PopularNow & Then

January 01, 2021

'Christmas Vacation' Cast Then & Now — Check Out Beloved Actors of the 1989 Classic

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Apart from “Home Alone” and “Jingle All the Way,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” is a holiday staple that many people like to watch at least once a year.

Christmas Vacation,” like most people call it, is the third installment of the “Vacation” movie franchise. It was released in December 1989 and became a Christmas classic.

Three decades have passed already, and the actors who worked in the film have changed a lot and have done plenty with their lives and careers. Read on to see what they have been up to.

Chevy Chase on September 7, 2018 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images



Actor and comedian Chevy Chase, who rose to fame on “Saturday Night Live,” portrayed Clark Griswold, a man very dedicated to his Christmas lights, in the classic holiday film.

After “Christmas Vacation,” Chase briefly hosted his own late-night show and landed the part of Pierce Hawthorne in “Community,” arguably his most successful and famous role.

[Juliette Lewis] earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations.



“Christmas Vacation” was actually the third time that Beverly D’Angelo played Ellen Griswold, Clark’s wife. She went on to reprise Ellen in “Vegas Vacation” and “Vacation,” the 2015 “rebootquel.”

Apart from working in the “Vacation” franchise, D’Angelo worked as Barbara Miller in “Entourage” and, most recently, she has played Patricia in “Shooter” and Stella Buckley in “Insatiable.”



Unlike Chase and D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis was not widely famous when she landed the part of Audrey Griswold in “Christmas Vacation.” In fact, it was her first major film role.

A few years after that, she worked in “Cape Fear” and earned Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress. She’s also appeared in “The Firm,” “Wayward Pines,” and “Ma.”



Rusty Griswold, Clark and Ellen’s son in “Christmas Vacation,” was portrayed by Johnny Galecki. While his performance was outstanding, he shot to fame playing David Healy in “Roseanne.”

However, his most famous TV role so far is Leonard in “The Big Bang Theory.” The show, which ran for 12 seasons, earned him an Emmy nomination and made him one of the highest-paid TV actors.



Like Chase, Julia Louis-Dreyfus broke out in “Saturday Night Live,” and Margo Chester, the Griswolds’ neighbor in “Christmas Vacation,” was one of her first major film roles.

After that, she portrayed Elaine Benes in “Seinfeld,” Christine Campbell in “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” and Selina Meyer in “Veep,” three roles that won her Emmy Awards.