Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Halloweentown: Whatever Happened To The Cast?

The Disney Channel has been around since 1983, and many tween and teen-targeting films have made their debut there. However, it wasn't until 1997 that the term "Disney Channel Original Movie" took hold; before that, they were known as "Disney Channel Premiere Films." We were a decade away from "High School Musical" taking the world by storm, but many of us still have fond memories of those early DCOMs — like 1998's "Halloweentown."

One of the very first films branded under the new DCOM moniker, "Halloweentown" is about a trio of siblings whose mother, Gwen, prevents them from getting involved with any Halloween festivities. One day, their grandmother, Agatha, comes to visit, and we learn why: Agatha and Gwen are both witches, but Gwen does not want her children to learn of their magical heritage.

It's pretty standard Disney Channel stuff and ends almost exactly as you'd expect. That said, "Halloweentown" is often cited as one of the best DCOMs ever, even though it came out years before most of the channel's other memorable films. Here's what happened to the impressive cast of "Halloweentown."

Kimberly J. Brown - Marnie Piper

At the heart of the story in "Halloweentown" is Marnie Piper, a 13-year-old girl who yearns for a more interesting life. Her wish is granted when her grandmother comes to visit and she discovers the world of magic and witchcraft that's been living under her nose. Marnie is played in "Halloweentown" and a few of its sequels by actor Kimberly J. Brown.

Brown, like many of the child actors in the film, had a decent amount of success as a preteen and teenage actor. In addition to the "Halloweentown" films, she also appeared in films like "Bringing Down the House" and "Be Cool," and she played Annie in the TV miniseries "Rose Red." She also did some early voice work, including the English dub of "Vampire Princess Miyu" and "A Bug's Life."

She doesn't act much anymore, but she has had small recurring roles in a few soaps like "General Hospital" and "Guiding Light," alongside some small other film parts. Outside of acting, Brown is still very creative: she co-authored a children's book and runs a successful Etsy shop. Naturally, many of her crafts contain "Halloweentown" references.

Judith Hoag - Gwen Piper

In most Disney Channel Original Movies, someone has to take on the unenviable task of "stick in the mud." In "Halloweentown," that job goes to Marnie's mom, Gwen. She has several good reasons for wanting her daughter to remain in the dark about her magical abilities, but it's still a less exciting role than what most of the other characters have. Luckily, Gwen is played by actor Judith Hoag, who still manages to find plenty to do in the role.

Most people probably remember Hoag as April O'Neil, the redhead reporter in the 1990 version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." She's had some other film roles over the years, but most of her major roles have come on television, especially in recent memory. She had a recurring role on the HBO series "Big Love," where she played Cindy Price. She played Stephanie Quinn on a few episodes of "The Magicians," and she also had a major role as Tandy Hampton on the series "Nashville."

Debbie Reynolds - Aggie Cromwell

Of all the actors in "Halloweentown," few boast as much of an impressive career as Debbie Reynolds. She plays Agatha "Aggie" Cromwell, Marnie's grandmother who wants to help introduce the teen to the world of witchcraft. Reynolds gets to have a lot of fun in her role as the mischievous grandmother.

Reynolds had an impressive career as an actor, appearing in some of the biggest films of the 1950s and 60s. Her first major role came in 1952's "Singin' in the Rain," where she got to sing and dance alongside Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor. She also starred in major films like "Tammy and the Bachelor" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," the latter of which got her nominated for an Oscar.

She continued to act for decades, with memorable voice roles on cartoons like "Rugrats" and "Kim Possible," and also appearing in traditional roles for television like "Will and Grace." Reynolds sadly passed away in 2016 at the age of 84, just one day after her daughter, actor Carrie Fisher, died.

Joey Zimmerman - Dylan Piper

Like many Disney Channel stories, "Halloweentown" focuses much of its plot on the bond (and disagreements) between siblings. Marnie's younger brother, Dylan, is only a year younger than her, and the two bicker a bit but ultimately team up to save the day. Dylan is played by Joey Zimmerman, who had quite a bit of success as a child actor.

If you were watching TV in the mid-1990s through the early 2000s, you probably saw Joey Zimmerman somewhere. He had lead roles on a few different shows, including playing Eric Kipper on the CBS series "Bailey Kipper's P.O.V." and on the short-lived NBC series "Earth 2." He also had memorable guest spots on a few more popular series: you might remember him as the 13-year-old version of Hyde on "That 70s Show," or you might have caught him on "7th Heaven," "Frasier" or a handful of other shows.

That said, it's been a while since Zimmerman has landed a substantial role. He had a supporting part in the little-seen 2014 comedy "Roswell FM," and his most recent gig was a voice role in "Thomas and the Magic Railroad: 20th Anniversary Celebration," where he voiced Henry.

Phillip Van Dyke - Luke

One of the more memorable elements of "Halloweentown" is the goblin named Luke, who has actually been transformed into a good-looking boy to serve as an awkward love interest for Marnie. It's ... certainly a thing. Luke is played by actor Phillip Van Dyke, and he helps Marnie and Dylan save the day by the movie's end.

Van Dyke had a pretty impressive film career, despite the fact that it only lasted for about a decade. He appeared in several dozen roles, but his last acting credit came in 2003. Even though it's safe to call Van Dyke retired from acting, he's open for one exception. Speaking with E! Online, he said he would return for another "Halloweentown" if the rest of the cast was also game. We may yet see Luke the goblin ride again!

Van Dyke's most notable role outside of "Halloweentown" probably comes in the animated realm: he was the second person to voice the lead character on the cartoon "Hey Arnold!" He played Arnold for the second and third seasons of the show. Arnold's actor had to be replaced multiple times after their voice changed. He also starred as the lead on the single season run of the Nickelodeon series "Noah Knows Best."

Robin Thomas - Kalabar

Disney Channel Original Movies need that perfect balance for their villains. They have to be just scary enough to put some actual stakes into the proceedings, but not so scary that they, y'know, truly scare people. Kalabar, the evil magic-user in "Halloweentown," is just the right mix to make for a memorable Disney Channel villain. He's played by actor and artist Robin Thomas.

Thomas has appeared onscreen for decades in both movies and television. He rarely is the star of the show, but he's a memorable character actor and one of those classic "Oh, I recognize that guy" guys. Some of his memorable recurring roles from early in his career came on sitcoms like "Who's the Boss," where he played Geoffrey Wells, and "Murphy Brown," where he played Jake Lowenstein. He's also guest starred on nearly every police procedural out there, and recent roles include Marco Serrano on "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" and Graham Winslow on the "Mystery 101" series.

Thomas also worked as an artist and was pretty darn successful. For example, his sculptures were featured in the windows of Tiffany & Co in New York for multiple years.

Kenneth Choi - Hip Salescreature

Once you get outside of the main cast of most early DCOMs, you start to hit choppy waters. However, one actor with a pretty small role in "Halloweentown" has gone on to become a pretty bankable star. That would be Kenneth Choi, who is credited as the "hip salescreature" in the film.

Choi has appeared in some major film and television roles over the last decade or so, including the elephant in the room of Hollywood: he's appeared in multiple MCU roles. Choi played Jim Morita in "Captain America: The First Avenger" and reprised it a few times, and he also plays Principal Morita in "Spider-Man: Homecoming." Jim Morita is Principal Morita's grandfather, but they're both played by Choi.

Other noteworthy roles for Choi include Henry Lin on "Sons of Anarchy," Judge Lance Ito on "The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story" and Lewis on "The Last Man on Earth." Currently, you can catch Choi as Howie Han on the series "9-1-1." Not bad at all for the hip salescreature.

Rino Romano - Benny

Another small but memorable character in "Halloweentown" is Benny, the skeleton taxi driver who takes the kids to their grandmother's home. Onscreen, Benny is basically just a cheap Halloween decoration, but he's voiced by a prolific actor named Rino Romano.

You probably won't recognize Romano by looking at him, as he mostly works only as a voice actor. However, you've almost certainly heard him before. He's probably best known for his work as various superheroes: he played Batman/Bruce Wayne on the cartoon series "The Batman" from 2004-2008, and he voiced Spider-Man/Peter Parker on "Spider-Man Unlimited" and in several video games.

Speaking of video games, Romano has done a lot of work in that realm. He plays Scorp in the "Skylanders" series, and also voiced Luis Sera in "Resident Evil 4," among many others. As for his most recent work, Romano has voiced the narrator on NBC's "Curious George" series since 2007 — well over 100 episodes of just that show. He's one of the most prolific voice actors in the business, and he's still going strong.