The Show “The Wonder Years”, Cast, Pictures, and Trivia!
This beloved series is about the years of growing up between the ages of 12 and 17 for Kevin Arnold, his family and friends.
The only difference from other shows is that the years shown are from the time period of 1968 to 1973, and take place 20 years before the airing, which is 1988 to 1993. The stories are told by an adult Kevin, and his contemplation of past events. The voice of the adult Kevin is Daniel Stern.
Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage)-Kevin is a 12-year old boy when the series begins, and is about to experience his first kiss with the girl he has a major crush on, as well as his next door neighbor, Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar). He has an older sister and brother and lives with his parents, although the town and state that they live in are never known. His best friend is Paul Pfeiffer, (Josh Saviano) and they are all friends who go through the trials and tribulations that come with growing up, which is made all the more difficult by it being the rather stormy, 1960’s and early 70’s. Kevin is not particularly good in school, but he does enjoy playing many different sports and just being with his friends.
Jack Arnold (Dan Lauria)-Jack is the father of Kevin, Wayne, (Jason Hervey) and Karen (Olivia d’Abo). He is married to Norma, (Alley Mills) and works in a middle management position at a place called NORCOM, which he hates. He is a terse, often bad-tempered man who has a tendency to take his frustrations out on those closest to him, but does love his family. He served in the United States Marine Corp and is a veteran of the Korean War.
Norma Arnold (Alley Mills)-Norma is the wife of Jack and the mother of Kevin, his brother and sister. She is a very sweet, kind woman, who is a housewife, but has a desire to break out of this role. She met her husband when she was only a freshman in college, so when he graduated and moved across the country, she moved with him, and therefore did not finish college herself.
Karen Arnold (Olivia d’Abo)-Karen is Kevin’s older sister, and like many who grew up in that era, she is what is commonly referred to as a “hippie”. Because of this, she does not get along well with her much more conservative father, and often tends to depend upon her mother to intercede.
Wayne Arnold (Jason Hervey)-Wayne is Kevin’s older brother, and like so many brotherly relationships, it’s not perfect. Wayne likes to pick on his younger brother both physically and verbally, and he always seems to be the loser in affairs of the heart.
Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar)-Winnie is Kevin’s neighbor, as well as his main love interest. A sweet, pretty girl, on whom Kevin has a crush, although their first kiss wasn’t quite how he imagined it. In the pilot episode, Winnie finds out that her brother, Brian, was killed in action in Vietnam. Devastated, Kevin and Winnie meet and end up kissing. The ongoing relationship that follows is one of the main focal points of the show.
Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano)-Paul is Kevin’s best friend and confidante. But there are several main differences between the two. Unlike Kevin, Paul does very well in school, has allergies and belongs to the Jewish faith. Despite the differences however, the two seem to get along quite well, and depend on each other for support and other things throughout the years.
This show is not only very original in its format, but has wonderful stories that we can all relate to. The actors are wonderful, and it makes you want to keep coming back again and again to see what happens. I give this series 8 out of 10.
Kevin Arnold-Fred Savage
Kevin Arnold (The Narrator)-Daniel Stern
Jack Arnold-Dan Lauria
Norma Arnold-Alley Mills
Wayne Arnold-Jason Hervey
Karen Arnold-Olivia d’Abo
Winnie Cooper-Danica McKellar
Paul Pfeiffer-Josh Saviano
Randy Mitchell-Michael Tricario
Doug Porter-Brandon Crane
Chuck Coleman-Andy Berman
Coach Cutlip-Robert Picardo
Jeff Billings-Giovanni Ribisi
Carla Healy-Krista Murphy
Ricky Halsenbach-Scott Nemes
Mr. Cantwell-Ben Stein
Becky Slater-Crystal McKellar
Craig Hobson-Sean Baca
Mr. Diperna-Raye Birk
Mrs. Ritvo-Linda Hoy
Miss White-Wendel Meldrum
Harold Gruntner-Josh Berman
Kirk McCraig-Michael Landes
Debbie Pfeiffer-Torrey Ann Cook
Ida Pfeiffer-Stephanie Satie
Tony Barbella-Tony Nittoli
Alice Pedermeir-Lindsay Sloane
Madeline Adams-Julie Condra
Alvin Pfeiffer-John C. Moskoff
Mr. Cooper-H. Richard Greene
Young Karen Arnold-Jodie Rae
In 1988, The Wonder Years won an Emmy for best comedy. The most amazing thing about this was that the show had aired only six episodes at that point.
