Fans welcomed the cast of The Big Bang Theory into their living rooms for 12 seasons before saying goodbye to the sitcom, but the stars did not disappear after the show ended. In fact, they have popped up in a slew of projects ever since.
Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper), Kaley Cuoco (Penny Teller), Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter), Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz), Kunal Nayyar (Raj Koothrappali), Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette Rostenkowski) played a group of friends made up of physicists and their significant others. The show ran on CBS from September 2007 to May 2019.
The cast got very close during filming. Cuoco and Galecki, in particular, remained friends — and an onscreen couple — after their split in December 2009 following two years of dating.
“When we broke up, it was funny because that was when our relationship on the show was hot and heavy. There were a lot of bed scenes,” the actress told Haute Living Los Angeles in May 2019. “We were a little like, ‘We were trying to end the relationship and it kept falling back in.’ We got over it really fast, and we’re closer than ever now. It could have gone either way, and I was really proud of us.”
Cuoco and Galecki navigated the potentially awkward situation with grace. “We weren’t weird, which is what was weird,” she recalled. “It was a mutual breakup, and you can rarely say that. Johnny and I were friends first, then obviously we dated.”
Parsons and Bialik, meanwhile, found kindred spirits in each other as they portrayed beloved couple Sheldon and Amy. “Jim and I had a lot of nice moments together on set and I think one of the things that worked so well for us as actor partners, and maybe as producing partners too, is that we’re not overly sentimental as humans, which I think is helpful,” the Blossom alum exclusively told Us Weekly in April 2021. “It was helpful in our acting and also in the way we kind of processed ending a decade together.”
As for concluding the show after its lengthy run, Cuoco told Variety in March 2021 that the cast chose to “go out together” after discussing their options in cocreator Chuck Lorre’s office.
“Jim said, ‘I don’t think I can continue on,’” she recounted. “And I was so shocked that I was literally like, ‘Continue on with what?’ Like, I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I looked at Chuck: ‘Wow. I thought we were — I’m so blown away right now.’”
Jim Parsons (Sheldon)
The Emmy winner reprised his role in voiceover form for the spinoff Young Sheldon. He also starred in Hollywood and The Boys in the Band and produced several projects, including Bialik’s Call Me Kat.
Parsons has been married to Todd Spiewak since May 2017.
Johnny Galecki (Leonard)
The actor appeared on The Conners after wrapping The Big Bang Theory.
Galecki announced the arrival of his first child, a baby boy, with then-girlfriend Alaina Meyer in December 2019. News broke in November 2020 that the pair split after two years of dating
Kaley Cuoco (Penny)
Cuoco moved on to a starring role on The Flight Attendant, earning a Golden Globe nomination in 2021.
The actress has been married to Karl Cook since June 2018.
Mayim Bialik (Amy)
Bialik, who joined the show in 2010 and later became a series regular, traded in one sitcom for another with Call Me Kat.
The actress shares sons Miles and Frederick with ex-husband Michael Stone.
Kunal Nayyar (Raj)
Nayyar stayed busy with roles in Sweetness in the Belly, Trolls World Tour, Think Like a Dog and Criminal: UK.
The actor has been married to Neha Kapur since December 2011.
Simon Helberg (Howard)
Helberg took a break from acting after The Big Bang Theory but will return to the screen in Annette and As Sick as They Made Us.
The actor and Jocelyn Towne, who wed in July 2007, are parents of daughter Adeline and son Wilder.
Melissa Rauch (Bernadette)
Rauch, who joined the series in 2009, has starred in The Laundromat, Robot Chicken, Cats & Dogs 3: Paws Unite and Animaniacs.
The actress shares daughter Sadie and son Brooks with Winston Beigel, whom she married in 2007.