When Titanic hit theatres in 1997, it became a classic seemingly overnight. And it’s not hard to see why, as the movie has a bit of something for everyone. It has history, romance, an epic disaster, and drawings of French girls. If that alone hadn’t set it up for success, then the massive budget definitely helped. When it was released, it was the most expensive film to have ever been made at the time. And the film didn’t stop breaking records there, it tied for both most nominated film ever and most awards ever won at the Oscars that year. It also was the highest grossing film of all time for over ten years after its release.
But the compelling story and huge budget of the film didn’t propel it to success alone. One of the keys to the film’s success story was its talent. It featured a young Leonardo DiCaprio. Alongside him was the Oscar nominated actress Kate Winslet. On top of that, it had a talented ensemble cast and was directed by the now-legendary James Cameron.
With the 20th anniversary of the film, we can look back and see that they became a lot more famous after being in Titanic. It wasn’t just their hearts that went on, but their careers too. Which prompts us to ask the question… Titanic: Where Are They Now?
16. Leonardo Dicaprio
After Titanic, many of us had high hopes Leonardo Dicaprio, and he certainly didn’t disappoint us. He began churning out one of the best actor resumes possible. The films DiCaprio made just got better and better, with the likes of Inception, Shutter Island, The Great Gatsby, and The Wolf of Wall Street. With films that good, it was looking more and more likely that Leo would bag himself an Oscar.
He had pretty much deserved one for not just Titanic, but all of his films since. And while he had no problem getting nominated, he hadn’t managed to get a win. By the time The Wolf of Wall Street came out it seemed inevitable that he would win, and that became a big talking point. But once again, he didn’t win. DiCaprio’s lack of Oscar wins became so talked about that it began to overshadow his impeccable career.
However when The Revenant came out in 2015, we saw him push himself even further than we thought any actor could go. It finally paid off when he won Best Actor at the 2016 Oscars. And now, he’s finally giving himself a well-deserved rest.
15. Billy Zane
Billy Zane played a big part in Titanic as Jack’s romantic rival and all-around bad rich guy Cal Hockley. Zane shocked the world last year when he revealed in an interview he thinks that Rose made the wrong choice, and should’ve ended up with Cal. It’s safe to say that most people were very much against the idea, but it’s nice to know his role is still being talked about.
Cal is not the only role of Zane’s that’s still being talked about, as he recently reprised his comedic role from Zoolander in its sequel. In between those big films, he’s certainly kept himself busy. He has a current 149 acting credits to his name, and seven upcoming movie projects. While they may not all be as big as Titanic, some of them are still exciting, like the upcoming film V-Force: New Dawn of V.I.C.T.O.R.Y.
14. Gloria Stuart
One of the supporting roles that stole the spotlight in Titanic was Gloria Stuart as the older version of Rose. Her pop culture influence was big enough to have her role mentioned in a Britney Spears music video, bizarrely. Seriously, “Oops!…I Did It Again” mentions her dropping the necklace in the ocean.
Despite becoming one of her most famous roles, Gloria Stuart had been leading movies since the 1930s. This longevity combined with the success of Titanic scored her a star on the Walk of Fame in 2000 and a Lifetime Achievement Award at a film festival in 2002. After Titanic, she continued her movie career with the films Love Letter alongside Ellen Degeneres, and Million Dollar Hotel alongside Mel Gibson. Like many names on the list, Stuart went on to explore the Titanic more in other projects. She lent her voice to the TV movie The Titanic Chronicles.
13. Ioan Gruffudd
When re-watching the Titanic now, you might look at some of the smaller roles and think “wait, I know them”. And Ioan Gruffudd is the perfect example of that. He was Fifth Officer Lowe, who played key parts in the story, such as finding Rose in the water and getting her onto the lifeboat. His small role in Titanic helped him gain some attention, and it didn’t take long for him to be playing lead roles in films like 102 Dalmations.
He’s had a few cameo voice roles in Justice League Unlimited and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but his most memorable role was in the Fantastic Four movies as Reed Richards, better known as Mr. Fantastic. With the franchise rebooted, putting Mr. Fantastic’s role into the hands of Miles Teller, any chance of a return to his biggest role is pretty much gone. He’s also one of the actors on the list to return to a Titanic theme, as he featured in the documentary Reflections on Titanic about the film.
