The King Of Queens: Where Is The Cast Today?

In 1998, the CBS sitcom "The King of Queens" aired its first episode, starring a virtually unknown Kevin James alongside television star Leah Remini. James had notoriety from his standup comedy that he took from clubs to TV, appearing on talk shows like "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "The Late Show with David Letterman." Remini had guest spots in a couple dozen shows like "Saved by the Bell," "Blossom," and "Friends."

On the surface, the show appeared to be another sitcom with a middle-class, oddly paired couple — her traditionally beautiful and him, well, not so much. Doug and Carrie Heffernan hit another trope with their constant bickering and hilarious put-downs. Added into the mix was another veteran actor, Jerry Stiller, who played Carrie's father. Arthur not only provided antagonism and frustration for the couple, especially Doug, but Stiller appeared in every episode of the show.

But the half-hour sitcom didn't hit as other shows of its time, like "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Will & Grace," and "Friends." There was also a sad tone to the final season as Doug and Carrie struggled with having a baby and being separated. Of course the writers ultimately gave Doug and Carrie — and the viewers — a happily-ever-after. Still, there were likely some very disappointed fans. For the actors, though, it might have been the right move. Kevin James, began starring in big movies before the show ended, and many of its regulars made a nice pile of cash. So, let's see what they're up to now.

Kevin James is leading man material

Anyone who's watched "The King of Queens" knows many of the put-downs tossed at Doug Heffernan (played by Kevin James) about his weight, looks, or social standing, were thrown by the man himself. Self-deprecating humor was not only part of Doug's charm, but made it all the more surprising when Doug pulled off the ultimate physical comedy, like playing sports, doing tricks on the trampoline, or perfecting the stripper pole. He might not have been the perfect husband but he was loveable, funny, and showed the Hollywood powers that be that James was leading man material.

In 2005, two years before the show ended, James was cast opposite another beautiful actor, Amber Valletta, in "Hitch." And it seemed the moment he wrapped his final episode of "The King of Queens," he appeared in movie after movie, not just as a supporting character but as the star. James also stepped up as a leading man in real life in 2004, when he married his long-time girlfriend, model Steffiana de la Cruz. The couple has four children.

In 2016, James was cast in another sitcom featuring a married couple living in New York. Sadly, "Kevin Can Wait" lasted only two seasons. In 2022, the "Here Comes the Boom" actor changed things up with a more serious role, portraying former New York Saints head coach in the movie "Home Team." But of course, he also stays true to his roots and will be doing standup in 2023.

Leah Remini speaks her truth

Most people know Leah Remini these days as the former scientologist on a crusade against the organized religion. But for nine seasons starting in 1998, she played Carrie Heffernan, the New York–accented, sarcastic, and hard-edged wife of Doug. When "The King of Queens" ended in 2007, Remini did a few guest spots on television shows before nabbing a regular role on the short-lived "Family Tools" in 2013 and "The Exes" in 2014. She joined "Kevin Can Wait" at the end of Season 1; unfortunately, reuniting her with James couldn't save the show.

Remini released her book, "Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientolog," in 2015 and followed that up with a three-season docuseries and a podcast. Discussing her passion and dedication to spreading the word about Scientology, Remini told Chelsea Handler, "You have to be willing to do the right thing ... just because it's the right thing to do."

Remini has become a popular choice as a guest host on shows like "The Talk" and "The Wendy Williams Show," as well as a guest judge on "Dancing with the Stars." She's also garnered quite the following on TikTok, where she and JLo (whom she starred with in 2018's "Second Act") pop up in each other's videos from time to time, sharing some of their "bestie" moments.

Victor Williams mistaken for Tyler Perry

Kevin James might have been the star of "The King of Queens," but his best friend, Deacon, played by Victor Williams, constantly one-upped him in almost every department. The pair got along well, had alot in common, and both worked at IPS. However, Deacon was taller, cooler, more fit, and had a better marriage — well, that last one wasn't totally true, as Deacon and Kelly separated at one point.

Before getting cast in the show, Williams only had a handful of credits to his name. When the show ended in 2007, he continued to garner guest roles on shows like "Fringe," "Blue Bloods," and a six-episode stint on "NYC 22." In 2014, he started a recurring role in "The Affair," in 2017, he was a series 1 regular in "Sneaky Pete." And in 2018, he was a regular in the one and only season of "Happy Together" with Damon Wayans Jr.

