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'Christmas Vacation' Cast Members Then and Now

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud
Jul 27, 2022
04:30 A.M.
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It's been a long time since the Griswold family in the 1989 film "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" invited viewers into their house to spend the holidays with them. Here's a peek at the cast now.

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When "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" opened in cinemas in 1989, it ignited a frenzy among moviegoers. The majority of the cast was made up of veteran comedians, thanks to the direction of Jeremiah Chechik.

Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, and Randy Quaid were among the comics who contributed to the film's popularity. Fans have wondered where the cast members have been for almost three decades. Here's all we know about them.

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CHEVY CHASE

Chevy Chase, 78, is best known for his character Clark Griswold in five "National Lampoon's Vacation" films. Chase's character is the patriarch of the Griswold family.

He last played his iconic role in 2015, featuring Christina Applegate and Ed Helms. In 1993, Chase, who gained fame on "Saturday Night Live," one of the longest-running TV programs, went on to star in his own late-night program, "The Chevy Chase Show," in 1993.

Chevy Chase hides behind the tree in a scene from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" in 1989 | Source: Getty Images

Chevy Chase hides behind the tree in a scene from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" in 1989 | Source: Getty Images

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Besides playing the Griswold patriarch, Chase gained notoriety for playing businessman-turned-eccentric student Pierce Hawthorne in "Community" from 2009 until 2014.

Chase's exit from "Community" was controversial since he allegedly had a public feud with the show's creator, Dan Harmon. His co-stars also complained about the veteran comedian's behavior on set.

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BEVERLY D'ANGELO

In the classic comedy film, actress Beverly D'Angelo played Ellen Griswold. In the comedy flick, she took on the role of Clark's supporting wife and the voice of reason for their two children. She once remarked on how the film became relevant to families. She said:

"I didn't know that was going to happen. The first 'Vacation' was rated 'R,' but then this phenomena happened that people brought their kids, and instead of saying, 'Look at these people,' the audience went, 'This is us.'"

Beverly D'Angelo attends the premiere of "We're No Angels" on December 13, 1989, at Loew's 19th Street Theater in New York City, New York | Source: Getty Images

Beverly D'Angelo attends the premiere of "We're No Angels" on December 13, 1989, at Loew's 19th Street Theater in New York City, New York | Source: Getty Images

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In addition to her comedic performances, the 70-year-old actress is well-known for her other dramatic roles on TV. She has appeared as a guest on "Law & Order: SVU" and "Entourage."

She was also featured in an episode of the Netflix dark comedy series "Insatiable." While her work has extended over two decades, D'Angelo maintains a low profile.

Beverly D'Angelo arrives at the VIP post-show reception with Al Pacino benefiting SCLA Veterans In Art and NAVSO at Via Porto on March 8, 2020 | Source: Getty Images

Beverly D'Angelo arrives at the VIP post-show reception with Al Pacino benefiting SCLA Veterans In Art and NAVSO at Via Porto on March 8, 2020 | Source: Getty Images

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JULIETTE LEWIS

Playing Audrey Griswold in "Christmas Vacation" was the first feature film role for Juliette Lewis, who was only 15 then. Actresses Dana Barron and Dana Hill also played Ellen and Clark's daughter in the movie franchise.

In addition to "Christmas Vacation," Lewis appeared in several films, including "What's Eating Gilbert Cape," "Natural Born Killers," "Strange Days," "August: Osage Country," and "Conviction."

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Following a slew of film roles, Lewis earned two Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe for her portrayal in "Cape Fear."

Aside from that, the 49-year-old actress starred in the 2019 horror movie "Ma." She has also appeared in several TV series, and her latest one is the 2021 "Yellowjackets."

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JOHNNY GALECKI

Johnny Galecki played Rusty Griswold, Ellen and Clark's youngest son. In "Christmas Vacation," his character was famous for refusing to participate in his father's antics. He was only 13 when he joined the cast.

