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What the cast of My Cousin Vinny looks like today

My Cousin Vinny has nostalgia appeal today, but when it was released in 1992 it was a stranger proposition. Primarily a comedic vehicle for Joe Pesci, a character actor best known for gangster parts who'd recently shown his softer side—while still playing a criminal—in Home Alone, the film finds Pesci starring as Vinny Gambini, an inexperienced and uncouth New York lawyer who comes to Alabama to defend his cousin (Ralph Macchio) from murder charges in a small town. Marisa Tomei plays Vinnie's girlfriend Mona Lisa Vito in a career-making role, and the cast is filled out with an assortment of character actors, most notably TV legend Fred Gwynne as the Alabama judge.

Twenty-five years later, more than a third of the film's cast has passed away, but many of its stars went on to have long careers in TV as well as film. Here's a look at the cast of My Cousin Vinny, and what's become of them since 1992.

​Joe Pesci

1992 was arguably the height of Joe Pesci's career. After spending the '80s playing predictable character roles, he broke through to the mainstream in 1990 thanks to the unique combination of Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas and Chris Columbus' Home Alone. By 1992 he was getting starring roles in movies like The Public Eye—and, of course, My Cousin Vinny

Pesci kept getting steady work throughout the '90s, but he was typically sought out for one type of character, which inevitably limited his career, and in 1999, he announced his retirement from acting. He's taken a couple of roles since then, appearing in Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd and playing opposite Helen Mirren in Taylor Hackford's Love Ranch. His long screen hiatus came to a presumably temporary end with Scorsese's The Irishman, for which Pesci was lured out of retirement to appear alongside De Niro and Al Pacino.

​Ralph Macchio

Prior to My Cousin Vinny, Ralph Macchio was best known as the star of The Karate Kid and its first two sequels, in which he plays a teen named Daniel LaRusso who learns karate as a way of dealing with bullying. Immediately after Vinny, Macchio appeared in the indie film Naked in New York, in which he shared a gay kiss with Eric Stoltz. Unfortunately, Macchio never quite made the transition from teen to adult actor, and his career floundered in the decades to come. He did play a recurring role as Archie Rodriguez on the TV series Ugly Betty, and more recently has begun appearing as a cop on HBO's series The Deuce. The latter is a sprawling David Simon drama in the style of The Wire, so it's entirely likely that Macchio's part will grow over time.

Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei surprised everyone by winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for My Cousin Vinny, but by then everyone knew she was its breakout star. She had previously been best known for her role in the first season of the sitcom A Different World, but My Cousin Vinny made her a big name and got her leading roles in romantic comedies like Untamed Heart and Only You, as well as parts in quirkier films like Four Rooms and Slums of Beverly Hills

As happens all too often with actresses, Hollywood had fewer big parts to offer her after she passed 40, but Tomei kept working. She was in several episodes of Rescue Me as a love interest for series lead Denis Leary, and made an impact in Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler in 2008. In 2015, she appeared as Mimi Whiteman in a run of episodes of the popular TV series Empire.

When Marvel Studios and Sony made a deal to bring Spider-Man and his supporting cast into the MCU, Marisa Tomei was given the key role of Peter Parker's Aunt May, who she first played in Captain America: Civil War. Tomei's May Parker is much more youthful than the character as she's usually portrayed, but it's a choice that works in a modern setting. Tomei played Aunt May a second time in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and will continue to be a key part of the franchise going forward.

Mitchell Whitfield

In 1994, just a couple of years after My Cousin Vinny, Mitchell Whitfield appeared in the second episode of Friends as Barry Farber, the fiancé Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) left at the altar as the series began. Whitfield returned to the series several times as a reminder of what might have been for Rachel; however, his greatest success has been as a voice actor. For example, he played Donatello in the 2007 animated TMNT movie, Professor Palladium in various iterations of the animated series Winx Club, and he currently stars as Fixit in Transformers: Robots in Disguise on Cartoon Network.

