See the Cast of ‘Drop Dead Fred’ Then and Now
Many of us had imaginary friends growing up, but none were so wild as the green suited anarchist at the center of ‘Drop Dead Fred!’
This off-the-walls comedy from 1991 followed Lizzie Cronin, a grown woman who’d failed to blossom after her parents locked away her fantastical BFF. But when her life hits a serious low point (no husband, no job, no money or car), she comes across a taped-up Jack-in-the-Box and rediscovers her moxie as well as Drop Dead Fred.
This crass and crazy comedy was loathed by critics. But for many who were kids in the early ’90s, ‘Drop Dead Fred’ is a beloved—though definitely bizarre—part of our childhood. Now that we’re all grown up, we’ve taken a look back to catch up with the cast, then and now.
Lizzie ‘Snotface’ Cronin, Phoebe Cates
Then: Cates was an ’80s icon with unforgettable roles in the classic comedy ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High‘ and the groundbreaking horror-comedy ‘Gremlins.’ (Who could forget her monologue about the worst Christmas ever?)
Now: Since ‘Drop Dead Fred,’ Cates has largely stepped out of the spotlight, appearing in just three features, the most noteworthy of which was the earnest biopic ‘Princess Caraboo.’ She owns the Blue Tree boutique in NYC and has two children — Owen and Greta — with actor Kevin Kline. (Owen made his acting debut in ‘The Squid and the Whale.’)
Drop Dead Fred, Rik Mayall
Then: Prior to playing the booger-flinging Fred, the British comedian was famous in the UK for appearances on such comedy shows as ‘Filthy Rich & Catflap’ and ‘The Young Ones.’
Now: Still best-known across the pond, Mayall has become an alternative comedy icon for his aforementioned works as well as his performances on the political satire ‘The New Statesmen’ and the slapstick-slathered sitcom ‘Bottom.’ Most recently, he appeared in the horror-comedy ‘Highway to Hell.’
Polly Cronin, Marsha Mason
Then: By 1991, Mason was a four-time Oscar-nominated leading lady, thanks to her incredible turns in the romantic drama ‘Cinderella Liberty,’ the Neil Simon comedies ‘The Goodbye Girl,’ ‘Chapter Two’ and ‘Only When I Laugh.’
Now: Nearly 71, Mason is still in the business. Her latest screen appearance was a recurring role on the family-focused sitcom ‘The Middle.’
Charles, Tim Matheson
Then: Before portraying the cheating Charles, Matheson memorably played the seductive frat boy Eric “Otter” Stratton in ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House.’
Now: A successful character actor, Matheson’s worked steadily for decades. He’s currently co-starring on the CW dramedy series ‘Hart of Dixie.’
Janie, Carrie Fisher
Then: Fisher cemented her place in cinema history in 1977, playing Princess Leia in a little movie called ‘Star Wars.’ By 1991, she had also established herself as a keen comedienne with roles in Woody Allen’s ‘Hannah and Her Sisters,’ the dark comedy ‘The ‘Burbs’ and Rob Reiner’s ‘When Harry Met Sally…’
Now: Though she’s only made a handful of appearances in film and television the past few years (including a memorable turn on ’30 Rock’), Fisher is likely to be thrust back into the spotlight again thanks to her (possible) appearance in the next ‘Star Wars’ movie.
Young Elizabeth, Ashley Peldon
Then: At the time of ‘Drop Dead Fred’s’ release, Peldon was a child actress with two years experience, having made her film debut in the 1989 Diane Keaton dramedy ‘The Lemon Sisters.’ Notably, she also starred on the soap opera ‘Guiding Light,’ and at age four was the youngest performer to be put under contract for the series.
Now: Though she continues to work in film and television, Peldon earned a bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology and Film from New York’s Skidmore College in 2007. Her most recent movie role was a bit part in the 2012 superhero drama ‘Chronicle.’
Nigel Cronin, Daniel Gerroll
Then: The British thespian of stage and screen made his mark in movies in 1981, as a member of the supporting cast of the four-time Academy Award-winning drama ‘Chariots of Fire.’
Now: He went on to become a familiar face in television, popping up on shows like ‘Knots Landing,’ ‘Seinfeld,’ Sex and the City’ and ‘The Starter Wife.’ Later this year he’ll be spotted in the Cuba Gooding Jr. vehicle ‘Something Whispered.’
Mickey Bunce, Ron Eldard
Then: Prior to playing Lizzie’s bubbly new beau, Eldard made his film debut in the 1989 romantic comedy ‘True Love.’
Now: Eldard went on to balance a career in film, television and theater. He’s arguably best remembered for playing Ray Shepard on ‘ER.’ Nowadays, he can be found on the crime drama ‘Justified.’