Thirty years after one of the greatest fairy tale adventures hit our big screens, the cast from The Princess Bride have had quite the transformation, and some of the actors are almost unrecognizable!
Mandy Patinkin – Then
When you hear The Princess Bride being mentioned, it is quite likely to follow with “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die,” the famous quote given my Mandy Patinkin. Patinkin felt he was perfect for the role because of his “profound” connection to the character, following the loss of his own father.
Mandy Patinkin – Now
It was his successful debut role in The Princes Bride that saw a major rise in Patinkin’s career. Excelling from this moment on, he is probably most recently recognized for his role as Saul Berenson in Showtime’s Homeland, while also having other major roles in Criminal Minds and Chicago Hope. Away from his successful acting career, he spends time with his wife, fellow actress Kathryn Grody, who he has been married to since 1980, and the couple have two children together.
Wallace Shawn – Then
Wallace Shawn’s role in The Princess Bride became a truly iconic one. His hilarious role as Vizzini will always be remembered for overusing the word “inconceivable,” making it a singularly famous word associated with the film. Like many iconic moments, fans love to ask Shawn to repeat this word whenever they come into contact with him, but the truth is he doesn’t like it at all! Even in interviews, he won’t utter the word, rather he wittingly responds with – “but I would be glad to wash your feet instead.”
Wallace Shawn – Now
Before becoming a successful full-time actor, Shawn was actually a Harvard graduate and taught Latin and English. However, as a fan favorite, it was a great decision of his to change his professional field. Since The Princess Bride, he has found great success as a voice actor, lending his voice to play Rex is Toy Story, Huph in The Incredibles and Calico in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. He has also had roles in Gossip Girl and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Billy Crystal – Then
Billy Crystal’s five-minute cameo in The Princess Bride was more than enough time to win over the film’s fans. Crystal was the actor underneath all the prosthetics and make-up, who played the iconic Miracle Max. Director Rob Weiner allowed Crystal to play the part of Miracle Max however he wished, and he was sure not to disappoint. Cary Elwes, the actor who played the character Westley, recalled that “for three days straight and ten hours a day, Billy improvised jokes.”
Billy Crystal – Now
He may have only had five minutes to shine on The Princess Bride, but that doesn’t mean his talents were short lived. In fact, Crystal has gone on to achieve huge success in films such as When Harry Met Sally and City Slickers, while also playing the voice of Mike Wazowski in the Monsters, Inc.. To add to his acting talents and famous roles, he also has a knack for hosting since he has hosted the Academy Awards an impressive nine times!
Fred Savage – Then
The young star who got his big break as the grandson in The Princess Bride, was 11-year-old Fred Savage, whose groundbreaking role in the film earned him a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture. During filming, as his storyline was outside the fantasy world, it meant he did not get to meet all the other characters. However, Savage recently told Movie Talk that during filming, he was fortunate to meet his idol at the time, André the Giant.
Fred Savage – Now
The 11-year-old child star is now all grown up, and fans would probably best recognize Fred Savage for his role as Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years. He has also had guest star roles in popular television shows including Law & Order, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Modern Family, and Ugly Betty. As for his personal life away from acting, Savage married his childhood friend, Jennifer Lynn Stone, in 2004, and the couple have three children together, named Oliver, Lily, and Auggie.
André the Giant – Then
As for Fred’s idol, André the Giant had his acting career strengthen from his role as Fezzik in The Princess Bride. While he may have been best known for his skills as a professional wrestler, he actually suffered serious back pain during most of the filming and was unable to do any heavy lifting due to his debilitating pain. In fact, the scene where Robin Wright falls into Fezzik’s arms, actually has the actress being lifted on wires so André the Giant is not actually carrying her.
André the Giant – Now
Following his acting performance, André the Giant continued to pursue wrestling and became the WWF World Heavyweight Champion. He then went on to spend the rest of his career in All Japan Pro Wrestling, but his health was greatly affected by his gigantism, caused by excess growth hormones, and his health was on the decline. At the young age of just 46, the wrestling champion died of congestive heart failure, passing away right after his father’s funeral in 1993. He left behind a daughter named Robin who was born in 1979.
