The music on Glee stopped in 2015 after 121 episodes. There were memorable music performances such as Rachel Berry’s tearful rendition of Make You Feel My Love, Mercedes Jones’ triumphant And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going and the New Direction’s rousing take on Don’t Stop Believin’.
Critics also praised the show for its groundbreaking approach to exploring various social issues such as gender identity, teen pregnancy and bullying.
The show – created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan – brought instant worldwide fame to the cast members. Lea Michele got a record deal while Jane Lynch scored an Emmy, a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for her role as Sue Sylvester.
The rest of the cast also embarked on a concert tour called Glee Live! In Concert which culminated with the release of Glee: The Concert Movie. Oh, and over 11 million copies of Glee albums have been sold. Not to mention, 36 million singles by the cast sold digitally.
The show also proved a musical drama on TV can work if it is done right.
One year after Glee ended, we take a look at what the cast of the hit series is up to.
The 29-year-old actress portrayed Rachel Berry and blew everyone away with her impressive vocal chops. Post-Glee, Michele was cast as one of the Scream Queens, a new show by the creators of Glee. The satirical horror series which focuses on a serial killer targeting a group of sorority girls has been renewed for a second season.
Michele previously released debut album Louder in 2014 and received mixed reviews for her effort. In an interview with Marie Claire, she said her sophomore album – due for a 2016 release – will have a “clearer vision”.
Criss, 29, won the hearts of viewers as the charismatic Blaine. Right after Glee ended, he went straight to work as the lead in the Broadway musical Hedwig And The Angry Inch. He also co-founded and organised Elsie Fest, a music festival in New York City. Viewers got the chance to see him play an annoying hipster who demanded for a free stay in the recently-concluded American Horror Story: Hotel.
Colfer was the fashionable and sassy Kurt Hummel who struggled to gain acceptance from his father. In real life, Colfer has a role in the upcoming comedy Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, starring alongside Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley. Apart from acting, the 25-year-old also has a career as a children’s book author. His fourth novel The Land Of Stories: Beyond The Kingdoms made it to top spot of The New York Times best-seller list.
William McKinley High’s resident bad boy is in trouble with the law in real life. Last December, it was reported that Salling, 33, has been arrested for possesion of child pornograhy. He posted bail and is awaiting trial. In an interview with In Touch, his long-time friend Hudson Wells said Salling is “devastated” from the allegations. On the professional front, Salling has a role in upcoming film Gods And Secrets.
Quinn Fabray was the popular cheerleader in school and Rachel’s love rival as both were vying for the affection of jock Finn Hudson (played by the late Cory Monteith). Agron may have been demoted from series regular to guest role after three seasons on Glee, but it appears to have done nothing to dampen her acting career. Last year, the 29-year-old actress received rave reviews for her performance in independent film Bare. She has four movie projects lined up this year – Hollow In The Land, Headlock, Jekyll Island and Novitiate. Agron has also directed L’Américaine, a short film to showcase Tory Burch Paris Collection in 2015.
Riley played Mercedes who gave Rachel a run for her money with powerhouse vocals and mesmerising performances. Since Glee concluded, 30-year-old Riley has appeared in two TV movies – My One Christmas Wish and The Wiz Live! She recently shared with Essence that she will be playing iconic Effie in London’s West End production of Dreamgirls.
Santana Lopez was the acid-tongued cheerleader who became a different person when she fell in love.
In real life, 29-year-old Rivera got married to actor Ryan Dorsey and gave birth to her son in September.
She has also appeared on Devious Maids. This year, she is expected to release a memoir titled Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, And Growing Up.
Ditzy cheerleader Brittany has all the right moves on the show. Morris, 29, kept herself busy after Glee concluded with starring roles in horror movie Most Likely To Die, TV show LA LA Living and comedy flick Folk Hero & Funny Guy. The stunning blonde also married longtime boyfriend Taylor Hubbell in May last year. Recently, she gave birth to a baby boy.
The 29-year-old actress who played Tina Cohen-Chang is set to appear in the movie adaptation of Captain Underpants as the voice of Ms Guided, a schoolteacher. Variety reported that Ushkowitz will star alongside Rumer Willis in Hello Again, a musical-to-movie adaptation. Rumour has it that Ushkowitz is also in talks to play Mulan in a live-action Disney movie.
Artie was the inspirational character who never let his disability come in the way of performing and moving about on stage. With Glee out of the way, McHale shifted his career to presenting. He is currently a host on Virtually Famous, a British comedy panel show. He is also a digital radio host on a segment called Sick Of My Voice. In an interview with Mario Lopez, McHale expressed interest in pursuing a solo music career after Glee. He is currently focused on songwriting for other artistes.
Harry Shum Jr
The cast of Glee reunited for Shum’s Costa Rica wedding to Filipino-American dance Shelby Rabara in November. The actor, who portrayed dancer Mike Chang, received rave reviews for his performance on the show. Things are looking up for the actor post-Glee. He scored a role in the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny, starring alongside our very own Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh. He also clinched a leading role in fantasy-action series Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments.
Glee members not only had to contend with growing pains and intolerance from schoolmates but they also had to deal with Sue Sylvester who was hell-bent on shutting down the club. One of the worst things she did to sabotage the Glee club was to give their secret setlist to a rival team. After Glee, Lynch continued hosting the game show Hollywood Game Night and has received back-to-back Emmys for Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-competition Program. The show is currently in its fourth season.
She has yet to find another hit series as her recent TV show Angel From Hell was cancelled after five episodes. Ouch!
As the good-natured Spanish teacher, Will Schuester did everything he could to keep the Glee club going and its members motivated. He took them to greater heights by winning the Nationals twice. When Glee ended, Morrison’s career shifted to Broadway. Last year, he won the Broadway.com Audience Award for Favourite Actor in Musical and Favourite Onstage Pair with co-star Laura Michelle Kelly. Both were for his role as J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland the musical. He has a recurring role as Connor Fox in The Good Wife and was recently seen opposite Sutton Foster in the TV comedy Younger.
Seasons One to Five of Glee are available on iflix.