Alley Mills (Norma Arnold) has been married to actor Orson Bean, (best known for playing Loren Bray on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman) since 1993. He is 23 years older than she is, and this was her first marriage, but the third for him.
Dan Lauria (Jack Arnold) served in the United Stated Marine Corp, and is a veteran of the Vietnam War.
Josh Saviano (Paul Pfeiffer) is now an attorney living in New York, with his wife Jennifer (also an attorney) and their daughter, Noa.
Fred Savage is the older brother of Ben Savage, from the series, “Boy Meets World”.
At a certain point in the series, the character of Winnie (Danica McKellar) is not seen as much for several months. The reason for this was because McKellar had experienced a growth spurt, and Fred Savage who played Kevin didn’t look right standing next to her. (He was shorter than her to begin with.) The problem was resolved after Savage finally started catching up in height.
Olivia d’Abo (Karen Arnold) was once engaged to Julian Lennon.
Alley Mills and husband Orson Bean have acted together several times on “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman“, as well as in a number of plays done at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Los Angeles.
Daniel Stern (The Narrator) has been married for 33 years and has three children.
Jason Hervey (Wayne Arnold) used the memories of his real life older brother bullying him for the times when he had to do the same to his TV brother, Kevin. The episode where Wayne keeps inching the car forward so that Kevin can’t get in, is something his real life brother did to him.
The series finale was ranked at #11 on the “TV Guide Network” special in 2011, “TV’s Most Unforgettable Finales”.
Dan Lauria usually plays characters that are gruff or stern.
Danica McKellar wrote four non-fiction books that are meant to encourage both middle and high school girls to succeed at mathematics. These are entitled: Math Doesn’t Suck, Kiss My Math, Hot X: Algebra Exposed and Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape.
Fred Savage has been married to his wife, Jennifer, since 2004 and they have three children. He first met her when they neighbors as children, similar to the character which made him a household name. When proposing to his future wife, he did it with a 5-carat sapphire ring. And instead of gifts, the couple decided to ask that donations be made to the “Cancer Center Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles”, in memory of a childhood friend.
Daniel Stern, who was the narrator for the show, and his real-life son, Henry, did the talking to each other (Henry as the narrator’s son) in the very last show.
In the series finale, it is mentioned by Kevin, (Fred Savage) that his best friend, Paul Pfeiffer, went to Harvard and became a lawyer. In real life, Josh Saviano (who plays Paul) actually goes to Yale (which is Harvard’s arch-rival) and becomes a lawyer.
Jason Hervey filed a lawsuit against a wedding chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada, for selling photographs of his wedding to second wife, Shannon, to a tabloid, in 1999.
Olivia d’Abo is known not only for her acting, but her singing as well.
Daniel Stern is well known for being in the “City Slickers” and “Home Alone” movies.
Danica McKellar’s first kiss was her actual on-screen first kiss with Fred Savage in the pilot episode.
Alley Mills graduated from Yale University.
All of the schools that the characters attended, Lincoln Junior High, RFK Junior High and McKinley Senior High, were named after men that had been assassinated.
Dan Lauria is a lover of James Cagney films. During the run of The Wonder Years, he often had what was dubbed, “double picture night” at his house, and invited the cast over to watch.
Wayne Arnold (Jason Hervey) was listed at #7 in TV Guide’s list of “TV’s 10 Biggest Brats”, in 2005.
The Wonder Years was named one of the twenty best shows of the 1980’s by TV Guide.
Danica McKellar is fluent in the French language.
Fred Savage is a graduate of Stanford University. He took a year off to appear in the TV show, “Working”.
Fred Savage became the youngest actor to ever be nominated as “Outstanding Lead Actor for a Comedy Series”, at only thirteen years old.
Jason Hervey’s godfather is professional wrestler, Terry Funk.
Daniel Stern went on a USO tour to Kuwait and Iraq, in 2003.
Before making it as an actor, Dan Lauria used to coach football and wrestling, as well as be a substitute teacher.
Olivia d’Abo has one child.
While at Yale University, Josh Saviano became president of “Sigma Nu” fraternity.
Alley Mills studied acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Danica McKellar gave birth to her first child, a son named Draco, at the age of 35.
Until this year, (2014) The Wonder Years was unreleased on DVD as official season box sets. The reason given was that it was a problem with music licensing, making it high on the list of TV series’ that were wanted for DVD release. Finally, in February 2014, “StarVista/Time-Life” revealed the imminent DVD release of the entire series, in the latter half of the year. They made certain that it was known to all, that they were “painstakingly securing the rights for virtually every song”.