30 Years Later, The Dirty Dancing Cast Looks Like This Today

Jun 21, 2021Ncuthu W

Let's teleport back to 1987 Dirty Dancing, a time when every girl wanted to be "Baby" and absolutely adored "Johnny." The movie narrated a love story of a lifetime and captured our hearts through romantic dance. And we can't forget the megahit title track called "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life." Speaking of time, what has the cast been up to since the film's release? Interested in finding out? We've got you covered!

Image Credits: Getty Images/Ron Galella Collection/Jim Smeal

Jane Brucker - Lisa Houseman 

As far as annoying big sisters go, Jane played this role quite well. Lisa was a sibling from hell, and her horrible singing at the talent show could reduce anyone to tears of laughter. So what did she do after her the time of her life on the epic flick? 

Image Credits: Instagram/psychedelicinema - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

She Appeared In One Other Notable Movie 

Brucker had a few roles after the films' release, including a movie called Bloodhounds of Broadway. Eventually, she turned her attention to screenwriting and made that her career. However, Jane's spent most of her life being a mom to her two daughters. Maybe when they've grown up, we might see a little more from the former actress. Let's move on to an unexpected member of the cast...

Image Credits: Twitter/janebrucker

Wayne Knight 

You probably recognize Wayne from the hit show Seinfeld, the film Jurassic Park and Space Jam. But you probably had no idea that he appeared on Dirty Dancing. It was actually his first film credit. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? Knight just happened to get started on this movie. So what's the latest with him? 

Image Credits: Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Joey Delvalle

He's Had A Successful Career Over The Years

Wayne has appeared in several films. Most recently, he appeared in The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee and we're patiently awaiting the next film, 12 Mighty Orphans. The actor's last television appearance was in 2020, Infinity Train. Keep reading for a fun fact about the movie...

Image Credits: Getty Images/The Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA

Cynthia Rhodes - Penny Johnson 

Cynthia played Johnny's tall and drop-dead-gorgeous dance partner, "Penny." Her long legs and smooth moves made it so hard not to envy her. But she's also a talented actress. Oh, and Dirty Dancing wasn't the only dancing film where she showed off her skills. In fact, she was in two others. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/The LIFE Picture Collection

Flashdance And Staying Alive 

Cynthia might as well be crowned the queen of dance movies. After all that dancing and acting, she decided to retire the tap shoes for a quiet life as wife and mommy. She was married to the singer Richard Marx. But we have to admit that her life before kids was wonderfully exciting with all that she experienced. Up next is a very talented star from the bunch...

Image Credits: Getty Images/Getty Images Entertainment/Vince Bucci

Miranda Garrison - Vivian Pressman 

Miranda played the sultry vixen, who was practically on her knees for dance lessons with Johnny. Her marriage was also missing a flame she so desperately wanted to light up. But in reality, her life has been nothing short of spicy. In fact, she's more than what you would expect. 

Image Credits: Twitter/michaelausiello - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

She's A Successful Dance Choreographer

Not only was she assisting with the choreography in the film, but she choreographed a few other big productions like Selena and Evita. Here's another mind-blowing fact you probably didn't know. But Garrison choreographed The Skeleton Key; it turns out thriller films need choreography too! Over her career, she's collected 50 acting credits, which is amazing. Let's move on!

Image Credits: Getty Images/The LIFE Images Collection/Ann Summa

Paula Trueman - Mrs. Schumacher 

Paula was one-half of the couple that was thieving at the resort. Mrs. Schumacher didn't look like the typical thief because she was 90 years old when Paula took on the role. She had been a life-long stage actor until that stage of life. Did she feature in any other films during the 80s? 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Underwood Archives

She Did Two More Film Appearances

Paula featured in two other films in 1987, Sweet Lorraine and Moonstruck. Trueman passed away at 96 years old, she succumbed to natural causes. We're sure she lived her life to the fullest. Check out the next long-lost star on the list. You don't want to miss it!

Image Credits: Twitter/GoodBadUglyMule - The Malpaso Company/The Outlaw Josey Wales

Lonny Price - Neil Kellerman 

Remember the goofy son of the resort manager in the film? He wasn't the most charming guy between the awkward dance moves and the constant flirting with Baby. Well, life after Dirty Dancing for Lonny Price really wasn't that bad. In fact, we'd say it went pretty well...

