What The Mighty Ducks Stars Are Up to Now

After Disney+'s announcement that they are reviving the film franchise as a TV series, we're checking in on the original cast of The Mighty Ducks

By Tierney Bricker Feb 19, 2020 8:00 PMTags
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The Ducks fly again!

Start working on your slap shots and knuckle-puck because The Mighty Ducks is coming back, thanks to Disney+. The streaming service is reviving the iconic '90s film franchise that starred Emilio Estevez and Joshua Jackson as a TV series, with Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham set to coach the next generation of rag-tag hockey players. The big twist? The Ducks are now the villains.

"In present day Minnesota, the Mighty Ducks have evolved from scrappy underdogs to an ultra-competitive, powerhouse youth hockey team," a description of the show reveals. "After 12-year-old Evan (Brady Noon) is unceremoniously cut from the Ducks, he and his mom Alex (Graham) set out to build their own ragtag team of misfits to challenge the cutthroat, win-at-all-costs culture of competitive youth sports."

What the Original Stars of The Mighty Ducks Are Up to Now

The first Mighty Ducks film came out in 1992 and instantly became a cult favorite, with two follow-up movies: 1994's D2: The Mighty Ducks and 1996's D3: The Mighty Ducks. And because of its lasting impact on pop culture and the devotion of its fans, Disney+ knew they had to achieve the perfect Flying V before bringing it back. 


"It was an easy decision to bring back the Quack Attack with a modern and fresh twist," Agnes Chu, senior vice president of content at Disney+, said in a statement. "For a generation, The Mighty Ducks stood for teamwork, friendship, and heart and we're excited to see the Ducks fly together once again and bring the franchise to new audiences around the world."

But what are the OG Ducks up to now? And who is returning for the  Disney+ series

Emilio Estevez

Thanks to his starring roles in The Outsiders, The Breakfast Club, and St. Elmo's Fire, "Brat Pack" member Estevez was a big get for The Mighty Ducks as Gordon Bombay, a hotshot lawyer forced to coach a rag-tag team for his community service. 

After returning for the second film in 1994 and making a brief appearance in 1996's third movie, Estevez turned his attention to directing, helming episodes of hit shows like Cold Case, CSI and Criminal Minds before directing feature films, including Bobby, The Way and The Public. Despite mostly leaving the acting world behind, a 2017 report by British betting site PartyCasino found him to be the most profitable top-billed male actor. You go, Emilio!

When the Disney+ reboot was announced, fans were thrilled to learn Estevez would be starring in the series, with the 57-year-old saying, "Once a Duck, always a Duck! And after 25 years, I am delighted to lace up my skates, put on Coach Bombay's jacket and return to play the iconic character for this new chapter in The Mighty Ducks franchise."

However, in November, E! News confirmed that Estevez would not return for season two due to a disagreement over the production company's COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Joshua Jackson

Come on, it's Joshua Jackson. Need we say more?

OK, fine: After his big break as Charlie Conway—the heart, soul and captain of the Ducks—Jackson went on to land an even bigger role as Pacey Witter, one of TV's most beloved characters, in the iconic teen series Dawson's Creek. During the show's run, he dated co-star Katie Holmes and appeared in films like Cruel Intentions and The Skulls

Jackson then went on to star in Fox's hit sci-fi series Fringe for six seasons, following up its almost 100-episode run with Showtime's The Affair, yet another hit series. During that time, Jackson dated Diane Kruger for 10 years before the couple called it quits in 2016.

Jackson, now 42, welcomed his first child, a daughter, with Jodie Turner-Smith in April of last year. He recently starred in Netflix's When They See Us and Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere, starring opposite Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. Next up, he'll front Dr. Death on Peacock, based on the Wondery podcast of the same title. 

Charlie Conway is doing just fine, people!

Kenan Thompson

The same year Thompson made his movie debut as Russ Tyler (a.k.a. the inventor of the "knucklepuck" shot) in the sequel, the young comedian's sketch comedy series All That debuted on Nickelodeon. After becoming one of the series' breakout stars, Thompson and co-star Kel Mitchell landed their own spinoff series, Kenan & Kel, and feature film Good Burger. In 2019, Thompson and Mitchell teamed up to revive All That for Nickelodeon, serving as executive producers and making on-screen appearances. 

