Category Archives: where are they now

An update on the casts of old movies and TV shows.

The Wonder Years…Where Are They Now?

We all have TV shows that have changed our lives – shows that stick with us forever and that we can go back and re-watch over and over again without exhaustion.  When I think of shows under this category, a few come to mind…but none as prominent as The Wonder Years.

I don’t know if it’s because I was Kevin Arnold’s age when I started watching the show…or maybe it’s because it was a show my dad and I watched together, but The Wonder Years remains, to this day, one of the best series I’ve seen on television.  I identified with it when I was 10, and then fell in love with it in a completely different way when I watched the series again when I turned 30.  Though the music and the clothes might date it a little, the themes of this show still ring true even in today’s day and age.

Starring a very young Fred Savage, The Wonder Years tells the story of a boy named Kevin Arnold.  Together with his childhood friends, Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) and Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano), Kevin learns valuable lessons about love, loss, family, and understanding.  The show brings controversial themes to the forefront, including war, violence, death, abuse, drugs, and alcohol…and through the voice of a narrator, eventually revealed to be Kevin as an adult, we learn all about these magical years of wonder and adventure as we grow and learn with Kevin and his friends.

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The Wonder Years gained valuable praise during its run (1988 – 1993) and won a Primetime Emmy Award after only six episodes.  In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked it #63 on its list of the 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time and the cast of The Wonder Years has remained very close to this day…several of them even acting in other projects together.

It’s a format that worked well for TV, especially for Savage’s younger brother, Ben, and his successful show, Boy Meets World.  Though much more upbeat in nature, Boy Meets World has a similar makeup, with similar characters in similar situations.  Both shows are staples in the lineup of the best coming-of-age TV shows and both hold loyal and true fandoms made up of viewers of all ages.

It’s been about 24 years now since The Wonder Years ended…and the cast that once made up this groundbreaking show remains active.  Check in below to see what’s happening with Kevin, Winnie, Jack, Wayne, and the rest of the characters we’ve grown to know and love through this amazing television classic.

The Cast of The Wonder Years…Where Are They Now?

Fred Savage
Kevin Arnold

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OMG HE LOOKS THE SAME!!
Fred Savage, a native of Illinois, grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago before moving out to LA.  Before being cast in The Wonder Years, Savage had several small roles in movies and TV, perhaps most notably in The Princess Bride.  For his work on The Wonder Years, Savage received two Golden Globe nominations and two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and was the youngest actor ever to receive both honors (he was 13 at the time).  After The Wonder Years ended, he did mostly guest spots on TV and film, including a cameo on his younger brother’s show, Boy Meets World.  In 2015, Savage returned to acting with the FOX series, The Grinder.  Throughout the early 2000’s, Savage also dabbled in directing, standing behind the camera to produce several TV episodes, including work on the short-lived NBC sitcom, Working.  He’s also directed episodes of Modern Family and 2 Broke Girls.  Currently, Savage serves as a producer on the hilarious show, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  Unlike Kevin Arnold, Savage actually married his childhood sweetheart in 2004 and they have two children together.

Danica McKellar
Winnie Cooper

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Oh, Danica…the ultimate in beauty and brains.  Scoring the role of Winnie in The Wonder Years in her early teens, McKellar found it difficult to transition into adult acting after having so much of her childhood dedicated to one job.  After The Wonder Years ended, McKellar had several guest roles in various TV shows and appeared in a couple Lifetime TV movies.  She returned briefly to TV with roles on The West Wing and How I Met Your Mother and even did some work as a voice actress in a variety of video games.  Outside of acting, McKellar got her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, graduating summa cum laude, from UCLA in 1998.  She’s a huge proponent of the importance of mathematics in education, especially for young women, and has authored four books on the subject:  Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail (a New York Times bestseller), Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss, Hot X: Algebra Exposed, and Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape.  Her latest book, a children’s book titled Goodnight, Numbers, is available for pre-ordering now.  And for those who are obsessive like me, McKellar, Savage, and Saviano all still talk and keep in touch!

Josh Saviano
Paul Pfeiffer

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Josh Saviano, who played Kevin’s best friend, Paul Pfeiffer, throughout the series, grew up in New York and New Jersey before being cast in The Wonder Years.  His role as Paul is actually one of his few TV or movie roles.  He stopped acting after The Wonder Years to continue his education at Yale University, where he studied Political Science.  After graduating in 1998, he decided to enter Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in August of the same year.  He passed the bar and joined the law firm of Morrison Cohen LLP in New York, becoming a Senior Counsel in 2011 and Partner in 2013.  He left Morrison Cohen two years later and founded two start-up endeavors:  the JDS Legal law firm and the celebrity brand consulting agency, Act 3 Advisors.  Saviano returned to acting briefly in 2014 and 2015 to play a lawyer on the NBC series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Jason Hervey
Wayne Arnold

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Another actor who had various childhood roles before The Wonder Years, Jason Hervey got his start with small parts in several popular films, including Back to the Future, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and Diff’rent Strokes.  His big break came when he was cast as Kevin’s big brother, Wayne, on The Wonder Years, a role which helped Hervey launch a somewhat successful voice-acting career.  While his on-screen credits are few and far between these days, Hervey does maintain ties to the entertainment industry as the producer of various sports-themed videos and specials, most notably with the World Championship Wrestling channel.  From 2001 to 2003, Hervey served as the Senior Vice President of Media Communications for HealthSouth Corporation in Alabama.  He was involved in a fraud scandal and later sued his employer, demanding $300,000 in compensation.

Dan Lauria
Jack Arnold

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A Vietnam War veteran, Dan Lauria served as an officer in the US Marine Corps; ironically, he served at the same time his character on The Wonder Years was shipped off to serve in the Korean War.  Best known for his role as one of the greatest TV dads of our age, Lauria has also had several roles in various TV shows and on and off-Broadway stage productions.  In 2010, he appeared as Vince Lombardi in the Broadway play, Lombardi and was cast as Jean Shepherd in the 2012 Broadway production of A Christmas Story: The Musical.  Most recently, Lauria can be seen in the FOX series, Pitch.

Alley Mills
Norma Arnold

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Another native of Chicago, IL, Alley Mills starred as the loving mother, Norma Arnold, on The Wonder Years.  Since its end, Mills has had recurring roles in various soap operas, including Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and The Bold and the Beautiful.  Outside of her work on the soap opera circuit, Mills has been pretty quiet.  She married actor Orson Bean in 1993 and currently lives in LA.

Olivia d’Abo
Karen Arnold

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Known for her role as Kevin’s rebellious hippie sister, Karen, Olivia d’Abo is a British actress who starred on The Wonder Years for the first four of its six seasons.  She had two guest appearances in the final two seasons, as well.  After her work on The Wonder Years, d’Abo had a recurring role in the NBC series, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and has been cast in numerous supporting roles in other TV programs and films, including The Spirit of ’76, The Big Green, and The Twilight Zone.  She also appeared in the 2005 Broadway production of The Odd Couple alongside Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane.  Like her fellow The Wonder Years cast members, d’Abo has also done a fair share of voice acting and has lent her voice to several video game characters.  Like Karen Arnold, d’Abo is also a singer-songwriter and guitarist.  She has composed music for several movie soundtracks, including the song “Broken” from the movie, Loving Annabelle.  Her debut album, Not TV, was released in July of 2008.  Most recently, d’Abo was in the 2016 films, Blue Weekend and the made-for-TV film, Inspired to Kill.

