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Where Is The Cast Of The Shawshank Redemption Today?

Since its release in 1994, "The Shawshank Redemption" has become one of the most celebrated films of all time. Based on a novella by Stephen King, Frank Darabont's adaptation is also widely regarded as one of the best movies of all time. Critics have praised the prison drama since its initial release, and it's received a number of accolades over the years, including seven Academy Award nominations and entry into the American Film Registry.

What is it about the film that's made it so universally beloved? In truth, it's hard to nail down. At its core, "Shawshank" is a pretty simple story — a tale of tragedy, perseverance, and triumph. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and her lover and sentenced to life in prison. There he befriends Red (Morgan Freeman) and struggles to find some peace and purpose in his new, cruel life.

Maybe it's just the story of patient victory that makes the film so special, or the way that Roger Deakins' cinematography blends so beautifully and hauntingly with Thomas Newman's score. But a fair amount of the credit is surely due to the spectacular cast, who bring Darabont's script to life with subtlety and powerful emotion. The actors have since gone on to many other great projects, though none may ever outshine the 1994 film. Here's what the cast of "The Shawshank Redemption" is up to today.

Tim Robbins

Tim Robbins stars in "The Shawshank Redemption" as Andy Dufresne, the wrongfully convicted banker who long-cons his way out of prison with a rock hammer and a pin-up collection. Robbins' soft-spoken performance as Andy is a key piece of what makes the movie work so well, and his onscreen chemistry with Morgan Freeman is the lynchpin of the whole story. In a 2019 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Robbins called the film's legacy "a great blessing" and praised its overall message of hope.

Since "Shawshank," Robbins has been quite busy on both sides of the camera. He's featured in all kinds of movies over the years, from comedies like "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny" to dramas like "The Lucky Ones." Other films include the 2017 sci-fi drama, "Marjorie Prime" and the 2019 environmental legal thriller, "Dark Waters."

Robbins is arguably more active on the small screen these days, with leading roles in two HBO series, "The Brink" and "Here and Now" in 2015 and 2018, respectively. He returned to the realm of Stephen King adaptations in 2019 by playing Pop Merrill in "Castle Rock." Robbins also serves as the artistic director of The Actors' Gang Theater in Culver City, California. He is slated to star in the upcoming Apple TV+ sci-fi series, "Wool," based on the "Silo" books by Hugh Howey.

Morgan Freeman

What has Morgan Freeman been up to since "The Shawshank Redemption?" It might be briefer to discuss what he hasn't been up to. While the actor was already a star in 1994 thanks to his turns in films like "Glory" and "Driving Miss Daisy," he's become an even bigger one since — a titan of Hollywood whose voice is recognized almost instantly by anyone who hears it.

His most famous roles since "Shawshank" include tech wiz Lucius Fox in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" trilogy, Allan Trumbull in the "Olympus Has Fallen" series, and Joe Matheson in "Red." From 2014 to 2019, Freeman served as an executive producer on the CBS political drama series, "Madam Secretary," even stepping in to direct and co-star in a few episodes. Freeman also acted in the 2022 dramas, "Paradise Highway," and "The Minute You Wake up Dead," and the 2021 action comedy, "Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard."

In addition to his ceaseless work in the film industry, Freeman has spent more time in recent years on philanthropic pursuits. The Tallahatchie River Foundation is a charity group founded by Freeman to foster educational enrichment in his native Mississippi, and he also helped create PLAN!T NOW, an organization that helps prepare for and combat the effects of natural disasters on various communities. Freeman has several upcoming projects, including the 2023 Zach Braff-directed drama, "A Good Person," co-starring Florence Pugh, and the detective thriller, "Sniff," with Al Pacino, Danny DeVito, and Helen Mirren.

