You can’t discuss HBO’s golden age in the late 1990s and early 2000s without mentioning the family drama “Six Feet Under.” The hit series ran for five seasons as audiences watched the Fishers run their Los Angeles funeral home while dealing with the stress and drama of everyday life — and death. Created by Oscar-winning “American Beauty” screenwriter Alan Ball, the show received widespread critical acclaim and won nine Emmys, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globes and a Peabody Award. To mark its 20th anniversary on June 3, 2021, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the stars of the show and finding out what they’re up to now…
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Peter Krause starred as Nate Fisher, the eldest of the Fisher kids. Nate returns to Los Angeles at the same time his father dies and begrudgingly stays to run the family funeral business with his brother. As he figures out how to manage adult responsibilities for the first time, he goes on to balancing them with a dysfunctional love life, a daughter and *SPOILER ALERT* a deadly health condition.
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Peter Krause earned three Emmy nominations for his work as Nate Fisher on “Six Feet Under.” While starring on the HBO drama, he also made his Broadway debut in a 2004 production of Arthur Miller’s “After the Fall.” Peter has remained a TV mainstay since “Six Feet Under” wrapped, leading the casts of the primetime soap “Dirty Sexy Money” from 2007 to 2009, the family drama “Parenthood” from 2010 to 2015 (he also directed some episodes) and the Shonda Rhimes-produced caper “The Catch” from 2016 to 2017. Since 2018, Peter has starred on the Ryan Murphy-produced procedural “9-1-1.” He’s been in a relationship with “Gilmore Girls” star Lauren Graham since 2010. The pair met on the set of the sitcom “Caroline in the City” in 1995 and became a couple while co-starring as siblings on “Parenthood.” He has an adult son with ex Christine King.
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Michael C. Hall played David Fisher, the middle child of the Fisher clan and a funeral director at Fisher & Sons Funeral Home who’s coming into his own as a gay man. Emotionally repressed, David spends much of the series coming to terms with his sexuality and the stresses that come with it. He develops a lifelong romance with police officer Keith, but it’s not without its ups and downs.
A year after “Six Feet Under” came to an end, Michael C. Hall made his debut as the titular serial killer on “Dexter,” for which he scored six Emmy nominations. (He earned his first Emmy nod in 2002 for his work as David Fisher on “Six Feet Under.”) He then starred on the short-lived dramas “Safe” and “Shadowplay” and appeared in a number of smaller indie films including 2019’s “The Report.” He’s also an accomplished theater actor: He starred as the titular rocker in the 2014 Broadway production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and headlined off-Broadway and West End productions of the David Bowie musical “Lazarus” in 2015 and 2016. Additionally, he released a 2020 EP and an early 2021 album with his band Princess Goes to the Butterfly Museum. (He’s the lead singer.) While shooting “Dexter” — during which he started dating, married and then divorced co-star Jennifer Carpenter — he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The now-cancer-free actor was married to actress Amy Spanger from 2002 to 2006, and in 2016, he married novelist and book reviewer Morgan Macgregor. In 2021, Michael is set to return to the role of Dexter Morgan on the “Dexter” revival.
Lauren Ambrose rounded out the Fisher kids as the youngest of the family, Claire. The rebellious teen faces a number of turbulent relationships while discovering her own talents as an artist and photographer. The most creative of the Fisher family, Claire is determined to strike out on her own.
After her Emmy-nominated turn as Claire Fisher on “Six Feet Under,” Lauren Ambrose made her Broadway debut in the 2006 revival of “Awake and Sing!” She went on to star in productions of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” and “Hamlet” and scored a Tony nomination for her performance as Eliza Doolittle in the Broadway revival of “My Fair Lady.” Lauren also appeared in 2009’s “The Other Woman” and in 2012’s “Wanderlust,” lent her voice to 2009’s “Where the Wild Things Are” and had stints on “Torchwood,” “Dig” and the “X-Files” revival. She currently stars on the M. Night Shyamalan Apple TV+ thriller “Servant.” In 2001, Lauren married professional photographer Sam Handel, with whom she shares two children.
Frances Conroy portrayed the recently widowed matriarch of the Fisher family, Ruth, who’s discovering what she really wants out of life for the very first time. While exploring a series of relationships and dealing with her three grown children’s drama, Ruth is finally getting in touch with her long-bottled emotions.
Frances Conroy earned four Emmy nominations and took home a Golden Globe for her work on “Six Feet Under.” She then had stints on a wide range of lauded shows — from “ER,” “Desperate Housewives” and “United States of Tara” to “How I Met Your Mother,” “Arrested Development” and “Dead to Me.” She’s also appeared in countless films over the years, though her most notable role came in 2019 when she starred as Arthur Fleck’s mother in “Joker.” She’s appeared on seven seasons of “American Horror Story” since the anthology series debuted in 2011 — and scored two Emmy nominations for her efforts. (She’ll reportedly have a role on the upcoming 10th season.) Frances has been married to Jan Munroe since 1992.
Rachel Griffiths starred as Brenda Chenowith, Nate’s love interest. Their on-off relationship is shown throughout the series and chronicles their ups and downs as Brenda deals with the numerous demons plaguing her thanks to her rich psychiatrist parents and mentally unstable brother, including sex and drug addictions. Brenda is determined to prove to everyone, including herself, that she’s overcome it all by starting a family with Nate.
