The heartwarming comedy, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, ran for seven seasons from 2000 to 2007 with a four-installment revival in 2016 and has continued to comfort viewers in the streaming age for years. Graham and Bledel star as Lorelai and Rory, an inseparable mother-daughter duo living in a quirky Connecticut town who reconnect with Lorelai’s estranged parents, Emily (Kelly Bishop) and Richard Gilmore (played by the late Edward Herrmann).
Gilmore Girls was Bledel’s first major television gig — and also helped launch the careers of now-household names such as Milo Ventimiglia and Melissa McCarthy. While plenty of recognizable stars graced the screen during the show’s seven seasons, even the most devoted Gilmore Girls fans may have forgotten about a few notable guest appearances.
Chad Michael Murray — better known for playing Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill — got his start on Gilmore Girls as Rory’s Chilton classmate Tristan Dugray. He eventually exited the series after its second season, when his character leaves the prestigious private school for a military academy. Tristan is briefly mentioned in the 2016 Netflix revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, but Murray himself wasn’t part of the project.
“I mean, it would’ve been nice [to have him in the revival], but he’s busy,” Liza Weil, who played Rory’s rival-turned-roommate Paris Geller, told Entertainment Tonight in 2016 of the heartthrob’s absence from the limited series. “He’s doing a lot of things and he’s doing very well for himself, Chad Michael Murray, so I think in all, I think it plays.”
While fans might find it impossible to picture anyone other than Graham in the show’s starring role, her career could have taken a totally different turn.
“I was really attracted to the language [of the show]. I connected to it in the way that I connected to things I’d done in theater. It felt a little heightened. … I thought it was so unique,” the Parenthood alum said during a Variety Actors on Actors interview in 2017, admitting that she was warned that the character would “age” her. “At the time, everybody [in] my peer group saw it as a ‘mom role,’ predominantly. … I just felt like [Lorelai] was mine.”
Scroll down to look back at some of the stars you might have forgotten were in Gilmore Girls!