This Treasure Map Leads Straight to the Cast of The Goonies Then and Now

Happy birthday, Chunk! In honor of Jeff Cohen's birthday and The Goonies 35th anniversary this year, we're checking in on the stars of one of the all-time classic summer movies

By Natalie Finn Jun 25, 2020 7:00 AMTags
The Goonies Then and NowWarner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

Hey, guyyyyys! This summer may come up short in the intrepid adventure department for most people, but if you're still up for some thrills in a waterfront town...

Let us suggest a rewatch of The Goonies!

Thanks to a recent couch screening we're happy to confirm how enjoyable and heartwarming the 1985 adventure comedy remains, 35 years after the Steven Spielberg-produced film about a ragtag group of kids who set off to find a pirate's lost treasure in hopes of saving their homes from foreclosure first hit theaters.

What's not to appreciate about that ever-timely premise?

And in a film about the joys and perils of devoted friendship, the youngsters who pledged their never-say-die loyalty to their Goon Docks squad (though a more elaborate oath reportedly ended up on the cutting room floor) may have had faith in an old map, but their trust was in each other.

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Meanwhile, the film's cast is an impressive "oh, yeah, that guy!" ensemble of soon-to-be major stars and notable character actors, starting with a 16-year-old Josh Brolin making his movie debut.

But there's no need to send you on a wild goose chase to find out how the rest of Brolin's career turned out. Instead, check out him and the rest of the cast of The Goonies then and now, right here:

Josh Brolin

Several decades before he snapped his fingers and made half of Earth's population disappear, the son of actor James Brolin got his own start playing Brandon Walsh (yes, Brandon Walsh), the cool and exasperated but also protective and big-hearted big brother of Mikey, whose determination to find One-Eyed Willie's lost treasure sets the action in motion.

Brolin went on to do a few (dozen) movies, including Flirting With Disaster, Mimic, No Country for Old Men (which won the Best Picture Oscar and reinvigorated his career), American GangsterW.Milk (he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as Harvey Milk's killer, Dan White), Jonah HexTrue GritSicario and, of course, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, cloaked in CGI as mega-villain Thanos. He's got a list of movies coming up, including the remake of Dune and the Sean Penn-directed Flag Day.

He has two children from his first marriage, to Alice Adair, after which he was married to Diane Lane from 2004 until 2013. Brolin and wife Kathryn Boyd, whom he married in 2016, welcomed daughter Westlyn Reign Brolin in 2018.

Talking about The Goonies, his first-ever job, on Conan in 2012, Brolin said, "It's just one of those things that every generation—I've got 7-year-olds now who are like, 'oh my god', Sloth' and I'm like, 'I'm not Sloth! I was the older brother, I understand, I'm gnarly now, the beard and all that.'"

Hardly, but a dose of self-deprecatory humor is always in fashion too.

Sean Astin

The intrepid Mikey Walsh found a treasure map in The Goonies and followed his own highlight-laden path in life, starring in Rudy, one of the most iconic sports films of all time, and playing the humbly heroic Samwise Gangee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The son of actors John Astin and Patty Duke hit pause long enough to graduate from UCLA, but otherwise has been acting nonstop, most recently on The Big Bang Theory and Stranger Things.

Astin has been married to wife Christine Harrell since 1992 and they have three daughters, Alexandra, Elizabeth and Isabella.

And he's the only Goonies alum to have the distinction of appearing on two of Gad's Reunited Apart episodes, having also done the Lord of the Rings video chat with Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Andy SerkisDominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd, as well as director Peter Jackson and his partner in life and work, Fran Walsh.

Jeff Cohen

In hindsight, the lovable Lawrence "Chunk" Cohen wasn't really all that chunky, but such were the mid-'80s. Along with his iconic role in The Goonies, Cohen did some TV (Ask MaxFamily Ties, the Disney Channel movie Perfect Harmony) and then went on to a career in a different part of the biz.

He graduated from UC Berkeley and, after summer jobs at movie studios and an internship in the legal department at Universal (Cohen credits Richard Donner for mentoring him and making phone calls along the way), decided to pursue entertainment law. He went to UCLA for law school, graduating in 2000, and at the age of 27 he co-founded his own Beverly Hills firm, Cohen & Gardner. In 2008 Cohen made The Hollywood Reporter's "Next Generation: Hollywood's Top 35 Executives 35 and Under" list.

"I've actually been on the other side of these deals as a client," Cohen told THR. "So I have a lot of empathy for talent in this business."

On the side he wrote about business, law and politics for Huffington Post and, and in 2015 he published his first book, The Dealmaker's Ten Commandments: Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood.

Cohen & Gardner's clientele these days includes Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and Oscar-winning director of Parasite Bong Joon Ho.

Kerri Green

In what was also her first movie, Green played popular girl-next-door type Andrea, who opts for an adventure with the Goonies and sweetheart Brand over jerky jock Troy.

