See the Cast of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze’ Then and Now
After New Line’s live-action ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie grossed more than $200 million worldwide, the heroes in a half-shell were guaranteed a sequel. That came just a year later in 1991 in the form of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.’ This turtle-powered action movie didn’t fare as well at the box office, but was nonetheless beloved by kids that couldn’t get enough of these pizza-loving crime fighters.
Previously, we caught you up with the first film’s stars. But as there was quite a bit of recasting between the two movies, it seemed time to delve into the ooze, and see where the cast of this totally ’90s romp are now.
Paige Turco — April O’Neil
Then: Though Judith Hoag played the fearless news reporter in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,’ it was soap opera star Turco of ‘All My Children’ who portrayed April O’Neil in ‘The Secret of the Ooze’ and again in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.’
Now: Pictured above with husband and sometimes co-star Jason O’Mara, Turco works most often in television. She performed opposite O’Mara in the short-lived CIA drama ‘The Agency,’ and the two are both slated to appear in the Civil War era miniseries ‘To Appomattox.’ Turco has also had recurring role on ‘Person of Interest’ and ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.’
Ernie Reyes Jr. — Keno
Then: Before he played the Turtles’ high-kicking ally Keno, Reyes was the star of the short-lived TV series ‘Sidekicks‘ which was basically ‘Karate Kid’ plus ‘Magnum, P.I.’
Now: Following ‘Secret of the Ooze,’ Reyes rode the martial arts movie craze wave by headlining the action-comedy ‘Surf Ninjas’ in 1993. He has gone on to become a successful professional kickboxer and mixed martial artist. In addition to acting in movies like ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ and ‘The Rundown,’ he performed stunts for ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the Navy Seals drama ‘Act of Valor.’ He also starred opposite George Takei in the MMA movie ‘The Red Canvas.’
Michelan Sisti– Michaelangelo (Puppeteer)
Then: While Robbie Rist lent Michaelangelo his surfer bro tone, it was Sisti who filled out his suit and physically performed the role, just as he did in the first ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie, which marked his screen debut. Notably, in both films Sisti did get to show his face with bit parts Pizza Man and Soho Man.
Now: Most of Sisti’s screen credits are as a puppeteer. This distinctive skill set made him an indispensible part of the ‘Dinosaurs’ TV series, where he maneuvered Charlene Sinclair, among other roles. He also performed puppets in the gorilla-centered comedy ‘Buddy’ (he played the titular primate) and the wacky romantic comedy ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ and ‘The Muppets.’ You can learn more about his time on ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ by watching his Cowabunga Corner interview.
Adam Carl — Donatello (Voice)
Then: In the first ‘TMNT’ movie, former child star Corey Feldman voiced the role of Donatello. However, it was Carl who took over the part for the second entry in this martial arts franchise. In the 1980s, he was a familiar face, having scored appearances on such popular series as ‘Charles in Charge,’ ‘Who’s the Boss?’ and ‘Cheers,’ as well as a role in the wild horror-comedy for kids, ‘The Monster Squad.’
Now: While Carl continued to perform on television through the ’90s and ’00s, nowadays he works behind the scenes. In 2012 he was a coordinating producer on ‘Pop Up Video.’ Keep up with him on Twitter, where his handle promises he wears pants.
Leif Tilden — Donatello (Puppeteer)
Then: While Carl was the voice of this brainy, purple-preferring turtle, Tilden wore the suit. It was his second time donning Donatello, as he’d made his screen debut doing so in the franchise’s first feature. Fun fact: Tilden also played a Foot Clan member in both movies.
Now: He continued on in puppeteering into the 2000s. On ‘Dinosaurs,’ he played Robbie Sinclair opposite fellow turtle Michelan Sisti. The two later shared puppeteering duties on the central gorilla in ‘Buddy.’ But years ago, Tilden shifted his focus, working as a location manager on shows like ‘Justified,’ ‘Hung’ and ‘Law & Order: LA.’ You can hear more about his time as a puppeteer in this Cowabunga Corner interview.
