Scrooged, the festive classic starring Bill Murray, turns 30 this month. Deck the halls. And Murray wasn’t the only performer to carry on a successful career years after the workplace adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Christmas story debuted on November 23, 1988.
Scrooged earned more than $60 million at the U.S. box office upon its initial release, and its makeup received a 1989 Oscar nomination. The cast of the dark comedy includes Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, Robert Mitchum, Alfre Woodard, and more, and it ranges from harried executives to ghosts of Christmas past.
The Hollywood Reporter examines what the original ensemble has been up to since the late ’80s, from Oscar and Emmy nominations to comedy specials and Broadway careers, in the spirit of the holiday season and the movie’s anniversary.
By the time Woodard was cast as Frank’s diligent assistant in Scrooged, she had already received six Emmy nods for Hill Street Blues, Words by Heart, St. Elsewhere, Unnatural Causes, and Cross Creek, as well as one supporting actress Oscar nomination for Cross Creek. Her performances in movies and TV shows like Star Trek, Love & Basketball, A Wrinkle in Time, Desperate Housewives, 12 Years a Slave, Captain America: Civil War, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Empire, and Luke Cage are some of her most well-known work since the late 1980s. Additionally, she received three nominations for the Golden Globes for the television films Passion Fish, Miss Evers’ Boys, and Holiday Heart. She will then portray Sarabi in the 2019 Disney adaptation of The Lion King.
Before portraying a TV network executive scrooge in this Dickensian adaption, the comedic star had previously starred in a number of Hollywood movies. After becoming a household name thanks to a stint on Saturday Night Live, Murray went on to star in a series of classic comedies like Stripes, Caddyshack, and Ghostbusters. Some of Murray’s more well-known film roles after 1988 include Ghostbusters 2, Groundhog Day, Space Jam, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Jungle Book, and Lost in Translation, for which he received an Oscar nomination for best actor. Additionally, he has five times served as host of his old show, SNL. Most recently, Murray maintained a long friendship with Wes Anderson by lending his voice to one of his canine companions in the 2018 film Isle of Dogs.
Goldthwait first gained notoriety as a stand-up comedian prior to the release of Scrooged, appearing in multiple films as himself. However, one of his first significant character performances was as fired ex-employee Eliot Loudermilk in Scrooged. Goldthwait has now gone on to contribute his humorous skills to a number of films and TV shows, including multiple voice performances in Disney’s Hercules, Bob’s Burgers, and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. In addition, Goldthwait has a number of film and television directing credits, including Shakes the Clown, World’s Greatest Dad, and God Bless America, as well as television shows like Chapelle’s Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live! His most recent project involves directing and producing Misfits and Monsters by Bobcat Goldthwait for TruTV.
Before returning from the grave as the Ghost of Christmas Present in Scrooged, Kane already had an Oscar nomination. With a nomination for best actress in 1976, her performance as a troubled Russian immigrant in Hester Street placed her on the map. She later went on to star in other classic movies including Annie Hall, When a Stranger Calls, and The Princess Bride before Scrooged. She has appeared in a number of live-action and voice roles in movies and television shows since the late 1980s, including Seinfeld, Family Guy, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Girls, Phineas and Ferb, Taxi (for which she was nominated for two Emmys and a Golden Globe), and, most recently, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She also played Madame Morrible in the Broadway production of Wicked.
Johansen rose to fame as the lead singer of the New York Dolls long before he played the Ghost of Christmas Past in Scrooged. Johansen didn’t make his acting debut until the middle of the 1980s, when he had a few tiny parts in independent movies and TV series before landing the lead role in Scrooged. The majority of his Hollywood efforts have been soundtracks and performances for shows like Miami Vice, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Simpsons, The Office, Gotham, and Kick-Ass, while he has actor credits in movies and TV shows like Oz, Let it Ride, and Free Jack. His subsequent appearance will be in Megan Fox’s fantasy movie Shadow Girl.
Before he visited Murray’s Frank in Scrooged, Forsythe was already a legendary figure in Hollywood. Early in his career, he played the original Charles Townsend in the popular TV series Charlie’s Angels, which is perhaps one of his most recognisable performances. Sam Marlowe, who plays the lead in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Trouble With Harry, and Alvin Dewey, a police agent in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, are two of his more illustrious early film appearances. After Scrooged, Forsythe continued his already distinguished TV career as Blake Carrington, the patriarch of Dynasty, for which he garnered numerous Golden Globe nominations. A reprise for Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, starring Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, and Cameron Diaz, was his last performance before his death in 2010.
With various projects, notably Scrooged, in which his character wants to take Frank’s job, Glover made a name for himself as a multifaceted villain. Glover has since been in a number of films and television shows, including Murder, She Wrote, South Beach, Batman & Robin, Smallville, Tron: Uprising, and more. Scrooged was one of his early significant big-screen performances. His most recent role was in Katharine McPhee’s 2017 television film The Lost Wife of Robert Durst.
Audiences were already familiar with Allen from her role as Marion, Harrison Ford’s love interest in George Lucas’ successful Indiana Jones film series, when she played Frank’s one that got away in Scrooged. In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the 2008 sequel to the trilogy, she and Ford reprised their roles. Allen has appeared in numerous movies since the 1970s, including Animal House, The Wanderers, Starman, Malcolm X, and The Sandlot, in addition to her well-known roles in Scrooged and the Indiana Jones trilogy. Her most recent appearance was in Alexander Janko’s 2016 film Year by the Sea.
Similar to Kane, Mitchum had established a successful career before assuming the role of Frank’s boss in Scrooged. For his performance in Story of G.I. Joe, Mitchum was nominated for an Oscar as a supporting actor in 1947. He appeared in several classic Hollywood movies throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, including Out of the Past, The Night of the Hunter, The Longest Day, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, and River of No Return. He shared the screen with legendary actors like Marilyn Monroe, Jean Simmons, Susan Hayward, Jane Russell, and others. After Scrooged, Mitchum remained acting for another ten years, until his death in 1997. He starred in movies including Martin Scorsese’s Cape Fear and Johnny Depp’s Dead Man. James Dean: Race With Destiny was his final endeavour.
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