Blossom was one of the biggest TV shows in the ’90s. When the show premiered, countless critics and viewers gave Blossom credit for including sensitive topics that are typically avoided in comedy television.
It has been over thirty years since the show first aired on television, and we can’t help but be curious about what the cast members have been up to since the show. We have seen Mayim Bialik and Joey Lawrence find success appearing on other sitcoms, but what happened to everyone else?
Mayim Bialik was the titular character and featured star of Blossom. She played the youngest Russo sibling and only daughter. Her point-of-view was distinctive but insightful, a quality that many viewers were able and related to. Blossom was known for her quirky vests, hats, and full of personality.
Being the only girl in a house full of men, the thoughtfulness that Blossom expressed was refreshing in such a complicated household. Her commentary and humor made her one of the most loved sitcom characters in the ’90s.
After Blossom came to an end, Mayim Bialik focused on voice acting while she got her neurobiology doctorate. She graduated with a Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2007. Bialik made her official return to acting in 2010 when she joined the cast of the hit sitcom Big Bang Theory.
She was cast as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler, a potential match for Sheldon. The character of Amy was inspired by Bialik’s own Ph.D. and won fans over so profoundly that she was promoted to the main cast. Since August 2021, she’s been guest-hosting Jeopardy!
Jenna von Oÿ, much like her co-star, became a child star when she joined the Blossom cast as Six Lemeure. Blossom’s speedy talking best friend, Six, got her nickname from being the sixth kid born into the family. Funnily enough, none of her siblings ever appeared on the show.
Compared to Blossom, Six was a little bit more wild and kooky. This pretty big contrast in their personalities created a captivating dynamic in their friendship and made Six one of the standout characters on the show.
When Blossom came to an end in 1995, von Oÿ studied at the University of Southern California for a couple of years before dropping out to continue pursuing an acting career. She was cast as Stevie van Lowe on the Moesha spin-off series, The Parkers.
During the five years that the show was on the air, von Oÿ took other jobs in movies and television, including voicing the character of Stacey in A Goofy Movie. She even released a country album in 2007 called Breathing Room. Since then, she has been mostly out of the spotlight.
Michael Stoyanov is most recognized in his career for his role as the oldest Russo son on Blossom. The character of Tony was the classic sitcom sarcastic oldest sibling. Initially, Tony worked at a donut shop and, by the end of the series, had become a paramedic.
During the first episode, it was explained that his character had fallen into a battle with substance abuse. Throughout the series, he was dealing with his own demons but always made time to support and help his little sister Blossom.
After his time ended with the Blossom series, Michael Stoyanov transitioned to writing for television shows. He actually left Blossom before the series ended to take a job on the writing team at the Late Night with Conan O’Brien!
After that first writing job, he got hired for a number of other shows, including MADtv, The Dana Carvey Show, and Mr. Show with Bob and David. He has booked smaller roles since his writing days, including the Joker’s backup in the movie, The Dark Knight.
What’s a ’90s sitcom without a love interest? Thankfully, we’ll never know because Blossom had the devilishly good-looking Vinnie Bonitardi played by David Lascher. He started off as a guest appearance during the second season’s finale.
After being Blossom’s date, Lascher was featured more regularly on the show until the fifth season. Vinnie and Blossom’s relationship certainly had its ups and downs, but the two of them challenged each other in the best ways. Their chemistry was palpable, and Blossom helped Vinnie channel his softer side.
After his time on Blossom, Lascher’s next big role was on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, in 1999. He played Sabrina’s love interest and coworker, Josh. He worked on the show for three seasons before moving on to his next project.
David Lascher then booked a number of TV movie and short film projects between 2006 and 2011. In 2014, he had a small guest arc on the show Melissa & Joey, which reunited him with his co-stars Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart. His most recent on-screen appearance was in 2018.
Before joining the Blossom cast, Buzz Richman had made quite the name for himself in Hollywood. He starred in the original Tron movie and was nabbed the main role in three television series: Doc, Mr. Merlin, and The Cavanaughs.
Then, he booked the job on Blossom as the Russos’ maternal grandfather Buzz Richman. The role was a recurring one that began with his introduction at the beginning of the second season. Buzz was featured more than his daughter, Blossom’s mom, but provided the Russos with plenty of wisdom.
