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‘The Practice’ Cast Then and Now: Catch Up With Dylan McDermott, Lara Flynn Boyle, Kelli Williams and More


After making such TV staples as 1986-1992’s L.A. Law and 1989-1993’s Doogie Howser, M.D., creator David E. Kelley again struck gold when he traced the adventures of a team of a defense attorneys based in Boston for the ABC crime drama The Practice, which aired from 1997-2004.

Later that year, his other legal show, comedic drama Ally McBeal, which aired from 1997-2002, was setting trends.

Kelley accomplished a feat never achieved before or after: He won an Emmy and Golden Globe in both Outstanding/Best Drama Series and Outstanding/Best Comedy Series categories during the same year in 1999 for the cultural juggernauts. (The man who married Michelle Pfeiffer in 1993 went on to create Big Little Lies 2017-2019 and Big Sky, which aired from 2020-2023.)


“I was trained in law, so maybe that’s part of it, but I was always fascinated by that arena, as flawed and inexact as it was and is revealing itself to be more and more, as still the best machinery we have to legislate human behavior and moral behavior,” Kelley told Variety in 2022. 

Awards were plentiful: The Practice secured 41 Emmy nominations and collected 15 Emmys including Outstanding Drama Series in 1998, 1999 and 2001; Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Camryn Manheim in 1998; Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for James Spader in 2004, Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Sharon Stone in 2004, Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for William Shatner in 2004 and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Alfre Woodard in 2003.

(The Practice Cast) Intro Pic
Dylan McDermott and Kelli Williams (2001)

The show also took home Golden Globes for Best Drama Series in 1999, Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series for McDermott in 1999, plus Best Performance By An Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, for Camryn Manheim in 1999.

MUST-READ: From ‘The Practice’ to ‘Steel Magnolias’, Check Out Our 10 Favorite Dylan McDermott Movies & TV Shows

Starring Dylan McDermott as senior defense attorney and firm founder Bobby Donnell, Lara Flynn Boyle as assistant district attorney Helen Gamble and Kelli Williams as constitutional lawyer Lindsay Dole, the show tackled criminal and civil cases influenced by current events, and addressed the clash between ethics and morality.

Guest stars were A-list: Betty White (who secured an Emmy nomination), Shatner, Tony Danza, Patrick Dempsey and Henry Winkler put in appearances on the show.

Despite Calista Flockhart’s appearance on the show in 1998, it was not a spinoff of Ally McBeal. However, The Practice was responsible for a spinoff of its own: Boston Legal, which aired from 2004-2008.

TV shows are not without their own real-life drama, and The Practice was no exception. Due to budget cuts and sagging ratings, main cast McDermott, Flynn Boyle, Williams, LisaGay Hamilton, Marla Sokoloff and Chyler Leigh were dropped from the series between season seven and eight. James Spader and Rhona Mitra picked up where they left off.

Rebecca DeMorney and James Spader, ‘The Practice’MoviestillsDB

The Practice ran for 167 episodes.

When asked in 2024 if he would be up for a reboot of The Practice, McDermott told Bravo’s After Show, “There haven’t been any discussions, but you never know. It could be down the road. I never say no, so who knows?”

Here we dive into what became of the cast:

Dylan McDermott as Bobby Donnell: The Practice Cast

Dylan McDermott as Bobby Donnell (The Practice Cast)
1993/2023 Barry King / Contributor/Getty; Elyse Jankowski / Contributor/Getty

After his time on The Practice wrapped, the Golden Globe winner showed up on TV thriller Hostages in 2013-2014, then starred on TV crime drama Stalker from 2014-2015. He also appeared on comedy LA To Vegas in 2018, sci-fi drama American Horror Story from 2011-2019, crime drama Law & Order: Organized Crime in 2021 and action drama FBI: Most Wanted in 2021.

I knew after The Practice that I had to change,” he told The New York Times in 2022. “A lot of times, you do a big show like that, and that’s the end. I knew that I had to reinvent myself.” 