Daniel Stern
Narrator/Adult Kevin Arnold

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Yes, yes that’s Marv from Home Alone.  I know, I know!!  You’ll never look at The Wonder Years in the same way again!  After a variety of small successful films, Stern was cast as the narrator/adult Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years.  Ironically, both he and Fred Savage appeared in the film, Little Monsters, with Stern playing Arnold’s father.  Stern also directed several episodes of The Wonder Years and would go on to direct other shows, including the CBS series, Danny.  Currently, Stern works as an artist, specializing in bronze sculpture.  He’s created art for public projects in San Diego, Agoura Hills, and Pasadena.  He is also the artist in residence at Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Camarillo.  Him and his wife have started several arts commissions and clubs and, in 2009, President Barak Obama awarded him the highest honor for volunteerism, the President’s “Call to Service” Award.  Stern now owns a 500-acre cattle ranch in California’s central valley.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Mad Men…Where Are They Now?

It’s been a little over a year now since AMC’s Mad Men went off the air.  An amazing period drama about an advertising firm in the 1960’s, Mad Men starred such beautiful people as Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, and January Jones.  Taking place in a fictional firm in New York, Mad Men helped bring to life some of the most popular advertising campaigns of the time.  Complete with period references, characters, and costumes, Mad Men celebrated a wide span of critical acclaim, including winning 16 Emmy Awards and 5 Golden Globe Awards.  The show was also the first basic cable series to win the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in each of its first four seasons.  By both critics and fans alike, it’s widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time.

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Though she may have played one of the least-liked characters on the show, January Jones (Betty Draper) is actually quite a peach…and it’s her birthday today!!  To help celebrate her birthday and perhaps the role that brought her into the spotlight, here’s a look at what the cast of Mad Men has been up to since the show ended in May of 2015.

The Cast of Mad Men…Where Are They Now?

Jon Hamm
Don Draper
don-mad-menThough Jon Hamm has been acting in small films for a while now, it wasn’t until his role as Don Draper that he started to get noticed.  His performance in Mad Men earned him Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy Award and opened the door for him to do full-length feature films and projects.  After his run on Mad Men, Hamm appeared in a remake of the science fiction film, The Day the Earth Stood Still.  He finally got his first leading role in a film two years later when he starred in the independent thriller, Stolen.  Throughout 2010 and 2011, he had various supporting roles in The Town, Sucker Punch, and Bridesmaids.  Most recently, you can see him on the Netflix original series, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and in the animated films, Shrek Forever After and Minions.

Christina Hendricks
Joan Holloway
joan-mad-menCurvy and sassy, Christina Hendricks became an instant role model for curvy women after her role as Joan Holloway in Mad Men.  Her performance as a strong female employee in a company dominated by men earned her critical praise, resulting in six Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.  After Mad Men, Hendricks appeared in the action-thriller, Drive, alongside Ryan Gosling.  She also appeared in the thriller Dark Places.  Just like her character in Mad Men, Hendricks is a gifted accordion player.  Currently, Hendricks can be seen in the film, Bad Santa 2 and has two films as of now coming out in 2017.

January Jones
Betty Draper
betty-mad-menBefore her role as the tortured Betty Draper, January Jones appeared in a few films, including Anger Management and Love Actually.  She was cast as Betty Draper and appeared as the character throughout the run of the series, a role that gave her two Golden Globe nominations and one Emmy nomination.  After Mad Men, Jones appeared in a handful of other productions and can currently be seen in the Fox series, The Last Man on Earth.  She is also a member of Oceana as a celebrity spokesperson, working to save endangered sharks.

Elisabeth Moss
Peggy Olson
peggy-mad-menBefore her amazing and historical role as Peggy Olson in Mad Men, Elisabeth Moss starred as the youngest daughter of President Josiah Bartlet on the NBC series, The West Wing.  Her part on Mad Men earned her six Emmy Award nominations and one Golden Globe nomination, though she never won either award for her role on Mad Men (though she did eventually win a Golden Globe in 2013 for her part in the miniseries, Top of the Lake).  Since the ending of Mad Men, Moss has performed in several theater productions, including a role in The Heidi Chronicles that awarded her a Tony nomination.  Currently Moss is working on a biopic of the Scottish psychiatrist, R.D. Laing, titled Mad to Be Normal, and is in a film adaptation of The Seagull by Chekov due out in 2017.

John Slattery
Roger Sterling
rodger-mad-menAnother well-loved actor, John Slattery was the comic relief of Mad Men, playing the womanizing but loveable Roger Sterling.  A long and successful career got Slattery into the spotlight and he continues to celebrate success with almost everything he does.  After Mad Men ended, Slattery went back to film acting, cast as a journalist in the Oscar-winning film, Spotlight.  He also appeared in the Netflix comedy series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp with his buddy, Jon Hamm.  An avid athlete, Slattery is a gifted skier and surfer.  Most recently, Slattery played Dwight Eisenhower in the film Churchhill and had a small arc on the TV series, Veep.

Vincent Kartheiser
Pete Campbell
pete-mad-menAdmittedly my favorite character in Mad Men, Vincent Kartheiser played the slimy ad man, Pete Campbell…a role which earned him two Screen Actors Guild Awards.  After Mad Men ended, Kartheiser starred in a film titled A Kind of Murder, but for the most part stayed out of the spotlight.  He sold his penthouse and removed himself from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood and now enjoys what he calls, “simple living”.  He has two movies as of now coming out in 2017 and has appeared on stage in several theatrical productions, including playing Mr. Darcy in an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.  He’s married to his Mad Men co-star, Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls) and they have one son together.

Kiernan Shipka
Sally Draper
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A native of Chicago, Illinois (REPRESENT!!), Kiernan Shipka blew minds with her performance as Don and Betty’s troubled daughter, Sally Draper.  Initially a recurring guest star, Shipka was upgraded to series regular at the end of the third season, due to her well-received performance.  She was named one of “The Most Influential Teens” in 2014 by Time magazine and received two Screen Actors Guild Awards for her performance as Sally.  Most recently, Shipka appeared in an episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and voiced a couple characters in the video game, Marvel Avengers Academy.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Disney Villains…Where Are They Now?

Everyone knows the best part of any movie is the villain…and for years, Disney has been making some of the best villains of all time!

But what ever happened to those awesome voices behind some of our favorite movie villains? With backgrounds in theater and radio, several of Disney’s most well-loved villains are actually celebrated actors and actresses with astounding and award-winning careers.

So get ready for the ultimate conclusion to our Disney Where Are They Now series with some of the most recognizable and hilarious characters we all loved to hate!

Don’t forget to check out these other Disney articles!

Disney Princesses…Where Are They Now?
Disney Princes…Where Are They Now?

disney-villains

The Evil Queen
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Voiced By: Lucille La Verne
cartoons & comics the queen snow white and the seven dwarfs queen grimhilde

latest-11Known for her silent, scolding, and vengeful roles in early color films, Lucille La Verne began her acting career in 1914. Best known for her role in Snow White, Verne was typecast into playing several older women, mothers, and aunts during her career. She died from cancer eight years after her work on Snow White, which would be her last film.

