See the Stars of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Then & Now

Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara and Jennifer Grey starred in the John Hughes' hit, which premiered 35 years ago.

By Tierney Bricker Jun 11, 2021 10:00 AMTags
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"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Prime example of that statement? It's been 35 years since Ferris Bueller's Day Off premiered on June 11. Time really does fly when you're stealing a Ferrari, leading a parade and avoiding expulsion all over Chicago, right?

The John Hughes film starred Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara and Jennifer Grey and became a surprise hit in 1986, grossing over $70 million, turning its actors into some of the biggest young stars in Hollywood and making Ferris Bueller one of pop culture's most beloved movie characters. Come on, who didn't want to be friends with Ferris or just be Ferris, thanks to his school-skipping adventures and too-cool-for-school attitude? 

And when the cast virtually reunited in June 2020, Broderick reflected on landing the iconic role.

"John Hughes, who wrote it and directed it, I got a call from my agent that said he wanted me to be in a movie," he said. "I was in a play at the time and everybody said he's the Steven Spielberg of teen movies…And then I rented Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles and loved them."

Basically, it was an easy yes.


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Let's commemorate the milestone anniversary by playing some hooky cranking up the "Twist and Shout" and checking out what the stars of Ferris Bueller's Day Off are up to now.

Matthew Broderick

The WarGames actor earned a Golden Globe nomination for his iconic turn as Ferris Bueller, the coolest teenager in the '80s. He'd go on to star in films such as The Cable Guy, Inspector Gadget and Godzilla, while also providing the voice of adult Simba in The Lion King.

Broderick has won two Tony awards for his work in the theatre, including Brighton Beach Memoirs and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He also starred in the musical comedy The Producers with Nathan Lane, later reprising his role in the 2005 movie adaptation. In addition, he's guest-starred on The Conners and most recently appeared in the Netflix series Daybreak

In 1997, the 59-year-old married another '80s icon, future Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker and the couple have three children: Son James, 18, and 11-year-old twin daughters Marion and Tabitha.

Alan Ruck

Ruck was 29-year-old when he landed the star-making role of high school senior Cameron Frye, Ferris's neurotic and nervous best friend. 

"I always looked younger than I was," he told EW in 2020, "and it was a happy accident that I was cast in that movie because I had just done a play with Matthew in New York."

He went on to appear in Young Guns II, Star Trek Generations, Speed and Twister before starring in the hit series Spin City from 1996 to 2002. Ruck currently stars as Connor, the eldest Roy sibling, in HBO's hit drama Succession

In 2008, Ruck married The Killing star Mirielle Enos and the couple have since welcomed two children, daughter Vesper, 11, and son Larkin, 6. The 64-year-old also has two kids, daughter Emma and son Sam, from his previous marriage to Claudia Stefany. 

Mia Sara

Playing Ferris' cool and fun-loving girlfriend Sloane Peterson proved to be Sara's breakout performance, the actress going on to star in the 1994 action hit TimeCop opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme

She later played Harley Quinn in the shortlived Birds of Prey TV series and guest-starred on CSI:NY before mostly retiring from acting, though she told Glamour in 2009 that she still gets recognized, saying, "Most of the time people think they went to high school with me."

Sara was married to Jason Connery, Sean Connery's son, from 1996 to 2002, welcoming son Dashiell Quinn Connery in June 1997. The 53-year-old wed Brian Henson, Muppets creator Jim Henson's son and the chairman of The Jim Henson Company, in 2010. Their daughter Amelia was born in 2005. 

Jennifer Grey

Before she resisted being put in a corner in 1987's Dirty Dancing, Grey played Ferris' perpetually frustrated and jealous sister Jeanie, who does help save her trouble-making brother and makes out with Charlie Sheen in the end. 

While filming Ferris, Grey and Broderick began secretly dating and got engaged, but broke up shortly after a 1987 head-on collision in Ireland left the passengers in the other car (a mother and her daughter) dead. Broderick was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but convicted of the lesser charge of careless driving.

Grey went on to star opposite Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, earning a Golden Globe nomination for her turn (and lift) as Baby. 

The 61-year-old later won season 11 of Dancing With the Stars in 2010 and starred in Amazon Prime Video's comedy series Red Oaks. She's also guest-starred on Grey's Anatomy and The Conners.

In July 2020, Grey and her husband Clark Gregg announced that they were divorcing after 19 years together. During their time together, the two actors welcomed their now-19-year-old daughter Stella.

Charlie Sheen

The son of Martin Sheen, Charlie's brief but memorable turn as Garth Volbeck was one of his first acting roles, kicking off a string of hit movie including Platoon, The Rookie, Major League and Wall Street, in which he starred opposite his father. 

After replacing Michael J. Fox on Spin City in 2000, Sheen won a Golden Globe for his work on the sitcom. And in 2003, Sheen began his eight-year run on the CBS hit comedy Two and a Half Men, starring in 177 episodes and earning four Emmy nominations. 

Sheen was famously fired from the show in 2011 after an infamous string of rants and interviews in which he publicly insulted its creator Chuck Lorre. Prior to his exit, production was suspended temporarily after the actor began undergoing treatment for drug addiction following a relapse. In 2015, Sheen publicly revealed that he is HIV positive.

He'd later go on to star in FX's Anger Management from 2012 to 2014 and appear on the big screen in Scary Movie 4 and 5 and Machete Kills.  

The 55-year-old has been married three times—to Donna Peele (1995-96), Denise Richards (2002-06) and Brooke Mueller (2008-11)—and has five children and one grandchild. 

Jeffrey Jones

Jones' turn as deranged principal Edward R. Rooney, Ferris' main antagonist, was one of the movie's standout performances. The actor went on to star in Beetlejuice, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Stuart Little and Dr. Doolittle 2. The 74-year-old also joined the cast of HBO's Deadwood for two seasons, reprising his role in the series' 2019 movie. 

In 2004, Jones pled no contest to child pornography charges alleging that he hired a 14-year-old boy for an X-rated photo shoot. He was ordered to register as a sex offender, underwent counseling and completed five years' probation. In 2010, he pled guilty to one felony count of failing to update his California sex-offender registration.

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