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Beetlejuice: How The Cast Of The Original Movie Looks Today

Troubled by the living? Is death a problem and not the solution? Unhappy with eternity?

Fans of classic 1980s films know that if you're asking those questions, there's only one being to call: The ghost with the most and the afterlife's leading bio-exorcist, Betelgeuse!

The original "Beetlejuice" film was released in 1988 as only the second feature by director Tim Burton. The movie helped solidify his reputation as one of Hollywood's leading visionaries, and he went on to direct a string of hits in his unique visual style, including "Batman," "Edward Scissorhands," "Mars Attacks!" and most recently, "Wednesday" on Netflix, which he produced.

In addition to helping make Tim Burton a household name, "Beetlejuice" (that's three times we've said it now!) also featured an impressive collection of central cast members. Many of the actors who helped "Beetlejuice" withstand the test of time as a horror-comedy classic are still successful today. News of a long-awaited sequel has finally been announced, with Burton returning as director and Keaton reprising his performance as Betelgeuse – this time joined by Jenna Ortega as the daughter of Winona Ryder's Goth icon Lydia Deetz – so it's high time to look at the cast of the original film and what they're up to now.

Michael Keaton - Betelgeuse

There are a lot of big names in the cast of "Beetlejuice," but the movie was never going to work if the actor playing the title character didn't commit 100%. Luckily, Michael Keaton is at the top of his game, channeling every bit of sly humor, cocky attitude, and simmering menace he's got to create one of his most memorable roles ever. The character became a massive force in pop culture on the strength of Keaton's spectacular performance.

The actor has had a bit of a renaissance in recent years. It isn't like he ever truly disappeared, but his output in the 2000s was dramatically reduced from his star power in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His career resurgence really began in 2014, when he was nominated for an Oscar for his work in "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)."

Keaton's recent roles have acknowledged his own superhero past as the star of "Batman" and "Batman Returns": He played Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. the Vulture, in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and in a post-credits scene for "Morbius," and he'll reprise the Caped Crusader in "The Flash." But Keaton's latest screen roles haven't been all capes and comics. He earned an Emmy and Golden Globe as both actor and co-producer of the hard-hitting 2021 miniseries "Dopesick," as well as netting Screen Actors Guild and Independent Spirit Awards for the 2016 drama "Spotlight." That same year, he was also made an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture.

Alec Baldwin - Adam Maitland

It's understandable if you didn't initially recognize Alec Baldwin in "Beetlejuice." If you only know the actor from his more recent roles, it could be tough to tell that poor Adam, one-half of the couple that's killed early in the film and has to learn to cope with haunting their old home, is played by the most well-known member of the Baldwin acting clan.

Baldwin has had an impressive career with a huge variety of roles, as his booming voice, charisma, and wry sense of humor allow him to play comedy and drama equally well. Some of his biggest mainstream successes have come on television: He starred as Jack Donaghy on the series "30 Rock," you may have recognized his voice as the narrator on "Thomas & Friends," and he got seriously under the skin of Donald Trump by playing him as an obnoxious buffoon on "Saturday Night Live."

Baldwin's movie career has evolved from leading man roles in "The Hunt for Red October" to richer character turns in "The Cooler," which earned him an Oscar nomination in 2003, as well as Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator" and "The Departed," "A Star is Born," and two entries in the "Mission: Impossible" franchise. He also lent his dulcet tones to the animated feature "Boss Baby" and proved capable with a quip as the host of a "Match Game" revival.

Unfortunately, Baldwin netted more headlines in recent years for a 2021 incident on the set of the indie Western "Rust" where his prop gun discharged and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Charges of involuntary manslaughter brought against Baldwin by the Santa Fe County, New Mexico district attorney's office were dropped in 2023.

Geena Davis - Barbara Maitland

The Maitlands' terrible tragedy kicks off the story in "Beetlejuice," and we don't get a ton of time to really get to know them before we're thrown into their crazy afterlife experience. Luckily, Geena Davis is there to keep us grounded. The actor plays the recently deceased Barbara Maitland, and she's got both the emotional and comedic chops to make her character one of the film's most memorable.

Geena Davis was one of the biggest stars of the '80s and '90s. She was part of iconic films like "Thelma and Louise" and "A League of Their Own," earning an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her turn in 1988's "The Accidental Tourist." Davis also appeared in noteworthy genre films as well, including David Cronenberg's re-imagining of "The Fly" and "Stuart Little."

In recent years Davis has done some of her best work on television, winning a Golden Globe and Emmy nomination for her short-lived drama "Commander in Chief," and appearing in notable recurring roles on shows like "Grey's Anatomy," "GLOW," and "She-Ra and the Princesses of Power." She also started the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which strives for change in the hiring practices of film and television studios.

Winona Ryder - Lydia Deetz

"I myself am strange and unusual." So says Lydia Deetz, the eccentric teenager who befriends the ghostly Maitlands after her family moves into their former home. Lydia was a perfect role in which to cast Winona Ryder, who had made quite the name for herself playing dark, oddball characters in the heyday of her career.

