Most memorable women from Married with Children – then and now

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Between 1987 and 1997, Married… with Children was the sitcom that had everyone talking. It might not have been the highest rated show of its genre (although it still performed relatively well), but its crude and off-color brand of humor meant that everyone was aware of it. It often relied on being risqué, which almost ended up being its downfall. It was boycotted in 1989 because the episode “Her Cups Runneth Over” featured content deemed too extreme for Married… with Children’s audience. Despite that brush with early controversy, though, the sitcom still managed 11 seasons and helped to put Fox network on the map.


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Married… with Children follows the Bundy family, headed up by parents Al and Peggy whose dysfunctional relationship prompts a lot of the show’s various antics. Their love-hate dynamic is spurred on by their children Kelly and Bud, as well as their neighbor Marcy Rhoades D’Arcy. Collectively, these characters make up the show’s main cast, most of whom have gone on to have big careers outside of the sitcom.

As well as this strong cast, though, Married… with Children has a plethora of amazing women who feature in recurring and guest roles. Their performances are all incredibly memorable, whether they’re acting as one of Bud’s many love interests or catching Al’s wandering eye. If you’re interested to know what these women have been up to over the last few decades, we’ve got just the list for you.

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Christina Applegate then

Christina Applegate plays Kelly, the oldest of the two Bundy children and the daughter of the family. Known for her promiscuous attire and dumb blonde image, she lives up to the stereotype of the girl who always goes for the wrong guy. Her bad choices in men often rile up her father, but she never really learns her lesson. Although she isn’t the brightest bulb in the box and frequently makes silly mistakes, her heart is usually in the right place. She has a habit of defending her brother, though only when she isn’t picking on him.

Christina Applegate now

Since her big role on Married… with Children, Applegate has appeared in a wide variety of films and TV shows. She starred in the Anchorman movies alongside Will Ferrell, voiced the character Brittany in the film series Alvin and the Chipmunks, and played the lead in sitcoms Samantha Who? and Jesse. Her acting work has won her plenty of awards, the most recent of which was for Favorite Female TV Star at the 2009 People’s Choice Awards. Although a breast cancer diagnosis proved to be a setback in 2008, she was later given the all clear.

Amanda Bearse then

Marcy Rhoades D’Arcy is neighbor to the Bundy family in the sitcom, but while she is best friends with Peggy, there is no love lost between her and Al. As a devoted feminist, she opposes the view her neighbor has towards women and is always happy to join Peggy whenever she conspires against him. Despite coming off as very reserved, she does have a promiscuous side that tends to crop up whenever she talks about her past.

Amanda Bearse now

Although she hasn’t appeared on TV since 2013, Bearse very recently filmed a part in the upcoming comedy horror film Sky Sharks. Her appearance in Married… with Children has been her biggest to date, but she’s continued to play the odd role here and there. She’s better known now as a director, which she started doing when she was still a cast member on the sitcom. Over the last few decades, she’s been behind the camera on shows like Dharma & Greg, MADtv and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

Keri Russell then

Keri Russell appears in one episode of Married… with Children as April Adams, but she certainly strikes a chord with Bud Bundy. The two of them are dating in the episode Radio Free Trumaine, but things get turned upside down when another student Nikolai takes a fancy to April. The two boys butt heads and end up fighting one another, unaware that it’s being broadcast over their university radio station. Embarrassed and angered by their behavior, April rejects them both and leaves them with deep regret over what they’ve lost out on.

Keri Russell now

Married… with Children was one of Russell’s first TV roles, but it definitely wasn’t her last. Since 2013, she’s appeared as Elizabeth Jennings in the period drama series The Americans alongside partner Matthew Rhys (with whom she now has a child). The character has earned her many nominations, including multiple Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe, and in 2015 she won a Satellite Award for Best Actress. While she’s been on the show, Russell has also had a lead part in sci-fi film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Fergie then

Fergie’s memorable appearance in Married… with Children again comes at the cost of Bud’s inability to resist a good looking woman. She plays Ann, a woman who flirts with Bud in order to score a place beside him in a line for concert tickets. When the Bundy son thinks that he’s about to get lucky with Ann, she asks him if it would be okay for her “good looking” friends to cut in line too. Bud agrees without realising that her friends are actually guys who paid her to get them closer to the front.

