Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the release of one of the ’80s’ most seminal works. Unsurprisingly, like most good things to come out of the ’80s, Steven Spielberg played a part and has gone on to cement his reputation as one of the greatest film directors in cinematic history. But what of the movie’s young stars? Come with us on a journey through time and space as we investigate what became of the cast of 1985’s The Goonies.
Sean Astin (Michael ‘Mikey’ Walsh)
Having secured his first acting role in Please Don’t Hit Me, Mom (1981), The Goonies saw a 13-year-old Sean make his film debut as Mikey. Following the success of The Goonies, Astin appeared in numerous lo-fi productions throughout the ’80s and ’90s. He even nabbed himself an Oscar nomination with his wife for their short film Kangaroo Court (1994). However, his place within our hearts was cemented through his role as loyal hobbit companion Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for which he received considerable and justworthy praise. Since returning from Middle Earth, Astin cut onions again in his guest role in Season 5 of 24 and continues to dabble in the occasional episode of any hit TV series. What a man.
Josh Brolin (Brandon ‘Brand’ Walsh)
Josh Brolin made his acting debut in The Goonies, but you may be surprised to hear his career stalled following the release of his second film Thrashin’ (1986), with Brolin later describing his performance as ‘horrendous.’ It’s only in the last decade, following a string of successful roles on stage, that Brolin has enjoyed a career renaissance through his portrayal of complex and often villainous characters, working alongside some of the finest filmmakers in the business. Brolin’s rollercoaster career touches the cinematic highs of No Country for Old Men, True Grit, and Milk, for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 2008 – yet he can scrape the cultural barrel with the ill-fated remake of Oldboy (2013) as well as the truly awful Gangster Squad (2013). Having missed out on the role of Batman in Zack Snyder’s sequel to Man of Steel, this year still looks promising for Brolin with Sin City: A Dame to Kill For currently in post-production and a number of other projects in the pipeline.
Jeff Cohen (Lawrence ‘Chunk’ Cohen)
Jeff Cohen arrived on the set as someone with an established acting pedigree and The Goonies made him a star. Despite this, Cohen shunned the limelight and has not acted since 1991. Instead he turned his attention to the practice of law. In 1996, Cohen graduated from the University of California, where he became President of the Associated Students under the slogan “Chunk for President.” He went on to study at the UCLA School of Law and became an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles, before co-founding the Cohen & Garner firm in 2002. He truly truffle-shuffled his way to the top.
Corey Feldman (Clark ‘Mouth’ Devereaux)
Of all the Goonies alumni, perhaps none have been more prolific than Corey Feldman. Having begun his career aged three in a McDonald’s advert, Feldman has featured in more than 80 feature films over the course of a 35 year career. He was perhaps most well known during the 1980s when apart from The Goonies, he also featured in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Gremlins (1984) and Stand by Me (1986). In recent years, Feldman has been prolific in more undesirable ways. Seemingly filling Charlie Sheen’s shoes for the title of ‘Oddest Celebrity’, Feldman’s insane birthday parties have entered urban legend with Vice highlighting the true extent of his wild nights. As well as this, his Twitter account is something to behold as he constantly praises his fans and chastises his haters with style and grammar unlike no other. Alongside all this, he is now the lead singer for the ska band Truth Movement and was a contestant on the 2012 season of Dancing on Ice.
Kerri Green (Andrea ‘Andy’ Carmichael)
Unfortunately for Kerri Green, her acting career has yet to replicate the heights reached in her performance as cheerleader-turned-adventurer ‘Andy’ in The Goonies. Despite receiving critical acclaim for her performance as ‘Maggie’ in Lucas (1986), her next film Three for the Road (1987), which (speak of the devil) featured Charlie Sheen, was not a hit. As a result, she did not appear on our screens again until the 1993 TV movie Blue Flame. Since then, she has co-founded a production company and made occasional cameos on TV shows such as Law and Order. However, little is known about her current whereabouts…
Martha Plimpton (Stephanie ‘Stef’ Steinbrenner)
Martha Plimpton began her career aged 10, when she appeared in Rollover (1981) and a string of Calvin Klein adverts. Following the success of The Goonies, Plimpton was twice cast alongside River Phoenix in The Mosquito Coast (1985) and Running on Empty (1988). She has since become a staple of the Broadway circuit, featuring in productions such as The Coast of Utopia, Top Girls, Pal Joey and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She currently portrays Virginia Change in the TV series Raising Hope and in 2012 she won a Primetime Emmy Award for her work in The Good Wife. She also donates her time and efforts to the ‘52nd Street Project’ which aims to match inner-city children with professional theatre artists to create their own plays. Living proof that one can break free from the child star curse.
Jonathan Ke Quan (Richard ‘Data’ Wang)
Perhaps best remembered as the child sidekick of Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1983), Jonathan Ke Quan (born Ke Huy-Quan) featured in a number of little-known films up until 2002. Since then, Jonathan has worked as a stunt choreographer on films such as X-Men (2000) and The One (2001) starring Jet Li. However, knowledge of the ’80s child star is thin on the ground with his upcoming work currently unknown.
John Matuszak (Lotney ‘Sloth’ Fratelli)
John Matuszak played one of the Fratelli brothers, Sloth, who befriends Chunk and comes to the timely rescue of the rest of the Goonies when they are forced to walk the plank. Prior to becoming an actor, Matuszak was an American football player and twice winner of the SuperBowl. Following his retirement from the sport, he participated in the 1978 World’s Strongest Man competition, before going on to appear in films such as Cavemen (1981), The Ice Pirates (1984) and One Crazy Summer (1986). Sadly Matuszak died in 1989 aged just 38, due to a heart failure brought on by a prescription drug overdose.