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The Lost Decade: Tracking the Lost Cast's Post-Show Career Arcs

How do you follow up being on a global hit? Most kept working — others mysteriously vanished.
  • Photos: Peacock, Marvel Studios, Hulu, Amazon.
    Photos: Peacock, Marvel Studios, Hulu, Amazon.

    Matthew Fox is starring in a new show and I know what you're thinking: That name sounds familiar … Yes, the man who led the ensemble of dozens in the sprawling ensemble fantasy-allegory-global-phenomenon Lost is back. Fox is starring in a limited series for Peacock called Last Light and it's his first on-screen role in seven years. There's nothing mysterious about that; as you'll read below, he prophesied his own disappearance from TV back in 2010, when Lost signed off. (Maybe he flash-forwarded ten years?)

    But Fox's sudden re-emergence did get us wondering what happened to his fellow castaways on Lost. Here's what we found:

    Matthew Fox (Jack)

    Matthew Fox famously announced he was “done with television” after Lost, and he hasn't done jack in Hollywood since making two low-profile films in 2015. It's hard to blame him. Lost was a grueling on-location grind (yes, yes, in Hawaii) and besides the 113 episodes of playing Jack, he made another 142 episodes of Party of Five in the 1990s as Charlie Salinger. It's intriguing to see him suddenly reappear, but don't be surprised if he disappears again — he's got nothing on deck after this limited series, according to IMDb.

    Evangeline Lilly (Kate)

    Lost made the Canadian actress a star, but since then she's been noted for roles in two movie franchises: The Hobbit, as the Peter Jackson-created character Tauriel; and Ant-Man and the Wasp, as the Wasp. When not protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates, she's also appeared in recent films alongside Armie Hammer (Crisis) and Jason Sudeikis (South of Heaven).

    Naveen Andrews (Sayid)

    The native Brit, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2010, Lost's last year on ABC, has had a busy decade as a regular in four different series: the UK family action series Sinbad in 2012, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland in 2013-2014, the Netflix sci-fi drama Sense8 from 2015 to 2018 and two seasons of Instinct on CBS (2018-2019). Of course, his big role this year was co-starring with Amanda Seyfried in the Hulu docudrama The Dropout, playing Elizabeth Holmes' mentor and lover, Sunny Balwani.

    Jorge Garcia (Hurley)

    One of the genius aspects of Lost is that so many of the characters on the show were so utterly distinctive, but this may have proved to have been impediments to getting cast in future roles. Jorge Garcia already was a known quantity from his roles on Becker and as a drug dealer on Curb Your Enthusiasm, but the role of Hurley on Lost put him in an entirely different stratosphere. He hasn't come anywhere near those lofty heights since, though he did reunite with Daniel Dae Kim for five seasons of Hawaii Five-O and had a meaty role on Fox's Alcatraz, from Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams.

    Elizabeth Mitchell (Juliet)

    The leader of The Others was already an actor in demand when she got the third-season call-up on Lost, and she's worked steadily since. Besides recurring roles on Once Upon a Time, The Expanse, Outer Banks and now FBI: International, Mitchell is one of those versatile actors who appeared in two episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as two different characters.

    Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim (Sun-Hwa and Jin-Soo Kwon)

    Yunjin Kim made another ABC series after Lost, 2013's Mistresses, but has taken roles in South Korea since, including the recent remake of Money Heist for Netflix, Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area, where she played the lead police negotiator. Daniel Dae Kim not only has starred in a hit CBS show (Hawaii Five-O) of his own, but runs a production company that's responsible for another hit show (The Good Doctor).

    Michael Emerson (Ben Linus)

    After Lost you had to feel for Michael Emerson — his Emmy-winning performance as beady-eyed, psychotic Ben Linus in Lost seemed to seal his fate as a TV character actor. Fortunately, Emerson (who won his other Emmy playing a serial killer on The Practice in 2001) had no problem leaning into his misanthropy, notably as the eccentric tycoon crime fighter Harold Finch in CBS’s Person of Interest, also co-created by J.J. Abrams and as Leland Townsend, in the Paramount+ series Evil.