Bob Gunton

Bob Gunton plays Sam Norton in "The Shawshank Redemption," the corrupt and slimy prison warden who uses Andy's financial know-how to handle bribes. Norton is far from the most violent villain in the film, but he is the mastermind behind Shawshank State Prison, and his use of convicts as a cheap labor force for his own is absolutely despicable. Sadly, it's not far from what happens in real life.

Since "Shawshank," Gunton has appeared in a number of films, but he's been more prominent on television, gaining particular fame for portraying the character of Ethan Kanin in "24." He also played comic book villain Leland Owlsley in Netflix's 2015 "Daredevil" adaptation and William Collins in USA Network's "Royal Pains" from 2010 until 2016.

On the big screen, Gunton's most notable modern credits include "The Lincoln Lawyer" and "Kill the Irishman" (both released in 2011), and 2012's "Argo." He also featured in the "Unbroken" sequel, "Path to Redemption," in 2018 and stepped in as the late Harold Ramis' body double in 2021's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."

William Sadler

While not quite as central to the story as Red or Andy, William Sadler's Heywood is still a key character in "The Shawshank Redemption." A longtime friend of Red's who's also serving an extended prison sentence, Heywood quickly befriends Andy as well and is part of the crew that later helps him expand the prison library.

An incredibly prolific actor, Sadler has appeared in multiple films nearly every year since 1994. He teamed up with "Shawshank" writer and director Frank Darabont on two other Stephen King adaptations — 1999's "The Green Mile" and 2007's "The Mist" — in addition to playing President Matthew Ellis in several Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and shows. Sadler's most recent films include the 2019 grindhouse throwback, "VFW," the 2021 horror film, "The Unholy," and 2020's "Bill & Ted Face the Music," in which he plays Death — a reprisal of his role in 1991's "Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey."

In addition to his big-screen outings, Sadler has been very prolific on television. He played Michael Flynn in the 2020 contemporary political miniseries, "The Comey Rule," and Michael Sheehan in Ava DuVernay's 2019 miniseries, "When They See Us," in addition to guest appearances in shows like "Blue Bloods," Hunters," "Power," and "Bull." Sadler is set to feature in Steven Soderbergh's upcoming HBO Max series, "Full Circle," and he'll return to the Stephen King universe as part of Gary Dauberman's "Salem's Lot" film.

Clancy Brown

The captain of the guards at Shawshank State Prison is the brutal Byron Hadley, played to perfection by famed character actor Clancy Brown. Though Brown has featured in dozens of major films and TV series over the years, he's arguably more famous for his voice acting career, which is crowned by his still-ongoing turn as Mr. Krabs in all things "SpongeBob Squarepants." Brown has also voiced major characters like Savage Opress in "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," Long Feng in "Avatar: The Last Airbender," and numerous DC and Marvel Comics characters. In 2022, Brown returned to the "Star Wars" universe to voice the Sixth Brother in "Tales of the Jedi."

Some of Brown's more significant film credits of late include the Coen brothers' films, 2016's "Hail, Caesar!" and "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" in 2018, as well as Emerald Fennell's "Promising Young Woman" in 2020 and the 2022 British mystery flick, "Last Looks." The actor has been even more active on television over the past few years, playing Waylon Jeffcoat in the Showtime financial drama, "Billions," U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in "The Crown," and Kurt Caldwell in "Dexter: New Blood."

Though Brown already has more credits than most actors could ever hope for, he's shown no signs of slowing down; he's slated to appear as a mysterious new character in "John Wick: Chapter 4," set for release in 2023, and in the upcoming Prime Video spin-off of "The Boys," "Gen V." 

Gil Bellows

Actor Gil Bellows doesn't enter "The Shawshank Redemption" until about midway through, but his character, Tommy Williams, shakes things up in a big way. Tommy informs Andy that he knows who actually committed the murders Andy was convicted of, sparking hope. However, in order to keep Andy toiling away at his under-the-table finances, Warden Norton has Tommy killed.

