On June 11, 1993, the sci-fi adventure Jurassic Park premiered in the United States to huge critical and commercial success. Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on 1990’s novel by Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park was about a group brought onto a remote island where a reclusive billionaire had created a theme park with genetically engineered dinosaurs. The exciting action and realistic dinosaur special effects captured the imagination, and the movie earned almost a billion dollars in its original release while launching a media franchise that included three sequels and a fifth (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) scheduled for a June 2018 release. Jurassic Park also led to toys, video games, comic books and theme park rides. The movie was also a landmark in special effects that led to increased use of CGI, for better or worse.
Almost 25 years later, Jurassic Park’s cast has moved on to different projects while still carrying their roles with them. The ones who’ve passed away have almost always had a mention of their role in Jurassic Park, and the ones who continue to act are defined by it. CBR decided it was time to catch up with 15 cast members and see where they are now.
15. ARIANA RICHARDS (LEX MURPHY)
With an ear-splitting scream and a knowledge of Unix, Ariana Richards played Lex Murphy, one of the two grandchildren brought to the island to tour Jurassic Park. When the security system shut down, Lex was trapped along with her brother and forced to make her way to safety.
After Jurassic Park, Richards made a cameo as Lex in the 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park. She also had a recurring role as Mindy Sterngood in 1990’s Tremors and Tremors 3: Back to Perfection. She’s been in other films such as Angus, where she played a high school cheerleader, and has appeared on TV with episodes of The Golden Girls and Boy Meets World. She dropped out of acting for years until she starred in the 2013 film Battledogs. In the meantime, she took up painting professionally. In fact, her official website is more about her art than acting.
14. JOSEPH MAZZELLO (TIM MURPHY)
In Jurassic Park, Joseph Mazzello was Tim Murphy, the second of the two grandchildren of Hammond who were trapped in Jurassic Park. Mazzello had one of the most memorable scenes in movie history when he noticed the vibration in a cup of water that signaled the approaching T-Rex’s footsteps. Having to escape the park with Alan Grant, Tim showed his knowledge of dinosaurs and eagerness to explore.
After Jurassic Park, Mazzello didn’t end up like many child stars. He carried on and continued to act as an adult, playing Eugene “Sledgehammer” Sledge in the HBO 2010 miniseries The Pacific. Most recently, he played Dustin Moskovitz, one of the co-founders of Facebook in The Social Network. He also became a director, making his debut with the short film Matters of Life and Death in 2007.
13. JEFF GOLDBLUM (IAN MALCOLM)
In Jurassic Park, Goldblum was the stylish and outspoken mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm who explained chaos theory and argued with Hammond about the dangers of the park. He accurately predicted that the dinosaurs would escape and was forced to join the others in trying to escape from the prehistoric zoo.
Goldblum has had a thriving career before and after Jurassic Park, becoming an iconic figure in the series. In 1997, Goldblum played Malcolm again in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. He also had a string of other hits like Independence Day in 1996. On television, Goldblum played the quirky Detective Zack Nichols on Law and Order: Criminal Intent in 2009. In late 2017, he’ll be playing the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok and you can also see Goldblum as Brad Bellflower, the tech wizard promoting Apartments.com.
12. RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH (JOHN HAMMOND)
As far as the cast, Attenborough was without question the most critically acclaimed in Jurassic Park. A celebrated British actor, producer and director since the 1940s, he had two Academy Awards, four BAFTA Awards and four Golden Globe Awards by the time he appeared in Spielberg’s movie.
In the movie, he played John Hammond, the CEO and founder of Jurassic Park, serving as a counterpoint to Malcolm and aiding the others from the control room when they tried to escape. In 1993, Attenborough became a life peer with the title The Right Honourable Lord Attenborough, Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He continued to act in movies like The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Miracle on 24th Street and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat until his final movie in 2002 as the narrator in Puckoon. Attenborough died in a nursing home in 2014.
11. BOB PECK (ROBERT MULDOON)
Bob Peck was a classically trained Shakespearean actor known in the United Kingdom for his 1985 TV series Edge of Darkness before he played the gamekeeper Robert Muldoon in Jurassic Park. In his international debut, Peck was the staff member of the park who tried to keep the dinosaurs at bay and recognized the velociraptors were smarter than the others gave them credit for with his now-classic line, “Clever girl.”