 

Lady Tremaine
Cinderella (1950)
Voiced By: Eleanor Audley

disney scared shocked cinderella oh no

audley-1-sizedA Broadway baby, Eleanor Audley was born in New York City and got her start acting in several Broadway plays and musicals. She spent a majority of the 1940s and 1950s doing radio and film and was given the chance to voice Lady Tremaine in 1950. Disney liked her so much that she was cast again a few years later to voice one of the scariest Disney villains to hit the screen: Maleficent. Audley’s likeness was used to create the characters of both her Disney villains. After her work at Disney, Audley went on to do some TV work, including appearances on I Love Lucy, Perry Mason, Dennis the Menace, The Twilight Zone, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Beverly Hillbillies, and many more. She was added as a series regular to Green Acres from 1965 to 1969, playing the disapproving mother, Eunice Douglas. She passed away in November of 1991 due to respiratory failure.
The Queen of Hearts
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Voiced By: Verna Felton

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verna-felton-1-sizedWhile Verna Felton had a good slew of film and TV appearances, she is perhaps best known for her work on radio. She was a part of the popular radio show, The Cinnamon Bear, and also worked on The Jack Benny Program and The Abbott and Costello Show. Previous to her work on Alice in Wonderland, Felton also voiced Dumbo’s mother in Dumbo and the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella (1950). After Alice in Wonderland, she worked on three more Disney movies: Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, and The Jungle Book, which would be her final role.   Felton died in 1966, the day before Walt Disney passed away. She was married to another radio actor named Lee Millar, who also did animation voices, notably for Disney’s Pluto.

 

Captain Hook
Peter Pan (1953)
Voiced By: Hans Conried

disney cartoons & comics peter pan captain hook

220px-Hans_Conreid_1977Best known for his voice acting roles, Hans Conried provided the voice for both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook in Disney’s Peter Pan. He started his career on stage, playing several classical major roles after his studies at Columbia University. As a voice actor, he had several roles in various radio productions and TV shows, including Mister Ed, Lost in Space, The Beverly Hillbillies, Gilligan’s Island, Laverne & Shirley, The Love Boat, Hogan’s Heroes, and many more. He was perhaps best known for his work on Make Room for Daddy, where he played Uncle Tonoose. He died of a sudden heart attack in January 1982.

 

Maleficent
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Voiced By: Eleanor Audley

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See Lady Tremaine entry.

 

Cruella de Vil
101 Dalmatians (1961)
Voiced By: Betty Lou Gerson

101 dalmatians disney laughing cruella de vil

220px-Betty_Lou_Gerson_1941Another star of the radio, Betty Lou Gerson is best known for her role as Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians, a role that made her a Disney Legend (the only villain on this list to achieve that honor). She got her start in radio dramas and soap operas before she moved to Los Angeles and got some minor roles in film and TV. Before her work on 101 Dalmatians, Gerson was cast as the narrator in Disney’s Cinderella. After her work as Cruella, she had a few more appearances in TV and film, including a small role in Disney’s Mary Poppins and a few guest appearances on The Twilight Zone, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Hazel. She retired from acting in 1966 and passed away from a massive stroke in January 1999.

 

Madam Mim
The Sword and the Stone (1963)
Voiced By: Martha Wentworth

witch creeping creep creeper the sword in the stone

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Martha Wentworth, like so many before her, also got her start on radio…starring in popular radio shows such as The Cinnamon Bear, Crime Classics, and The Abbott and Costello Show. Her work on The Cinnamon Bear was perhaps her best, as she starred as the terrifying Wintergreen Witch.  She appeared in some westerns before her work at Disney and also voiced the role of Nanny in 101 Dalmatians two years before The Sword in the Stone.  Her work on The Sword in the Stone would be her final performance. She died 11 years later at the age of 84.

 

Shere Khan
The Jungle Book (1967)
Voiced By: George Sanders

MV5BMTgyODU3MDQ4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTgwOTkxOA@@._V1_UY317_CR22,0,214,317_AL_With a career that spanned more than 40 years, George Sanders definitely made his mark in entertainment. An actor, singer-songwriter, music composer, and author, Sanders was involved in a little bit of everything. His amazing base voice often led him to be cast as sophisticated villains, both on screen and as a voice actor. A British actor who was drawn to films with British casts, Sanders had memorable roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and All About Eve, a role that awarded him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. A few years before his work on The Jungle Book, Sanders released his autobiography, Memoirs of a Professional Cad, which gathered critical praise for its wit and humor. He suffered from dementia later on in life and grew severely depressed when he could no longer play his piano. He died of a drug overdose in April 1972.

 

Prince John
Robin Hood (1973)
Voiced By: Peter Ustinov

Sir_Peter_Ustinov_portrait_Allan_WarrenA renowned filmmaker, theater and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, humorist, newspaper and magazine columnist, broadcaster, and presenter, Peter Ustinov was a noted and celebrated entertainer who won several awards for his work in entertainment. After his humorous work as Prince John and King Richard in Robin Hood, he continued acting in films, receiving Best Supporting Actor Oscars for his roles in Spartacus and Topkapi. His autobiography, Dear Me, came out in 1977 and was well received by critics. The later part of his life was spent working for various organizations, including UNICEF, for which he was a Goodwill Ambassador and fundraiser. Fluent in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Russian, he also spoke some Turkish and modern Greek. Ustinov was also proficient in accents and dialects in all his fluent languages. He passed away in March 2004 from heart failure.

 

Madame Medusa
The Rescuers (1977)
Voiced By: Geraldine Page

529full-geraldine-pageGeraldine Page was a celebrated actress who was nominated for Academy Awards eight times between 1953 and 1985. She finally won an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in The Trip to Bountiful. After her work as Madame Medusa in The Rescuers, she starred in several Broadway shows and was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1983. She has worked with Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Maya Angelou, Lee Strasberg, and several other well-known stars of the theater and stage. After winning her Academy Award in 1986, Page was cast in a revival of Blithe Spirit, a role that landed her a Tony Award nomination. She did not win the award and passed away several days after the ceremony.

 

Ratigan
The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
Voiced By: Vincent Price

vincent-vincent-price-35944932-1080-960A stable in the horror genre, Vincent Price had an illustrious career in TV and film. Before his work on The Great Mouse Detective, Price starred in several popular films, including House of Wax, The Fly, House on Haunted Hill, Laura, and much more. Around 1975, after the horror film genre suffered a huge slump, Price transitioned to voice over work and theater. His role as Professor Ratigan was one of his last major roles, and one of his favorites. After The Great Mouse Detective, he did some small work on TV before passing away in October 1993. Price was also a noted gourmet cook and art collector and authored several cookbooks with his wife.

 

Ursula
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Voiced By: Pat Carroll

220px-Pat_Carroll_1972An Emmy, Drama Desk, and Grammy Award-winning actress, Pat Carroll is a voice actress who has enjoyed a long career on radio, film, and TV. Another regular on the sitcom, Make Room for Daddy, Carroll also appeared on several variety shows and even had a one-woman show on Gertrude Stein. In 1989, Carroll was cast as Ursula, a role she has referred to as one of her favorites. She has reprised the role in several video games and spin-offs as well. Currently Carroll can be seen on various game shows and theater productions.