12. Kathy Bates
Kathy Bates was already a certified Hollywood legend when she starred in Titanic. She had already won an Oscar for her role in Misery in 1991. After Titanic, she received nominations for two other films, Primary Colors and About Schmidt. Since then her careers gone to new heights, as she’s become just as famous for her TV work and voice roles.
Her voice roles have included some of the biggest kids films of the noughties, including The Bee Movie, Charlotte’s Web, and Golden Compass. She’s also won Emmies for her TV work on American Horror Story and Two and a Half Men. Other memorable TV roles of hers include on the hit series The Office US, and the recent hit show Feud. She’s also remained a success on the big screen, starring alongside Melissa McCarthy in Tammy and The Boss.
11. Suzy Amis
Suzy Amis played a small role in Titanic, but that role ended up playing a big part in her life. Although she didn’t keep up movie acting for much longer after Titanic, having only starred in three films since, the part played a role in her future work. Since the film she’s starred in the documentaries Secret Life of Old Rose: The Art of Gloria Stuart and Reflections on Titanic.
However, it may be her personal life that changed the most because of Titanic. In 2000, she married the film’s director James Cameron. Despite being his fifth wife, the pair have been married ever since. It seems that Jack and Rose were not the only love story of the film Titanic. Luckily for Suzy Amis, hers had a much happier ending, though.
10. Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill played the captain of Titanic, who famously went down with his ship. Luckily for Bernard Hill, there was no case of life imitating art and his career took a much better turn than his characters. His career is definitely one of the film’s success stories, and Titanic is now not the only iconic film he has played a part in. One of his best known roles since was as Theoden in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The films became as iconic as Titanic, and once again put him in full spotlight in Hollywood.
Since being in Titanic, he’s followed the cast’s tradition of doing more Titanic-related projects. He’s been involved in documentaries about both the film and the disaster the film was based on. These documentaries include Reflections on Titanic, Titanic’s Final Mysteries, Titanic: Secrets Revealed, and The Titanic Chronicles. He’s also been in other disaster documentaries, such as Surviving Disaster and Cruel Sea: The Penlee Disaster. Just going through his resume is enough to make anyone sea sick.
9. Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet gave a stunning performance in Titanic, and also became the most quotable character (“I’ll never let go, Jack” and “Draw me like one of your French girls” are beyond iconic). After Titanic, she showed no signs of slowing down. Since Titanic, she’s had four Oscar nominations for films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the more recent Steve Jobs. In addition to that, she won an Oscar in 2008 for her role in war-crime trial drama The Reader.
However, her success hasn’t just been measured by her Oscar nominations. She hasn’t been afraid to do more commercial films either, which have also led to some of her most successful films, like seasonal comedy The Holiday, and teen dystopia movie Divergent. Her most recent film was along side Will Smith and other big names in Collateral Beauty.
8. Jonathan Hyde
Jonathon Hyde played the role of the ship owner in Titanic, who was portrayed in the film as being partly responsible for the ship’s fate, and then being cowardly when the ship sunk. He’s one of the less likeable characters in the film, and playing a character who isn’t likeable is always a risk.
The risk paid off for Jonathan Hyde however, as his career continued successfully after Titanic. With classics like Titanic and Jumanji under his belt, he ended the ’90s on another career high with The Mummy. He’s kept himself busy with TV and film work, and while they may not have hit the same success level as his biggest ’90s movies, he’s still a certified success. And of course, no Titanic cast member has gone without being in a Titanic documentary (no seriously, it’s basically a rite of passage for them), he’s starred in Beyond Titanic.
7. Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton had many roles of a lifetime in his career, and Titanic was certainly one of them. He had already had hits with his roles in Aliens and Apollo 13, and post-Titanic his career continued to peak. But before we get to the peaks, let’s have a quick look at the ebbs. We’re talking about his role as Dinky Winks in Spy Kids 2: Islands of Lost Dreams and Spy Kids 3-D: Gameover. As much as Spy Kids was a staple of our childhoods, we can all agree it was no Titanic.
