It’s already been 17 years since the final episode of Xena: Warrior Princess aired on television. The show was a spinoff of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, which starred Kevin Sorbo. Over the years, the shows often intertwined with each other not only in storyline but sharing supporting actors, usually those who portrayed the Greek gods. Over six seasons, 134 episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess aired, with a list of cast members that runs on for days.
The most well known and remembered characters from the show include the title character, Xena, her sidekick Gabrielle, Joxer the Mighty, Ares, Callisto, Autolycus, Aphrodite, and Julius Caesar. While some of them had their career well underway when they joined the show, for others, it acted as a springboard that helped launch them to bigger projects and greater fame. Even though the show enjoyed decent ratings in a late-night Sunday time slot, and it has achieved recognition as a cult classic, most movie and television fans have no idea how many big stars appeared on the show.
Lucy Lawless played the title role, Xena, a warrior princess traveling through the world trying to spread justice in a tight-fitting leather outfit. The role helped her earn so much geek cred that a dwarf planet was named after her character. After the show ended, Lawless had plenty of work still with appearances on The L Word, The X-Files, Battlestar Galactica, and Agents of Shield, just to name a few. When she isn’t working on projects in the U.S., she is still a very in-demand actress in her native New Zealand and Australia, per Article Bio.
Renee O’Connor played Xena’s sidekick, Gabrielle the bard. After appearing on random after-school specials and commercials, according to Useless Daily, she got her big break appearing in the 1994 television movie Hercules and the Lost Kingdom as Deianeira. She caught the eye of Sam Raimi, the executive producer on Xena: Warrior Princess, and he immediately cast her in the upcoming pilot. These days she runs her own production company, ROC, and she appeared in the SyFy feature Alien Apocalypse.
Ted Raimi, brother of Sam Raimi, was brought in to play Joxer the Mighty, a somewhat annoying sidekick to Xena and Gabrielle who was mostly used as comic relief. Raimi had acting credits going back nearly 20 years when he joined the cast, according to IMDB, so his appearance wasn’t just the product of nepotism. Now, Raimi stays very busy, mostly working in films such as Spiderman and Midnight Meat Train with Bradley Cooper. On the television side, he has appeared on CSI and Supernatural.
Native New Zealander Kevin Smith portrayed Ares, a crossover character from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Sadly, Smith died in 2002 when he fell from a prop tower while filming in China, in what would have been his first appearance in a Hollywood movie, as reported by The New Zealand Herald.
Hudson Leick portrayed Callisto, Xena’s nemesis that had a thirst for blood, revenge, and chaos. Her career began as a model in Japan, but a move to Hollywood landed her a string of appearances on shows such as Law & Order and Melrose Place before taking on the role of Callisto. Moving on from her most famous role, Leick appeared in a string of programs including Nip/Tuck and Law & Order L.A. She is now a spiritual counselor and yoga instructor in California, per her website.
Autolycus was played by none other than the mightiest chin in the industry, Bruce Campbell. He has gone on to have a prolific career with major credits in both television and movies including Burn Notice, the Spiderman trilogy, Ash Vs Evil Dead, Fargo, Intolerable Cruelty, and Psych according to Bruce Campbell.com.
Brown University graduate Alexandra Tydings crossed over her character, Aphrodite, from the Hercules franchise. Tydings had a few credits to her name before landing the Aphrodite role including, The Red Shoe Diaries and Alice Angst. Since the show ended, Tydings has only been in front of the camera a handful of times, and instead writes and produces movies centered on reproductive rights and gender equality. This year, however, she is returning to the screen for her first time in a decade to appear in What Death Leaves Behind, according to IMDB.
Julius Caesar, who became a key character in the final season, was portrayed by none other than Karl Urban, who also played Kor at the same time just to show how versatile he was. Many forget that he had also been on the show in 1996 as Cupid for one episode. Since his days as a triple threat in the Xena universe, IMDB reports that Urban has enjoyed a lot of success appearing in two Lord of the Rings movies, The Bourne Supremacy, Star Trek, Thor: Ragnorak, and Pathfinder.
Many other members of the cast have gone on to successful acting careers such as Charles Mesure, Catherine Boniface, William Gregory Lee, Marton Csokas, and Timothy Omundson. Others moved behind the camera, went into other careers, or in a few cases, just dropped out of sight to enjoy a low-profile lifestyle. With the show still appearing in some areas, and many of the cast members in demand at comic cons, Xena: Warrior Princess is one of those rare shows that has remained a presence long after it ended.