 

Gaston
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Voiced By: Richard White


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A native of Tennessee, Richard White is an actor, opera singer, and voice actor best known for his role as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast.  He was nominated for a 1985 Joseph Jefferson Award for his role in Carousel at the Marriott Theater in Chicago (REPRESENT!!) and was in a national tour and Broadway revival of Jekyll and Hyde from 2012 to 2013.  White has starred in several regional and off-Broadway productions and most recently was in a Broadway production of GIGI.

 

Jafar
Aladdin (1992)
Voiced By: Jonathan Freeman

1Johnathan Freeman is best known for his role as Jafar in the Aladdin franchise, as well as in the Kingdom Hearts video game series and the 2011 Aladdin Broadway musical. Before his work on Aladdin, Freeman was a puppeteer for Shining Time Station and appeared in several Broadway revivals, including How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Producers, On the Town, and 42nd Street. Currently, Freeman is starring as Jafar in the musical adaptation of Aladdin on Broadway.

 

Scar
The Lion King (1994)
Voiced By: Jeremy Irons

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A golden child of the theater, Jeremy Irons has appeared in several Shakespearean shows and other Broadway productions. He has a long award-winning film career, filled with several movies where he played a villain. After his work on The Lion King, he won an Emmy and Golden Globe Award for his role in the TV mini-series, Elizabeth I. Despite his long and colorful career, he’s perhaps best known for his role as Scar. He has provided voice overs for three Disney World attractions and reprised his role as Scar in Fantasmic. Another fun fact…a 2008 study found “the perfect male voice” to be a combination of Jeremy Irons and Alan Rickman, both of whom played brothers in the Die Hard films. An advocate for several causes, Irons is celebrated both politically and professionally. Currently, Irons is performing in Long Day’s Journey into the Night at the Bristol Old Vic theater and has two movies coming out in 2016 and 2017: Assassin’s Creed and Justice League.

 

Governor Ratcliffe
Pocahontas (1995)
Voiced By: David Ogden Stiers

David_Ogden_StiersA native of Peoria, Illinois, David Ogden Stiers attended high school with film critic Roger Ebert and attended Julliard. He has performed with the California Shakespeare Theater, San Francisco Actor’s Workshop, and the improv group, The Committee. Before his work with Disney, Stiers was an actor on M*A*S*H, a role for which he received two Emmy nominations. After his work on Pocahontas, Stiers did additional voice work on The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo & Stitch, Hoodwinked, and voiced several characters in various video games. He is the associate conductor for the Newport Symphony Orchestra and has guest-conducted more than 70 orchestras around the world.

 

Hades
Hercules (1997)
Voiced By: James Woods

JamesWoodsYet another actor who got his start on stage, James Woods appeared in 36 plays before finally making his Broadway debut in 1970. If he has a familiar face, that might be because he’s appeared in more than 130 films as of 2013 and has had several roles doing voice over work, including his favorite role, that of Hades in Hercules. After Hercules, he had roles in several other movies, including The Virgin Suicides, Any Given Sunday, Riding in Cars with Boys, John Q, and most recently, Jamesy Boy and Bling. Currently he plays the voice of Lex Luthor in Justice League Action.

 

Shan Yu
Mulan (1998)
Voiced By: Miguel Ferrer

'Iron Man 3' Los Angeles premiere

Another actor known for playing villains, Miguel Ferrer has starred as the guy you love to hate in several TV shows and movies. After his work on Mulan, he had roles in Traffic, Sunshine State, The Manchurian Candidate, Iron Man 3, and Rio 2. Currently he plays the voice of Death in Adventure Time. One of five children of the lovely Rosemary Clooney, Ferrer is also first-cousins with fellow actor George Clooney.

 

Dr. Facilier
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Voiced By: Keith David

the-cape-9A fellow graduate of Julliard School, Keith David is an actor praised for his voice over work. He has appeared in several films and TV shows, including Armageddon, There’s Something About Mary, Barbershop, Crash, and Requiem for a Dream. He has narrated Ken Burns, The War, as well as several other Burns films. He’s voiced video games characters and was cast in the leading role in the 2015 drama series, Greenleaf.

 

Mother Gothel
Tangled (2010)
Voiced By: Donna Murphy

MV5BMjI2OTA5NTIzNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDY1MjM1Nw@@._V1_SX1024_CR0,0,1024,1457_AL_A five-time Tony Award nominee, Donna Murphy is a celebrated actress of the stage. She has won Tonys for her roles in Passion and The King and I and has appeared in a handful of films and TV shows. After her work on Tangled, Murphy appeared in the films Higher Ground, Dark Horse, The Bourne Legacy, and House of Versache. She’s also had roles on The Good Wife, Royal Pains, and Resurrection. She won a Drama Desk Award for LoveMusik in 2007 and was nominated for several awards in 2011 for her work in The People in the Picture.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory…Where Are They Now?

In the wake of the very sad passing of Gene Wilder, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at one of my all-time favorite movies, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

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Directed by Mel Stuart, this 1971 film is an adaptation of the 1964 novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl. Released in late June, Willy Wonka opened to moderate reviews, earning a mere $1 million over the initial budget. During its re-release 25 years later, it earned an additional $21 million.

In 1972, Willy Wonka was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score and Wilder earned a nomination for a Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, but lost both categories to Fiddler on the Roof. Willy Wonka also introduced the song, “The Candy Man”, which went on to become a popular hit for Sammy Davis Jr.:

Since it’s release, the film has slowly earned more and more positive reviews, mainly thanks to its repeated television airings and home entertainment sales.

Made up of a small cast of Gene Wilder and five unknown children, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory has earned a spot on several favorite movie lists and still has one of the best soundtracks (IMHO) in movie history.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory…Where Are They Now?

Gene Wilder
Willy Wonka

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Image resultA familiar face in theater, film, literature, and TV, Gene Wilder was a man who did it all. A native of Milwaukee, WI, he first got the nudge for comedy when his mother was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and the doctor told him to “try and make her laugh.” His first major role was the neurotic Leopold Bloom in The Producers, a role which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. This was the start of the beautiful friendship between Wilder and director Mel Brooks, and they would go on to create Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein (which Wilder co-wrote) together. In 1971, Wilder auditioned for the role of Willy Wonka and was offered the role immediately. After his role as Wonka, Wilder went on to work on Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) and Young Frankenstein. In the 1980s he teamed up with Richard Pryor in Stir Crazy and Sidney Poitier in Hanky Panky, the film where Wilder met his soon-to-be wife, Gilda Radner. Wilder was inducted into the Wisconsin Performing Arts Hall of Fame in Milwaukee in April 1991 and won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor on a Comedy Series for his role as Mr. Stein in Will & Grace. Wilder released a very personal memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger, in 2005 and his first novel, My French Whore, two years later. Two more novels followed in 2008 and 2013. Wilder passed away August 29, 2016 at his home in Connecticut from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He kept his diagnosis private, but was struggling with the disease for three years prior to his death. According to his family, Wilder died peacefully holding hands with his wife as he listened to his favorite music.

