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‘Alias’ Cast Then and Now — Including Young Jennifer Garner, Michael Vartan, Bradley Cooper and More!

Can you guess which A-list celeb asked to be written out of the show?

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While most college students could barely make it to class on time, Sydney Bristow’s (Jennifer Garner) day-to-day looked a little bit different — after all, it’s hard being a secret agent. Garner, alongside the fabulous Alias cast, brought this beloved series to life.

Recruited her freshman year to work for an organization known as SD-6, which she’s led to believe is a part of the CIA, within a few years, she’s let her fiancée in on the reality of the work she does.

MUST-READ: Jennifer Garner Has Been Stealing Hearts Since the Early 2000s — See Our Ranking of Her 10 Best Movies & TV Shows

However, when the head of the organization has him killed, she realizes SD-6 is far from what she though it was and she begins a life as a double agent for the CIA.

Michael Vartan, Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin,  Bradley Cooper, Victor Garber and Greg Grunberg, 2002
Michael Vartan, Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Bradley Cooper, Victor Garber and Greg Grunberg, 2002Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Her new reality brings its own set of troubles in her everyday life, but Alias wouldn’t be Alias without the juicy plots we loved so much.

Plus, the series brought a young Bradley Cooper to our screens as well! Here, take a look at what the Alias cast has been up to since its 2006 finale!

Alias cast, then and now

Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow

Jennifer Garner in 2002 and 2004
2002 / 2024SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images ; Steve Granitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Jennifer Garner led Alias as Sydney Bristow. The 52-year-old Texas born actress has been a fan-favorite for decades, beloved for her work throughout the early 2000s and beyond. Prior to her starring role in this series, Garner spent a lot of time on the stage before her 1995 on-screen debut in the TV movie Zoya, followed by Harvest of Fire in the subsequent year.

She could be seen making appearances across numerous television series throughout the late 90s including Law & Order, Spin City and Time of Your Life, and she even left a small mark in the film world in movies like Washington Square (1997) and Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000).

MUST-READ: ‘Law & Order’ Cast: 16 of Our Favorite Stars Then and Now

Jennifer Garner, Bradley Cooper and Michael Vartan, 2002
Jennifer Garner, Bradley Cooper and Michael Vartan, 2002Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Garner led the cast of Alias from 2001 to 2006. “Playing Sydney Bristow defined me for so long, and it re-defined me to myself,” she told Variety in 2018. “It made me strong and made me more confident,” she said.

Fun fact: the wigs Sydney so often sported could at times cost up to $20,000 each! In 2002, she won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama.

After Alias came some of her greatest hits: 13 Going on 30 (2004), Elektra (2005), Juno (2007), Valentine’s Day (2010), Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Miracles From Heaven (2016) and many, many more. Her most recent acting credit was in Family Switch (2023).

Michael Vartan as Michael Vaughn

Michael Vartan in 2002 and 2018
2002 / 2018Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage/Getty Images ; Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

Michael Vartan brought to life the character of Michael Vaughn, Sydney’s love interest in the series. The 55-year-old French-American actor has numerous credits prior to Alias, but the series remains perhaps his most notable role.

Before Alias, the actor made appearances in movies such as Fiorile (1993), The Pallbearer (1996) and Never Been Kissed (1999), and series such as Friends and Ally McBeal.

MUST-READ: The 10 Seasons of ‘Friends,’ Ranked, Plus Where to Watch Them All

Of his time on Alias, Michael Vartan told Collider,I’ve been doing this almost 30 years and, to this day, it’s still probably the best experience I’ve ever had.”

After Alias, Vartan had roles in Big Shots, Hawthorne, Bates Motel and The Arrangement, with his most recent role being in God Friended Me in 2018.

Victor Garber as Jack Bristow

Victor Garber in 2001 and 2023
2001 / 2023Vince Bucci/Getty Images ; John Lamparski/Getty Images

Victor Garber was an accomplished stage actor prior to his big break on the screen, long before his role as Jack Bristow, Sydney’s fellow secret agent father, on Alias.

Before taking on the role, his resume included movies like Sleepless in Seattle (1993), The First Wives Club (1996) and Titanic (1997) to name a few.

