Who was in The Wonder Years cast and which characters did they play? Classic coming-of-age sitcom The Wonder Years ran for six seasons between 1988 and 1993 and remains one of the best-loved American TV shows of its era. Set in 1960s suburbia, the show followed Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) and his family and friends as he navigated the ages 12 to 17 during one of the most tumultuous eras in American history, with narration from Daniel Stern (Home Alone) as the adult, present-day version of Kevin.
The Wonder Years won a Peabody Award in 1989 and was the recipient of many other accolades, including a handful of Primetime Emmys and a Golden Globe. The show also helped launch the careers of many soon-to-be household names like Juliette Lewis, Alicia Silverstone, and future Friends star David Schwimmer who played the hippy husband of Kevin’s sister.
Beyond its familiar bit part actors, The Wonder Years boasted a talented main cast. Read on for a who’s who of the main characters on the show and who played them.
Fred Savage – Kevin Arnold
Fred Savage landed the part of Kevin Arnold hot on the tail of his role in The Princess Bride. Kevin was the adolescent protagonist of The Wonder Years and the youngest child of a middle-class family living in all-American suburbia. Savage became one of the youngest Primetime Emmy nominees for his portrayal.
Dan Lauria – Jack Arnold
Jack was the gruff but loving patriarch of the Arnold family. As a veteran of the Korean War who grew up during the Great Depression, he’s frequently confused and alarmed by the political and social revolutions of the 1960s. Jack was played by Dan Lauria whose recent acting credits include This Is Us and Pitch.
Alley Mills – Norma Arnold
These days Alley Mills is best known for playing Pamela Douglas on soap opera The Bold And The Beautiful but back in the early 1990s, everybody knew her as Kevin's mom Norma. In contrast to her conservative husband Jack, Norma was a lot more progressive and optimistic about the opportunities offered by the 1960s’ social climate.
Danica McKellar – Winnie Cooper
Kevin’s long-term love interest Winnie was the archetypal girl next door and their on-again, off-again relationship was the focus of many storylines on The Wonder Years. Winnie was played by actress and mathematician Danica McKellar who is currently lending her talents to the voice cast of Young Justice.
Josh Saviano – Paul Pfeiffer
Paul was the geeky, allergy-ridden but very clever best friend of Kevin. Contrary to a popular urban legend, Paul wasn’t played by goth rocker Marilyn Manson but Josh Saviano, who largely retired from acting save for a recent recurring role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Jason Hervey – Wayne Arnold
Jason Hervey played Wayne – Kevin’s tormenting older brother and the middle-child of the Arnold brood. After The Wonder Years, Hervey transitioned to behind-the-camera work and now works mostly as a reality TV producer.
Olivia d’Abo – Karen Arnold
Karen was the older, rebellious hippy sister of Kevin and Wayne on The Wonder Years. She was played by Olivia d’Abo who also voiced Luminara Unduli in the first two seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.