Because he already had such an accomplished career before appearing on Blossom, Hughes only appeared in a few projects between when the show ended, and he retired. These films included the musical The Fantasticks and the historical drama film Cradle Will Rock.
After that last film in 1999, Hughes retired from acting and spent his time with his wife since 1950, Helen Stenborg. Tragically, Barnard Hughes died five days before turning 91 years old in 2006. He will be remembered for his contribution to television and film.
The absence of a mother figure was central to Blossom’s character development on the show. In fact, no one had been cast as the Russo mother because the character had gone to Paris alone to try and pursue singing, leaving her family behind.
When the showrunners decided to finally introduce the infamous Maddy Russo, Melissa Manchester was cast as the mother. She appears in season four and tries to reconnect with her family. But before appearing on Blossom, Manchester had released several albums and won a Grammy Award.
After her Blossom appearance, Melissa Manchester continued to put out new music. The entire soundtrack for the direct-to-video movie Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure was recorded and composed by Manchester.
Her songs have also been featured in other films like Dirty Girl and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. She has released 24 studio albums to date and shows no signs of stopping any time soon. In 2021, Manchester was surprised on stage at a performance as she was presented the Songbook Hall of Fame’s New Standard Award.
Even though Six was always over at the Russo’s house in the show, she did have her own family. One of the only members of her family that viewers got to meet was her divorced mom Sharon, played by Gail Edwards.
Edwards’ character was a recurring role on the show, and she even dated Blossom’s dad for a few episodes. The family resemblance between Six and Sharon was obvious from the beginning when we’re first introduced to her fast-talking. Despite only having screentime in a number of episodes, Edwards made quite the impression.
During the same time that she was playing Six’s mom on Blossom, Gail Edwards also appeared on Full House as Vicky Larson. Much like her character in Blossom, Edwards’ Full House character dated the children’s father, Danny Tanner.
Edwards left both shows around the same time and essentially left the entertainment industry as a result. She retired from acting and focused on other endeavors. But, after more than two decades away from the silver screen, Edwards guest-starred on an episode of Fuller House to reprise her role as Vicky.
Before Ted Wass played the part of Nick Russo on Blossom, he debuted on Broadway as Danny Zuko in the original production of Grease. He was also known for his role as Danny Dallas on Soap. Nick Russo was Blossom, Joey, and Tony’s dad, whose wife had left their family.
During the first season, Nick was still reeling from his divorce and getting used to being a single dad. By the end of the show, Wass’ character had married Carol and became a stepdad to Carol’s daughter Kennedy.
Despite finding great success in front of the camera, Ted Wass dreamed of also working behind it as part of the directing team. During the five seasons of Blossom, Wass was able to direct 18 episodes and discovered his true passion. Since Blossom, he’s largely dedicated his time to directing episodes of TV shows.
Some of his longest directing stints were in 2000 with Spin City, 2002 with Less Than Perfect, and 2007 with Mom. His directing jobs have even reunited him with his Blossom co-star Joey Lawrence when he directed some Melissa & Joey episodes.
Finola Hughes got her start when she originated the part of Victoria the White Cat in the musical Cats in 1981. Two years later, she starred opposite John Travolta in the movie Staying Alive, the sequel to Saturday Night Fever.
Hughes was in General Hospital and won an Emmy Award for her role. In 1993, she joined the cast of Blossom as Carol, Nick Russo’s new love interest and Kennedy’s mom. Carol and Nick got married by the end of the show, and she provided a maternal figure to the Russo children.
After Blossom ended, Finola Hughes was cast as Patti on Charmed. She was a recurring character that appeared throughout the show’s eight seasons. Around the same time, Hughes got cast as Alex/Anna Devane on the soap opera “All My Children,” a role for which she earned another Emmy nomination.
For a short while, she was the host of a makeover series called How Do I Look? Hughes even wrote a book sharing secrets of her time working on soap operas. Hughes continues to appear in General Hospital, currently as Anna.
Though known as a ’90s heartthrob, Joey Lawrence started off as a guest star on famous ’80s shows like Diff’rent Strokes and Silver Spoons. His first recurring television role was as Joey Donovan on Gimme a Break! But Lawrence’s big break was when he booked the job on Blossom.
Always one to be drawn to roles with the name Joey, Lawrence played Joey Russo, Blossom’s middle brother, with the classic “Whoa!” catchphrase. Blossom’s best friend Six had a huge crush on Joey, and Blossom saw him as a peer rather than a mentor like Tony.
