Premiering on August 29th 2005, the first season of Prison Break performed exceptionally well in the ratings and was almost universally critically acclaimed. Running for 90 episodes across 5 seasons and a TV movie, the subsequent seasons never quite lived up to that first year when a tattooed Michael Scofield had himself incarcerated in Fox River Penitentiary, the same prison where his brother, Lincoln Burrows, is on death row for a crime he did not commit. Scofield devises an elaborate plan to help his brother escape, and along with the help of six other inmates and the prison’s doctor, they make a bid for freedom and begin a quest to clear Burrows name.
But, whatever happened to the Fox River Eight? Or more specifically the actors who played the characters of Lincoln Burrows, Michael Schofield, Fernando Sucre, Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell, Benjamin Miles “C-Note” Franklin, David “Tweener” Apolskis, John Abruzzi, and Charles “Haywire” Patoshik? And of course Sara Tancredi, the Fox River Doctor. Join us as we explore what the cast of Prison Break got up to next and where they all are now.
Dominic Purcell as Lincoln Burrows
Dominic Purcell was cast as Lincoln Burrows just three days before the start of production of Prison Break. His character was wrongfully accused of and charged with the murder of Terence Steadman, the brother of the Vice President of the United States, and was the catalyst for the prison break of season one.
Purcell was born in Wallasey, Merseyside, England. His mother was Irish and his father was a Norwegian of French descent. In 1972, he and his family moved to Australia, where he later attended the Australian Theatre for Young People and then enrolled at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, where he studied with Hugh Jackman, before making his 1992 screen debut in Australian soap Home And Away.
Purcell’s big screen debut arrived in the year 2000 when he played Ulrich in Mission: Impossible 2, soon after landing the lead role in the Fox TV science fiction drama John Doe. After the show’s cancellation, Purcell retained an amiable relationship with Fox and was sent the pilot script of Prison Break. Executive Producer and creator of Prison Break Paul Scheuring’s first impression of Purcell did not convince him as a fit for the role since the actor went to the audition with his hair styled and a tan. However, Purcell’s acting won the role and when he arrived on set for the first day of filming he’d shaved his head, which amazed Scheuring with the physical likeness of the series’ two leading actors.
After Prison Break, Purcell starred in many direct to DVD movies like 2013s Assault On Wall Street, Suddenly and Ice Soldiers, and 2014s A Fighting Man and Turkey Shoot. His last film appearance to date came in 2015s Gridlocked where he played the lead character of David Hendrix. Since then, apart from returning to the role of Lincoln Burrows for season 5 of Prison Break, Purcell has solely played Mick Rory / Heat Wave in The CW DC Universe shows, appearing in The Flash, Supergirl, Batwoman, Arrow and all five seasons to date of Legends Of Tomorrow.
Wentworth Miller as Michael Scofield
Lincoln’s brother is the mastermind behind the escape plan, and Like Purcell, Wentworth Miller came to the role of Michael Scofield at the last minute, cast just a week before production began.
Also like Purcell, Miller was born in England. His American parents moved back to the US when he was just a year old, relocating the family to Brooklyn. In 1995 he then moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career with his first TV appearance coming in 1998 as student-turned-sea monster Gage Petronzi on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Go Fish”. Miller’s first starring role was in 2002 as the sensitive, introverted David Scott in Walt Disney produced TV mini-series Dinotopia. After appearing in a few minor television roles, he moved on to co-star in the 2003 film The Human Stain, playing the younger version of the Anthony Hopkins character, Coleman Silk
In an interview, Paul Scheuring recalled that most of the actors who tested for the role of Michael Scofield “would come in playing mysterious, but it was so cheesy and false” but Miller impressed Scheuring so much that, instead of the expected call-back Miller had hoped to gain from his audition, when the phone rang the next day it was the producer offering him the role.
