Checking in on the Cast of Halloweentown 23 Years Later

In honor of Halloweentown’s 23rd anniversary, we're taking a look back at the cast then and giving an update on what they're up to now.

By Alyssa Ray Oct 17, 2021 2:00 PMTags
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"Being normal is vastly overrated."

Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds uttered these very words while playing grandmother witch Agatha "Aggie" Cromwell in the 1998 Disney Channel Original Movie, Halloweentown. In the made-for-TV movie, 13-year-old Marnie Piper (Kimberly J. Brown) learns she's a witch and travels to another world to help grandma Aggie (Reynolds) fight an unknown evil-doer.

After debuting on Disney Channel on Oct. 17, 1998, Halloweentown inspired three sequel films, Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge, Halloweentown High and Return to Halloweentown. (Although, die-hard fans don't acknowledge the fourth film due to the Marnie recast. We promise, it isn't personal Sara Paxton.)

Regardless, it's safe to say that Halloweentown and its follow-up films have become a staple for spooky season. However, as it's been 23 years since Halloweentown premiered, we can't help but wonder what the Cromwell-Piper clan is up to these days.

Thankfully, we did a bit of digging and have magical updates on all your favorite witches, goblins and warlocks.

Disney Fan Finds Major Hocus Pocus Easter Egg in Halloweentown

For example, did you know a love match was made thanks to Halloweentown? Yes, one of our leads reconnected with a co-star years after filming the sequel film. Not to mention, you'll never guess who is married and a mom now.

In honor of Halloweentown's 23rd anniversary, we're taking a look back at the cast then and giving an update on what they're up to now.

Singer White/Ventura Valley Film/Kobal/Shutterstock

Before you dive in, remember the film's mantra, "Halloween is cool."

Kimberly J. Brown

Then: Before landing her role on Halloweentown, Kimberly J. Brown found success as a child model and on the soap opera Guiding Light, which earned her a Daytime Emmy nomination. However, Kimberly is still best known for playing 13-year-old witch Marnie Piper opposite film legend Debbie Reynolds in Disney Channel's Halloweentown.

Brown portrayed Marnie in three of the four Halloweentown films, including Halloweentown, Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge and Halloweentown High.

Now: Following her success in the Halloweentown films, Kimberly continued acting and landed roles in Be Cool, Low Winter Sun and other projects. Per her IMDB page, Kimberly is currently in pre-production for a thriller, named Abudcted?, which lists Billy Ray Cyrus as a co-star. She also plays Nurse Chloe Jennings (a.k.a Marie Hopkins) on General Hospital.

Not to mention, after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in business, Kimberly and a friend launched an Etsy shop, which features Halloweentown-centric goods. Oh, and let's not forget about the children's book she wrote with Diane Yslas, titled Poppin's Pumpkin Patch Parade.

As for her personal life? Kimberly is currently dating Halloweentown II co-star Daniel Kountz.

Debbie Reynolds

Then: When Debbie Reynolds accepted the role of Agatha Cromwell in Halloweentown, she was already a Hollywood legend. She starred in three of the Halloweentown films and had a cameo in the fourth, titled Return to Halloweentown.

Debbie's breakout role was in the 1952 musical film, Singin' in the Rain. She went on to have a successful career on the stage, big screen and small screen, earning several Golden Globe nominations, an Academy Award nomination and a Tony Award nomination.

Debbie received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2015 Academy Awards.

She was famously married to singer Eddie Fisher, but they divorced after his affair with Elizabeth Taylor. Debbie and Eddie had two children together, Star Wars' Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher.

Now: Debbie passed away at 84 years old on December 28, 2016, just one day after daughter Carrie died from cardiac arrest. The acting legend's autopsy ruled an intracerebral hemorrhage the cause of death.

"She went to be with Carrie. In fact, those were the last words that she spoke this morning," son Todd shared with E! News at the time. "More specifically, she said that she really, she was under a lot of stress."

Todd continued, "She held it together beautifully, obviously, for the last couple of days but she was under a lot of emotion and stress from the loss [of Carrie] and it's pretty much what triggered this event."

A portion of Carrie's ashes were laid to rest next to Debbie's tomb in the Hollywood Hills.

Judith Hoag

Then: Prior to starring in Halloweentown as Gwen Cromwell Piper, Judith Hoag was known for her roles in the 1990 films Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Cadillac Man. Not to mention, she had several TV roles on her resume, including Wolf, Roseanne, Melrose Place and countless others.

She went on to star in all four Halloweentown films.

Now: After Halloweentown, Judith continued her successful TV career. In addition to landing a recurring role on HBO's Big Love, she had a notable part on Nashville, playing Tandy Hampton.

