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This Is What The Cast Of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Looks Like In Real Life



Sitcoms are a staple of American television, and there’s always at least one on TV that outperforms the rest. In the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, that was “Friends.” It was a pop culture phenomenon, racking up dozens of awards and heaps of critical acclaim for each of its ten seasons. When the final episode aired, 52.5 million people tuned in to say “goodbye” to Joey, Chandler and the rest of the gang, cementing it as one of the most popular shows in TV history.
A few years after “Friends” concluded, we were introduced to another breakout sitcom – “The Big Bang Theory.” Since 2007, the show has been dominating ratings and charming viewers with the new gang of adult friends. In focusing the series around a group of geeks who struggle to find love and fit in with those around them, “The Big Bang Theory” has found a way to stand out from the crowd. However, everything must come to an end, and after 12 successful seasons, the show will air its final episode in 2019.

Johnny Galecki As Leonard Hofstadter

One of the central characters to the show, Leonard is the roommate and best friend of Sheldon Cooper. However, unlike his buddy, Leonard has a better understanding of social cues and how to interact with women. Since episode one, he’s harbored romantic feelings for Penny, resulting in an on-off relationship with the girl across the hall.

Johnny Galecki In Real Life

Coming into “The Big Bang Theory,” Johnny Galecki was probably best known for his role as Rusty Griswold in the comedy film “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” and as David Healy in the sitcom “Roseanne.” The latter he featured for five years during the mid-’90s alongside several of his future “Big Bang” co-stars.

Simon Helberg as Howard Wolowitz

The ladies man of the group, it was several seasons before Howard relaxed his womanizing ways and settled down. He used to try every trick in the book to get women into bed. However, more often than not, he just ended up creeping everyone out.

Simon Helberg In Real Life

It was only in the few years before “The Big Bang Theory” hit TV that Simon Helberg started having much luck with his career. Until then, he was getting single-episode appearances and featuring in pilots that never got greenlit. However, his role as Howard Wolowitz has changed everything for the actor.

Kunal Nayyar as Rajesh Koothrappali

Rajesh, or Raj, is just as interested in women as his best friend Howard, but for the longest time, he didn’t know how to talk to them. Literally. For the first few seasons, he struggled with selective mutism whenever he was around women – a problem that was only fixed after a few drinks.

Kunal Nayyar In Real Life

Kunal Nayyar’s career in the TV and film industry didn’t really begin until he landed a leading role on “The Big Bang Theory.” Apart from the occasional minor or uncredited role, he’d been an unknown entity before Rajesh Koothrappali came along.

Melissa Rauch as Bernadette Rostenkowski

Microbiologist Bernadette Rostenkowski never imagined ending up with Howard when she first met him. However, after getting to know the man, she discovered he was her soul mate, and the two built a happy life together.

Melissa Rauch In Real Life

While Melissa Rauch’s character in “The Big Bang Theory” might have started out as a recurring role, the producers soon realized that the show needed Bernadette to stay popular. That decision changed Rauch’s career in the best way possible, helping her to land credits like the upcoming film “The Laundromat” which features the likes of Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Banderas.

Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler

For the longest time, it looked like Sheldon was destined to be forever alone. However, after Howard and Raj secretly put their friend on a dating site, they discovered a match in the form of Amy Farrah Fowler.

Mayim Bialik In Real Life

Like several of her co-stars, Mayim Bialik had already proven herself on a sitcom before “The Big Bang Theory” came along. However, rather than appearing in “Roseanne” like all the others, she played the lead role in “Blossom.” She starred as the titular character for five years in the early ‘90s, before landing a flurry of voice roles for Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Disney.

Kaley Cuoco as Penny Hofstadter

Once a struggling actress working at The Cheesecake Factory, Penny has come a long way over “The Big Bang Theory’s” twelve seasons. She initially warmed to Leonard because of his kindness and generosity, but she put him squarely in the friend zone.

Kaley Cuoco In Real Life

Kaley Cuoco is another actress who was already well established before starring on “The Big Bang Theory.” She had major credits on “8 Simple Rules,” “Brandy & Mr. Whiskers,” and “Charmed,” all of which helped her land the part of Penny.

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper

Although “The Big Bang Theory” features an ensemble cast, Sheldon is the main character in many ways. An eccentric character who likely sits somewhere on the autism spectrum, he’s known for his catchphrases and inability to accept the intelligence of his friends.

Jim Parsons In Real Life

It’s Jim Parsons who’s reportedly responsible for “The Big Bang Theory” coming to a close after wanting to move onto new things. We can’t blame the man for being interested in something new after 12 years, and he already has several exciting things in the works.

Kate Micucci as Lucy

Lucy is one of the many women that Raj has attempted to date on the show. As a sufferer of social anxiety, their relationship had many hurdles to overcome – particularly Lucy’s penchant for running away under pressure.

Kate Micucci In Real Life

Kate Micucci has never really been one for sticking to a character for long. More often than not, her features have been recurring rather than main, just like it was on “The Big Bang Theory.”

Sara Gilbert as Leslie Winkle

One of Sheldon’s earliest rivals, Leslie Winkle upset the scientist after finding the answer to a problem he was struggling with for days. She acts as a love interest for Leonard in the first few seasons. However, their relationship is not without its issues.

