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April 17, 2014

'Wings' Cast: Where Are They Now?

by Chris Jordan, posted Apr 19th 2010 12:00PM
It was a wacky world on the NBC '90s sitcom 'Wings.' Anything could happen on the ensemble show, from witty repartee to outlandish sight gags to a breathy romance or two.

'Wings' marks its 20th anniversary today, April 19. They were fun and funny times. The comedy revolved around Joe Hackett (Timothy Daly), a straight flier and owner of the one-plane Nantucket airline Sandpiper Air, his freewheeling brother Brian Hackett (Steven Weber) and transplanted Southern belle Helen (Crystal Bernard).

However, much of the charm -- and the humor -- at Tom Nevers Airport was supplied by a few fellas who would later become stars in their own right: Tony Shalhoub as the hopelessly romantic Antonio and Thomas Haden Church as Lowell the humble handyman.

'Wings' was created by David Angell (later a victim of the September 11 attacks), Peter Casey and David Lee. The three had written for 'Cheers' and would go on to create 'Fraiser.' The series held its own on the big "Must See TV'' NBC Thursday night lineup of the era, either following or leading into 'Cheers,' 'L.A. Law,' 'Seinfeld' and 'Mad About You' during its 1990 to 1997 run.

So, 20 years after the premiere what's the 'Wings' crew up to now?

Tim Daly
Joe Hackett
The handsome Joe Hackett was the hardworking pilot and one-plane airline owner on 'Wings' and the star of the show. The exploits of Joe and his paramour Helen often drove the storyline and he also served as a straight man for the other wacky characters. Daly, brother of actress Tyne Daly, has been very active post-'Wings.' He took to the skies in the role of astronaut James Lovell the noted 1998 HBO miniseries 'From the Earth to the Moon.' From there, he starred in the TV reboot of 'The Fugitive' in 2000-01, 'The Sopranos' from 2004-07 (which earned him an Emmy nomination for his role as a drug-addled screenwriter), 'The Nine' in 2006-07 and currently on 'Private Practice' as Dr. Pete Wilder. Daley also provided the voice for Clark Kent in 'Superman: The Animated Series,' which ran from 1996 to 2000 on The WB.

Steven Weber
Brian Hackett
Brian was the irascible but likable underachiever who finagled a job working for his brother, even after he ran off with Joe's fiance, Carol. Weber wonderfully played the girl-crazy Brian as slightly off-hinged but with enough of an emotional center to have viewers care about him. Weber has constantly been on TV since 'Wings' and his roles, for the most part, are quite the opposite of the happy-go-lucky Brian. He's since played Jack Rudolph on 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,' Graham Finch on 'Brothers & Sisters' and most recently John Halprin on ABC's 'Happy Town.' Weber has also taken to writing a left-of-center blog on the Huffington Post Web site.

Crystal Bernard
Helen Chapel Hackett
Cute-as-a-button Helen ran the lunch counter at Tom Nevers Field airport and also toyed with Joe for a few seasons before finally saying I do at the end of season 6. Helen was played by Crystal Bernard, whose first foray into primetime was as K.C. Cunningham on 'Happy Days.' She's also a songwriter of some note, having written tracks for Paula Abdul, the Winans and Lisa Stansfield. Since 'Wings,' Bernard has been working on her music -- she had a hit with Peter Cetera called '(I Wanna Take) Forever Tonight'' in 1999 -- and she continues acting. Recent TV credits include the movies 'Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus' in 2004, its sequel, 'Meet the Santas' in 2005 and 'Grave Misconduct' in 2008.

David Schramm
Roy Biggins
David Schramm, as Sandpiper rival Roy Biggins, delivered some of the best lines on 'Wings.' Roy's take on lost love? "You think I don't know the pain of a broken heart? That hollow feeling in your soul when you expect to wake up next to the woman you love and instead you find your wallet's missing and there are dust bunnies where your stereo used to be?'' Schramm has been busy on stage since 'Wings,' both in theaters across the country and on Broadway, where he recently appeared in a revival of 'Finian's Rainbow' at the St. James Theatre.

Rebecca Schull
Fay
Fay, played by veteran actress Rebecca Schull, kept Sandpiper Air on an even keel, although you couldn't quite say Fay was on an even keel herself. Schull hit all the right notes as the delightfully eccentric, but never too kooky, Fay. Schull, now 81, continued working after 'Wings,' appearing in movies like 'Analyze This' and its sequel, 'Analyze That,' as well as 'United 93' and 'Little Children.' She was most recently seen on an episode of TV's 'Damages.'

Tony Shalhoub
Antonio
Antonio, played by Tony Shalhoub, saw the universe a little differently than everyone else on Nantucket. The Italian immigrant appeared on 'Wings' from seasons 3 to 8 and delivered a likable quirkiness that would later bloom when Shalhoub racked up Emmys on TV's 'Monk' from 2002 to 2009. Before that, he transitioned from Antonio to Monk by starring on the NBC sitcom 'Stark Raving Mad' with Neil Patrick Harris from 1999 to 2000. Now, Shalhoub's headed to Broadway this month for a revival of 'Lend Me a Tenor.'

Thomas Haden Church
Lowell
Handyman Lowell was a little slow sometimes, but he had a good pair of hands and a good heart, too. Thomas Haden Church played Lowell from seasons 1 to 6 and delivered, with a laconic, deadpan style, some of the series' best lines. After 'Wings,' Haden Church co-starred with Debra Messing on Fox's 'Ned & Stacey' from '95 to '97 and later was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his starring role in 'Sideways.' In 2007, Haden Church garnered an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his work in AMC's 'Broken Trail' and appeared in 'Spider-Man 3' as the Sandman. He's currently working on several movie projects, including 'John Carter of Mars.'

Farrah Forke
Alex Lambert

Forke played Alex Lambert, the helicopter pilot from heaven, according to Brian. Alex, short for Alexandra, finally reciprocated Brian's advances in season 5 and the two coupled up, but alas it was short romance. Following 'Wings,' Forke starred on the early geek USA comedy 'Dweebs,' the erotic thriller 'Kate's Addiction' and co-starred as Mayson Drake on 'Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.' She was also on NBC's 'Mr. Rhodes,' a vehicle for comedian Tom Rhodes, in 1996-97 and most recently provided the voice for Big Barda on the 'Batman Beyond' and 'Justice League Unlimited' animated series. Forke is happily focused on her family these days, including her new twins, and is no longer in the business, said Forke via Facebook. Her time on 'Wings'? "That show was F-U-N!!!" Forke said.

Amy Yasbeck
Casey Davenport Chapel
A veteran of TV and the movies, Yasbeck played Casey Davenport Chapel, aka Helen's older sister, in seasons 6 through 8. A likable snob, Casey eventually hooked with with Brian but burned down Helen's house with her bra. After 'Wings,' Yasbeck has popped up in sitcoms like 'That's So Raven' and 'Just Shoot Me!' She's the widow of TV legend John Ritter, who died in in 2003 of an aortic dissection caused by by previously undiagnosed congenital heart problem. (Ritter guested on 'Wings' as her Casey's estranged husband in season 7.) In 2008, Yasbeck appeared on 'Larry King Live' after the death of newsman Tim Russert to discuss heart disease.

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Robert Downer

I love and miss this show. Have seen all episode at least 4 times and still shed a tear at the end

December 17 2013 at 1:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ponchjo1olaya

Love all the episodes and still watch on netflix

December 07 2013 at 1:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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