THEN AND NOW: The cast of 'True Blood' 15 years later

sookie and bill true blood
Anna Paquin as Sookie and Stephen Moyer as Bill on the series premiere of "True Blood."HBO
  • "True Blood" premiered on HBO in September 2008 and ended in August 2014 after seven seasons.

  • The vampire show starred Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse and Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton.

  • Here's what the cast has been up to in the years since.

Anjelica Oswald contributed to a previous version of this article. 

Anna Paquin played Sookie Stackhouse, a human with fairy ancestry that gave her the power of telepathy.

Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse on the series premiere of "True Blood."
Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse on the series premiere of "True Blood."HBO

Sookie was a waitress at Merlotte's Bar and Grill when she met her first vampire, Bill Compton. She always stood up for her family and friends, and learned more about her powers as the show progressed.

Paquin was already famous prior to "True Blood," having become the second-youngest Oscar winner in history when she won for "The Piano" at 11 years old — her first acting role ever. She was also recognized for her role as the mutant named Rogue in the "X-Men" film franchise.

In 2009, Paquin won a Golden Globe for her performance as Sookie.

Paquin starred in the 2023 Netflix film "True Spirit," based on a true story.

Anna Paquin in October 2022.
Anna Paquin in October 2022.Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images

Paquin's most recent appearance as Rogue was in the 2014 film "X-Men: Days of Future Past."

After "True Blood," she did voice work for the 2015 "Ther Godo Dinosaur" and appeared on TV shows like "Electric Dreams."

Starred later starred in Martin Scorsese's 2019 film "The Irishman," playing Robert De Niro's on-screen daughter. She also played Joanie Lockhart on season five of the Showtime series "The Affair."

In recent years, Paquin appeared on season two of the anthology series "Modern Love" and Peacock's true crime miniseries "A Friend of the Family."

Stephen Moyer played Bill Compton, who was turned into a vampire at the end of the Civil War.

Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton on the series premiere of "True Blood."
Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton on the series premiere of "True Blood."HBO

Bill fell in love with Sookie and believed in living peacefully with humans.

Before "True Blood," Moyer was on "Conjugal Rites" and in "Princess of Thieves."

Moyer guest-starred on the show "A Friend of the Family."

Stephen Moyer in February 2023.
Stephen Moyer in February 2023.Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images for SBIFF

While starring on "True Blood," the actor portrayed Captain Von Trapp in NBC's 2013 TV special "The Sound of Music Live!"

From 2017 to 2019, he starred as Reed Strucker on Fox's "The Gifted," which was set in an alternate timeline than the "X-Men" films.

He also plays Christian Vance in the "After" movies, based on Anna Todd's popular book series of the same name.

Moyer and Paquin met through "True Blood" and got married in 2010. They have two children, fraternal twins named Charlie and Poppy. He also has a son named Billy and a daughter named Lilac from past relationships.

Rutina Wesley played Sookie's best friend, Tara Thornton.

Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton on the series premiere of "True Blood."
Rutina Wesley as Tara Thornton on the series premiere of "True Blood."HBO

Tara grew up in an abusive home with her alcoholic mother. She struggled to maintain a job until working with Sookie at the bar.

"True Blood" was one of Wesley's earliest roles.

Wesley guest-starred on season one of HBO's TV show adaptation of the video game "The Last of Us."

Rutina Wesley in August 2023.
Rutina Wesley in August 2023.Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic

Wesley has also guest-starred on shows like "Hannibal," "Arrow," and "The Walking Dead."

Additionally, she starred as Nova Bordelon on the drama series "Queen Sugar," which ran for seven seasons.

Nelsan Ellis portrayed Tara's cousin, Lafayette Reynolds.

nelsan ellis true blood season one
Nelsan Ellis on the series premiere of "True Blood."HBO

He was a chef at Merlotte's, a drug dealer, and a member of the road crew. He eventually learned that he was also a medium.

Prior to "True Blood," Ellis was on "The Inside" and an episode of "Veronica Mars."

Ellis died at the age of 38 on July 8, 2017, following complications from heart failure.

nelsan ellis
Nelsan Ellis at the "Little Boxes" premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

He starred on "Elementary" after "True Blood."

Ellis' family released a statement after his death saying that he had battled alcohol addiction and died from complications during his withdrawal.

Ryan Kwanten played Jason Stackhouse, Sookie's older brother.

Ryan Kwanten on the series premiere of "True Blood."
Ryan Kwanten on the series premiere of "True Blood."HBO

Serving as road crew supervisor, Jason was athletic and kind. But he was also dim-witted and a womanizer.

Kwanten's career started on Australian soaps. He was later cast on "Summerland" and in "Flicka."

Kwanten starred on FX's 2022 miniseries "Kindred," based on Octavia E. Butler's novel of the same name.

