'Animals': Where are they now?

June 27, 1998|By Tamara Ikenberg

"Animal House," the ultimate party movie, launched many a Hollywood career.

Tom Hulce went on to be nominated for an Academy Award. Kevin Bacon attained pop-culture icon status with his own game. Some, like Karen Allen, enjoyed brief stardom and disappeared off the face of the earth. John Belushi is dead.

Here's a sampling of post-grad achievements of "Animal House" vets who went on to tap that elusive keg of stardom. Some came up dry, and others are dizzy with success:

Tom Hulce (Larry "Pinto" Kroger) -- The shy, pale freshman who discovers marijuana and loses his virginity to a 13-year-old.

Post-grad: The Academy Award nominee for the title role in 1984's "Amadeus" was also the voice of Quasimodo in Disney's "Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1996). Other notable films include "Parenthood" (1989), and "Dominick and Eugene" (1988).

Stephen Furst (Kent "Flounder" Dorfman) -- The bloated, awkward and easily influenced freshman who thinks his Delta legacy status makes him somehow important.

Post-grad: Furst shone the brightest on television as Vir Cotto on "Babylon 5" (1994-present) and as Dr. Elliott Axelrod on "St. Elsewhere" (1983-1988).

Mark Metcalf (Doug Neidermeyer) -- The sadistic, militant Omega who forced freshmen to do push-ups in horse droppings.

Post-grad: Metcalf has made a name on television as The Master on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and as Mr. Nitzke on "Teen Angel," both starting last year.

Kevin Bacon (Chip Diller) -- The nasty, suck-up Omega pledge who gasps "Thank you sir, may I have another?" while being paddled by his frat brothers. Ultimately gets flattened in a human stampede.

Post-grad: The inspiration for the movie trivia game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," wherein actors are linked to him by way of co-stars using no more than six movies. His roles have been as varied as "Wild Things," "Apollo 13" and "A Few Good Men." His "Animal House" appearance is a prime reference for serious "Six Degrees" aficionados.

John Belushi (John "Bluto" Blutarsky) -- The belching, boozing, voyeuristic poster boy for collegiate excess.

Post-grad: Before he died, he dominated "Saturday Night Live's" original cast from 1975 to 1979 and starred in 1980's "The Blues Brothers" and "1941" (in 1979).

Tim Matheson (Eric "Otter" Stratton): The handsome Delta with real leadership qualities is a leisure-suit-wearing Casanova who divides his loyalties between his buddies and his libido.

Post-grad: The most recognizable of his more than 70 movies are "A Very Brady Sequel" and "Black Sheep" (both 1996).

Peter Riegert (Donald "Boon" Schoenstein): As Otter's sidekick, the sharp but irresponsible Boon intends to guzzle beer from here to eternity, despite girlfriend Katy's disapproval.

Post-grad: An appearance on the "Seinfeld" finale sealed his pop-culture status, but he's acted on Broadway and starred in well-received films including "Crossing Delancey" (1988) and "Local Hero" (1983), as well as "The Mask" (1994).

Karen Allen (Katy): The sweet, fresh-faced coed with a penchant for pot and professors, who also wishes her Delta boyfriend Boon would grow up.

Post-grad: Allen enjoyed major success with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981), and in her nearly 30 successive films, "Scrooged" (1988) was probably the most memorable.

James Widdoes (Robert Hoover): The stiff, nerdy Delta house president who lives under the delusion that his frat isn't a complete loser-ama.

Post-grad: Renaissance man Widdoes is an actor (he was the dad in the mid-'80s series "Charles in Charge") and producer, and he directs shows including the current "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place," "Working" and "Dave's World."

John Vernon (Dean Vernon Wormer): Faber College's twisted Captain Ahab is a frustrated, blustering authority figure singularly determined to destroy Delta house.

Post-grad: B-movie obscurity enveloped Vernon, whose credits include "Gnomes Great Adventure," "Killer Klowns from Outer Space, "Ernest Goes to Camp" and "Kinky Coaches and the Pom Pom Pussycats."

Pub Date: 6/27/98

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