Raynor Scheine​​​​​

Raynor Scheine's name is a pun ("rain or shine"), which is how you know he's an old-school character actor in the Slim Pickens mode. Before My Cousin Vinny, Scheine played the sheriff in Fried Green Tomatoes, and was particularly memorable as a maniacal cab driver in the Bill Cosby vehicle Ghost Dad. He went on to play Woodstock in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and in time he found his way into more highbrow films, appearing in The New WorldTransamerica, and Lincoln. His most recent work was in 2013, when he played Samuel Mudd in the National Geographic Channel movie Killing Lincoln, but he may yet make his return to the big screen.

Austin Pendleton

Austin Pendleton was already a noteworthy character actor before My Cousin Vinny, with roles in Short Circuit and The Muppet Movie under his belt. His career continued in a similar vein afterward, with appearances in Searching for Bobby Fischer, 2 Days in the Valley, and A Beautiful Mind, among many other films. He also played recurring roles on Homicide: Life on the Street and Oz, and voiced Gurgle, a royal gramma fish, in Finding Nemo and its sequel. In 2016 he was the focus of a biographical documentary, Starring Austin Pendleton, which won Best Documentary at the Anchorage International Film Festival.

Bruce McGill

Before My Cousin Vinny, TV fans would have recognized Bruce McGill from MacGyver as Jack Dalton, an aviator and old friend of the heroic title character. He also appeared in the first and last episodes of Quantum Leap. He didn't play the same character, but because of the surreal nature of the Quantum Leap finale, the fact that he was recognizable from the first episode was still purposeful and significant. Over the years, McGill has continued to play big, tough-looking guys in movies such as Lincoln, Collateral, and Ride Along, and TV fans may recognize him from Rizzoli & Isles, where he's a regular as Detective Vince Korsak.

​Fred Gwynne

My Cousin Vinny was Fred Gwynne's final onscreen appearance before he died in 1993, ending a battle against pancreatic cancer at the age of 66. His long and successful career included an unforgettable turn as the Frankenstein-inspired Herman Munster, the father on the 1964-'66 sitcom The Munsters; immediately prior to that, he starred in Car 54, Where Are You? as Officer Francis Muldoon. His final role as Judge Haller in My Cousin Vinny now stands alongside those two parts as a comedic performance he'll always be remembered for. It's rare that an actor goes out on such a high note.

Lane Smith

Prior to My Cousin Vinny, Lane Smith had a strong background in theatre, having appeared in the original Broadway production of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, along with a television career that included a role in the sci-fi classic V. In 1992, the same year as Vinny, Smith was also in The Mighty Ducks. Television remained the focus of his career, however, and his most noteworthy role in that medium was Perry White in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, which ran from 1993 until 1997. After that series ended, Smith made guest appearances on Walker, Texas Ranger, King of the Hill, and The Practice, among other shows. He also played a supporting role in The Legend of Bagger Vance. Lane Smith passed away in 2005, succumbing to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the age of 69.

​Maury Chaykin

Maury Chaykin continued getting plenty of character parts after My Cousin Vinny, appearing in Devil in a Blue DressMousehunt, and The Mask of Zorro, among other movies. In 2001 he starred as Rex Stout's detective character in the Nero Wolfe Mystery series on A&E. He also had a recurring role as producer Harvey Weingard (an obvious stand-in for Harvey Weinstein) in HBO's Entourage. In 2008, he became a regular on the Canadian sitcom Less Than Kind as the main character's father. That series was still ongoing when Chaykin died in 2010 after suffering from complications related to a heart valve infection, but they were able to continue without him.

Paulene Myers

Paulene Myers was a legendary actress who got her start on Broadway, where she broke down barriers in terms of the roles available or offered to black women. She had a small part in To Kill a Mockingbird, and appeared in other films over the years, including Lady Sings the Blues and The Sting. She also guest-starred in a wide variety of TV shows, from The Jeffersons to The Incredible Hulk to The Cosby Show. Like Fred Gwynne, she made her final acting appearance in My Cousin Vinny; Paulene Myers retired shortly after the film's release, and died in 1996 at the age of 83.