Peter Ostrum
Charlie Bucket

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Image result for peter ostrumA native of Cleveland, OH, Ostrum was just 12 years old when he landed the role of Charlie Bucket, which ended up being his first and last movie role. He decided not to talk about his acting career and successfully disappeared from the spotlight until the re-release of Willy Wonka in the mid 90s. After shooting the movie, he became interested in veterinary studies and received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University in 1984. He currently still practices medicine in Lowville, NY, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Julie Dawn Cole
Veruca Salt

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Image resultJulie Dawn Cole was also a young 12-year-old girl when she was cast as Veruca Salt (she actually celebrated her 13th birthday on the day she filmed her song, “I Want it Now”). A native of England, Cole went on to have roles in various TV dramas and made-for-TV movies. Her later movie credits include That Lucky Touch, which also starred Roger Moore, and Camille, also starring Colin Firth. She is the founder of Centrestage, a children’s acting drama school and currently works as a psychotherapist in Surrey.

Paris Themmen
Mike Teavee

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Image resultOne of the younger actors on set, Paris Themmen was 11 when he was cast as Mike Teevee. Born in Boston, MA, Themmen appeared in several radio and TV commercials before being cast in Willy Wonka, as well as having roles in two Broadway shows (Mame in 1967 and The Rothschilds in 1970). Like Ostrum, Themmen declared a hiatus from acting when he was 14 to “just be a kid”. He later went on to receive a B.F.A. in theatre from New York University. Bitten by the travel bug, he founded Access International, a travel service that arranged Europe-bound charter flights for backpackers, during which he traveled to 36 countries on six continents. Currently Themmen works as an actor and photographer.

Denise Nickerson
Violet Beauregarde

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Image resultNo stranger to the screen, Denise Nickerson got her start in show business on TV, getting her big break on the ABC show, Dark Shadows. After being cast as the gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde, Nickerson created the role of Liza Walton on the CBS soap opera, Search for Tomorrow. Her career was temporarily put on hold in 1976 when she was struck by a car when crossing the street. She returned to film in 1978 with the release of Zero to Sixty, but that role would be one of her last. At the age of 21, she opted to quit acting. She has appeared sporadically on TV, but has not had a feature role since Willy Wonka. She has been married twice and has one son.

Michael Bollner
Augustus Gloop

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Image resultA native of Munich, Germany where Willy Wonka was filmed, Bollner was the oldest kid on set, being 13 when cast as Augustus Gloop. As a native of Germany, he was not a native English speaker and had to have coaches to help him with his lines. Like the rest of his childhood cast, Bollner left acting after filming Willy Wonka to finish his education. He now owns his own accounting firm and works as a tax accountant in Munich.

Jack Albertson
Grandpa Joe

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A native of Broadway, vaudeville, radio and the burlesque stage, actor and dancer Jack Albertson was an accomplished performer who appeared on stage in many Broadway plays and musicals, including Show Boat, The Sunshine Boys – for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor, and The Subject was Roses – for which he won a Tony for Best Supporting Actor. He appeared in more than 30 films in his lifetime, with Willy Wonka being one of the last. His last films included The Poseidon Adventure and The Fox and the Hound. He passed away in 1981 from colorectal cancer and his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.

Gunter Meisner
Arthur Slugworth

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A native of Germany, Meisner worked briefly at a steel foundry before training as a radio operator for the paratroopers during WWII. After the war, he studied drama at Dusseldorf’s State Conservatory and often got roles playing Nazi officers and sinister characters. He portrayed Hitler in the film Ace of Aces and in the ABC miniseries, The Winds of War. After portraying Mr. Slugworth in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, he went on to appear in several other German movies and TV shows. He passed away from heart failure on December 5, 1994.

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Disney Princes…Where Are They Now?

A few weeks ago, we took a look to see what happened to the voices behind our favorite Disney Princesses. Now what about their counterparts?

Though many of the official Disney Princes didn’t have a lot of screen time, they were still essential to every Disney story. Voiced my strong men of all kinds, these princes set the bar for every little girl dreaming of her Prince Charming.

Whether they rode in on a white stallion or a flying carpet, these men made little girls dream of fairy tale endings, sang some of our favorite Disney songs, and brought us into royal worlds that were once only figments of our imaginations.

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Prince Ferdinand
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938)
Voiced By: Harry Stockwell
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A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Harry Stockwell made his film debut in the 1935 film, Strike Up the Band. However, his claim to fame came two years later when he was cast as “The Prince” in Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Though he was not held to such insane terms as his vocal counterpart (see Disney Princesses: Where Are They Now), this small role remained his best-known part throughout his career. A noted Broadway performer, Harry also performed as “Curley” in Broadway’s Oklahoma!, a role he maintained until 1948. He is also father to two fellow actors, Dean Stockwell (Anchor’s Aweigh, The Secret Garden, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Blue Velvet, Married to the Mob) and Guy Stockwell (Adventures in Paradise, Knight Rider, Magnum P.I., Murder She Wrote, Columbo, Quantum Leap, The War Lord, It’s Alive). He died in 1982 at the age of 82.

Prince Charming/Prince Henry
Cinderella (1950)
Voiced By: Mike Douglas
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Mike Douglas (born Michael Delaney Dowd, Jr.) was a “big band” era singer, entertainer, and television host. Born in Chicago, IL, Mike started his career as a choirboy and radio singer. In 1950, he offered his singing voice for the role of Prince Charming in Disney’s Cinderella, then began the upward battle of trying to keep big band music relevant amidst a changing musical culture. Mike eventually went back to his TV hosting skills and started The Mike Douglas Show in June of 1965. The show helped introduce entertainers such as Barbara Streisand and Aretha Franklin and showcased popular guests like Truman Capote, Richard Nixon, The Rolling Stones, and Moe Howard of The Three Stooges. The Mike Douglas Show remained on air until 1981 when it was cancelled due to low ratings. Mike passed away suddenly in 1990 on his 81st birthday.

Prince Phillip
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Voiced By: Bill Shirley
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A cherished singer from the age of 5, Bill Shirley grew up in a musical household and would often sing along with his mother, Inez Shirley, who was a well-known professional pianist. He sang in church and was an active member of the Children’s Civic Theater, the Ogden Chorale, and the Irvington Playhouse. When he was 19, he moved to Hollywood with his mom and began his movie career with small roles in hard-to-find pictures. He signed on with Republic Studios in 1941 and appeared in rare B-list films, including Rookies on Parade, Sailors on Leave, and Doctors Don’t Tell. Besides a few radio and TV spots, Bill had trouble furthering his Hollywood career. It wasn’t until he was approached by The Walt Disney Company to voice the character of Prince Phillip that his career began to take shape. After his work on Sleeping Beauty, he got another big break as a ghost singer in the film, My Fair Lady, acting as Freddy Eynsford-Hill’s singing voice (“On the Street Where You Live” was sung by Bill Shirley). Unfortunately, Bill often received little to no credit for all the work he did in front of and behind the camera, so the great scope of his accomplishments is unknown. After years of directing plays and performing on camera and on stage, Bill retired from acting in 1963. He passed away from lung cancer in 1989, at the age of 68.