    Harold Perrineau (Michael)

    Perrineau has had a busy post-Lost career, with two seasons of The Rookie and a season apiece of Criminal Minds, Goliath, Full Circle and Star. He's also done comedy (2013's Wedding Band on TBS), animation, even Broadway. He won an NAACP Image Award in 2017 for portraying a man on the autism spectrum in Claws for TNT.

    Emilie de Ravin (Claire)

    Like other Lost regulars, Emilie de Ravin was in the cast of the ABC storybook franchise Once Upon a Time for several seasons (the show was created by two former writers for Lost), but she's been lying low pretty much since. This summer de Ravin popped up in a miniseries for Australian TV, True Colours, her first serial role in nine years.

    Dominic Monaghan (Charlie)

    Thanks to his role as Merry Brandybuck in Lord of the Rings, the dark-browed moptop of Peter Jackson's trilogy was a known quantity by the time he auditioned as Sawyer, instead being cast as rockin' Charlie. Later, Monaghan downshifted from a Lost regular to a recurring role in midseries so he could pursue other roles. He has starred in FlashForward (2009) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), the Swedish cop series 100 Code (2014) and, most recently, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019), which reunited him with Lost co-creator Abrams. He also trolled Matthew Fox when the later was charged with assaulting a female bus driver (all charges were dropped).

    Cynthia Watros (Libby)

    Hard-working Cynthia Watros was one of the "tailies" who mysteriously appeared in Season 2 of Lost as a psychologist romantic with Hurley. By then Watros had logged hundreds of hours on the soap Guiding Light as Annie Dutton, for which she won a Daytime Emmy in 1998. Later she was a recurring ex-wife of Wilson's on House and made a Grey's Anatomy guest appearance, as one does. But she's back on the soaps now, joining the cast of General Hospital in 2019 as Nina Reeves, replacing Michelle Stafford, who went back to The Young and the Restless, where Watros also did a few dozen episodes in 2013-2014. Note to Matthew Fox and any other Lost-ies looking for work: The soaps are hiring!

    Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond)

    The rare American TV star who can claim Peruvian-Scottish origin, Cusick's Emmy-nominated time on Lost was a career highlight, but he didn't exactly board an Oceanic Airlines flight to oblivion after that. He's had guest roles and supporting parts in dozens of TV shows and films, and starred in the not-dissimilar CW series The 100 from 2014 to 2020. After that, he joined MacGyver in Season 4.

    Terry O'Quinn (John Locke)

    Veteran actor Terry O'Quinn was already well known from the Stepfather horror films and the creepy Fox show Millennium when he was cast as John Locke in Lost, for which he won the Emmy in 2007. O'Quinn’s career was not laid to rest after Lost, but he's worked on relatively few shows since then, staying on-brand with well-chosen roles on Patriot for Prime Video and the acclaimed Perpetual Grace LTD for Epix. But there is a soft side to O'Quinn; he's a fan favorite on Cameo, the personalized-video service, where he donates his proceeds to his local SPCA.

    Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko)

    Of all the key players on Lost, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is the actor for whom being on a TV phenomenon was just another gig in a long and productive career dating back to his time on another classic drama, HBO's Oz. Since Lost, Mr. Eko has appeared in numerous series and films, including G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Suicide Squad, Game of Thrones and Concussion.

    Josh Holloway (Sawyer)

    Who's the next Lost alum poised for a high-profile return? It may well be Josh Holloway, who delighted Yellowstone fans with his appearance as a very Sawyer-ish rancher in Season 3. Holloway, who has also appeared in Intelligence, Colony, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, is currently set to be the headliner in Duster, the upcoming HBO Max crime drama set in the American Southwest in the 1970s, which sounds just about right. It's co-written by LaToya Morgan and … Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams, who, as this list clearly demonstrates, has had the best career since Lost signed off over a decade ago.

    Aaron Barnhart has written about television since 1994, including 15 years as TV critic for the Kansas City Star.

    TOPICS: Lost, ABC, Peacock, Last Light, Cynthia Watros, Damon Lindelof, Elizabeth Mitchell, Emilie de Ravin, Evangeline Lilly, Harold Perrineau, J.J. Abrams, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Matthew Fox, Naveen Andrews, Terry O’Quinn, Yunjin Kim