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What The Cast Of Mystic Pizza Is Doing Today

It can be easy to overlook the 1988 dramedy "Mystic Pizza" as being an unimportant film, but that's simply not the case. "Mystic Pizza" was the directorial debut of the extremely successful Donald Petrie, who also claims hits like "Miss Congeniality," "Grumpy Old Men," "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" and more to his credit. It's also got an absolutely bombshell cast, even though practically all of them were relatively unknown names when the movie was released.

In fact, many reviews at the time, like one from the Desert Sun newspaper, spoke of the cast's anonymity. It reads: "Don't be put off by the ambiguous-sounding title and the lack of star names ... It is far more satisfying than the big-budget offerings with box office names." Like many 80s movies, "Mystic Pizza" comes off a bit dated, but it still tells a compelling and universal story about three young women working together in a small town.

Obviously, big name actors have to start somewhere, but it's still pretty amazing to look at the impressive cast in "Mystic Pizza" and realize how little star power — at the time, anyway — was actually involved in this film. Here's what these so-called no-names have gotten up to since "Mystic Pizza" hit theaters.

Annabeth Gish -- Kat

Two of the three central characters in "Mystic Pizza" are the Araújo sisters, Katherine and Daisy. Kat, as she's called for most of the film, is the studious one, working in the pizza shop to save money to help her pay for school in the hopes of becoming an astronomer. She's played by actor Annabeth Gish.

Gish may not be a massive household name, but she's had a very successful career both in film and television. She still works quite a bit in film, but her heyday was the late 1980s through the 1990s, when she had roles in movies like "Nixon," "Double Jeopardy" and "SLC Punk!" Gish has also appeared in a number of television series, many of which featured her in notable parts.

Gish, alongside Robert Patrick, became the lead character on "The X-Files" as the show wound down and the original leads left. She was also part of the central ensemble of the FX series "The Bridge," playing Charlotte. Even more recently, you may have caught her on the Netflix series "The Haunting of Hill House," where she played the creepy housekeeper, Mrs. Dudley.

Lili Taylor -- Jojo

Of the three main actors in "Mystic Pizza," Lili Taylor is probably the least recognizable. That's no knock against her — she's just got some serious powerhouses to compete against in that regard. She played Josefina, better known as Jojo, in the film and, even though Taylor isn't quite the household name of someone like Julia Roberts, you've still probably seen her in plenty of other roles.

Taylor often takes on indie roles, but she has occasionally crossed into some more well-known films throughout her career. She had a small role as a sheriff in the gangster movie "Public Enemies," and also showed up in "Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials." However, her most recognizable film role in recent memory is probably Carolyn Perron, the unfortunate mother who moves into the haunted home in "The Conjuring." She later reprised the role in "The Nun."

Taylor has also done plenty of television work of note. She had major roles on all three seasons of the ABC anthology series "American Crime," and she also plays Birdy McKeegan on the HBO series "Perry Mason."

Vincent D'Onofrio -- Bill

A big part of the "Mystic Pizza" story involves the three main girls' attempts to find love. All three girls have ups and downs in their relationships, and Jojo's fiancé Bill, played by Vincent D'Onofrio, deals with some serious changes of heart over the course of the film.

Though he never became quite the marketable star that someone like Julia Roberts did, D'Onofrio has had a successful and lucrative career. One of his most notable appearances actually came before "Mystic Pizza," when he played the absolutely haunting role of Pvt. Pyle in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket." During the 1990s, D'Onofrio played villains in a number of major films: he was memorable as Edgar, the bug-infested farmer who craves sugar in "Men in Black," and he chewed up the scenery as the serial killer in the surrealist horror flick "The Cell."

D'Onofrio continues to take on interesting and notable roles in his more recent work, too. He played Wilson Fisk, one of the most memorable Marvel villains yet, on "Daredevil," and Hoskins, one of the baddies in "Jurassic World." He's also taking on the role of Jerry Falwell in "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," giving him yet another larger-than-life character to add to his resume.

William R. Moses -- Tim

Kat's romantic entanglement in "Mystic Pizza" is an especially problematic one — she falls for Tim, the married man whom she babysits for, and eventually begins an affair with him. She feels like they have a real connection, but Tim has no intention of leaving his wife for the young woman. He's played by actor William R. Moses.

Moses already had plenty of experience playing roles with dramatic and complex relationships. He was well known for appearing in soap operas before being cast in "Mystic Pizza," especially his role as Cole on "Falcon Crest." He also appeared in several made-for-TV "Perry Mason" movies in the early 1990s, as an attorney named Ken Malansky.

Moses is one of those actors who hasn't really had any major breakout roles for quite some time, but he still regularly appears in small film roles and guest spots on television. Recently, he's popped up in "NCIS," "The Good Doctor," "American Horror Story" and many others. He did have a decent run on the series "How to Get Away with Murder," where he played Agent Lanford during the final two seasons of the show's run.

