What The Cast Of Melissa And Joey Are Doing Today

From 2010 to 2015, "Melissa & Joey," an American sitcom that united '90s teen stars Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence, graced the small screen. Following some legal troubles involving her sister and brother-in-law, Toledo city councilor Mel Burke (Hart) takes in her niece and nephew, Lennox (Taylor Spreitler) and Ryder (Nick Robinson). She quickly realizes she can't do it all, so she employs fallen businessman Joe Longo (Lawrence) to help out as the kids' new nanny.

"Melissa & Joey" was born out of the ABC made-for-TV movie "My Fake Fiancé" where Hart and Lawrence pretended to be a couple. "Both of us just work together really well and from there we knew we wanted to spin-off and do something in television, and ABC Family agreed," Hart told Entertainment Weekly. "We all came together and ABC Family had the concept, we had characters we wanted to play."

The series proved popular and aired over 100 episodes during its run on ABC Family (now Freeform). By the fourth season, the comedy had come full-circle, with Lennox and Ryder all grown up and Mel and Joe married and expecting twins. The characters of the sitcom certainly found their happy ending, but let's find out what the stars of "Melissa & Joey" have been doing since the show ended.

Joey Lawrence pursued his passion for movies after Melissa and Joey

Joe Lawrence played Joe Longo, Lennox and Ryder's nanny, in "Melissa & Joey," but the chemistry between Mel and Joe was undeniable. After some will they or won't they — surprise! — Mel and Joe ended up together.

When the sitcom ended, Lawrence continued acting on the small screen, appearing in episodes of shows like "Hawaii Five-0" and "Dollface." However, Lawrence's biggest roles since "Melissa & Joey" have been in feature films like "My Brother's Keeper" and "Roe v. Wade." As he shared in an interview with ClevverTV in 2011, he had always planned to dive into films after "Melissa & Joey." "This show and ... movies, really. That's what I want to do," the actor revealed. Lawrence has tried his hand at all kinds of genres — comedies, dramas, and even thrillers. But the actor says his latest film "Swim" is unlike anything he's done before. "The concept is kinda fun ... I think some escapism was needed," he told "Good Day Orlando," noting that he hopes it takes people's minds off all the "stresses that I don't think any of us could have foreseen two years ago." 

Alongside his thriving film career, the "Melissa & Joey" alum has also found romance in his life off-screen. After Joey Lawrence and wife Chandie Lawrence split up in 2020, he began dating fellow actor Samantha Cope, and the couple announced their engagement in August 2021. "I just met the most amazing person ever," Lawrence said in Page Six.

Melissa Joan Hart found creative fulfillment behind the camera

Melissa Joan Hart captured hearts when she bagged the title roles in teen sitcoms "Clarissa Explains It All" and "Sabrina the Teenage Witch." Decades later, these are the shows she gets asked about the most but, surprisingly, the actor told TV Insider she didn't "identify" with either of the characters. It wasn't until "Melissa & Joey" that the television star finally found a role that really clicked with her. "Mel was my favorite character I got to play," Hart revealed to the outlet. "She was just fun and lovely and flawed."

Since "Melissa & Joey" ended, Hart has continued acting, but she's been taking on fewer roles. The roles that she chooses tend to be in heartwarming romances and comedies. "I love doing them because they do give people a good happy feeling," the actor explained to MediaVillage

While Hart has no plans to completely stop acting, the "No Good Nick" actor says her real passion is directing. Hart made her directorial debut while starring in "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and has since directed episodes of other sitcoms including "Melissa & Joey," "The Goldbergs," and "Young Sheldon." Speaking to Glamour, Hart explained, "It doesn't worry me that people don't know what I'm up to currently because I know I'm working and paying my mortgage and am fulfilled creatively." Spending time behind the camera seems to suit the former teenage witch just fine.

Taylor Spreitler found success starring in sitcoms

Taylor Spreitler got her start playing Mila McCormick in "Days of Our Lives." In 2010, she joined the cast of "Melissa & Joey" as Mel's angsty teen niece Lennox Scanlon. Spreitler brought this spirited character to life perfectly and after four seasons as a main cast member on the show, Spreitler was a seasoned actor and a household name.

When the show ended, Spreitler began racking up credits in horror and thriller films like "Stalked at 17," "Amityville: The Awakening," and "Leprechaun Returns." However, the "Driven to the Edge" star believes that her sweet spot is actually funnier fare. "I love doing comedy. I love that aspect of making other people happy," the actor said in an interview with Talk Nerdy With Us.

