See Carol and Susan From "Friends" Now at 59 and 57
Jane Sibbett and Jessica Hecht played Ross' ex-wife and her partner on the sitcom.
During the first season of Friends, one of the major storylines was that Ross (David Schwimmer) was having a baby with his recently ex-wife, Carol (Jane Sibbett), who was already in a new relationship with Susan (Jessica Hecht), of whom Ross wasn't the biggest fan. After Ben was born at the end of the first season of the show, the lesbian couple continued to make appearances on the series, though not as frequently as the years went on.
Given that Friends is still hugely popular 18 years after its finale, the actors who played Susan and Carol will always be associated with those roles. But, both Sibbett and Hecht continued acting and have amassed credits in many other popular shows and movies. Read on to find out about their lives today.
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Sibbett and Hecht appeared on Friends for years.
Most of the episodes that focused on Carol and Susan took place in Seasons 1 and 2 of Friends, but both actors returned to the show for years to come. Sibbett was on 15 episodes total, with her final episode airing in Season 7. Hecht was on 12 episodes, and her last appearance was in Season 6.
As big fans of the show may already know, Sibbett wasn't the first actor to play Carol. The character was first introduced in the second episode of the series and was played by actor Anita Barone. Sibbett took over the role after that.
Sibbett auditioned for one of the main cast roles.
When Sibbett joined Friends, she had already been acting for years. She had starred on the soap opera Santa Barbara and in the sitcom Herman's Head. She'd also made appearances on 21 Jump Street, Cheers, and My Two Dads.
In 2020, Sibbett shared in an interview with news.com.au that she initially auditioned to play Rachel, but it didn't work out because she was pregnant at the time.
"I have no regrets, my goodness, there's no way anybody could have come close to what Jennifer Aniston did with Rachel. She was so perfect," Sibbett said.
After Barone left the show after one episode, Sibbett was approached about playing Carol. "Two days after I delivered my son he and I were on the set," she explained. "I was in a milky haze. But it was funny. It was only supposed to be a two-week job so I'm very grateful."
She's a theater artist, writer, and teacher.
Sibbett's onscreen roles during and after Friends include the movie It Takes Two, the series Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher, and appearances on Touched by an Angel, The Nanny, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and more. Most recently, she was in the TV movies A Date by Christmas Eve and List of a Lifetime.
The now-59-year-old actor has also done a lot of stage work, including at the Kahilu Theatre in Hawaii, at which she directed plays and was a board member, according to her website. She's also a writer and is on the staff of The Story Summit Writing School. On a different note, as her website explains, she considers herself a conduit for energy and holds "dancing hands circle" events as a type of healing.
As for her personal life, Sibbett has three children—Kai, Ruby, and Violet Fink—with ex-husband Karl Fink.
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Hecht is proud of the representation her character provided.
Hecht's 1994 debut on Friends was one of her first onscreen roles. Around the same time, she was also on episodes of Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Seinfeld, and Party of Five.
In an interview with Today in 2019, Hecht talked about fans recognizing her from Friends.
"People bring up Friends a lot," she said. "I do get recognized a lot, and beautifully so, for people saying that they watch the show when they're feeling down." She added, "And that I cannot complain about. I feel like life is really hard and the idea that you would have a TV show that's comfort food or Prozac that I'm part of is phenomenal." Of Susan and Carol's storyline, specifically, she said, "And then definitely for people who are gay, who found that show in some way affirming or empowering is just amazing."
She's Emmy- and Tony-nominated.
Post-Friends, Hecht has had roles in movies including Sideways, Dan in Real Life, and J. Edgar. She also played Gretchen on several episodes of Breaking Bad. Most recently, she had recurring roles in the series The Boys, Dickinson, Special, and The Sinner, amongst others. For Special, Hecht was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. Also a theater actor, in 2010 she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for A View from the Bridge.
Hecht, 57, has two children—Stella and Carlo Bernstein—with her husband, director Adam Bernstein.
Hecht and Sibbett kept in touch.
In 2019, Hecht told Us Weekly that she "stays in touch with Jane." That same year, Sibbett said of her co-star to Today, "To this day, I still call her my wife and she's just the dreamiest. Jess and I always joke that we were the straight man to David Schwimmer. The great irony [that] the lesbian woman were the straight men to David Schwimmer's hijinks."