Image Credits: Instagram/dirtydancing1987forever - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

He's An Award-Winning Director 

Price enjoyed a few minor roles in projects like The Muppets Take Manhattan during the 80s. He also directed a few soapies, namely One Life to Live - he won an Emmy for this in 1995, by the way. After that, he moved on to directing Broadway productions like Sweeney Todd and Gypsy. He also directed a documentary about Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll. According to The New York Times, it was one of the best films of 2016.

Image Credits: Getty Images/WireImage/John Lamparski

Neal Jones - Billy Kostecki 

Neal Jones was Johnny's young cousin in the movie. He helped Baby carry the watermelon. But he actually bared an uncanny resemblance to Patrick Swazey (Johnny). The casting department of Dirty Dancing did an excellent job with this one. How was life after the film for Jones? 

Image Credits: YouTube/MovieClips - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

He's Had Multiple Acting Roles 

Neal enjoyed a long career in film and TV; he appeared in The Devil's Advocate, Law and Order, The Sopranos, Sex, and the City, and Criminal Minds. The last time he appeared on TV was in 2009. He's probably done with acting right now, but he sure did have a long run. Let's move on to the next cast member...

Image Credits: Instagram/stlthetruth

Max Cantor - Robbie Gould 

Max was the pesky waiter Robbie. We call him pesky because he was always hitting on all the ladies at the resort. His most prominent roles in the film industry were Dirty Dancing and Fear, Anxiety & Depression in 1989. But it seems acting wasn't the dream he had for his life...

Image Credits: Instagram/joannmillerglad - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

He Was A Journalist

At some point in life, Cantor became a journalist. He wrote for The Village Voice. During his writing career, he became increasingly interested in niche topics. Sadly, he lost his life in 1991 at the age of 31. See if you remember the next star on our list. 

Image Credits: Twitter/JenHLewi - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

Kelly Bishop - Marjorie Houseman 

Kelly played Baby's clueless mom, but she left a lasting impression. Not that she needed the Dirty Dancing clout. She acted in the famous musical A Chorus Line and won a Tony award for Best Supporting Actress in her role as Sheila. So her career after the film probably sky-rocketed... 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television/Fred Watkins

She Played Emily On Gilmore Girls 

Indeed, Bishop went on to have many more years in showbiz. She's most famous for her role as Emily on Gilmore Girls, which she held on to for 7 years. She then reprised the role in the miniseries Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Let's check out the next member of the memorable cast.

Image Credits: Getty Images/FilmMagic/Jason LaVeris

Jerry Orbach - Dr. Jake Houseman

You might remember this face as the poor dad in the hit film. All he wanted was for the two girls two behave like ladies. But you have to admit; you wished to have a dad like Baby's. Orbach was already doing well in his career when he landed the part. He even had two Tony nods under his belt for his performance in Chicago and Guys. So what has he been up to since the film release? 

Image Credits: Instagram/dirtydancing - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

He Had Other Prominent Roles 

Jerry landed various TV and film roles, notably Lumiere's voice in Disney's animated film Beauty and the Beast. If that doesn't jog your memory, then you'll probably recognize him from his role as Lennie Briscoe on Law and Order. Unfortunately, he lost his life to prostate cancer in 2004. When he passed, he donated some of his organs, so two people are known to be walking around with part of him! He's a real hero.

Image Credits: Getty Images/ NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal

Jack Weston - Max Kellerman 

Jack played the man who owned the resort. Before Dirty Dancing, Weston was already a veteran of the film and television industry. He'd been acting since 1949. He's most famous for acting in films like The Incredible Mr. Limpet and The Four Seasons. What are his film credits like after the 1987 hit?

Image Credits: Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives

His Life Was Filled With Achievement 

Well, he appeared in two other films; Ishtar and Short Circuit 2. In 1996, he passed away due to lymphoma after he fought for his life for 7 years. He left his wife Laurie Gilkes and stepdaughter Amy behind. Before he passed away, he enjoyed 40 years in the industry. Now let's move on to some Dirty Dancing fun facts!