In a 2015 interview with Time, the actor got candid about why the show remains such a fan favorite.

J.J. Abrams — he was young. He still is young. It was one of the first things in his career, and he had this passion and genius for creating these characters. The casting — I would never have cast myself as Jack Bristow. J.J. did.”

Bradley Cooper, Michael Vartan, Ron Rifkin, executive producer J.J. Abrams, Jennifer Garner, Victor Garber, Carl Lumbly, Kevin Weisman & Merrin Dungey, Alias cast, 2002
Bradley Cooper, Michael Vartan, Ron Rifkin, executive producer J.J. Abrams, Jennifer Garner, Victor Garber, Carl Lumbly, Kevin Weisman & Merrin Dungey, Alias cast, 2002Albert L. Ortega/WireImage/Getty Images

He continued, “Ron Rifkin (who played the role of Arvin Sloane) and I were New York actors and did specialty things here — that was part of the magic of the show, and Jennifer Garner was the heart of the show.”

After Alias, success only continued for the Canadian actor, and you can catch him in movies like Argo (2012), Sicario (2015), Happiest Season (2020) and more. As for TV, he could be seen over the years in 30 Rock, Suits, The Good Wife, And Just Like That… and more.

MUST-READ: See ‘The Good Wife’ Cast Then and Now

Carl Lumbly as Marcus Dixon

Carl Lumbly in 2003 and 2022
2003 / 2022Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage/Getty Images ; Corey Nickols/Getty Images for IMDb

Carl Lumbly played CIA leader Marcus Dixon, but before his part in the Alias cast, he held significant roles in Cagney & Lacey, L.A. Law, Going to Extremes, M.A.N.T.I.S, EZ Streets and more.

MUST-READ: ‘Cagney & Lacey’ Star Sharon Gless Discusses Challenges On and Off the Screen and Her Powerful New Documentary (EXCLUSIVE)

In a 2022 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Carl Lumby and his fellow Alias castmates admit there were some aspects of the storylines that went right over their heads.

The anchor of the show is, of course, the relationships in this intrepid group of people on a weekly basis trying to save the world, and the science fiction was like this bizarre icing on the cake,” he said.

“So the fact that I didn’t fully understand it worked for me and my character, because I think part of my experience with Alias was that none of us could actually be sure at any given moment who we were working for, but we knew who we were working with.”

After Alias, Lumbly continued to build his resume. His most recent credits have been in Obliterated, The Fall of the House of Usher and S.W.A.T, and in 2025, he’s set to have a role in Captain America: Brave New World.

MUST-READ: The 12 Best Marvel Movies Ranked — And Where to Watch Them!

Ron Rifkin as Arvin Sloane

Ron Rifkin in 2002 and 2017
2002 / 2017LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP via Getty Images ; John Lamparski/Getty Images

Ron Rifkin brought to life Arvin Sloane, one of the masterminds behind SD-6. Rifkin’s career on the screen began as early as 1966 with an appearance in Gidget. After that, he could be seen in a myriad of popular television shows over the years in guest roles.

Some of his most notable credits are Barnaby Jones, The Rockford Files, Knots Landing, One Day at a Time, Falcon Crest, ER and tons more.

MUST-READ: ‘The Rockford Files’: What Happened to the Cast of the Beloved Show

Jennifer Garner and Ron Rifkin, 2023
Jennifer Garner and Ron Rifkin, 2023Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

On his Alias character, Rifkin told Logo TV in 2007, “I was very challenged with Sloane because I’m so different from Sloane.”

Some of Rifkin’s most recent roles were in A Star Is Born (2018), New Amsterdam and Funny Pages (2022).

Kevin Weisman as Marshall Flinkman

Kevin Weisman in 2002 and 2017
2002 / 2017Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images ; David Livingston/Getty Images

Before bringing to life tech guru Marshall Flinkman, Kevin Weisman made appearances in Pauly, The Drew Carey Show, ER, JAG, Roswell, Felicity and more. However, Marshall Flinkman remains one of his most revered characters.

MUST-READ: ‘Felicity’ TV Show Cast: Where Are They Now?

Part of the reason why the show works so well is that the writers and J.J. are not afraid to keep things moving,” he said in a 2004 interview with John Bierly.

