Even though we were first introduced to these guys back in 1984, to this day we still know that if there’s something strange in the neighborhood we’re gonna call…the ‘Ghostbusters.’
The film starred a cast of comedy legends and created one of the most successful franchises in history. From there, we were met with television shows, video games, merchandise and a sequel. (And perhaps a third outing one of these days…) But until then, let’s take a look at the cast of ‘Ghostbusters’ then and now.
Then: Bill Murray had already left ‘Saturday Night Live’ and had ‘Meatballs,’ ‘Stripes’ and ‘Caddyshack’ under his belt. He took the Venkman role in exchange for Columbia Pictures letting him play a dramatic role in the big screen adaptation of the novel ‘The Razor’s Edge.’
Now: Today, Bill’s become a living legend for his comedic and dramatic roles. Sure he’s a bit off the charts, having only a voicemail box as representation and showing up at pick-up kickball games, but we still love the guy.
2. Then: Another ‘SNL’ player, Dan Aykroyd not only starred in ‘Ghostbusters,’ he was also one of its writers. (He originally conceived the movie as a vehicle for himself and the late John Belushi.)
Now: In addition to holding out hope for a third ‘Ghostbusters’ movie, Aykroyd has invested time in developing Crystal Head Vodka, because he is actually really REALLY into the occult. He’s also reportedly working on a script with old pal Chevy Chase.
3. Then: Before ‘Ghostbusters,’ writer/actor/director Harold Ramis wrote ‘Animal House,’ ‘Meatballs,’ ‘Caddyshack’ and ‘Stripes,’ which he also co-starred in. He also directed the first ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation.’
Now: Today, Ramis is still a major presence in Hollywood. He cowrote and directed ‘Groundhog Day’ and ‘Analyze This,’ among other films, and he has appeared in ‘As Good as It Gets,’ ‘Orange County’ and ‘Knocked Up.’ Recently he’s helmed episodes of ‘The Office’ in between discussing ‘Ghostbusters 3′ rumors.
4. Then: Before taking on the role of Winston, Hudson had parts in ‘Fantasy Island,’ ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ and ‘The A-Team.’
Now: Hudson has brought his likeable persona to such films as ‘Airheads’ and ‘Congo.’ He’s been particularly busy on the small screen, elevating the quality of shows like ‘Guys with Kids,’ ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’ and ‘Transformers Prime.’
5. Then: Before wowing in a red dress in ‘Ghostbusters,’ Sigourney Weaver had gained critical recognition with ‘Alien.’ But for this purpose let’s remember how much we loved her as Dana Barrett and Zuul.
Now: Weaver would go on to reprise her roles in both ‘Ghostbusters II’ and ‘Aliens,’ the latter of which earned her an Academy Award nomination. Most recently, she was seen in ‘Vamps’ and the USA mini-series ‘Political Animals.’
6. The role of Louis Tully in ‘Ghostbusters’ was originally conceived for John Candy but ultimately went to fellow ‘SCTV’ alum Rick Moranis.
Now: Moranis ruled the ’80s with ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ ‘Spaceballs’ and ‘Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.’ After a string of hits, he retired in the late ’90s to take care of his children following the death of his wife. He recorded a Grammy-nominated comedy album, ‘The Agoraphobic Cowboy,’ but otherwise has vanished from showbiz. Rumor has it he would return to play Louis Tully in ‘Ghostbusters 3.’
7. Then: Before playing snarky secretary Janine Melnitz, Annie Potts’ resume included ‘Busting Loose,’ ‘Remington Steele’ and ‘Corvette Summer,’ in which she starred opposite Mark Hamill and a sweet Chevy Stingray.
Now: Potts went on to appear in ‘Pretty in Pink,’ ‘Ghostbusters II’ and the first two ‘Toy Story’ films. She played Mary Jo Jackson Shively on ‘Designing Women’ from 1986-1993. More recently she starred on ABC’s Southern fried soap ‘GCB.’
8. Then: Actor William Atherton entered pop culture history with his role in ‘Ghostbusters,’ playing a hard-headed EPA agent who unleashed mayhem on the city of New York by shutting off the gang’s containment systems.
Now: Atherton has played numerous slimeballs over the years in ‘Die Hard,’ ‘Lost,’ ‘Workaholics’ and more.
9. Then: David Margulies had already been seen in ‘All That Jazz’ and ‘Dressed to Kill’ before playing the surly mayor of New York City in ‘Ghostbusters.’
Now: Margulies has accumulated quite a resume, resurfacing in the ‘Ghostbusters’ sequel and gaining recognition for his work in ‘The Sopranos,’ ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’ and ‘Law & Order.’
10. Then: It wasn’t Michael Ensign’s first time playing a Hotel Manager when he appeared in ‘Ghostbusters.’ The actor played a similar role in 1982’s ‘Pink Floyd The Wall.’ He was also featured in ‘Superman,’ ‘Midnight Express’ and ‘Mr. Mom.’
Now: Today, Ensign is noted for his television work, appearing in ‘Boston Legal’ and ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.’
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