Ryan Kwanten in December 2022.
Ryan Kwanten in December 2022.Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Post-"True Blood, Kwanten had roles in various films, like "Blunt Force Trauma" and "The Hurricane Heist." He also starred on the shows "The Oath," "Sacred Lies," and "Them."

Alexander Skarsgård played Eric Northman, an over 1,000-year-old vampire and former Viking.

Alexander Skarsgård on season one of "True Blood."
Alexander Skarsgård on season one of "True Blood."HBO

Eric served as the sheriff of a Louisiana vampire district and ran Fangtasia, a bar for vampires. He and Sookie had a romantic relationship at one point.

Skarsgård was on a number of Swedish shows and movies until he landed a minor role in "Zoolander" and then later on "True Blood."

Skarsgård is three-time Emmy nominee and one-time winner.

Alexander Skarsgard in March 2023.
Alexander Skarsgård in March 2023.Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

In 2017, Skarsgård won an Emmy for his supporting role as Perry Wright on HBO's "Big Little Lies." He also received SAG and Golden Globes awards for his work on the drama.

Skarsgård has since been nominated for additional Emmys in 2022 and 2023 for his role as tech mogul Lukas Matsson on HBO's "Succession."

He's also starred in films like "The Legend of Tarzan," "Godzilla vs. Kong," and "The Northman."



Kristin Bauer played Eric's right-hand, Pam Swynford De Beaufort.

Kristin Bauer on season one of "True Blood."
Kristin Bauer on season one of "True Blood."HBO

Eric turned Pam into a vampire and got her to help him with everything.

Bauer had a number of roles before starring on HBO, including "The Crew," "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion," an episode of "Seinfeld," and "That's Life."

Bauer later played Maleficent on ABC's "Once Upon a Time."

Kristin Bauer in July 2023.
Kristin Bauer in July 2023.JC Olivera/Getty Images

She was also in Tom Ford's 2016 thriller "Nocturnal Animals" and the TV shows "Adam Ruins Everything" and "Sacred Lies."

Deborah Ann Woll played Jessica Hamby, Bill's progeny after he was forced to turn her into a vampire.

Deborah Ann Woll on season one of "True Blood."
Deborah Ann Woll on season one of "True Blood."HBO

As a human, Jessica was raised in a super religious and strict family. Being changed into a vampire gave her freedom, but also some struggles.

Woll's career started shortly before she landed "True Blood" with small parts on shows like "My Name Is Earl" and "The Mentalist."

Woll is known for her role as Karen Page on the Marvel series "Daredevil."

Deborah Ann Woll in October 2022.
Deborah Ann Woll in October 2022.Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

She played the character on "Daredevil," "The Defenders," and "The Punisher."

More recently, Woll guest-starred on season one of the NBC show "Quantum Leap."

Woll and "True Blood" costar Bauer also cohosted a podcast called "Truest Blood," where they broke down episodes and interviewed guests.

Sam Trammell took on the role of Sam Merlotte, the owner of the bar and grill where Sookie worked.

Sam Trammell on the series premiere of "True Blood."
Sam Trammell on the series premiere of "True Blood."HBO

Sam was a shifter who could become a dog. He was overly protective of Sookie, more likely because he desperately wanted to be in a relationship with her.

Trammell was a Tony-nominated actor (for "Ah, Wilderness!") and had a number of small roles before starring on "True Blood."

Trammell most recently starred in the 2023 movie "Big George Foreman," based on the life of the famed boxer.

Sam Trammell in May 2023.
Sam Trammell in May 2023.Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

He also appeared on the shows "This Is Us," "Homeland," and "Generation."

Carrie Preston brought Arlene Fowler, a waitress at Merlotte's, to life.

Carrie Preston as Arlene on the series premiere of "True Blood."
Carrie Preston as Arlene on the series premiere of "True Blood."HBO

Arlene was a single mom and friend of Sookie's. Though she had a deep love for her family, she didn't like vampires and disapproved of Sookie's relationships.

Preston's early roles included "My Best Friend's Wedding," "The Stepford Wives," and "Emeril."

Preston starred on the TNT dramedy "Claws," which ran for four seasons between 2017 and 2022.

Carrie Preston in January 2023.
Carrie Preston in January 2023.Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Preston won an Emmy in 2013 for her guest-starring role as Elsbeth Tasvioni on "The Good Wife." She appeared on the show's spin-off, "The Good Fight."

Jim Parrack played Hoyt Fortenberry, Jason's best friend and fellow road crew worker.

jim parrack true blood season one
Jim Parrack on season one of "True Blood."HBO

Hoyt had a good heart but struggled to get out from under his demanding mother. He was also shy around women.

Parrack appeared on shows like "Grey's Anatomy" and "Criminal Minds" before "True Blood."

Parrack currently stars as Judd Ryder on the Fox drama series "9-1-1: Lone Star."