Spreitler returned to acting in sitcoms and has found success appearing in popular shows like "Kevin Can't Wait," and "Young Sheldon." "You can't really have a bad day at work when your job is to literally make other people laugh," she told Talk Nerdy With Us. "I love that as a job we put a smile on someone's face. At the end of the day, if you've had a bad day you just turn on 'Melissa and Joey' or 'Kevin Can Wait' and just relax."

Nick Robinson has remained a fixture in Hollywood

Nick Robinson played Lennox's younger brother Ryder Scanlon in "Melissa & Joey." When the series began, Ryder was a pre-adolescent kid, but by the time it ended he had graduated high school and enlisted in the Navy — and grown about a foot too.

Robinson grew up alongside his on-screen character too, and took every opportunity to further his career, racking up quite a few film credits while filming "Melissa & Joey." Notably, he appeared in the Disney Channel film "Frenemies" alongside Bella Thorne and Zendaya. Robinson's career continued to climb, and during the last season of "Melissa & Joey" he bagged a major role in the Hollywood blockbuster "Jurassic World" alongside Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. This was Robinson's first big feature film, and he said in Collider that he was "blown away" when he landed the role. "When you walked onto set and seeing the scope of this thing, you knew it was going to be something big and special," he shared.

Though he didn't reprise his part for the "Jurassic World" sequel, Robinson scored major jobs in other Hollywood feature films like "Everything, Everything" and "Love, Simon." He also landed a lead in the FX miniseries "A Teacher," where he plays a high school student in a program that, as he said to AwardsWatch, "wasn't really meant for teenagers." As Robinson told the outlet, "the actual content of the show felt much more adult and elevated."

Elizabeth Ho keeps nabbing gigs, even though auditioning can be 'nerve-wracking'

Elizabeth Ho played Rhonda Cheng, Mel's friend and press secretary in the first season of "Melissa & Joey." Rhonda was an important character in the beginning of the series — in fact, she had the very first line in the pilot: "Look at you, public servant by day, hottie by night." The witty banter between the pairing was definitely entertaining and a draw of the series, but unfortunately, Ho left after only five episodes. Though it's not entirely clear why, her career certainly didn't suffer for it. The actor has had a tonne of roles since appearing in the sitcom, so her departure may have even been due to scheduling conflicts.

Most notably, Ho has had major roles in two Netflix series since departing "Melissa & Joey." From 2017 to 2018, she starred in "Disjoined" with Kathy Bates and in 2019, she joined an ensemble cast for the comedy series "Merry Happy Whatever" alongside Ashley Tisdale, Bridgit Mendler, and Dennis Quaid. However, in spite of her thriving career and numerous acting credits, Ho says trying out for gigs hasn't gotten any easier. "Auditioning never fails to be a nerve-wracking process, even for those actors who've been doing it for their entire lives!" she told Crookes Magazine.

Christopher Rich switched careers after serious health complications

Christopher Rich had a recurring role in "Melissa & Joey," playing Mel's father, Senator Russell Burke. Russell would pop into town now and then, but his (often unexpected) arrival usually brought some drama into Mel's life. In Season 1 he tried to take Lennox back to D.C. with him, and in a later episode, he reappeared to thwart his daughter's political agenda.

Rich's character could be trying to say the least, but that's not how the actor would describe his experience working on the show. "It was so much fun to do it," he told StylinOnline. Rich revealed that he had just finished an arc on "Desperate Housewives" when he got the call to "come and play an ex US senator who's the father of Melissa Joan Hart," and he couldn't pass up the opportunity. "The script was just awesome," he explained, adding that while he joined the cast early in Season 1, "it was like being in the second year of a show." "They got it down," he said.

Off-screen, Rich has had to deal with serious health complications since "Melissa & Joey," though. The actor had a stroke in 2018 and has since spoken about his experience and been actively raising stroke awareness through a series of videos for the Centre for Neuro Skills. When he started to recover from the stroke, Rich decided to slow down his acting career and focus more on philanthropic work in the green energy space.

Megan Hilty is a smash on the stage and screen

Broadway actor Megan Hilty took on a recurring role as Joe's ex-wife Tiffany in the first season of "Melissa & Joey." Tiffany left Joe when he lost all his money at the beginning of the series, but they temporarily reconciled soon after.