Related: ‘Law & Order’ Cast: 16 of Our Favorite Stars Then and Now

Lara Flynn Boyle as assistant district attorney Helen Gamble

Lara Flynn Boyle as assistant district attorney Helen Gamble (The Practice Cast)
1994/2017 Vinnie Zuffante / Stringer; Michael Tullberg / Contributor/Getty

After her time on The Practice ended in 2003, Flynn Boyle was next seen on TV series Huff in 2004-2005, then crime drama Las Vegas from 2005-2006.

Her most recent film, the comedic drama, Mother Couch, was released in 2023.

She doesn’t have a computer or smartphone, stays off social media and doesn’t know how to use Google, she told The Hollywood Reporter while promoting her film Death in Texas in 2021.

Looking back, she is grateful for her career, which also included the 1989-1991 mystery series Twin Peaks.

 “The whole experience on The Practice” she told the outlet. “That cast, they pushed me every day.” 

Kelli Williams as Lindsay Dole: The Practice Cast

Kelli Williams as Lindsay Dole (The Practice Cast)
2000/2023 Steve Granitz / Contributor/Getty; Steve Granitz / Contributor/Getty

Williams joined the cast of drama Medical Investigation from 2004-2005, then mystery Lie To Me from 2009-2011. She also starred on romantic drama Army Wives from 2012-2013 and 2015 family crime drama Ties That Bind. Additional credits include The Fosters in 2016, thriller Coyote in 2021 and crime drama Found from 2023-2024.

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Steve Harris as Eugene Young

Steve Harris as Eugene Young (The Practice Cast)
2005/2023 Frederick M. Brown / Stringer/Getty; Prince Williams / Contributor/Getty

Harris could be found on the small screen on action show Heist in 2006, sports drama Friday Night Lights from 2009-2010, fantasy Awake in 2012, crime drama Legends in 2014, drama Filthy Rich in 2020 and biographical crime drama BMF from 2021-2023.

Camryn Manheim as Ellenor Frut: The Practice Cast

Camryn Manheim as Ellenor Frut (The Practice Cast)
1998/2024 Jeff Kravitz / Contributor/Getty; John Lamparski / Contributor/Getty

The Golden Globe winner was seen in fantasy The Ghost Whisperer from 2006-2010, mystery Stumptown from 2019-2020 and long-lasting crime drama Law & Order from 1991-2024.

Manheim also played Elvis’ mom Gladys in the TV miniseries Elvis in 2005, and appeared on Hannah Montana in 2007. She voiced the character Rescue Ronda on the cartoon Doc McStuffins from 2007-2020.

She is mom to Zombies actor and producer Milo Manheim, whose father is model Jeffrey Brezovar.

I grew up on set with my mom and I love the fact that we can have deep conversations about the craft of acting,” he told People in 2024. “It’s one of the things that really connects us, one of our deepest passions.”

He continued, “I love this work and am so passionate about it. I haven’t taken any handouts nor would I ever. I’ve realized that it’s really important for me to do these things by myself to feel proud of them.”

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Michael Badalucco as Jimmy Berlutti

Michael Badalucco as Jimmy Berlutti (The Practice Cast)
2003/2015 Jon Kopaloff / Staff/Getty; Mark Sagliocco / Contributor/Getty

Badalucco appeared on the soap The Young And The Restless in 2010. He was also seen on mystery Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and crime comedy Monk in 2008, mystery Cold Case and crime drama Boardwalk Empire in 2010, crime drama Lilyhammer in 2014 and crime drama Bones in 2008 and 2014.

LisaGay Hamilton as Rebecca Washington: The Practice Cast

LisaGay Hamilton as Rebecca Washington (The Practice Cast)
2004/2023 Paul Andrew Hawthorne / Staff/Getty; Paul Archuleta / Contributor/Getty

Hamilton appeared on comedy Men of a Certain Age from 2009-2011, thriller Chance from 2016-2017 and sci-fi drama The First in 2018.

In 2023, she starred in the play Stew at California’s Pasadena Playhouse.

She fondly remembers her seven years on The Practice.

Each year we had a Halloween Party for the cast and crew and their kids and family,” she told Broadway World in 2023. “It was the most fun I think we all had each season. Folks went out of their way to be creative and try to out-best the other. Most importantly the party was a demonstration of love and joy we had as a family.”

