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What The Cast Of Starship Troopers Is Doing Today

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, the 1997 sci-fi/action adventure Starship Troopers follows a young soldier by the name of Johnny Rico as he joins a futuristic military battalion, rising through the ranks as the military gets deeper into its intergalactic war with an alien species called Arachnids.

The movie indulges in its fair share of silliness, but it's more than just a fun sci-fi romp. While it failed to light up the box office when it was first released, it has since gone on to become a cult classic thanks in large part to its satirical social commentary about warfare and fascism. Much like Verhoeven's other sci-fi classic RoboCopStarship Troopers is a lot smarter than many people give it credit for. 

Despite coming out several decades ago, there's still much to be taken away from the film. And it's still worth watching, especially considering the bevy of talent on camera. Many fine actors starred in Starship Troopers that you may not remember, so let's see what they've been up to since nuking those bugs. Here's what the cast of Starship Troopers is doing today.

Casper Van Dien stayed in the realm of sci-fi and fantasy

Casper Van Dien got the role of a lifetime when he was cast as the lead in Starship Troopers as Johnny Rico, a soldier who starts out as a private, working his way up to become a lieutenant. Shortly after the film came out, Van Dien found himself with another prominent role, this time in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow

In the 21st century, he's mostly been relegated to TV movies and video games, but he hasn't forgotten his roots. He lent his voice to the 2005 video game based on the movie, and he also returned to the part of Johnny Rico for two Starship Troopers direct-to-video sequels. 

Outside of that particular franchise, he appeared in the 2013 TV series Mortal Kombat: Legacy, as Johnny Cage. His other credits include Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf and, more recently, Van Dien returned to theaters as Amok in the sci-fi action/adventure Alita: Battle AngelThat James Cameron-produced project may have been a relatively rare big-screen appearance for Van Dien, but he's always busy — between roles he's already filmed and those that have been announced, we definitely haven't seen the last of him.

Dina Meyer moved into the world of horror

Dina Meyers plays Private "Dizzy" Flores in Starship Troopers, one of Rico's classmates who joins the same squad. The two of them eventually become "Roughnecks," forming a romantic relationship. 

Just a few years after appearing in Starship Troopers, Meyers joined the cast of the short-lived TV series Birds of Prey as Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Oracle. It was a role she would reprise many years later, albeit this time in a voiceover role, in the CW show The Flash as part of the series' "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover arc.

In between appearances as Barbara Gordon, Meyers has made a name for herself in the horror genre. She plays a prominent role in the Saw franchise as Kerry, appearing in the series all the way up until Saw IV. Other horror movies you may have seen her in include Pirahna 3D and The Evil Within. No stranger to the small screen, she also made an appearance in an episode of American Horror Story.

Denise Richards has had a very public life

Before she appeared in tabloids alongside Charlie Sheen, Denise Richards played the role of Carmen Ibanez in Starship Troopers. While it was her first major film role, it wouldn't be her last. Not long after the film came out, she also starred in Wild Things as well as the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, appearing in the latter as the memorably named Dr. Christmas Jones.

In 2000, Richards met her future husband Charlie Sheen on the set of Good Advice. The pair tied the knot in 2002, and the two would go on to star together in the 2003 film Scary Movie 3. Richards filed for divorce from Sheen in 2005, but that was only the beginning of their troubles. Sheen has tried to start Twitter wars with Richards, and in September of 2019, he called her a coward in retaliation during a custody battle.

Throughout all this, Richards has kept appearing in films and TV shows. Most recently, she's been seen in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Bold and the Beautiful

Jake Busey has appeared in some of your favorite TV shows

Jake Busey was destined to become an actor. As the son of actor Gary Busey, he was Hollywood royalty well before he started landing roles in the 1980s and '90s. However, his big break really came in 1997 when he starred in two major sci-fi flicks, Contact and Starship Troopers. He's continued to consistently work over the years, appearing in many TV series and films. 

One of his most popular roles came in 2014 when he landed the role of Aidan "Sex Machine" Tanner in From Dusk till Dawn: The Series. While he only had a recurring role in the show's first season, he was upgraded to the main cast in seasons two and three before the show's cancellation. You've also likely seen him make brief but memorable appearances in other TV shows, such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Stranger Things, L.A.'s Finest, and Mr. Robot

Have you met Neil Patrick Harris?

Neil Patrick Harris was already a recognizable star by the time Starship Troopers came out in 1997, thanks to his years playing the title role in the hit dramedy series Doogie Howser, M.D. With Paul Verhoeven's film, he was finally able to show off a bit more of his adult sensibilities in the role of Carl Jenkins, a psychic soldier who joins Military Intelligence.

Harris scored various roles here and there on various television series, but he jumped back into the mainstream when he played himself in the cult film Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. It was his chance to show how hilarious he was, and it likely played a role in landing the role of a lifetime as Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother

While that sitcom may have ended, Harris hasn't slowed down in the slightest. He played a very different kind of character from Barney when he starred as Desi Collings in Gone Girl, and branched out further with his performance as Count Olaf in the Netflix show A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Clancy Brown has done a ton of voiceover work

All those starry-eyed recruits needed someone to train them, and that's where Clancy Brown as Career Sergeant Zim comes into play. He's in charge of vigorously getting the recruits in tip-top shape when they sign up for Mobile Infantry basic training. His deep, powerful voice could whip anyone into shape, so it perhaps comes as no surprise to see that Brown has gone on to a lucrative career in voice acting. 