Image Credits: Facebook/GetTV - CBS Television Network/The Twilight Zone

Dirty Dancing Trivia 

Jennifer Grey's dad is the legendary dancer and actor Joel Grey. Yes, that right, she got all that talent from her dad. Joel played the Master of Ceremonies in the musical Cabaret. He took on the role again when he appeared in the 1972 movie version of the production, starring Liza Minelli.  But that's not all he did...

Image Credits: Getty Images/WireImage/John Lamparski

His Other Prominent Roles 

If that wasn't enough to jog your memory, then maybe you'll remember him in the original Wizard of Oz. He acted with Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth in the musical Wicked. Grey has collected multiple awards during his career, including an Academy Award,  a Tony Award, two Grammy Awards, and a Golden Globe Award.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Shorefire/Noam Galai

Patrick Swayze - Johnny Castle 

Every woman adored Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. He had the best moves, striking looks, and a charming disposition. Armed with all of that, he blew fans away. We all know Swayze had an epic career after the 80s film. He famously starred in Ghost, Roadhouse, and Point Break.  But sadly, his star dimmed before we were ready to let go...

Image Credits: Getty Images/Walt Disney Television

Gone Too Soon 

The actor passed away in 2009; he was just 57 years old. Patrick had been battling pancreatic cancer. He was survived by his supportive wife, Lisa Niemi. In a 2008 interview, Swayze shared that his 1987 hit song "She's Like the Wind" was inspired by his wife. Before he passed, they had been married for 34 years. Let's move on to the breakout star of the movie.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Carlo Allegri

Jennifer Grey - Frances 'Baby' Houseman 

Jennifer is a quirky beauty that had everyone dazed when they watched the film back in 1987. Her career didn't really take off as much as it was anticipated in the 80s. She did small acting roles here and there. In 2010. she starred in Dancing with the Stars, which is perfect, right? But what has she done recently? 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Peter Carrette Archive

She's Had Minor Roles 

Grey landed a recurring spot in the Amazon Studios comedy Red Oaks; the show ran for 3 seasons and ended in 2017. Last year, her personal life made headlines when she and her Marvel actor husband Clark Gregg revealed that they were splitting up after 19 years of marriage. Do you remember Baby's sister Lisa? Let's see how she's been doing!

Image Credits: Getty Images/FilmMagic/Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Taking The Heat In The Cold 

Dirty Dancing was supposed to be filmed during the summer, but the crew needed to shoot around specific areas of the resort and could not do this during the summer. The resort would've lost so much business during the process. Instead, they did the film during the fall, which had some tough implications...

Image Credits: Instagram/dirtydancingmovie - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

Grin And Bear It 

The movie was filmed in Virginia and North Carolina; both of those places can get quite cold. If you recall, the cast was barely dressed, so they were colder than they looked on screen. Grey and Swayze mentioned that they suffered while shooting the scene at the lake. But they weren't the only ones who faked it through. The red and gold foliage on the trees had to be camouflaged with green paint.

Image Credits: Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Moviepix

A Surprise Hit 

Nobody thought the movie would be a hit. It exceeded expectations in the box office when it made hundreds of millions, and it remained in the theater for months! It was popular among young people during that time, but teenagers loved it the most. It went on to shatter records...

Image Credits: Getty Images/Bettmann/Bettmann

The Film's Success

The movie stayed in theaters so long that it was competing with the VHS version. With a budget of $5 million, the movie made a whopping $219 million. It was named the 11th highest selling movie of 1987. Wow, they certainly outdid themselves and should be proud of the movie's success. But did you know the story is based on a real person?

Image Credits: Instagram/dirtydancingmovie - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

Loosely Based On A True Story

Before you get carried away with thoughts that the whole thing is a true story, it's not really. But, the movie is based on the screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein's life. She spent her summers in Catskills, her dad was a doctor and she has the nickname 'Baby'. And she too loved to dance! But the movie could have been a lot different if the producers chose a different route in casting...

Image Credits: Instagram/dirtydancingmovie - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing Without Swayze?

Patrick wasn't the first choice for the role of Johnny. The director cast Billy Zane, but there wasn't enough chemistry between him and Jennifer; they had already appeared in an acting gig together. The director swiftly moved on to Swayze. But he almost didn't get the role either...