Fergie now

Fergie may have appeared on the show as an actress, but she’s now known to millions of people as a member of musical group The Black Eyed Peas. Between 2002 and 2018 she provided lead vocals for the group on many of their biggest hits, including Where Is The Love?, I Gotta Feeling and Boom Boom Pow. Across the four albums that she featured on, she’s sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Outside of the group, she’s also had reasonable solo success – her debut The Dutchess sold over eight million units.

Tiffani Thiessen then

Poor Bud just can’t catch a break with these women. Tiffani Thiessen stars as Heather McCoy in the episode What Goes Around Comes Around, and she’s one of the most devilish characters to ever catch Bud’s eye. Back when they were in 6th grade, Heather played a humiliating prank on Bud, and five years later he attempts to get revenge to no success. Heather ends up tricking him and embarrassing him even further, but she quickly regrets her actions when Kelly ties her up to the school lockers… nude!

Tiffani Thiessen now

Thiessen’s appearance on the sitcom coincided with her starring role as Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell. She appeared on the show (and its resulting movies) throughout the early ‘90s, before moving on to the teen drama series Beverly Hills, 90210. Thiessen continued to pursue acting throughout the 2000s, including roles in Fastlane and White Collar, and she now voices a recurring character on the animation Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Since 2015, she has also presented her own show on the Cooking Channel, Dinner at Tiffani’s.

Andrea Parker then

Andrea Parker’s first-ever TV role was on Married… with Children where she plays Go-Go Dancer in the two-parter episode Married… with Prom Queen. Her character may not have a name, but she still leaves a lasting impression on viewers with her striking look and dance moves, even if the crowd on screen don’t give her much applause. The set-up of having her dancing in a cage and later asking “Can I take a break now, daddy?” definitely creates an element of shock and hilarity, something that Parker has become an expert in.

Andrea Parker now

Parker has done pretty well for herself after getting her start on the sitcom. She most recently played Jessica DiLaurentis (and her twin Mary Drake) in the hugely popular teen drama Pretty Little Liars. The part followed on from a recurring role in the equally popular series Desperate Housewives and a main role in sitcom Less than Perfect. She hasn’t been off our screens since her Married… with Children debut in 1989, but she’s still found the time to support many charities and train as a stunt driver.

Teresa Ganzel then

Teresa Ganzel’s feature in Married… with Children comes when the Bundy family have money troubles. To try and get them out of their situation, Peggy decides to become a makeup saleswoman and ends up becoming the primary wage earner for the family. It’s all thanks to Heather who proves to be incredibly convincing when it comes to getting a job. She helps score Peggy a place in her cosmetics company and shows off her funny side, even though she’s only on screen for a short space of time.

Teresa Ganzel now

Ganzel was no stranger to acting when she appeared on Married… with Children – she’d been in the industry for almost a decade. Her part in the sitcom followed on from voice roles in the series The New Yogi Bear Show and The Smurfs, and it’s through this that Ganzel has now become best known. She’s gone on to voice characters in a variety of animated shows, including in the films Monsters Inc. (and its sequel), Inside Out and Toy Story 3, as well as on the Tom & Jerry Kids Show.

Jennifer Lyons then

Lyons has a minor recurring role as Bud’s girlfriend in the later seasons of the show. She appears in a total of three episodes and impresses the men on screen by fitting the image of a stereotypical blonde bimbo. With her high-pitched voice and promiscuous outfits, she always knows how to catch Bud’s attention, as well as his father’s. It’s her disdain towards Marcy that really wins over the Bundy patriarch, though, as she helps him to get one over on his neighbor.

