Lily Nicksay played the cute, tea party-hosting Morgan Matthews on Boy Meets World. Lindsay Ridgeway played the bratty, foul-mouthed Morgan Matthews on the TGIF sitcom. Confused? Then you must not be a true fan of the show that ran on ABC for seven seasons in the 90s. Following season two, Nicksay, who was 4 years old when she filmed the pilot, was replaced with Ridgeway, who is three years her senior. And as alluded to above, the character developed a bit of a ‘tude in the process.
Why the recasting? Nicksay told Entertainment Weekly it was a "mutual decision" between her parents and producers. Co-star Rider Strong shed more light on the topic at Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia: Nicksay "was not very happy. … At that time she was a little girl who did not want to be on the show."
Since parting ways with Boy Meets World, the two actresses who played the very same character have taken two very distinct career paths. Here’s a look at what happened to the girls who played Morgan from BMW.
Nicksay didn’t let her BMW experience sour her on acting
You would think Nicksay would give up acting after her unhappy experience on BMW – or at least take a break from it all. Nobody could blame her for wanting to be a regular kid. In other words, no rehearsals or reciting dialogue. But in the years following her BMW departure, Nicksay continued working at a somewhat steady pace in TV and film.
She landed roles in movies you might know such as Up Close & Personal with Robert Redford, The Negotiator with Samuel L. Jackson, and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle with Jason Alexander and Rene Russo. She also appeared in TV movies that, let’s be honest, you probably don’t know, including The Christmas Box and its sequel Timepiece. All this before she was even a teenager. It’s possible this irregular work schedule was simply a better fit for the child actress than the daily grind of a network sitcom.
From TGIF to substitute teaching
Who would have guessed that Lindsay Ridgeway would be the Morgan who would leave the industry behind? One look at her IMDb page and you’ll notice the lack of acting gigs on her resume following the BMW finale in 2000. Ridgeway voiced the character Britney on a 2004 episode of the animated series, Totally Spies! and, well, not much else. In an ironic twist, another actress took over the Britney role in subsequent seasons.
Education seemed to become Ridgeway’s main focus over the next few years. She graduated with a Political Science degree from the University of California, Riverside in 2007 and a Masters degree in counseling from the University of Redlands in 2010, according to her LinkedIn page. Between 2009 and 2013, she served as a substitute teacher in Perris, Calif. Noticeably absent from that lengthy LinkedIn bio: Any mention of her acting career. Feel free to draw your own conclusions.
Girl meets world travel
The most interesting part of Nicksay’s post-BMW life might not even be all those TV and film gigs. It could be the fact that she left Hollywood and became a student of the world. And we’re not talking about a semester in Prague or a month-long backpacking trip across Europe.
Nicksay revealed during the BMW reunion panel at the ATX Festival in 2013 that she lived in Scotland for a whopping eight years. "I went to high school up in the highlands of Scotland," she said. "And I sailed around Europe. And I lived with the Karen tribe in Thailand for a month. And I studied Latin and Ancient Greece [at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland]."
What does one do with a degree in Latin and Ancient Greek? We don’t have the slightest idea, but it sounds distinguished and adds to her worldly rep.
Not everyone attends every BMW reunion
Nicksay appeared in only about half as many BMW episodes as Ridgeway, but seemed more gung-ho about cast reunions than her replacement. While both were on hand for the Entertainment Weekly photo shoot in 2013, only Nicksay took part in the BMW ATX Festival panel and Good Morning America interview that same year. Maybe Ridgeway was busy?
Of course, Nicksay had more to gain from the extra attention than Ridgeway since she’s still a working actress. She told Too Fab that she "was really excited" about the ATX Festival reunion and added "I think it’s a great idea. Boy Meets World was such a wonderful part of my life." And during the Good Morning America interview, Nicksay pointed out that she has a unique appreciation for the show. "I feel like I have a foot in both worlds, kind of," she said. "I’m a part of the show but also an audience member."