Prince Eric
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Voiced By: Christopher Daniel Barnes
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At the tender age of 16, C.D. Barnes was cast as the voice of Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid. He reprised the role 17 years later in the 2006 Kingdom Hearts II game.   He also voiced Prince Charming in two Cinderella sequels, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. After The Little Mermaid, C.D. got what is thought to be his big break in the business. From 1994 to 1998, he voiced the lead role in the Spider-Man cartoon series, which remains the longest-running TV show based on the superhero. He’s also done some work in front of the camera, appearing as Greg in the Brady Bunch parody movies and has appeared in several TV shows, including Malcolm & Eddie, Wings, Blossom, The Golden Girls, Touched By an Angel, 7th Heaven, and Day by Day. Most recently, C.D. Barnes reprised his role as Spider-Man in the Marvel Heroes 2013 video game.

The Beast/The Prince
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Voiced By: Robby Benson
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Robby Benson (Robin David Segal) is perhaps best known for his role as The Beast in Disney’s famed classic, Beauty and the Beast. Before landing the gig, he acted in several coming-of-age films and smaller Hollywood movies, including The Death of Richie and Ice Castles. After voicing The Beast, Robby took to the written word and landed a spot on the LA Times Bestseller List with his 2007 novel, Who Stole the Funny?: A Novel of Hollywood. He released his medical memoir, I’m Not Dead…Yet! in June 2012, a candid journey through his Hollywood life and his courageous battle with a congenital valve defect and how he survived four (FOUR!) open heart surgeries. He’s a two-time Golden Globe nominated actor and has directed more than 100 TV episodes and pilots. He’s taught film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and was nominated for the New York University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2006 and the David Payne-Carter Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010. As of 2016, Robby is currently Professor of Practice in Telecommunications at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.

Aladdin
Aladdin (1992)
Voiced By: Scott Weinger
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Scott’s first professional acting work was in a national commercial for Ideal Toys. He went on to act in Police Academy 5 and made a guest appearance on ABC’s Live Goes On. He became a friendly face on TV, appearing in The Family Man and Full House as well. It was during his run in Full House that Scott was cast as the voice of Aladdin. He reprised his role several times after, appearing as the street urchin in the CBS Aladdin series and direct-to-video sequels. He also appeared in The Return of Jafar, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, and voiced the character in several Kingdom Hearts and Disney video games. Scott graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1998 with a degree in English and American Literature. He has written and produced for several TV shows and has returned to the Tanner dwelling as Steve Hale in Fuller House.

John Smith
Pocahontas (1995)
Voiced By: Mel Gibson
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A familiar face to most movie-goers, Mel Gibson is a stable in the Hollywood role call. With great success previous to his role in Pocahontas, Mel went on to create three movies in 2000 that each grossed more than $100: The Patriot, Chicken Run, and What Women Want. In 2002, he went on to appear in M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs, which became the highest-grossing film of Mel’s acting career. After Signs, Mel took a break from acting until 2010 with his return in the film, Edge of Darkness. He has starred in, produced, and directed several films, including The Passion of the Christ, the highest grossing rated R film of all time. His most recent credit is Blood Father, a Jean-Francois Richet film due to hit theaters in August 2016.

Li Shang
Mulan (1998)
Voiced By: B.D. Wong
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A celebrated Tony Award-winning actor and performer, B.D. Wong is no stranger to the big and small screens. His more notable roles include parts on Law and Order: SVU, Oz, and a reoccurring role as Dr. Henry Wu in the Jurassic Park series. He has appeared in several Broadway shows, including M. Butterfly, a role that earned him a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and Theatre World Award all for the same role (he’s the only actor to achieve this monumental feat). After his work on Mulan, B.D. Wong went on to voice Li Shang again in Mulan’s direct-to-video sequel and the video game, Kingdom Hearts II. A standout in the LGBT community, he also donates his time and resources to a number of charities, including the Ali Forney Center, Materials for the Arts, and Rosie’s Theater Kids. Currently B.D. Wong appears in the TV series Gotham.

Prince Naveen
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Voiced By: Bruno Campos
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A native of Brazil, Bruno Campos is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Quentin Costa in the award-winning TV show, Nip/Tuck. Raised in the US, Bruno attended Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy at the age of 14. He went on to study drama at Northwestern University and earned a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School In 1995, he starred in the Brazilian film, O Quatrilho, which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. After his work on The Princess and the Frog, Bruno left the acting business and is now a litigation associate at the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. He’s set to reprise his role as Prince Naveen in the 2016 Kingdom Hearts III video game.

Flynn Rider
Tangled (2010)
Voiced By: Zachary Levi
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A native of the stage, Zachary got his start acting at the age of 5, appearing in regional productions of Grease, The Outsiders, Oklahoma!, Oliver!, and The Wizard of Oz. His first starring role came in 2007 in the TV series, Chuck. After his work on Tangled, Zachary went on to continue work in TV and on the stage. He was signed on in 2015 to reprise his role as Flynn Rider in the upcoming TV series, Tangled: Before Ever After, set to air on the Disney Channel in 2017.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Disney Princesses…Where Are They Now?

I think it’s proven fact now that every little girl has her favorite Disney Princess. Whether it’s her passion for reading, her love of nature, or her fabulous fashion sense, there’s a Disney princess for everyone!

And behind every Disney Princess is a woman who brings her to life. Not much is known about these amazing women who have lent their voices to some of the most iconic characters in movie history…but that is all about to change.

Broken down into the Classic Era Princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora), the Renaissance Era Princesses (Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan), and the Modern Era Princesses (Tiana, Rupunzel, Merida), this “Where Are They Now?” segment is a little lesson in what happened post “happily ever after.”

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CLASSIC ERA PRINCESSES:
These lovely ladies are the classic fairy tale princesses. Born into poverty and marrying into royalty, these princesses must overcome evil and face personal struggles before ultimately winning out in the end. All in all, these fine damsels inhabit the ultimate in the fairy tale fantasy.

Snow White
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938)
Voiced By: Adriana Caselotti

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Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Adriana Caselotti began her working life as a teacher and vocal coach. The daughter and sister of two professional opera singers, Adriana was a gifted musician from her very early years. Following a brief run as a chorus girl at MGM, Walt Disney hired Adriana to voice his beloved heroine, Snow White. She was paid $970 to work on the film (about $15,900 today) and was given a terrible contract, preventing her from appearing in any other film or media, even for Disney, after the release of Snow White. Disney was obsessed with not spoiling the illusion of Snow White and he did not want children recognizing Adriana as the voice or inspiration for his sweet character. The only other work Adriana was able to get after her work on Snow White were two small unaccredited roles in The Wizard of Oz (small voice-over as Juliet in the Tin Man’s song, “If I Only Had a Heart”) and It’s a Wonderful Life (bar singer). Later in life, Adriana wrote a how-to book about singing and even tried to pursue an opera career like her mom and sister. She continued to sign autographs and promote Snow White throughout the remainder of her life, participating in several Disney events and even was awarded the honor of becoming a Disney Legend. Over the course of her life, Adriana was married four times. She passed away from respiratory failure and lung cancer in 1997 at the age of 80.

