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What The Cast Of Police Academy Looks Like Today

One of the great staples of the comedy films of the 1980s is the idea that a group of misfit underdogs can, when they band together, achieve great things. What started with Animal House in 1978 later gave us Revenge of the Nerds, Wildcats, and, in 1984, Police Academy.

The story of a group of cadets who join the local police academy after the mayor opens up admission to anyone, Police Academy is a classic example of the team of underdogs comedy trope. It was one of the most successful films of 1984 and became one of the most ubiquitous franchises of the 1980s, spawning six sequels (five of which were produced in the same decade) and a short-lived television series in the late 1990s. Today, the Police Academy series still has devoted fans, and it holds a prominent enough place in pop culture that an eighth film is reportedly in development. So in celebration of the decades of nutty hijinks that transpired in and around the Police Academy franchise, here's a look at what (most of) the cast is up to today.

Steve Guttenberg - Cadet Carey Mahoney

Steve Guttenberg was already gaining plenty of traction in his screen acting career thanks to films like Diner and TV series like Billy by the time the role of Carey Mahoney in Police Academy came to him. Guttenberg's lovable scoundrel performance in the film helped make it a hit — and helped launch him into some of the biggest films of the 1980s.

Throughout the rest of the decade he starred in three Police Academy sequels as well as Short Circuit, Cocoon, and 3 Men and a Baby. He continued working regularly in the 1990s in comedy and family films like The Big Green, Home for the Holidays, and It Takes Two, and in the 2000s he won a role in cult favorite TV series Veronica Mars. Today he continues acting regularly, and in 2017 he started appearing alongside Dwayne Johnson in the HBO series Ballers. In 2002, he moved behind the camera, making his directorial debut with an adaptation of James Kirkwood Jr.'s play P.S. Your Cat Is Dead.

Kim Cattrall - Cadet Karen Thompson

By the time Police Academy arrived in theaters, Kim Cattrall had already co-starred in one classic of the 1980s, playing a somewhat infamous role in the 1981 comedy Porky's. As cadet Karen Thompson she got to become a little more of a fully-fledged character, which led to more high-profile films throughout the rest of the decade — though she didn't return for any of the Police Academy sequels.

Cattrall followed up Police Academy with roles in Big Trouble in Little China, Mannequin, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and more, but the role of her life was yet to come. In 1998 she was cast as Samantha Jones in the HBO comedy Sex and the City, and her performance as the sex-positive, outrageous member of the show's key foursome made her a fan favorite. She remained with the show throughout its six-season run on HBO, and later returned as Samantha for two feature films. Since Sex and the City ended, she has continued working regularly, including roles in the TV series Producing Parker, Sensitive Skin, Modus, and Tell Me a Story.

G.W. Bailey - Lt. Thaddeus Harris

G.W. Bailey was already an established character actor — with guest starring roles on St. Elsewhere, M*A*S*H, Goodnight, Beantown and more — when he was cast as the brutal Lt. Harris in Police Academy. The role further cemented his reputation as a character actor who could play authority figures and as an actor who could play comedy, and more roles followed. He continued to play Lt. Harris in all of the six Police Academy sequels, and has worked regularly ever since.

Among Bailey's numerous screen credits in the decades since Police Academy are the films Short Circuit, Mannequin, and a voice role in the animated Home on the Range. He has appeared even more frequently on television, including the miniseries War and Remembrance and the series The Jeff Foxworthy Show, Murder, She Wrote, American Dreams, and The Closer. In The Closer, he played LAPD Detective Lieutenant Louie Provenza for 109 episodes, then crossed the character over into the TNT drama series Major Crimes, where he played the character for another 105 episodes until the series ended in 2018.

Michael Winslow - Cadet Larvell Jones

Michael Winslow started appearing in films in 1980, and co-starred in two Cheech & Chong films — Cheech & Chong's Next Movie and Nice Dreams — before Police Academy rolled around in 1984. As cadet Larvelle Jones, Winslow's incredible talent for generating seemingly any sound effect with only his mouth made him one of the standout stars, and cemented his place in the pop culture of the 1980s. Winslow continued to play Jones in every subsequent sequel. He also returned to play Larvelle Jones as a police sergeant in the Police Academy TV series in 1997.

Outside the Police Academy franchise, Winslow has kept busy ever since, with roles in The Love Boat, Spaceballs, Harry and the Hendersons and more. Unsurprisingly, he's also a gifted voice actor who has loaned his talents to the New Kids on the Block animated series, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Robot Chicken and more. He's also a gifted stand-up comedy performer and released a concert film — Michael Winslow Live — in 1999. In addition to acting, Winslow is also a musician who has released his own music and collaborated with acts including Run the Jewels and Victor Wooten.