Jennifer Lyons now

Lyons’ promiscuous character in Married… with Children helped her to land similar roles across TV and film over the years, including in the shows Malcolm in the Middle and Desperate Housewives. She’s appeared frequently in horror flicks, often becoming a victim in the role, but has also starred in the National Lampoon films Dorm Daze and its sequel. Outside of acting, Lyons has had success working as a lingerie model in Los Angeles, where she specializes in the pin-up style of modeling.

Julie Condra then

Julie Condra plays Crystal Brooks, a famous singer who wrote Bud a valentines card that he never received. When Bud discovers that she’s staying in a nearby hotel, he goes through a series of hilarious and abusive encounters to try and reunite with her. Although Crystal initially rejects him, she shows up at the Bundy house later with a note for him. Unfortunately, she gives it to Kelly who quickly forgets what she’s meant to do with it. When Kelly goes off with her date, Crystal is left to believe she’s been rejected again.

Julie Condra now

The majority of Condra’s biggest roles came before her part in Married… with Children, including major roles on Santa Barbara and Eerie, Indiana. In the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, she starred in a couple of TV movies, such as the comedy-drama A Tale of Two Bunnies, but hasn’t appeared onscreen since 2005. Condra has spent most of her time recently being a mother to the three children she has with Hawaiian actor Mark Dacascos.

Bobbie Brown then

Bobbie Brown played the lovely Nibbles, who was shopping in the supermarket the Bundys were hanging out in to get some free air conditioning. Al and Bud kept following her around the supermarket and making her bend over and pick things up from the floor over and over again. When the Bundys win a supermarket competition as they were the “one million customer”, Al hilariously grabs Nibbles and includes her in the family group hug.

Bobbie Brown now

Bobbie Brown had some acting gigs in the ’90s, including guest appearances in action show Renegade, Baywatch Nights, and the comedy NewsRadio. She also took part in movies like action comedy Double Trouble and crime thriller Betrayal of the Dove. Since the end of the ’90s the actress has been laying low, but has recently resurfaced to appear in musical comedy Steel Panther: Live from Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage. In 2018, she’s also set to appear in a TV show called TaskForce: Back in Black.

Jerry Hall then

Jerry Hall appears early on in Married… with Children in the season one episode, Al Loses His Cherry. She portrays Terry Cherry, an energetic young woman who enjoys relations with Al’s friend Luke. Her sister Sherry attempts to seduce the head of the Bundy household when he moves in with Luke following an argument with Peggy. Although Terry is only onscreen for a few minutes, her lines are unforgettable, especially when she asks Al: “Would you like our dime?” in a suggestive but oblivious manner.

Jerry Hall now

Hall is well-known for her high profile relationships which have included rocker Mick Jagger and business magnate Rupert Murdoch (who she is currently married to). Her relationship to Jagger lasted more than two decades, but they ultimately split because of his infidelity. Hall has recently gotten back into acting again after a hiatus of six years back in 2010, and has become a familiar face on British TV. She starred in the series Hotel Babylon and voiced a character in Popetown, as well as featuring as a contestant on the show Strictly Come Dancing.

Vanna White then

Coco (or Helen Granowinner as she is also known) stars as a surprising love interest for Al in the episode The Proposition. None of the Bundys believe Al when he mentions relations he once shared with the beautiful woman, but they’re all proven wrong when she shows up to their house and offers Peggy $500,000 to take him from her. At first, she agrees, but changes her mind when she catches Coco seducing her husband in bed. Feeling rejected, she leaves with the intention of buying Ben & Jerry (the men, not their ice cream).

Vanna White now

While Vanna White may have had a memorable appearance as Coco on the sitcom, people are probably more familiar with her as a hostess on Wheel of Fortune. She’s been working on the game show series since 1983 and has been involved in over 6600 episodes, with the network keeping her signed on until at least 2020. She’s appeared on many other TV programmes, usually playing herself, including in an episode of the comedy series Fresh Off the Boat.