Green went on to star in the John Candy comedy Summer Rental and the seminal 1986 coming-of-age film Lucas with Corey Haim, but later put acting on hold to study art at Vassar.

She appeared in a handful of other films, including 1999's Bellyfruit, which she co-wrote and directed, but other than popping up on Mad About YouER and, most recently in 2001, Law & Order: SVU, she moved on from acting.

Green, who's married and has kids, leads a relatively private life, but she did join her co-stars for a virtual hangout organized by super-fan Josh Gad in April in honor of The Goonies' 35th anniversary (technically on June 7), which also raised awareness of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy's COVID-19 relief efforts.

And, according to Green, no one has ever gone up to her and exclaimed, "Andy, you Gooooonie!"

Jonathan Ke Quan

The Vietnamese-American actor made his film debut in 1984 as Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom before playing the endlessly creative Richard "Data" Wang in The Goonies. He moved into full-time roles on the TV series Together We Stand and Head of the Class, but aside from bit parts in Tales From the Crypt and Encino Man (with Sean Astin), Quan largely left acting behind to be a stunt choreographer (including in X-Men) or otherwise work behind the camera. He also graduated from USC's School of Cinematic Arts.

He's due to be back onscreen for the first time in 18 years in the upcoming sci-fi drama Everything Everywhere All at Once with Jamie Lee Curtis and James Hong.

"I decided to get back into acting," Quan explained during the "Reunited Apart" reunion, "because of movies like Crazy Rich Asians. It's really opened up a lot of opportunities for actors in the Asian community."

Corey Feldman

Before and after playing smart aleck Clark "Mouth" Devereaux in The Goonies, Feldman worked nonstop in the 1980s, starting with voicing puppy Copper in Disney's The Fox and the Hound and playing boy-who-got-out-alive Tommy Jarvis in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, and going on to Stand by MeThe Lost BoysLicense to DriveThe 'Burbs and Dream a Little Dream.

The titles got a little more obscure as Feldman got older, but he has always remained a personality, appearing on the A&E reality show The Two Coreys with his old pal and frequent '80s co-star Corey Haim, who died in 2010, and speaking out against child sexual abuse in Hollywood, which he has alleged both he and Haim were victims of. He penned a 2013 memoir, Coreyography, and has released five albums, three solo and two with his band Truth Movement.

Previously married to Vanessa Marcil and model Susie Sprague, who is the mother of his son Zen, Feldman married Courtney Anne Mitchell in 2016.

Martha Plimpton

A familiar face in several '80s-era coming-of-age films, Plimpton played Andrea's wisecracking best friend Stefanie, who slowly warms up to Clark (and his Mouth) during the adventure.

She went on to star in The Mosquito Coast and Running on Empty with River Phoenix (whom she also dated), and had supporting turns in, to name a few, ParenthoodBeautiful GirlsI Shot Andy Warhol200 CigarettesDante's Inferno. She's also prolific on stage and has been nominated for three Tony Awards, was nominated for an Emmy for her role as a comically put-upon family matriarch in Raising Hope and won in 2012 for guest actress in a drama for The Good Wife. Her most recent TV appearances include The Blacklist and Brockmire, and in 2019 she could be heard in Frozen II as the voice of Yelena.

Referring to the high number of independent films on her resume, Plimpton told The Believer in 2013, "That wasn't entirely my choice. By nature, I have been given an odd face. My face moves and does odd things when I express myself. That's not a great quality if you want to be an ingenue. An ingenue is a pretty girl who it's easy to project your emotions and fantasies onto. I come with baggage. I come with muscles in my face that move when I talk in ways that I'm not conscious of. I'm not a typical romantic lead. At that age, in movies, I was always going to be a character actress, because of biology and my face." But, "This turned out to be a really good thing."

Plimpton also devotes much of her time to political activism, advocating for Planned Parenthood and LGBTQ rights.

John Matuszak

The 6'8" football player turned actor sat in makeup for five hours to be transformed into Sloth, the Fratelli brother kept chained to a chair by his own family until Chunk bonds with him and Sloth helps save the day—in a Superman T-shirt, one of multiple nods to other films in the Spielberg-Donner universe. (Another being the sheriff asking Chunk if his frantic call would end up like the time he reported creatures multiplying when you threw water on them, like in Gremlins, another Spielberg production.)

Matuszak won two Super Bowls with the Oakland Raiders before retiring in 1981, but his acting career had already begun with the 1979 dramedy North Dallas Forty, in which the drug-fueled debauchery that ensnares Nick Nolte's aging football star hit close to home. Matuszak detailed his wild playing days (on the field and off) in his 1987 autobiography Cruisin' With the Tooz

He appeared in the John Cusack movie One Crazy Summer and racked up a bunch of TV credits after The Goonies, starring in a short-lived series called Hollywood Beat and appearing on the likes of HunterThe A-Team and Miami Vice.