Although she only had a small role in the series, "Tiffy-pop" was a memorable and entertaining character who presented a stark contrast to Joe's soon-to-be new love interest, Mel. Hilty's stint in the series was definitely memorable for the cast too. Speaking with Hollywood the Write Way in 2011, Nick Robinson mentioned her when listing the many "great guest stars" who have graced the series. "We've had all of the Lawrence brothers, Megan Hilty from Wicked on Broadway, and a lot of other great people," he said.

Since appearing on the sitcom, Hilty starred in shows like "Smash" and "Sean Saves the World." What's more, she's found success voicing characters in animated films like "Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast" and series such as "Trolls: TrollsTopia." "I think voiceover is my absolute favorite thing to do," the actor and singer explained to Broadway World. "I get to play characters I would never play in real life ... [and] It's just so wildly creatively fulfilling."

Lucy DeVito's acting career has continued to flourish

Lucy DeVito joined the cast of "Melissa & Joey" midway through the first season as Stephanie Krause, who essentially replaced Elizabeth Ho's character for the rest of the series. As Mel's devoted personal assistant, Stephanie was involved in both Mel's professional and personal life, making for some entertaining scenes.

As the daughter of Hollywood legends Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, Lucy DeVito looks to her parents for their support and guidance about working in Hollywood. "They are my gurus," she explained to Fabiosa. But, she admits it's not always easy navigating the acting world with her father's last name. "It's a curse and a blessing having that last name," the actor revealed.

However, Lucy seems to do just fine without her family's help. She brought a hilariously adorable character to the screen in "Melissa & Joey" so she's definitely bagging roles in her own right. Since the sitcom ended, Lucy has gone on to appear in episodes of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and the feature film "Blonde."

John Ross Bowie continues to find success in acting and writing

"The Big Bang Theory" actor John Ross Bowie had a guest role in the first season of "Melissa & Joey." Bowie played Ryder and Lennox's father, Lewis Scanlon, who had been on the run from the authorities for much of the early show. He then turned up unexpectedly in the show's first Halloween episode, "A Fright in the Attic," but soon ditched Lennox and Ryder again to escape being found by Mel or the police.

When he guest-starred in "Melissa & Joey," Bowie already had a prominent recurring role in "The Big Bang Theory" as Barry Kripke. After "TBBT" ended in 2019, the actor and writer took his career to the theater. His latest writing project was a black comedy called "Four Chords and a Gun," which centered on the Ramones during a "drama-filled" recording session in 1979, per 4chordsplay.com. "I'm just a massive Ramones fan, so it was fun to kind of write this love letter to them," Bowie explained on "Your Morning."

Alongside writing the Broadway hit, Bowie continued acting in comedies too. Notably he's appeared in the blockbuster feature film "Jumanji: The Next Level" and television comedy-drama "Feel Good."

Scott Michael Foster's television career has taken off

Before getting together with Joe, Mel had a couple of serious love interests throughout "Melissa & Joey." In Season 1, she has a significantly younger boyfriend, George Karpelos, played by "Greek" star Scott Michael Foster. "I'd never done multiple episodes of a multi-cam show, so when ABC Family came to me about this role, I wanted to be able to do an arc in that format," Foster told TVLine. "I took the job and it turned out to be a really amazing experience. And I would definitely do it again."

After appearing on "Melissa & Joey," Foster bagged a main role in the romantic musical comedy-drama "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" as Nathanial Plimpton III. "Sometimes you get a character and it's that same character for six seasons and you never change, but this character, in a season and a half, has grown a lot!" Foster said in Variety. "That's what I like about the show," he added.

Even though "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" ended in 2019, Foster's career shows no signs of slowing down. As Deadline reported, the television star is due to appear in the third season of "You," the Netflix psychological thriller — quite an interesting pivot from comedy.

Rachel G. Fox now prefers life off the small screen

Rachel G. Fox's career kicked off with the role of Tom Scavo's daughter Kayla in "Desperate Housewives” from 2006 to 2008. Within a couple of years she'd appeared on popular shows like "iCarly" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine." In 2011, Fox scored a regular role on "Melissa & Joey" as Ryder's controlling girlfriend, Holly Reback.

While filming "Melissa & Joey," Fox also guest-starred on the "Grey's Anatomy" spin-off "Private Practice" where she played sociopath Missy Spencer. "I love every role for their different qualities and special things I've gotten to do with them. I don't know why I get cast in those [crazy roles]. I swear I'm sane!" Fox joked to College Magazine after her appearance in the medical drama. She went on to have a few more television roles after her time on "Melissa & Joey" came to an end. However, her last acting credit was for an episode of "CSI: Cyber" in 2015 and it looks like she's been taking a break from acting ever since. 