He provided the voice for Lex Luthor in Superman: The Animated Series. Around when that show ended, he had the chance to voice a very different kind of character, namely Mr. Krabs on SpongeBob SquarePants. That's really only the tip of the iceberg — you've also heard him on cartoons like The Batman, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. He has one of the most recognizable voices in the animated world, and you can always tell when he's bringing a cartoon character to life. 

Seth Gilliam went on to fight a different kind of monster

Seth Gilliam played the heroic Sugar Watkins in Starship Troopers — a loyal member of the Roughnecks who gives his all to protect his comrades and kill as many bugs as possible. After that film role, Gilliam went on to star in 17 episodes of the hit TV series Oz as Officer Clayton Hughes. 

It wouldn't be the last time he would star in a prestigious series on HBO. You also likely recognize him as Sergeant Ellis Carver on The Wire, which he starred in from 2002 to 2008. He's popped up here and there on numerous TV series, including Law & Order and Nurse Jackie

However, his most prominent role as of late has been as Gabriel Stokes on The Walking Dead. After being filled with regret over those he didn't save from the zombie outbreak, Gabriel goes on to become one of Rick Grimes' most trusted allies in the fight for peace. 

Patrick Muldoon keeps on crooning

Patrick Muldoon played Johnny Rico's high school rival in Starship Troopers, and it wasn't his first time in front of the camera: He'd already played the role of Austin Reed on Days of Our Lives. He left the show in 1995, but returned in 2011 to reprise his role for another year.

But it's not just soap operas where you've seen Muldoon before. He's also starred in several direct-to-video movies, such as The 7 Adventures of Sinbad, The Dog Who Saved Easter, and The Dog Who Saved Summer

Muldoon has also done more than just act in the years since Starship Troopers. He's a musician in the band The Sleeping Massesand apparently, that's where his true passion lies. In an interview, he said that while acting pays the bills, playing music is what makes him happy. He's still paying the bills, though: in 2020, he starred in the thriller Arkansas alongside Liam Hemsworth and Clark Duke. 

Michael Ironside has played some incredible villains

While Michael Ironside has been acting since the 1970s, many audiences were introduced to him in the role of Lieutenant Jean Rasczak in Starship Troopers. He played the commander of the Roughnecks, who just so happens to be Johnny Rico's old high school teacher. 

Since his time working on that film, he's gone on to play various tough characters, particularly antagonists. He voiced the legendary character Darkseid on Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. His voiceover work has also extended to Jackie Chan Adventures and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

However, you've still been able to see his face on numerous occasions. He got the role of the Captain of the 7th Fleet in X-Men: First Class. He's also appeared in The Flash television series as Lewis Snart, a.k.a. the father of Captain Cold. In his personal life, he's struggled with both prostate and thyroid cancer, but true to the type of character he often plays onscreen, he's survived them both. 

Rue McClanahan continued acting until her passing

Before Rue McClanahan starred in Starship Troopers as the biology teacher, most audiences knew her best as Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls. But she had a busy career even before landing the role of Blanche, appearing on The Love Boat and Mama's Family many years earlier. 

She had numerous roles on both television and film in the years after Starship Troopers. For the most part, she tended to play grandmothers, such as playing Steve's Grandma on Blue's Clues as well as Grandma Loring on Safe Harbor

Sadly, McClanahan passed away in 2010 due to a brain hemorrhage. Shortly after her passing, Betty White, the last surviving star of The Golden Girls, issued a statement discussing how badly McClanahan's passing affected her. However, we'll always remember McClanahan for the decades of performances she left behind in numerous critically acclaimed films and TV shows. 

Marshall Bell has become a great character actor

Even if you don't know Marshall Bell's name, there's a very good chance you've seen him in many of your favorite films. Before he played the part of General Owen in Starship Troopers, he starred in many hit films, including A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's RevengeTotal Recall, and Natural Born Killers

In the decades following Starship Troopers, he's appeared in many television shows and movies. One of his most popular appearances was as Alexander Hamilton in a series of commercials for Citizen Bank. Another prominent role of his is Principal Rocker in the cult 2008 film Hamlet 2. And that's just a small sample of his output — Bell is still working to this day.

In 2019, he starred in a couple of short films, and he has some very exciting projects on the horizon. Now you can finally put the face to the name the next time you see him pop up in a show you're watching.

Eric Bruskotter has turned his attention to volunteer work

Eric Bruskotter had an incredibly successful acting career throughout the 1980s and '90s. He made appearances in numerous popular television shows, including Quantum LeapThe Wonder Years, and Beverly Hills, 90210. His career culminated with the part of Breckinridge in Starship Troopers. He starred in two other films, Major League: Back to the Minors and Bring It On: All or Nothing, after his success with Troopers. But he hasn't acted much since then. 

His last major role was Cooter Menkins on Glee in 2012. Since that time, his attention has been focused more on volunteer work. More specifically, he's been working with the Best Friends Animal Society based out of Kanab, Utah. The organization is an animal rescue group that works to put on adoption festivals to find animals new homes. While a full-fledged return to acting seems unlikely, it's good to see a talented actor giving something back to the community.