In 2015, Williams had a hilarious moment on "The Real Daytime" when he shared that he often gets mistaken for other actors, including Sinbad and Tyler Perry, but Williams wanted to be clear about one thing. He said, "So there's the thing, 'all black men look alike,' but it's not white people who say it. It's black people." He went on to add that he'd love to be in a Tyler Perry movie. On a more serious note, Williams delivered an important message from the New York City Mayor's office in 2020 about the importance of filling out your census.

Merrin Dungey raking in the roles

Kelly Palmer, played by Merrin Dungey, might not have had as much screen time as her husband, Deacon, but for Dungey herself there was no shortage of roles both before and during "The King of Queens." She'd already appeared on shows like "ER," "Murphy Brown," and "Seinfeld." And during her nine seasons on the show, she continued to snag other jobs, including a recurring role in "Alias" and a top spot in "Summerland." Dungey also earned a coveted role in the pilot "Grey's Anatomy" spinoff "Private Practice" in 2007. Unfortunately, she was replaced by Audra McDonald, who held the role for all six seasons. According to Variety the switch was due to issues with the chemistry between Taye Diggs and Dungey.

Dungey bounced back and continued to be in demand — case in point, what the actor called "the most exciting thing" in 2014, playing Ursula in the series "Once Upon a Time." She told Red Carpet News TV, "When somebody calls and asks you to do something like this, you, you know, thank your lucky stars." Another big score was landing a role as a detective in the hit series "Big Little Lies," which starred some series Hollywood hitters like Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. Merrin is currently divorced from her spouse, whom she married in 2007 and the pair share two children.

Patton Oswalt coping with tragedy

Like Kevin James, Patton Oswalt got his start doing stand-up comedy. He played Spence Olchin, one of Doug's closest — and oldest — friends, for all nine seasons of "The King of Queens." Spence took some of the heat off Doug in terms of being a target for razzing, as Spence lived with his mother, appeared somewhat awkward and weak, and definitely struggled in the dating department.

Following the end of the show, Oswalt continued to acquire spots in both TV shows and movies, as well as quite a bit of voice work, including a continuing role on the animated series, "Word Girl," playing Risky Business in 2016's "The Lego Movie 4D: A New Adventure," and a primo gig as narrator for the long-running hit show, "The Goldbergs."

Tragedy struck for the actor in 2016 when his then-wife of 11 years, crime author Michelle McNamara, died in her sleep. According to The New York Times she had an undiagnosed heart condition and "a dangerous mix of prescription drugs." She also left behind an unfinished manuscript, which Oswalt was instrumental in seeing to fruition. That same year, Oswalt won a Primetime Emmy for writing for his Netflix comedy special, "Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping." In 2017, Oswalt married actor Meredith Salenger. Oswalt starred in the film, "I Love My Dad," which released to theaters in 2022.

Gary Valentine loves his little bro

Gary Valentine, who plays Danny Heffernan, Doug's cousin in "The King of Queens," is actually Kevin James's older brother in real life and yet another stand-up comic to grace the show's cast. He also spends part of the show as Spence's roommate and eventually lands a job, with Doug's help, at Doug's company, IPS. One look at the actor's IMDB page, and it's obvious the Knipfing (their given name) brothers like to work together. 

From the time "The King of Queens" ended in 2007 until 2022, Valentine appeared in half a dozen movies that Kevin James also starred in, including both "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" movies, "Zookeeper," and "Here Comes the Boom." He also appeared in all 48 episodes of James's "Kevin Can Wait" series. In 2021, Valentine reunited with some of his "The King of Queens" cast members for a virtual table read in honor of Jerry Stiller, who passed away in 2020.

Beyond the limitations of the pandemic, Valentine continued his long-standing career in stand-up comedy. And he can thank his mother for that since she was the one who signed him up for his first open-mic night at a comedy club in Long Island. "Mom's intuition, you know, I guess she knew I had something in me that I could do this ... I was like hooked from the beginning," he said in an interview with Dr. Richard Schlofmitz. Another coup for the actor/comic is his almost 30-year marriage to Jackyline Knipfing.

