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Whatever Happened To The Cast Of Big Daddy?

Adam Sandler is one of many comedians to make a strong transition from "Saturday Night Live" to the big screen, and he's made some of the biggest comedies in recent decades. (Sandler's films have reportedly made over $3 billion at the box office.)

Sandler hit a comedic peak in the '90s with "Happy Gilmore," "Billy Madison," "The Waterboy," and "Big Daddy," to name a few. In "Big Daddy," Sandler plays Sonny, a slacker law school grad whose girlfriend Vanessa (Kristy Swanson) wants him to grow up. To that end, he adopts a kid named Julian "Frankenstein" McGrath (played jointly by Cole and Dylan Sprouse), and as the tagline for the film reminds us, "Once you adopt a kid, you have to keep him." As you can guess, raising a kid forces Sonny to grow up and mature (to some extent), and they end up forming a strong bond together.

The film was a big hit, making $234 million worldwide, and it helped cement Sandler's A-list comedy star status on the big screen. So what happened to the cast of "Big Daddy," and how have they fared since the movie's release in 1999? We have the answers.

Adam Sandler (Sonny Koufax)

Since "Big Daddy," Adam Sandler's career has had its share of ups, downs, and sideways, and while his comedies have never been favorites among critics, he's gotten good notices in recent years for his dramatic work. Sandler's post-"Big Daddy" hits include "You Don't Mess with the Zohan," in which he played an Israeli hairdresser/commando; "Anger Management," in which he co-starred with Jack Nicholson; the romantic comedy "Fifty First Dates" with Drew Barrymore; the "Hotel Transylvania" movies, in which he provided the voice of Dracula; and the coming-of-middle-age "Grown Ups" movies.

Sandler has also had his share of misfires, including "Little Nicky," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," and "Jack and Jill." Still, his batting average was strong enough for Netflix to sign him to a deal worth $250 million. (Sandler was one of the first major big screen stars to sign up with Netflix before the streaming giant started giving the major studios a run for their money.)

In 2019, Sandler earned strong notices for his role as a gambling addict in "Uncut Gems." Even Daniel Day-Lewis was impressed, telling the comedian, "I couldn't let go of the seat in front of me" (per W Magazine).

Cole and Dylan Sprouse (Julian Frankenstein McGrath)

Cole and Dylan Sprouse are twin actors who often shared roles growing up, and they both played the role of Julian "Frankenstein" McGrath in "Big Daddy."

The Sprouse twins were born fifteen minutes apart on August 4, 1992 in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy, Dylan was born first, and their parents raised them in Long Beach, CA. The twins first starred as Patrick Kelly on the Brett Butler comedy series "Grace Under Fire," and the same year of their "Big Daddy" debut, they also shared a role in the eerie thriller "The Astronaut's Wife" with Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron. Once the Sprouse twins grew a little older, they had a hit on the Disney Channel with "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody."

Dylan and Cole attended NYU once "Suite Life" ran its course, and they both graduated with honors in 2015 (via E! News). Cole achieved a degree in archaeology, and Dylan got a degree in video game design (per Vanity Fair). These days, Cole is best known as playing Jughead on the hit series "Riverdale," and Dylan currently owns a bar in Brooklyn. Cole is also an accomplished photographer (per Duke Form), and both twins have thankfully gone down more successful and healthier roads than many former child stars.

Joey Lauren Adams (Layla Maloney)

Joey Lauren Adams, born on January 9, 1968, is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, and her first role was on the short-lived series "Top of the Heap" featuring a pre-"Friends" Matt LaBlanc and "Big Daddy" actor Joe Bologna. Like a lot of attractive young women of her era, she also starred on "Married ... with Children," and had a featured role in the stoner ensemble classic "Dazed and Confused."

Eventually Adams became a muse for "Clerks" creator Kevin Smith, starring in "Mallrats" and "Chasing Amy." She would go on to reprise her "Chasing Amy" role in 2019's "Jay and Silent Bob Reboot," and is set to return for the upcoming Smith sequel "Twilight of the Mallrats." In recent years, her acting career slowed down a bit. As she lamented (via Radio Free Entertainment), "'Chasing Amy' was an amazing role, but then after that, I went and did 'Big Daddy' and you're the girlfriend or you're the best friend. I wasn't getting the Nicole Kidman roles." She made her debut as a writer-director with the 2006 drama "Come Early Morning," starring Ashley Judd.

Jon Stewart (Kevin Gerrity)

Born in New York City on November 28, 1962, Jon Stewart first got national notice in 1989 with "Short Attention Span Theater' on Comedy Central. Then "The Jon Stewart Show," the first talk show on MTV, launched in 1993. Stewart's big breakthrough, of course, was "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, where he took over for Craig Kilborn in 1999. Headlining the show until 2015, Stewart would become known as a pioneer of "news satire," a tradition that would continue going strong with shows hosted by comedians like John Oliver and Stephen Colbert.

While he's best known as a TV personality, Stewart has made a number of appearances in films, often playing himself. His big screen credits include "Half Baked," "Death to Smoochy," "The Faculty," and "Playing By Heart." Stewart also wrote and directed "Rosewater," a film adaptation of the book "Then They Came For Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity and Survival," written by Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy.

Stewart's latest show is "The Problem With Jon Stewart" on Apple TV+, which has reportedly been struggling in the ratings (per Bloomberg).

Leslie Mann (Corinne Maloney)

After breaking out in '90s comedies like "The Cable Guy" and "George of the Jungle," Leslie Mann is perhaps best known today best as the wife and muse of Judd Apatow, and since starring in "Big Daddy," Mann has starred in Apatow's comedy hits "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," Knocked Up," "Funny People," and "This is 40." She also appeared on an episode of Apatow's acclaimed and tragically short-lived comedy drama "Freaks and Geeks."