Bellows has never starred in another film of quite the same caliber or fame as "Shawshank," but he has made an impressive career for himself over the past few decades. Most of his roles since have been on television, playing FBI agent James Hosty in the 2016 Stephen King adaptation, "11.22.63," Evans in the Cinemax series, "Jett," Bill Sanders in the Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods," and starring as Gabe Caldwell in the short-lived USA Network thriller series, "Eyewitness."

Bellows appeared in the 2019 revival of "The Twilight Zone" (his second time in the franchise after a turn in the 2002 version) and the 2022 ABC limited series, "Women of the Movement," which tells the story of the Mamie Till-Mobley — Emmett Till's mother. Bellows' other credits include "Suits," "The Handmaid's Tale," and the Prime Video series, "Patriot," in which he co-starred as Lawrence Lacroix for both seasons.

James Whitmore

He may not be the protagonist, but Brooks Hatlen is definitely the heart of "The Shawshank Redemption," broken though it may be. The elderly inmate's tragic story leaves a lasting impression, and the brief phrase "Brooks was here" has an undeniable spot in the cinematic hall of fame. The powerful emotion behind Brooks' story is all due to the late, great James Whitmore — an actor with about as impressive of a legacy as possible in his era of Hollywood.

From his first of two Oscar nominations in 1950 to his last of two Emmy nominations in 2003, Whitmore was a true force in both film and television. "Shawshank" came nearer to the end of the actor's career, and his work after it mostly came on the small screen. He won the Emmy for outstanding guest actor in a drama series in 2000 for his performance as Dr. Raymond Oz in "The Practice," and he was nominated for the same award three years later for "Mister Sterling." According to IMDb, Whitmore's final credit was for an episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" in 2007. Whitmore, who was also a Tony Award winner, passed away from lung cancer in 2009 at the age of 87 (per The Los Angeles Times).

Mark Rolston

Bogs Diamond is about as despicable of a villain as you can find in a movie — the sadistic leader of the "sisters" prison gang who torments Andy during his early stay at Shawshank State Prison. Fortunately, retribution finds Bogs pretty early on. It takes a special talent to portray such a cruel and reprehensible character effectively, and Mark Rolston is just that.

Prior to his role in "The Shawshank Redemption," Rolston cut his teeth in genre films like "Aliens" (making his film debut as space marine Mark Drake), "Lethal Weapon 2," and "Robocop 2." Since 1994, the actor has appeared in many different kinds of movies and shows, but that early genre work has remained a key piece of his oeuvre. He featured in the first "Rush Hour" alongside Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in 1998, in action films like Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Eraser" and Sylvester Stallone's "Daylight" (both released in 1996), and, perhaps most famously, as Dan Erickson in the "Saw" franchise.

In later years, Rolston has done a lot more work in television and as a voice actor. He played Lieutenant Don Thorne in the Prime Video crime drama, "Bosch," from 2018 to 2021, and has voiced numerous characters in the DC animated series, "Young Justice," including Lex Luthor (who he's played in multiple projects), as well as Deathstroke and Norman Osborn in other works. He joined the "Star Wars" universe in 2022 and voiced Senator Dagonet in the Disney+ series, "Tales of the Jedi."

Jeffrey DeMunn

Normally, a bit part like that of the attorney who prosecutes Andy wouldn't warrant much attention, but in "The Shawshank Redemption," that part just happens to be played by Jeffrey DeMunn, an actor who's become something of a television superstar since. DeMunn has appeared in some major films since "Shawshank," including the 2008 Coen brothers' espionage comedy, "Burn After Reading" and the 2017 Chadwick Boseman-led Thurgood Marshall biopic, "Marshall," but his biggest roles in the modern era have come on the small screen.