Image Credits: Instagram/dirtydancingmovie - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

Jennifer Thought Patrick Was A Jerk 

It turns out Jennifer and Patrick also had a history, they had appeared in Red Dawn together in 1984, and she wasn't too fond of him. However, the director asked her to give it a shot. And their chemistry proved to be on fire! We can't imagine an alternate universe where Patrick isn't Johnny, so thank goodness! You won't believe who almost played Baby!

Image Credits: Getty Images/Stringer/David Livingston

Winona Ryder And Sarah Jessica Parker Were Up For The Role 

The movie's film producer Linda Gottlieb shared that Winona and Sarah were the first choices to play Baby. But thanks to Jennifer's dad, she got the job! Her father took her to the audition and the producers were blown away. "She just closed Baby's face in my mind ... and from that moment on she was the only person I wanted," Linda said. 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Ron Galella Collection/Ron Galella, Ltd.

The Big Lift 

Can you believe the iconic scene was never rehearsed? Jennifer shared that they never practiced the move and she's never done it since. We guess some things are simply once in a lifetime. Besides, she can treasure it as a special memory she shares with Patrick Swayze. But it's kind of weird that they never practiced? What if something happened? Good thing she gave us an explanation...

Image Credits: Instagram/dirtydancingmovie - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

She Was Too Afraid 

"I would never practice the lift -- I was too scared. The day you see me do it in the movie is the first time I do it," Grey said. She also shared that she's a little confused as to how people recreate the scene. "I don't know how all these people who re-enact it have the guts to throw themselves into the arms of anyone other than Patrick Swayze, it's insane!"

Image Credits: Getty Images/David Livingston

Dirty Dancing - The Reality Show 

Dirty Dancing is a huge deal, but you already know that. It turns out the international audience loves the movie too. From 2007 to 2008, there was a UK dance competition called Dirty Dancing: The Time of Your Life. One of the judges was the film's very own Miranda Garrison. Now that's what you call a full-circle moment. Has the iconic romantic film ever been remade? 

Image Credits: Instagram/dirtydancingmovie - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

The Remake 

Oh yes, the Hollywood machine did attempt to remake the 1987 film in 2017. The TV movie featured a whole new cast and crew, but unfortunately, it was a flop.  Singer of the pop group Pussycat Dolls Nicole Scherzinger played Penny Rivera, who Cynthia Rhodes played in the original film. Fortunately, the moment we've all been patiently waiting for is coming...

Image Credits: Getty Images/David M. Benett/Dave Benett

Dirty Dancing Sequel 

It's been confirmed! Jennifer Grey has signed on to reprise her role as Baby. The sequel is highly anticipated as fans have been holding on to hope for decades. Grey will also take on the duty of executive producer on the film. However, details about the movie are still very hush. But how will the show go on with Patrick Swayze? 

Image Credits: Getty Images/Araya Doheny / Stringer

They're Going For Something Different From The Original Film 

Jennifer shared that the movie will stay away from trying to recreate the magic she shared with Swayze. "All I can say is there is no replacing anyone who’s passed—you never try to repeat anything that’s magic like that," the actress told People. "You just go for something different." Why do people love this movie so much?

Image Credits: Getty Images/Michael Tullberg

Capturing The Age Of Innocence 

It's crazy how many years have gone by, and fans have remained loyal to their love of the film. Jennifer thinks that what has kept the movie alive in people's hearts is the innocence that the cast depicted, how people can inspire you to become a little different from how you usually are. The Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer also confirmed the news of the sequel...

Image Credits: Instagram/dirtydancingmovie - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

Hollywood's Worst Kept Secret 

Feltheimer called the sequel "one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood." He also shared that the movie will reignite that old romantic film essence that fans have been longing for over the years. The original Dirty Dancing is also Lionsgate's best-selling library title ever, which speaks volumes about fan love. 

Image Credits: Instagram/dirtydancingmovie - Lionsgate/Dirty Dancing

Now that we've seen what the cast has been up to over the years, we want to know what you think. Who was your favorite? And do you know of the other projects that the cast members have been involved with? We're looking forward to hearing what you have to say. 

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