Like many of her castmates in "Beetlejuice," Winona Ryder was a huge deal in the '80s and '90s. She embodied edgy teens and 20-somethings in several decade-defining films during that time frame, including "Heathers," "Bram Stoker's Dracula," "Reality Bites," and "Girl, Interrupted," as well as another beloved Tim Burton film, "Edward Scissorhands." She also proved equally skilled at drama, earning Oscar nods for both "Little Women" and Martin Scorsese's "The Age of Innocence."

Her career slowed down significantly after a 2001 arrest for shoplifting, but Ryder has regained plenty of fans through her more recent roles. Some of her best work has been featured on television, including her Golden Globe-nominated turn as protective mom Joyce Byers on "Stranger Things," and her starring role in "The Plot Against America." But she's also maintained her film career through indie features like "Gone in the Night" and "Destination Wedding" and studio projects such as "Black Swan" and the upcoming "Haunted Mansion." She will play an adult Lydia Deetz in "Beetlejuice 2."

Catherine O'Hara - Delia Deetz

Since first gaining fame as an Emmy-winning writer and cast member of the groundbreaking "SCTV" sketch comedy series, Catherine O'Hara has remained one of the best comedic actresses of the past four decades. Her take on the self-absorbed artist Delia Deetz in "Beetlejuice" is a testimony to her talent, and even a bit of a precursor to one of her most notable roles — Moira Rose on "Schitt's Creek," which earned her Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild awards.

You might know her as the exasperated but caring mother, Kate, in "Home Alone" and "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." But O'Hara has a long history of playing eccentric characters in features, most notably in several of Christopher Guest's absurdist "mockumentaries," including "Waiting for Guffman" and "A Mighty Wind." She's enjoyed character roles in Martin Scorsese's "After Hours," "The Paper" (alongside "Beetlejuice" costar Michael Keaton), and lent her distinct voice to dozens of animated features, including Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Frankenweenie," as well as the 2019 "Addams Family."

Television is where the actress has made her biggest mark in recent years, and she's moved between both live-action and voice work with ease. Her on-screen guest roles include the optometrist Dr. Orwell on "A Series of Unfortunate Events," as well as appearances on "Six Feet Under," "30 Rock," "Modern Family" and the "Kids in the Hall" revival, while animated TV work included "Skylanders Academy," "The Last Kids on Earth," and "Central Park." She'll next lend her voice to the Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar feature "Elemental," and will appear in both Matthew Vaughn's "Argylle" and David Yates' "Pain Hustlers."

Jeffrey Jones - Charles Deetz

Jeffrey Jones is one of those actors who was in tons of '80s comedies but was always better known by his characters' names than his own. In "Beetlejuice," he plays Charles Deetz, the stereotypical dorky '80s dad who just wants some peace and quiet.

Jones' impressive career moved through both comedies and dramas, and he was known for several huge films throughout the 1980s and '90s. He played the Emperor in "Amadeus" and also appeared in films like "The Hunt for Red October" and "The Devil's Advocate." On the comedy front, Jones is probably best known for playing Dean of Students Ed Rooney in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and he reunited with Tim Burton to appear in "Ed Wood" in 1994.

However, Jones' acting career was derailed by serious criminal charges. In 2002, he was arrested for possession of child pornography and several related allegations. Jones has also gotten in trouble with the law over the years for not updating his offender status in the federal database. He still acts on occasion, such as portraying A.W. Merrick in the HBO series "Deadwood" and the 2019 film, but it's rarely in anything too notable — and understandably so.

Dick Cavett - Bernard

Among the guests at the dinner party in one of the horror-comedy's most memorable scenes is a man named Bernard: He's the shorter man in the suit with the white shirt and red tie. Bernard is played by Dick Cavett, who would have been instantly recognizable to most audiences as an acclaimed talk show host, author, and raconteur.

Cavett is best known for being a comedian and talk show host. He got his start writing and scouting for new talent on "The Tonight Show" for hosts Jack Paar and Johnny Carson. He eventually branched out to start his own talk show, "The Dick Cavett Show," which aired on a variety of channels from 1968 to 1996. Though it never quite achieved the mainstream success of similar programs, the series won two Emmys and featured Cavitt in witty and honest conversations with public figures ranging from Groucho Marx and Muhammad Ali to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.

Because of his fame as a media personality, Cavett frequently played himself in films like "Annie Hall," "Forrest Gump," and "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors" and on series like "Gossip Girl" and "Children's Hospital." He also was and remains an in-demand subject and interview for countless documentaries; the most recent of these was HBO's "Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes," which featured his interviews with the boxing great, and a 2022 episode of "American Masters" called "Groucho & Cavett," which detailed his long friendship with the comedy legend.

Susan Kellermann - Grace

Another of the party guests in the Deetz household when Betelgeuse finally starts wreaking havoc, Grace is the woman wearing the shiny gold dress. She is played by Susan Kellermann, who made appearances in a number of '80s and '90s comedies, though rarely as a featured actor.

