It’s been 33 years since A Christmas Story first graced movie screens. In that time, the low-budget, once all-but-forgotten film has now become a beloved holiday classic. For the cast of the beloved movie, many of whom were in adolescence when they shot their scenes, the decades have seen them move into other careers. Others are still in the movie industry, just in different roles. Others have retired or passed away. Here is what your favorite cast members from A Christmas Story are up to these days.
Peter Billingsley (Ralphie Parker)
The role of chubby-cheeked, awkward lead character Ralphie Parker, whose quest for the Official Red Ryder, carbine-action, 200-shot range model air rifle was the basis of the plot, went to Peter Billingsley. At the time, Peter was one of Hollywood’s most up-and-coming child actors.
Guess this movie: Peter Billingsley stars as Ralphie Parker in 1983 pic.twitter.com/J8wgcRwjuC
— Ireland / Elf Brian (@ireland) December 16, 2016
By the late 1980s, an aging and no-longer-so-cute Peter saw his career in front of the camera starting to slow. Fortunately, it was at about this time that Billingsley took an interest in the behind-the-scenes side of movie-making. These days, the 45-year-old Billingsley continues to work steadily in the movie industry, mostly as a director and producer.
Ian Petrella (Randy Parker)
Like his on-screen older brother Peter Billingsley, Ian Petrella was an up-and-coming child actor when he landed the role of Randy on A Christmas Story. And like his “older brother’s” career, Petrella’s “up-and-coming” status became “up-and-went” by the time he reached his teens.
Now 42, Ian works in animation, cartooning, and puppetry, according to his official bio from the A Christmas Story House and Museum in Cleveland. He’s also known to hang out at the Cleveland house that served as the exterior for the Parker’s home, posing for pics with fans and generally being an all-around swell guy.
— Jessica Taranto (@mrstaranto) December 4, 2016
Scott Schwartz (Flick)
While Scott Schwartz’s career post-A Christmas Story wasn’t the most successful or glamorous of all of his cast-mates’, it was definitely the most scandalous: the former child star worked in adult films. Okay, actually, he appeared in a few low-budget, soft-core adult films, mostly in roles that didn’t involve, shall we say, “acting” (although he also “acted” in a few as well).
Now 49, Scott Schwartz has his hands in a few industries, including the trading-card industry, as well as signing autographs and making appearances at conventions. He also appears in low-budget, direct-to-DVD movies from time to time.
R.D. Robb (Schwartz)
Unlike many of his bigger-name cast-mates, R.D. Robb was unknown when he landed the role of Schwartz, the guy who triple-dog-dared Flick into sticking his tongue to a frozen flagpole. Now 44, Robb continues to work in the movie industry as a producer.
— Jess aka Trixie (@xxjessabugxx) December 13, 2015
Zack Ward (Scut Farkus)
The bully with yellow eyes was actually bullied himself before, during, and after his work on A Christmas Story, according to 46-year-old Zack Ward. Ward told Cracked that he was dirt poor as a child, moved around a lot, and was generally a weird-looking kid, which led to a lot of bullying. He channeled that bullying into one of the most memorable scenes in the movie — the bit where Scut Farkus gets the crap beaten out of him by Ralphie.
Ward continues to work in the movie industry, acting, producing, and doing voice work.
— theawesomer (@theawesomer) December 22, 2016
Yano Anaya (Grover Dill)
Yano is perhaps the only A Christmas Story cast member best known for other roles. Specifically, he played Eddie Van Halen’s younger self in the “Hot for Teacher” video, as well as a memorable turn as the creepy paperboy in Better Off Dead (“I want my two dollars!”).
As of 2013, according to an interview with blogger Jerry Saravia, Yano was living in Atlanta and working as a fitness instructor.
— Jerry Saravia (@JerryattheMovie) December 19, 2016
Darren McGavin (The Old Man), Melinda Dillon (Mom), Tedde Moore (Miss Shields)
Unlike the kids in A Christmas Story, the actors who played the adults were all seasoned professionals with long careers before and after the movie. Darren McGavin, who, appropriately, was every bit of 60 when he appeared as The Old Man, died in 2006 at age 83. Melinda Dillon, whose character, like her on-screen husband, is never named, is now 77 and has retired from acting. Tedde Moore, who has managed to keep her actual age a secret (she was born in 1945 or 1946), still continues to act to this day.
You can watch A Christmas Story over and over (and over and over and over….) again, if you want to, for 24 hours beginning at 7 p.m. EST on Christmas Eve on TBS, and beginning at midnight on Turner Classic Movies.
[Featured Image by Juli Scalzi/Shutterstock]