See the Cast of Back to School Then and Now

See the Cast of Back to School Then and Now

Then:British stage actor and director Paxton Whitehead is probably known best for his first big American role, as the jerky Dr. Phillip Barbay in Back to School.

Then:Comedian Rodney Dangerfield followed up his performance in Caddyshack with Back to School, in which he played Thornton Melon, a wealthy man who goes to college to convince his son that its not so bad. Thornton eventually reveals that before he was wealthy, he was a struggling truck driver; in real life, Dangerfield also worked as a truck driver before he was famous.

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Then:Veteran actor M. Emmet Walsh played the hard-to-impress Coach Osborne. Thornton convinces the coach that Jason is worthy of a spot on the diving team.

Then:Known best for playing Sylvester Stallones best friend Paulie in the Rocky films, Burt Young starred as Lou, Thorntons best friend, chauffeur, and bodyguard.

Now:Walsh, now 78, continues to act and has appeared in the recent films The Odd Life of Timothy Green and The Raven. He provides the voice of Olaf Hugglesbjork on the animated series Pound Puppies.

Now:In addition to acting, Kellerman has had a successful singing career since the 70s, and in 2009 she released a jazz album titled Sally. She continues to act, and has guest-starred on 90210, Hawaii Five-0, Workaholics, and Maron.

Now:Farrell went on to star in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Jadzia Dax, and had a recurring role on the 90s sitcom Becker. She is married to Sprint spokesman Brian Baker.

Now:Dangerfield sadly passed away in 2004 at the age of 82, but continued working in the years leading up to his illness. Following Back to School, the comedian and actor went on to star in Ladybugs, Rover Dangerfield, and reunited with his Back to School co-star Robert Downey Jr. in Natural Born Killers, and he occasionally performed stand-up in his later years.

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Now:Zabka made a cameo appearance in 2010s Hot Tub Time Machine, and appeared as himself on a recent episode of How I Met Your Mother alongside Karate Kid co-star Ralph Macchio. He also directed a music video for the country music group Rascal Flatts.

Now:Downey Jr. hit a rough patch there in the late 90s and early 00s, but returned even better than before — hes garnered acclaim for his performances in the films Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Zodiac, and stars as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Iron Man and Avengers films. Hell soon reunite with his Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau for the upcoming film Chef.

Then:Former model Terry Farrell played Valerie Desmond, a popular girl on whom Jason has a massive crush.

Then:If you had a movie about school in the 80s and needed a bad guy, William Zabka was your dude. Zabka played Chas, an athlete and Jasons rival, who also has a crush on Valerie. The actor also starred in The Karate Kid and Just One of the Guys.

27 years later, we head Back to School to take a look at the cast of the film and see where they are now.

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Then:MASH star Sally Kellerman played Dr. Diane Turner, a teacher at the university who is dating Thorntons nemesis, Dr. Phillip Barbay. Thornton and Diane strike up a romantic relationship.

Released way back in 1986, Back to School was based on a story idea by the late, great comedian Rodney Dangerfield and co-written by Harold Ramis. Dangerfield starred as Thornton Melon, a wealthy but woefully uneducated man who enrolls in college when his despairing son admits that he wants to drop out. Shenanigans and valuable life lessons ensue, of course.

Now:Young reprised the role of Paulie in the 2006 film Rocky Balboa, and has also appeared in the films New York, I Love You, and Win Win. The veteran actor is also a painter, whose work has been featured in galleries all over the world. Hes written two stage plays, two screenplays, and a novel.

Now:Gordon has since moved behind the camera, and has directed episodes of Dexter, The Killing, and House M.D.

Then:Former SNL cast member and son of the legendary actor Robert Downey Sr., Robert Downey Jr. set out to start a film career of his own, appearing in Weird Science, Less Than Zero, and Back to School. In the film he played Derek, Jasons only friend.

Now:Whitehead went on to have a recurring role in the 90s sitcom Mad About You, and has appeared in the films Kate and Leopold and The Importance of Being Earnest.

Then:Keith Gordon, star of the horror film Christine (based on a story by Stephen King), played Jason, Thorntons son. Jason goes off to college, but when things arent going so well for him, he threatens to quit, inciting his father to enroll alongside him at the school.


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