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weird-science-robert russler.jpeg

Where Are They Now? 5 Minor John Hughes Actors You've Probably Completely Forgotten About

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | October 25, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | October 25, 2012 |

So, here’s a stroll through my brain space this Thursday morning, and a good reason why we call them “seriously random” lists. It allows us the freedom to come up with any dumb idea rattling around in our heads and turn it into a list. This job is great.

Anyway, don’t ask me why, but for some reason, I remembered the gap-toothed Robert Downey. Jr. in Weird Science this morning, and that led to a thought about that other guy he bummed around with in the movie, Max, who has got to be considered the Andrew Ridgeley of Weird Science, right?

This is what Andrew Ridgely looks like these days.


For our younger readers, Ridgely was in Wham! Oh, What! was a boy-band duo. The other guy was George Michael. You don’t know who that is, either? Huge 80s sex symbol, turned out to be gay? No? Nevermind.

Anyway, so I looked up that guy from Weird Science, who was played by Robert Rusler, and then I noticed, Woah! He got old, and then I thought, Damn. It’s been 25 years since Hughes’ heyday, so, really, we’ve all gotten old, haven’t we? There’s a whole generation of people who barely have any idea who John Hughes in. In fact, Anna Kendrick plays a character in Pitch Perfect who had somehow made it to college without ever seeing Breakfast Club. That’s insane. And disrespectful to humanity.

So, that thought led me onto another pursuit of some more of the minor characters from the Hughes-verse, which led to this post, which does not include Mia Sara because she was a major character in Ferris Bueller. She looks like this now.


Still adorable! Also, I discovered that some people from the Hughes-verse have died. Like, Dana Hill, who played the sister in European Vacation, who died of complications due to diabetes when she was only 32. Also, Alexa Kenin — who played Jena Hoeman in Pretty in Pink — died before that film was even released (looks like it was a suicide).

That gave me the sads, but then I remember that Elizabeth McGovern was the lead in She’s Having a Baby, and she’s in “Downton Abbey,” which is pretty cool. Molly Ringwald actually declined that part, which created a rift between her and Hughes that would last the rest of his life, a thought that gave me the sads, again, but then I thought: Well, it’d be weird if Molly Ringwald was on “Downton Abbey,” wouldn’t it?

Things work out for a reason, you know? Anyway, here’s what Rusler and four other guys from the Hughes universe look like these days. If you don’t know who John Hughes is, please go watch Breakfast Club. Now. Then Ferris Bueller. Then Sixteen Candles. Then Pretty in Pink. Then Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, then Weird Science. Watch them in that order, and do not go to sleep until you’re finished.

Robert Rusler (Max in Weird Science): He was in “Babylon 5” in the 90s, and he still occasionally will show up in a bit part on a TV show, like “Bones” last year.


Craig Sheffer (Hardy Jenns in Some Kind of Wonderful): I wouldn’t otherwise know this because I rarely watch The CW, but the man was in “One Tree Hill” all nine seasons of the show. Man, how did I miss that?

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Jason Lively (Rusty Griswold from European Vacation (Not the Rusty Griswold played by Anthony Michael Hall in Vacation): Works in a computer company in Utah, and HOLY SHIT, he’s the half-brother of Blake Lively.



Justin Henry (Mike Baker, the little brother, in Sixteen Candles): He was also the kid in Kramer and Kramer, and he’ll still pop up sporadically in a television show. He was, for instance, Chester Gould in “Lost.” No, I don’t remember who that was, either.



Gedde Watanabe (Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles): He was on “E.R.” for six years, and doesn’t do much of note these days, although he did play the hotel manager in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.