“This show has accomplished in three years what most shows do in seven or eight years, constantly keeping the audience on their toes. There’s always going to be an inherent concern that people aren’t going to respond, but I think taking those risks makes the show what it is.” 

Weisman’s recent roles include The Insiders, Runaways and Scorpion.

Bradley Cooper as Will Tippin

Bradley Cooper in 2002 and 2024
2002 / 2024Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images ; Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Before Bradley Cooper was Bradley Cooper, he was building a name for himself with smaller roles in films and television, Alias included in that mix. In the late 90s and early 2000s, Cooper could be seen in Wet Hot American Summer (2001), The $treet and Sex and the City before bringing to life Will Tippin, Sydney’s close friend and eventual CIA analyst.

MUST-READ: The Best Bradley Cooper Movies: From ‘The Hangover’ to ‘Maestro’

However, for Cooper, his time on the show wasn’t ideal. “I would only work three days a week,” he recalled in a 2013 interview with GQ. “And then for the second season, I got even more sidelined. I was like, ‘Ugh.'”

Ultimately, he would ask to be written off the show. However, the bold move despite not having anything lined up after his departure from the show would work out well for him.

The actor has gone on to star in some of the biggest films of the 2000s: The Hangover (2009), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), American Sniper (2014), Burnt (2015), A Star Is Born (2018) and Maestro (2023) to name a few. Additionally, he’s even taken to directing and producing in the last few years.

Most recently, he could be seen in a surprise cameo on the hit comedy, Abbott Elementary.

Merrin Dungey as Francie Calfo in the Alias cast

Merrin Dungey in 2001 and 2022, 'Alias' cast member
2001 / 2022SGranitz/WireImage/Getty Images ; Steve Granitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Merrin Dungey‘s television career goes far beyond Alias, though we love her dearly for her role of Francie Calfo.

Prior to her time on the show, she had recurring roles in shows include Malcom in the Middle, The King of Queens, Summerland and more.

Most recently, you could see her in series like Shining Vale and Lucifer, or you could hear her voice in Bob’s Burgers.

In September of 2023, she and co-star Jennifer Garner reunited at the SAG-AFTRA strikes. Garner shared a photo to her Instagram account with the caption, “We had coffee, but not coffee ice cream! #IYKYK Thank you for our picketing date, @realmerrindungey, I love you ♥️.”

Greg Grunberg as Eric Weiss in the Alias cast

Greg Grunberg in 2004 and 2024, 'Alias' cast member
2004 / 2024Lester Cohen/WireImage/Getty Images ; Leon Bennett/Getty Images

You’ve definitely seen Greg Grunberg in something over the years. Prior to Alias, his biggest roles were in NYPD Blue and Felicity before he became Eric Weiss in the hit series.

After the show, he’s had tons of television and film roles, one of his most cherished being that of Bradley Cooper’s character’s driver in A Star Is Born (2018). The duo remained pals since their time on Alias.

Bradley called me up and he’s like, ‘Look, there’s a role, and it’s not what you’re used to doing, but….’ I’m like, ‘Bradley, I don’t care if you ask me to do craft services.’ I love him so much, and I wanted to support this project,” he recalled to Entertainment Weekly.

His most recent TV credits include Law & Order: SVU, The Rookie, Goliath and more.

David Anders as Julian Sark in the Alias cast

David Anders in 2002 and 2019, 'Alias' cast member
2002 / 2019 Steve Grayson/WireImage/Getty Images ; Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

Before taking on his villainous role in Alias, David Anders had very few credited roles, including So Little Time (2001) and The Source (2001). However, this early part in his career proved to be fruitful.

I thought I was gonna do a few episodes and be gone,” he told Nerdist in 2013. “I remember…I thought my time was coming to an end in the first season so I asked Jennifer (Garner) for an autograph. I mean, I got my SAG card on that show. So I asked her for a headshot and to sign it for me. And she wrote: ‘Dear David, Get comfy, you’re gonna be here for a while.'” She was right!

Anders’ most recent roles have been in iZombie, Roswell, New Mexico, The Magicians, Magnum P.I. and beyond.


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