Sara Gilbert In Real Life

Another “Roseanne” alumnus, Sara Gilbert stayed with the show right up to its end in 1997. She was so popular as the character of Darlene Conner-Healy that she received multiple Young Artist Awards, as well as several Primetime Emmy Awards.

Aarti Mann as Priya Koothrappali

Raj’s sister arrives in the show during season four where she quickly starts up a relationship with Leonard. The pair had already slept together some years earlier, unbeknownst to Priya’s brother, but she’d rejected him because of his ethnicity.

Aarti Mann In Real Life

If viewers didn’t recognize Aarti Mann when she starred as Priya Koothrappali, that’s probably because she was relatively unknown before “The Big Bang Theory.” Aside from the odd appearance in “Heroes” and “The Young and the Restless,” as well as the occasional short film, Mann had never done anything in the way of acting.

Riki Lindhome as Ramona Nowitzki

Ramona only appeared in three episodes of “The Big Bang Theory,” but she ended up having one of the most significant roles in the show. She first showed up in season two as an admirer of Sheldon. The scientist is flattered by Ramona’s interest in his work, although he doesn’t realize just how infatuated the graduate student is.

Riki Lindhome In Real Life

Riki Lindhome’s time in “The Big Bang Theory” was brief, but the same can’t be said for her career. Though most of her work has been guest appearances, she’s appeared in all sorts, from dramas like “Heroes,” “Bones,” and “Nip/Tuck” to lighter shows like “Gilmore Girls,” “Modern Family,” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

Wil Wheaton As Himself

Wil Wheaton is one of the actors who portray a fictionalized version of themselves on the show, and he often acts as an antagonist to Sheldon. The scientist has harbored ill feelings for the actor ever since he failed to show up for a convention, and Wil uses that to his advantage.

Wil Wheaton In Real Life

Wil Wheaton landed a role as himself on “The Big Bang Theory” because of his time on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” He portrayed Wesley Crusher throughout the show’s seven-season duration, essentially setting up the actor for life.

Alessandra Torresani as Claire

Claire was a minor character in season nine who appeared as another of Raj’s frequent but brief love interests. When the two of them met, he was still in a relationship with Emily, although he soon found himself falling for the budding screenwriter.

Alessandra Torresani In Real Life

Alessandra Torresani has been getting steady work since the late ‘90s, even if most of her parts have been minor. She started out on series like “KaBlam!” and “Even Stevens” before appearing in episodes of “Arrested Development,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “American Horror Story.”

Brian Thomas Smith as Zack Johnson

The complete opposite of Leonard, there was once a time when Zack was the best choice for Penny’s affections. However, while the pair might have been a perfect fit at the start of the show, her experiences with Leonard and the gang destroyed any chances they had together.

Brian Thomas Smith In Real Life

Brian Thomas Smith hasn’t been up to a great deal since leaving the role of Zack Johnson. He appeared as one of the leads in the drama film “Big Muddy” back in 2017, as well as in the comedy short “Fernando Bang Bangs.” However, the actor hasn’t done much else with his time.

Laurie Metcalf as Mary Cooper

Sheldon’s religious mother pops up every now and again to keep her son in order. Her views on creationism contrast entirely with her son’s scientific understanding of evolution, causing the two to clash regularly. However, there is never any malice between the pair, with both of them accepting that their love for one another is more important than their beliefs.

Kevin Sussman as Stuart Bloom

Owner of the local comic book store, Stuart is a constant presence in the gang’s lives, even if he isn’t considered a friend until later on in the show. Known for being down on his luck, Stuart constantly jumps between struggling financially to striking out with women.

Kevin Sussman In Real Life

Before Kevin Sussman starred on “The Big Bang Theory,” he had a recurring role on another show – “Ugly Betty.” He featured as Walter in the first series of the dramedy, helping him take his career to the next level after a handful of minor roles on the big screen.

Laurie Metcalf In Real Life

Laurie Metcalf didn’t need “The Big Bang Theory” to get famous. She was already a well-established actress coming into the show, having starred as Jackie Harris in “Roseanne” for almost ten years.

Christine Baranski as Dr. Beverly Hofstadter

Unlike Sheldon’s mother, Leonard’s mom – Dr. Beverly Hofstadter – is firmly against religion. She works as a neuroscientist and is renowned for her psychiatric work, much to the annoyance of Leonard.

Christine Baranski In Real Life

Another actress who didn’t need “The Big Bang Theory” to make it big, Christine Baranski is undoubtedly one of the best-known names the show has added to its roster. She’s been acting since the late ‘70s, with her role in the ‘90s sitcom “Cybill” earning her multiple awards and nominations.

Margo Harshman as Alex Jensen

In season six, Sheldon decides he needs a new assistant and ends up hiring Alex for the job. Raj immediately falls for her, but the woman has her eyes on another scientist. She develops an attraction for Leonard that’s not reciprocated, even though he’s flattered by her interest in him.

Margo Harshman In Real Life

Margo Harshman got her start back at the turn of the century when she featured as Tawny Dean in comedy series Even Stevens. The role lasted for three years and included a film appearance in 2003. Since then, Margo’s parts have been largely single episode appearances on series like “90210,” “Modern Family” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

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