Jim Parrack in February 2023.
Jim Parrack in February 2023.Ruby Wallau/Getty Images

He also had a minor role as one of the Joker's henchmen in the "Suicide Squad" and appeared in "Fast 9," the ninth film in the "Fast & the Furious" franchise.

William Sanderson played Bud Dearborne, the local sheriff in Bon Temps.

William Sanderson on season two of "True Blood."
William Sanderson on season two of "True Blood."HBO

He had a deep distrust of vampires, given their reputation.

Sanderson reprised his role as E. B. Farnum for "Deadwood: The Movie," in 2019.

William Sanderson in April 2018.
William Sanderson in April 2018.David Livingston/Getty Images

"Deadwood: The Movie," was a continuation of the HBO series of the same name, which ran from 2004 to 2006.


Chris Bauer played incompetent but well-intentioned police detective Andy Bellefleur.

Chris Bauer on season one of "True Blood."
Chris Bauer on season one of "True Blood."HBO

Andy was a recovering alcoholic.

Bauer held a number of roles before "True Blood," including "Face/Off," "The Wire," "Third Watch," and "Tilt."

Bauer currently stars as Wild Bill Hancock on the wrestling series "Heels."

Chris Bauer in April 2022.
Chris Bauer in April 2022.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

He was also on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unity and "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders."

Additionally, Bauer has guest-starred on shows like "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "Modern Family."

Todd Lowe played Terry Bellefleur, Detective Bellefleur's cousin and a cook at Merlotte's.

todd lowe true blood season one
Todd Lowe on season one of "True Blood."HBO

He was a veteran of the Iraq War and suffered from PTSD.

Lowe played Zack on "Gilmore Girls" and was in "The Princess Diaries."

Lowe returned as Zack Van Gerbig for the 2016 "Gilmore Girls" revival.

Todd Lowe in November 2016.
Todd Lowe in November 2016.Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

He also guest-starred on "Criminal Minds" and "Shooter."

Adina Porter portrayed Lettie Mae Thornton, Tara's alcoholic mother.

adina porter true blood season one
Adina Porter on season one of "True Blood."HBO

Adina believed a demon was causing her alcoholism and begged Tara to help her during the first season.

Porter starred on "American Dreams" and "Saving Grace" before landing her role on "True Blood."

Porter earned an Emmy nomination in 2018 for her role on "American Horror Story: Cult."

Adina Porter in May 2023.
Adina Porter in May 2023.Momodu Mansaray/WireImage

She's played characters on seasons one, six, seven, eight, and 10 of "AHS."

Porter's TV work also includes roles on "Outer Banks," "The Morning Show," and "The Power."

Michael McMillian played Reverend Steve Newlin, the head of an anti-vampire church.

michael mcmillian true blood season one
Michael McMillian on season one of "True Blood."HBO

McMillian was known for starring on "What I Like About You" and in "Saved."

McMillian recently guest-starred on an episode of "9-1-1: Lone Star."

Michael McMillian in October 2018.
Michael McMillian in October 2018.Sarah Morris/Getty Images

Aside from "True Blood," McMillian is known for playing Tim on the show "My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." He's also guest-starred on "Perry Mason," "NCIS," and "For All Mankind."

Anna Camp played Sarah, Steve's wife.

anna camp true blood season two
Anna Camp on season two of "True Blood."HBO

She hated vampires and wanted to destroy them all.

"True Blood" was one of Camp's first roles.

Nowadays, Camp is well known for starring in the "Pitch Perfect" movies.

Anna Camp in January 2023.
Anna Camp in January 2023.Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP

She was also in "The Help" and starred on "The Good Wife," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," and "Good Girls Revolt."

Joe Manganiello joined on season three as Alcide Herveaux, a werewolf who befriended and briefly dated Sookie.

Joe Manganiello on season three of "True Blood."
Joe Manganiello on season three of "True Blood."HBO

Alcide had a debt to Eric, and helped Sookie so he could repay it.

Manganiello was then known for playing Flash Thompson in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy and for appearing on "How I Met Your Mother" and "One Tree Hill."

He went on to star in the "Magic Mike" movies.

Joe Manganiello in March 2023.
Joe Manganiello in March 2023.Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

He also guest-starred on shows like "The Big Bang Theory" and played Deathstroke in "Justice League."

In July, Manganiello and "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara revealed that they broke up after seven years of marriage.

Lauren Bowles joined the cast as Holly Cleary, a waitress at Merlotte's.

lauren bowles true blood season three
Lauren Bowles on season three of "True Blood."HBO

She was also a witch.

Bowles' career started with a stint as the waitress on "Seinfeld."

Bowles guest-starred on a 2022 episode of "9-1-1: Lone Star."

Lauren Bowles in February 2020.
Lauren Bowles in February 2020.Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

She was also on "Veep," "Castle Rock," "How to Get Away With Murder," and "NCIS."


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