George Gaynes - Commandant Eric Lassard

George Gaynes' screen acting credits already stretched back nearly 30 years by the time he was cast as Commandant Lassard in Police Academy, and his work included roles in Rich Man, Poor Man – Book II, Washington: Behind Closed Doors and Tootsie. Playing Lassard — the somewhat clueless but benevolent commander of the police academy — brought Gaynes a new level of visibility for 1980s moviegoers, and it was the first step toward a new level of stardom.

That new stardom also included a leading role in the sitcom Punky Brewster, in which he played Henry Warnimont for 86 episodes, and voiced the character again in an animated spinoff series. Between Police Academy and Punky Brewster, Gaynes became an icon of 1980s pop culture. He continued working regularly throughout the 1990s with roles in The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, Hearts of Fire, and more, and continued to play Lassard in all six Police Academy sequels as well as a brief appearance in the TV series.

By the end of the 1990s Gaynes had largely retired from screen acting, and his last appearance was a brief role in the 2003 comedy Just Married. He died February 15, 2016 at the age of 98.

David Graf - Cadet Eugene Tackleberry

David Graf spent several years working primarily as a guest actor on episodes of various TV series before he was cast in the career-defining role of Tackleberry in Police Academy. Tackleberry, a gung-ho security guard who couldn't wait to join the police force and seemed to always be armed and ready to shoot something, was a key archetype in the original film, and became one of the franchise's most recognizable characters. Graf returned to reprise the role for all six sequels, and co-starred in the Police Academy television series in the late 1990s.

Though Tackleberry was his most famous role, it was far from his only one. Graf continued working regularly in film and television throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 1986 he co-starred in the short-lived sitcom He's The Mayor, and in the 1990s and early 2000s he appeared frequently in TV series including Elvis, Beauty and the Beast, Seinfeld, Home Improvement, Step by Step, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and High Tide. He was also an accomplished voice actor, appeared in series and video games including Aaahh! Real Monsters!, The Wild Thornberrys, and Star Trek: Invasion. He died suddenly after suffering a heart attack on April 7, 2001, at the age of 50.

Leslie Easterbrook - Sgt. Debbie Callahan

Before Police Academy, Leslie Easterbrook was best known for playing Rhonda Lee, the neighbor of the title characters of the hit sitcom Laverne & Shirley, for its final three seasons between 1980 and 1983. As Sgt. Callahan in Police Academy, she played the tough-as-nails woman in a man's job who also had a secret side, and while she didn't return for Police Academy 2, she did reprise her role for the remaining five sequels and the TV series, by which time Callahan had become a district attorney.

After Police Academy, Easterbrook continued working regularly, racking up dozens of television appearances in the 1980s and 1990s, including guest spots on Murder, She Wrote, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Hunter, Matlock, Baywatch, and more. In 2005 she took over the role of Mother Firefly in Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects, and since then has become something of a scream queen, appearing in horror films including Zombie's own Halloween remake, House, The Afflicted, Sorority Party Massacre, and more.

Donovan Scott - Cadet Leslie Barbara

Donovan Scott's screen acting career began with a number of smaller roles in films (including playing Castor Oyl in Popeye), TV movies and TV series before he was cast as Leslie Barbara — the man with two girl's names who had to prove he could stand up to bullies — in Police Academy. Like Cattrall, Scott was one of the original cast members who did not return for other installments in the franchise.

Since Police Academy, Scott has worked regularly in film and television. His film roles include Back to the Future Part III, Psycho III, the TV movie Splash, Too, Blast from the Past, and more, while his TV roles include Life with Lucy, Alaska Kid, Babylon 5, Boston Legal, My Name is Earl, and many others. In recent years, Scott has taken a liking to playing Santa Claus, and frequently appears as Santa in various films and television series. His many Santa appearances include episodes of Frasier, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Middle, Life In Pieces, and Superstore, as well as TV movies like Northpole: Open for Christmas and Santa Switch.

Scott Thomson - Cadet Chad Copeland

Police Academy is notable for having not only an ensemble of likable hero characters, but a similar ensemble of unlikable villainous characters, including Lt. Harris and his two cadet goons, one of whom was Scott Thomson's cadet Chad Copeland. Thomson — who before Police Academy also appeared in another '80s classic, Fast Times at Ridgemont High — hasn't appeared in as many Police Academy installments as some of his co-stars, but he still reprised the role, skipping out on Police Academy 2 before returning for Police Academy 3: Back in Training and Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.

Thomson has continued working in film and television since the franchise. His TV roles include Star Trek: The Next Generation, Hunter, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, and True Blood, while his film roles include Jack Frost, Vamps, Night of the Living Dead 3-D: Re-Animation, and Greater. He also matched Police Academy with an appearance in one of the most popular films of the 1990s, playing the classical music-blaring storm chaser Preacher in Twister alongside Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.