After Prison Break finished its initial four season run, Miller struggled with mental health issues, later revealing in a 2016 Facebook post that he “[had] struggled with depression since childhood. It’s a battle that’s cost [him] time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights.” He made this emotional post in reaction to a meme of himself which poked fun at his weight gain in 2010, which he said was due to him finding comfort in food as he was suicidal.
Rarely seen on-screen during these years, outside of a guest appearances in House and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and in the film Resident Evil: Afterlife, Miller turned to screen writing and was responsible for 2013s Stoker and 2016s The Disappointments Room.
Re-uniting with Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller joined the Arrowverse as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold, appearing the The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow. His most recent on-screen appearance came earlier in 2020 in the Crisis On Infinite Earths episode of Batwoman
Amaury Nolasco as Fernando Sucre
Prior to joining the cast of Prison Break as Sucre, Scofield’s cell-mate who develops a friendship with Michael during their time at Fox River State Penitentiary, Amaury Nolasco had had a variety of guest roles on shows like CSI and ER, plus appeared on the big screen as Orange Julius in 2 Fast 2 Furious. His other notable cinematic roles came in the 2007 film Transformers, where he played Figueroa, and a cameo in A Good Day To Die Hard, alongside small roles in The Rum Diary, and 2016s Criminal.
After Prison Break ended, Nolasco has constantly been in work although unfortunately its often been in shows that haven’t lasted more than one season, like; Chase (2010), Work It (2012), Telenovela (2015-16) and Deception. In all four series’ Nolasco had a main role. His most recent role is that of Frankie Cuevas Sr. in the Starz series Hightown. Premiering in May 2020, Nolasco would’ve been thrilled to discover that the show has recently been picked up for a second season, seemingly breaking his curse.
Robert Knepper as Theodore “T-Bag” Bagwell
As fan-favourite T-Bag, Robert Knepper appeared in all five seasons of Prison Break, masterfully portraying the cunning, violent, and manipulative psychopath, who is consistently underestimated by those around him.
Outside of Prison Break, Knepper has also portrayed a wide variety of equally popular characters, including; Samuel Sullivan in the final season of the NBC series Heroes, Angus McDonough in The CW series iZombie and Rodney Mitchum in Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks. He has also appeared in the Arrowverse as William Tockman / Clock King in both Arrow and The Flash, and can be seen in films such as Hitman, Transporter 3, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1 & 2 and Jack Reacher Never Go Back.
Robert Knepper’s most recent role came in the 2019 film S.W.A.T. and as Konstantin in the 2019 series Paper Empire. At the time of writing (August 2020), Knepper currently has two films in post-production, Redemption Day and Lena & Snowball which are both scehduled for release soon.
Rockmond Dunbar as Benjamin Miles “C-Note” Franklin
Before joining the cast of Prison Break as “C-Note”, a Fox River inmate who blackmails Michael into joining his escape team in a desperate bid to be reunited with his family,Rockmond Dunbar was best known for his leading role as Kenny Chadway on the television series Soul Food.
Dunbar left Prison Break in season 2 (returning for season’s 4 and 5) and starred in the short-lived 2007 TNT medical drama Heartland. He also played Sheriff Eli Roosevelt on the FX Drama series Sons of Anarchy, FBI Agent Dennis Abbott on The Mentalist, and FBI Agent Abe Gaines in the Hulu series The Path. His most recent role, which he has played since 2018, is as Michael Grant in 9-1-1, the husband of Angela Bassett’s lead character Athena. The show has recently been renewed for a fourth season.
Peter Stormare as John Abruzzi
As the leader of a Chicago mafia, Abruzzi joins the escape team, agreeing to provide an jet plane for Michael in exchange for the location of the eyewitness to his crimes, Otto Fibonacci. Although Peter Stormare only appeared in the series regularly in the first half of the first season, with selected appearances towards the end of the first season and the beginning of the second season, like every role the character actor plays, John Abruzzi left quite an impression.