Sadly, Matuszak died in 1989 of an accidental prescription drug overdose, exacerbated by an enlarged heart and pneumonia, and there were traces of cocaine in his system. He was 38.

Joe Pantoliano

The prolific character actor played bumbling Fratelli brother Francis before appearing in—to name a handful—La BambaEmpire of the SunThe FugitiveBad BoysThe MatrixMementoThe SopranosBad Boys IIPercy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning ThiefSense8 and 2020's Bad Boys for Life

He won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama in 2003 for his turn as the deranged Ralph Cifaretto on The Sopranos.

Pantoliano talked to Collider Connected in April 2020 about sheltering at home mid-pandemic in Connecticut with his wife, Nancy, and three of their four kids and their significant others—"we've been laying mulch, it's been great"—and he joined Josh Gad's Goonies reunion.

Anne Ramsey

Ramsey appeared mainly on stage until the 1970s, but then enjoyed a prolific career as an onscreen character actress for two decades, playing the domineering Mama Fratelli—and they would've gotten away with it too, if not for those snooping kids—in The Goonies and then the mamma in question, Mrs. Lift, in Throw Momma From the Train, for which she earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress.

Her signature raspy lisp was in part due to the removal of part of her tongue and jaw to fight esophageal cancer in 1984. The cancer came back in 1988 and she died that August at the age of 59, leaving six films to be released posthumously, including Scrooged and Homer and Eddie.

She was married to actor Logan Ramsey from 1954 until her death.

Steve Antin

The brother of Pussycat Dolls founder Robin Antin got his start on camera playing the Jessie in the music video for Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl" and starred in The Last American Virgin before turning up as macho jock Troy Perkins in The Goonies.

Later acting roles included one of Jodi Foster's character's attackers in The Accused; a traumatized soldier in Vietnam War Story: The Last Days; an arc as a detective on NYPD Blue; and a member of the star-packed ensemble in the 1996 drama It's My Party, based on a true story about a gay architect who was dying of AIDS (played by Eric Roberts in the film) and invited his nearest and dearest over for a grand farewell.

Antin moved onto writing and producing, and he wrote and directed 2010's Burlesque, starring Cher and Christina Aguilera—a true passion project for him. "I love song and dance entertainment, and feel-good movies," Antin told the Philadelphia Gay News at the time. "The original world of burlesque lends itself to a musical feature because of the nature of it—it's a pastiche of original entertainment, a homage taken from the popular/current zeitgeist of the time." (Asked about a past relationship with entertainment mogul David Geffen in the interview, Antin brushed it off, calling it "a lifetime ago.")

Talking to the Los Angeles Times, he acknowledged that his longtime partner Clint Culpepper, then the president of Sony Screen Gems, had asked him to make Burlesque—which cost $55 million and was his feature directorial debut. But, Antin added, "no one gets a movie greenlit based on a relationship." The movie, featuring Cher's first starring role since 1999's Tea With Mussolini, made upward of $89.5 million.

Robert Davi

Usually a tough guy or a cop in numerous TV parts leading up to The Goonies, Davi played mama's boy criminal (but still a tough guy) Jake Fratelli. 

The veteran character actor has worked steadily in movies and TV, appearing in the likes of Die Hard and License to Kill and starring in the crime procedural Profiler, which ran on NBC from 1996 until 2000. Other notable credits include Stargate: AtlantisCriminal Minds and The Expendables 3.

Davi has been married three times and has five children.

Richard Donner

Before The Goonies, Donner had directed a little horror flick called The Omen and something or other starring Christopher Reeve in a cape called Superman, so working with him and producer Steven Spielberg ensured that the Goonies' wide-eyed awe throughout the film was natural.

Donner—who cut his teeth on television in the 1960s directing episodes of series such as The RiflemanThe Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Twilight Zone—went on to direct all four Lethal Weapon films starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, as well as the Gibson-starring films Maverick and Conspiracy Theory. His most recent film as a director was the 2006 action drama 16 Blocks, starring Bruce Willis.

Credits as a producer also include the three Free Willy films, Any Given SundayX-Men and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Donner has been married to wife Lauren since 1986.

Josh Gad truly did make some cinematic sorcery happen (perhaps aided and abetted by quarantine malaise, but still), because he got the whole squad back together—Brolin, Cohen (who's celebrating his 46th birthday today), Feldman, Astin, Plimpton, Quan and Green for one mass Zoom chat—and then brought on Pantoliano, Davi, screenwriter Chris Columbus, Richard Donner (who was celebrating his 90th birthday that day, April 24, and was given a round of applause when his Zoom sound kicked in) and Steven Spielberg.

Asked about a possible sequel, Spielberg said that every few years he and Donner would discuss ideas, but the bar had been raised so high the first time, nothing they'd come up with so far had felt up to snuff.

"Until we do, people are just going to have to look at this a hundred times," he suggested.

The Goonies is streaming on HBO Max.


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