Three years after Kenan & Kel ended, Thompson, 42, joined the cast of Saturday Night Live, and is now the longest-tenured cast member in the iconic NBC show's history, having starred in 18 seasons and counting. And he's currently pulling double-duty on the network with his sitcom, Kenan.

Thompson married model Christina Evangeline in 2011 and the couple have two daughters. 

In January 2019, Thompson put on his skates to reunite with some of his old Ducks teammates at an Anaheim Ducks game, hitting the ice with Danny Tamberelli and Vincent LaRusso. 

Jussie Smollett

Before becoming a household name thanks to Fox's hit drama Empire, Smollett starred as Terry Hall, the quieter of the Hall siblings, in the first Mighty Ducks film. While he didn't return for the follow-up films, Smollett's ABC sitcom On Our Own, which also starred his siblings Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Jake Smollett, Jazz Smollett, Jocqui Smollett and Jojo Smollett, premiered the same year D2 was released. 

In January 2019, Smollett, 38, found himself embroiled in a legal scandal after an alleged attack in Chicago that the Empire star claimed was a hate crime against him. But one month later, the Chicago Police Department announced he was a suspect, with Smollett later pleading not guilty to 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report. He has denied the allegations. 

While criminal charges were initially dropped that March, Smollett was indicted in February 2020 on new charges, with a press release stating, "A Cook County grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Jussie Smollett with making four separate false reports to Chicago Police Department officers related to his false claims that he was the victim of a hate crime, knowing that he was not the victim of a crime."

During all of this, it was announced that Smollett would be exiting Empire, with Fox saying in a statement, "By mutual agreement, the studio has negotiated an extension to Jussie Smollett's option for season six, but at this time there are no plans for the character of Jamal to return to Empire."

Danny Tamberelli

One of Bombay's recruits to the team, thanks to his figure-skating background, Tamberelli played Tommy Duncan from the brother-sister Duncan duo (with Jane Plank playing Tammy). But Tamberelli, who only appeared in the first film, was arguably one of the most successful young stars heading into production, as he starred in Nickelodeon's hit sitcom The Adventures of Pete & Pete before joining the cast of All That for seasons 4-6.

But after his time on All That ended, he moved back to New Jersey and went to college, taking a break from the business. But his experience as  a Duck had a lasting impact on him, with Tamberelli telling Splinter News in 2016, "I played hockey for my high school my freshman year. The Mighty Ducks made me into a hockey fan and a hockey player."

In 2013, the 39-year-old started a podcast with former Pete and Pete co-star and onscreen big brother Michael Maronna called The Adventures of Danny and Mike. Come 2020, he was doing comedy shows with Maronna and All That star Lori Beth Denberg called Nostalgia Personified.

In 2018, Tamberelli married longtime girlfriend Katelyn Detweiler. The couple welcomed their son Alfred Noel the following year.

Kathryn Erbe

Erbe joined the Ducks as the team's tutor/unofficial assistant coach in the sequel, ultimately replacing Charlie's mom as Bombay's love interest. (Sorry, Charlie!)

After appearing on HBO's hit series Oz, Erbe, now 55, landed her career-defining role as Det. Alex Eames on Law & Order: Criminal Intent in 2001, starring in over 140 episodes opposite Vincent D'Onofrio before the fan-favorite duo left the series after the eighth season. However, the pair both returned for the shortened final season in 2011.

Recently, Erbe played Bill Pullman's wife on USA Network's hit series The Sinner and guest-starred on an episode of The Good Fight.

Marguerite Moreau

Moreau played original Ducks team member Connie Moreau, one of the few female hockey players featured throughout the trilogy. 

