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What The Cast Of Miami Vice Is Doing Today

It's hard to believe it's been over 30 years since Crockett and Tubbs last donned their pastels and executed justice on the mean streets of Miami. Miami Vice, which counted names like Michael Mann and Dick Wolf as part of its production team, was one of the pop culture institution of the 1980s. From its synthesizer-powered theme song to its sense of fashion, it made an impact that's lasted far longer than its five (admittedly quite long by modern standards) seasons.

While the style, production values, and, let's face it, gratuitous violence appealed most obviously to the show's viewers, the cast was just as much a part of the show's success. Full of colorful characters who fit right into its sun and neon-soaked setting, Miami Vice is led by two guys who established slicked-back hair, designer stubble, and baggy suits with rolled-up jacket sleeves as an iconic '80s look. Surrounded by a killer supporting cast, Crockett and Tubbs took the series to tremendous heights — all while maintaining their impeccable hairdos.

So, where did all these 1980s luminaries end up? Put on some Jan Hammer and get ready to see what the cast of Miami Vice is up to today.

Don Johnson

Don Johnson's path to Miami Vice was dotted with failed pilots, but once he donned James "Sonny" Crockett's Ray-Bans, he became one of the biggest stars on television. Crockett nails every great cop story trope. A rogue whose code clashes with department bureaucracy? Check. A tough-as-nails exterior hiding a wounded heart? Double check. The coolest guy in the room, who loses said cool when it's time to serve criminals their comeuppance? Triple check. Crockett's sex appeal and ability to drop the hammer on bad guys makes him the focus of Miami Vice's universe and a straight-up icon.

After his time as Crockett ended, Johnson tried to jump to leading man status on the big screen. Unfortunately, films like The Hot Spot and Harley Davidson & the Marlboro Man failed to impress critics or blow up the box office. His next big success was back on television, as the lead on CBS police drama Nash Bridges, which matched Miami Vice's five-year run in length, if not in impact. The 2000s saw Johnson bouncing between supporting roles, but 2019 offered up something of a renaissance as the actor played major parts in two critically-hailed projects: Rian Johnson's twisty murder mystery Knives Out, and HBO's prestige series, Watchmen. He'll next appear in Rebel Ridge, a film by Jeremy Saulnier, director of Green Room.

Philip Michael Thomas

Detective Ricardo "Rico" Tubbs, played by Philip Michael Thomas, is the yin to Crockett's yang. A transplant from the NYPD, he finds himself seduced by the "vice" side of his work, often engaging in off-duty relationships with persons of interest, and even fathering a child with the daughter of drug lord Esteban Calderone. Still, when the chips are down, he always has Crockett's back. Phillip Michael Thomas brought a worldly cool to the part, searing Tubbs into the public's consciousness forever.

Thomas never quite found momentum once his time as Tubbs was over. He released a pair of albums, starred in a short-lived Italian TV series called Detective Extralarge, and fronted his own psychic telephone network, the Philip Michael Thomas International Psychic Network. He also briefly reunited with Johnson on a couple of Nash Bridges episodes. By now, he is likely best known to younger audiences as the voice of Lance Vance in the colossally successful Grand Theft Auto: Vice City games. Despite claiming he was retired from acting after the release of 2006's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Thomas returned to the digital realm one more time for 2011's Gangstar Rio: City of Saints.

Saundra Santiago

Every deeply wounded detective needs a love interest, and Crockett's came in the form of Detective Gina Calabrese. The pair's on-again-off-again affair is a central plot point of the series, only ending when Calabrese eventually calls it quits. They do, however, remain close, and their paths continue to cross on various investigations. Originally relegated to posing as a prostitute to lure in johns, the character grows into a larger undercover role, bringing down drug lords, mob bosses, and even an international terrorist. While the '80s weren't always kind to female characters on TV, Gina Calabrese stands out as one of the most dependable detectives in the Metro-Dade Police Department.

Saundra Santiago continued working on television after Miami Vice ended. Her next big gig was a three-year stint on the soap opera Guiding Light, followed by appearances on a number of well-known shows, including Law & Order, Damages, True Detective, and Gotham. Her most well-known post-Vice role was as Tony Soprano's next-door neighbor, Jeannie Cusamano, on HBO's mega-hit mafia show, The Sopranos. Broadway fans might also have seen her in the well-regarded and Tony-winning Nine, which starred Antonio Banderas. Her most recent appearance was on the CBS political drama Madam Secretary in 2017.

Edward James Olmos

Detective Lieutenant Marty Castillo is not your typical cop show boss. While most authority figures in this kind of show make the protagonists' lives harder, Castillo is loyal to his team, willing to go out on a limb to aid their investigations or help them navigate bureaucratic blocks. He is also a formidable police officer, drawing on his experience as a DEA operative. His style is a stark contrast to that of his subordinates — he's all taciturn cool in monochrome suits. Edward James Olmos's icy, intense performance makes Castillo an ever-compelling presence and a breath of fresh air.

