Lost debuted in 2004, and over the course of its six seasons and 121 episodes, the mind-bending sci-fi drama became one of the most acclaimed shows on TV with an unforgettable cast. Lost follows the survivors of the crash of Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 on a mysterious tropical island somewhere in the South Pacific. The mission for survival soon becomes even more complex, as we learn more of the characters’ backstories and elements from romance to horror come into play.
The supernaturally-tinged, existential drama (look out for that black smoke!) ran until 2010, and its innovative use of flashbacks and flash-forwards and ever-shifting mysteries changed the face of TV forever.
A big part of what made Lost so great was the show’s ensemble cast. Every character was wholly compelling, and each episode left us asking questions about who all these people really were and what their fates would be. Each moment of discovery in Lost‘s plot only seemed to reveal more secrets, which made the show appointment viewing. In fact, we’re still haunted by questions about where all the characters ended up.
A look at the Lost cast
Over a decade after Lost ended, we’re taking a look back at the superb cast of the award-winning show.
Matthew Fox as Dr. Jack Shephard
Matthew Fox was a fan favorite before landing the role of troubled surgeon Dr. Jack Shephard on Lost. He had his breakout role on the hit show Party of Five, playing hunky Charlie Salinger from 1994 to 2000.
As Dr. Shephard, Fox played the group’s de facto leader. Fox jumped into films during the show’s run, appearing in We Are Marshall, Vantage Point and Speed Racer. Following Lost‘s finale, he acted in movies like World War Z, Extinction and Bone Tomahawk.
After 2015, Fox stepped away from acting, and he didn’t return until 2022, when he starred in the miniseries Last Light, making his first TV role since Lost ended. Now 57, Fox most recently acted in the comedy miniseries C*A*U*G*H*T.
Evangeline Lilly as Kate Austen
Evangeline Lilly played the tough, conflicted and fearless fugitive Kate Austen. Prior to Lost, she did a bit of modeling and had uncredited bit parts in shows like Smallville and Tru Calling and movies like The Lizzie McGuire Movie and White Chicks.
Lost made Lilly into a star. While she was on the show, she also appeared in the acclaimed movie The Hurt Locker. After Lost, she became a big-budget franchise fixture, with roles in multiple Hobbit movies and the Marvel Ant-Man movies.
Outside of acting, Lilly, now 44, has also written a series of children’s books.
Jorge Garcia as Hugo “Hurley” Reyes
With his cursed lottery numbers and moments of comic relief, Hugo “Hurley” Reyes, played by relative newcomer Jorge Garcia, was one of Lost‘s most popular characters. Lost creator J.J. Abrams knew Garcia was the man for the role after seeing him play a drug dealer in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
After Lost wrapped, Garcia appeared on several TV shows including Alcatraz, Californication and How I Met Your Mother. From 2013 to 2019 he was regular on the Hawaii Five-O reboot. Now 50, he recently appeared on The Masked Singer.
Josh Holloway as James “Sawyer” Ford
As the anti-hero Sawyer, Josh Holloway, in his first major television role, became a major heartthrob. Holloway started out as a model in the ’90s, and even appeared in an Aerosmith music video.
After Lost, Holloway starred in the shows Intelligence and Colony — but neither of them made quite as much of an impact. Now 54, he also starred opposite Tom Cruise in 2011’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. In 2020, he took on another tough-guy TV role, playing Roarke Carter on the hit Western drama Yellowstone.
Yunjin Kim as Sun-Hwa Kwon
South Korean actress Yunjin Kim began her acting career in her home country, and appeared in a number of TV shows and films there in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Originally, Kim auditioned for the role of Kate, but while she didn’t get it, Abrams was so impressed with the actress he wrote the role of Sun-Hwa Kwon, the daughter of a powerful Korean businessman and mobster, just for her.
Now 50, Kim returned to TV with a juicy role in Mistresses from 2013 to 2016. She starred in the Korean drama Ms. Ma, Nemesis in 2018, and she most recently acted in XO, Kitty, a spinoff series based on the popular To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before teen rom-com trilogy.