Swedish born Stormare has appeared in many films including; The Lost World: Jurassic Park, The Big Lebowski), Armageddon), Minority Report), Bad Boys II, Constantine, 22 Jump Street, and John Wick: Chapter 2. Over the last decade he’s voiced character in video games like Destiny, Until Dawn, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Destiny 2, as well as providing the voice for vampire Godbrand in the Netflix animated series Castlevania.
Most recently Stormare has played Czernobog in four episodes of American Gods, Gunther in a 2020 episode of USA Network’s Briarpatch and Slide Olson in the 2019 John Travolta/Morgan Freeman film The Poison Rose. He has a role in the new Michael Bay produced Songbird which, after postponement due to the Coronavirus pandemic, has recently resumed filming.
Lane Garrison as David “Tweener” Apolskis
Although best known for his Priosn Break role as “Tweener”, part of the Fox River 8 who escaped at the end of the first season, Lance Garrison ended up spending time behind bars himself when he was sentenced to 40 months in jail on October 31st 2007 after he pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter, drunken driving and providing alcohol to a minor
After resuming his acting careeer, Garrison had a recurring role in the first season of the El Rey network’s series From Dusk till Dawn. He also played Buck Barrow in the 2013 television miniseries Bonnie & Clyde, and starred opposite Kristen Stewart in the 2014 film Camp. In 2015 he guest-starred on Better Caul Saul as Detective Hoffman, and the following year played Frederick Murray in the all-star remake of Roots. Garrison’s most recent on-screen role was in 2019 as Ray in the Paramount Network series Yellowstone, and he has a small role in the upcoming sports film 12 Mighty Orphans which stars Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall and Luke Wilson.
Silas Weir Mitchell as Charles “Haywire” Patoshik
Having made a career out of very often playing mysterious or mentally unstable characters, the part of “Haywire”, a bipolar prisoner at Fox River’s Psych Ward, could’ve been written with Silas Weir Mitchell in mind.
Outside of Prison Break, Mitchell has had recurring guest roles in such television series as 24 as Eli Stram, Numb3rs, My Name Is Earl as Earl’s ex-con friend Donny Jones, and as the mentally unstable recurring character James Hogan on Cold Case. His guest appearances come from show’s as diverse as The Shield, Dexter, Monk, Six Feet Under, X-Files, The Closer, The Mentalist and Boomtown.
Mitchell is most well known for his role as Monroe in the NBC TV series Grimm, a part he played throughout the series from 2011 to 2017. He was most recently seen in the Josh Hartnet starring Spectrum Originals streaming series Paradise Lost, which debuted in April 2020, where he played, the once again mysterious, character Boyd Sutree
Sarah Wayne Callies as Sara Tancredi
All she had to do was leave the door unlocked, but the Fox River doctor ended up joining Michael on the run where the pair became romatically involved, a relationship that propels much of the later seasons. As Governor’s daughter Sara Tancredi, Sarah Wayne Callies was the first actress the producers saw at the audition for the role and was also the first to become a principal cast member of Prison Break. Callies was written out of Prison Break during season 3, with a fake-out decapatation, before returning for the final two seasons.
Callies has arguably had the most high-profile career of any Prison Break cast member. After moving to New York in 2003, she quickly landed her first television role as Kate O’Malley, a recurring part on the short-lived CBS show Queens Supreme, and followed this with her first starring role as Detective Jane Porter on The WB’s Tarzan. Guest appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Dragnet, and NUMB3RS, lead to her Prison Break casting, but it was after the series ended when Callies gained most notoriety as the major role of Lori Grimes in the first three seasons of the AMC horror/drama series The Walking Dead.
In 2015, Callies co-starred with Nicolas Cage in the thriller film Pay the Ghost, and the following year returned to television in the lead role of Katie Bowman in Colony. Callies took the lead in the 2019 Canadian mini-series Unspeakable, playing Margaret Sanders in the series which chronicles the emergence of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C in the Canadian Red Cross’s blood banks in the early 1980s. Callies then returned to the medical profession, starring in the NBC series Council Of Dads as Dr. Robin Perry. The show premiered in March 2020 and ran for 10 episodes