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What Happened To The Cast Of Sister Act 2?

In 1992, Whoopi Goldberg starred in an unlikely role: a lounge singer who is forced to live life as a nun in a convent after being placed in the witness protection program. Goldberg's portrayal of Deloris Wilson (also known as her alias, Sister Mary Clarence) in the musical comedy Sister Act was both hilarious and heartfelt, and the film became a surprising success. So in 1993, Goldberg and several other cast members reunited for the sequel, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

In Sister Act 2, Deloris returns to the Catholic school she attended as a child in order to boost their reputation and save the school from closure. To turn things around, she leads the school's choir to success at the All-State Choir Championship. While the film didn't earn the same kind of positive reception as the original, audiences still enjoyed the second installment. With reports buzzing about the production of Sister Act 3 starting up, it's the perfect time to look back on Deloris's time at the fictional St. Francis Academy and find out what Goldberg and the rest of the cast have been up in the decades since the sequel.

Whoopi Goldberg became an EGOT winner

After starring in Sister Act 2, Goldberg voiced Shenzi in the beloved Disney movie The Lion King and played Buckwheat's mom in the comedy The Little Rascals. Later, she starred as Mavis Rae in the short-lived TV series Whoopi. In 2010, she reprised her role as Deloris on stage in the West End stage production of Sister Act.

In 1994, Goldberg made history when she became the first black woman to host the Academy Awards. And with her Daytime Emmy win for Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel in 2002, Goldberg became one of 16 entertainers to achieve the coveted EGOT collection – in other words, she's won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award. 

Today, you can catch Goldberg on TV almost every day, co-hosting the popular talk show The View. Recently, she played Mother Abagail Freemantle in the TV adaptation of Stephen King's novel The Stand. And in the future, you just might be able to see her star as Deloris again in Sister Act 3 – the film does not have a release date yet, so fans will have to be patient.

Kathy Najimy became a feminist activist

In Sister Act 2, Kathy Najimy returned to play Sister Mary Patrick, a friendly nun who Deloris originally met at Saint Katherine's Convent in Sister Act. Afterwards, you might have seen her playing Olivia Massery in the comedy series Veronica's Closet. Chances are, you've heard her voicing Peggy Hill on King of the Hill – today, Najimy still says that playing Peggy was one of the best experiences of her entire career. Najimy also appeared in the comedy Rat Race as Bev. In the midst of her busy acting schedule, Najimy welcomed her daughter, Samia, in 1996, and married her long-time boyfriend, Dan Finnerty, in 1998. More recently, she had a supporting role as Wendy Keegan in Veep.

In addition to acting, Najimy is also passionate about women's rights. "I have been a feminist since I was 14 years old," Najimy told MetroWeekly. "And feminism dedicates itself to the equality and respect of all people." Najimy kicked off her acting career with the feminist play The Kathy and Mo Show, and she has continued working on similar projects, including creating the off-Broadway play Gloria: A Life, which chronicles the life of Gloria Steinem. She has also been involved with the organization Time's Up.

What's next for Najimy? She's currently working on the highly anticipated movie Hocus Pocus 2, in which she'll be returning to her role as Mary Sanderson.

Barnard Hughes worked on Blossom

Barnard Hughes played Father Maurice in Sister Act 2. He's the sweet but somewhat incompetent man who leads the staff of friars at St. Francis Academy. Despite his shortcomings, he's ultimately supportive of the school choir. Although Hughes was primarily known for his work on Broadway, he continued working on films and in TV shows after Sister Act 2. He returned to his role as Buzz Richman on the family drama Blossom until 1994, and in 2000, he played Henry in the film adaptation of the musical The Fantasticks.

Sadly, Hughes died in 2006 at the age of 90. His final role was a guest spot as Judge Panicio in the TV series Deadline. In 2000, he went into retirement, briefly getting back in front of the camera to make an appearance in the documentary The Making of Tron. He will always be remembered as a hard-working actor who was consistently impressive on stage and on the screen.