Nicole Sullivan hanging with the cool kids

If you step back and look at the characters in "The King of Queens," Holly Shumpert, played by Nicole Sullivan, appears to be one of the only characters with empathy and compassion. In Season 3, Holly joined the cast when she was hired to take care of Arthur, though her official title was dog-walker. Holly was often seen as odd by the other characters, but she would bend over backward to make them happy. During her stint on the show, she continued to secure other acting jobs, including her long-standing presence in the sketch comedy series, "Mad TV," where she was first cast in 1995, and played various characters until 2016.

Immediately following "The King of Queens," Sullivan scored her own sitcom, "Rita Rock," which lasted two seasons. In 2009, the actor appeared in two Zac Efron projects. In the hilarious video "Zac Efron's Pool Party" she was a pregnant party-goer who says, "Let's get a drink. Point me to the bar. Baby's thirsty." And she had a role in "17 Again." 

Sullivan didn't seem to slow down, even after having her second child in 2009, garnering more roles in television and movies, with a good chunk of that being voice work. When Sullivan spoke to Chris Harrison to promote "Penguins of Madagascar," she shared one of the reasons she loves animation. "Whenever I'm a person, they make me super thin and really hot," she shared. Sullivan's latest project is voicing three characters on the animated series "House Broken."

Lou Ferrigno hearing better after 60 years

Bodybuilder/actor Lou Ferrigno is best known for his larger-than-life character on the television series, "The Incredible Hulk," which was also his debut as an actor. After 20-plus years and about a dozen other roles, he joined the cast of "The King of Queens" in Season 3 (playing himself) as a neighbor of Doug and Carrie. Carla Ferrigno, Lou's wife in real-life, also appeared in four episodes as Lou's wife on the show. Carla and Lou are still married as of 2022 and celebrated 40 years of marriage in 2020, a rare thing anytime, let alone in Hollywood.

Since appearing in "The King of Queens," Ferrigno has acquired roles in television and film, playing characters and as himself. His most recent project is a recurring role in 2022's "The Offer," a miniseries that chronicles the making of the 1972 film "The Godfather."

In 2021, after roughly six decades being hearing impaired, Ferrigno opted to get the cochlear implant surgery and shared the emotional moment with Inside Edition. He shared that he'd lost 85% of his hearing due to a series of ear infections as a child. "I'm just emotional because I can hear again," he said, swiping at his eye. On top of that, at 71 years old, the man is still in great shape and proud of it, as evidenced by the "abs" selfie he posted on his Instagram.

Larry Romano hanging with A-listers

Larry Romano might not have a huge resume when it comes to acting, but what he does have is pretty impressive, and includes appearing alongside big-name stars like Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Kristin Chenoweth, and of course, Kevin James. When Romano joined "The King of Queens" in 1998, it became his longest-running credit, even though he left the show in 2001. As he often does, Romano played a cocky womanizer. According to Screen Rant, the actor asked to be released from the show so he could take on another role. The new show was "Kristin," starring Kristin Chenoweth. This time Romano wasn't the womanizer — Jon Tenny's character was. Unfortunately, the show only lasted on season.

In 2016, Romano was diagnosed with Stage 3 throat cancer. He talked about his experience on the Melissa Billie Clark Show in 2020, sharing that he lost 125 pounds and ended up on a feeding tube. Sadly, there were rumors and comments about his appearance. "You know, I took a beating ... but whatever, man, you know, I'm still here," he said.

In 2019, Romano came back strong, appearing in HBO's "Bad Education" with Hugh Jackman and the Martin Scorsese-directed "The Irishman." Still, he looks back on his time on "The King of Queens" fondly and often posts about it — when he's not showing off his dogs — on his Instagram.

Sam McMurray likes to be the boss

Actor Sam McMurray was already a twenty-year acting veteran by the time he was cast as Doug's boss at IPS in "The King of Queens" starting in Season 3. He'd appeared in dozens of iconic tv shows of the '70s, '80s, and '90s, such as "Kojak," "The Jeffersons," "Hill Street Blues," and "Chicago Hope." McMurray's character, Supervisor Patrick O'Boyle, was divorced and a recovering alcoholic. Coincidentally, McMurray portrayed a similar character on "Friends" as Chandler's boss. The actor has also played a doctor on several occasions in "Breaking Bad" and "The Sopranos." And an interesting bit of trivia about the actor is that he was the first ever male guest star on the animated series "The Simpsons."

