See the Cast of ‘Santa Claus: the Movie’ Then and Now
Jeremy Taylor at thefw.com had a great idea. Take the movie, ‘Santa Claus: the Movie’, a sprawling retelling of the legend of Santa Claus, with a subplot that involved a renegade elf named Patch who hooks up with a unscrupulous toy manufacturer before re-discovering the meaning of Christmas. Then, see what all the surviving cast members are doing. The star, Dudley Moore, passed away in 2002.
John Lithgow, B.Z.
Then: In ‘Santa Claus: the Movie,’ Lithgow plays B.Z., a morally questionable toy manufacturer who wants to take over Christmas. The Harvard-educated actor got his start in the theater but had been making a name for himself in the early ’80s with Oscar-nominated roles in ‘The World According To Garp’ and ‘Terms of Endearment.’
Now: Lithgow is probably most associated with his starring role as Dr. Dick Solomon on the sitcom ‘Third Rock From the Sun,’ which ended in 2001. More recently he has been featured on ‘Dexter’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and is in the new comedy ‘This is 40.’
David Huddleston, Santa Claus
Then: Huddleston got the plum role as Santa Claus in ‘Santa Claus: the Movie.’ In 1974, he had played Olson Johnson in the legendary comedy ‘Blazing Saddles.’ In 1985, when I was programming WHN in New York, he used t0o come in to the station occasionally. He was friends with my night jock, Sheila York.
Now: The veteran character actor is best known to modern audiences for playing the other Lebowski in ‘The Big Lebowski.’ Huddleston, 82, was last seen on a 2009 episode of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.’
Judy Cornwell, Anya Claus
Then: ‘In Santa Claus: the Movie,’ Cornwell played Mrs. Claus. Mostly a TV actress in her native England, Cornwell’s last movie role had been in 1970’s Wuthering Heights,’ which starred future Bond Timothy Dalton. She is best known as Daisy from the ‘90s BBC show ‘Keeping Up Appearances.’
Now: The 72-year-old was featured in the 2008 season of the long running British soap opera ‘EastEnders.‘ She has published several novels and in 2005 she released her autobiography, ‘Adventures of a Jelly Baby.’
Jeffrey Kramer, Dr. Eric Towzer
Then: In ‘Santa Claus: the Movie’ Kramer played Dr. Eric Towzer, an executive at B.Z.’s toy company. He also played Hendricks in ‘Jaws’ and ‘Jaws 2.’
Now: Kramer hasn’t done much acting since ‘Santa Claus: the Movie,’ but he has had plenty of entertainment industry success, winning Emmys for producing both ‘The Practice’ and ‘Alley McBeal.’ The 67-year-old is currently developing the novel ‘Here If You Need Me’ into a TV show for CBS.
Carrie Kei Heim, Cornelia
Then: Kei Heim played Cornelia, B.Z.’s 9-year-old step-niece, in ’Santa Claus: the Movie.’ She followed that up in 1986 by starring as ‘Nikki’ in ‘Parent Trap 2,’ which turned out to be her last role.
Now: Heim got a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. She worked as a law clerk and then litigator until 2008, and these days the 39-year-old is a writer and novelist.
Anthony O’Donnell, Puffy
Then: In ‘Santa Claus: the Movie’ O’Donnell played Puffy, Patch’s elf rival. It was one of the first movie roles for the diminutive stage actor.
Now: O’Donnell has stayed very busy in the theater. He recently appeared on an episode of ‘Being Human.’
Christian Fitzpatrick, Joe
Then: Christian Fitzpatrick played street urchin Joe, who befriends Santa. It was his first film role. He followed that up with a part in ‘Vice Versa’ three years later, which was his last.
Now: According to his LinkedIn page, Fitzpatrick is looking for work as a voice actor, and his talents include accents and being a method actor. He studied at the Piven Theater Workshop and Second City ETC. He says, “I am interested in returning to a long over due Acting or Voice over career. I am a SAG and AFTRA member and feel as if paying these dues should eventually amount to something right?” Makes sense to us. Good luck!