See the Kids of ‘3 Ninjas’ Then and Now
In ‘3 Ninjas,’ a trio of brothers who have been trained in ninjutsu by their Japanese grandfather find themselves involved in a game of nuclear espionage. It’s a ridiculous plot, and the critics hated the martial arts comedy when it came out in 1992. Nevertheless, ‘3 Ninjas’ ended up being both a box office hit and something of a cult classic — it even spawned three completely forgettable sequels.
To cast the film the producers scoured martial arts classes, rather than just relying on casting calls. In fact, for many of ‘3 Ninjas’ young actors the movie, and subsequent sequels, were the extent of their acting career. Read on to see what the child stars of ‘3 Ninjas’ are up to today.
Michael Treanor, Samuel “Rocky” Douglas
Then: Michael Treanor got his black belt in karate at age 12 and, although he didn’t have any previous acting experience, that was enough to get him cast as oldest brother Samuel “Rocky” Douglas in ‘3 Ninjas.’ He played Rocky again in the third installment of the ‘3 Ninja’ movie series, ‘3 Ninjas Knuckle Up,’ (which was actually shot before the second film) but that was it for his acting career.
Now: Treanor, 33, continues to study martial arts and, like a true ninja, his exact whereabouts remain a mystery. According to reports he lives in the Washington, DC area and works in the financial service industry. Wherever he is, we’d advise against making any sudden moves toward him.
Max Elliott Slade, Jeffrey “Colt” Douglas
Then: Max Elliot Slade played middle brother Jeffrey “Colt” Douglas in ‘3 Ninjas.’ He had made his movie debut three years earlier in ‘Parenthood,’ playing the boyhood version of Steve Martin’s character. You may also remember him as Tom Hanks’ son in ‘Apollo 13.’
Now: Slade quit acting not long after ‘Apollo 13.’ Since then he’s tended bar, sang in a band called Haden and in 2006 he graduated from University of Southern California. These days the 32-year-old is putting his ninja-like flexibility to good use as a yoga instructor and is said to be contemplating a return to acting.
Chad Power, Michael “Tum Tum” Douglas
Then: Chad Power played youngest brother Michael “Tum Tum” Douglas in ‘3 Ninjas.’ Like his on-screen siblings, Power comes from a martial arts background. Besides his work on the ‘3 Ninjas’ franchise, Power popped up on ‘Baywatch,’ ‘ER’ and ‘Step by Step.’
Now: Power hasn’t acted since 1995 and has instead put his energies into athletics. He played four years of varsity football at California Lutheran University and these days the 28-year-old is an assistant football coach at Camarillo High School, his alma mater.
Patrick Labyorteaux, Fester
Then: In ‘3 Ninjas,’ Patrick Labyorteaux plays henchmen Fester, who tries and fails to kidnap the brothers. His most well known role prior to that was of Andy Garvey on ‘Little House on the Prairie.’
Now: Labyorteaux starred as Lt. Cmdr. Bud Roberts, Jr. for 11 seasons on ‘JAG.’ Since that show ended he’s been in movies such as ‘Yes Man’ and ‘In My Sleep.’
Kate Sargeant, Emily
Then: Kate Sargeant made her movie debut as Emily, Rocky’s crush in ‘3 Ninjas.’ A few years later she had a brief role in the TV movie ‘Freaky Friday.’
Now: While Sargeant no longer acts, she is still very much involved in Hollywood. The 32-year-old is on the production staff of the ABC procedural drama ‘Castle’ and has also written two episodes of the series. (She’s also on Twitter.) We wonder, when people see her do they start chanting “Rocky loves Emily”?