Mary Wickes sang in The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Mary Wickes came back to play Sister Mary Lazarus in Sister Act 2. In the original film, she led the choir at Saint Katherine's Convent before Deloris steps in and takes over. In the sequel, she and a few of the other nuns persuade Deloris to become the new music teacher at St. Francis Academy.

Shortly after appearing in Sister Act 2, Wickes played Aunt March in a 1994 adaptation of the classic novel Little Women. She also began voicing Grandma on Life With Louie and played Ella Michalek in the TV movie Weldon Pond.

Only two years after the release of Sister Act 2, Wickes passed away after suffering complications following surgery. Wickes had already voiced Laverne in the Disney film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, singing "A Guy Like You." The film was released posthumously. Sister Act 3 simply won't be the same without Sister Mary Lazarus, and her presence will certainly be missed.

James Coburn won an Academy Award

James Coburn was a newcomer to the cast in Sister Act 2. The actor, primarily known for Western films and action flicks, played Mr. Crisp, the administrator of St. Francis Academy. The fate of the school is in his hands, and he even discovers Deloris's secret past — but before he can interfere with her plans, she brings home a win for the choir at the big competition.

Coburn continued to land roles in several popular films after filming Sister Act 2. In 1997, his supporting role as Glen Whitehouse in the drama Affliction earned him an Academy Award. In 2001, you may have heard his voice as Waternoose in the 2001 Pixar film Monsters Inc., while in 2002, he played Thunder Jack in the comedy Snow Dogs.

Coburn made his final appearance on screen with a guest spot as Slaughterhouse Sid Perelli in the TV series Arli$$. In 2002, Coburn passed away due to a heart attack at the age of 74. He had struggled with arthritis for years, but had seemingly returned to good health in the 1990s. As his manager, Hillard Elkins, said upon his death, "There'll never be another like him."

Michael Jeter became a Sesame Street character

Michael Jeter played the flaky Father Ignatius in Sister Act 2. He taught math at St. Francis Academy. At the time of filming, he was already playing Herman Stiles on the comedy series Evening Shade. After shooting Sister Act 2, he returned to his role as Herman until the show aired its final episode in 1994.

In 1998, Jeter played L. Ron Bumquist in the film version of Hunter S. Thompson's semi-autobiographical novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Next up was a role as Eduard Delacroix in the critically acclaimed adaptation of Stephen King's The Green Mile. But one of Jeter's roles in the later years of his career stood in contrast to the rest: from 1998 through 2003, he voiced Mr. Noodle and Mr. Noodle's brother on Elmo's World and Sesame Street. It was his ability to feel at home in such different roles that made him such a compelling actor.

Jeter passed away in 2003 at the age of 50. His last major part was a supporting role as Percy in the action drama Open Range.

Wendy Makkena appeared in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Wendy Makkena returned to play Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act 2. She's part of the reason that Deloris chooses to put her habit back on in the first place, as she helps persuade her to join the staff at St. Francis Academy.

Makenna has appeared in a wide variety of films since Sister Act 2. In 1997, she played Jackie Framm in the family-friendly comedy Air Bud – when her son finds a homeless golden retriever who learned how to play basketball during his time in the circus, she reluctantly agrees to adopt the talented dog. Later, she had supporting roles in the comedy series Listen Up and Oliver Beene. She explored a new genre when she played Greer Thornton in the crime drama State of Play, and in 2019, she played Dorothy in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a fictional film based on the life of Fred Rogers. Next up, Makenna has a leading role as Margaret in the drama Spiked, which is set for a March 2021 release date.

Sheryl Lee Ralph wrote her memoir

Florence Watson, played by Sheryl Lee Ralph, is skeptical of her daughter Rita's interest in pursuing a musical career. While she knows that Rita is talented, Florence worries that she'll be chasing an impossible dream if Rita tries to succeed as a singer. But when she finally sees Rita perform, she has a change of heart.

Ralph has certainly stayed busy since Sister Act 2. She had a recurring role as Maggie Foster on the series George through 1994, and shortly after, she began playing Dee Mitchell on the popular family comedy Moesha. She's also known for playing Maggie Turner on the series Instant Mom and Ray Donovan on Claudette.

