Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me (1986) is one of the most well-remembered coming of age dramas of the 1980s, introducing the world to four friends, Gordie, Chris, Teddy and Vern, as the boys’ adventures lead to them finding a body in the woods. The film, which was nominated for an Oscar (for best adapted screenplay) and two Golden Globes, has since become a cultural sensation for its honest depiction of what it means to grow up.
The touching story resonated with audiences everywhere, and introduced the world to a number of new stars who would go on to grace TV and movie screens for years to come.
Here is Where Are They Now? The Cast of Stand By Me.
11 Wil Wheaton (Gordie)
For Stand by Me star Wil Wheaton, the movie was just the start of a long film and television career. Wheaton most famously appeared as Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation, starring as a series regular for the first four seasons and then appearing as a recurring guest star for the remainder of the series. He also played Crusher in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis.
Since leaving the show, Wheaton has starred in a number of films, including Robin Williams’ Flubber and independent films like The Good Things and Jane White Is Sick and Twisted. He has also appeared in guest roles on a number of TV series, including Leverage, Eureka and The Big Bang Theory, where he plays himself. He even had his own show (The Wil Wheaton Project) on the SyFy network for a spell.
10 Richard Dreyfuss (Adult Gordie)
Although Dreyfuss isn’t seen very much in the film, his narration can be heard throughout the movie in his role as adult Gordie, who's writing the story of his childhood. Dreyfuss, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Mr. Holland’s Opus and won an Oscar for his role in The Goodbye Girl, was a big name well before Stand By Me, and has had a long and successful career since, racking up over 100 acting credits.
Dreyfuss appeared in the comedy What About Bob? with Bill Murray, although the two famously did not get along during filming. He also appeared in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and voiced the Centipede in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach. More recently, Dreyfuss appeared as former vice president Dick Cheney in 2008’s W. and starred as the titular character in the ABC miniseries Madoff earlier this year.
9 River Phoenix (Chris)
Phoenix was a prolific child actor making his move into more adult roles before his death on Halloween of 1993. Phoenix, who died of a drug-induced heart attack, was most well known for his roles in The Mosquito Coast, My Own Private Idaho and Running on Empty, for which he received an Oscar nomination for best actor in a supporting role.
Phoenix also appeared as a younger version of Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones in the opening sequence of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The last movie he filmed before his death, Dark Blood, was not released until 2012, when it premiered at the Netherlands Film Festival. Certain scenes, which were not finished due to Phoenix’s death, were excluded from the final version and replaced with narration from the film’s director, George Sluizer.
8 Kiefer Sutherland (Ace Merrill)
Since starring as bad boy Ace Merrill in Stand By Me, Sutherland is best known to modern audiences as Jack Bauer in the TV series 24, a role which earned him five Golden Globe nominations and one win. Sutherland also reappeared in the role in the 2014 miniseries 24: Live Another Day, though he apparently will not be a part of 24: Legacy, much to fans' dismay.
Elsewhere on the small screen, Sutherland has also notably appeared as a hit man opposite John Hurt in the Hulu web series The Confession, which he also created, and starred in FOX’s Touch, opposite up-and-comer Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Danny Glover.
In film, Sutherland has appeared in Flatliners with Julia Roberts, who he was engaged to, as well as Melancholia with Kirsten Dunst and, more recently, Pompeii and Zoolander 2. Sutherland also recently started moving into music, releasing his first single off of his upcoming album Down in the Hole, “Not Enough Whiskey,” in March.
7 Casey Siemaszko (Billy)
Siemaszko (seen above in the tan shirt) has been building up acting credits for a while now, appearing in over 70 films and TV series since starting his career in 1983. Siemaszko was a staple of '80s movie gangs, appearing as 3-D in the Back to the Future films and Charley Bowdre in Young Guns. Siemaszko also appeared as the villainous Curley opposite Gary Sinise and John Malkovich in Of Mice and Men and in Public Enemies with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.
On TV, Siemaszko has had recurring roles on NYPD Blue and Damages and has also appeared on Elementary, Person of Interest, The Blacklist, Unforgettable and, most recently, Billions. He's not exactly a star, but he certainly has maintained a reliable presence in the industry.
