See the Cast of ‘City Slickers’ Then and Now
A dude ranch adventure goes awry for a trio of middle-aged urbanites in ‘City Slickers.’ The film was the comedy hit of 1991, establishing star Billy Crystal as a box office force and getting veteran actor Jack Palance a long-awaited first Academy Award.
See what the cast of ‘City Slickers’ are up to these days below.
Billy Crystal, Mitch Robbins
Then: Former ‘SNL’ player and ‘When Harry Met Sally’ star Billy Crystal played Mitch Robbins, an advertising executive in the midst of a mid-life crisis when his friends send him on a two-week cattle drive.
Now: Crystal recently starred with Bette Midler in ‘Parental Guidance,’ which was by far his biggest role since ‘Analyze That’ a decade earlier. The 65-year-old remains in the public eye, however, thanks to the Academy Awards, which he has hosted nine times, most recently in 2012.
Daniel Stern, Phil Berquist
Then: That was Daniel Stern as Mitch’s sad-sack buddy Phil. The early ’90s were a good time for Stern, whose “wet bandit” character was also horribly abused by Macaulay Culkin in ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Home Alone: Lost In New York.’ You’ll also recognize his voice from his narration on ‘The Wonder Years.’
Now: Stern is set to star with Christina Ricci and Miranda Cosgrove in the sitcom ‘Girlfriend in a Coma,’ which is based on the Douglas Coupland novel, not The Smiths song. He also took on the role of The Old Man in the controversial ‘A Christmas Story 2.’
Bruno Kirby, Ed Furillo
Then: Just like he did in ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ Bruno Kirby played a very opinionated friend of Billy Crystal’s character in ‘City Slickers.’ Among the other movies the New York-born character actor was well known for were ‘Good Morning Vietnam,’ ‘The Godfather II’ and ‘Spinal Tap.’
Now: Sadly, Kirby passed away in 2006 from leukemia. He was 57. His last role was as producer Phil Rubenstein on ‘Entourage.’
Jack Palance, Curly
Then: Jack Palance stole the show in ‘City Slickers’ as leathery old cowboy Curly. The role snagged him an Academy Award for Best Supporting actor and his behavior during the ceremony — which included one-handed push ups and a PG-13 rated exchange with host Billy Crystal — is the stuff of Oscar legend.
Now: Palance played Curly’s brother Duke in the 1994 sequel ‘City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold.’ That was more or less the Hollywood swan song for the acting legend, who passed away in 2006 at age 87.
Helen Slater, Bonnie Rayburn
Then: Helen Slater’s Bonnie Rayburn character stood out as the only woman on the cattle drive. Slater had burst onto the scene in 1984 as ‘SuperGirl’ and followed that up with starring roles in ‘The Legend of Billie Jean,’ ‘Ruthless People’ and ‘The Secret of My Succe$s.’
Now: Slater stars as Kristen Mercer on ABC Family’s ‘The Lying Game.’ Also a singer, she has released three albums, most recently 2010’s ‘Shine.’
Jake Gyllenhaal, Danny Robbins
Then: It wasn’t a big role, but playing Mitch’s son Danny in ‘City Slickers’ was Jake Gyllenhaal’s big screen debut. Gyllenhaal’s career didn’t really take off until years later, when he starred in 1999’s ‘October Sky’ and then followed that up with ‘Donnie Darko.’
Now: Gyllenhaal did the police thriller ‘End of Watch’ in 2012 and has starring roles in ‘Nailed,’ ‘Prisoners’ and ‘An Enemy’ on the horizon. He is the younger brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Patricia Wettig, Barbara Robbins
Then: In ‘City Slickers,’ Wettig was Crystal’s understanding wife Barbara. At the time she was well-known for playing Nancy on the drama ‘thirtysomething.’
Now: After playing recurring characters on ‘Alias’ and ‘Prison Break,’ Wettig starred as Holly Harper on ‘Brothers & Sisters,’ which ran between 2006 and 2011.
Josh Mostel, Barry Shalowitz
Then: Josh Mostel played the more portly half of the ice cream mogul brothers Josh and Ira, who were clearly based on Ben and Jerry. A Broadway actor, Mostel is probably best known for his work in the Adam Sandler movies ‘Billy Madison’ and ‘Happy Gilmore.’
Now: Mostel recently did an episode ‘Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit’ and will soon be in the movie ‘Blue Potato.’
David Paymer, Ira Shalowitz
Then: Paymer played Ira, the other half of the ice cream-making brothers. The next year he was nominated for an Academy Award for his powerful turn in Billy Crystal’s stand-up comedy drama ‘Mr. Saturday Night.’
Now: Paymer continues to act, most recently as Judge Richard Cuesta on ‘The Good Wife’ and in the movie ‘The Five Years Engagement.’ He’s also a TV director, who’s been behind the camera on shows like ‘Hart of Dixie,’ ‘Medium’ and ‘One Tree Hill.’
Yeardley Smith, Nancy
Then: It was Phil’s affair with Nancy, played by Smith, which really set ‘City Slickers’ into motion. Smith had been known for her roles in ‘Maximum Overdrive’ and ‘The Legend of Billie Jean.’
Now: Smith began providing the voice of Lisa Simpson when the four-fingered character was born as part of a sketch on ‘The Tracey Ullman Show.’ After 26 years, she continues to be the voice behind the precious, never aging eight-year old.
— Written by Jeremy Taylor