Richard made a couple television films and guest appearances after Empty Nest ended. He died in September 2000 after a long battle with colon cancer.
Kristy retired from acting after her departure from Empty Nest in 1992. Her return for the show’s 1995 finale remains her last onscreen appearance as an actress to date, although she lent her voice to some animated projects, including 1998’s Invasion America. She has been involved in charity work and has taught drama at a Los Angeles high school. Kristy grabbed headlines in 2012 when she came out in an effort to raise awareness and help bullied youths. Today, she makes appearances at celebrity autograph signings and conventions to meet and greet fans and performs as a member of the Los Angeles Valley Community College choir. She is also an advocate and supporter of the LAVC Foundation, which raises money for students in need. Currently, she and her brother, Jimmy, keep up with fans and offer regular giveaways on their active Facebook page.
When the show ended, Dinah continued to make guest appearances and direct episodes of various shows before returning to series television with a two-season run on the ABC Family original series State of Grace in 2001. She appeared in the films The Amati Girls (2000) with her Oscar-winning mother Lee Grant and A Carol Christmas (2003) with Tori Spelling. Her most recent screen appearances include the critically acclaimed 2008 independent comedy Bart Got a Room and the 2009 Web series Lose Yourself. Several years ago, Dinah and her family left L.A. and settled near Seattle. These days, she focuses on family, teaches acting and is writing a novel.
Since his days as Charley Dietz, David Leisure has made television guest appearances (Diagnosis Murder, Caroline in the City, Action) and movies (10 Things I Hate About You, 3 Strikes). Well known for his previous role as lying car salesman Joe Isuzu, David did a new series of commercials for the Isuzu company in 2001. He appeared in National Lampoon’s Teed Off, a film featuring golf-related skit comedy and practical jokes, and its sequel Teed Off Too, in 2005 and 2006, respectively. In 2009, David did a stint on the soap opera The Young & the Restless, followed by roles on Days of Our Lives and General Hospital in 2010. During the 2012 presidential election, David again reprised his Joe Isuzu role for a series of humorous Web ads where he “endorsed” Mitt Romney. In 2015, he costarred in the ION Television original film Meet My Valentine with Scott Wolf. He reprised the Joe Isuzu character again in 2018 for an ad for Johnny 5 Trooper, an Arkansas-based resource for first-generation Isuzu owners.
After Empty Nest, Park worked in the theatre, TV movies and in films such as Sparkler and Abilene, as well as the short-lived sitcoms Katie Joplin (1999) and Ladies Man (2000), followed up by a two-season recurring role on Reba in 2001-2002. She starred in the 2008 film Beer for My Horses with country music star Toby Keith. Her most recent role is in the critically acclaimed film In the Family. In 2012, Park, a critic of nuclear power and supporter of the environment, the LGBTQ community and women’s issues, announced her Democratic candidacy for U.S. Senate in her home state of Tennessee, but did not win the primary election. Today, she continues to be an outspoken activist in her hometown of Greeneville, Tenn.
Paul Provenza joined Northern Exposure after his one-season run on Empty Nest. After that series ended in 1995, he went on to appear in the films Plump Fiction, Nothing Sacred and The Hungry Bachelors Club, as well as the series Beggars and Choosers and The West Wing. Paul has also moved behind the camera, writing, producing and directing projects including the star-studded documentary The Aristocrats, released in 2005. In 2010, he released the book Satiristas and launched the Showtime series The Green Room with Paul Provenza, featuring some of the world’s greatest comedians in a roundtable setting, which ran for two seasons. He has multiple projects currently in development.
Since her season as Emily Weston, Lisa has been a regular on the series Women of the House and the first season of The King of Queens. She has also appeared in the films Forget Paris, The Patron Saint of Liars and Drowning Mona. More recently, she starred in the Web series Girltrash. While she continues to act and write, Lisa is perhaps now best known for her music career. She is lead singer for the popular Los Angeles indie rock band Killola. The group has released three full-length albums. Their latest single, “Busted Love,” was released in March 2016. Lisa is married to bandmate Johnny Dunn. The couple welcomed a daughter, Jolee Rose, in December 2011.
After her two years on Empty Nest, Marsha appeared in the 1997 film Doomsday Rock and has made appearances on a variety of television series: Smart Guy, Moesha, Living Single, Touched by an Angel, Cybill, Clueless, Love Boat: The Next Wave, Veronica’s Closet and Mad About You. In 2000, she appeared on a celebrity edition of the game show Family Feud titled “Funny Men vs. Funny Women” and in 2003 appeared on an episode of E! Network’s Star Dates series. In recent years, Marsha’s humorous insights and sharp commentary have found a home in the social media arena. She posts regularly on Facebook and Twitter. And Marsha has recently returned to her stand-up comedy roots after years away from the stage. She is, in her words, “starting all over from scratch.”
After a ten year/three series run as Sophia Petrillo, Estelle went on to appear in Stuart Little and made guest appearances on Touched by an Angel, Mad About You and Ladies Man. Estelle suffered from dementia in her later years and died at the age of 84 in July of 2008.
Bear (“Dreyfuss”) remained with his trainer, Mark Forbes, who took over from Joel Silverman for the show’s final three seasons, when Empty Nest ended in 1995. According to The Encyclopdia of TV Pets, Bear remained with Forbes for the next three-and-a-half years “living the good life of long walks, plenty of chew toys, and lots of love.” He died at the age of twelve-and-a-half.
We’ve covered the main cast, but what about the recurring stars? Here’s where some of our favorite supporting actors are today.
Jana Arnold (Lurlene Moss, Seasons 2-3) left Hollywood to return to her stage roots. She appears regularly in productions with Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum, Idaho, including a recent run of Vania and Sonia and Masha and Spike.
Mayim Bialik (Laurie Kincaid, Seasons 2-3) earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience after Blossom wrapped in 1995. The Emmy-nominated actress and author currently stars as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory.
Brady Bluhm (Various roles, Seasons 3, 5) is an occasional actor, producer, editor and drummer for the band Migraine Season. In 2014, he reprised his Dumb and Dumber role of “Billy” for the film’s sequel.
Michael Ray Bower (Josh, Season 2) is a working actor with an active social media presence. He recently appeared at a special cast reunion of his Nickelodeon series Salute Your Shorts.
Edan Gross (Jeffrey Millstein, Seasons 1-2) left show business in the ’90s and is now an investment advisor in the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley areas.
Kari Lizer (Doris, Seasons 6-7) continues to enjoy a successful run as a television executive. She was a producer on Will & Grace and created The New Adventures of Old Christine.
Christopher McDonald (Nick Todd, Seasons 2, 4) has worked steadily in movies and television for decades, including recent stints on Harry’s Law, Boardwalk Empire and Kirstie. He has several projects in post-production.
D. David Morin (Kevin Millen, Season 7) stepped behind the camera and launched a successful career as a filmmaker. In 2014, he moved to South Africa, where he operates Slingshot Productions and Slingshot Seminars.
Stephen Nichols (Dr. Matt Kane, Season 7) has been a daytime television mainstay for decades, with popular roles on Days of Our Lives, General Hospital and The Young and the Restless. In 2015, he returned to Days of Our Lives for the show’s 50th anniversary.
Todd Susman (Ben Braxton, Season 7) is a recognizable character actor continuing to appear in television and film, including a recent recurring role on Orange is the New Black.