'Fast Times At Ridgemont High:' What Happened To The Class Of '82?
November 29, 2016
The Fast Times At Ridgemont High cast was a strong crew of actors that included Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, and Forest Whitaker. The adventures of Spicoli, Damone, Mr. Hand, the Pizza Guy and company set the stage for the '80s in an unforgettable coming-of-age high school movie. Some actors went on to greater successes, while others have faded from prominence. Nearly 40 years later, the film is still watchable and funny.
The year was 1982 when Spicoli became a household name. A year prior the film’s writer Cameron Crowe went undercover at a high school documenting all his experiences. From this, he published the book Fast Times At Ridgemont High which shortly after lead to the production of the film. The film follows the lives of high school students and their teacher. Becoming popular, maintaining popularity, virginity, friendships, and surviving senior year are all on the minds of these teens. Each face ups and downs, the hardships that many teens go through during high school. So what are the beloved cast members of Fast Times At Ridgemont High up to now? Let’s find out.
Jeff Spicoli And Mr. Hand
Sean Penn, who played the stoner Jeff Spicoli, has had quite the acting career since the film debuted. He's starred in countless films such as: Shanghai Surprise, Dead Man Walking, I am Sam, Mystic River, All The Kings Men, Milk, Gangster Squad, and The Gunman. Oscar winner and Golden Globe winner are titles that he’s added under his belt as well as producer, director and ex-husband of Madonna. Sean is considered one of Hollywood’s most talented and versatile actors and it all started with this little film.
Two-time primetime Emmy award winner Ray Walston a.k.a. Mr. Hand passed away at the age of 86 in 2001. During his career Ray mostly acted in TV series such as My Favorite Martian, Ally McBeal, and 7th Heaven. He will always be remembered for his role of Mr. Hand.
Jennifer Jason Leigh As Stacy Hamilton
Stacy Hamilton is one of many characters Jennifer Jason Leigh is known for playing. This Oscar nominated actress stars in the recent movie The Hateful Eight as well as The Machinist along side Christian Bale. She’s a producer and more importantly an actress that has managed to remain relevant throughout all these years proving her talent.
Linda Barrett And Brad Hamilton
Phoebe Cates, who played one of the '80s most fantasized women, Linda Barrett, continued to act throughout the decade, appearing in two Gremlins movies and Bright Lights, Big City (1988). She retired from acting after Princess Caraboo (1994) and now owns a boutique on New York City's Upper East Side.
Actor and producer Judge Reinhold, who played Brad Hamilton, can be seen in TV and film. Besides his role in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Judge is most recognizable for his supporting performances in three Beverly Hills Cop movies with Eddie Murphy and three installments of The Santa Clause.
Mark Ratner And Mike Damone
For the actors who played naive nerd Mark Ratner and the ticket-scalping bad influence Mike Damone, Fast Times At Ridgemont High was a career peak. Brian Backer (Ratner) played supporting roles in Moving Violations (1985), The Money Pit (1986) and Police Academy 4 (1987), but is now retired from acting. Robert Romanus (Damone) had recurring roles on the TV series Fame and The Facts Of Life in the '80s, and continues to act today.
Spicoli's Friends And Charles Jefferson
Jeff Spicoli's friends, identified as "Stoner Buds" in the credits, turned out to be major stars in the '80s -- Eric Stoltz would give a Golden Globe-nominated performance in Mask (1985), while Anthony Edwards would appear in Revenge Of The Nerds (1984) and Top Gun (1986), then star as Dr. Mark Green for 14 years on ER. Forest Whitaker, who played the football star Charles Jefferson, won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as Idi Amin in The Last King Of Scotland (2007).
Taylor Negron did not have a large part in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, nor did he go on to be a leading man. But Taylor Negron, who played Pizza Guy, was a working actor, and he worked a lot. Negron was the archetypal "that guy" of movies and TV -- that guy you keep seeing everywhere. He had relatively large parts in the Rodney Dangerfield comedy Easy Money (1983) and The Last Boy Scout (1991); and he had one-offs in some of TV's biggest series, including Hill Street Blues, Seinfeld, ER, and Friends. In addition to acting, Negron was also a playwright and an essayist, as well as a visual artist. He was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2008, and died in 2015 at the age of 57.