After receiving her degree in political science from Vassar College in 1999, Moreau, 43, went on to star in cult favorite movies like Queen of the Damned and Wet Hot American Summer, and she reprised her role in the latter for Netflix's sequel miniseries. She also guest starred on hit series like Grey's AnatomyLost, Mad Men, The O.C. and Brothers & Sisters

After marrying in 2010, Moreau and her husband Christopher Redman welcomed their first child in 2015. 

Elden Henson

We still live in fear of being hit by Fulton's slap shot, TBH! Henson's outsider character became the team's secret weapon in the first film, with Fulton going on to become a Bash Brother in the sequel. ("I think they are teaching jazzercise to old ladies in Florida," Henson told TVGuide.com of what he thinks the Bash Brothers are up to now.) 

After appearing in all three movies, Henson, 43, starred in '90s teen hits like She's All That and Idle Hands, before going on to appear in The Hunger Games film franchise. In 2015, he starred in Netflix's hit superhero series Daredevil as Foggy Nelson, and made appearance in the streaming giant's other Marvel TV properties. 

While he used to "get embarrassed" for being recognized for the Mighty Ducks films when he was younger, Henson later told TV Guide he owed "a lot of [his career]" to the franchise: "What's funny is I still, more than anything, get recognized for The Mighty Ducks. I love it...I love those movies. I feel like these things come once in a lifetime and to experience this stuff as a kid and as an adult, I just feel really lucky."

Garette Henson

So, did you guys know Fulton and Guy Germaine were brothers IRL?! "We were both born into an acting family, acting as long as I can remember," Garette told Grantland in 2014. "We both have had varying levels of success at different times, and it was a very encouraging, not competitive process. We were different ages, so we were never going after the same roles. And it was fantastic that we were both in it.

In addition to appearing in all tree Ducks movies, the younger Henson brother also popped up in Casper as Christina Ricci's non-ghost crush.

Since saying goodbye to the Ducks, the 41-year-old is still acting and received an MFA in film from Columbia University in 2015.

Garette married his wife Laurie in 2007 and they welcomed a son in 2014.

Aaron Lohr

After joining the Disney family in 1992's Neswies, Lohr became the other Bash Brother when he took on the part of Dean Porter in the sequel films. 

He later starred in the 2005 film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Rent, and has made appearances on TV series such as Law & Order, The Mentalist, Blue Bloods and White Collar. 

Lohr, 44, married his Rent co-star Idina Menzel in 2017, with the Frozen star revealing the news on Twitter. "Wanted to let you know... Married the love of my life #aaronlohr this weekend @ our home," she wrote. "Dad & son walked me down aisle. It was magical."

Shaun Weiss

Aside from The Mighty Ducks films, in which he played the boisterous goalie Goldberg, Weiss also appeared on '80s shows like Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Webster, and in the '90s, he starred in Heavyweights and appeared on several episodes of Freaks and Geeks and The King of Queens. His last onscreen role was in 2008's Drillbit Taylor.

In January 2020, the 40-year-old was arrested on suspicion of burglary while under the influence of meth in Northern California. This was his second drug-related arrest, with Weiss being sentenced to 90 days in jail in 2017 after being charged with meth possession. A rep for the actor told E! News after his second arrest, "Shaun is asking for prayers from his fans that he can find the light."

After going to rehab, Weiss celebrated over 230 days of sobriety by getting a "sober smile," undergoing a procedure in September 2020 to get an new set of teeth. He recently reached a major milestone: one-year sober.

Vincent LaRusso

Cake Eater! LaRusso played star player Adam Banks, who was initially on the rival team the Hawks before moving over to the Ducks, in all three movies. He actually had a smaller role before taking over the Banks part after the original actor was let go because he "was being a little bit of a bully to some of the other kids," according to producer Jordan Kerner in an interview with TIME.

LaRusso, 42, mostly retired from acting after the third Ducks film, but often attends conventions and reunions for the franchise, and recently took part in a 25th anniversary event with the Anaheim Ducks where he along with several co-stars dropped a ceremonial puck. He currently lives in New York City and works in the hospitality industry.

In 2018, LaRusso filed for divorce from his wife Kathryn Elizabeth Everard after three years of marriage.

