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What The Cast Of Heathers Looks Like Today

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Heathers was initially a flop at the box office, earning only $1.1 million during its American theatrical run in 1988. But movie rentals gave it a second wind, and this black comedy centering on a popular clique of Ohio high school students eventually became an extremely popular cult classic that helped launch the careers of several of its stars—including Winona Ryder, Shannen Doherty, and Christian Slater. 

Decades later, Heathers continues to draw new fans—and inspire new stories. It was turned into an off-Broadway musical in 2010, and although the show was eventually canceled, for a time, plans called for it to return to the airwaves in the form of a television series reboot slated to premiere in 2018. Here's what the original stars have been up to over the years, and what they look like today.

Winona Ryder - Veronica Sawyer

At Westerburg High, the "Heathers" rule, and the formerly unpopular and brainy Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) is their newest member. The other Heathers are rich, snotty, and particularly cruel to many of their classmates. When Veronica decides she's had it with their behavior, the other Heathers turn on her. As the rebellious new student J.D. starts shaking things up among the social circles at Westerburg, Veronica finds herself infatuated with him and inadvertently drawn into his plans—until she realizes just how dark they are.

Along with her appearance as Lydia Deetz in 1988's Beetlejuice, Ryder's role as Veronica in Heathers helped launch her to superstardom. She's since gone on to appear in a number of acclaimed films, including in Edward Scissorhands, Reality Bites, Little Women, A Scanner Darkly, and Girl, Interrupted. More recently, Ryder has enjoyed a career resurgence with her role as Joyce Bowers in the Netflix original series Stranger Things, and she's slated to star alongside Keanu Reeves in the upcoming rom-com Destination Wedding.

Christian Slater - Jason 'J.D.' Dean

Along with Winona Ryder and Shannen Doherty, Christian Slater's career path in Hollywood took a distinct upswing following his starring role in Heathers. After attracting attention playing the charismatic, rebellious, and extremely troubled Jason "J.D." Dean, who moves to Westerburg following his mother's suicide and uses some extremely violent methods to deal with the crew of popular students who run the school, Slater went on to play similarly troubled characters in movies like 1990's Young Guns II and Pump Up the Volume. He soon achieved superstardom with parts in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Untamed Heart, and Interview With the Vampire.

Since the early 2000s, Slater has primarily booked supporting film roles and focused on TV work. You may have spotted him in The West Wing or remember him as Alex Donovan in the ABC crime drama The Forgotten. He's also done quite a bit of voicework in recent years, lending his pipes to characters on Archer, Robot Chicken, The Lion Guard, and others. His most recent project is the popular USA thriller series Mr. Robot, in which he has played the title character since 2015.

Shannen Doherty - Heather Duke

Along with her part as Kris Witherspoon in the NBC family drama Our House from 1986-1988, Doherty's appearance as the bulimic "megabitch" Heather Duke in Heathers truly helped launch her acting career. Television producer Aaron Spelling was casting his upcoming series Beverly Hills 90210 when his daughter Tori, who'd seen Our House and Heathers, recommended Doherty, saying she would be perfect for a spot on the show. Her father invited Doherty out to the set, and the rest is history.

Doherty revealed she had breast cancer in 2015, and has shared her journey through treatment and recovery with her fans on Instagram along the way, announcing in April 2017 that she was in remission. Doherty was the only original Heathers cast member slated to return for the Paramount Network reboot, on which she agreed to appear as a "pivotal, unnamed character."

Lisanne Falk - Heather McNamara

Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk) is probably the "nicest" of the three Heathers that run Westerburg High, although she does go along with much of the bullying that Heathers Chandler and Duke initiate against the unpopular students at their school. In fact, her social status and position on the cheerleading team hide her own internal struggles and timid nature. When McNamara reveals on a call-in radio show that she's battling depression, Heather Duke relentlessly bullies her the next day at school. McNamara tries to commit suicide in the school bathroom, but Veronica manages to stop her from going through with it.

Actress Lisanne Falk got her start as a child model at the Ford Modeling Agency alongside her friend Brooke Shields; a photo of the girls appeared on the cover of Life magazine in 1978, and Falk's modeling work was also featured in a book by model and photographer Betsy Cameron. Following her appearance in Heathers, Falk only had a dozen or so movie and television roles over the next decade before essentially retiring from the public eye. Her last appearance in a feature-length film came in the 1998 crime drama Shattered Image, alongside Anne Parillaud and William Baldwin.

Lance Fenton - Kurt Kelly

While the trio of Heathers (plus Veronica) sit atop the social pyramid at Westerburg High, there are also a number of other "popular" students at the school, including Kurt Kelly (Lance Fenton). Kelly is a stereotypical jock, and leads the Westerburg High football team as their quarterback. Along with his buddy Ram Sweeney, Kurt often plays along with the Heathers' cruel teasing. He later starts a sexual rumor about Veronica in order to ruin her reputation, which causes J.D. to come up with a scheme to get revenge.

