Nothing embodies the 90s more than “Dawson’s Creek,” which aired for five years all the way up until 2003. “Dawson’s Creek” takes us back to a pre-“Gossip Girl” time when things were easier. Teens are portrayed as well-spoken, smart and thoughtful, though they had their share of drama over the years. Now that it’s streaming on Netflix, new generations can discover this entertaining show and its very famous cast. A few years back, the cast reunited for the 20-year “Dawson Creek” anniversary. We know the stories of Dawson, Joey, Pacey and Jen, but what have the other characters been up to in real life?
1. James Van Der Beek
After being the most iconic character on Dawson’s Creek, he went on to star in films like “Varsity Blues” and “The Rules of Attraction.” Since then, he’s steadily shown up in high-profile TV shows like “Ugly Betty” and “One Tree Hill.” But despite his illustrious career, Dawson remains his most remembered character — who could forget a hunk like that?
2. Katie Holmes
While the starlet was playing Joey on the show, she starred in movies like “Wonder Boys,” “The Gift,” and The Kennedys.” Most recently, she starred in the 2019 movie “Coda.” Today, she’s still acting and also trying her hand at directing. Unfortunately, not all the press surrounding her was good, as the tabloids gossiped about her relationship up and downs with Tom Cruise.
3. Joshua Jacksont
Playing the role of Pacey Witter, Jackson loved being on the show because they weren’t typecast as idiots or precocious trouble-makers. Jackson was actually famous before his “Dawson’s Creek” role with the “Mighty Ducks” franchise. In 2016, he experienced a very public divorce with fellow actor Diane Kruger, but three years later married British model Jodie Turner-Smith.
4. Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams went on to become an Academy Award nominated movie star. She experienced a blend of success and tragedy after her time on the show. On set, she met the love of her life, Heath Ledger, who fell in love and had a daughter before Ledger’s untimely passing in 2008. Her work also includes “The Greatest Showman” and “Manchester by the Sea.” Most recently, she played Steven Spielberg’s mother in “The Fabelmans” which is an autobiography of sorts about the famous director.
5. Kerr Smith
Kerr Smith still acts and runs a health and wellness business. Playing the role of Jack McPhee, this character came out as gay and made TV history. In the finale of Season 3, he kissed another male student. Smith cites the experience as intense. You might also remember him starring in the teen thriller “Final Destination,” and from there, he landed a variety of TV roles and played Robert Quinn on “The Fosters.” In 2019 and 2020, he played the principal on “Riverdale.” From student to principal — what a full-circle moment! He also founded a holistic health and wellness business with his wife.
6. Busy Philipps
Philipps played Joey Potter’s college roommate and has always been close with co-star Michelle Williams. After “Dawson’s Creek” she starred in TV shows like “Cougar Town” and “ER” as well as a bunch of chick flicks and rom-coms in the early and mid 2000s. In 2021, she returned to television with the hilarious TV comedy “Girls5Eva,” and a year later, she announced her separation from hubby Marc Silverstein on her podcast.
7. Mary Margaret Humes
Playing Dawson’s mom Gail, this star was on all six seasons of “Dawson’s Creek” and has been an acting vet. Since the 1980s. After the show ran its course, she kept on landing TV roles, notably in holiday-themed Hallmark movies like “Home by Spring,” “Matchmaker Santa” and “A Detour for Christmas.” She has her fingers crossed for a crossover show.
8. John Wesley Shipp
Playing across Gail as Dawson Leery’s dad Mitch Leery, his character was killed off in 2001 with a car accident storyline. He’s also a notable soap opera actor on shows like “As the World Turns” and “All My Children,” as well as a reboot of “The Flash” on the CW from 2014-2022. He also appeared in the crossover show dubbed “Stargirl” and might make a comeback in it.
9. Mary Beth Peil
Despite playing Jen Lindley’s grandmother over two decades ago, Mary Beth Peil is still acting at age 81. In fact, she’s currently making a comeback since the show went on Netflix. Peil has had prominent roles on shows like “The Good Wife” and films like “Collateral Beauty.” She was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 2020 for “After Forever.” After Dawson’s Creek, she had a long stint on Broadway.