Edie (Joan Rivers)
As Vicki’s loud-mouthed, opinionated, and husky-voiced mother, Edie stops by from time to time to deliver some seriously hilarious family dysfunction. She ambushes Vicki’s wedding and totally overshadows her daughter’s special day with stories of plastic surgery woes, biting criticisms of her daughter, and her overall selfish disposition. Her lack of self-awareness is a shield from the obvious glares of disapproval she receives from those around her. She and Vicki don’t always see eye-to-eye but there’s certainly no denying the love that Edie has for her daughter.
Joan Rivers – Deceased
Rivers was a groundbreaking comedian who many comedians, including Kathy Griffin, say paved the way for their careers. She was an accomplished touring comedian, talk show host, reality star, and actress. The edgy and envelope-pushing comedian won an Emmy for her late-night show The Joan Rivers Show. She was the first (and so far, last) woman to host her own primetime late-night talk show. Rivers tragically passed away in 2014 after complications from a minor medical procedure. She is survived by her daughter, actress and TV host Melissa Rivers.
Luis Rivera (Nestor Carbonell)
Luis (pictured center) is the dashing, heavy-accented, and suave co-worker of Susan. The lady’s man also lives in the same building as Vicki, which creates some awkwardness between the two opposites. In a season three episode, Vicki uses her particular talents for manipulation to coerce Luis over to fix up her apartment, cook her dinner, and even unclog her toilet. When it’s revealed he has been hiding a secret relationship with Maddy, Vicki blows the lid off their canoodling in front of the entire office.
Nestor Carbonell – Today
Looking back it’s difficult to imagine Nestor Carbonell in anything other than a dark and brooding drama. After the lighter Suddenly Susan, he starred as the cold and mysterious Richard in the ABC thriller series Lost, the tough-as-nails Sheriff Alex Romero in the Psycho origin series Bates Motel, and as the serious Mayor Anthony Garcia in both The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. He will direct and star in the upcoming crime drama The Locker.
Todd Stities (David Strickland)
Music critic Todd (pictured right) is the sweet and lovable co-worker who is always down for a good time. He loves to show off his dance moves at the office and turn up in last year’s fashion trends for a fun laugh. His naivety makes him unlucky in love but a loyal and dedicated friend to nearly everyone in the office. After actor David Strickland took his own life while working on the show, the producers dedicated an episode to the character and actor himself where Susan learns that Todd has passed away.
David Strickland – Deceased
Strickland (pictured right) was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the middle of shooting Suddenly Susan. Following years of substance abuse, including an arrest for possession, he took his own life on March 22, 1999. He is survived by his four biological children and two stepchildren with his ex-wife Ali Rivers. At the time of his death they were going through a heated divorce. Suddenly Susan was Strickland’s first lead role in a series. He had previously landed guest spots on Roseanne, Mad About You, and Sister, Sister.
Vicki Groener (Kathy Griffin)
Sassy BFF Vicki works at The Gate with Susan. The two girls connect when Susan suddenly finds herself single and reaches out to Vicki for friendship. Although the two personalities clash, their friendship blossoms into a supportive and genuine rapport. Vicki isn’t much of a dater as she prefers to spend her time alone and her sarcasm gets in the way of creating close bonds with men. Regardless, she’s always down for a good time with the help of some booze and karaoke.
Kathy Griffin – Today
Suddenly Susan made Kathy Griffin a star, and following which she won two Emmys for her reality series Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, and even won a Grammy in 2014 for Best Comedy Album. A vocal activist on many issues, after recently finding herself in the hot seat due to a controversial photo, she is about to embark on a nationwide tour and her upcoming Carnegie Hall performance sold out in less than 24 hours. She’s been in a long term relationship with executive Randy Bick since 2012.
Susan Keane (Brooke Shields)
When we first meet the adorably clumsy and goofy Susan, she has just left her fiancé at the altar. What comes next is a sojourn of sorts to reclaim the power over her life. She returns to the magazine she worked at to get her job back but this time she reaches out to her quirky coworkers for support. She finds that her greatest friendships were close by the entire time. By the series finale she falls in love and marries the adorable Oliver.
Brooke Shields – Today
Shields began her career at just 11 years old appearing in commercials. She went on to be the famous face of Calvin Klein jeans, and she starred in the dramas Pretty Baby, The Blue Lagoon, and Endless Love to name a few. She is also a five-time best-selling author whose last book, There Was a Little Girl, was a hit on the New York Times list. She last appeared as the messy mom Rita in the sitcom The Middle. She has been married to screenwriter Chris Henchy since 2001 and they have two children together.