Rachel Griffiths won a Golden Globe and scored two Emmy nominations for her work on “Six Feet Under.” After the series came to an end, she starred on “Brothers & Sisters” — for which she scored two more Emmy nominations — and appeared in “Step Up,” “Saving Mr. Banks” and “Hacksaw Ridge.” The Australian actress, who made her Broadway debut in “Other Desert Cities” in 2011, made her feature film directorial debut with the 2019 biographical sports drama “Ride Like a Girl.” In recent years, she’s focused primarily on productions in her native Australia, though she had a role on the Amazon survival drama “The Wilds,” which premiered in late 2020. In 2002, Rachel married artist Andrew Taylor, with whom she’s since welcomed three children.
Mathew St. Patrick portrayed openly gay policeman Keith Charles, David’s off-and-on love interest who convinces him to come out of the closet. After the cop loses his job, he and his partner decide to start a family of their own through adoption.
After “Six Feet Under,” Mathew St. Patrick starred on the short-lived 2005 drama “Reunion” and popped up in the 2007 action flick “War.” He also appeared in a handful of smaller independent films and had brief stints on “Saving Grace” and “Sons of Anarchy.” More recently, he had a small role in the 2019 adaptation of the book “Ice Cream in the Cupboard.”
Freddy Rodriguez filled out the Fisher & Sons team as Federico “Rico” Diaz, the funeral home’s skilled restorative artist. Rico is determined to become a partner at the funeral home while trying to keep his personal mistakes from destroying his marriage and home life.
Freddy Rodriguez went on to star in films like “Poseidon,” “Bobby,” “Lady in the Water” and “Planet Terror.” He also had stints on “Ugly Betty,” “Chaos” and “The Night Shift” and found a second calling as a voice actor on animated series like “Teen Titans” and “Young Justice.” But arguably his biggest post-“Six Feet Under” gig was on “Bull,” on which he starred as Benny Colón from 2016 to 2021. In 1995, Freddy married Maria Elise Rivera, with whom he shares two sons.
Richard Jenkins rounded out the Fishers as Nathaniel Fisher, the family patriarch who dies in the show’s first episode. He stays on as a ghost, advising the rest of his family as they deal with both his left-behind funeral business as well as life after his passing.
Since his time on “Six Feet Under,” Richard Jenkins has appeared in a wide range of films covering practically every genre. Comedy? “Step Brothers,” “Hall Pass” and “Friends with Benefits.” Action? “Jack Reacher,” “White House Down” and “Kong: Skull Island.” Horror? “Let Me In,” “The Cabin in the Woods” and “Bone Tomahawk.” Drama? “North Country,” “LBJ” and “The Visitor,” for which he earned his first Oscar nomination in 2009. Romance? “Dear John,” “Eat Pray Love” and “The Shape of Water,” for which he scored Oscar and Golden Globe nominations in 2018. He also won an Emmy for his work on the miniseries “Olive Kitteridge” and starred on “Berlin Station” from 2016 to 2019. In 2020, he starred in the indie films “Kajillionaire” and “The Last Shift.” Up next, he’s set to portray serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer’s father on a Ryan Murphy miniseries and appear in Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley.” Richard has reportedly been married to choreographer Sharon R. Friedrick, with whom he shares two children, since the late ’60s.
Jeremy Sisto portrayed Brenda’s troubled brother, manic-depressive artist Billy Chenowith. She eventually has him committed after his dependence on her becomes unhealthy. Upon returning, he has a short-lived relationship with Claire and finally develops a healthy bond with his sister.
After “Six Feet Under,” Jeremy Sisto starred on the short-lived NBC drama “Kidnapped” and appeared in a handful of small indie films including the surprise hit “Waitress.” He then starred on “Law & Order” from 2007 to 2010, headlined “Suburgatory” from 2011 to 2014, voiced characters in “Frozen II” and “Ferdinand” and appeared on the short-lived series “The Returned,” “Wicked City” and “Ice,” as well as the miniseries “The Long Road Home.” Since 2018, Jeremy has starred as Agent Jubal Valentine on “FBI.” His first marriage — to actress Marisa Ryan — came to an end in 2002. In 2009, the “Clueless” alum married second wife Addie Lane, with whom he shares two children.
Justina Machado portrayed Vanessa Diaz, Rico’s wife and high school sweetheart. They grow apart over her depression and his infidelity but ultimately work through their issues. It’s Vanessa who eventually pushes Rico to start his own business.
After “Six Feet Under,” Justina Machado had stints of varying lengths on “Ugly Betty,” “ER,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Switched at Birth,” “Private Practice,” “The Fosters,” “Devious Maids,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Queen of the South” and “Superstore.” She also starred in “The Purge: Anarchy,” voiced Carmen on “Elena of Avalor” and starred on the “One Day at a Time” reboot from 2017 to 2020. More recently, she appeared in the 2020 Netflix musical drama “All Together Now” and voiced a character in the 2020 Scooby-Doo movie “Scoob!” Up next, she can be seen in the star-studded coronavirus pandemic-themed anthology film “With/In.” Justina has managed to keep her personal life mostly under wraps over the years.
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