Brandon Adams

After starring as the Ducks' tough and trash-talking player Jesse Hall in the first two films (You can thank him for the iconic "Cake Eater" taunt), Adams sat out of the third and final film in the franchise, later going on to appear on hit series such as Moesha, Boy Meets World, Martin, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Sister, Sister.

The 41-year-old then mostly left the acting world behind to pursue a career in music, rapping under the name B. Lee in 2009. 

In 2014, Adams reunited with many of his former Ducks co-stars to celebrate the film's 20th anniversary. 

Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine

Who didn't love Julie "The Cat" Gaffney, the talented goalie who joined the Ducks during their Olympic run in the sequel? After returning for the third film, the now 43-year-old took a break from acting to attend Sarah Lawrence College before going on to graduate from the Natural Gourmet School in New York. 

In 2007, she competed on Food Network's hit series The Next Food Network Star, and though she didn't win, she went on to host Colombe du Jour, her own food-related blog.

Married to Jeffrey Lefleur and a mother to two children, she also teaches elementary school students about cooking, nutrition and gardening in Harlem.

While she returned to acting briefly in 2002's Men in Black II, Jacobsen-Derstine has no regrets over pursuing her culinary dreams, telling Sports Illustrated, "Sometimes being an actor can feel like playing the lottery. In cooking, you can put effort in and really see the results."

Aaron Schwartz

At 10 years old, Schwartz, who also starred in Heavyweights opposite Thompson, only appeared in the first movie as scrappy team member Dave Karp.

"I don't think they had me audition for Karp...I remember showing up and they asked me if I knew how to ice-skate," he recalled on The Man Cave Chronicles podcast. "Of course I said yes, but I had no clue!"

After taking a prolonged break from acting, the 40-year-old landed the role of Vanya, Dorota's love, on the hit CW series Gossip Girl, appearing in 15 episodes and on a web series called Chasing Dorota, while also making appearances on series such as Law & Order and Suits, as well as landing a small role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

So why didn't Schwartz appear in the sequel? Well, he, along with the other younger Ducks, just didn't look old enough, with the actor explaining, "We didn't really age quickly. We still looked like we were in fourth grade when they needed to film the second movie. So it didn't work out." 

Matt Doherty

Doherty played the bespectacled Averman, one of the Ducks team members who always had a sarcastic quip at the ready, in all three films. ("Hey goalie, goalie, goalie!") In between the first two films, Doherty starred in the hit dark comedy So I Married an Axe Murderer with Mike Myers

After hanging up his jersey (and putting his acting career on hold) to go to college, Doherty, 42, later appeared on Felicity, ER, Boston Public, Grey's Anatomy and CSI

"I play beer league hockey on Wednesday nights," Doherty told Kare 11 News in early 2020, "and, like, probably the only reason I'm on the team is because I'm a Duck."

Justin Wong

Wong joined the franchise in D2 as Ken, a former Olympic ice skater. After appearing in the third and final film, Wong left acting behind and became a sound engineer. 

Wong, 40, now co-owns and operates AudioGator, a Vancover-based audio production company.

Jeffrey Nordling

It's no easy feat replacing Coach Bombay, but Nordling did just that in the college-set D3, playing NHL star-turned-coach Ted Orion when Estevez's project The War At Home kept him from starring in the movie. 

"Emilio explained the reasons why he couldn't come back and it is a business and so we all understood the business reasons for it. But yeah, it was weird," Joshua Jackson admitted to Us Weekly. "And then at the same time, it wasn't all that weird because at that point, we were 17, and at 13, he basically made this thing happen. I look back on it and I'm amazed that he was patient enough to be able to deal with us as a bunch of totally unprofessional 15-year-olds."

After his time with the Ducks came to an end, Nordling, 59, starred on Once and Again and appeared on Desperate Housewives, 24 and many other shows before landing a starring role in HBO's hit series Big Little Lies, playing Laura Dern's philandering husband, Gordon Klein. (Renata will not NOT be rich, Gordon!)

Production on Disney+'s The Mighty Ducks series begins this month in Vancouver.