The Stars You Forgot Were On Criminal Minds

"Criminal Minds" is one of those shows you can endlessly marathon without getting sick of it. The long-running series has been a staple in the crime-drama category of TV for nearly the past two decades, having first premiered on CBS in September 2005. Devoted fans of "Criminal Minds" have watched the show's characters grow as "an elite group of profilers" from the F.B.I. Behavioral Analysis Unit "who analyze the nation's most dangerous serial killers and individual heinous crimes in an effort to anticipate their next moves before they strike again" (via IMDb).

The Emmy-nominated series, which aired its final episode after 15 seasons in February 2020, starred actors such as Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid, A.J. Cook as Jennifer "JJ" Jareau, Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Shemar Moore as Derek Morgan, and Joe Mantegna as David Rossi. The cast also included Paget Brewster, Thomas Gibson, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez, Daniel Henney, and many more.

Though it's been more than a year since fans said goodbye to "Criminal Minds," Paramount+ reportedly revived the series for Season 16, as TV Series Finale claimed in February 2021. As the outlet reported, the new CBS streaming service "is getting the team back together for a big 10-episode case." However, that hasn't been any update or official word from any of the cast. While we wait for a potential new season of "Criminal Minds," take a walk down memory lane and see a roundup of stars you forgot were on the show!

Elle Fanning's character escaped death on two occasions

Cast as Tracy Belle in Season 2, Elle Fanning made her debut in "Criminal Minds" in October 2006 at just 8 years old. The blonde star portrayed the part of a little girl in the episode titled "The Boogeyman," in which she nearly falls victim to a serial killer named Jeffrey Charles, played by actor Cameron Monaghan. Fanning's character was kidnapped by Charles, but Tracy didn't go down without a fight, as she kicked her kidnapper and ran away before being rescued by the badass FBI BAU agents (via Insider).

Fanning revived her role of Tracy for a second time during the Season 2 finale, "No Way Out, Part II: The Evilution of Frank." Though her character was hunted by serial killer Frank Breitkopf (played by Keith Carradine), who was going after those the BAU previously saved, Fanning's character made it out alive once again. Since her appearances in "Criminal Minds," Fanning has picked up credits in more than 60 shows and films, per IMDb. The star is best known for "Maleficent," "The Great," "All the Bright Places," "Teen Spirit," and more. 

James Van Der Beek's Criminal Minds character is a far cry from Dawson Leery

In real life, James Van Der Beek is a loving husband and doting dad to his big family. But like most stars, real life doesn't always imitate art, and that was the case when it came to his character on "Criminal Minds." The "Dawson's Creek" alum portrayed a character much different than the ever-so-handsome Dawson Leery; instead, he played the role of a man suffering from multiple personality disorder (via Insider).

Van Der Beek appeared on "Criminal Minds" in Episode 14 of Season 2 in February 2007 as Tobias Hankel, who kidnaps Dr. Spencer Reid (played by Matthew Gray Gubler) and tortures him for days. In what ranked as one of the most twisted plots in all of the CBS series, Hankel also got Reid addicted to the narcotic Dilaudid. Fortunately, he was rescued by the BAU, and Hankel was captured in Episode 15.

That was the end of Van Der Beek's tenure on "Criminal Minds," but he later acted in "One Tree Hill" from 2008 to 2009, "Mercy" in 2010, "Don't Trust the B—- in Apartment 23" from 2012 to 2013, and most recently, "Vampirina." He's also known for "Varsity Blues," "The Rules of Attraction," "Pose," and, of course, "Dawson's Creek," per IMDb

Lola Glaudini was a principal cast member during the first two seasons

Lola Glaudini had plenty of experience playing the part of a crime-fighting badass as she appeared in the FBI drama "The Handler" from 2003 to 2004. She previously got a taste of crime TV when she acted in the hit series "The Sopranos" in the dual role of FBI Agent Deborah Ciccerone-Waldrup and Danielle Ciccolella from 2001 to 2004. In 2005, though, she picked up the gig of sex crimes specialist Elle Greenaway in "Criminal Minds."