Fox got into the stock market at an early age, even giving a TEDx Talk on investing in 2015. As of 2021, she writes for Investor's Business Daily.

Gregg Sulkin's later work honors his Disney Channel roots

British actor Gregg Sulkin rose to fame starring in Disney Channel series and original movies. In 2010, he scored a regular role in the popular teen sitcom "Wizards of Waverly Place" as Mason Greyback. He shared the screen with Selena Gomez, who played his on-screen love interest, Alex Russo. Soon after, Sulkin nabbed a recurring spot in the second season of "Melissa & Joey" as Lennox's boyfriend Haskell Davis.

When his time on the sitcom came to an end, Sulkin reprised the role of Mason Greyback for "The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex," a Disney Channel special that premiered in 2013. Since then, much of Sulkin's on-screen work has been affiliated with Disney in one way or another. From 2017 to 2019, the actor had a major role in the Marvel television series "Runaways" playing teen superhero Chase Stein. "It's exciting, but there's definitely a lot of pressure [entering the Marvel franchise]," Sulkin explained to The Hollywood Reporter. After his three-year stint on "Runaways," Sulkin took on a more lighthearted role in the Netflix film "Cinderella Story: A Christmas Wish" which he co-starred in with former Disney Channel actor Laura Marano. Sulkin is also set to share the screen with Emily Osment, another Disney Channel alum, in an upcoming Netflix series, per Deadline.

Off-screen, Sulkin is dating actor Michelle Randolph. "I enjoy every moment with you, before and after you've had coffee (prefer after tho)," he joked on Instagram in 2021 alongside a snap of the happy couple.

Rita Rudner's husband didn't like her performance in Melissa and Joey

Comedian Rita Rudner guest-starred as Mel's "drunken mother" Monica Burke in the Season 2 episode "Mother of All Problems," per Tim Teeman. Though Rudner nailed the absentee mother character to a tee, her husband, Martin Bergman, didn't like her performance. In an interview with Tim Teeman, the actor revealed her husband told her she "wasn't very good" in the role. But surprisingly, Rudner concurred and prefers not to revisit her performance in the sitcom. "Let's not watch it again," she told her husband after his critical review.

Rudner is certainly far too critical of her performance, but it may be because she prefers to write her own characters, rather than perform other people's. She enjoys working with her husband, too. The pair have co-written several screenplays and stage productions together, such as their musical comedy "Two's A Crowd." Though Rudner feels she may be nearing retirement and doesn't currently have any projects in the works. "I like to do what I am doing when I am doing it. And so after this ... maybe I'll get a summer handbag on sale," she joked.

Trevor Donovan is a staple on the Hallmark channel

Trevor Donovan of "90210" fame joined the cast of "Melissa & Joey" as Austin, a recurring character in Season 3. Donovan helped bring a hilarious plot line to life on the series — he was initially a love interest for Mel, but the pair soon worried that they might actually be brother and sister. Though they discovered they weren't related, the speculation certainly put a dampener on Mel and Austin's relationship and Donovan exited the show at the end of the season.

After leaving "Melissa & Joey," Donovan found his groove with made-for-TV movies with Hallmark. The actor has starred in a tonne of flicks like "Marry Me at Christmas" and "Love, Fall, and Order." "To be honest, I wasn't very familiar with the Hallmark Channel before doing my first movie," the actor admitted to My Devotional Thoughts. But Donovan quickly found a place at Hallmark: "But since being a part of the Hallmark family, I've seen why they are so successful. I think Hallmark is a place people can go to watch a morally uplifting movie for the whole family and know they're getting a happy ending."

Sterling Knight sends fans personalized birthday messages

Like Gregg Sulkin, Sterling Knight is another star who found success early on over on the Disney Channel. He appeared on "Sonny with a Chance" alongside Demi Lovato, along with its spin-off "So Random."

Knight then joined the cast of "Melissa & Joey" as Zander Carlson, who was Lennox's love interest for the third and fourth seasons. He appeared in 31 episodes of the series as her on-off boyfriend-turned-fiancé. "I think the writing on Melissa & Joey is probably one of the better sitcom writings I've watched, and especially these later seasons. Obviously, because I'm there, I think the writing's gotten a lot better," he joked in a 2014 interview, per Dis411.

