Across four seasons, the Wizards of Waverly Place cast brought some much-needed magic to the Disney Channel's sitcom lineup. Premiering in 2007, the show introduced rising star Selena Gomez as Alex Russo, a young wizard-in-training who struggles to find a balance between her everyday teenage challenges and her growing magical abilities. Alongside her older brother Justin (David Henrie) and younger brother Max (Jake T. Austin), Alex studies the art of spellcasting under their father, Jerry (David DeLuise).
Constantly looking for shortcuts, Alex would often use her powers to solve her daily problems without thinking about the consequences. But she could always count on her friends and family to help her contain the hilarious chaos that ensued, and over the course of the show, she inched her way toward maturity.
The series was a reliable hit with 106 episodes, making it one of the longest-running Disney Channel shows to date. By the time the finale aired in 2012, Alex had become a full wizard — and Gomez had become a pop culture phenomenon. Read on to find out what the rest of the Wizards of Waverly Place cast has been up to since bidding their powers farewell.
Selena Gomez (Alex Russo)
From the outside, it seemed like Wizards of Waverly Place may have cast a magic charm on star Selena Gomez; since the show ended, she's found tremendous success as a singer, actress, and producer. But as we've learned, Gomez has also been dealing with physical and mental health challenges for many years, and she's been courageous in sharing her personal story.
Gomez started working in entertainment at age 10, appearing in the children's show Barney & Friends from 2002 to 2004. She then began guest starring on Disney Channel programs like The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Hannah Montana before scoring her own series with Wizards of Waverly Place. She also starred as Mavis Dracula in the 2012 animated film Hotel Transylvania and continued playing the role in three more sequels. Her other notable movies include starring roles in Monte Carlo (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), and Getaway (2013).
During her tenure on Wizards, Gomez recorded three albums with her band Selena Gomez & the Scene. While EW's reviewer didn't care for the group's 2009 pop debut, Kiss & Tell reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, as did her follow-ups, A Year Without Rain (2010) and the electropop-influenced When the Sun Goes Down (2011). After Wizards ended, Gomez released her first solo album, Stars Dance, which debuted at No. 1 in 2013, thanks to her catchy hit single "Come & Get It." Her next album, Revival (2015), saw the singer break out of her family-friendly Disney persona and embrace a more confident and mature image, beginning with the sexy single "Good for You."
In 2015, Gomez revealed that she had been undergoing chemotherapy to treat the autoimmune disorder lupus, which had forced her to cancel parts of her Stars Dance Tour in 2013 and 2014. Her 2015 Revival tour was also cut short after she experienced anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, leading to a 2016 announcement that she was taking time off to recover. In 2017, she received a kidney transplant as a result of complications from lupus.
Gomez returned to the spotlight in 2020, releasing her third solo album Rare, which debuted at No. 1. Her next album, the Spanish-language EP Revelación (2021), received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Pop Album.
She's also worked behind the camera, notably producing the Netflix teen drama 13 Reasons Why (2017–2020). In 2020, Gomez created and starred in Selena + Chef, a cooking series on Max that earned her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination as a producer.
Gomez has enjoyed plenty of success in her career, but she's also harbored significant stress and anxiety. In 2020, she publicly discussed her bipolar disorder diagnosis on Miley Cyrus' Instagram Live talk show Bright Minded. Later, the 2022 AppleTV+ documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me presented an intimate and honest look at the star's ongoing struggle with her physical and mental health.
Gomez is currently starring with Steve Martin and Martin Short in the Hulu mystery-comedy series Only Murders in the Building, which earned her Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress in a TV Comedy in 2022 and 2023. The third season of the hit show began airing in August 2023.
The actress still has fond memories of her time on Waverly Place. She remains close with TV brother David Henrie, and in February 2023, she had an emotional reunion with costars Jennifer Stone and David DeLuise on their podcast, Wizards of Waverly Pod.
"I can't begin to tell you guys without making it such a little cry session," Gomez told Stone and DeLuise. "I felt like I was the happiest I'd been my whole life. I don't want that to be a sad thought because I'm really grateful and happy, but it was definitely the happiest times for me, and I recognize that because I obviously have this different attention on me that I didn't have then. It was a really pure time."
David Henrie (Justin Russo)
As eldest son Justin Russo, David Henrie's character was a gifted spellcaster. In the final episode, the young wizard took Professor Crumbs' place as the head of the prestigious WizTech academy.
Before Wizards, Henrie was a familiar face as Ted Mosby's future son Luke on the popular CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. He could be seen impatiently listening to his dad's endless stories in the opening scenes for the show's first two seasons. (The following seasons recycled old footage of the kids.)
Henrie appeared on all four seasons of Wizards and in the 2009 TV movie, but he opted not to participate in the show's final special in 2013. After moving on from Waverly Place, Henrie appeared in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015) then turned to independent films, with roles in Little Boy, a 2015 drama with Catholic themes, and as animator Rudy Ising in the poorly-received biopic Walt Before Mickey (2015).
Determined to chart his own course, Henrie co-wrote and directed the teen comedy-drama This Is the Year (2020), a modern-day take on the feel-good movies of the '80s. The film was executive produced by Selena Gomez and featured Wizards costar Gregg Sulkin (who played Alex's werewolf boyfriend, Mason). Henrie is also set to appear in the upcoming biopic Reagan, starring Dennis Quaid, where he plays the former President as a young adult.
