See the Cast of ‘Legend’ Then and Now
In 1986, Ridley Scott released his dark fantasy film ‘Legend,’ inspired by classic fairy tales and starring young up-and-coming actors like Tom Cruise and Mia Sara in the lead roles. Now that almost 30 years have passed, we thought it would be fun to check in and see what the cast of the film has been up to.
Tom Cruise, Jack
Then: Rising star Tom Cruise followed up roles in ‘Risky Business’ and ‘The Outsiders’ with the heroic and handsome Jack in ‘Legend.’ But it was his role in ‘Top Gun’ the following year that solidified his mega-star status.
Now: Of course you know what Tom Cruise has been up to — he’s everywhere. Cruise has become one of our biggest stars, and though his height (5’7) makes him an unlikely action star, we’ve seen him kick butt in everything from the ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies to ‘War of the Worlds,’ and more recently, ‘Oblivion.’
Mia Sara, Princess Lili
Then: ‘Legend’ was Mia Sara’s first film role, landed at the age of 16 when director Ridley Scott watched her audition tape and loved her natural “theatrical instincts.” In the film, Sara plays the beautiful Princess Lili who is captured by the Prince of Darkness and forced to marry him. But she’s not your average damsel in distress — Lili plays an integral role in taking Darkness down.
Now: Sara followed her role in ‘Legend’ as the object of Ferris Bueller’s affection in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.’ She continues to act, appearing in some small movies and TV shows, including ‘Chicago Hope’ and the recent mini-series ‘The Witches of Oz.’ She has a pilot license and enjoys flying, and recently married Brian Henson, son of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson.
Tim Curry, Lord of Darkness
Then: While considering actor Richard O’Brien for a role in ‘Legend,’ director Ridley Scott watched ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ and was instantly charmed by Tim Curry’s performance as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. Curry was hired to play the devilish Lord of Darkness, helping to bring to life one of cinema’s most memorable creations.
Now: A classic theatre actor, Curry went on to give us memorable performances as the sinister Pennywise in Stephen King’s ‘It’ TV mini-series, Wadsworth in ‘Clue’ and a very snobby hotel clerk in ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.’ Nowadays he spends most of his time doing voice work for cartoons, including ‘Young Justice’ and ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars.’
David Bennent, Honeythorn Gump
Then: Swiss actor David Bennent played the role of Gump, an elf who helps Jack find and rescue Princess Lili from the Lord of Darkness. Director Ridley Scott dubbed over Bennent’s voice in the film, using co-star Alice Playten for Gump’s dialogue instead because Bennent’s voice sounded “too German.” Prior to his role in ‘Legend,’ Bennent had a constroversial role in ‘The Tin Drum’ at the age of 12.
Now: Most of Bennent’s roles have been in German projects, though he does a lot of theatrical work, appearing in plays ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Michael Kramer.’
Alice Playten, Blix
Then: British theatre actress Alice Playten played the role of Blix, the Lord of Darkness’ right-hand goblin, sent out to find and destroy the unicorns and the power of light.
Now: Playten’s post-‘Legend’ work included guest spots on ‘Frasier’ and ‘Law and Order,’ and she provied voice work for ‘Felix the Cat,’ ‘Heavy Metal’ and several other animated projects. Unfortunately, Playten passed away in 2011 due to complications from diabetes.
Annabelle Lanyon, Oona
Then: Annabelle Lanyon played the part of ethereal forest fairy Oona, and one of many companions on the quest to help Jack rescue Lili. Prior to starring in ‘Legend,’ Lanyon made appearances in several British television series, including the 1975 version of ‘Anne of Avonlea.’
Now: Sometime around 1992, Lanyon disappeared from acting, but returned in the early ’00s with roles in small projects like ‘Are You Ready for Love?’ and ‘Burlesque Fairytales.’
Billy Barty, Screwball
Then: Getting his start opposite Mickey Rooney in the ‘Mickey McGuire’ shorts from the 1920s, Barty appeared in everything from ‘Gold Diggers of 1933′ (where he played a baby at the age of nine) to ‘The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington.’
Now: Barty followed up ‘Legend’ with appearances in ‘Willow,’ ‘Masters of the Universe’ and pretty much every other fantasy film from the 1980s. Sadly he passed away in 2000 from heart failure.
Robert Picardo, Meg Mucklebones
Then: Character actor Robert Picardo was tapped for the role of gross and gooey goblin Meg Mucklebones. Prior to his role in ‘Legend,’ Picardo began his career in Joe Dante’s ‘The Howling,’ and went on to star in several more of Dante’s films, including ‘The ‘Burbs’ and ‘Explorers.’
Now: Picardo went on have memorable roles on ‘Home Improvement’ and ‘Star Trek: Voyager.’ Most recently he’s been seen in ‘Supernatural,’ ‘The Mentalist’ and ‘Justified,’ and lent his voice to the video game ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.’