Shannon Tweed then

Shannon Tweed stands out for her guest appearance in Married… with Children because she plays a fictionalized version of herself. Well known for her erotic work as a Playboy playmate, Tweed uses her seductive charms to stop Al and Jefferson from sharing provocative pictures of her that they found. Al easily falls for her claims that she loves him, but when he disposes of her photographs by eating them, she reveals that she was just playing him to get what she wants.

Shannon Tweed now

Married… with Children wasn’t Tweed’s only appearance on TV. She’s starred in a number of series, including Murder She Wrote, Hell’s Kitchen and two episodes of Frasier. She also appeared in all seasons of the reality TV series Gene Simmons Family Jewels, a show which followed the life of Kiss singer Simmons and his family. He and Tweed have been together since 1983 (long before she appeared on Married… with Children), and in 2011 finally tied the knot. Together, they have two grown children – Nick and Sophie.

Traci Lords then

Traci Lords is one of the actresses who appears in multiple roles on the sitcom, starting with her casting in season four. She again plays the stereotype of a dumb blonde whose ditzy personality makes her hilarious but questionable as a dental assistant. Lords returns in a season six episode as Vanessa Van Pelt, a femme fatale who believes that Al is a private investigator. She later turns out to be a murderer who develops feelings for Al, but they aren’t reciprocated when he finds out she’ll be in jail for 20 years.

Traci Lords now

Lords started her career surrounded by controversy when it was revealed that she’d been involved with erotic work despite being underage. That drama hasn’t stopped her from landing roles in many popular TV shows though, including Gilmore Girls, Roseanne and Will & Grace. She’s gone on to star in multiple films, provided voices for video game characters and even released her own album. Her debut 1000 Fires received largely positive reviews from critics and spawned two top twenty hits on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart.

Juliet Tablak then

Juliet Tablak had a total of four appearances on Married… with Children, all of which had her starring as Marcy’s niece, Amber. She is sent out to live with her aunt to get her away from the bad area she lives in, but she quickly finds her way into the bed of Bud Bundy. Although their first encounter is the only one shown on screen, Bud does display a prolonged interest in being intimate with her, despite later being rejected.

Juliet Tablak now

Married… with Children was Tablak’s biggest role to date, and after one-off appearances in the shows Picket Fences, Nowhere Man and Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, she decided to give up acting. Tablak has since turned her attention to the health and fitness industry where she now works as a Pilates instructor. She’s been teaching the exercise since 1999 and has a class at Center of Balance in California. Alongside being a Pilates instructor, Tablak is also a qualified Chiropractor, having graduated from Palmer Chiropractic College with a degree in human biology.

Krista Allen then

In the season 10 episode Calendar Girls, Krista Allen appears as Crystal Clark, a student at Trumaine university. She’s asked to pose for the cover of a calendar all about the girls of Trumaine, and in doing so catches the eye of Bud Bundy. Unlike many of the women that Bud has an interest in on the show, Crystal is not ditzy and is perfectly capable of standing on her own. What makes Allen’s performance so memorable, though, was the announcement she made on the TV at the end of the episode – she was born a man.

Krista Allen now

Following on from her appearance on Married… with Children, Allen went on to have bigger roles on the soap opera Days of Our Lives and Baywatch, as well as smaller parts on Charmed and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She’s been a familiar face on TV since the mid-’90s, and also carved out a career for herself on the big screen. Allen is set to feature in several films that are currently in post-production, including the crime thriller Psychos & Socios.

Joey Lauren Adams then

Joey Lauren Adams has starred in the sitcom three times, always playing a different character. She first appears as Mona Mullins, a character from one of the show’s short-lived spin-offs Top of the Heap. She has a huge crush on Vinnie Verducci and never gives up on her affections, despite being constantly rebuffed. Adams appears in a smaller role as Cousin Effie a few episodes later, and then again as Janey in the following season. Here she portrays the fiancee of Cousin Jimmy, though Bud is unaware of this when she gets into bed with him.