In recent years he’s knocked out some incredible films, with the likes of Edge of Tomorrow and Nightcrawler. And his final role was the 2017 movie The Circle which saw him co-star with Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. Unfortunately, Bill Paxton passed away earlier this year.
6. Francis Fisher
Let’s start with the obvious. Yes, like every Titanic cast member she has done a Titanic documentary. Seriously, was it in their contract or something? The most recent one she did was Titanic: Sinking the Myths that aired this year. Seriously, if we’ve all learnt one thing today it’s that there are an endless amount of Titanic documentaries. And now that we’ve got the obligatory Titanic documentary aside, let’s talk about her acting career.
She’s had a very respectable television career over the past decade, and has starred in some massive hit TV shows like Masters of Sex, Torchwood, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Minds, and Fargo. She has continued acting in movies as well, with one of her biggest films being The Lincoln Lawyer which she starred in with Matthew McConaughey.
5. James Cameron
James Cameron was already well established when he directed Titanic, but boy did he outdo himself with that one. His directing landed Titanic a ship load of Oscars, and he deservedly got to take home the Best Director Oscar for it. Over ten years later, in 2009, he was back with another big blockbuster. Avatar became a global phenomenon, breaking box office records and revolutionizing the use of computer effects in film. It reminded us all of what a talented director Cameron was.
Fast forward to this year and things got a bit weird. Okay, we all liked Avatar but after 8 years the hype has died down massively. And yet, we’ve been told there are now four sequels in the works. The first is set to hit cinemas in 2020 and the subsequent ones released between then and 2025. The good news, however, is Cameron is also set to revive the Terminator franchise soon too.
4. Ron Danachie
It really is surprising just how many talented cast members were squeezed into one movie. Adding to the ensemble of actors whose careers have flourished since Titanic is Ron Danachie. Since his role of Master of Arms in Titanic, he’s gone on to master the small screen. His biggest TV role has been as Rodrik Cassel in the smash hit Game of Thrones. He’s also starred in a handful of successful British TV shows, such as Downton Abbey and the legendary Doctor Who.
In recent years he’s had some hit films too, starring alongside James McAvoy in Filth and alongside Jason Statham in Blitz. Despite being in his 60s, the actor shows no signs of slowing down and we can’t wait to see what he does next.
3. David Warner
David Warner was already an Emmy nominated actor when he took his part as Spicer Lovejoy in Titanic, so it’s really no surprise that his success continued after being in the Academy Award winning film.
Among his vast array of credits since Titanic, some of our favorites include his roles in Doctor Who and its spin-off Doctor Who: Dreamland. And if being in Doctor Who wasn’t impressive enough, Warner also starred in the recent cult-hit TV show Penny Dreadful, alongside Sir Timothy Dalton and Eva Green.
There are more good things on the horizon for David Warner, who is set to star in the upcoming film Mary Poppins Returns alongside Emily Blunt, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep. Now there is a cast almost as impressive as the cast of Titanic.
2. Victor Garber
Victor Garber played Thomas Andrews in Titanic, who was a real historical figure who helped build and design the ship. Victor Garber played his part well in the film, and subsequently his career stayed afloat. Some of the big films he has starred in since include Argo and Milk. However, the roles he played that got us most excited were in some of his recent TV work.
Victor Garber played the character of Dr. Martin Stein in the recent TV series adaptation of one of our favourite comic book heroes The Flash. The part didn’t end there though, as he also took on the role for the equally awesome TV series Legends of Tomorrow. And that’s why we consider him a legend of yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever.
1. Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio
We’ve saved an extra treat for last with this one. As individuals, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio have both had extremely successful career. But we all know that there’s nothing quite like the magic of them together in Titanic. Luckily for us, the pair’s chemistry was brought back onto the big screen for the 2008 dark drama Revolutionary Road. Having the pair together again was incredible, and as the cherry on the cake Kathy Bates was in the cast too. It was like a Titanic reunion. Minus the iceberg. Not that we can promise this one had a happy ending.
The film was nominated for three Oscars and was a huge success. And with Leo and Kate (and Kathy of course) teaming up both in the nineties and naughties to make an amazing movie, the question we’re left with is if we’ll get another one before the end of this decade. The clock is ticking, but we can hope.
Who was your favorite cast member from Titanic? Are there other stars that we missed? Sound off in the comments!