In addition to her work in Hollywood, Ralph also had a stint on Broadway when she joined the cast of Wicked as Madame Morrible. She married Pennsylvania State senator Vincent Hughes in 2005, and in 2012, she published her memoir, Redefining Diva: Life Lessons From the Original Dreamgirl. She's rumored to have an upcoming role as Ms. Taylor in the romance film Cooking4Luv, and she's currently working on a pilot for the series Harlem's Kitchen.

Robert Pastorelli appeared in Murphy Brown

In Sister Act 2, Robert Pastorelli played Joey Bustamente. While he only had a small role in the film, he brought his comedy chops to the screen and stood out amongst a talented cast.

When he was young, Pastorelli had always dreamed of becoming a professional boxer, but after being seriously injured in a car accident as a teenager, he pursued a career in acting instead. In the years following Sister Act 2, he played Johnny Verona in Double Rush and Fitz in Cracker: Mind Over Murder. He also returned to his supporting role as Eldin Bernecky, a house painter who spent more time giving advice than actually painting, on the comedy series Murphy Brown.

The later years of Pastorelli's career were marred by his girlfriend's unexpected death in 1999. In 2004, he passed away at the age of 49. His final film, Be Cool, was released posthumously a year after his death.

Thomas Gottschalk was a TV host

Thomas Gottschalk appeared in Sister Act 2 as Father Wolfgang, who works as a cook at St. Francis Academy. Although Gottschalk has had a long career in the entertainment industry, you probably have not seen him on TV unless you're a big fan of German television.

Gottschalk began acting in the 1970s, but today, he doesn't play any characters onscreen — instead, he's known for hosting game shows. Gottschalk's last real acting role was a guest spot as Johnny Silver on the TV show Hubert und Staller nearly a decade ago, and his final film performance was a supporting role as a zookeeper in the 2011 film Jurgen. Now, Gottschalk is best known as one of the former hosts of the game show Wetten, dass..? He began hosting the show in 1981, and finally retired from the job in 2011. However, he did return for an appearance in 2021. Today, he occasionally makes appearances on other German shows and in documentaries.

Maggie Smith joined the Harry Potter universe

Maggie Smith, who played the Reverend Mother in Sister Act, returned to her role for the sequel. Her career successes continued after Sister Act 2, with roles in Downtown Abbey and Gosford Park. Her portrayal of Mrs. Delahunty in My House in Umbria earned her an Emmy, and having already scored an Oscar and a Tony award, she became one of the few actors to achieve "Triple Crown" status. But today, Smith is best known to a whole new generation of fans as Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter films.

Smith is an extremely dedicated actress — she continued working while fighting breast cancer for two years. She was going through treatment while working on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. "I was hairless. I had no problem getting the wig on. I was like a boiled egg," Smith told The Times. She said that she felt "horribly sick" during shooting, continuing, "I was holding on to railings, thinking 'I can't do this.'" Smith's perseverance in the face of this challenge exemplifies her commitment to her craft. 

Smith hasn't slowed down a bit — she won a Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actress in 2010 for her work on season 2 of Downton Abbey, and is currently slated to appear in the upcoming films A Boy Called Christmas and The Miracle Club.

Lauryn Hill became an international sensation

Lauryn Hill was still years away from becoming an international pop success when she played Rita Watson in Sister Act 2. Rita is an exceptionally talented singer with a rebellious side — although she rarely pays attention in class, she's a natural when it comes to the choir.

By 1994, Hill had released her first album, Blunted on Reality, with the band The Fugees. They followed it up with The Score in 1996. And in 1998, she released her solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which earned her five Grammy awards and was recently named by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest albums of all time.

But Hill was uncomfortable with her celebrity status. Although she released the album MTV Unplugged No. 2 with new live material in 2002, she has basically stepped out of the spotlight. She does perform occasionally, but ultimately, she did not want to spend her life in the public eye. "I sacrificed the quality of my life to help people experience something that had been unreachable before then," Hill explained in an interview with Rolling Stone. "When I saw people struggle to appreciate what that took, I had to pull back and make sure I and my family were safe and good. I'm still doing that."