It was 2009 when the political drama The Good Wife premiered and became one of the highest rated television series of the time with a stellar cast to boot. Set in Chicago, the series focused on Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), wife of the womanizing Cook County State’s Attorney (Chris Noth).

Following her public humiliation, Alicia decides to return to her law career after the events of her husband’s public sex scandal, which was also tainted with political corruption. Florrick had left her career 13 years ago as a defense attorney to provide for her children — and now, she’s no longer the “good wife,” standing by her man. It isn’t long before she returns to the workforce as a litigator at Stern, Lockhart & Gardner, thanks to her law school friend, Will Gardner.

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles and Matt Czuchry, 2011

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles and Matt Czuchry, 2011
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The series won numerous awards, including five Emmys, over the course of its run, which ended on May 8, 2016. What intrigued viewers, besides Alicia’s dogged determination to forge ahead with her life, was that the show was serialized, featuring several story arcs that played out over multiple episodes, as well as standalone storylines that concluded by the end of each episode.

Timely insight into current topics such as social media, the internet, drugs, politics and law were played out almost in real time. Whether it was a Broadway star or a familiar face from TV or film, the series was superb at bringing on fabulous guest stars.

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles and Christine Baranski, 2012, The Good Wife castJulianna Margulies, Josh Charles and Christine Baranski, 2012, The Good Wife cast

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles and Christine Baranski, 2012
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Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Jason and Matthew Goode’s Finn Polamar were series regulars. Matthew Perry appeared on four episodes as Mike Kresteva, while David Hyde Pierce as Frank Prady was in eight episodes. Ed Asner, Matthew Lillard, Rita Wilson, America Ferrera, Sarah Silverman, Linda Lavin and Michael J. Fox are just a few of the other famous faces.

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Here’s a look at some of The Good Wife cast members then and now:

Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick

Julianna Margulies in 2009 and 2024Julianna Margulies in 2009 and 2024

2009 / 2024
Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images ; Bruce Glikas/WireImage/Getty Images

Julianna Margulies led The Good Wife cast. Playing the central character, Alicia proves to be a smart, independent woman who is very protective of her children. Margulies made her first acting breakthrough as nurse Carol Hathaway in the medical drama ER.

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However, it was as Alicia Florrick that the actress brought home a Golden Globe, two Emmys and a Television Critics Association Award, among other accolades. In 2014, Margulies revealed that she was actually the third choice for the show’s lead, with Ashley Judd and Helen Hunt turning down the role.

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Julianna Margulies, 2016Julianna Margulies, 2016

Julianna Margulies, 2016
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Margulies has continued to work in other TV productions such as Billions, Dietland and as Laura Peterson on The Morning Show. Additionally, she made her Broadway debut in 2006 starring in the play Festen. She also completed a successful run in Ten Unknowns at Lincoln Center.

This Fall, Margulies is returning to Broadway and will star with Peter Gallagher in Left on Tenth, a stage adaptation of Delia Ephron’s bestselling memoir about a late-in-life love connection.

Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma

Archie Panjabi in 2010 and 2023Archie Panjabi in 2010 and 2023

2010 / 2023
Jamie McCarthy/WireImage/Getty Images ; Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Another integral member of The Good Wife cast, Sharma was the law firm’s in-house investigator, but had worked with Peter Florrick for three years previously. She is bisexual, fiercely private, composed and at times, physically violent. Her 11th hour information often helped the firm win its cases.

“I’d love to say I made the smart decision of picking projects that became hits, but with The Good Wife, I read the script and something inside me said I love this; I want to do this,” Archie Panjabi told the LA Times in a 2009 interview.

The character’s signature wardrobe had become a pair of knee-high boots and leather jacket, both of which she took with her when she left the series. “I tried wearing shoes, but it didn’t work; her walk changes,” she told The Guardian in 2014.

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, Archie Panjabi and Matt Czuchry, 2010, The Good Wife castJulianna Margulies, Josh Charles, Archie Panjabi and Matt Czuchry, 2010, The Good Wife cast

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, Archie Panjabi and Matt Czuchry, 2010
John Lamparski/WireImage/Getty Images

Panjabi was nominated for an Emmy three times in a row for her role, but she left the series after the sixth season amid speculation of tension between her and Margulies. The British born Panjabi had a stellar resume before The Good Wife, having appeared in Bend It Like Beckham (2002), The Constant Gardener (2005), A Mighty Heart (2007) and the first season of the show The Fall (2012).

She has continued working on TV on such series as Blindspot, Departure and Showpiercer, and joined Dwayne Johnson in the film San Andreas (2015).

Matt Czuchry as Cary Agos

Matt Czuchry in 2009 and 2020Matt Czuchry in 2009 and 2020

2009 / 2020
Jim Spellman/WireImage/Getty Images ; Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

Cary is a young Harvard educated lawyer who vies for a position in Stern, Lockhart & Gardner, but when it goes to Alicia, he leaves to work for the state attorney’s office. Eventually, he accepts an offer to return to the firm, though his position has its ups and down — It’s also obvious he has formed a crush on Kalinda Sharma.