Not many Miami Vice viewers would have predicted that Olmos would go on to have the most prestigious career among the show's cast, but that's exactly how it's played out. After turning down the lead on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Olmos was nominated for an Oscar for his turn as Jaime Escalante in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver. From there, he's worked almost constantly, appearing in films like Selena and American Me (which he also directed), and on highly-regarded TV shows such as The West Wing. His best-known effort, though, was his starring role as Admiral William Adama in Battlestar Galactica. Olmos most recently appeared on Mayans M.C., and has several in-production projects going, so you can be sure you'll be seeing much more of him in the near future.

Gregory Sierra

Lou Rodriguez is the Vice team's original superior officer, played by Gregory Sierra. A typical cop show boss, he is hot-tempered and, in tremendous contrast to his stylish subordinates, often disheveled. He and Crockett are implied to have a long history, having worked together for several years before the series' story. While he can be irascible with the detectives, he steps up when it matters, giving his life by taking a bullet from hitman Ludovici Armstrong. His death is a major early plot point for the show, serving as the catalyst for Crockett and Tubbs to head to the Bahamas to confront drug lord Esteban Calderone.

Sierra had a lengthy list of credits before Miami Vice, with episodic appearances in everything from the action-packed Mission: Impossible and Hawaii Five-O to sitcoms like Sanford and Son and All in the Family. His longest run on a series was as Chano Amenguale on Barney Miller, but he worked steadily through the '90s, popping up on The X-Files, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirHe also had parts on the big screen in Hot Shots: Part Deux and A Low Down Dirty Shame. This millennium, he appeared s in 2018's The Other Side of the Wind, the Orson Welles-directed film that was finished and released 30 years after its creator's death.

Olivia Brown

Detective Trudy Joplin, saddled with the unfortunate nickname "Big Booty," is Gina Calabrese's partner, and one of two female members of the vice team. Like Detective Calabrese, she starts out as a lure in prostitution sting operations, attracting would-be johns with her provocative outfits. Over time, her role shifts into that of the team's intelligence gatherer, using her street-level contacts and computer skills to provide the in-depth info needed to bring down Miami's worst criminals. Although she rarely goes out on undercover work, she does get her hands dirty from time to time, posing as Tubbs' wife to help flush out a DEA leak in the episode "Smuggler's Blues," and posing again as a prostitute to nab a serial killer in "The Asian Cut."

Brown had a bit of a character resume before Miami Vice, which she parlayed into frequent work throughout the '90s. She had recurring roles on Designing Women, Dear John, and Lois & Clark, and showed up on individual episodes of Roc, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Sister, Sister, among others. Brown hasn't slowed down in the 2000s, portraying Dorian's birth mother on several episodes of Moesha and appearing as Patricia Hamilton on the long-running drama, 7th Heaven. She was most recently seen in the holiday-themed film 2017 Our Dream Christmas.

John Diel

Crockett and Tubbs are Miami Vice's main dynamic duo, but detectives Larry Zito and Stan Switek give them a run for their money. Together, they serve as a surveillance outfit, staking out potential suspects and engaging in electronic and audio intelligence-gathering. Zito is originally played as comic relief, but as the show's tone grows more serious, so too does John Diel's performance. Unfortunately, Diel tired of the role, leading to Zito's cocaine overdose death during an undercover investigation of drug runner Guzman.

After leaving Miami Vice, Diel temporarily forewent television work to focus on theater. He found time, however, to advance his film career in a rash of movies throughout the '90s. In fact, Diehl has one of the deepest resumes of any Miami Vice alum, with literally dozens of credits per year up through 2019. Post-Vice, he appeared in The Hanoi Hilton, Mo' Money, and Stargate, among many, many other productions. The turn of the millennium saw him return actively to TV, with recurring roles on The Shield and Point Pleasant and episodic appearances on the likes of NYPD Blue and The West Wing. His list of movie credits is also dotted with well-known titles, from Oliver Stone's Nixon, in which he played G. Gordon Liddy, to Jurassic Park III.

Michael Talbott

Michael Talbott's Stan Switek might be best remembered for his Elvis Presley fandom, which saw him keep a photo of the singer on his desk and perform frequent impressions. Despite his general goofiness, he is an effective part of the team, using his surveillance expertise alongside Larry Zito to great effect. His close bond with his partner means that Zito's death hits him particularly hard, leading to alcoholism, depression, and a gambling addiction. Things eventually get so bad that Switek finds himself on the hook to some pretty nefarious characters who attempt to leverage the formerly fun-loving detective into compromising his squad. Switek remains true, but it's a harrowing time that includes a suspension by Castillo.

