The Cast of “Gremlins”: Where Are They Now?

How have Phoebe Cates, Corey Feldman and the rest of the cast coped with being terrorized by little green monsters in the 1984 classic?

<p>Warner Bros. Pictures/Amblin E/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Gett</p> Phoebe Cates and Zach Galligan in

Warner Bros. Pictures/Amblin E/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Gett

Phoebe Cates and Zach Galligan in 'Gremlins'

This story has been updated.

Forty years ago, somebody didn’t follow the very strict and very clear rules about their new pet, unleashing havoc in the process.

Director Joe Dante’s 1984 horror comedy Gremlins saw a horde of frighteningly hilarious little monsters take over a small town at Christmastime, and film-goers ate it up — but hopefully not after midnight! The film came in second at the box office on its opening weekend (behind another ’80s classic, Ghostbusters), and in the four decades since it’s become not only a cult favorite, but also something of an off-beat holiday staple.

In 1990, the film spawned an even more wild sequel, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, and more recently Netflix revived the franchise in an animated series, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.

On the 40th anniversary of Gremlins’ release, let’s check in on the film’s cast to see how they’ve faired since being tormented by the little green ghouls.

Zach Galligan as Billy

Zach Galligan in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2024
Zach Galligan in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2024

Zach Galligan was 20 years old when he made his film debut as small-town teen Billy in Gremlins, and would go on to reprise the role in 1990’s Gremlins 2: The New Batch. He’s also appeared in a slew of horror films, erotic thrillers and other B movies over the past 40 years, including 1988’s Waxwork and its 1992 sequel, 1993’s Warlock: The Armageddon and the 1993 sex comedy All Tied Up. He’s also had guest roles on hit TV series like Melrose Place, Tales from the Crypt, Star Trek: Voyager and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

In recent years, he’s also dipped back into the Gremlins universe, first with a 2021 Mountain Dew commercial in which he appeared alongside furry mogwai companion Gizmo (voiced by Howie Mandel), and again last year when he voiced a supporting character in Netflix’s animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.

Galligan married Ling-Ling Hu Ingerick in 2005. The couple divorced five years later.

Phoebe Cates as Kate

<p>Warner Bros. Pictures/Amblin E/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty; Jim Spellman/WireImage)</p> Phoebe Cates in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2017

Warner Bros. Pictures/Amblin E/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty; Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Phoebe Cates in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2017

After making a splash in an iconic bikini scene in 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Phoebe Cates again stole the spotlight in the role of Billy’s love interest Kate in Gremlins, delivering a memorably chilling monologue about why she hates Christmas — a moment she would later spoof in Gremlins 2.

She continued to work steadily throughout the ’80s and early ’90s, appearing in comedies like Date with an Angel (1987) and Drop Dead Fred (1991), and dramas like Bright Lights, Big City (1988).

While auditioning for a role in The Big Chill (which would ultimately go to Meg Tilly), Cates met future husband, Kevin Kline. The couple married in 1989 and appeared in two films together: 1990’s I Love You to Death and 1994’s Princess Caraboo. After Princess Caraboo, Cates stepped away from acting to focus on raising her two children with Kline. In 2001, she briefly returned to the screen, appearing in Fast Times costar Jennifer Jason Leigh’s directorial debut The Anniversary Party. She also reprised her Gremlins role in 2015, voicing the character in the video game Lego Dimensions.

Howie Mandel as Gizmo

<p>Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo; Steve Granitz/FilmMagic</p> Gizmo from 'Gremlins' and Howie Mandel in 2023

Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo; Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

Gizmo from 'Gremlins' and Howie Mandel in 2023

Already a star of NBC’s St. Elsewhere, in 1984 Howie Mandel lent his voice talents to the role of adorable fuzzy mogwai Gizmo in Gremlins, creating the character’s distinctive coos and squeals. He went on to star in ’80s comedies like A Fine Mess, Walk Like a Man and Little Monsters, while also voicing several characters in Muppet Babies. Mandel returned to voice Gizmo again in Gremlins 2, and created and starred in an animated series of his own, Bobby’s World, which aired on Fox Kids from 1990 to 1998.