6 John Cusack (Denny)
Cusack had already made an impression on the film world before his brief turn as Gordie’s older brother Denny, starring in Better Off Dead and John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles. His breakout role in Say Anything came a few years after Stand By Me, and, since then, the actor has consistently been found in leading roles.
Cusack was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in 2000’s High Fidelity, a film which he also helped to write. Cusack also co-wrote Grosse Pointe Blank, War, Inc. and No somos animales, all of which he starred in. He has also famously appeared in The Paperboy, Hot Tub Time Machine, Con Air, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Being John Malkovich and Love & Mercy. While Cusack may never reach the heights of his Say Anything days, but he remains a reliable (and underutilized) presence in Tinseltown.
5 Gary Riley (Charlie)
Riley has spent most of his career appearing in small roles in films and television. He appeared alongside Stand By Me costar Siemaszko in Back to the Future, although his part was a minimal one. He has also notably appeared in Summer School with Mark Harmon and Kirstie Alley and Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy, and has guest starred on Doctor Doctor, Silver Spoons, E/R, and Charles in Charge.
Riley’s last acting credit was 1996’s Fear (aka that movie that taught you to be afraid of Mark Wahlberg). Since then, he has been living in Portland, Oregon, according to his Facebook, where he also frequently appears as a guest on the Adventure Club Podcast and occasionally appears at screenings of his films.
4 Bradley Gregg (Eyeball Chambers)
Gregg followed up his turn as Chris’ big brother in Stand By Me by appearing in popular films like A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Gregg has also had guest and recurring roles on a number of TV series, including The Marshall Chronicles, My Two Dads, and Silver Spoons (like Stand By Me co-star Gary Riley, although the two did not appear in any episodes together). He popped up in the 2002 dramedy Whiplash and is slated to appear in the upcoming mental asylum drama Dark Hours: Roxana in 2017.
Gregg also wrote and directed 2006’s Journey to Jemima with his wife Dawn A. Gregg, where the two chronicled their journey adopting a child in Kazakhstan. The pair have five children together.
3 Jason Oliver (Vince Desjardins)
Oliver’s first role was as gang member Vince in Stand By Me. He continued to appear in small roles in films and television throughout the 1980s and '90s, featuring in movies like I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Terrified, Uncaged and The Wizard. He also appeared in Class of 1999 with Stand By Me co-star Bradley Gregg.
Although Oliver has no acting credits between 2001 and 2015, he made his return to the profession with the horror film The Wolves of Savin Hill. Currently, you can keeps tabs on ol' Vince via his Youtube channel, where he posts...interesting videos like this one.
2 Corey Feldman (Teddy)
One of the most famous child actors of the 1980s, Feldman appeared in many popular films of the era, including Gremlins, The Goonies, License to Drive and The Lost Boys, opposite Stand By Me co-star Kiefer Sutherland. Feldman later reprised his Lost Boys role in 2008’s Lost Boys: The Tribe.
Feldman has also appeared in a number of reality series, including The Two Coreys with frequent co-star Corey Haim (before the latter's 2010 death), as well as Dancing on Ice and Celebrity Wife Swap.
More recently, Feldman has been keeping himself occupied with voiceover work, playing Slash on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series. He has also moved into music with his band, Corey Feldman’s Truth Movement, releasing four albums since 1992. In March, he started an Indiegogo campaign to try and complete his next album, titled Elev80r Ascension.
1 Jerry O’Connell (Vern)
O’Connell has changed drastically since his first acting role as the awkward Vern in Stand By Me. The actor has starred in a number of TV series, including My Secret Identity, Camp Wilder, Sliders, Crossing Jordan, We Are Men and The Defenders. He has also appeared in Burning Love, Yahoo’s parody of The Bachelor franchise. His brother, Charlie O’Connell, was the titular bachelor on season seven of the series.
O’Connell has also become a prolific film actor, and can be seen in Jerry Maguire, the Veronica Mars movie, Scary Movie 5, Piranha 3D, Kangaroo Jack, Scream 2, and Yours, Mine and Ours. O’Connell also appeared as Herman Munster in Bryan Singer’s Mockingbird Lane pilot, which aired on NBC in 2012, though it was ordered to series.
O’Connell is married to actress Rebecca Romijn, with whom he has two children. Although O’Connell briefly enrolled in Southwestern Law School in 2009, he did not finish his program of study and decided instead to continue acting full time.
Which Stand By Me cast member's update surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments.