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Where The Cast Of Spaceballs Is Now

Many fans consider "Spaceballs" one of the most popular and hilarious film parodies of all time, with the movie becoming a true cult classic since its original 1987 release. Director Mel Brooks managed to take everything people loved about 1977's "Star Wars"  and flip it on its head. Somehow he managed to do this all while creating an exciting space opera in its own right. It's kind of a miracle "Spaceballs" was allowed to be made at all, but even George Lucas couldn't say no to the charismatic power of Mel Brooks.

While not the most critically acclaimed movie when it came out, "Spaceballs" made enough money at the box office to become a household staple of goofy sci-fi fun. What really sets this film apart is the incredible cast of actors that feature throughout in big and small roles alike, with stars like Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, John Candy, and Mel Brooks going on an epic adventure that takes comedic shots at dozens of the most popular sci-fi movies of its time. Many of these actors have gone on to have prosperous careers beyond "Spaceballs" and have become part of the greater pop culture. From the dashing rogue Lone Starr to the sarcastic trooper combing the desert, here is where the cast of "Spaceballs" is now.

Mel Brooks

Since he's arguably one of the most famous comedians ever, you probably already know a lot about Mel Brooks. The creative mind behind films like "The Producers," "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein," and "History of the World: Part 1" really does not need an introduction. Mel Brooks is a household name whose films have become an essential part of the history of comedy, with "Spaceballs" being one of his most enduring efforts. What's even more remarkable is that Brooks has had a fruitful career in the more than three decades since he directed "Spaceballs," in which he also played the roles of the evil President Skroob and Yogurt.

Mel Brooks has been in show business for more than seven decades, each of those being as productive as the last. Following the release of "Spaceballs" in 1987, Brooks continued producing and starring in a number of films such as "Life Stinks," "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It." Additionally, Brooks has spent the past few decades continuing to produce dozens of films, while performing in mostly voiceover roles for animated projects such as "Hotel Transylvania." Recently, Brooks published his memoir, titled "All About Me," and celebrated his 96th birthday with a fittingly hilarious tweet about how he "feels a lot more like 95."

Bill Pullman

Starring in the leading role of Lone Starr (a satirical combination of both Luke Skywalker and Han Solo), Bill Pullman was a crucial part of what made "Spaceballs" work by being the dashing straight man who fired off the snarky one-liners. Despite being a fantastic comedic performer in this film, Bill Pullman has had a varied career across different genres in the years following "Spaceballs."

Pullman went on to star in films such as "A League of Their Own," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Casper." and "Lost Highway" before landing arguably his most famous role of all time, as the President of the United States in the alien invasion epic, "Independence Day." He has become a part of pop culture for his climactic speech towards the end of the film, with it often being quoted in other pieces of media. Since the '90s, Pullman has been a consistently working actor, taking on roles in everything from film, to animation, to television, to live theater. Two of his more notable recent roles include Detective Harry Ambrose on "The Sinner" and yet another American President in the television comedy series "1600 Penn."

Rick Moranis

Rick Moranis is a Canadian actor, writer, and musician who played the villainous role of Dark Helmet (which was intended as an obvious spoof on Darth Vader), the heroic Lone Starr's "father's, brother's, nephew's, cousin's former roommate" and a Schwartz-wielding villain. Moranis' career was really heating up in the 1980s before and after "Spaceballs," with the actor landing successful roles in movies like "Ghostbusters," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Parenthood" and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids."

Moranis started off as a Canadian disk jockey before finding his way to improv comedy on "Second City Television," where he and Dave Thomas created the classic sketch "The Great White North." Following his slate of starring roles, Rick Moranis intentionally stepped out of the spotlight to focus on raising his kids after the 1991 death of his wife. This eventually turned into a nearly two-decade-long hiatus from onscreen roles until recently, when it was announced that Moranis would reprise his role as Wayne Szalinski for the upcoming film "Shrunk."

Daphne Zuniga

One of the unsung heroes of "Spaceballs" is Daphne Zuniga in her iconic role as Princess Vespa, where she showed off serious comedic talent playing against Pullman, Candy, and Joan Rivers throughout the film. Zuniga started her acting career in 1982 at the age of 19 and continued to appear in a number of films preceding her role in "Spaceballs." She also happened to star alongside the legendary Lucille Ball in a TV drama called "Stone Pillow" about a year beforehand. Her most famous role, however, came some years later when she starred as Jo Reynolds on the hit Fox series "Melrose Place," which ran from 1992 to 1996. Her character appeared in the first four seasons of the show and also returned for two episodes of the 2009 series revival. 

Beyond acting, Zuniga has become a strong and vocal advocate of the environment, contributing her time and energy to organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environment California. In 1989 (via Ecovote), she also helped to establish the Earth Communications Office, which brought the entertainment industry together to collaborate with the environmental activism community.

George Wyner

An American actor who turned up in over 100 television series, George Wyner is probably best known for his role as the villainous Colonel Sandurz in "Spaceballs." The character was intended to be a parody of evil second-in-command characters such as Grand Moff Tarkin from "Star Wars," but was named after the famous chicken monger Colonel Sanders. As one of the primary roles in "Spaceballs," Wyner's performance was also appreciated for its comedic skill since he had to share almost all his scenes with both Rick Moranis and Mel Brooks himself.

George Wyner went on to have a very successful acting career following his appearance in "Spaceballs," being featured in films such as "The Postman," "The Devil's Advocate," and the critically acclaimed Coen brothers film "A Serious Man." Additionally, Wyner has also guest-starred in several television series during the 1990s and 2000s, including "The Golden Girls," "The West Wing," "House," "The Big Bang Theory," and "The Umbrella Academy."

Michael Winslow

Although his character may not have an actual name in "Spaceballs," having been credited as Radar Technician, Michael Winslow is one of the most unique members of the film's cast because of his famously impressive voice. Known as "The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects," Winslow has fashioned a career out of making interesting and realistic sounds with only his voice.

As the Spaceball-1 radar technician, he walks away with his one scene entirely by voicing all the beeps and boops of his radar computer to hilarious effect. This is arguably one of the most memorable and funny moments in the entire movie, all thanks to Winslow's for making silly sounds. Because of this, he went on to have a prolific career in movies and television, often utilizing his special skillset of mouth noises, beatboxing, and comedic timing.

Following the release of "Spaceballs" in 1987, Michael Winslow continued to appear in movies such as in "Police Academy," "Grand Theft Auto," "Robot Chicken," and multiple different late-night shows.

Jim J. Bullock

American comedian, actor, and performer Jim J. Bullock gained prominence in his small but notable role as Prince Valium in "Spaceballs." As Princess Vespa's narcoleptic fiancé, his character is mostly relegated to being a one-off joke character who's named after a famously anxiety-reducing and sleep-inducing benzodiazepine.

Beyond "Spaceballs," Bullock has built an impressive career within the entertainment industry as an active performer in television, film, and live theater. Some of his notable achievements include a six-season run as part of the regular cast of the hit sitcom "Too Close for Comfort," where he played the role of Monroe Ficus, and several guest appearances on "Alf" between 1989 and 1990. He was also the voice of "Queer Duck" on the short-lived animated Showtime series. Bullock also played Mr. Monroe on the Nickelodeon show "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" and appeared in a dozen episodes of the soap opera "The Bold and the Beautiful" as a wedding planner.

Brenda Strong

As Nurse Gretchen in "Spaceballs," Brenda Strong made just her second big-screen appearance in a hilarious (but noticeably objectifying) role. She plays opposite a lecherous plastic surgeon who she proceeds to make out in the scene, which is a bit less funny looking back on it now. Nonetheless, Brenda Strong went on to have a fantastic and varied acting career following this early, small appearance in "Spaceballs."

Although she's appeared in a number of films such as "Starship Troopers" and "Black Dog," Strong's career really kicked into gear on television with guest stints or recurring roles on groundbreaking series such as "Twin Peaks," "Seinfeld," "Scandal," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," and, more recently, "Supergirl." Her biggest success, however, was during her time on "Desperate Housewives" from 2004 to 2012. She was nominated for two Emmys as the deceased character Mary Alice Young, who narrates the events of the show from the afterlife. She also appeared multiple times in both dreams and flashbacks throughout the series, giving her some much deserved onscreen action along with her voiceover work.

Tim Russ

Out of all the hilarious lines in "Spaceballs," one — "We ain't found s***!" — takes the cake as one of the most quoted and referenced thanks to the delivery of Tim Russ. In his role as the desert-combing trooper, a Dark Helmet minion, Russ (unsurprisingly) is forced to literally comb the hot desert with a giant comb. His small but notable role became one of the funniest parts of the entire movie.

Tim Russ is an actor, director, and writer who has become famous for his iconic role in "Star Trek: Voyager" as the Vulcan Lieutenant Commander Tuvok. The USS Voyager's second officer, Tuvok is working undercover as a spy aboard a Maquis ship when the series opens. His rescue precipitates the course of events that leaves Voyager and its crew stranded in the Delta Quadrant for the show's seven-season run. Additionally, Russ has had a successful career starring in other series such as "Samantha Who?", "iCarly," and "The Highwayman."

Stephen Tobolowsky

Yet another familiar face on our list that you've definitely seen before, Stephen Tobolowsky stood out amongst the "Spaceballs" cast for his role as the Captain of the Guard, who fights against Lone Starr and the gang. His character is the one to realize that his guards actually capture their own stunt doubles, which is one of the funnier visual gags in the whole movie.

Tobolowsky has been in a number of classic movies beyond "Spaceballs," including "Groundhog Day," "Memento," and "Thelma and Louise," just to name a few. He is a prolific character actor who has appeared in hundreds of movies and shows over the years, usually in comedic roles, with a resume that also includes series like "Deadwood," "Glee," "Californication," and "Silicon Valley." On the 31st anniversary of "Spaceballs" back in 2018, Tobolowsky made a Twitter post explaining how it was one of his first big roles and how much he enjoyed working with Mel Brooks.

Joan Rivers

As one of the most famous women in comedy and most celebrated comedians of all time, Joan Rivers is another titan that needs no introduction. She constantly pushed against boundaries and broke through barriers that few others could. In the grand scheme of her career, her hilarious role as sassy robot Dot Matrix in "Spaceballs," while a seminal part of the film, is more of a footnote than a high point.

Rivers started as a club comic on the 1960s New York scene, before becoming a regular guest on "The Tonight Show" throughout the Johnny Carson era. After building a name for herself, she went on to star in numerous films and shows over her decades-long career, including "Spaceballs," in which her Dot Matrix was a snarky spoof of C-3P0 from "Star Wars." After an impressive 55-year career as a comedian, Rivers unfortunately passed away from complications during surgery in 2014 and has since been honored by countless public figures as a huge influence and talent.

John Candy

During his time on the big screen, few actors were more beloved than John Candy. An incredibly talented comedic performer who stole the show in countless films across the '80s and early '90s, he donned a furry wig as the lovable sidekick Barf in "Spaceballs." Starting out as a comedian in Canada before joining up with The Second City in Toronto, Candy made a name for himself with early Hollywood roles in Steven Spielberg's "1941" and the comedy classic "The Blues Brothers." It wasn't until starring with Bill Murray in "Stripes" and Chevy Chase in "National Lampoon's Vacation" that he started to truly become a household name.

John Candy shined in a number of films during his more than 20 years onscreen, but his performances in both "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" and "Spaceballs" definitely stand out since they were both in the same year. Following his role as Barf, Candy continued to delight audiences until his sudden death in 1994 from a heart attack. He was fondly remembered as one of the funniest actors of his time, and each time he's onscreen that is still proven true.