Bazinga! Fans welcomed the cast of The Big Bang Theory into their living rooms for 12 seasons before saying goodbye to the sitcom, but the stars did not disappear after the show ended. In fact, they have popped up in a slew of projects ever since.
Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper), Kaley Cuoco (Penny Teller), Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter), Simon Helberg (Howard Wolowitz), Kunal Nayyar (Raj Koothrappali), Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler) and Melissa Rauch (Bernadette Rostenkowski) played a group of friends made up of physicists and their significant others. The show ran on CBS from September 2007 to May 2019.
The cast got very close during filming. Cuoco and Galecki, in particular, remained friends — and an onscreen couple — after their split in December 2009 following two years of dating.
“When we broke up, it was funny because that was when our relationship on the show was hot and heavy. There were a lot of bed scenes,” the actress told Haute Living Los Angeles in May 2019. “We were a little like, ‘We were trying to end the relationship and it kept falling back in.’ We got over it really fast, and we’re closer than ever now. It could have gone either way, and I was really proud of us.”
Cuoco and Galecki navigated the potentially awkward situation with grace. “We weren’t weird, which is what was weird,” she recalled. “It was a mutual breakup, and you can rarely say that. Johnny and I were friends first, then obviously we dated.”
Parsons and Bialik, meanwhile, found kindred spirits in each other as they portrayed beloved couple Sheldon and Amy. “Jim and I had a lot of nice moments together on set and I think one of the things that worked so well for us as actor partners, and maybe as producing partners too, is that we’re not overly sentimental as humans, which I think is helpful,” the Blossom alum exclusively told Us Weekly in April 2021. “It was helpful in our acting and also in the way we kind of processed ending a decade together.”
As for concluding the show after its lengthy run, Cuoco told Variety in March 2021 that the cast chose to “go out together” after discussing their options in cocreator Chuck Lorre’s office.
“Jim said, ‘I don’t think I can continue on,’” she recounted. “And I was so shocked that I was literally like, ‘Continue on with what?’ Like, I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I looked at Chuck: ‘Wow. I thought we were — I’m so blown away right now.’”
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Scroll through the gallery below to see what the Big Bang Theory cast has been up to since the show ended!