After Blossom finished, Lawrence joined his brothers in the short-lived series Brotherly Love, where, you guessed it, he played a character named Joe. He went on to book several TV films, like Disney Channel Original Movies and second-rate shows.
His career took quite a dive until he appeared in a recurring part on American Dreams. In 2010, he starred as Joe opposite Melissa Joan Hart in an ABC Family sitcom that ran for four seasons. As far as his personal life, he has gone through two divorces, has two children, and got engaged in August 2021.
Portia Dawson’s media debut was in 1991 when she starred in Vanilla Ice’s movie, Cool as Ice. That same year she appeared on Blossom as Tony Russo’s girlfriend, Rhonda Jo Applegate. Though a sweet character, Rhonda went through trials and tribulations with Tony throughout their relationship.
With everything that went on with Tony, Rhonda was there to support him and just observe the chaos that ensued. The pair broke up in season three, which sent Tony into a tailspin and led him to drink again.
After finishing her character arc on Blossom, Dawson was able to book guest star roles on television series. These TV shows included Joey, Scrubs, and Nip/Tuck. She also starred in the 1999 indie romcom Dreamers opposite Jeremy Jordan.
Her last credited acting role was in The Trouble with Romance in 2007. Despite the guest appearances, landing solid jobs in Hollywood proved difficult for Dawson. After more than twenty years of looking for her big break, she seems to have fully stepped away from the limelight.
Courtney Chase got her start in show business as a Gerber baby and booking commercials. She went on to book guest appearance gigs on TV movies and television shows. Chase even starred on One Life to Live, the classic soap opera.
In 1994, she joined the cast of Blossom as Kennedy, Carol’s daughter. Chase’s character came from England with her mother and was depicted as a kid wise beyond her years. By the series finale of Blossom, Kennedy had really bonded with Blossom and Tony after their parents got married.
When Blossom finished in 1995, Chase appeared in two movies that year. The first was Italian Movie with James Gandolfini and the second was the action film Nick of Time. She starred alongside Christopher Walken and Johnny Depp in the latter movie.
Her last acting credit was in 2004 when she appeared as Brenda on the sitcom Still Standing. Because of her early start in acting, it makes sense that she stepped away from acting. It appears that she’s focusing her efforts on her studies and a possible career in music.
Following in most actors’ shoes, Samaria Graham’s first acting job was on Law & Order in 1992. After a handful of guest-starring jobs in the years afterward, she booked the job as Shelly Lewis on Blossom. Samaria Graham’s introduction to Blossom came very suddenly after Tony, and his longtime girlfriend officially called it quits.
In season three, Tony goes to Las Vegas to drown in his sorrows and wakes up the next morning to discover that he has married Shelly. They decide to give their marriage a real shot and have a baby by the series finale.
After Blossom wrapped, Graham continued to book acting jobs as a guest star. Some of the shows that she appeared on included ABC Afterschool Specials, Providence, Touched by an Angel, The Wayan Bros., and Beverly Hills, 90210. In 1999, Graham starred as Izzy on the TV show Providence.
Her last credited acting role came in 2003 after Providence had officially finished. Graham appeared as Kira on an episode of Girlfriends. Since then, she has been keeping a low profile, and there isn’t much information about what she’s currently doing.
Up until this point, we’ve covered the main cast members who appeared on the show. But what about the background characters? There have been several guest stars who appeared on Blossom that were lesser-known but still provided memorable performances.
In the industry, Eileen Brennan was known for playing bold and sassy characters. She was best known for her award-winning portrayal of Captain Doreen Lewis in Private Benjamin. Eileen Brennan had a recurring part on the show as Agnes. Agnes’ character was Blossom’s confidante and lived next to the Russo family.
The actress booked many jobs after her appearance on Blossom. She showed off her comedic prowess in sketches on the comedy series Laugh-In. She also booked longer character arcs on TV shows like All-New Dennis the Menace in 1993, Will & Grace, and 7th Heaven.
Her last acting credit was as Gram Malone in 2011’s Naked Run. For years she battled breast cancer and, in 2013, eventually lost her cancer battle at the age of 80 years old. Her performances have held her legacy in high esteem in the entertainment industry.