Chris Sarandon – Then
Chris Sarandon’s role in the film was spent trying to win over Princess Buttercup, while in fierce competition with Westley who won the support of the fans. Cast as pompous Prince Humperdinck, his role left most fans cringing at his efforts, but Sarandon couldn’t have been more pleased to being cast in The Princess Bride after loving the book, a factor which also made the experience for the actor even more enjoyable. Speaking to Movie Phone, he expressed filming the movie as “perfect.”
Chris Sarandon – Now
As far as his acting career after The Princess Bride, Sarandon is known for his role as Leon Shermer in Dog Day Afternoon, a role which saw him receive a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He has also had small roles in Orange is the New Back and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Meanwhile, Sarandon is also known as Susan Sarandon’s ex-husband. The two were married from 1967-1979 and, fortunately, have nothing but nice things to say about each other following their divorce.
Carol Kane – Then
Another cast member hidden under the make-up and prosthetics during the film was Carol Kane who played the role of Valerie, and also Miracle Max’s wife. Before her appearance in The Princess Bride, however, she was an Academy Award-winning actress for her role as Gitl in Hester Street, and for her role as Allison in Annie Hall. Just as she was successful before The Princess Bride, Kane continued to have a successful Hollywood career afterward, as well as finding success on Broadway.
Carol Kane – Now
She may have played the angry wife of Miracle Max for her role in The Princess Bride, but her acting talents for this role led her to have a happily successful Hollywood career. Kane was seen on Broadway playing Madame Morrible in the musical, Wicked, from 2005-2014, and also played Betty Chumley in the revival of Harvey. It was then, in 2015, that Kane landed the incredible opportunity of playing Lillian Kaushtupper in the Netflix original series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, for which her acting skills have been highly praised.
Mel Smith – Then
Mel Smith had a difficult time filming The Princess Bride, and as a result, he refuses to ever watch his performance back in the heavily adored film. His difficulty was because he had to wear contact lenses for his role, but he was allergic to the lens solution which put him in constant pain while filming. Feeling like this will bring back bad memories if he watches the film, he has chosen to avoid seeing himself play the bizarre role as the Albino on the big screen.
Mel Smith – Now
After his appearance in The Princess Bride, Smith became the creator of the British television production company Talkback Productions, which he started with his comedy partner, Griff Rhys Jones. When Smith’s health began to decline, he decided to sell Talkback Productions in 2008, and then in 2013, the comedian sadly passed away. He had died in his London home from a heart attack, but his friend Steven Fry was sure to express that Smith had “lived a full life, but was kind, funny and wonderful to know.”
Peter Cook – Then
Another small but iconic role in The Princess Bride was played by Peter Cook, who took on the hilarious role of the Impressive Clergyman. His famous scene was seen when Buttercup is about to marry Prince Humperdink, and he announces, “Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove.” Triumphantly, he was able to keep a straight face throughout his speech making this an iconic and memorable moment in the film.
Peter Cook – Now
As one of the most influential comedians the UK had to offer, it was no surprise Peter Cook could produce such a stellar performance as the Impressive Clergyman. Cook had other comedic roles seen in Great Balls of Fire!, Without a Clue, Black Beauty, and Getting it Right. However, in 1995, at the age of 57, Peter Cook unfortunately died. A special memorial was held in Los Angeles for Cook by his fellow comedian friends, on what would have been his 58th birthday.
Malcolm Storry – Then
Malcolm Storry was cast to play the character, Yellin, the Chief Enforcer of the county of Florin in The Princess Bride, at the same time as playing Bill Adams on The Knock. While he is known for playing Prince Humperdinck’s loyal right-hand man, Storry can also be recognized amongst fans for his roles in The Last of the Mohicans and The Scarlet Letter. Though he has a solid repertoire for his acting roles on the movie screen, Storry chose to stick to theater for most of his career.
Malcolm Storry – Now
Focusing primarily on theater after his work on The Princess Bride, the talented actor loved performing in Shakespearean plays, garnering a role in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the National Theatre. He also played the part as Prospero and Caliban in The Tempest and Macduff and Banquo in Macbeth. He has returned to the big screen since The Princess Bride, however, and more recently played Sir Francis Drake in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, a film starring Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen.