Gomez and Henrie have kept in touch over the years, and have even considered a Wizards of Waverly Place reunion show. "We talk about it all the time, like just as friends," he told EW in 2020. "I think we know what made the show special was the fact that the Russos were a family. So we talked about what would make a great [future] season is if you kind of started them off present day, eight years later, and they're not a family. So you have them all in their own worlds doing their own things busy with their own lives."
Henrie has been married to former Miss Delaware Maria Cahill since 2017, wherein the cast of Wizards attended their wedding. The couple shares three children together.
Jake T. Austin (Max Russo)
On Wizards, youngest child Max Russo was mischievous, confused, and always good for a punchline. His performer, Jake T. Austin, has gone on to many projects since then.
Austin started in the entertainment industry at age 11, voicing Diego in three episodes of Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer (2005–2010) and later helming his own spin-off, Go, Diego, Go (2005–2011). While on Wizards, and amid his Diego voiceover work, the young actor also starred alongside Emma Roberts in Hotel for Dogs (2009) and voiced Fernando in the Rio animated movies.
Austin returned to voice acting for several years, playing Blue Beetle in many DC Comics animated series, including Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016) and Justice League Action (2017). He later reunited with his Wizards mother, Maria Canals-Barrera, in the 2017 Teen Titans: The Judas Contract. That same year, he also voiced Alex in the unloved animated film The Emoji Movie. Since then, Austin's most recent role was in the 2020 independent crime drama Adverse.
Jennifer Stone (Harper Finkle)
Though not a wizard herself, the enthusiastic Harper Finkle was always ready to support her best friend Alex — and pull focus with her bold and eccentric fashion sense. (Harper's rubber-duck, lobster, and magic-marker dresses inspired practically nobody to copy her style.) For actress Jennifer Stone, her four seasons brightening up Waverly Place were a high point in her relatively brief acting career.
During her Wizards tenure, Stone starred in two TV movies: Disney Channel's Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars (2009) and ABC Family's Mean Girls 2 (2011). She also did some voice work for Disney Channel's Phineas and Ferb and Generator Rex on Cartoon Network.
As Wizards wrapped, Stone took on several roles in horror projects, namely starring as the babysitter in Nickelodeon's anthology series Deadtime Stories (2012–2013), where she read chilling tales to the frightened children. In 2013, she also appeared in the Anne Heche horror film Nothing Left to Fear and starred in the Lifetime TV movie High School Possession (2014).
Stone's personal life changed in 2013 when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. This not only inspired her to pursue a nursing degree but also to co-write, produce, and star in The In-Between (2019), an indie road trip film about two young women living with chronic illness.
The actress became a registered nurse in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. In an Instagram post, she wrote, "I just hope to live up to all of the amazing healthcare providers on the front lines now as I get ready to join them."
More than a decade later, Stone has not forgotten the happy times she spent with the Russo family. In February 2023, she joined David DeLuise in creating the podcast Wizards of Waverly Pod, in which the pair rewatches the series while revealing behind the scenes stories and interviewing the cast and crew.
Maria Canals-Barrera (Theresa Russo)
Maria Canals-Barrera played Theresa, the mortal matriarch of the Russo family who married a wizard and now must contend with their three magic-wielding children.
After Wizards wrapped, Canals-Barrera starred in Cristela Alonzo's groundbreaking 2014 ABC sitcom Cristela — the first primetime comedy created, written, produced, and starring a Latina woman — as the title character's sister, Daniela. Unfortunately, the show was canceled after one season.
Canals-Barrera has enjoyed a significant voice-acting career as well, primarily in DC superhero shows and films. She played Hawkgirl in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, as well as roles in three Batman: The Dark Knight Returns films and Vixen: The Movie (2017). Also in 2017, she was reunited with her Wizards costar Jake T. Austin through the project Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.
Over the years, the actress has also kept up a string of guest appearances on TV shows like Last Man Standing, The Big Bang Theory, Nickelodeon's Knight Squad, and Netflix's Fuller House. Starting in 2022, she reprised her role as Sunset Boulevardez on the Disney+ reboot series The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.
Canals-Barrera married actor David Barrera in 1999. The couple shares two daughters together. Her husband even guest-starred as Carlos Cucuy in the season 4 Wizards episode "Alex Gives Up."
David DeLuise (Jerry Russo)
Jerry Russo was born a wizard but willingly gave up his powers to marry Theresa and raise their children. He divides his time between the family restaurant and the kids' wizard training program, which is more than enough to keep him occupied. Actor David DeLuise has been busy as well, racking up a long list of credits in television and film.
Before Wizards, DeLuise was known for playing Bug Pollone, a recurring character on the NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996–2001). He also made dozens of guest appearances in shows like Gilmore Girls, Stargate SG-1, ER, and Bones, in addtion to voice work on Cartoon Network's animated series Megas XLR (2004–2005).
During his tenure on Wizards, DeLuise took up directing as well, helming six episodes of the show. After he bid Jerry Russo farewell, DeLuise appeared in the film Pup Star (2016) and Unbroken: Path to Redemption (2018). He has also continued acting in various television shows, including episodes of NCIS, Shameless, 9-1-1, The Rookie, and This Is Us.
In 2023, DeLuise joined costar Jennifer Stone to host the podcast Wizards of Waverly Pod.
DeLuise has been married to German actress Julia Stoepel since 2019. He has two children from his previous marriage to Brigitte DeLuise.