number of different series. She was a regular on the recently cancelled series Conviction, alongside Hayley Atwell. She played the role of Ursula on Once Upon A Time, and had recurring roles on Better Off Ted, Revenge, Hung and Grey’s Anatomy, to name a few. Her list of guest roles is equally impressive, appearing in single episodes of Castle, 90210, Rizzoli & Isles and more.
10. Carl Lumbly – Marcus Dixon
Sydney Bristow didn’t always know who to trust, immersed as she was in the world of espionage. One person she could always rely on, though, was her partner Marcus Dixon. Like Sydney, he joined SD-6 under false pretenses, and welcomed the chance to work for the CIA when Sloane’s deception was revealed.
Before Alias, Carl Lumbly was best known for his stint on the popular cop show Cagney and Lacey. Since Alias ended, he has done a fair amount of television work, with recurring gigs on NCIS: Los Angeles, Zoo, The Returned and Southland, as well as guest roles on shows like Chuck, Battlestar Galactica and Criminal Minds. He’s also a prolific voice actor, best known for his portrayal of DC Comics icon Martian Manhunter in a number of animated projects and video games.
9. Kevin Weisman – Marshall Flinkman
The Q to Sydney’s James Bond, Marshall was the gadget master at SD-6 (and later the CIA). He provided her with the tools of the trade along with some moral support, and Kevin Weisman brought a lot of compassion and humor to his role as the spy show’s resident geek.
After Alias, he had a memorable cameo in Clerks 2 as a customer who gets into a heated debate over the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He’s done a handful of other movies, but most of his work has been on television. He had a memorable guest appearance as a villain on another popular spy show, Chuck. He’s also guested on shows like Fringe, Human Target, and every CSI series (as different characters!). He has had recurring roles on Moonlight, Awake, Perception, The Blacklist, Scorpion and Goliath, and was a regular on HBO’s Hello Ladies.
8. Greg Grunberg – Eric Weiss
Greg Grunberg has become one of the most ubiquitous actors in geek culture, thanks in part to his well documented friendship with J.J. Abrams. The director considers his longtime friend to be something of a good look charm, and casts him in each of his projects. On Alias he played Eric Weiss, a friend and co-worker of Michael Vaughn. He started as a recurring character, but eventually graduated to series regular.
After Alias he nabbed the role of telepathic cop Matt Parkman on Heroes, and returned to the role for the revival series Heroes Reborn. He has continued to collaborate with Abrams, appearing in films like Mission: Impossible 3, Star Trek and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
7. David Anders – Julian Sark
David Anders made an immediate impression on Alias as the enigmatic Mr. Sark, a dangerous operative with flexible loyalties. Though he was just 20 when he debuted on the series, Anders had no trouble holding his own in scenes with acting heavyweights like Victor Garber and Ron Rifkin. Originally a recurring role, Sark grew in popularity and became a regular character for a couple of seasons, and continued to make guest appearances on the series throughout its run.
Anders hasn’t slowed down since Alias, grabbing regular and recurring roles on a number of popular shows including Heroes, The Vampire Diaries, 24, Once Upon A Time and iZombie. He has also guest-starred on a number of shows like Warehouse 13, House and Criminal Minds.
6. Lena Olin – Irina Derevko
Sydney’s mysterious mother Irina Derevko debuted at the very end of the first season, albeit cloaked in shadow. When she appeared in the flesh in the second season, she was portrayed by Lena Olin. The actress brought surprising warmth to the role of Irina, a formidable and ruthless spy who still had a genuine love for her daughter. Irina’s loyalties shifted over the course of the series, and Olin’s portrayal always made the character’s actions believable.
Olin was an accomplished actress long before her stint on Alias, having been nominated for an Academy Award in 1989 for Enemies, A Love Story. Since Alias, she has appeared in films like The Reader and Remember Me. On television, she was a regular on the short-lived sitcom Welcome To Sweden, and had a recurring role on HBO’s Vinyl.
5. Melissa George – Lauren Reed
Alias jumped forward in time for its third season, revealing that an amnesiac Sydney had been missing and presumed dead for two years. During that time, Michael Vaughn moved on, marrying Lauren Reed. Melissa George played the role of Vaughn’s wife, who also happened to be an evil double agent working for the criminal organization The Covenant.
Like many Australian actors, George got her start on the popular soap opera Home and Away. A regular on Alias for just one season, George would go on to more film and television roles after her departure. Her film career has included lead roles in movies like The Amityville Horror and 30 Days of Night. On television, she’s had recurring roles on a number of shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Lie To Me and The Good Wife.
4. Mia Maestro – Nadia Santos
The sister Sydney never knew she had, Nadia was the love child of Irina Derevko and Arvin Sloane. Mia Maestro did a great job as a conflicted daughter who wanted to connect with her father, but had a hard time looking past his criminal history. A regular cast member during the fourth season of Alias, she returned for guest appearances in the final year.
Since Alias, Maestro has had a number of roles on the big screen, most notably as the vampire Carmen in the Twilight saga. Her other film credits include Poseidon, The Box and Savages, to name a few. On television, she had recurring and guest roles on Crusoe, White Collar, Person Of Interest and Scandal. She also starred as Dr. Nora Martinez in two seasons of the popular vampire show The Strain.
3. Rachel Nichols – Rachel Gibson
Joining the cast for the show’s fifth and final season, Rachel Nichols played a young agent (also named Rachel!) learning her craft under Sydney’s watchful eye.
She landed her Alias job after starring in the short-lived Fox series The Inside. She’s had continued success on television since then, recurring on a number of shows including Criminal Minds and Chicago Fire. She is probably best known for role as Kiera Cameron on the popular time travel series Continuum.
On the big screen, she landed the role of Scarlett in GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and had a memorable cameo in Star Trek as Uhura’s green-skinned roommate Gaila. She has also appeared in films like Alex Cross, Conan the Barbarian and Charlie Wilson’s War.
2. Balthazar Getty – Thomas Grace
When Michael Vaughn seemingly died at the beginning of the fifth season, Thomas Grace was the operative who took his place on Sydney’s team. Balthazar Getty played the troubled spy with a tragic past who made a heroic sacrifice in the series finale.
After Alias, Getty moved right over to Brothers & Sisters along with Ron Rifkin, starring as Tommy Walker for most of the show’s run. Since then he’s had guest appearances on shows like Hawaii Five-0, Medium and Rizzoli & Isles. He also has a role on the upcoming revival of Twin Peaks.
1. Bradley Cooper – Will Tippin
He’s one of the biggest stars in Hollywood today, but in 2001 Bradley Cooper was a supporting cast member on Alias. He played reporter Will Tippin, one of Sydney’s best friends who got himself into a lot of trouble by investigating the mysterious organization she worked for. Cooper left the show after its second season, but returned for guest appearances in the third and fifth seasons.
After Alias, he landed the leading role on the short-lived sitcom Kitchen Confidential, based on the life of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. He had a memorable part in Wedding Crashers before his career truly took off thanks to his role as Phil in The Hangover. Since then he has starred in a number of films, including the rest of the Hangover trilogy, Limitless, The Words, The A-Team and Aloha. He has been nominated for Academy Awards for his work in the films Silver Linings Playbook, American Sniper and American Hustle. He is also the voice of Rocket Raccoon in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise (Sean Gunn performs the role via motion capture).
Who is your favorite Alias alumni? Let us know in the comments!
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