Betsy Brantley – Then
Betsy Brantley is an actress well connected within the entertainment industry. She is the sister of the famous producer and screenwriter, Duncan Brantley, and was formerly married to Steven Soderbergh, the director behind the well-known films such as Erin Brockovich, Traffic, and Oceans Eleven. In The Princess Bride, Brantley was cast to play the mother of Fred Savage’s character, and while like other characters her role was small and probably less iconic, it was still meaningful and of great importance.
Betsy Brantley – Now
Following her role on The Princess Bride, Brantley continued to take small roles but has not been in anything since 2002. Before turning her back on acting, she filmed alongside Ashley Judd in the movie Double Jeopardy, and was a performance model for Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. She also had roles in television shows including Tour of Duty and Second Noah. After her first marriage, she married once more, but this relationship ended in divorce, making it the second time for the actress.
Peter Falk – Then
Before landing his role as the grandfather in The Princess Bride, Peter Falk was already well known around the world for playing Lieutenant Columbo in the television show, Columbo, for 35 years. When casting for The Princess Bride, Falk had already earned himself many Emmy awards and a Golden Globe during his long-term run on the show. On top of this, he was also nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor for roles in the iconic films, Murder, Inc. and Pocketful of Miracles.
Peter Falk – Now
Peter Falk was commended for his ability to switch between comedy and drama, putting on a first-class performance whatever the genre. William Friedkin, a director who worked with Falk, recalled, “he could break your heart, or he could make you laugh.” After The Princess Bride, Falk acted in films such as The Player, Corky Romano, and Next. Unfortunately, in 2011, at the age of 83, the talented actor passed away from pneumonia and Alzheimer’s disease. He published a memoir in 2006, however, entitled Just One More Thing.
Christopher Guest – Then
Christopher Guest may be well known for his comedic on-screen performances, but away from the limelight, he has stated he wishes to keep the jokes to the minimum. In an interview, the actor said, “People want me to be funny all the time. I rarely joke unless I’m in front of a camera.” This is not so surprising since following Guest’s performance as Count Rugen in The Princess Bride, and well as his starring roles in This is Spinal Tap and Saturday Night Live.
Christopher Guest – Now
Thirty years on from playing Count Rugen, Guest writes, directs and stars in his mockumentary style films like Waiting for Guffman, Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. Willing to do it all, he most recently wrote, directed and starred in a new Netflix film named Mascots. While he is busy being a man that can do it all, he does have some spare time on his hands which he spends with his famous actress wife, Jamie Lee Curtis and their adopted children, Anne and Thomas.
Rob Reiner – Then
It was because of Rob Reiner that the phenomenon of The Princess Bride as a film came into such fantastic fruition. Having considered The Princess Bride one of his all-time favorite books, he decided to direct the film remake after other directors failed to have such luck. But with Reiner’s magic touch, the film was a great success. Before this, he had made a name for himself, starring as Michael Stiviv on All in the Family, and directing Stand By Me and This is Spinal Tap.
Rob Reiner – Now
Rob Reiner sure is a force to be reckoned with following his hit at the box office with The Princess Bride. Following the success of the film, Reiner has continued to direct popular films such as When Harry Met Sally and A Few Good Men, while also having smaller roles in Sleepless in Seattle and The Wolf of Wall Street. Away from his directing and acting success, he is heavily involved in political activism and is the co-founder of the American Foundation for Equal Rights.
Cary Elwes – Then
A true fan favorite was the heartthrob Westley, played by 25-year-old Cary Elwes. Fighting for the attention of Buttercup in The Princess Bride, the actor had his breakthrough role when he was the guy to win the heart of the Princess. Such a momentous experience in his life resulted in his tell-all book, called As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, giving us lucky fans the true insights into one of our all-time film favorites.
Cary Elwes – Now
Playing the farm boy in The Princess Bride was the breakthrough role for Cary Elwes, but he may best be recognized for his role as Arthur Davenport in the recent television series, The Art of More, alongside Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth. He may also be remembered for his role as Jerry alongside Jim Carrey in Liar Liar, while also having roles in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Days of Thunder, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Twister, The Jungle Book, and Saw.
