“Ay-oh! Oh-ay!” The ’80s was a golden age for fun family sitcoms, and Who’s The Boss?, which ran from 1984 to 1992, was one of the most popular. Starring Tony Danza as Tony Micelli, a widowed former major-league baseball player, and Alyssa Milano (in one of her earliest roles) as his daughter, Samantha, the show followed their ups and downs as they adjusted to moving from the city to the suburbs and Tony took on a job as live-in housekeeper for a wealthy single mom, Angela Bower (Judith Light), and her young son, Jonathan (Danny Pintauro). Rounding out the Who’s The Boss cast was Katherine Helmond, who scored many laughs and earned two Emmy nominations for her performance as Angela’s risqué mom, Mona Robinson.
This beloved sitcom challenged family stereotypes and provided moments of laughter and awws in equal measure. Seeing Samantha and Jonathan grow up was a delight, and now, more than 30 years after the show ended its eight-season run, we’re taking a look at the talented cast and what they’ve been up to.
Catch up with the Who’s the Boss? cast
Tony Danza as Tony Micelli
Tony Danza hit a double header with back-to-back successful series, Taxi and Who’s The Boss? and his characters on both shows were aptly named Tony! (Read about Danza’s Taxi costar, Marilu Henner) After more than four decades, Danza, now 72, is still a household name. Born Anthony Salvatore Iadanza to Italian immigrants in Brooklyn, Danza started out as a boxer, and was discovered by a producer while at a boxing gym in New York. Taxi was his acting debut, and being part of the sitcom’s storied ensemble cast gave him an auspicious start.
After the cast of Who’s the Boss? parted ways, Danza remained a TV regular. He even had his own short-lived sitcom in 1997, aptly titled The Tony Danza Show. From 2004 to 2006, he had a talk show of the same name, and in 2009, he starred in a reality show in which he co-instructed a 10th grade English class in Philadelphia. Danza has also appeared in a few movies, including Angels in the Outfield, Crash and Don Jon. Danza even released an album in 2002, and acted in Broadway plays like The Iceman Cometh and The Producers. Most recently, Danza showed up as himself on Sex and the City spinoff And Just Like That…
(Click through to read more about Tony Danza!)
Judith Light as Angela Bower
Like many actresses of the ’80s, Judith Light, now 74, began her career in daytime dramas. She started out playing Karen Wolek on the classic soap One Life To Live from 1977 to 1983, and won two Daytime Emmy Awards for her work. Since Who’s the Boss? ended, she’s acted in shows like Ugly Betty, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Transparent and the reboot of Dallas.
Light has branched out since her early soap opera days, and won acclaim for her turn in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit. She’s returned to the stage many times since, and has also shown up in recent films like Tick, Tick… Boom! and The Menu. In addition to her long career as a star of stage and screen, Light has been an activist for fighting discrimination and getting treatment for people suffering from AIDS since the ’80s.
Katherine Helmond as Mona Robinson
Katherine Helmond had an impressive five-decade career in TV before her death at 89 in 2019. Prior to Who’s the Boss?, Helmond was known for her role as the ditzy matriarch, Jessica Tate, on the sitcom Soap, which ran from 1977 to 1981.
The Golden Globe-winning actress (and seven-time Emmy Award nominee) began acting onstage in the ’50s, and first showed up on TV in 1962, but it wasn’t until the ’70s that she received wide recognition. She appeared in a variety of Broadway plays, and acted in films like Family Plot, Time Bandits, Brazil and Overboard in the ’70s and ’80s. After Who’s the Boss? she acted in the sitcoms Coach and Everybody Loves Raymond. One of her final credits was doing voiceover work for the popular Pixar franchise Cars.
Alyssa Milano as Samantha Micelli
Alyssa Milano had one of her earliest roles as Tony’s daughter in the Who’s the Boss cast and the show covered the entirety of her teen years. Milano became one of the biggest teen idols of the decade, and even starred in an ultra-’80s aerobics video and released pop albums in Japan.
In the ’90s, Milano acted in a variety of TV movies and joined the cast of Melrose Place. (Read more about the Melrose Place cast.) Her role as the witch Phoebe Halliwell on the fantasy series Charmed introduced her to a new audience, and the show, which ran from 1998 to 2006, developed a cult following. In 2013, she starred in the juicy drama Mistresses, and in recent years she’s made guest appearances in a variety of other shows and acted in movies like Little Italy and Brazen.
Now 50, Milano is well-known as a devoted activist for political and social causes in addition to her acting career and status as an ’80s icon.
Danny Pintauro as Jonathan Bower
After his stint in the Who’s The Boss cast as Angela’s son, Jonathan, Danny Pintauro mostly retreated from the spotlight. As a child star, he appeared in the soap opera As the World Turns and the horror movie Cujo.
Like many other child stars, Pintauro faced personal struggles in adulthood, but he overcame them, going on to act in a few plays and appear in the 2022 Lifetime movie A Country Christmas Harmony. For the past few years, Pintauro, now 47, has been working as a vet tech in Austin, Texas.
Click through for more ’80s sitcoms!