'Ferris Bueller's Day Off': The Cast Then And Now

Jordan Claes
Matthew Broderick dancing on the parade float in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'.
Paramount Pictures | Paramount Pictures

Even back then, movie audiences understood that the impact of Ferris Bueller's Day Off would be long-lasting. Not only did it jumpstart the careers of Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck, but it pushed the limits of cinematography and filmmaking into otherwise unseen spaces.

Hard as it may be to imagine, it's now officially been more than 35 years since we watched as Ferris danced and sang his way through a crowded street parade. So for a little dose of nostalgia, let's take a look at what the cast is up to: then vs. now.

Then: Louie Anderson

Louie Anderson delivering flowers in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'.
Paramount Pictures | Paramount Pictures

Louie Anderson had a short but memorable role in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, playing the flower delivery man/stripper who turns up to pass along well-wishes to Ferris. Sadly, Louie passed away after a long and hard battle with lymphoma.

Then: Ben Stein

Ben Stein saying "Bueller" in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'.
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It's true that Ben Stein didn't have a particularly big part to play in the film, but he arguably delivers the most iconic line in the film — or in any film for that matter. "Bueller...Buller?"

Now: Ben Stein

These days, Ben's acting days are largely behind him. He still makes the odd cameo appearance, although they're highly infrequent. Ben hasn't appeared in a live-action movie in well over a decade and that isn't likely to change.

Then: Jeffrey Jones

Jeffrey Jones sitting at his desk in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'.
Paramount Pictures | Paramount Pictures

Jeffrey Jones was everywhere you looked in the '80s and '90s. He famously portrayed Ferris' school principal/main antagonist, Ed Rooney, and became a household name thanks to his work in films like Beetlejuice and The Hunt for Red October.

Now: Jeffrey Jones

These days, it appears that Jeffrey Jones is enjoying the fruits of his labor and has settled comfortably into retirement. His last role was in the TV movie Deadwood, wherein he played the American journalist A.W. Merrick.

Then: Jennifer Grey

Jennifer Grey wearing sunglasses in her car in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'.
Paramount Pictures | Paramount Pictures

Back in the '80s, Jennifer Grey seemed poised t take on the world. She followed up her role as Jeanie Bueller by playing Baby Houseman in Dirty Dancing. Yet for some reason, her career came to a grinding halt not long afterward.

Now: Jennifer Grey

Jennifer Grey struggled to find work after her iconic role in Dirty Dancing. The former star credits her struggling career to a botched nose job, which she claimed left her almost unrecognizable. However, it has now been confirmed that Jennifer is slated to appear in a forthcoming untitled Dirty Dancing project.

Then: Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen looking strung out in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'.
Paramount Pictures | Paramount Pictures

Ferris Bueller's Day Off is the film that helped launch Charlie Sheen into the upper echelon of movie stardom. In order to prepare for the role of a drug-addled delinquent, Sheen reportedly stayed awake for 48 hours.

Now: Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen and Jazz Chisholm posing for a photo.
instagram | @charliesheen

Unfortunately, it turns out that Charlie Sheen in real life isn't all too dissimilar from his character in the film. After committing what at the time appeared to be career suicide, Sheen is slowly making his way back to reclaim his past glory.

Then: Alan Ruck

Alan Ruck as Cameron in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'.
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Alan Ruck's career took off after he played Cameron Frye in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It was his breakout role that helped to launch a long and successful career that's still going strong to this very day.

Now: Alan Ruck

Alan Ruck in 'The Dropout'.
Hulu | Hulu

To try and quote from Alan Ruck's resume would be doing him a disservice. The man has had memorable roles in a multitude of different movies and TV shows, and most recently appeared in the Emmy-nominated Hulu series, The Dropout.

Then: Mia Sara

Mia Sara in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'.
Giphy | hero0fwar

Mia Sara was a relatively unknown actress at the time that she was cast to play Ferris' girlfriend, Sloane Peterson. Prior to that, she played Lili opposite Tom Cruise and Tim Curry in the much-maligned fantasy adventure film, Legend.

Now: Mia Sara

Mia struggled to maintain her celebrity status after Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Arguably her most notable role came more than 15 years later when she was cast to play Dr. Harleen Quinzel in the ill-fated Birds of Prey series.

Then: Matthew Broderick

Ferris Bueller singing in the parade in 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'.
Giphy | Filmin

Matthew Broderick breaking the 4th wall will forever live rent-free inside my brain. His starring role as the proverbial prankster/conman Ferris Bueller stands as one of the most iconic film portrayals movie audiences have seen in the last 40 years.

Now: Matthew Broderick

In the years since Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Matthew has taken a step back from his acting career. He's still married to Sarah Jessica Parker and is slated to star in the upcoming Netflix mini-series Painkiller.