After the show ended, he continued to garner role after role. In 2014-2015, he was cast as a regular in "Cristela," starring Cristela Alonzo. The long-time actor spoke with Eugene Horan in 2022 about his prolific career in entertainment. When Horan asked him specifically about the two roles in "Friends" and "The King of Queens," and whether that type of humor was similar to his own, he responded, "I think that's the closest to me in a sense. Not so much the Doug character, but more for Patrick from 'The King of Queens...'" It's clear as McMurray reminisced, that he has wonderful memories of his work and the fellow actors he worked with over the years. Of all of his co-stars, he shared that Lily Tomlin was "maybe the nicest person on the planet."

Jenny O'Hara still going strong

Doug Heffernan's mother, Janet, was portrayed by veteran actor Jenny O'Hara, who appeared in 15 episodes from 2001 to 2007. She had already appeared in a ton of TV shows such as "The Facts of Life, "Trapper John, M.D.," and was a series regular in "My Sister Sam" with Pam Dawber. As Doug's mother, she seemed to be the perfect combination of loving and cool, though Doug didn't always agree. At least not until after he discovered she was a card shark and followed her around to a bunch of poker games to watch her rake in the winnings when he couldn't do the same.

In 2010, she had one of the lead roles in "Devil," a horror story of five strangers trapped in an elevator. At the premiere, the actor admitted she wouldn't see a movie like this becuase she is afraid of scary movies. But, she added, "Doing it ... entirely different. It is so much fun. The grimmer, the grizzlier, the scarier the better." In 2015, she grabbed a recurring role on the Amazon Original series "Transparent," and in 2022, she appeared "We Are Gathered Here Today," an emotional portrayal of a family struggling through the pandemic that left them no other choice but to say goodbye to their loved one via video chat. She turned 80 in 2022.

Victor Raider-Wexler, commanding and castable

Known for his deep voice, actor Victor Raider-Wexler has played a lawyer, doctor, judge, or someone's boss for more than four decades. Between 2001 and 2007, Raider-Wexler played two different characters in "The King of Queens," but both of them were Carrie's bosses: Mr. Kaplan at her first job as a secretary and Mr. Kaufman at her second job as a paralegal.

During the show and after, the actor continued to grab roles on television shows, TV movies, of course, voice work, and even some big-screen films, like 2002's "Minority Report" with Tom Cruise and 2006's "The Pursuit of Happiness" with Will Smith. From 2016-2020, he voiced characters in several shows, including "The Boss Baby: Back in Business."

Anyone in the '90s probably thinks of one thing when they see Raider-Wexler — the hilarious Junior Mints scene in "Seinfeld." Raider-Wexler plays a doctor about to close up a patient when Jerry and Kramer accidentally drop a Junior Mint below and into the patient. In 2020, he told the "This Podcast is Making Me Thirsty Seinfeld Podcast" that his appearances on Seinfeld helped him get other jobs. "If you're on a hit show, that makes you a more important person," he said. "Seinfeld became a hit show, so I became more easily castable."

Jerry Stiller missed by many

Actor Jerry Stiller is not famously known as Ben Stiller's dad because he had his own equally impressive career before Blue Steel was born. However, the father-son duo appeared together on screen in several theater-released films. Jerry Stiller's first IMDB acting credit dates back to 1955 with a show called "Studio One." From there, he spent decades doing guest spots on countless TV shows like "Rhoda," "The Love Boat," and "Law & Order."

Stiller's two most memorable TV roles were back-to-back. From 1993 to 1998, he played Frank Costanza on the hit show "Seinfeld." From 1998 to 2007, he appeared in every one of the 206 episodes of "The King of Queens" as Arthur Spooner, Carrie's father. And he didn't miss a beat when the show ended. He continued to grab many more TV roles and appeared in films like "Hairspray" and "Zoolander 2," which was his last on-screen acting appearance. In May of 2020, Jerry Stiller passed away at the age of 92. According to his son, Ben, he died of natural causes (per The Hollywood Reporter).

In a "The King of Queens" tribute to Jerry Stiller, writer Michael J. Weithorn called Stiller "the soul of the show" and brilliant. "You didn't give notes to Jerry Stiller. You gave him a line and you just stood back and watched," he said. Kevin James shared that Stiller was the one who could always make him crack up and Larry Romano called him sweet and humble.