Glaudini was a familiar face on the beloved program for nearly the first 30 episodes. In Season 1, her character was shot and left in an unstable mental condition that was pretty much the beginning of the end. Though she physically recovered and eventually "returned to the team" in Season 2 (per Fandom), she suffered a "downward spiral and she began acting more harshly," which ultimately led to her character's downfall. Glaudini eventually left the show when Greenaway resigned from the FBI.

Though Glaudini didn't become a mainstay on "Criminal Minds," she found plenty of success following her departure in 2006. Per IMDb, she has credits in other acclaimed shows like "Ray Donovan," "Blue Bloods," and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," among others. Her latest project was 2020's "She's in Portland."

D.B. Sweeney's character suffered a tragic end

In October 2009, D.B. Sweeney was hired to play the gig of U.S. Marshal Sam Kassmeyer in "Criminal Minds." The actor made his debut on the CBS show during Episode 3 in Season 5 as part of the elite force, assigned to protect former unit chief of BAU Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner's (played by Thomas Gibson) wife and son as the FBI searched for serial killer George Foyet, better known by his haunted nickname "The Reaper" (played by C. Thomas Howell). Sadly, Kassmeyer was shot and killed by "The Reaper" after five episodes and a one-month tenure, according to Entertainment Weekly.

However, "Criminal Minds" wasn't the last of Sweeney's Hollywood career. The actor went on to appear in fan-favorites like "24," "Hawaii Five-0," "The Legend of Korra," "Sharp Objects," and "Empire." He also had recurring roles in "Two and a Half Men," "To Appomattox," and "Ice." As IMDb states, Sweeney is cast along fellow Hollywood stars Virginia Madsen, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Craig Sheffer in the upcoming thriller "Sarah," which is currently in pre-production and about "a teen girl is harboring a dark secret."

Jennifer Love Hewitt was a well-known star by the time she appeared

Jennifer Love Hewitt didn't make her debut on "Criminal Minds" until Season 10 Episode 1 in October 2014. The sitcom star joined the cast as Agent Kate Callahan following Jeanne Tripplehorn's departure as Agent Alex Blake. Hewitt appeared on the series for more than 23 episodes, but she left by the end of Season 10 in May 2015 after becoming pregnant with her second child. As Entertainment Weekly reported, her character left the show after her niece Meg was sold into sex trafficking.

For three years, Hewitt took a break from her Hollywood career to raise her family with her husband, Brian Hallisay, whom she married in 2013. The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Autumn James Hallisay, in 2013, followed by son Atticus James Hallisay in 2015, according to Good Housekeeping. The actor — who announced her third pregnancy via Instagram in May 2021 — later returned to showbiz with "9-1-1" in 2018. Prior to "Criminal Minds," she secured her status as a star on "Ghost Whisperer," "The Client List," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Heartbreakers," "Party of Five," and more, per IMDb

Jason Alexander's many TV roles included a one-episode Criminal Minds appearance

Unlike the natural half-shaved hairdo he sports in his real life, Jason Alexander turned heads on "Criminal Minds" with his memorable fake tresses. The iconic actor has been cast in countless award-winning hits, including "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "The Simpsons," and "Curb Your Enthusiasm. In "Criminal Minds," though, he acted as Professor Rothchild, a spine-chilling portrayal that involved wearing a long-haired, gray wig, per Insider

Alexander joined the series as an actor for only one episode titled "Masterpiece" in Season 8, which aired in November 2008. The character was a serial killer posing as a professor, who turns himself into the BAU and messes with the agents as they attempt to search for five of his victims before they die. As IMDb states, he returned to the show episodes later in a different light, directing "Conflicted" in April 2009.

Alexander's résumé includes a lot more than just "Criminal Minds" and his other aforementioned projects. Not only does he have nearly 150 acting credits to his name, but he's best known for his legendary roles in "Seinfeld," "Shallow Hal," "Pretty Woman," and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."