Phyllis Diller was a legendary, award-winning comedian well before she appeared on Blossom. One of the first household name female comics, she also appeared in The Muppet Show, Cybill, and The Love Boat. Additionally, she continued to perform stand-up comedy while she made movies and television programs.
She booked the recurring role of Mrs. Peterson on Blossom, who was an older paramedic that was scheduled to work the same shifts as Tony. The pair’s dynamic always added laughs as their personal habits got on each other’s nerves.
After Blossom, Diller continued to tour with her stand-up act and book acting projects. She also began dabbling in voice acting, lending her voice to characters in A Bug’s Life, Family Guy, Jimmy Neutron, and Hey Arnold!
Her larger-than-life personality and stage presence were what helped make her career so successful and legendary. She was also one of the first outspoken supporters of plastic surgery. Diller passed away in 2012 at the age of 95. Her career has continued to inspire comedians like Margaret Cho and Ellen DeGeneres.
Big fans of Blossom will certainly recognize Ivory Ocean as he played Carl Lewis, Shelly’s father. This meant that he was Tony’s father-in-law when he married Shelly in Vegas. The character of Carl was a law enforcement officer and was not a jokester.
He was known for being incredibly serious and stern at all times. When the families come together after Tony and Shelly’s elopement, it’s hilariously revealed that Carl had actually arrested Nick one time. That story certainly didn’t help break the awkward tension.
As was often the case with some of the older actors who appeared on Blossom, Ivory Ocean’s appearance on the sitcom was not the biggest one that he had in his career. He was well-known for his role as Mayor Tilton in 1994’s The Mask with Jim Carrey.
Some of Ocean’s other famous roles included 1995’s A Walk in the Clouds and 1997’s Lost Highway. His last credited acting role was as Virgil on City Guys in 2001. A decade after his last role, Ocean passed away in 2011 at the age of 65.
We’ve covered the two main groups of any sitcom: the primary cast members and the actors who make recurring appearances. Blossom also hosted its fair share of celebrity cameos and famous guest appearances during its five-season run. Among the guests were numerous comedians, TV personalities, musicians, and actors.
Some of these people were established well before their appearance on Blossom aired, while others would only become famous long after they came onto the show. Whether it was throughout the entire episode or just for a scene or two, these stars are worth mentioning.
During the fourth episode of the second season, Blossom attends a trip sponsored by her school with the school’s band. At the end of the episode, Blossom steps into an elevator, and only when the doors close does she realize that Will Smith is riding with her.
After she freaks out, he gives her his hat since she doesn’t have any paper to get his autograph. Smith’s appearance was during the peak popularity of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Since then, he has gone on to get nominated for an Oscar and become a respected blockbuster actor.
The fourth season brought a lot of changes, most notably when Six gets a questionable boyfriend. Sonny is a married man ten years older than Six and used to be a con. The two of them start going out together, and Blossom confronts them by telling Sonny that he’s wrong her Six.
He disagrees and tries to prove it to her. Schwimmer’s appearance on Blossom was about a year before he became part of the iconic Friends cast. Today, he is most well-known for playing Ross on Friends and Robert Kardashian in The People v. O.J. Simpson.
Blossom’s oldest brother Tony got mixed up with the most hilarious characters. Leah Remini guest-starred as Ellen, one of Tony’s coworkers. She was incredibly hostile towards him and didn’t really offer an explanation as to why.
Remini is most famous for starring opposite Jerry Stiller and Kevin James on the sitcom King of Queens from 1998-2007. She was a famous Scientologist until she left in 2013. Most recently, she’s become involved in producing television documentary series that expose the realities of the Church of Scientology.
Tisha Campbell was a Blossom guest star, not just one, but twice during the show’s second season! Besides Blossom, Campbell has starred in numerous films like Little Shop of Horrors, House Party, and the House Party sequels.
On television, she is most famous for playing Gina on the comedy show Martin from 1992-1997, Patrice on The Jamie Foxx Show from 1996-2000, and Jay on My Wife and Kids from 2001-2005. Campbell continues to book jobs, has even taken on some voice acting roles, and even released an album back in 1993.
During the first season of Blossom, Six and Blossom sneak out to attend a make-out party where Blossom ends up kissing a kid named Jason. Well, Jason was played by Johnny Galecki, and it wasn’t the last time that he would be on-screen with Mayim Bialik.