After appearing in Heathers, Lance Fenton only appeared in one more film, taking a part in the 1989 television movie The Fulfillment of Mary Gray. Fenton then left the acting world for good and went on to become a chiropractor with his own practice. According to the Yelp profile for his now-closed Pasadena chiropractic office, Fenton graduated from UCLA in 1988 before attending the Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles.

Patrick Labyorteaux - Ram Sweeney

Along with his buddy Kurt Kelly, jock Ram Sweeney (Patrick Labyorteaux) is one of the top dogs at Westerburg High School. He helps spread the rumors about Veronica in order to ruin her reputation, but J.D. convinces Veronica to get revenge by luring Kurt and Ram to a secluded spot under the pretense that she'll "make the rumors true"—then J.D. tricks the slightly naïve Veronica into shooting them with what he says are special "non-fatal" bullets. Kurt and Ram are killed, and J.D. stages the scene to look like a suicide pact between secret lovers.

Along with his long-running stint as Andrew 'Andy' Garvey on The Little House on the Prairie, Patrick Labyorteaux's part as Ram remains one of his most recognizable roles, although he's gone on to appear in dozens of films and television shows since. In addition to acting onscreen, Labyorteaux has voiced a number of animated characters—such as Flash Thompson in the Spider-Man series from 1995 to 1998. In recent years, Labyorteaux has also tried his hand behind the scenes; between 2012-2015, he produced the Nick at Nite series See Dad Run, starring Scott Baio.

Renée Estevez - Betty Finn

Before Veronica Sawyer joined the Heathers, she was one of the "unpopulars" in Westerburg, and her childhood best friend was Betty Finn (Renée Estevez). Since joining the clique, Veronica has fallen out of touch with Betty—although it appears the two still remain friendly and amiable when they do cross paths, like when Veronica comes over to Betty's house following Heather Chandler's death. We can only hope that after the end of Heathers when Veronica becomes the "new sheriff in town," Betty is one of her deputies.

For Renée Estevez, acting runs in the family: she's the daughter of actor Martin Sheen, and the sister of actors Emilio Estevez, Ramon Estevez, and Charlie Sheen. Her part as Betty Finn in Heathers was her first major film role, but it certainly wouldn't be her last. Since then, Estevez has gone on to appear in many more movies and television shows. You may remember her from The West Wing—she played Nancy, an office assistant to President Josiah Bartlet (played by her real-life father Martin Sheen) for the show's entire seven-season run. In recent years, Estevez has turned her attention to writing; she wrote several episodes of her brother Charlie Sheen's series Anger Management in 2013 and 2014.

Penelope Milford - Pauline Fleming

While the teachers of Westerburg High are mostly background characters in Heathers, one stands out for her eccentricity and her actual interest in the students' well-being: Ms. Pauline Fleming (Penelope Milford). Westerburg's caring guidance counselor is often made fun of by the students—who call her "Miss Phlegm"—and derided by her colleagues for her hippy-dippy ways. After the second "suicide" strikes their school, Pauline has decided she's done taking guff from the other teachers and lashes out at them for trying to play "another round of 'Let's Laugh at the Hippie.'" Later, she leads the student body in a grief-sharing session in the school cafeteria following the deaths of Kurt Kelly and Ram Sweeney.

For actress Penelope Milford, her part as Ms. Fleming in Heathers came toward the end of her relatively short Hollywood career. Milford rose to fame in 1978 for her part as Vi Munson in Coming Home, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Milford also was quite active in the theatre, and originated the role of Jenny Anderson in the 1975 Broadway musical Shenandoah. Following Heathers, Milford has only had a handful of screen appearances—her last major supporting part was in the 1996 crime drama Normal Life, alongside Ashley Judd and Luke Perry. Today, Milford lives a quiet life in New York's Hudson Valley region, spending her days on hobbies like researching local history. In 2013, she came out of her acting retirement in to appear in a production of Harold Pinter's one-act play A Kind Of Alaska at the Cocoon Theatre in Rhinebeck, New York.

Kim Walker - Heather Chandler

While the Heathers undoubtedly rule over Westerburg High School, the manipulative and domineering Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) rules over the Heathers themselves through sheer force of will. Although she was the one who invited Veronica to join their clique, Chandler becomes furious after Veronica "embarrasses" her by turning down sex at a frat party, and tells Veronica to either switch schools or prepare to have her reputation ruined. Ultimately, Chandler isn't able to follow through on her threats—she dies after drinking a poisoned "hangover cure" J.D. makes for her, an act that Veronica covers up by hastily writing a fake suicide note to leave at the scene.

Following Heathers, actress Kim Walker appeared in a handful of other film and television roles, including Say Anything... and The Outsiders. Her last onscreen appearance was in the 2000 film Killing Cinderella. Sadly, Walker passed away in 2001 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Fans of Heathers will no doubt recognize the sad irony of her death, as Walker's line "Did you eat a brain tumor for breakfast?" remains one of the film's most quotable.