For 12 glorious seasons, “The Big Bang Theory” made TV audiences laugh with its story of a lovable bunch of nerds, their friends, families and romantic interests.
But have you ever wondered about the cast and what they’re like beyond the TV show? Here’s a look at the mega-popular CBS show’s characters and the real-life actors who play them.
Character: Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz
Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz may be short and speak with a high-pitched squeak, but she’s also one tough cookie who can bully people into doing her bidding. She just had two children back-to-back, is a successful microbiologist and hasn’t divorced the often-annoying Howard yet — so you know she can handle herself.
Character: Sheldon Cooper
A genius with a high IQ and low social skills, theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper has become less robotic — though not much less neurotic — over the course of the TV series. We still love him, anyway! (By the way, the best Sheldon moment still remains the Leonard Nimoy napkin/gift basket exchange with Penny.)
Played By: Jim Parsons
After many years of working in TV, “The Big Bang Theory” made Jim Parsons a star. He is originally from Houston and has appeared in films like “Hidden Figures” and “The Muppets.” He married his long-time partner Todd Spiewak in May 2017.
Character: Leonard Hofstadter
Experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter withstood living with Sheldon and his iron-clad “roommate agreement” for much of “The Big Bang Theory” before Sheldon moved in with his girlfriend, Amy. Leonard finally managed to put a ring on on-again/off-again love interest Penny’s finger in the show’s seventh season.
Played By: Johnny Galecki
First known for his role as David on “Roseanne,” Johnny Galecki now plays the conventional scientist to Jim Parson’s Sheldon and his array of quirks. Galecki also performs in a duet band when he’s not filming “The Big Bang Theory.”
Character: Mrs. Koothrappali
Raj’s mother hasn’t appeared on the show except on a computer screen when video chatting with Raj and Raj’s sister.
Played By: Alice Amter
British actress Alice Amter has been living in the U.S. for over 20 years. She and Brian George were only supposed to have a one-time role on the show as Raj’s parents, but their characters were popular enough to make return apperances.
Character: Priya Koothrappali
Raj’s sister Priya came to the U.S. and stayed with Raj for a period of time. She is an accomplished lawyer and also dated Leonard when he and Penny were on a break.
Played By: Aarti Mann
Like the actors that play her parents, Aarti Mann’s role on “The Big Bang Theory” was expanded after originally being planned for a smaller part. After studying theater at NYU, Mann appeared in a film directed by her sister, Kruti Majmudar, called “The Memsahib,” and she has also appeared on “Heroes.”
Character: Rajesh Koothrappali
Despite his good looks, Rajesh “Raj” Koothrappali has not been lucky in love on “The Big Bang Theory.” In fact, the astrophysicist used to need a drink in order to talk to women, but he’s at least moved past that phase.
Played By: Kunal Nayyar
London-born, New Delhi-raised Kunal Nayyar came to the U.S. to study business at the University of Portland. However, his passion for acting won out and “The Big Bang Theory” was one of his first big roles. He’s married to fashion designer Neha Kapur Nayyar and is an experienced golfer.