Galecki gained some notoriety when he was cast in Roseanne after his Blossom appearance. But, his most well-known role was as nerdy Leonard on The Big Bang Theory, which was the sitcom cast that Mayim would go on to join.
The entire Blossom sitcom is like the perfect treasure trove for all things nostalgic about the ’90s. The show was so unique in that it had so many episodes that addressed social issues and was introduced by a lead female actress.
Besides the list we mentioned, Blossom also featured several more guest stars, including Jane Leeves, Stephen Dorff, Tobey Maguire, Phylicia Rashad, and even got Mr. T in an episode! Since it’s been more than two decades since Blossom premiered, here are some behind-the-scenes tidbits about the show.
Don Reo is a celebrated television producer and writer, and he was the man behind the show Blossom. The inspiration for the show came from a trip of his to Florida. Reo had been invited to the 50th birthday party of Dion DiMucci and met his family.
DiMucci had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but remained a normal dad to his three daughters. Reo was inspired by this dynamic and came up with the idea of Nick Russo as a “cool” parent while raising his children.
The first episode of Blossom aired in July 1990 and was slotted as a one-time special. There were a number of intense differences when it came to that pilot episode and the rest of the series. First, Blossom’s parents were still together.
Nick was working as an accountant, and Maddy was a stay-at-home mom. Joey’s name was originally supposed to be Donny, and the show’s theme song was “My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown. When the pilot was picked up, they changed Nick’s job and Joey’s name.
The second episode of Blossom really stressed the NBC network censor team but ended up airing regardless. This episode focused on Blossom as she becomes an adolescent. Since she lacks a maternal figure, Blossom turns to her older friend to vent about it.
Phylicia Rashad played her older friend and put frosting fallopian tubes on Blossom’s birthday cake. The censor team was worried that the scene with the birthday cakes might be too much but kept it in since there wouldn’t be any upsides to cutting the scene out.
Superheroes have been all the rage for a long time, and The Incredible Hulk was first brought to TV screens in 1977. Bill Bixby was the actor who originally portrayed David Banner/The Hulk, and he eventually found a passion for directing media projects.
Bixby ended up directing 30 episodes of Blossom, which ended up being about 26% of the series’ total episodes. His episodes made up most of season three and the start of season four. Sadly, Bixby lost his battle with prostate cancer in 1993 at the age of 59.
Ratings are what keep a sitcom afloat, and Blossom was fortunate enough to be the most-watched show in 1991 among viewers between the ages of 12 and 17. The high rankings among that demographic were due, in large part, to the appeal of Joey Lawrence to teenage girls.
There were reports that said that the actor would get anywhere between 4,000 to 7,000 letters from dedicated fans every single day. There was even a report that claimed he got 15,000 letters a week. Whichever number is correct is a lot of letters to go through!
While they were making the show Blossom, Mayim Bialik was only fifteen years old when the pilot episode premiered. Now, over two decades later and a mother of two, she reflects back on her experience with only positive memories.
Bialik has said in interviews that the set was a safe place to grow up in and that her castmates were some of her closest friends. She was also grateful that their set was as normal as possible, with no alcohol or drugs going on behind the scenes.
Ted Wass starred as Nick Russo on Blossom and was the last acting job he ever took. The sitcom was the pivot point for him as he was introduced to directing. Wass was able to direct several episodes of Blossom while he was also acting as part of the cast.
After the show came to an end in 1995, Wass chose to completely dedicate his time to directing projects rather than starring in them. He worked on several other successful sitcoms like Melissa & Joey and Last Man Standing.
The character of Six was a bundle of fast-talking energy all of the time, which can be exhausting for any actress. Jenna von Oÿ had her own ritual to get into character, and it mostly came down to a drink concoction that she had every day.
And here, we just assumed that she was naturally energetic. According to Ted Wass, the drink consisted of crushed-up M&Ms and malted milk balls combined with either strong coffee or Coca-Cola. It’s no wonder von Oÿ was talking so fast; she was hyped up on caffeine!
By 1993, Blossom had cemented itself as a successful sitcom. With a couple of seasons under its belt, the creators decided to bring in another actress to the cast. Samaria Graham was brought in as Shelly Lewis, Tony Russo’s new love interest and accidental wife.
When the casting announcement was shared, Graham told news outlets that she was rather indifferent about the whole thing. She just considered it another job and said that she would treat it as such. You’d think that joining a successful sitcom would get a more enthusiastic response!