Adam Storke -- Charles

Rounding out the "love interests of the main characters" in the film is actor Adam Storke, who plays Charles. Charles, love interest to Julia Roberts' Daisy, is particularly memorable for the few scenes of his well-to-do family. Even with the family not accepting who she is, the two still are able to reconcile by the end of the film.

Of the central "Mystic Pizza" cast, Storke has had one of the more subdued careers. Some of his biggest claims to fame came not long after that film wrapped. He played the secondary character Dakota in the woefully underrated 1992 dark comedy "Death Becomes Her," and he played Larry Underwood in the 1994 TV miniseries based on Stephen King's "The Stand."

As far as recent roles go... there aren't many, though it doesn't appear that Storke has retired yet. In 2012, he starred in the quirky action film "Broadway's Finest," and he had a guest spot on the season 2 premiere of HBO's "Westworld," playing a character credited only as the "Sophisticated Man" in an extremely small role. Maybe he was friends with the episode's director or something.

Conchata Ferrell -- Leona

The girls essentially have two mother figures to look up to in "Mystic Pizza." Besides Mrs. Araújo, the biological mother to Kat and Daisy, there's also Leona. Leona owns the pizza shop the girls all work in, and is more than happy to help them figure things out as they try to navigate their ways in the world. Leona is played by veteran actor Conchata Ferrell, someone who you almost surely recognize.

Ferrell started acting on stage and had a few extremely successful roles before turning her attention to Hollywood with "Mystic Pizza." Not long after completing filming, Ferrell landed a role on the wildly popular series "L.A. Law," where she played attorney Susan Bloom. She had a number of roles in films and television over the 1990s and early 2000s, appearing in "Edward Scissorhands," "Erin Brockovich," "Mr. Deeds" and many others.

2003 was the year that Ferrell finally landed a role that would make her a household name, and one that she would play for over a decade. She brought Berta to life on "Two and a Half Men," for a time the most successful comedy on television. After that show ended, Ferrell landed a role on the series "The Ranch." She passed away in October 2020 after experiencing complications of a cardiac arrest.

Joanna Merlin -- Mrs. Araújo

Mrs. Araújo, played by Joanna Merlin, actually doesn't have as big a role in the film as you might assume the mother of two main characters would. She still has a substantial part to play in "Mystic Pizza," providing as much support and love as her teenage daughters will allow.

Merlin is more than up to the task, as she already had decades of experience in Hollywood under her belt by the time she was cast in the film. Her first credited film appearance came over 50 years ago, when she played Jethro's daughter in "The Ten Commandments," and she had appeared on Broadway for years before that. She even originated the role of Tzeitel as part of the original Broadway cast of "Fiddler on the Roof."

Merlin appeared in a few other notable films over the years, and her most recent recognizable role is probably as the regularly recurring Judge Lena Petrovsky on "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit." However, in Hollywood itself, she's probably better known as a casting director than as an actor. She brought together the excellent casts of films like "Big Trouble in Little China" and "The Last Emperor."

Matt Damon -- Steamer

This one's a pretty deep cut, as even the character name sounds made up. That said, "Mystic Pizza" is the first ever credited role for powerhouse actor Matt Damon. He played Steamer, part of Charles' well-to-do family, and only appears in a handful of scenes — even so, it's yet another case of an actor who went on to immense success after appearing in this film.

It's hard to even give a rundown of "roles you might know Matt Damon from." He's someone that practically everyone can identify. It would be almost a decade after "Mystic Pizza" before he shot to stardom with roles in "Good Will Hunting," "Saving Private Ryan" and more. He launched one of the most bankable action film franchises of the last few decades when he starred in "The Bourne Identity" and its sequels.

Damon has yet to win an Oscar for acting (his only win came for co-writing "Good Will Hunting" with best friend Ben Affleck), though he has been nominated a few times. His biggest recent role was probably "Ford v Ferrari," and he's apparently reprising his turn as the fake Loki in the upcoming "Thor: Love and Thunder."

Julia Roberts -- Daisy

Here's one of those "no-name" actors we were talking about: Julia Roberts plays the wild child Araújo sister, Daisy. It wasn't Roberts' first credited role; she'd had a few minor parts in movies and television before "Mystic Pizza." However, this was the real introduction to the actor who would go on to become one of the biggest stars in the world. As of this writing, in fact, projects with Roberts attached have made over $6 billion at the box office; especially impressive when you realize she's mostly stayed away from massive action projects.

Roberts was one of the most bankable and successful stars of the 1990s. She was mostly known during that period for her romantic comedies, due to her massive success in films like "Pretty Woman," "Runaway Bride," "Notting Hill" and "My Best Friend's Wedding." Roberts has more than proven herself to have range and serious dramatic chops, too. She won an Academy Award for her starring turn in 2000's "Erin Brockovich," and has had plenty of other meaty roles to show she isn't a one-trick pony.

Roberts has slowed down a bit since her heyday, but she still acts plenty and has made some strides as a producer. She was the executive producer of the series "Homecoming," which she also had a major acting role in, and she has a few other projects in the works where she's both producing and performing.