Miami Vice wasn't Michael Talbott's first rodeo. The actor had already appeared in a variety of TV shows including M*A*S*H and Scarecrow and Mrs. King, as well as in movies like Carrie and First Blood. Unfortunately, things never really took off for Talbott once his time in South Beach came to an end. He's kept active, however, as an outspoken supporter of the National Rifle Association.

Martin Ferrero

During their time battling crime in Miami, the Vice squad runs up against plenty of hardened criminals. Isidore "Izzy" Moreno ... is not one of them. After being arrested by Crockett and Tubbs on a botched bank robbery, Moreno sings like a bird, receiving immunity in exchange for information. From there, he embarks on a long relationship with the show's leads, getting off the hook on his ridiculous crimes in exchange for giving up the goods on some of Miami's more dangerous shirkers of the law. With his penchant for dropping misquotes of icons like Ernest Hemingway and his thick accent, he is often used as comic relief, but his staying power is undeniable — he's the only character outside of the main cast to appear in every one of the show's seasons.

Like others on this list, Martin Ferrero had a solid career in TV that continued after Miami Vice, landing him on shows like Shannon's Deal, as well as reuniting him with Don Johnson on Nash Bridges. He also enjoyed some success at the movies in the '90s, appearing in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Get Shorty, and Gods and Monsters. The role from which you probably most recognize him, however, is a bit ignominious: He played Gennaro, the lawyer who gets bitten in half by a T-Rex while sitting on a toilet in 1993's Jurassic Park. Hey, it's good to be known for something, right?

Belinda Montgomery

Although she only appears in a handful of episodes of Miami Vice, there's no denying the importance of Belinda Montgomery's Caroline Crockett. As Crockett's wife, then ex-wife, and mother of his son, she plays a significant role in the detective's emotional arc. First, the two split, then they get back together, then they split again after the entire family is nearly murdered by Ludovici Armstrong, leading to Caroline's relocation to Ocala. Through it all, Caroline bags on Crockett's profession, the way it keeps him from home, and the danger in which it puts her and their son. Later, it's revealed that she remarries, opening up a new dramatic well for Crockett as he attempts to navigate absentee parenthood.

Unlike many of her cast mates, Belinda Montgomery jumped directly into another series after her time on Vice was done, co-starring with Neil Patrick Harris for four years as the title character's mother on Doogie Howser, M.D. From there, things slowed down a bit, with just a smattering of episodic TV parts through the late '90s and early 2000s. Sci-fi fans might recognize Montgomery as Grandma Flynn in the 2010 Disney TRON sequel, TRON: Legacy. Montgomery is also an established painter — you can take in her gorgeous watercolors on her official site.

Sheena Easton

In a case of life imitating art, musician Sheena Easton plays pop star Caitlin Davies, who later becomes Caitlin Davies-Crockett, the detective's second wife. Originally paired when Crockett is appointed to bodyguard Davies while she awaits testimony against her former manager, the two start off with a degree of animosity that masks a deep attraction. Eventually, they fall in love and marry in 1987, but their relationship, while passionate, is dotted with tension due to both participants' careers. Fortunately, it always seems to work out ... until it doesn't, and Caitlin dies in Crockett's arms after being gunned down by his old enemy, Frank Hackman.

Easton has held down a number of acting gigs over the years, including as a voice on the much-loved animated series Gargoyles and on syndicated sci-fi shows like Highlander: The Series and TekWar. Her acting career, however, is only a blip when compared to what she's accomplished in the world of music. There, she's a six-time Grammy nominee and two-time winner, the singer of '80s hits like "Morning Train (Nine to Five)" and Prince's "U Got the Look," and seller of over 20 million records and singles, globally. While she hasn't released any new music since 2000, she remains very active as a performer, even taking to the stage in London's West End in a 2016 revival of 42nd Street.

A bunch of really famous people

One of the joys of watching old episodes of Miami Vice is playing "spot the mega-celebrity in one of their first roles on television" — if it were a drinking game, you'd get smashed pretty quickly. Look, there's Liam Neeson as an international terrorist! There's Bruce Willis in his very first TV role as arms dealer Tony Amato! Four months after this appearance, he'd land the part of David Addison on Moonlighting, the series that rocketed him to stardom. There's Ben Stiller as a fast-talking con man! There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-him turn by Jimmy Smits as Eddie Rivera, Crockett's original partner! Spoiler alert: He doesn't make it past the first episode.

Helena Bonham-Carter, most recently of The Crown, actually gets a couple of episodes in, playing Dr. Theresa Lyons, a drug-addicted ER medic who is an all-too-brief love interest for Sonny. And then, there's Julia Roberts, who needs no introduction if you've seen a movie in the past 20 years. Roberts appears as the drug-dealing assistant of Miguel Manolo, whose paths crossed with our heroes during one of the show's most insane storylines. It just goes to show that even when it was going off the rails, Miami Vice had a way of finding faces with staying power.