THEN & NOW: The cast of 'The Big Bang Theory'

big bang theory science
"The Big Bang Theory" will end after 12 seasons.
Warner Bros.

"The Big Bang Theory" is the longest-running multi-cam sitcom of all time. With 11 seasons under its belt, the beloved CBS sitcom will take its final bow at the end of season 12, sometime in 2019.

Here's where "The Big Bang Theory" cast was at the beginning of the series and where they are now. 

Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny, came to "TBBT" with sitcom experience.

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Her character has come a long way since the first season.

When Kaley Cuoco first joined "The Big Bang Theory" as Penny, she was most notable for her role as Bridget Hennessy on the short-lived ABC sitcom "8 Simple Rules."

After the series ends, Cuoco has other plans.

kaley cuoco
She's recently gotten married.
John Sciulli/Getty Images for InStyle

Since appearing on "TBBT," Cuoco has made frequent appearances in the Priceline commercials and has done voice-over work ("Hop" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks").

She married equestrian Karl Cook in June 2018 and her new animated series "Harley Quinn," which she voices, is set to debut in 2019 on DC's new streaming service.

After the show ends, Cuoco said she plans on producing, traveling with her husband, and doing lots of horseback riding.

Johnny Galecki, who plays Leonard Hofstadter, was on "Roseanne" first.

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He'd had experience acting in a sitcom.

Johnny Galecki solidified his place in TV history in the role of experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter. Galecki was already a TV star before he joined "TBBT" thanks to his role as Roseanne's son-in-law David Healy on "Roseanne."

Galecki will be in an upcoming sitcom spinoff.

johnny galecki
He's since taken on other roles.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Outside of "TBBT," he played himself in a three-episode arc on "Entourage" in 2011, and he appeared in one episode of the "Roseanne" reboot this year (and will reprise that role in the upcoming spinoff, "The Conners").

He also executive produced the 2018 CBS sitcom "Living Biblically."


Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper, didn't have many TV credits under his belt before the show.

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His character has had some memorable phrases.

Prior to joining "The Big Big Theory," Parsons' most-notable role was a seven-episode stint on "Judging Amy."

Parsons does a voice-over on a spin-off of "The Big Bang Theory."

jim parsons
He does a voiceover in "Young Sheldon," a spin-off of "The Big Bang Theory."
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Since the show began, he's been seen in prestige projects like "Wish I Was Here," "The Normal Heart," "Hidden Figures," and "A Kid Like Jake."

His next high-profile project is the Ted Bundy biopic starring Zac Efron ("Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile"). 

Jim Parsons turned Sheldon Cooper into such an iconic character that they gave his character its own spin-off ("Young Sheldon"), which Parsons lends his voice to.

In 2017, Parsons married Todd Spiewak after more than 14 years together.

Simon Helberg, who plays Howard Wolowitz, had previously been on a TV series.

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His character has been in every season of the show.

Right before "The Big Bang Theory" took off, Helberg had a recurring role on the short-lived Aaron Sorkin series "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."

Helberg has made a directorial debut and is married with children.

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He has two kids.
Getty/Phillip Faraone

Since "TBBT" began, he's appeared in the Coen Brother's film "A Serious Man," starred opposite Meryl Streep in "Florence Foster Jenkins," and appeared in Amber Tamblyn's directorial debut "Paint It Black."

He is married to actress Jocelyn Towne and they have two kids together: Adeline Helberg and Wilder Towne Helberg.

Raj Koothrappali on "The Big Bang Theory" was a breakout role for Kunal Nayyar.

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Before this, he didn't have many acting credits.

Playing Raj on "The Big Bang Theory" was Kunal Nayyar's breakout role.

Nayyar said he is ready for something different.

Kunal Nayyar
He got married in 2011.
Getty/Alberto E. Rodriguez

Since then, he's had significant voice-over roles in "Trolls" and "Ice Age: Continental Drift," and he'll reprise his role as Guy Diamond in the 2020 "Trolls" sequel.

He told Us Weekly in August 2018 that he'd like to do a drama next or "something different" from his career-making role as Raj Koothrappali. 

Melissa Rauch, who plays Bernadette Rostenkowski, joined the series in season three.

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She quickly became a main character.

Melissa Rauch joined the popular sitcom during its third season when her character began dating Helberg's character. At the time she joined the show, her most notable role was as Tina on the NBC series "Kath & Kim."

Rauch is still acting in comedies.

Melissa Rauch
She's doing voice-over work, too.
Getty/Alberto E. Rodriguez

Most recently, she wrote and starred in the gymnastics comedy "The Bronze" and will star in the upcoming comedy "Ode to Joy."

Like many of her colleagues, she's a go-to voice actor with roles in the animated "Ant-Man" series and the animated "Batman and Harley Quinn" series.

She is married to writer Winston Rauch and they have one daughter, Sadie.

Mayim Bialik, who plays Amy Farrah Fowler, earned a degree and had acting credits before appearing on the series.

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Before landing this role, she earned a PhD.

Mayim Bialik made her "Big Bang Theory" debut in the season three finale as Sheldon Cooper's love interest. Long before appearing on this series, she was a child star, most known for her leading role in "Blossom."

Before landing the role of Amy, she took a break from acting to earn a Ph.D. in neuroscience.

Bialik has worked on many projects since landing her "TBBT" role.

Mayim Bialik
She has two kids.
Getty/Allen Berezovsky

She has authored several books about raising children and she launched the lifestyle website

When the network announced that the show would end in 2019, Bialik wrote on her website: "Am I happy? Of course not. This has been my job since Melissa Rauch and I joined the cast as regulars in season 4."

She has two kids: Frederick Heschel Bialik Stone and Miles Roosevelt Bialik Stone.

Kevin Sussman, who plays Stuart Bloom, was a series regular.

Kevin Sussman
He's been in dozens of episodes.

Kevin Sussman plays Stuart Bloom, a friend to the guys and owner of The Comic Center of Pasadena, where the crew often hangs out on the show.

Before this series, he'd been in a variety of shows and movies including the critically-acclaimed TV series "Wet Hot American Summer," and the film "Burn After Reading." 


Susman's longest-running arc has been on "The Big Bang Theory."

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He may or may not make an appearance in the show's final season.

He was on the series for over nine years and was in over 75 episodes.

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