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Marla Sokoloff as Lucy Hatcher

Marla Sokoloff as Lucy Hatcher (The Practice Cast)
2000/2019 Evan Agostini / Contributor/Getty; Alberto E. Rodriguez / Stringer/Getty

Sokoloff starred on the 2006-2007 romantic comedy Big Day and was seen on drama The Fosters in 2014.

She reprised her Full House (1993-1995) role as Gia on Fuller House (2016-2020).

Related: See What the Stars of ‘Full House’ Look Like Today

Jason Kravits as assistant district attorney Richard Bay: The Practice Cast

Jason Kravits as assistant district attorney Richard Bay (The Practice Cast)
2001/2024 Kevin Winter / Staff/Getty; Paul Archuleta / Contributor/Getty

After being killed off by being shot by a hitman retaliating for a conviction on the show’s 100th episode in 2001, Kravits went on to appear on shows including sitcoms Gilmore Girls in 2002, Friends in 2004 and 30 Rock in 2008; hospital-based romantic drama Grey’s Anatomy in 2009 and Law & Order in 2010 before landing a role on comedy The Michael J. Fox Show from 2013-2014.

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Ron Livingston as assistant district attorney Alan Lowe

Ron Livingston as assistant district attorney Alan Lowe (The Practice Cast)
2001/2024 Vince Bucci / Stringer/Getty; Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff/Getty

After the show, Livingston popped up on the HBO romantic comedy Sex and The City in 2002-2003 and starred in the 2004 romantic comedy Little Black Book with Brittany Murphy. He starred on the romantic crime drama TV series Standoff from 2006-2007, and drama A Million Little Things from 2018-2023. Major films include 2013 thriller The Conjuring and fantasy drama The Time Travelers Wife in 2009.    

Chyler Leigh as Claire Wyatt: The Practice Cast

Chyler Leigh as Claire Wyatt (The Practice Cast)
2001/2024 Evan Agostini / Contributor/Getty; Jason Kempin / Staff/Getty

After being dropped from The Practice, Leigh went on to TV drama Reunion from 2005-2006 before she earned a spot on Grey’s Anatomy from 2007-2021 and the lead role in action-adventure Supergirl from 2015-2021.

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Jessica Capshaw as Jamie Stringer

Jessica Capshaw as Jamie Stringer (The Practice Cast)
1999/2021 Sam Levi / Contributor/Getty; Roy Rochlin / Stringer/Getty

Jessica Capshaw, the stepdaughter of screen legend Steven Spielberg, went on to star as Dr. Arizona Robbins on Grey’s Anatomy from 2009-2018.

James Spader as Alan Shore: The Practice Cast

James Spader as Alan Shore (The Practice Cast)
1999/2019 Diane Freed / Stringer/Getty; Jim Spellman / Stringer

Following the end of The Practice, Emmy winner James Spader, moved onto Boston Legal before turning up as a regular for one season on comedy The Office, then starring on crime drama The Blacklist for a decade from 2013-2023. He joined the Marvel Universe to play Ultron in the franchise’s sci-fi adventure flick Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015.

Related: Blacklist’ Star James Spader Then & Now: How He Became The Guy We Love to Hate

Rhona Mitra as Tara Wilson

Rhona Mitra as Tara Wilson (The Practice Cast)
2000/2015 Chris Weeks / Staff/Getty; Paul Archuleta / Contributor/Getty

Rhona Mitra transferred to spinoff Boston Legal and has acted steadily ever since. She has five projects in production, including voicing video game character executive officer Kelly in Squadron 42.

Holland Taylor as Judge Roberta Kittleson: The Practice Cast

Holland Taylor as Judge Roberta Kittleson (The Practice Cast)
2001/2024 Frederick M. Brown / Stringer/Getty; Dia Dipasupil / Staff/Getty

Post-show, Taylor was a hot commodity, starring on comedy Two and a Half Men from 2003-2015 and returning to creator Kelley’s world for The Morning Show from 2021-2023. She has been in a relationship with actress Sarah Paulson since 2015.

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