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‘Perfect Strangers’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

Plus, find out who appeared in Max’s hit show 'Succession'

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The Perfect Strangers cast created a heartwarming comedy that captured the essence of friendship and cultural diversity. Running from 1986 to 1993, the series garnered a dedicated fanbase and was a hit show during the years it was on TV.  

Created by Dale McRaven and aired on ABC, the sitcom followed the misadventures of two vastly different characters thrust into an unlikely living arrangement (as such, it was perceived as a modern version of The Odd Couple). The premise revolved around Larry Appleton, a conservative and fastidious young man originally from Wisconsin, and Balki Bartokomous, his naive and exuberant distant cousin from the fictional Mediterranean island of Mypos.

When Balki arrives unannounced in Chicago to live with Larry, their cultural clashes and comedic escapades ensue, forming the nucleus of the show’s humor.

Here, we look at the Perfect Strangers cast and what they are up to now.

Mark Linn-Baker as Larry Appleton: Perfect Strangers cast

Mark Linn-Baker as Larry Appleton (Perfect Strangers Cast)
1986/2022Getty

Born on June 17, 1954, in St. Louis, Missouri, Mark Linn-Baker actually added the hyphen to his last name. He was born Mark Linn Baker (without the hyphen), but when he joined the actor’s union, there already was a Mark Baker, so he combined his middle name with his last name.

Linn-Baker studied drama at Yale and got his start in acting by performing small roles in movies like Manhattan (1979) and The End of August (1981) before becoming one of the leads in My Favorite Year (1982). He also had bit parts in several TV shows, including Miami Vice, The Equalizer and Moonlighting.

However, his big break came when he landed the role in the Perfect Strangers cast. He played Larry Appleton, a strait-laced aspiring photographer who is thrown into disarray when his eccentric cousin Balki arrives from Mypos to live with him.

After Perfect Strangers, he made guest appearances on other shows before becoming a series regular on the show Twins (2005-2006) and Blue Bloods (2017-2018). Most recently, he’s starred as Maxim Pierce on Max’s hit show Succession (2019-2023).

When asked about his career highlights, Linn-Baker told New York Theatre Guide, “I have enjoyed being in successful runs of some great theater shows on Broadway and off-Broadway, I have had a few wonderful TV experiences, including the eigh season run of Perfect Strangers, and been in some wonderful films… I have worked with some of the great theater, TV and film artists of our time and that has been enormously gratifying.”

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Bronson Pinchot as Balki Bartokomous

Bronson Pinchot as Balki Bartokomous
1986/2018 Getty

Born May 20, 1959, in New York City, Bronson Pinchot played the role of Balki Bartokomous, the exuberant and naive cousin from Mypos, who brought a unique perspective and eccentricities to Larry’s life.

Before becoming a part of the Perfect Strangers cast, Pinchot got his start in off-Broadway. From there he got small parts in movies including the role of Joel’s poker playing-friend in Risky Business (1983) and his break-out role playing Serge, an associate art dealer, in Beverly Hills Cop (1984).

After the Perfect Strangers cast, Pinchot went on to star in the TV series The Trouble with Larry (1993), and appeared in the films True Romance (1993), Beverly Hills Cop III (1994), Courage Under Fire (1996) and The First Wives Club (1996).

Most recently he’s had guest-starring roles in several TV shows, including Black Monday (2021), NCIS: Hawai’i (2022) and Our Flag Means Death (2023).

Melanie Wilson as Jennifer Lyons: Perfect Strangers cast

Melanie Wilson as Jennifer Lyons (Perfect Strangers Cast)
1986/2002 Getty

Born on October 14, 1960, in Los Angeles, California, Melanie Wilson played the role of Jennifer Lyons, the upstairs neighbor and eventual love interest of Larry Appleton.

Prior to being in the Perfect Strangers cast, Wilson had bit parts in several TV shows, including the A-Team and Simon and Simon. She followed the show with a starring role on on Step by Step (1993-1998) and appearances in Facing the Enemy (2001) and Prayers for Bobby (2009).

She has been married twice, but has no kids. Interestingly, she’s the daughter of actor Dick Wilson, best known as TV’s Mr. Whipple in Charmin toilet paper commercials.

Rebeca Arthur as Mary Anne Spencer

Rebeca Arthur as Mary Anne Spencer
1986/2000’s Moviestillsdb.com/abc; IMDB

Born on March 17, 1960, in Cumberland, Kentucky, Rebeca Arthur played the role of Mary Anne Spencer, receptionist at the Ritz Discount Store where Larry and Balki work. Prior to that, Arthur appeared in Newhart, Remington Steele, and several movies, among them Anything for Love and About Last Night.

After being a part of the Perfect Strangers cast, Arthur continued to appear in feature films and television shows. Most recently she was in the 2014 movie The Palmer Supremacy.

Currently, Arthur has turned from acting to other pursuits. She told The Cumberland Times-News, “I have a clothing business with a foundation that helps women all over the country and the world. We do events where we give women affected by national disasters brand new clothes to rebuild their wardrobes and give them some much needed TLC.”

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Belita Moreno as Lydia Markham Perfect Strangers cast

Belita Moreno as Lydia Markham (Perfect Strangers Cast)
1986/2023 Getty

Born November 1, 1949, in Dallas, Texas, Belita Moreno played the role of Lydia Markham, Larry’s boss at the Ritz Discount Store, known for her no-nonsense attitude and sharp wit.

Prior to being in the Perfect Strangers cast and after, Moreno was seen in a number of films and TV shows, those credits including Mommy Dearest (1981), Golden Girls, Murphy Born and Melrose Place.

She got her next big career break with her regular role in the series George Lopez (2002-2007). Ironically, she was only eleven years older than Lopez, who played her son on the show.

She has been married to Joel Rudnick since 1981 and together they have two children.

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Sam Anderson as Mr. Sam Gorpley

Sam Anderson as Mr. Sam Gorpley
1986/2022 Getty

Born on April 2, 1947, in South Dakota, Sam Anderson played the role Sam Gorpley, the grouchy building superintendent who often clashes with Balki and Larry.

Before and after being in the Perfect Strangers cast, Anderson made many television guest appearances and appeared in films, but he also had recurring or starring roles in such series as Mama Malone (1984), Growing Pains (1986 to 1992) as Principal Willis Dewitt, Picket Fences (1992 to 1995) as FBI Agent Donald Morrell, ER (1994 to 2007) as Dr. Jack Kayson, Live Shot (1995) as Marvin Seaborne), Boston Common (1996) as President Butterfield, Angel (2000 to 2001) as Holland Manners, Married to the Kellys (2003 to 2004) as Bill Kelly, Lost (2005 to 2010) as Bernard Nadler, Justified (2013 to 2014) as Lee Paxton and Painkiller (2023) as Raymond Sackler.

He has been married to Barbara Ann Hancock since 1985. They have two children.


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