After "Melissa & Joey" ended, Knight bagged a few guest roles in feature films like "The Man From the Earth: Holocene" and the television series "Crowded" where he played Miranda Cosgrove's love interest. However, Knight seems to have veered away from on-screen work in recent years — unless you count the personalized Cameo birthday messages he sends to fans for a fee. As he said in an Instagram video promoting his Cameo account, the app is a place where anyone can request "videos from people like myself, or people who are far cooler than me, for your friends and family." Not a bad gig.

Faith Prince has a passion for Broadway

Faith Prince guest starred as Joe's mother, Gloria Longo, in seven episodes of "Melissa & Joey." She made her first appearance in Season 3 and became a familiar face for the rest of the series. "We'll have Faith Prince back again," Melissa Joan Hart said in Pop City Life before Season 4 began airing. "We've been having some fun bringing back some old guest stars that we love and adore."

Before popping up on the sitcom, Prince had an extensive theater career. As the Broadway star's website notes, she boasts a vast array of theater credits including "Guys and Dolls," "The Little Mermaid," and "Annie." When "Melissa & Joey" ended, Prince returned to her theater roots, appearing in a Broadway production of "Disaster!"

The actor admitted that she never really reflects on what she's done in the past, though. "I really never think about it, I'm always thinking about what's next," she told Broadway.com's Show People. Prince's attitude has obviously been working for her because she's had a slew of television appearances in recent years, too. Most notably, she's had roles in "Scream Queens," "Modern Family," and "Emily in Paris."

Jaime Pressly is a prominent sitcom actor

Jaime Pressly's acting career started in the '90s, but her breakout role was the sitcom "My Name is Earl." After the series ended in 2009, she stuck to the genre, appearing in sitcoms like "Two and a Half Men" and "Melissa & Joey" where she played Lennox and Ryder's mother Meredith Scanlon. Though the character is constantly mentioned, it wasn't until the third season that her character finally appeared in the special episode "A New Kind of Family Christmas."

Following her guest appearance on "Melissa & Joey," Pressly bagged a main role in the Chuck Lorre sitcom "Mom" and has appeared in over 120 episodes of the show. Pressly said on KOIN News AM Extra that she loved being part of the series because "there's all kinds of stuff that we get to talk about in this show which you don't really get to do in many shows, especially a comedy."

The sitcom aired its last episode in May 2021. However, as of writing this, Pressly has not announced any upcoming roles. Will it be another sitcom or could she be taking her career in a new direction?

Kevin Fonteyne transitioned into more adult roles after Melissa and Joey

Kevin Fonteyne joined the cast of "Melissa & Joey" in Season 3 as Joe's nephew Marco. He soon became a serious love interest for Lennox, though, who was newly single following her break-up with her long-time boyfriend Zander. Marco was a recurring character for much of Season 4, but their relationship eventually ended when Lennox got back together with Zander and Marco took a job offer in Japan.

Fonteyne left before "Melissa & Joey" had ended, but he remembers his time on the sitcom fondly. "I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with everyone on that set," he explained to Trainwreck'd Society. "I couldn't have asked for a better cast and crew to share it with. I fortunately was already friends with Taylor Spreitler (Lennox) before booking the role, so it was great working with a friend."

Following his departure from the sitcom, Fonteyne took the opportunity to act in more adult roles in shows like "Masters of Sex" and "Sun Records." The actor says he has enjoyed the variety of his career so far: "It's a challenge to stretch my imagination and body for these roles but I'm eternally grateful to not be typecast."

Jada Facer stopped acting to pursue a music career

Jada Facer joined the series toward the end of Season 3 as Dani, the teenage daughter Joe never knew he had. Though they initially had a rocky start, Dani later came to live with Mel and Joe when her mother went on tour in Season 4. Entering an established series so late on can be daunting, but Facer told  Glitter Magazine that "everyone [was] so amazingly sweet and they made me feel welcomed from the start," sharing, "Working on Melissa & Joey was like a dream come true."

When "Melissa & Joey" ended, the actor went on to guest-star in other sitcoms like "The Thundermans" and "The Mick" between 2016 and 2017. However, they are Facer's last acting credits, and the sitcom star appears to have ditched acting in favor of pursuing a music career. Things seem to be working out for the singer, who has a YouTube channel with 624K subscribers (and counting) where she shares her tunes.