The 47-year-old actor's career skyrocketed after the comedy film was released in theaters. His breakthrough performance on television was his portrayal of David Healey in the sitcom "Roseanne."

While "Roseanne" was Galecki's first big break, his TV career skyrocketed once he landed the role of Dr. Leonard Hofstadter in the highly acclaimed series "The Big Bang Theory," which ran for 12 seasons from 2007 to 2019.

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"The Big Bang Theory" is the longest-running multi-camera comedy series. The show featured equally talented actors Jim Parsons, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, and actress Kaley Cuoco, who secretly dated Galecki.

For his role on TBBT, Galecki—who became the world's second highest-paid TV actor—received a Golden Globe nomination for best performance by an actor in a television series, comedy, or musical. Presently, Johnny is enjoying fatherhood.

After his amicable breakup with Cuoco, Galecki dated Alaina Meyer, with whom he shares a son named Avery, born in 2019. Sadly, the actor split from Meyer in November 2020.

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RANDY QUAID

In the film, Randy Quaid portrayed cousin Eddie Johnson. He was regarded as the most unsophisticated member of Griswold's extended family and was an unemployed man who lived in an RV.

Quaid's most notable appearances after "Christmas Vacation" were in movies like "Brokeback Mountain" and "Independence Day." He was especially known for starring as Colonel Tom Parker in the "Elvis" miniseries, for which he received an Emmy nomination.

Randy Quaid during "Come See The Paradise" Los Angeles premiere on December 17, 1990, in Century City, California | Source: Getty Images

Randy Quaid during "Come See The Paradise" Los Angeles premiere on December 17, 1990, in Century City, California | Source: Getty Images

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Quaid, 71, has been embroiled in various legal disputes. In 2009, he and his wife, Evi Motolanez, allegedly scammed an innkeeper, and the following year, they reportedly burglarized a residence they previously owned.

Instead of appearing before a judge, the couple skipped court and traveled to Canada in search of asylum. Quaid and Motolanez were reportedly arrested in Canada before being freed on bail. Their legal problems have continued since.

Quaid's most recent appearance was in the 2018 film "All You Can Eat." The once-prolific actor has kept away from the limelight due to his controversies.

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BRIAN DOYLE-MURRAY

In "Christmas Vacation," Brian Doyle-Murray plays Clark Griswold's frugal boss, whose conservative attitude toward money eventually leads to his captivity at the hands of cousin Eddie.

Like their other co-stars, Hamilton, Louis-Dreyfus, Scorsese, Ladd, and Guest have taken different opportunities in the industry.

Brian Doyle-Murray during the 'SNL Newsbreak' skit on October 17, 1981 | Source: Getty Images

Brian Doyle-Murray during the 'SNL Newsbreak' skit on October 17, 1981 | Source: Getty Images

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A comedy veteran like Chase, Doyle-Murray expanded his acting career in several movies. He was best known for playing Jack Ruby in the film "JFK." He also voiced the Flying Dutchman in the animated comedy series "SpongeBob SquarePants."

Although Doyle-Murray's whereabouts are currently unknown, the actor was last featured in AMC's 2018 comedy-drama series "Lodge 49," starring Sonya Cassidy, Brent Jennings, and Wyatt Russell.

Brian Doyle-Murray poses backstage at the hit musical based on the 1993 Bill Murray film "Groundhog Day" on Broadway at The August Wilson Theater on August 8, 2017, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

Brian Doyle-Murray poses backstage at the hit musical based on the 1993 Bill Murray film "Groundhog Day" on Broadway at The August Wilson Theater on August 8, 2017, in New York City | Source: Getty Images

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The "Christmas Vacation" also featured Ellen Hamilton, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Miriam Flynn, Nicolette Scorsese, Diane Ladd, and Nicholas Guest.

Like their other co-stars, Hamilton, Louis-Dreyfus, Scorsese, Ladd, and Guest have taken different opportunities in the industry. Even though the film premiered many years ago, many of its viewers still have great memories of the actors.

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