The cast of Friends is known not only for its central group of six whose hilarious, heartfelt performances have brought fans joy for decades now, but also its enormous cast of guest stars and supporting performers who brought the extended cast to life. With so much of the show focused on the main group’s love lives, many of the most memorable of these performances were love interests.
RELATED: Friends: 10 Funniest Dances By The Main Characters, Ranked
Monica Geller’s exes made up some of the most interesting supporting cast in the series, with both relatively unknown performers and iconic A-listers making up her litany of lovers over the show’s ten-season run. However, the actors who played these exes have moved beyond these roles in the years since, carving out a number of unique careers for themselves.
10 John Allen Nelson (Paul The Wine Guy)
Monica’s earliest ex on the show was the fairly sleazy Paul the Wine Guy, who set the series standard for the many bad dates that Monica and the rest of the gang would go on. John Allen Nelson brought the womanizer to life on the small screen.
Since his appearance on the Friends pilot, Nelson has appeared primarily in television roles, although he was in several movies, including 2010’s The Town. He is probably most notable now for his roles on 24 and Vanished in the 2000s, as well as more recent recurring roles on Crisis and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
9 Geoffrey Lower (Alan)
An early Monica boyfriend and ex-boyfriend, Alan was the one whom the rest of the gang was incredibly delighted by and more invested in than Monica herself. Alan was portrayed by Geoffrey Lower.
Lower is most prolific as a stage actor, although he has been in several films and television series since his Friends appearance. He is most notable for his role as Reverend Timothy Johnson on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, which he played from 1993 (pre-Friends) through 1998. He most recently appeared in the 2020 film Disrupted.
8 Vincent Ventresca (Fun Bobby)
An on-and-off relationship of Monica’s, Fun Bobby is perhaps most known by fans for his story arc involving alcohol, in which Monica helps him quit drinking. This somewhat tragic character was played by Vincent Ventresca in his two appearances.
Shortly after his second appearance on Friends, Ventresca played a supporting role alongside Friends co-star Lisa Kudrow in Romy And Michele’s High School Reunion. Since then, though, his most prominent work has been on television, appearing on shows like Boston Common and The Invisible Man. His most recent role was on a 2020 episode of Criminal Minds.
7 Stan Kirsch (Young Ethan)
Young Ethan is a controversial character among the Friends fandom, known for being the center of “The One With The Ick Factor,” in which he dates Monica before revealing he’s a minor and a senior in high school. Stan Kirsch portrayed the character for his single appearance.
RELATED: Friends: 5 Things Season 1 Monica Would Hate About Finale Monica (& 5 Things She Would Be Proud Of)
Kirsch was probably most known for his role as Richie Ryan on Highlander from 1992-1998, during which he made his Friends appearance. He was also on two episodes of JAG and starred in Straight Eye: The Movie in 2004. Sadly, he passed away in January 2020, 11 years after his final screen appearance in the short film Matumbo Goldberg.
6 Michael Ray Bower (Roy Gublik)
As revealed in “The One With The Prom Video,” Roy Gublik was Monica’s date to prom, and therefore only appears in VHS footage within the show, unlike her other exes. Roy was portrayed by Michael Ray Bower.
Before Friends, Bower was known for his appearances on Nickelodeon shows, such as Salute Your Shorts (for which he won a Young Artist Award). Since his turn as Roy, though, Bower made appearances on shows like CSI, The X-Files, and Raising Hope. Fans may also recognize him from his roles in Dude, Where’s My Car? and Evolution, or a number of voices in games like Bully and Grand Theft Auto IV.
5 Tom Selleck (Richard Burke)
Monica’s relationship with her parents’ optometrist friend Dr. Richard Burke has been the subject of much discussion by Friends fans who are unsure what to make of the couple’s age gap, although he is well-loved by fans and Monica alike until the couple broke it off over disagreements about having children. Famed actor Tom Selleck brought the character to life.
Although Selleck’s best-known work came before his first Friends appearance, his career has thrived since then, as well. He stars as Jesse Stone in the Jesse Stone series of TV movies, while also maintaining a starring role on the police drama Blue Bloods. His film appearances have been less frequent, although he did star in In & Out, Meet The Robinsons, and, most recently, Killers.
4 Carlos Gómez (Julio)
Monica had a brief affair with her coworker at the diner, Julio, who is also an amateur poet known by Friends fans for his condescending, sexist poem “The Empty Vase,” which causes Monica to tell him off. Carlos Gómez played this suave, snooty wordsmith.
RELATED: Friends: The 10 Worst Attempts At Flirting By The Female Characters, Ranked
Since playing Julio, Gómez has gone on to make a number of TV appearances in shows like Shark, The Glades, and Law & Order True Crime, as well as several one-episode roles. He also has roles in sequels like Dolphin Tale 2 and Ride Along 2, although his most notable recent work is as a main role on canceled 2020 sitcom The Baker And The Beauty.
3 Jon Favreau (Pete Becker)
Rich tech mogul Pete Becker was one of Monica’s long-term relationships on the show, and although it ended poorly with his dream to become the Ultimate Fighting Champion getting in the way of their relationship, Pete is remembered well by fans. He was portrayed by acclaimed actor-writer-director Jon Favreau.
Since Friends, Favreau has seen massive success, most notably having directed modern hits like Elf, Iron Man, and Iron Man 2. He also created and wrote several episodes of The Mandalorian, directed the live-action The Jungle Book and The Lion King remakes, and has appeared in both Star Wars and Marvel properties (starring as Harold “Happy” Hogan in the latter).
2 Dan Gauthier (Chip Matthews)
In “The One With The Prom Video,” Chip Matthews was revealed to be Rachel’s date to the prom, but Monica, against Rachel’s wishes, dates him as an adult briefly before realizing that he is immature and still acts as he did in high school. Dan Gauthier played the perpetually immature Chip.
Appearing in both television and film before and after his Friends role, Gauthier is probably most known post-Chip for his roles on soap operas Melrose Place and One Life To Live, on which he played regular character Kevin Buchanan and won both a Daytime Emmy and Soap Opera Digest Award for. Most recently, he starred in The Marcus Garvey Story in 2019.
1 Michael Vartan (Timothy Burke)
The son of Richard Burke, Timothy Burke was also an eye doctor who became involved in a brief fling with Monica when she invited him to Thanksgiving, although he reminded her too much of his father for the relationship to continue. Timothy was portrayed by Michael Vartan.
Vartan’s regular role as Michael Vaughn on Alias from 2001-2006 is probably his most well-known appearance on TV or film, but he also made prominent appearances in films like Never Been Kissed, One Hour Photo, and Colombiana. Further, Vartan had regular roles on a number of TV shows in the years since Friends, including Big Shots, Hawthorne, and The Arrangement. His most recent role was on a 2018 episode of God Friended Me.
NEXT: Are The Friends Cast Really Friends? Monica And Rachel’s Real-Life Relationship, In Pictures
Golden Girls: 10 Pop Culture References New Fans Won’t Understand
About The Author
(27 Articles Published)
Jason Mecchi is a list writer at Screen Rant. His passions in writing are film and popular culture. He has also written for Midstory. He loves animals, watching movies, reading, and playing video games.
More From Jason Mecchi