Daniel Dae Kim as Jin-Soo Kwon
Played by Daniel Dae Kim, Jin-Soo Kwon was married to Sun-Hwa and worked as her father’s enforcer. Kim began acting in the early ’90s, and quickly built up a solid TV resume with appearances on Law & Order; All My Children; Beverly Hills, 90210 and more. Prior to being cast on Lost, Kim starred in the short-lived sci-fi series Crusade and had multi-episode arcs on Angel, Star Trek: Enterprise, ER and 24.
After Lost ended, Kim remained in Hawaii to star in the reboot of Hawaii Five-O for seven seasons. He went on to roles in the Divergent film franchise and 2019’s Hellboy and Always Be My Maybe while heading his own television and film production studio, 3AD, which produces the show The Good Doctor. Kim also regularly contributes voiceover work to animated shows and video games.
Outside of acting, Kim, now 55, has also been a vocal advocate for Asian representation onscreen.
Terry O’Quinn as John Locke
Terry O’Quinn played the mysterious John Locke, named for the famous English philosopher. For his portrayal, O’Quinn won a well-deserved Emmy. He created such a powerful character that people still stop him on the street hoping to crack his code. “Sometimes they even call me John,” O’Quinn said of his recognition. “I don’t mind it. I understand what Lost was and I count my blessings. I’m usually happy to talk to people. The only negative thing I hear is ‘I didn’t get the ending. What the hell was that all about?’”
Although John Locke remains his most iconic role, O’Quinn was one of the veteran actors of the Lost cast, having started his acting career in 1980. Before joining the island crew, he’d appeared in some of TV’s biggest shows, including The West Wing and Alias.
In the ’80s and ’90s, he established himself acting in movies like The Stepfather, The Rocketeer and Tombstone and TV shows like Miami Vice, Moonlighting and L.A. Law. O’Quinn was no stranger to sci-fi — he previously acted in Millennium, an eerie series from X-Files creator Chris Carter.
Following Lost’s ending, O’Quinn, now 71, has continued to steadily work on TV, appearing in series such as 666 Park Avenue, Patriot, Hawaii Five-O, Emergence and FBI: Most Wanted.
Naveen Andrews as Savid Jarrah
Naveen Andrews played former Iraqi Republican Guard Sayid Jarrah, and became a favorite thanks in large part to his tank tops and toned arms. The British-Indian actor was first noticed for his role in the acclaimed drama The English Patient. Films like Mighty Joe Young, Rollerball and Bride & Prejudice soon followed.
Now 54, Andrews co-starred in the Princess Diana biopic Diana after Lost and acted in shows like Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Sense8, Instinct and The Dropout.
Dominic Monaghan as Charlie Pace
After starring as a Hobbit in the mega-popular Lord of the Rings franchise, Dominic Monaghan took on the role of rocker and drug addict Charlie Pace on Lost. He originally auditioned for the role of Sawyer before ultimately being cast as Charlie — a character who was supposed to be much older, but was rewritten after Monaghan got the role.
Since Lost, the British actor, now 46, has gone on to appear in several films and series, including another time-jumping show, Flashforward, and the crime drama 100 Code. He also hosted a BBC nature program, Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan, from 2012 to 2016. In 2019, Monaghan acted in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which was co-written and directed by Lost mastermind J.J. Abrams.
Emilie de Ravin as Claire Littleton
After earning fame as Tess Harding on the cult early ’00s sci-fi show Roswell, Australian actress Emilie de Ravin was cast in Lost as expectant mother Claire Littleton. While in the Lost cast, The actress simultaneously appeared in several films, including the high school mystery Brick, the horror movie remake The Hills Have Eyes, the romantic drama Remember Me and the ’30s period piece Public Enemies.
After Lost, de Ravin, now 41, starred in the fairy tale-inspired fantasy series Once Upon a Time from 2012 to 2018. Most recently, she returned to her homeland to act in the Australian miniseries True Colours.
Harold Perrineau as Michael Dawson in the Lost cast
Harold Perrineau played construction worker, aspiring artist and dedicated dad Michael Dawson on Lost. Perrineau’s very first credit came in 1986, when he played a dancer in the oh-so-’80s Fame TV show. More TV roles followed in the ’90s, and in 1996 he co-starred as Mercutio in Romeo + Juliet. Just prior to Lost, Perrineau starred in the intense prison drama Oz from 1997 to 2003 and joined the Matrix franchise.