Kellermann got started in comedy by playing small television roles on shows like "Laverne & Shirley" and "Starsky and Hutch." She also had a recurring role on "Taxi" as the mother to Andy Kaufman's character. As Kellermann's career continued, she seemed to pick up roles in comedy films in the same dark and quirky vein as "Beetlejuice." She shows up as Patty in "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" and as a doctor in "Death Becomes Her." She also voiced a variety of characters across several episodes of the animated series "Courage the Cowardly Dog."

Kellermann never quite became a famous name like many other actors in "Beetlejuice," but she clearly found plenty of success over the years. Her work has slowed down recently, and her last credited role came in 2016; it might be safe to say she's retired.

Adelle Lutz - Beryl

Yet another of the unfortunate guests at the "Beetlejuice" dinner party gone wrong is Beryl: She's the woman wearing the green dress and the bow on top of her head. Beryl is played by artist Adelle Lutz, who may actually have been an inspiration for some of Delia's more esoteric pieces.

Lutz appeared in a handful of films in her short acting career, and actually put together an impressive résumé even though her primary career is as an artist. In the '80s, she appeared in films like "Wall Street" and "Something Wild," and she played a TV anchor in 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs." Her last role came in 1995 in John Boormna's film "Beyond Rangoon," where she played Burmese politician and diplomat Aung San Suu Kyi.

As an artist, Lutz is known to combine elements of fashion and sculpture to create her work. She has contributed designs to works by theater director Robert Wilson, filmmaker Susan Seidelman, and musicians ranging from Michael Stipe and Bono to her former husband, David Byrne of Talking Heads. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and promotional campaigns over several decades and has been featured in museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Sylvia Sidney - Juno

It's hard to think of "Beetlejuice" and not remember Tim Burton's classic design of the afterlife: a massive, bureaucratic infrastructure full of receptionists and case workers. The afterlife is forever, so it makes sense you'd have to wait. The Maitlands' case worker is a woman named Juno, who greets them with a smoker's rasp (and a slit throat) to lay out the rules now that they're dead. Juno is played by classic film actor Sylvia Sidney.

Sidney's first credited role came all the way back in 1926 as an extra in D.W. Griffith's silent film "The Sorrows of Satan," so she'd already been in the game for a number of years when Tim Burton came calling. She rose to fame during the 1930s under renowned directors, appearing in films like "Sabotage" by Alfred Hitchcock and "Fury" by Fritz Lang. In the 1950s, she played Fantine in a film version of "Les Miserables," and she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams" in 1973.

Sidney continued to work in the years after "Beetlejuice," and earned an Emmy for her role in the acclaimed AIDS crisis drama "An Early Frost." She later appeared in a recurring role on the late '90s reboot of "Fantasy Island" and reunited with Tim Burton to play Grandma Norris, whose affection for singer Slim Whitman's yodel saved the world in "Mars Attacks!" Sidney died of esophageal cancer at the age of 88 on July 1, 1999.

Glenn Shadix - Otho

In the crew of lovable weirdos who populate Tim Burton's "Beetlejuice," few stand taller than Otho. Delia's interior designer is full of smug '80s confidence, and he's played by well-loved character actor Glenn Shadix.

Burton loves to find actors who fit his style and cast them again and again, and Shadix is a great example (see also: Depp, Johnny). Besides playing Otho, Shadix also appeared in Burton's "Planet of the Apes" as Senator Nado, and he graced many of our childhoods by voicing the Mayor of Halloweentown in "The Nightmare Before Christmas," which Burton helped create. He also had memorable bit parts in films like "Heathers," "Demolition Man," and "Multiplicity," among others.

Shadix was also known for voice acting, and he put together an impressive résumé of work in that regard. In addition to "Nightmare," Shadix voiced characters in "Teen Titans," "The Fantastic Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor," and "Jackie Chan Adventures." The voice work was essential, as Shadix's physical health rapidly declined later in his career, and he used a wheelchair for mobility. Sadly, the actor died in 2010 at only 58 years old after falling in his home.

Robert Goulet - Maxie Dean

When the Deetz family realizes that their house is haunted, they decide to turn it into a tourist destination rather than fleeing in terror. Charles' big plan involves inviting his old boss to the house as a potential investor. That boss, Maxie Dean, is played by none other than Robert Goulet.

Goulet got his start and made his living for most of his life as a singer. His acting career actually kicked off because of his Broadway notoriety, as Goulet won both Tony and Grammy awards during his impressive career. He was known for a deep, velvety voice and had a number of stage standards and lounge hits as a singer.

Due to his celebrity, Goulet regularly played himself in film and on television. He appeared multiple times on "Mr. Belvedere," and you can also catch him in "Scrooged" and other titles. In roles other than Robert Goulet, his most notable probably came from "The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear." With a voice like his, it's no surprise that Goulet's work can be heard in animated projects, too. He played Mikey on the series "Recess" and also voiced Wheezy the penguin in "Toy Story 2." Goulet died in 2007 at the age of 73.