Cinderella
Cinderella (1950)
Voiced By: Ilene Woods

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The daughter of a true stage mom, Ilene Woods began her acting career at the age of two. Her mother worked behind the scenes of Hollywood and pushed her daughter to pursue a career in acting, despite Ilene’s wishes to become a schoolteacher. At the age of 15, he had her own radio show, The Ilene Woods Show, which consisted of 15 minutes of music, broadcast three days a week. Many songwriters came on the show to present their music, including two up and coming musicians named Mack David and Jerry Livingston. Mack and Jerry joined forces with Ilene in 1948 to record “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”, “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”, and “So This is Love”. The songs were presented to Walt to be used in his upcoming movie, Cinderella. Disney was in love. Two days later, he asked Ilene to voice the character. Ilene beat out more than 300 other women up for the role and helped to promote the movie by singing for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Harry S. Truman. Like Adriana, Ilene was awarded a Disney Legend title and continued to sign autographs and promote Cinderella after her retirement from show business in 1972. Ilene went on to be the matriarch of a loving family and eventually passed away in 2010 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Aurora
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Voiced By: Mary Costa

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A true Southern Belle, Mary Costa was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. A Sunday school soloist at the age of six, Mary was no stranger to the spotlight. During her teenage years, her family moved to Los Angeles, where she completed her high school education and was awarded a Music Sorority Award for her outstanding voice. She continued her musical education at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and went on to sing and perform with Edgar Bergen, Dean Martin, and Jerry Lewis. In 1952, Mary was one of several hundred women who went out to audition for the voice of Princess Aurora in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Her audition was perfection. Disney called her personally within hours of her audition to inform her the part was hers. After her work on Sleeping Beauty, Mary took to the stage, performing in an astounding 44 operatic roles all over the world. She also made appearances on several TV shows, including Bing Crosby’s Christmas Show, The Hollywood Palace, and Frank Sinatra’s Women of the Year Special. Mary is now retired from show business and spends her time as an inspirational speaker. She is the celebrity ambassador for Childhelp, an organization to prevent child abuse, and she continues to do promotional work for Disney. She joined her fellow classic princesses as a Disney Legend in 1999, and was also awarded several other accolades, including Tennessee Woman of Distinction, honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, Tennessee’s 2015 Governor’s Art Award, and has a place in the Knoxville Opera Hall of Fame. Though she doesn’t reply directly to fan mail anymore, Mary continues to meet fans and promote her work on Sleeping Beauty at various Disney events.

 

RENAISSANCE ERA PRINCESSES:
Bold, strong-willed, and adventurous, these princesses want to challenge the iconic ‘princess’ facade their older Classic sisters worked so hard to create. Not so much driven by love as by adventure, freedom, and understanding, these women want adventure in the great wide somewhere.

Ariel
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Voiced By: Jodi Benson

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Unlike her fellow princesses, Jodi Benson has voiced Ariel in The Little Mermaid, as well as its sequel, prequel, and television series. She also voiced Barbie in Pixar’s Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3. You can see her in Enchanted, where she makes a cameo as Patrick Dempsey’s assistant, Sam. A Tony-nominated actress, Jodi has a list of Broadway credits and continues to perform on stage at various venues. She also does a ton of voiceover work and can be heard singing and performing on several kids TV shows. She has performed on stage with some of the best musicians in the world, including The Boston Pops, The National Symphony under the direction of Marvin Hamlisch, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and many more. She is the resident guest soloist for the Walt Disney Company/Disney Cruise Line and continues to portray Ariel in various productions and Disney celebrations.

Belle
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Voiced By: Paige O’Hara

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Another Broadway baby, Page O’Hara began her professional career in the 1983 Broadway rendition of Showboat. Eight years later, when she was 30 years old, she made her motion picture debut as the voice of Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. She reprised her role in the film’s two direct-to-video follow-ups, as well. She also went on to have a cameo in Enchanted and continues to do promotional work (including painting Belle for Disney Fine Art) for Disney.

Jasmine
Aladdin (1992)
Voiced By: Linda Larkin

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Linda Larkin has voiced Jasmine in more than 20 Disney movies and video games. Mostly known as a vocal actress, Linda has also acted in a few TV shows and movies, including Murder, She Wrote, Doogie Howser, Wings, Anastasia, Runaway Bride, Law and Order, and has even played Jasmine on Aladdin on Ice. For her work as Jasmine, Linda became a Disney Legend in 2011 and continues to act and perform for Disney and other studios. She is married to actor Yul Vazquez (“The Soup Nazi” in Seinfeld) and is the aunt to actress Vanessa Aspillaga.

Pocahontas
Pocahontas (1995)
Voiced By: Irene Bedard

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Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Irene Bedard is of Inupiat, Yupik, Inuit, Cree, and Metis ancestry. Though she’s best known for her role as Pocahontas, Irene has done work with several other Native American movies, and even went on to start two production companies aimed at bringing stories that are both positive and inspirational from Indian Country to the world at large. Irene didn’t only lend her voice to the role of Pocahontas, but she also served as the model for the character. She was selected as one of People magazine’s ’50 Most Beautiful People’ in 1995 and continues to work on projects that inspire and promote Indian culture. She won a Golden Globe in 1995 for her work on Lakota Woman and has several other acting awards under her belt. Today Irene can be seen and heard on several TV shows, including Young Justice and Longmire.

Mulan
Mulan (1998)
Voiced By: Ming-Na Wen

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Ming-Na Wen began her acting career in 1985 on the television series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. She also acted in As the World Turns, The Joy Luck Club, and ER before her big role on Mulan. In 2004, she took part in a Hollywood Home Game on the World Poker Tour and won! She went on to be a part of NBC’s Inconceivable and the FOX series, Vanished; however, both were cancelled early on in the process. Currently you can her Ming-Na in the Disney Channel show, Sofia the First, acting as the voice of Princess Jun.

 

MODERN ERA PRINCESSES:
With strong personalities and desires, these princesses are more relatable to young girls today. With different values, goals, and missions, the Modern Era Princesses have a lot to achieve before they say “I do!”.

Tiana
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Voiced By: Anika Noni Rose

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A student of the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, Anika Noni Rose has been a student of the stage since her high school years. Perhaps best known for her Tony Award-winning performance in the Broadway production of Caroline, or Change, she also got critical acclaim for her role as Lorrell Robinson in the 2006 film, Dreamgirls. In 2009, she was cast as Tiana in The Princess and the Frog and made history as the first African-American Disney princess. She has received several awards for her acting and singing and is currently acting on TV (Bates Motel, Power, and Roots).

Rupunzel
Tangled (2010)
Voiced By: Mandy Moore

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Like several of the ‘princesses’ that came before her, Mandy Moore has voiced the character of Rapunzel in a Tangled sequel, several video games, and will do so again in a Disney Channel television series based on the film, due out in 2017. The song she performed with Zachary Levi, “I See the Light”, was a Grammy Winner in 2010 and she was ranked on VH1’s list of “100 Greatest Women in Music” two years later. After Tangled, Mandy tried to do some TV work, but several of her projects were canceled before they got off the ground. Mandy continues to expand her musical repertoire, working on her new album set to release sometime in 2016.