Following Lost, Perrineau acted in shows like Sons of Anarchy, Claws, The Rookie and Criminal Minds. He has also appeared in movies like Zero Dark Thirty and The Best Man Holiday. Outside of acting, he dabbles in music. Now 60, Perrineau currently stars in From, a sci-fi series from the executive producers of Lost.
Malcolm David Kelley as Walt Lloyd in the Lost cast
Malcolm David Kelley began his acting career at just 9 years old. He had bit parts in show like Malcolm in the Middle, Girlfriends and Judging Amy, and then appeared in the movies Antwone Fisher and You Got Served. At 12, was cast as Walt Lloyd, the son of Michael Dawson and the only surviving child on flight 815, on Lost.
When Lost ended, Kelley starred in the short-lived teen show Gigantic. He also appeared in seven episodes of the comedy series Insecure and acted in the ’60s-set historical drama film Detroit. Currently, he acts in the show Angel.
In addition to acting, Kelley, now 31, is also a musician. In 2012, he formed the pop/hip-hop duo MKTO with his former Gigantic co-star Tony Oller, and they had a hit with their song “Classic” in 2014. While MKTO broke up in 2017, they’ve recently gotten back together.
Michael Emerson as Ben Linus in the Lost cast
As one of “The Others,” Ben Linus was one of the most mysterious characters on Lost — and that’s really saying something! Michael Emerson was cast on the show after he won an Emmy for his role as a serial killer on The Practice. He was initially supposed to be on the island for just three episodes, but after seeing his powerful performance, the producers of Lost made him into a series regular.
Emerson didn’t start acting until he was in his 30s, and started off performing in plays. He went on to act in movies like Unfaithful, Saw and The Legend of Zorro. After Lost ended, he starred in another J.J. Abrams show, Person of Interest. Now 69, Emerson currently stars in Evil as Dr. Leland Townsend, an expert in the occult.
Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond Hume
Henry Ian Cusick was a hatch dweller on Lost — his character, Desmond Hume, was different from the others who were stranded on the island because he’d been stranded due to a shipwreck three years prior.
Before Lost, the Peruvian-Scottish actor acted on the stage, played Jesus in the 2003 movie The Gospel of John and appeared in a number of British TV shows, including the long-running medical drama Casualty. In recent years, Cusick, now 56, co-starred in the MacGyver reboot and the post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama The 100.
Ian Somerhalder as Boone Carlyle in the Lost cast
Boone Carlyle, played by Ian Somerhalder, was a wealthy young operating officer of his mother’s wedding business, and in season two, he became the first major character to die, though he did make appearances later on.
Somerhalder started his acting career with a starring role in the Dawson’s Creek spinoff Young Americans in 2000. He then acted in The Rules of Attraction and made appearances in CSI, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Smallville before getting cast in Lost. He later starred in the show Tell Me You Love Me, but it was his role as sexy vampire Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries that cemented his leading man status. That show ended in 2017, and Somerhalder’s last credit was in the 2019 sci-fi series V-Wars.
Now 44, Somerhalder’s current project is promoting his bourbon band, Brothers Bond Bourbon. He’s also executive produced two recent documentaries about environmental causes, Kiss the Ground and Common Ground.
Maggie Grace as Shannon Rutherford in the Lost cast
Before Maggie Grace was cast in Lost as Shannon Rutherford, stepsister to Boone Carlyle and former dance teacher, she modeled and guest starred on shows including CSI: Miami and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
After Lost, Grace played a vampire in the final two Twilight movies and appeared in the popular trilogy of Taken action movies. She also acted in the 2013 When Calls the Heart TV movie and had a 10-episode arc on Californication. From 2018 to 2021, Grace, now 40, was in the cast of the Walking Dead spinoff Fear the Walking Dead.
Michelle Rodriguez as Ana Lucia Cortez
Played by Michelle Rodriguez, Ana Lucia Cortez was an airport security guard and former police officer introduced in season two.
Beginning her career in 2000, Rodriguez played a troubled boxer in the indie film Girlfight. She then played Letty Ortiz in the Fast & Furious franchise, and most recently reprised the character in the 2023 movie Fast X. Now 45, Rodriguez has also starred in the teen surf movie Blue Crush, the mega-budget spectacle Avatar, and action movies like Resident Evil, S.W.A.T., Battle Los Angeles and Widows.
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