Fans of genre TV may quickly recognize DeMunn as Dale Horvath in "The Walking Dead" — an early member of the main survivor group who sadly doesn't live to see the wild epic the show later became. His other recurring roles include Professor Norman Rothenberg in the original "Law & Order" series — a part he played off and on for 15 years — and Chief Justice Virgil Ryvlan in "The Good Wife," in addition to guest appearances in series like "The Blacklist" and "Chicago Fire." DeMunn's biggest role to date, however, is certainly that of Charles Rhoades, Sr. in the Showtime drama, "Billions." DeMunn has played the part spectacularly since the show's premiere in 2016, and he's set to return for Season 7 (per Deadline).

Despite his small part in "Shawshank," the experience clearly stuck with DeMunn, as he went on to reunite with Frank Darabont and co-star William Sadler for later Stephen King adaptations, 1999's "The Green Mile" and 2007's "The Mist."

Ned Bellamy

Ned Bellamy plays Youngblood, one of the guards under Byron Hadley's command, in "The Shawshank Redemption." Prior to the film, most of his credits consisted of television appearances in shows like "Matlock," "21 Jump Street," and "The Dukes of Hazard." His most famous TV guest spot came two years after "Shawshank," however when he portrayed military veteran Eddie in the "Seinfeld" episode, "The Fatigues."

Since the '90s, Bellamy has continued to work extensively in both film and television. His big screen roles include Derek Mantini in the 1999 film, "Being John Malkovich," Waylon Forge in 2008's "Twilight," and Wilson in Quentin Tarantino's 2012 Western, "Django Unchained." Bellamy's later roles include Ross in the 2021 Prime Video musical drama series, "Paradise City," Doc Fell in the 2022 Ana de Armas-led Marilyn Monroe biopic, "Blonde," and Leroy Fisk in the 2022 HBO Max original thriller series, "Made for Love."

In 2013, Bellamy once again partook in a major Stephen King adaptation when he played Reverend Lester Coggins in four episodes of the CBS series, "Under the Dome." He has also worked with former "Shawshank" co-star Tim Robbins numerous times on the live stage as part of the Los Angeles-based Actors' Gang Theater.

Don McManus

One of the more prominent prison guards in "The Shawshank Redemption" is Wiley, played by Don McManus. Since then, he's appeared in a number of major movies, including Ridley Scott's 2001 "The Silence of the Lambs" sequel, "Hannibal," the 2004 Disney family adventure flick, "National Treasure," and the 2014 young adult sci-fi adaptation, "The Maze Runner." His most prominent big-screen role of late was as David Addington, Dick Cheney's chief of staff, in 2018's "Vice."

McManus has arguably had a bigger impact on the small screen over the past decade, with recurring roles that include Bonnie's one-time love interest Steve Curtis in the CBS sitcom, "Mom," Richard — father to lead protagonists Leigh (Elizabeth Olsen) and Jules (Kelly Marie Tran) — in "Sorry for Your Loss," and various characters in Netflix's "The Valhalla Murders." However, his most famous TV role may still be that of Duncan in the "Seinfeld" episode, "The Race."

Additionally, McManus has found a successful side career as a video game voice actor. His vocal talents have been put to work in major releases like the critically-acclaimed adventure game series, "Life is Strange," and the lauded 2022 blockbuster, "God of War Ragnarök."

Bill Bolender

Actor Bill Bolender plays a small but important role in "The Shawshank Redemption" as Elmo Blatch, the violent convict who Andy discovers may actually be to blame for the murders of which he was convicted. Bolender has continued to work as an actor over the past few decades, appearing in the 2018 Nicolas Cage thriller, "Looking Glass," and in the recurring role of Dean in the Prime Video crime series, "Bosch" (sharing credits with "Shawshank" co-star Mark Rolston). He also appeared in a 2015 episode of the MTV series, "Faking It." However, in more recent years, acting hasn't been Bolender's primary artistic pursuit.

While he clearly still enjoys performing, Bolender spends more time these days as a visual artist, having trained at both the Art Institute of Chicago and the San Francisco School of Fine Arts. Samples of his work can be seen on his website, and on his Instagram.