You may recognize Judith from one of her 60 plus guest appearances on television as she's also appeared on The Magicians, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Weeds, Castle, Criminal Minds, The Middle and many more.

She also appeared in the 2018 romantic drama, starring Alex Roe and Jessica Rothe, Forever My Girl.

Judith has since divorced husband Vince Grant, who she shares two children with.

Phillip Van Dyke

Then: Phillip Van Dyke found quite a bit of success as a child actor in the late '90s and early '00s. In addition to his work in the first two Halloweentown films, Phillip voiced Arnold in season two of Hey Arnold! and was the lead in Nickelodeon's short-lived Noah Knows Best. However, by 2003, Phillip retired from acting, with a guest role on NYPD Blue being his last credit.

Now: Nowadays, Phillip is living his life out of the spotlight as he's a father of three. During a 2015 interview with Bustle, Phillipp said he runs "a sales floor for a financial services company." At one point, a link on his Instagram bio led to a Better Business Bureau review for American Wealth Financial.

In a nostalgic turn of events, former co-star Kimberly J. Brown follows him on Instagram.

Joey Zimmerman

Then: Before starring in Halloweentown, Joey Zimmerman got his big break starring in the Jamie Lee Curtis-led thriller, Mother's Boys. He also appeared in the TV shows Bailey Kipper's P.O.V. and Earth 2.

Still, Joey's most notable role to date is playing Dylan Piper in the Halloweentown franchise. Like Judith Hoag, Joey starred in all four of the TV movies. Amid his Halloweentown success, Joey had guest starring roles on That ‘70s Show, 7th Heaven, Felicity and others.

Now: These days, Joey is now a photographer and is the co-creator of ZFO Entertainment, which is described as "the last word in geek entertainment."

In regard to his personal life, according to his Instagram, Joey got married in 2020. Congratulations to the bride and groom!

Emily Roeske

Then: Halloweentown was certainly Emily Roeske's big break, having only two other credits on her resume before it. To be fair, Emily was seven years old when the Disney Channel Original Movie came out.

Emily continued on with the franchise through the second and third films. She also had a guest role on ER.

Now: If you're an original fan of Halloweentown, you're about to feel old. Why?

Because we just learned that little Sophie, who was played by Emily Roeske, is now 29. Yes, the youngest Piper is almost 30 years old. While it appears that Emily has retired from acting after appearing in Halloweentown High, she's certainly kept busy over the years.

Not only did she get married in 2013 to Mitch Chapman, but they have a daughter together, named Evie Marie.

Apparently, Emily has become a third-degree black belt and even taught mixed martial arts at Surprise Family Karate in Surprise, Arizona. However, per Google, Surprise Family Karate has since shut down.

Robin Thomas

Then: Before playing Halloweentown's villain Kalabar, Robin Thomas had several notable credits on his resume. In addition to the Disney Channel hit, you may recognize Robin from his starring roles on Another World and The Mommies. He's also appeared in countless TV shows, including Who's the Boss, Murder, She Wrote, Matlock, Murphy Brown, Party of Five and more.

Now: Robin is still busy acting, especially in TV. Most recently, Robin had recurring roles on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Zoo, Fuller House and Law & Order True Crime, to name a few.

Kenneth Choi

Then: For Kenneth Choi, Halloweentown was his big break. He may not have had a large role, playing the groovy broom salesman that sells Marnie her first broom, but it was certainly a memorable part as he got to act opposite Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds.

Now: Although Kenneth had a minor role in Halloweentown, his career has certainly taken off since then. For starters, Kenneth landed a recurring role on Sons of Anarchy. He then went on to appear opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street. And, if that's not impressive enough, Kenneth portrayed Judge Lance Ito in the critically acclaimed The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story. Other notable credits include The Last Man on Earth, Captain America: The First Avenger, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Suicide Squad.

Currently, Kenneth is starring in Ryan Murphy's 9-1-1.

Daniel Kountz

Then: Ok, ok. We know Daniel Kountz wasn't in the original Halloweentown. Yet, since he is the villain in the sequel, we felt remiss about leaving him out of our round up. Prior to playing Kalabar's wicked son in Halloweentown II, Daniel already had a handful of credits on his resume. In addition to starring in a TV movie with Kirsten Dunst, titled Fifteen and Pregnant, he also appeared on Boston Public, ER, 3rd Rock from the Sun and others.

Now: Although Daniel has had some recent acting credits, he is also working hard as a real estate agent. And, as we mentioned before, he's dating his once co-star Kimberly J. Brown. While their characters may not have been a match, it seems they're quite good together IRL. Who said Halloween can't be romantic?

Happy Halloween, everyone!

(A version of this story originally published on Oct. 17, 2020 at 10 a.m. PT)

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