William Goldman – Then
This is the man we really have to be thankful for. William Goldman wrote The Princess Bride in 1973 and, without the book, there would never have been a film remake. His inspiration for the book came from his daughters when he asked them what they wished to read about. With their responses being “a bride” and “a princess,” that saw the beginning of The Princess Bride. A true dedication to his daughters, and a blessing to us all for the book and film we all know and love today.
William Goldman – Now
Such talent does not stop there either as Goldman had further screenplays which became huge hits on screen. His screenplays Sundance Kid in 1969 and All the President’s Men in 1976, of which both starred Robert Redford, won him two Academy Awards. A Few Good Men, Indecent Proposal, Maverick, and Good Will Hunting were a few more of Goldman’s hits, yet the successful writer has admitted that although his work has won him highly acclaimed success and fame, he “does not like [his] writing.”
Anne Dyson – Then
The lady in red rarely goes unnoticed, and that is exactly what can be said for Anne Dyson. Her role as The Queen, aka the mother of Prince Humperdinck, in The Princess Bride was small, but she still managed to shine as the authoritative lady she was playing. Portraying The Queen in The Princess Bride was also her biggest role in her acting career, but some fans may also recognize Dyson as Hannah from the BBC version of Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Jane Eyre.
Anne Dyson – Now
Following her role as The Queen in The Princess Bride, Anne Dyson participated in two other movies called 84 Charing Cross Road in 1987 and Distant Voices, Still Lives in 1988. She also had appearances on the television version of Macbeth, as well as, the television show, Nanny. Otherwise, Dyson did not contribute to many other roles after playing Prince Humperdinck’s mother in The Princess Bride, and after 1988, she rarely performed. On February 10, 1996, Dyson sadly passed away in Denville Hall, Northwood, London, England.
Margery Mason – Then
No one can forget Ancient Booer’s dramatic shake-up in The Princess Bride. Margery Mason’s small role was an incredibly engaging portrayal for the dramatic Ancient Booer, and she made a huge impact on the film. Before her incredible acting skills were showcased on The Princess Bride, she was the artistic director of the Repertory Theatre in Northern Ireland. She was also cast for other roles in films such as Charlie Bubbles, The Raging Moon, Hennessy, and Pink Floyd – The Wall.
Margery Mason – Now
The marvelous Margery Mason lived till the incredible age of 100, the age in which she passed away in 2014. However, before reaching this milestone in her life, she had more powerful roles following The Princess Bride and did not stop acting until she was 90 years old. The actress was in films like 101 Dalmatians and Love Actually, and also had a small role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, as the lady who works the sweets trolley. Away from work, she had learned to scuba dive at the age of 81!
Willoughby Gray – Then
Before playing the powerful King in The Princess Bride, Willoughby Gray had not always had a career in acting. He only began his acting career once he finished his service in World War II, commanding a patrol with the 11th Armored Division. It was after his role as a soldier did he begin to take on movie roles and started acting on The Adventures of Robin Hood in the 1950s. He was also in films such as Richard III, The Mummy, and A View to a Kill.
Willoughby Gray – Now
Willoughby Gray took a long hiatus from acting after his role in The Princess Bride as the father of Prince Humperdinck. Following a successful acting career, the actor met and married Felicity Gray. The love of his life was a talented and famous speaker, and choreographer, known for teaching Gene Tierney ballet for her role in Never Let Me Go. It was only a few years after the release of The Princess Bride that Gray sadly passed away at the age of 76 in Salisbury, England.
Robin Wright – Then
The girl winning the hearts of the men in The Princess Bride was 21-year-old, Robin Wright. Playing Princess Buttercup was Wright’s first big role in her acting career, telling Town and Country that this made her totally “immersed in the role.” However, starring alongside such big names at just the start of her career was pressure enough for the young actress, and on taking this new role, she said, “I did not act. It was mostly telling myself, ‘Don’t be an idiot in front of Mandy Patinkin and Christopher Guest.’ ”
Robin Wright – Now
Having such a successful role in The Princess Bride at such a young age, meant that Wright just had it even better to come. Starring in some of the most iconic films of all time, Wright has had roles in films such as Forest Gump, Message in a Bottle, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She currently stars as Claire Underwood in the Netflix series, House of Cards, which has won her a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama.