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Why Cameron From Ferris Bueller's Day Off Looks So Familiar

The late John Hughes defined a generation of filmmaking with his approach to teenage stories in movies. Between films like "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles," he made a name for himself by deftly handling the timeless highs and lows of one's teenage years. That said, for many Hughes fans, the gold standard of his filmography arguably remains "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The 1986 film tells the story of an endlessly charismatic high schooler named Ferris Bueller, played by Matthew Broderick, who convinces his girlfriend, Sloane, and his best friend, Cameron, to ditch school for a wild day out in Chicago.

In the years since "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" debuted in cinemas, Cameron has gone on to appear in numerous projects and has become instantly recognizable by many fans. That's because he is portrayed by actor Alan Ruck, a Hollywood character actor with a wide range of IMDb credits across film and television. Given his lengthy tenure in Hollywood, you might recognize him from some of the more familiar roles he took on following his work on the John Hughes classic.

He briefly commanded The Enterprise in Star Trek

In 1994, Alan Ruck joined the "Star Trek" universe with his role as Capt. John Harriman in the film "Star Trek Generations." The film saw Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Kirk (William Shatner) team up to stop a mad scientist. In an interview with The A.V. Club, Ruck described Harriman as a young and political Starfleet captain "ill-equipped" for the job, leading Kirk to take over for him during the film's central mission. As a result, Ruck noted that some fans view Harriman as being responsible for Kirk's death at the end of the film.

"Star Trek Generations" was not the only instance in which Alan Ruck would get to take on the role of John Harriman. In fact, the actor reprised the role in 2007 for a video titled "Star Trek: Of Gods and Men," a non-canon miniseries produced to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the franchise. The project saw Ruck return alongside many other "Star Trek" icons, including Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, Grace Lee Whitney, and several others.

He was held hostage in Speed

In 1994, "Die Hard" cinematographer Jan de Bont released "Speed," a high-octane, Keanu Reeves-led action thriller about a cop trying to stop a bomb on a Los Angeles bus. In "Speed," Alan Ruck portrays Doug Stephens, a tourist visiting Los Angeles who finds himself in the unfortunate position of getting on the bus when the bomb arms. Stephens is one of the more fully realized passengers in the film, assisting Jack Traven (Reeves) at several points throughout the movie and butting heads with the other passengers.

"Speed" underwent numerous changes during its development, especially as far as the characters were concerned. In fact, when Joss Whedon came aboard the project for rewrites, he specifically saved Ruck's character (per In Focus) from being killed.

"The only character I tremendously changed was Alan Ruck, who was cast as 'the a**hole.' I'm using quote marks. He was cast as that guy you hate," said Whedon. "And he was very artificial. He was a lawyer. He was on the phone and he was a bad guy and he died. And I think Alan Ruck is a great comedian and a great actor so I was like, 'Why don't we just make him a tourist? A guy, just a nice, totally out-of-his-depth guy?'"

The rest is history. Ruck's character was ultimately saved, arguably giving Stephens one of the most well-developed arcs of any passenger on the bus.

He chased tornadoes in Twister

Two years after the debut of "Speed," Alan Ruck teamed up with Jan de Bont yet again for another high-octane thriller. This time, however, de Bont swapped out the streets of Los Angeles, California, for a Middle America disaster flick with the debut of "Twister." The film follows a team of tornado chasers as they track a massive storm making its way through Oklahoma, and they attempt to conduct experiments on it so they can enhance the early warning system. In the film, Ruck portrays Robert "Rabbit" Nurick, a navigator working for Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) and Bill Harding (Bill Paxton).

"Twister" was a major hit upon its release in 1996. In fact, it was the second-highest-grossing movie (per Box Office Mojo) of its year — beating out all contenders except for Roland Emmerich's "Independence Day." In 2020, a reboot was announced to be in development (per Deadline) with "Top Gun: Maverick" filmmaker Joseph Kosinski considered for directing duties.

He got into politics in Spin City

In 1996, NBC debuted "Spin City," a Michael J. Fox-led sitcom exploring local government politics in New York. In "Spin City," Alan Ruck portrayed chief of staff Stuart Bondek, a sexist city hall bureaucrat who thinks that he has far more charisma with women than he really does. As a result, this attitude often gets him into trouble in the workplace. In addition to Ruck and Fox, the show's ensemble also included Richard Kind, Barry Bostwick, and Carla Gugino, among others.

"Spin City" underwent a major creative shift partway through the series when lead actor Michael J. Fox departed the show due to his Parkinson's diagnosis (per The Washington Post). As a result of Fox's departure, the show retooled and introduced Charlie Sheen to the ensemble. Throughout the entirety of the run of "Spin City," however, Ruck's Stuart remained a cornerstone of the overall ensemble. Between Season 1 and Season 6 of the show, Ruck is credited in a total of 145 episodes (via IMDb).

He was murdered in Freaky

Alan Ruck has played numerous lovable jerks over the course of his career, but his performance in the 2020 horror film "Freaky" wasn't one of them. A slasher film modeled in the style of the beloved teen comedy "Freaky Friday," the film sees a high school girl named Millie (Kathryn Newton) and a vicious serial killer (Vince Vaughn) mysteriously swap bodies due to a mystical curse. What follows is a race against time to reverse the curse before the swap becomes permanent and Millie is trapped in the killer's body forever.

In "Freaky," Alan Ruck portrays Mr. Bernardi, a mean and abusive woodshop teacher. Unaware that Millie's body has been overtaken by a serial killer's mind, Bernardi comes to blows with the high schooler in his class after hours. Eventually, "Millie" gets the upper hand and bisects the mean teacher with a table saw — resulting in one of the most brutal kills in the entire film.

He is running for President in Succession

Audiences can currently catch Alan Ruck in his role as Connor Roy on the hit HBO series "Succession." The series tells the story of The Roys, a wealthy family who owns one of the most influential media empires in the world, and follows the four children of Logan Roy (Brian Cox) as they vie to take over the company upon his eventual death or retirement. Ruck portrays Connor as the eldest son of the family and a half-sibling to Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv (Sarah Snook), and Roman (Kieran Culkin). Compared to the other Roy children, Connor is shown to be somewhat less interested in running the family business than he is in enjoying his wealthy lifestyle.

However, as "Succession" has gone on, Connor has developed increasing political aspirations. This results in him announcing his desire to run for president of the United States in Season 1, with the show following his gradual path to becoming a fringe candidate running on a platform of eliminating taxes. With Season 4 of "Succession" on the way, only time will tell where Connor's campaign will take him next.