Mandel has continued to work in films and TV series, frequently appearing as himself, over the past two decades. More recently, he’s become a go-to game show host and reality competition judge, most notably on Deal or No Deal and America’s Got Talent. Last year, he even competed as the Rock Lobster on The Masked Singer.

Mandel met wife Terry while they were both still in their teens. The couple married in 1980 and have three children. Mandel has talked openly about his struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder, a condition he shares with his eldest daughter, Jackelyn.

Corey Feldman as Pete

<p>Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock; Phillip Faraone/Getty </p> Corey Feldman in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2023

Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock; Phillip Faraone/Getty

Corey Feldman in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2023

After starring as Billy’s kid sidekick Pete in Gremlins, Corey Feldman went on to appear in some of the most iconic movies of the ’80s, his roles in The Goonies, Stand by Me and The Lost Boys making him one of the biggest child stars of the decade. He appeared alongside fellow teen star Corey Haim in License to Drive (1988) and Dream a Little Dream (1989), and the pair became inextricably linked as “The Two Coreys.”

Like Haim, however, Feldman struggled with addiction and has frequently been a magnet for controversy. In early 2018, Feldman was cleared of a sexual battery allegation following an LAPD investigation. In 2020, Feldman released a documentary My Truth: The Rape of 2 Coreys, in which he alleged that both he and Haim had been sexually abused as child stars. That same year, Deadline reported that Feldman stepped down from SAG-AFTRA's Sexual Harassment Committee following reports of sexual misconduct allegations against him made by several former members of his band, Corey’s Angels, according to Variety. Feldman has vehemently denied the allegations, and charges were not filed.

“As a victim myself of sexual predators and an avid spokesperson on behalf of victims everywhere, I welcome an investigation. Beyond that, I don't care to dignify the alleged claims of women who have been stalking me and harassing me endlessly for some time, for which I have contacted police,” he said in a statement at the time. “The same girls made the same claims 2 years ago and it was investigated and I was cleared by both LAPD and the DA.”

He has also released several albums since 1992, and recently appeared on The Masked Singer as the Seal. Next up, Feldman will have a single, "The Joke," dropping on June 22, and his 2004 film The Birthday is set to hit theaters this fall through Drafthouse Films.

Feldman has been married three times, first to actress Vanessa Marcil from 1989 to 1993, to Susie Sprague from 2002 to 2014 and most recently to Courtney Anne Mitchell from 2016 to 2023. He shares one son with Sprague.

Hoyt Axton as Billy's Dad

<p>Warner Brothers/Getty; Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Hoyt Axton in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 1991

Warner Brothers/Getty; Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Hoyt Axton in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 1991

A prolific singer-songwriter — he penned Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World” — and actor in the ’60s and ’70s, Hoyt Axton was the perfect choice for Billy’s father in Gremlins, bringing an earthy warmth to the role.

After Gremlins, Axton continued to act in small roles on shows like Diff'rent Strokes, Murder, She Wrote and an episode of Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre. In the ’90s, he returned to music, releasing three albums between 1990 and 1998.

Axton married and divorced three times before marrying his wife Deborah. He was the father of five children, including musician Max Axton. He died at the age of 61 in 1999.

Keye Luke as Mr. Wing

<p>United Archives GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo; Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty </p> Keye Luke in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 1987

United Archives GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo; Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Keye Luke in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 1987

Before appearing as elderly antiques dealer Mr. Wing in Gremlins, Keye Luke had a long and storied Hollywood career, beginning in the 1930s with his roles in the Charlie Chan films and as Kato in the Green Hornet film serials.

Already in his 80s at the time, Luke continued to work throughout the 1980s, with appearances on The A Team, Miami Vice, MacGyver and The Golden Girls following Gremlins. In 1990, he returned for a cameo as Mr. Wing in Gremlins 2, and appeared that same year in his final role in Woody Allen’s Alice.

Luke was married to wife Ethel from 1942 until her death in 1979. He died at the of 86 in 1991.

