Dawson’s Creek aired for 6 seasons from 1998-2003, and the teen drama was one of the most relatable series for kids who grew up around that time. In the series, focused on a group of teenagers, the title character Dawson aspires to be a film director and views his own life as a script, believing he can control it as such. Naturally, this isn’t the case for anyone. Life simply just happens. And sometimes, things occur that are completely out of your control.
The series made viewers laugh and cry. It pulled at our heartstrings and spawned some major Hollywood talents who went on to have huge careers. With that said, where are the cast members today? Here’s a look.
11 James Van Der Beek (Dawson Leery)
Playing the title character Dawson the dreamer was Van Der Beek’s breakout role. He went on to play a fictionalized version of himself in the sitcom Don’t Trust the B--- in Apartment 23 and had roles in CSI: Cyber and films like Varsity Blues and The Rules of Attraction.
Today, the 42-year-old continues to act, starring in the ‘80s and ‘90s set FX drama Pose about the African-American and Latino trans, gay, and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in New York. The series was just renewed for its third season.
10 Katie Holmes (Joey Potter)
You’d have to have been living under a rock to not know where Katie Holmes has been over the last few decades. Having played Dawson’s super-smart, tomboyish childhood best friend Joey, she moved on from this breakout role to make lots of waves in Hollywood. Appearing in tons of films, her most notable were Batman Begins, Thank You For Smoking, and playing Jacqueline Kennedy in the TV miniseries The Kennedys.
However, she got the most attention when she began dating and later married Tom Cruise in a tabloid fodder-friendly pairing referred to as TomKat. Following a heavily-publicized divorce, Holmes has been laying relatively low with their daughter. But she reportedly has a number of projects in the works, including a TV movie and a horror film called Brahms: The Boy II, which is currently in the post-production stage.
9 Michelle Williams (Jen Lindley)
Making the series all too real, Jen, the neighborhood “bad girl” sadly passed away from a fatal heart condition in the flash forward finale. In real life, Williams experienced her own tragedy when her husband, actor Heath Ledger, passed away. She appeared alongside him in the Academy Award-winning romantic drama Brokeback Mountain, a role for which she received an Academy Award nomination.
She went on to receive three more nods, as well as a Golden Globe and Tony Award. Some of her most notable performances include playing Marilyn Monroe in 2011’s My Week With Marilyn, appearing in 2016’s emotionally-charged film Manchester by the Sea, and starring in the Broadway revival of Cabaret. Fiercely private, she has a daughter with Ledger. Her most recent role was in the biographical TV miniseries Fosse/Verdon.
8 Joshua Jackson (Pacey Witter)
The funny and sarcastic boy who eventually captured Joey’s heart, while Dawson was the title character, Pacey was a fan favorite. So it’s no surprise that Jackson went on to enjoy a successful career post the Creek.
Already known for appearing in The Mighty Ducks movies prior to playing Pacey, Jackson appeared in the sci-fi series Fringe from 2008-2013, then in the drama The Affair from 2014-2018. He can currently be seen in the miniseries When They See Us, and will appear in another miniseries, Little Fires Everywhere, set for release in 2020.
7 Mary Beth Peil (Evelyn ‘Grams’ Ryan)
Playing the recurring character of Jen’s grandmother, Grams and Jen often fought due to the former’s deep religious beliefs. In the flash-forward depicted in the season finale, Grams is still alive, taking care of Jen’s daughter Amy alongside Jack following Jen’s death.
Peil, a trained opera singer, spent a lot of time on Broadway before taking on this TV role. Since the series ended, she has continued to keep busy with roles like playing Nancy Reagan’s mother in the Showtime movie The Reagans, and as the mother of Chris Noth’s character on The Good Wife for the series’ entire run from 2009-2016. She has gone back to her theatre roots as well, appearing in Anastasia in 2016 and 2017, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses from 2016-2017. Most recently, you can see her in the TV series The Village.
6 Kerr Smith (Jack McPhee)
The shy “new guy” in town, Jack is really smart and secretly caring for his mentally ill mother. He first dates Joey until he finally reveals that he is gay. Getting his start on daytime soap opera As the World Turns and in the 2000 film Final Destination, you might recognize Smith from his later roles following Dawson’s Creek, including in the supernatural drama Charmed, where he played Kyle Brody, and in the 2014 film Where Hope Grows.
Most recently, he appeared in the series The Fosters from 2014-2018, and in NCIS: Los Angeles. He also runs a holistic health and wellness coaching business called TerraLife Wellness with his wife Lisa.
5 Mary-Margaret Humes (Gail Leery)
Playing Dawson’s mother, Gail married her college sweetheart. Joey discovers that Gail, an anchorwoman for a local news station, is having an affair and tells Dawson, kicking off a series of events that upend Dawson’s seemingly quiet and simple life.
Humes’ role as the Leery matriarch remains her most notable, though she has had minor appearances in a number of series since, including Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, and Touched by an Angel. Most recently, she has focused her energy on Hallmark channel TV movies, appearing in more than a half-dozen of them since 2012, the latest of which were released this year, called A Feeling of Home and Winter Love Story.
4 Nina Repeta (Bessie Potter)
Left to care for her younger sister Joey and upcoming baby at the young age of 23 after their mother passed away and father is jailed on drug charges, Bessie becomes a strong woman as a result of her dire circumstances.
Since playing Bessie, Repeta has appeared in a handful of other projects, though in minor roles. Her most recent credits are in TV series Good Behavior as an unnamed character “blue-blood woman,” and in a short called Long Drive to Yadkin. The 51-year-old is married with one child, and this seems to be her primary focus these days.
3 John Wesley Shipp (Mitch Leery)
A substitute teacher, guidance counselor, and football coach, Mitch was also Dawson’s dad. Sadly, his character was killed off in season five, dying in a car accident. Shipp, known prior to his role on that series for appearing in soap operas like Guiding Light, As the World Turns, and One Life to Live, continued to appear on the latter series after Dawson’s Creek ended, through to 2012.
He has continued to be a working actor, notably appearing in the TV series The Flash from 2014-2018. He can be seen in the upcoming sci-fi thriller Sensory Perception.
2 Busy Philipps (Audrey Liddell)
Making friends with the group once in college, Audrey is fun and outgoing, and helps Joey come out of her shell. Known prior for her role in cult classic series Freaks and Geeks, Busy Philipps went on to appear in Cougar Town from 2009-2015 and Drunk History (2014-2018), as well as in films like 2004’s White Chicks, Made of Honor (2008), He’s Just Not That Into You (2009), and, most recently, 2018’s I Feel Pretty. She was also in two episodes of Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
In 2018, she had her own short-lived late night talk show called Busy Tonight, though it is reportedly being shopped to other networks following its cancellation by E!. She also released a memoir in October 2018 called This Will Only Hurt a Little.
1 Oliver Hudson (Eddie Doling)
Eddie only appeared in the final season of the series as Joey’s on-again, off-again boyfriend. Despite their rocky relationship, they often pushed one another to grow and get out of their comfort zones. Following that role, Hudson was a main cast member in comedy series Rules of Engagement from 2007-2013, then in musical drama Nashville from 2013-2015 and in horror comedy Scream Queens. He was most recently starring in Ellen DeGeneres’ sitcom Splitting Up Together alongside Jenna Fischer, but the series was canceled after two seasons.
Today, the actor, who is the son of Goldie Hawn and Bill Hudson, the brother of actor Kate Hudson, and step-son of Kurt Russell, does not yet have any projects in the works. But given his long and successful small-screen career, we expect to see him in another series soon enough.