In recent years, Mann had picked up roles in such films as "The Bling Ring" and the much lambasted remake of "Vacation," as well as voice performances in "Rio 2," "The Simpsons," and "The Croods: A New Age." In 2022, Mann appeared in Apatow's quarantine comedy "The Bubble," and she's also a regular cast member on the TV series "The Power," in which young women develop the power to zap people with their psychic abilities.

Rob Schneider (Delivery Guy)

Rob Schneider is another "SNL" alum who's had success on the big screen — not on the same level as Sandler, of course, but he's certainly built a similar career in silly comedy, often playing fish out of water roles as in "The Hot Chick."

Schneider left "SNL" in 1994, going on to co-star in a number of films, including "Demolition Man" and "Judge Dredd," before he finally broke through in a Sandler hit, "The Waterboy." The same year Schneider starred in "Big Daddy," he launched his own successful big screen character, "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo." A sequel came in 2005, "Duece Bigalow: European Gigolo."

In addition to "Big Daddy" and "The Waterboy," Schneider has co-starred with Sandler in a number of other films, including "Mr. Deeds" (a take-off on "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town"), the remake of "The Longest Yard," "50 First Dates," "Eight Crazy Nights," "You Don't Mess with the Zohan," and the "Grown Ups" films.

Kristy Swanson (Vanessa)

Kristy Swanson, who played the original "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on the big screen, also had roles in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Pretty in Pink," and "Hot Shots!" before playing Sandler's girlfriend Vanessa in "Big Daddy." (As we all know, "Buffy" was not a hit as a movie, but Sarah Michelle Gellar made the character and the franchise infinitely popular on television.)

Post-"Daddy," Swanson was in the aughts stoner hit "Dude, Where's My Car?" and on the small screen she appeared on episodes of "Just Shoot Me!," "CSI: Miami," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "One Tree Hill," "Psych," and more. 

In 2020, Swanson (who is a Trump supporter) appeared in a documentary called "Trump vs. Hollywood," in which she and a number of other conservative stars, including Scott Baio, Kevin Sorbo, and Isaiah Washington, claim they've been blacklisted by a liberal Hollywood (per The Hollywood Reporter).

Josh Mostel (Arthur Brooks)

Son of the legendary comedian Zero Mostel ("The Producers"), Josh Mostel, who closely resembles his famous dad, has worked hard to build a decent career outside of his father's shadow, and while he's not as well known or beloved as his father, he did okay for himself regardless.

Mostel first started acting in the early seventies, and landed a key role as King Herod in the big screen adaptation of "Jesus Christ Superstar." Mostel acted in both dramas and comedies, and had featured roles in "Sophie's Choice," "Star 80," and the Tom Hanks comedy "The Money Pit." On the small screen, he had a featured role on the TV series "Murphy's Law." In addition to "Big Daddy," Mostel also had a role in another Sandler comedy, "Billy Madison." In recent years, Mostel made TV appearances on "Blue Bloods," "Mr. Robot," and "The Blacklist."

Steve Buscemi (Homeless Guy)

Like many character actors in the '90s, Steve Buscemi became a star working for directors like Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers. In addition to spotlight roles in "Reservoir Dogs," "Pulp Fiction," "Barton Fink," and "Fargo," Buscemi would also become known as an offbeat actor who could crossover from indie films to blockbusters like "Armageddon" with relative ease.

In addition to his appearance in "Big Daddy," Buscemi has had roles in many Sandler films, including "Billy Madison," "The Wedding Singer," "Mr. Deeds," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," "Grown Ups," and as the voice of Wayne the Werewolf in the "Hotel Transylvania" series, to name a few. Buscemi is still working at a steady clip, sometimes starring in as many as five movies a year. He recently had a guest voice appearance on "Rick and Morty," and he also had a featured role on the show "Miracle Workers." 

Joe Bologna (Lenny Koufax)

Joe Bologna was a legendary comedy actor who had a long career, and those who didn't see him on the Broadway stage would know him best as King Kaiser in the beloved comedy "My Favorite Year," starring Peter O'Toole. Bologna was also known for working together with his wife, Renee Taylor, in many stage productions and films. (They were married for 52 years, per Variety.)

Bologna graduated from Brown, and cowrote the Broadway play "Lovers and Other Strangers" with Taylor in 1968. Bologna finally broke through in movies in the early '70s, with the big screen adaptation of "Lovers and Other Strangers," which was Oscar nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. From there, Bologna and Taylor kept working steadily until late in life, writing 22 plays together.

Oddly enough, while Sandler films have a lot of actors coming back to work with him repeatedly, Bologna's only appearance in a Sandler movie was in "Big Daddy." (Bologna was a family friend of Sandler's, per The Hollywood Reporter.) Bologna died of pancreatic cancer on August 13, 2017 at the age of 82.

Allen Covert (Phil D'Amato)

Allen Covert is another Sandler regular who has appeared in many of the comedian's films — a whopping 23 of them, actually, including "Airheads," "Happy Gilmore," "The Wedding Singer," "The Waterboy," "Little Nicky," "Anger Management," "50 First Dates," "The Longest Yard," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry," "Jack and Jill," "Grown Ups 2," and voice work in the "Hotel Transylvania" series.

Covert became friends with Sandler at New York University (per the biography "Adam Sandler: America's Comedian" by Bill Crawford. He first had a small role in the 1989 comedy "Going Overboard," and after hooking up with Sandler in the '90's, he's been working steadily ever since. In addition to working with Sandler, Covert has appeared in "Heavyweights," "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo," "The House Bunny," "Father of the Year," and more.

Covert has also appeared on such TV shows as "Freaks and Geeks," "Undeclared," "The King of Queens," and the 2022 Kevin James comedy "Home Team."