Nicksay fell for a singer/songwriter
Lily Nicksay became Lily Gibson when she walked down the aisle in 2015 (but she continued using Nicksay professionally after that). Her wedding took place at St. Salvator’s Chapel in Scotland, according to wedding photographer Zoe Barrie. And judging by the wedding photos, it doesn’t appear as though any of her BMW co-stars were on hand. That’s not surprising considering she told Too Fab: "It’s been a long time since I talked to a lot of people," referring to her old cast mates.
So who exactly was her kilt-wearing groom? He’s Grammy-nominated Scottish singer and songwriter Dave Gibson, who has penned songs for music heavy hitters such as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Bruno Mars, Keith Urban and Liam Payne, to name a few.
The young couple currently resides in Los Angeles. "It’s been fabulous moving back to Los Angeles and rediscovering my childhood love of acting," Nicksay told Too Fab.
Girl Meets World broke the fourth wall with two Morgans
The internet exploded when it was announced in 2013 that Ben Savage and Danielle Fishel would be reprising their BMW characters for a sequel series on Disney Channel, Girl Meets World. We are, after all, in the midst of a nostalgia boom. Naturally, the conversation then turned to which other characters would be returning. TMZ reached out to Nicksay for comment, to which she responded "I’d love to talk [to Disney] about being a part of it."
But that part ended up being more like a guest spot. Nicksay appeared in the Girl Meets World series finale in 2017 along with other BMW alumni, including — get this — Ridgeway. That’s right, both Morgans took part. A brunette Nicksay started off as Morgan and then literally tagged in Ridgeway to complete the dialogue. The sequence broke the fourth wall and was a bit on the zany side, but in the BMW universe, zany is to be expected.
Ridgeway has been putting her pipes to use
Most of Ridgeway’s public appearances since the end of BMW have taken place at sporting events, of all places. She’s been doing the rounds as a national anthem singer, belting out "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Galaxy, Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco 49ers, Golden State Warriors and Atlanta Braves. And she doesn’t just sing the U.S. national anthem either. Ridgeway has been known to perform the Canadian national anthem as well, one time alongside American Idol fan favorite Pia Toscano, who sang the US national anthem.
Loyal BMW fans probably won’t be too surprised to hear Ridgeway can carry a tune. Show producers allowed her to show off her singing voice during an episode involving a school talent show. The song performed: "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler. And because this is BMW we’re talking about, an animated Corey Matthews ended up joining in towards the end and made it a goofy duet.
Nicksay gave theater another shot
Nicksay has found a second career in theater since returning to Los Angeles. Outside of the occasional short film and UPS and Jack in the Box commercial (bet you didn’t recognize her), she now does most of her acting on stage. Apparently she has a real knack for it too. Nicksay has twice been nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Play by the Southern California-focused Ovation Awards, winning once for her role in See Rock City.
This probably isn’t much of a surprise for those who have followed Nicksay’s career closely. She earned an Ovation nomination in 2002 for Best Featured Actress in a Play for The Wild Duck.
In 2017, Nicksay played the titular role in a production of Tennessee Williams’s Baby Doll. She called Williams "the greatest American playwright" in an interview with KCRW and said "I’ve always wanted to work on Tennessee Williams." Mr. Feeny would approve.
Ridgeway met her fiance by swiping right
Believe it or not, it is possible to meet your future spouse on Tinder. Ridgeway did. And now she and fiance Chris Baierl plan to get married in 2018, according to their wedding website. The couple wrote on the site: "For those who think the world of online dating sucks (we admit, it does!) — we actually have it to thank for our relationship. If we didn’t swipe right in March 2016, we likely would never have actually met in person." They also had a message for Tinder: Thanks and "please give us money to endorse your app."
Ridgeway — who is a coordinator at an arts and culture center and teaches fitness classes, according to LinkedIn — and Baierl lived less than a mile from each other in Silicon Valley, and then on opposite sides of the country doing the LDR thing. They now call Atlanta home. So not only are they a Tinder success story, but they’re also a long distance relationship success story. Congratulations to the couple on beating the odds!