Dick Miller as Mr. Futterman

<p>Warner Bros. TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo; Oliver Walker/FilmMagic</p> Dick Miller in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2014

Warner Bros. TCD/Prod.DB / Alamy Stock Photo; Oliver Walker/FilmMagic

Dick Miller in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2014

Veteran character actor Dick Miller appeared in hundreds of film and TV roles over the course of his 60-year career, including all of Gremlins director Joe Dante’s films. Dante tapped Miller to play town drunk Murray Futterman in the 1984 horror comedy, and Miller returned to the role six years later in Gremlins 2. Small roles in films like The Terminator, Innerspace and The ’Burbs followed Gremlins in the ’80s, and Miller also voiced a character on Batman: The Animated Series and appeared on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the ’90s.

In 2014, he was the subject of a documentary, That Guy Dick Miller, and his final film, 2019’s Hanukkah, was released following his death in that year.

Miller was married to wife Lainie from 1959 until his death at the age of 90. The couple had one daughter.

Polly Holliday as Mrs. Deagle

<p>Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection; Evan Agostini/ImageDirect/Getty</p> Polly Holliday in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2001

Warner Bros./Courtesy Everett Collection; Evan Agostini/ImageDirect/Getty

Polly Holliday in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2001

Best known as sassy waitress Flo in CBS’s Alice (1976–1980), Polly Holliday went from sassy to nasty for her role as the sinister Mrs. Deagle in Gremlins.

Guest and recurring roles on shows like The Golden Girls and Home Improvement followed in the ’80s and ’90s, and Holliday also appeared in beloved films Mrs. Doubtfire and Nancy Meyers’s 1998 remake of The Parent Trap alongside a young Lindsay Lohan. She was last seen in 2010’s Fair Game, playing CIA officer Valerie Plame’s mother opposite Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

Judge Reinhold as Gerald

<p>Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection; Mark Davis/Getty</p> Judge Reinhold in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2015

Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection; Mark Davis/Getty

Judge Reinhold in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2015

Phoebe Cates’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High costar Judge Reinhold appeared in Gremlins as Billy’s rival both at work and for Kate’s affection. The same year, he starred as Detective Billy Rosewood opposite Eddie Murphy in 1984’s Beverly Hills Cop, a role he would return to in the film’s two sequels.

A decade later, Reinhold landed another recurring role in 1994’s The Santa Clause, returning for that film’s two sequels as well. His memorable appearance as “the close talker” in a 1994 episode of Seinfeld earned him an Emmy nomination. In the 2000s, Reinhold has appeared in guest roles on series like Monk, Arrested Development and The Detour.

Later this year, Reinhold will return to the Beverly Hills Cop franchise once again, reprising his role in the fourth installment, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.

Reinhold was married to Carrie Frazier in the '80s, but the couple later divorced. He married film director Amy Miller in 2000, and their daughter Haley was born in 2013.

Jonathan Banks as Deputy Brent Frye

<p>Warner Bros.; Stewart Cook/Getty</p> Jonathan Banks in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2024

Warner Bros.; Stewart Cook/Getty

Jonathan Banks in 1984's 'Gremlins' and in 2024

Jonathan Banks has been bringing his gruff, no-nonsense vibe to film and TV roles for decades, appearing in a small role as a local cop in Gremlins and alongside Judge Reinhold in Beverly Hills Cop that same year.

But today he’s perhaps best known to Breaking Bad fans as cop-turned-drug cartel enforcer Mike Ehrmantraut. Banks has reprised the role in both Breaking Bad prequel series Better Call Saul and in the Netflix film El Camino, earning five of his six Emmy nominations for his performance. His first Emmy nod came in 1989, for his role in the CBS crime drama Wiseguy.

Banks was married to his first wife Marnie from 1968 to 1970. The couple share one daughter, and Banks shares twins and a stepdaughter with his second wife, Gennera.

Most recently, Banks starred opposite Noomi Rapace in this year’s AppleTV+ sci-fi series Constellation. He’ll next voice a character in Max’s Harley Quinn spin-off series Kite Man: Hell Yeah!, due out later this year.

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