The Last Starfighter is a historical film. Along with Tron, it was among the first films to extensively use CGI. CGI has proven to be the backbone of pretty much every blockbuster today, but The Last Starfighter didn’t hit nearly as big as any Marvel movie. Even still, it maintains a devoted cult following. Let’s look back on The Last Starfighter to see what its cast is up to now.
The star of the film, Lance Guest, continues to work in television and film. He went on to star in Jaws: The Revenge, a horrendous sequel to the blockbuster that featured Micahel Caine. Guest’s most notable work came not on film but on stage. He starred on Broadway as Johnny Cash in The Million Dollar Quartet. Here’s a clip of him performing “Folsom Prison Blues” on The Late Show.
The pride of Newton, Massachusetts, Robert Preston was in the twilight of his career when The Last Starfighter came out. Long before it, he originated the role of Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man for which he won a Tony Award. He later won that honor again for 1966’s I Do! I Do!, becoming just one of nine men to win Best Actor in a Musical twice. He passed away in 1987 after a battle with lung cancer,
Another star from a different age, Dan O’Herlihy played Grig. His career was long and notable, playing Macduff opposite Orson Welles in Macbeth. He was nominated for Best Actor for 1954’s Robinson Crusoe, losing to Marlon Brando for On The Waterfront. O’Herlihy never struggled for work. After The Last Starfighter, he played The Old Man in RoboCop 1 and 2 and played Andrew Packard in season two of Twin Peaks. He died in 2005 at the age of 85.
Catherine Mary Stewart
A veteran of cult classics like Night of the Comet, Catherine Mary Stewart came up alongside scream queens like Heather Langenkamp and Jamie Lee Curtis. She worked her heart out in the 1980s, appearing in 14 films over 10 years. She took fewer roles beginning in the mid-nineties so she could focus on her family. Nowadays, she reliably makes a TV movie every few years.
Norman Snow played Xur in The Last Starfighter. A classically trained graduate of Julliard, Snow is a respected character actor who appeared in lots of television from the 1980s onward. He had a multiseason run on Days of Our Lives and starred in a memorable Wharf-centric episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He’s only made one film since 2002 so it looks like he’s retired.
Kay E. Kuter
Enter another respected character actor, Kay E. Kuter played Enduran. He made his uncredited debut in a stone-cold classic: Billy Wilder’s Sabrina in 1953. He’s probably best known for his time on Petticoat Junction and its spinoff, Green Acres, as Newt Kiley. Later in life, Kuter was an in-demand voice actor. He’s all over point-and-click classics like The Curse of Monkey Island and Grim Fandango. Kuter passed away at 78 just a few months after his mother died at 103.
The Last Starfighter sure loved its veteran character actors, didn’t it? Vernon Washington had already starred in Roots and The Jeffersons before playing Otis in the sci-fi film. The following year, he starred in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. Washington passed away in 1988.
A great way to succeed in Hollywood is to become a muse of sorts for successful producers. Case and point, Geoffrey Blake has made a career out of working with Robert Zemeckis and Ron Howard. You’ve seen him act opposite Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump, Cast Away, and Apollo 13.
Blake was recently part of the cast of Roland Emmerich’s Midway and did a few episodes of the critically acclaimed Epix series Godfather of Harlem. Blake’s career is as long as it is impressive.
Yup, Wil Wheaton had a small role in The Last Starfighter. He’s only in some wide shots for his role got cut from the movie. Wheaton was a child star turned writer and king of the nerds. He starred in Stand By Me and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Wheaton co-created the YouTube board game series TableTop which was many people’s first exposure to loads of board games. Wheaton continues to act some, but he mostly works as a voice actor and content producer.
The Promised Video Game
The end credits of the Last Starfighter promise a video game from Atari. The game would have used game scenes and galactic battles from the film. Atari was working on a version for arcades, the Atari 2600 and the Atari 5200, but nothing was ever released.
Development and release of the games proceeded though, without any official branding. If you really have a hankering for what Atari’s The Last Starfighter would have been like, check out Star Raiders II and Solaris.
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