Merida
Brave (2012)
Voiced By: Kelly Macdonald

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Kelly Macdonald made her film debut opposite Ewan McGregor in the film, Trainspotting. She went on to star in Finding Neverland, Gosford Park, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, and the TV film, The Girl in the Café, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe and won an Emmy Award. In 2012, she was cast as the loveable Disney/Pixar princess, Merida. Unlike her fellow ‘princesses’, Kelly’s filmography is mainly on-camera acting, including recent roles in No Country for Old Men, Choke, and Anna Karenina. She has won several awards for her performances on both the big and small screen and was most recently seen in the award-winning show, Boardwalk Empire. Kelly is currently filming Okja, a South Korean science fiction horror movie, set for release in 2017.

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
By Disney standards (yes, there are standards AND rules), these fine females have not made it on the Disney Princess list; however, I think they deserve a mention here as they’re all amazing characters with great heart and passion!

Nala
The Lion King (1994)
Voiced By: Moira Kelly

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Best known for her roles in the film, The Cutting Edge and the TV drama, One Tree Hill, Moira Kelly has been acting and performing since high school. A devout Catholic, Moira often talks with her priest before accepting risqué movie roles. After voicing Nala in The Lion King, Moira went on to voice Nala in The Lion King II and The Lion King 1½. Since her work on The Lion King franchise, Moira has gone on to make guest appearances in TV shows, including Heroes, Law & Order, and Numb3rs.

Meg
Hercules (1997)
Voiced By: Susan Egan

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Another talent of the stage and screen, Susan Egan is an actress, singer, dancer, and comedian, best known for her work on Broadway. She originated the role of Belle in the Broadway musical adaptation of Beauty and the Beast before starring as Megara in Hercules three years later. A professionally trained dancer and singer, Susan has performed one-woman cabaret-style concerts and sings with symphonies all over the country.

Alice
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Voiced By: Kathryn Beaumont

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Kathryn Beaumont has the great honor of voicing not one, but two lovely Disney ladies. After her work on Alice in Wonderland, Disney cast her as Wendy Darling in Peter Pan three years later. Her work on both films earned her the honor of Disney Legend in 1998. After a break from acting, Kathryn reprised her role as Alice, voicing the character in two episodes of the animated series, Disney’s House of Mouse. She also voiced Alice and Wendy again in 2002 for the video game, Kingdom Hearts.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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The Sandlot Kids…Where Are They Now?

I know this is shameful and I fully respect the fact that I might loose some readers after this…but up until about one month ago, I had never seen The Sandlot. I know, I know. It was up there with other gems like Back to the Future, Sixteen Candles, Aliens, The Karate Kid, The Goonies, Die Hard and others that I missed during my childhood. Too many Leo movies to watch, guys!

But now I can add The Sandlot to my list of movies I’ve seen, and not only that, my list of movies I love! What a gem! I mean, nothing gets me like a baseball movie (A League of Their Own, am I right?!), but this flick was just adorable.

The Sandlot actually had a 20th anniversary celebration not too long ago and provided an update on how the cast is doing (spoiler alert, not too awesome). If you want to relish in those glory days and not even think about where the cast is now, stop reading! If you’re curious if Bertram survived the 60s or if Benny made it as an all-star baseball player, I present to you…

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Mike Vitar, Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez
After Benny pickled The Beast, his reputation spread all over town. From then on, he was known as Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez. And the nickname stuck with him for the rest of his life.

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After his role as Benny in The Sandlot, Vitar went on to also star in D2: The Mighty Ducks and D3: The Mighty Ducks. He retired from acting after 1997 and, since 2002, has been a firefighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department. Most recently Vitar and two other firemen were involved in a physical altercation with another man on Halloween 2015. He was booked on December 3 for the incident and was later released on bail. He now faces up to four years in prison for his role in the argument.

 

Patrick Renna, Hamilton ‘Ham’ Porter
“Hamilton Porter became a professional wrestler. You know him as The Great Hambino.”

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Loveable ‘Ham’ Porter has gone on to do several movies and TV shows since The Sandlot. His most recent movie, Fear, Inc., came out in April of this year. Renna also does voiceover work on occasion. Renna also occasionally hangs out with fellow Sandlot cast mate, Chauncey Leopardi.

 

Marty York, Alan ‘Yeah-Yeah’ McClennan
“Yeah-Yeah’s parents shipped him off to military school. After the army, he became one of the pioneering developers of bungee jumping.”

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After making some appearances in Saved by the Bell and Boy Meets World, York took a break from acting until 2011, when he starred in the indie comedy, The Brothers Sinclair. York was arrested in 2009 for domestic assault and reportedly used his MySpace page to raises funds for his legal defense. He was also presumed dead when a housekeeper found his body in a hotel room in Las Vegas (not dead, just extremely hungover).

 

Tom Guiry, Scotty Smalls
Becomes a professional baseball announcer (and movie narrator) and remains lifelong friends with Benny.

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After The Sandlot, Guiry continued acting in movies and TV, starring in Lassie, U-571, Black Hawk Down, Mystic River, Strangers with Candy, and many more. He was also arrested in 2013 for allegedly head-butting a police officer after he was told he was too drunk to board a flight. You’re killin’ me, Smalls!

 

Chauncey Leopardi, Michael ‘Squints’ Palledorous
“Squints grew up and married Wendy Peffercorn. They have nine kids. They bought Vincent’s Drugstore and they still own it to this day.”

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Leopardi made small appearances in several popular TV shows, including Boy Meets World, Freaks and Geeks, and Gilmore Girls. He took a break from acting, then made his return to the big screen in the 2013 movie, Coldwater. He maintains an active presence on Twitter under the name of his beloved Sandlot character.

 

Brandon Adams, Kenny DeNunez
“DeNunez played triple-A ball, but he never got to the majors. He owns is own business now, and he coaches a little league team that his sons play on called the Heaters.”

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Adams has also starred in his fair share of movies and TV after The Sandlot. A musician as well as an actor, Adams also raps, performing under the name B. Lee. Like most childhood actors, he took a large break from the biz so he could focus on living his life. Still popping up here and there on the big and small screen, Adams continues to perform to this day.

 

Shane Obedzinski, Tommy ‘Repeat’ Timmons
“Timmy and Tommy became an architect and a contractor. They started out small, designing playground equipment and prefabricated tree houses. But they became multimillionaires when they invented mini malls.”

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Obedzinski (Tommy) didn’t do much acting after The Sandlot. After high school, he has joined forces with a man by the name of Charlie Jonathan to open a series of pizzerias and restaurants across the country. Between the two of them, they have now opened more than 30 different restaurants.

 

Victor DiMattia, Timmy Timmons

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Like his fictional brother, DiMattia (Timmy) also disappeared from the small and big screens after The Sandlot. He did a few TV shows and does some voiceover work now, but for the most part has stayed out of the spotlight.

 

Grant Gelt, Bertram Grover Weeks
“Bertram got really into the ‘60s, and no one ever saw him again.”

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Gelt also continued acting a little after filming The Sandlot, but currently works at New Sound Artist Management where he manages rock bands. System of a Down, Deftones, and Mudvayne are some of the bands he works with. As a child of the 60s, Bertram would be proud.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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