Mark Caso — Leonardo (Voice)
Then: As he did in the first film, Brian Tochi provided the voice for the blue-masked turtle Leonardo. But Caso replaced stuntman David Forman, who filled out the suit in the previous Turtles movie. Prior to this, Caso had earned small roles as an actor in ‘Breakin’ 2: Electic Boogaloo’ and ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun.’
Now: Caso reprised the role of Leonardo in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III,’ which proved the kick-off to a career in stunt work. He went on to perform stunts in movies like ‘Mortal Kombat,’ ‘Beverly Hills Ninja’ and ‘Beowulf.’ A 1999 episode of ‘Mortal Kombat: Conquest’ marks his last screen credit, but you can learn more about Caso and his time as a turtle in this Cowabunga Corner interview.
Frank Welker — Tokka & Rahzar (Voices),
Then: An established voice actor with more than 20 years experience, Welker was cast to give voice to both of ‘Secret of the Ooze’s’ mutant villains. His first job as a voice actor was playing Fred on the 1969 cartoon series ‘Scooby Doo, Where Are You!’ He has reprised that part ever since, most recently on ‘Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.’
Now: With more than 700 film, television and video game titles to his credit (he’s everyone from Megatron to Santa’s Little Helper on ‘The Simpsons’), this voice actor’s resume is positively dizzying. In fact, because of his incredibly prolific output, Welker was named the highest-grossing actor in Hollywood in August of 2011, having been associated with movies that made a combined total of $6.4 billion at the box office. Samuel L. Jackson was in second place…until his involvement in the Marvel movies shifted the rankings.
François Chau — Shredder
Then: As he did in the first feature, David McCharen provided the voice for the villainous Shredder. But Chau sported the trademark costume, taking over for James Saito, who did the physical heavy lifting in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.’ Ironically, Chau’s first screen credit was for voicing the character Quick-Kick on the 1985 ‘G.I. Joe’ cartoon series.
Now: Though Chau has gone on to appear in a slew of television shows and film, including ‘Lethal Weapon 4′ and ‘Rescue Dawn,’ he is best known as Dr. Pierre Chang from the popular ABC series ‘Lost.’
Kevin Nash — Super Shredder
Then: When it came to casting the ooze-fueled Super Shredder, the filmmakers needed a burlier performer than Chau. Enter Nash, who was already an established WCW wrestler known as Steel.
Now: Though he’s more often recognized for his professional wrestling performances than his work as an actor, Nash has scored roles in such noteworthy movies as the Adam Sandler vehicle ‘The Longest Yard,’ the musical comedy ‘Rock of Ages’ and the Channing Tatum male stripper drama ‘Magic Mike.’
Kevin Clash — Splinter
Then: Clash reprised his role as the Turtles’ rat mentor Splinter for ‘TMNT II.’ In addition to being a longtime Muppeteer, Clash was known at the time as the voice and puppeteer behind ‘Sesame Street’ favorite Elmo and Baby ‘Not the Momma!’ Sinclair from ‘Dinosaurs.’
Now: Following the release of the critically-acclaimed documentary ‘Being Elmo,’ Clash’s public image took a huge hit when allegations that he engaged in sexual relations with teen boys emerged. Amidst the public scandal, Clash resigned from his role as Elmo in 2012.
Vanilla Ice — Vanilla Ice
Then: Thanks to his hit single ‘Ice Ice Baby,’ Vanilla Ice (aka Robert Van Winkle) was a rap star by the time he took to the stage to perform ‘Ninja Rap’ with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Later that year, his own feature film, ‘Cool as Ice,’ hit theaters.
Now: Unfortunately, audiences soon cooled on Ice. But after some struggles with his personal demons, he reinvented himself as a television personality. With a charming sense of humor about his past, Vanilla Ice is thriving once more, hosting the home renovation series ‘The Vanilla Ice Project.’ You can hear Ice talk openly about ‘Cool as Ice’ on the How Did This Get Made podcast, which attempts to make sense of movies that make no sense. And, yes, you can watch the ‘Ninja Rap’ scene below.