Being a cast member on one of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchises means opening up your personal and professional life to the cameras — not an easy task for a few months, much less year after year.
Out of over 100 housewives, less than a handful have appeared on their shows continuously since day one. Some wives voluntarily leave to pursue other opportunities or escape the cameras, while others are fired as storylines peter out or viewers’ interest wanes.
Here are the “Real Housewives” stars that have been there since the very beginning of their franchises.
For this gallery, TheWrap looked at “Real Housewives” franchises that have been around for six or more seasons, so it excludes the Dallas, Miami, Salt Lake City and D.C. casts.
Singer’s histrionics and hysterics have provided plenty of fodder for “The Real Housewives of New York” editors for 13 seasons, before the show was rebooted.
She is an “O.G. housewife.”
Kyle Richards and her sister Kim were two of the original “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Their fractured relationship has been a series storyline even after Kim departed as a full-time cast member after Season 5.
Richards is another of the three true “O.G. Housewives,” having appeared continuously as a main cast member throughout every season. Season 11 debuted in May 2021.
Her other sister, Kathy Hilton, joined as a “friend” in Season 11.
Ever since her infamous table flip, Giudice has been a staple on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Producers even worked around her 11-month stint in federal prison for fraud in 2015. Season 13 of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” finished with her wedding special, “Teresa Gets Married.”
She is one of the seven “O.G. housewives.”
Gizelle was the very first Potomac housewife viewers were introduced to back in 2016.
The show recently premiered it’s sixth season in summer 2021.
“Potomac” has retained four of its original cast members — a feat no other “Real Housewives” franchise has been able to match.
The self-appointed “grand dame” of Potomac is also an “O.G” wife.
She and Gizelle Bryant have sparred for six seasons.
Dixon and Bryant comprise the “green-eyed bandits.” She is also an original “Potomac” housewife.
Darby was reportedly cast in a D.C. version of “Blood, Sweat & Heels” that never made air, and then cast on “Potomac” as the group’s “outsider.” She’s been with the franchise from the very start as well.
LuAnn de Lesseps (honorable mention)
De Lesseps, also known as The Countess, was an original cast member who was demoted to “friend” status on “The Real Housewives of New York” in Season 6. However, she earned her apple back with her second marriage, second divorce and drunken arrest.
She’s appeared in all 13 seasons of “New York” and as an official housewife for 12.
Kandi Burruss (honorable mention)
Burruss was a Season 2 addition “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and has been a core cast member for 14 seasons — longer than any other Atlanta ‘wife.
NeNe Leakes (honorable mention)
Leakes was an original cast member of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” but departed after Season 7 in part to pursue her acting career in Hollywood. She returned to the show in Season 10 and announced in September — after the show had already begun production for Season 13 — that she would not be returning. Bloop!
Lisa Vanderpump (honorable mention)
Along with the Richards sisters, Lisa Vanderpump was one of the first members of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” She departed after nine seasons after the so-called “Puppygate,” which is so convoluted it’s not worth explaining here. She still can be seen on the spin-off “Vanderpump Rules,” which she also executive produces and is back in production after a pandemic-related pause.
With nine seasons of “Beverly Hills” and 10 seasons of “Vanderpump Rules” under her bejeweled belt, Vanderpump has the distinction of having the most appearances on the network.
Bethenny Frankel (honorable mention)
When “The Real Housewives of New York” started, Frankel was an anomaly since she was unmarried (the current cast doesn’t have a single married cast member).
She departed the show after Season 3 and returned in Season 7 only to leave again after Season 11. She’s had several spin-offs on Bravo, including “Bethenny Ever After” and “Bethenny & Fredrik.”
She’s now focused on raising her daughter Bryn (whom she kept off-camera), her businesses and numerous charities, including coronavirus relief. She also has her own HBO Max reality competition show, “The Big Shot with Bethenny”
Vicki Gunvalson (honorable mention)
Gunvalson has the distinction of being the “O.G. of the O.C.” with “The Real Housewives of Orange County” being the very first series in the franchise.
She was demoted to “friend” status in Season 14. Unwilling to return unless she was a full-time cast member, she left the show — and franchise — she founded ahead of Season 15. She returns as a guest in Season 17.
Camille Grammer (honorable mention)
Grammer’s marriage and split from sitcom star Kelsey Grammer was a key storyline in the first season of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” way back in 2010. She left as a full-time cast member after Season 2 but has appeared in every season since (with the exception of Seasons 4, 11 and 12) in a minor or major capacity.
Adrienne Maloof (honorable mention)
Original Beverly Hills housewife Maloof made headlines after refusing to show up for the Season 3 finale. But that separation didn’t last long, and she’s made guest appearances in Seasons 5, 6, 8 and 10.
Kim Richards (honorable mention)
As previously mentioned, Kim Richards was a core member of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” cast from the very beginning.
She left the show after Season 5 in part to address her sobriety but returned for appearances in Season 6, 7, 9 and 10.
She’s made fewer appearances than Grammer, but more than Maloof. She will reported appear in Season 13.