Joey Lauren Adams now

The producers on Married… with Children loved Adams enough that they brought her back twice, and they obviously knew she was destined for greatness. Just a few years after her final appearance on the sitcom, Adams had a lead role in the rom-com Chasing Amy, for which she received a Golden Globe Award nomination. That success helped her to establish a career as an actress, with many other film roles following in the wake of her breakthrough. Thanks to her unique voice, Jones has also landed the part of several animated characters, such as Electra in the TV series Hercules.

Tami Roman then

Al kicks himself when he convinces Aaron Mitchell to end his relationship with Angie, who he finds out too late is actually the perfect woman. He feels even worse when Aaron reveals that he’s back with his high school sweetheart Meg (played by Tami Roman), a woman who’s a carbon copy of his wife, Peggy. When the two of them meet, it’s like looking in a mirror, and they both sit down on the couch and act in sync, much to Al’s horror. Unfortunately for Aaron, he doesn’t see the problem.

Tami Roman now

Meg was one of Roman’s first TV roles, following her appearance on the reality series The Real World: Los Angeles. Although many of her features have been single episodes, she found success on reality TV a second time around as a cast member of Basketball Wives. The series follows the wives and girlfriends of professional basketball players and featured Roman between 2010-2013. In the years afterwards, she starred in its spin-off Basketball Wives LA, but as of 2017 is now back on the original show.

Beth Broderick then

In the season five episode And Baby Makes Money, Beth Broderick appears as the lawyer Miss Penza who reveals to the Bundys that they could potentially inherit $500,000. She informs them that to do so, they need to conceive a child in wedlock and name it Stymie Jr., after their now deceased uncle. Her appearance prompts Al and Peggy to enthusiastically start trying for a baby, but to no success. Miss Penza later returns at the end of the episode to reveal her devious ways – she married cousin Eugene to get the money for herself.

Beth Broderick now

Broderick is still best known around the world as Zelda Spellman, one of Sabrina’s aunts on the sitcom Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. She appears as a main character throughout the show’s first six seasons, eventually returning in the finale as a candle for her niece’s wedding. Although this is Broderick’s most notable appearance, she’s racked up many acting credits over the years, including two regular appearances on the sitcom Hearts Afire as different characters. She’s also had a hand at directing, and worked behind the camera on three episodes of Sabrina.

Teresa Parente then

From season nine to season 11, Teresa Parente had a semi-regular appearance on Married… with Children as local news reporter Miranda Veracruz de la Jolla Cardinal. She’s quite a sad figure on the show, who’s often stuck reporting on all the scrapes the Bundy family get themselves into. Cardinal is openly vocal about the sorry state of her career and tries her best to make the news rousing and informative, but to no avail. She is memorable for her long name which she usually says emphatically when introducing herself.

Teresa Parente now

Married… with Children is considered to be Parente’s biggest role – it was certainly her longest – but between the ‘90s and mid-’00s, she still had semi-regular appearances on TV. She featured on Friends, Less Than Perfect and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, as well as having multi-episode parts on American Dreams and Without a Trace. Parente is also a highly-qualified singer and lent her operatic skills to an episode of the animated show Spongebob Squarepants. With two other women, she performs in the singing group SOS, The Sisters of Swing.

Katey Sagal then

When Peggy Bundy walks into a room, you can’t miss her. With her big hair, big voice and big personality, she demands all the attention on screen. Unfortunately, her family doesn’t always give it to her. She drives her husband up the wall by refusing to cook or clean and has a habit of spending all his money, often leading them to financial ruin. The poor state of her marriage is usually the source of humor, but somewhere (very) deep down, Peggy and Al do love each other.

Katey Sagal now

Katey Sagal has been an incredibly busy woman since she first started acting in the 1970s. Following her role as Peggy Bundy, she landed a part as the voice of Leela on the popular animated show Futurama. At the same time, she also starred as Cate Hennessy in the sitcom 8 Simple Rules. Acting in the role of mother is something that Sagal has become well-known for, with her playing the part in shows like Big Bang Theory and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Her biggest role most recently was on Sons of Anarchy, a crime drama series created by her husband, Kurt Sutter.

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