He eventually leaves the firm, taking a few associates with him, along with partner Florrick. Viewers might remember Matt Czuchry from his first major role that occurred a few years earlier in the TV series Gilmore Girls, where he portrayed Logan Huntzberger.

Christine Baranski, Matt Czuchry and Julianna Margullies, 2015, The Good Wife castChristine Baranski, Matt Czuchry and Julianna Margullies, 2015, The Good Wife cast

Christine Baranski, Matt Czuchry and Julianna Margullies, 2015
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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He reprised that character in 2016’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life miniseries, and later went on to star in the medical drama series The Resident, bringing Dr. Conrad Hawkins to life.

Josh Charles as Will Gardner in The Good Wife cast

Josh Charles in 2009 and 2022Josh Charles in 2009 and 2022

2009 / 2022
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Will was a name partner at Stern, Lockhart & Gardner, and an old friend of Alicia’s. As the series continued, the two start having feelings for each other, which complicates their jobs. They eventually have a brief affair and the law firm continues, even though Alicia and Cary leave to start their own. In the fifth season, Gardner is shot and killed in the courtroom by his client, Jeffrey Grant.

For his role, Josh Charles was nominated twice for an Emmy, though he was already an established actor known for his work in Sports Night and the 1989 film Dead Poets Society.

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, Archie Panjabi and Matt Czuchry, 2010, The Good Wife castJulianna Margulies, Josh Charles, Archie Panjabi and Matt Czuchry, 2010, The Good Wife cast

Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, Archie Panjabi and Matt Czuchry, 2010
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Since The Good Wife, he has been involved in several TV series such as Masters of Sex, Law & Order True Crime, Away and HBO’s We Own This City. Look for him in Mothers’ Instinct, an upcoming psychological thriller starring Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway.

Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart

Christine Baranski in 2010 and 2023Christine Baranski in 2010 and 2023

2010 / 2023
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images ; John Nacion/Getty Images

With her stoic, strong, liberal opinions as she champions for women’s causes, Diane Lockhart could come into some heated debates amongst her associates. She never hesitates to tell anyone when she thinks they are wrong and though she was initially skeptical of Alicia’s legal abilities, she often supported her with some cryptic advice.

The main character of the series spin-off, The Good Fight, which earned Baranski critical acclaim, the actress has a rather lengthy career in both film and television. She has been nominated for 15 Emmy Awards, winning once, and she won her first Tony in the Broadway play, The Real Thing.

Christine Baranski, 2016Christine Baranski, 2016

Christine Baranski, 2016
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

One of her most popular roles was that of neuroscientist Dr. Beverly Hofstadter in the hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory, a character she played on a recurring basis from 2009 to 2019. Other work includes Reversal of Fortune (1990), Mamma Mia! (2008), Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018), Into the Woods (2014), TV sitcom Cybill and Christmas on the Square, alongside Dolly Parton.

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Currently, she co-stars on HBO’s historical drama The Gilded Age as Agnes van Rhijn, proud and stubborn old money socialite and matriarch of the van Rhijn-Brook family.

Alan Cumming as Eli Gold in The Good Wife cast

Alan Cumming in 2009 and 2024Alan Cumming in 2009 and 2024

2009 / 2024
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic/Getty Images ; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Eli Gold came to The Good Wife as a recurring character in season one and then became a regular cast member throughout the series. Eli is a politically astute political strategist who first worked on Peter Florrick’s campaign when he considered a return to office.

His manner is direct, blunt and he’s not one to mince words or waste time with niceties. As a top political consultant who is also an expert in damage control, Eli is often seen working with Alicia and other Stern Lockhart associates.

Alan Cumming, 2010Alan Cumming, 2010

Alan Cumming, 2010
Brian Killian/WireImage/Getty Images

Cumming has worked in film, television and on stage, and has also written several books. He is a two-time Tony winner, his first for Cabaret. After The Good Wife, Cumming kept busy starring in the series Instinct, as well as Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland, a production in which he travels around his native Scotland in a motorhome.

He also is a recipient of a Tony as producer of A Strange Loop. He can be seen introducing Masterpiece Theater on PBS. Most recently, he had his own cabaret show, Alan Cumming Is Not Acting His Age, held at Studio 54; and hosts the Peacock reality series The Traitors.

Chris Noth as Peter Florrick in The Good Wife cast

Chris Noth in 2009 and 2021Chris Noth in 2009 and 2021

2009 / 2021
Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic/Getty Images ; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Yes, he is the despicable philandering husband of Alicia Florrick who goes to jail amid a corruption and prostitution scandal, but Chris Noth will always be remembered as Mr. Big, Carrie’s boyfriend/husband in Sex and the City.

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He also co-starred as Mike Logan in Law & Order. Following The Good Wife, Noth worked mostly in TV series such as Gone, The Equalizer reboot and reprised his role as Mr. Big in And Just Like That, the sequel to SATC. Personal scandal happened in 2021 when several women made allegations against him for sexual harassment, which is why Mr. Big is no longer seen, nor is his The Equalizer character.


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