Miranda Charles (Sherri Shepherd)
Sherri Shepherd plays the bossy Miranda Charles (pictured right) in the show’s later seasons. She loves to drive the conversation into inappropriate directions and keep the attention on herself. Oftentimes she and Susan don’t see eye to eye and get into heated (albeit funny) exchanges. She’s the larger-than-life and hilarious coworker brought on to shake up the series. When ratings started to dip after the second season, the producers needed to bring in someone uproariously funny and quirky. Enter stage left: Sherri Shepherd.
Sherri Shepherd – Today
Shepherd continued to show off her comedy chops after Suddenly Susan was cancelled, appearing in the classic game show Hollywood Squares, as the feisty Angie Jordan on the sitcom 30 Rock, and in her own short-lived 2009 sitcom Sherri. She is perhaps most famous for her co-hosting duties on the morning talk show The View from 2007-2014. Most recently she appeared in the Matt LeBlanc-starring sitcom Man with a Plan, and the mockumentary sitcom Trial & Error on NBC.
Nana (Barbara Barrie)
Susan’s grandmother Nana lives with Susan in her San Francisco home. They both share a slight fear and weariness of Susan’s mother and bond over silly stories of her mother growing up and her finicky ways. She loves to also share inappropriate anecdotes of she and her late husband’s love life, much to Susan’s discomfort. She loves her granddaughter very much and is heavily involved in her personal life, chiming in with advice just when Susan needs it most.
Barbara Barrie – Today
Before Barrie took a 7-year hiatus from acting in 2011, she was a staple in the Broadway world. She was nominated for a prestigious Tony Award for originating the lead role of the complicated Sarah in Stephen Sondheim’s musical comedy Company. She was nominated for an Academy Award in 1980 for playing the strong matriarch in the romantic comedy Breaking Away. She will return to the screen in the upcoming drama Above All Things. She was married to theater producer Jay Harnick from 1964 until his passing in 2007.
Jack Richmond (Judd Nelson)
Susan’s boss Jack agrees to rehire her in the first episode of the show even after she left his brother at the altar. He has a big heart and empathizes with Susan and agrees to let her back on the team. He expresses concerns over his marriage and confesses his own loneliness in particularly vulnerable moments on the show. He loves his job, his co-workers, and his friends and tries to be the “cool boss” for others to feel comfortable talking with.
Judd Nelson – Today
Who can forget Judd Nelson as the rebellious high schooler John Bender in the classic teen comedy The Breakfast Club? Or how about his turn as yuppie Alec Newbury in the coming-of-age classic St. Elmo’s Fire? He was one of the biggest actors in the ‘80s. In recent years he has appeared in the hip hop musical drama series Empire, the hit sitcom Two and a Half Men, and the action-packed series Nikita. He will next star opposite Ansel Elgort in the crime drama Billionaire Boys Club.
Shawn Colvin (Herself)
Shawn Colvin’s (pictured center) deep southern voice can be heard during the start of Suddenly Susan’s episodes, as her song Nothing On Me was played during the opening credits. With a series of steady ’90s hits from her 1997 album, Colvin was even featured on the show as herself, though it turned out to be a veritable nightmare for Strickland’s character Todd: back when she was starting out, Todd had written a nasty review of Colvin’s music, only later finding out he had been suffering from an inner ear infection. Still reeling from his stinging words, when Todd shows up to another concert of hers, Colvin doesn’t allow him to clap to her music.
Shawn Colvin – Today
Colvin is the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter of Sunny Came Home. The hit ‘90s anthem reached the number seven spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and told the auto-biographical story of Colvin’s own marriage falling apart. The South Dakota-born songstress continues to write, record, release, and perform nationally. Last year she released her 12th album consisting of reworkings of classic children’s songs titled The Starlighter. She is currently on tour supporting the album as well as celebrating the 20th anniversary of her biggest album to date, A Few Small Repairs.
Maddy Piper (Andrea Bendewald)
Competitive, cutthroat, and in it to win in, Maddy used to go to school with Susan when, much to Susan’s chagrin, she joins The Gate as her new co-worker. The two women’s old rivalry is reheated as they compete for the top stories – and leading men – all while trying to play nice. Eventually, Susan learns a bit more about what Maddy’s been through, and the two even become friends – or maybe frenemies – as the show progresses.
Andrea Bendewald – Today
Following her role on Suddenly Susan, the beautiful Andrea Bendewald appeared in Friends (with best friend and bridesmaid at her wedding, star Jennifer Aniston), the serial drama Without a Trace, and the hit Tim Allen-starring sitcom Last Man Standing. She will next star in the vampire comedy Gary’s Vampire Proofing and Corpse Disposal as well as the upcoming wedding comedy A Baby Shower in San Dimas. She has been married to actor Mitch Rouse since 2001.