After his role in Jurassic Park, Peck moved to television in 1993 as General Targo in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and played composer Giuseppe Verdi in 1994’s television movie Verdi. He also appeared in movies like 1997’s Chinese production The Opium War. His last film was the direct-to-TV movie The Scold’s Bridle in 1998. In 1999, he died relatively young at 53 from cancer.
10. GERALD MOLEN (GERRY HARDING)
If you remember the scene where the tour came across a sick Triceratops being treated for a mysterious illness, you saw Dr. Gerry Harding standing over the beast. Harding was the chief veterinarian of Jurassic Park, played by Gerald Robert “Jerry” Molen. The vet might seem like a minor role, but looks can be deceiving because Molen was way more important behind the camera than in front of it.
Molen was actually a movie producer who worked with director Steven Spielberg on five of his movies and won an Academy Award for being a co-producer of Schindler’s List. After Jurassic Park, Molen also produced 14 other movies, including The Flintstones in 1994, Twister in 1996, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Minority Report in 2002. He’s currently in semi-retirement, producing documentaries.
9. MIGUEL SANDOVAL (JUANITO ROSTAGNO)
One of the main characters in Jurassic Park who never came up against a living dinosaur was Juanito Rostagno, the proprietor of the Mano de Dios Amber Mine in the park. He was there when Donald Gennaro came to discuss the inspection of Jurassic Park and an insect trapped in amber was found. Rostagno was played by Miguel Sandoval.
Before this role and after it, Sandoval has been a hard-working character actor in Hollywood. Since Jurassic Park in 1993, Sandoval has been in almost 30 movies, like Brüno and The Book of Life, as well as TV shows like 7th Heaven, Kingpin and as D.A. Manuel Devalos in Medium starting in 2005. He’s currently starring in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency as Colonel Scott Riggins.
8. CAMERON THOR (LEWIS DODGSON)
If there was any villain in Jurassic Park that wasn’t a dinosaur, it was Lewis Dodgson, the head of research at the rival company Biosyn. Dodgson was the one who paid Dennis Nedry and met with him to give him a fake shaving cream can to store stolen dinosaur embryos. His act of corporate espionage was what led to the collapse of the park.
In real life, Dodgson was played by Cameron Thor, an actor, screenwriter and director. His career highlight has been his appearance in Jurassic Park and an earlier appearance in the movie Hook. After Jurassic Park, he and his wife started a business as an acting coach, but his career was cut short in 2016 when he was sentenced to six years in prison for lewd acts with a minor.
7. MARTIN FERRERO (DONALD GENNARO)
One of the most memorable deaths (and the only one to get a laugh out of audiences) in Jurassic Park was that of the “bloodsucking lawyer” Donald Gennaro. Sent to judge the park and see if it should be shut down, Gennaro was in the jeep when the T-Rex attacked and fled to a nearby restroom, where he was eaten while sitting on a toilet.
Gennaro was played by Martin Ferrero, who before Jurassic Park was known as the comic relief Izzy Moreno on the ’80s TV series Miami Vice. After Jurassic Park, he continued to act in movies like 1995’s Get Shorty and 1998’s Gods and Monsters. Most recently, Gennaro played Donald Gennaro again in a parody of Jurassic Park for CollegeHumor. Something tells us Gennaro won’t be coming back for any of the Jurassic World sequels, though.
6. BD WONG (HENRY WU)
When it came to actually creating the dinosaurs for Jurassic Park, the bold experiment was led by Dr. Henry Wu, a brilliant but ethically-challenged scientist. In the movie, Wu was calm and methodical about the process and seemingly had no concerns about the danger his team was unleashing. BD Wong was Wu, and he’s had a great career in television since the movie.
For most of the ’90s, Wong became known for his starring role as Dr. George Huang on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Recently, he had a recurring role on 2016’s Gotham as Hugo Strange. His performance as hacker Whiterose on Mr. Robot earned him nominations for a Critic’s Choice Television Award and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. Most recently, Wong returned to Dr. Henry Wu in Jurassic World.
5. WAYNE KNIGHT (DENNIS NEDRY)
If there’s one person you can blame for the disaster of Jurassic Park, it would definitely be Dennis Nedry, a nerd who programmed and designed the park’s computer network. To steal the embryos for Biosyn, he shut down the security systems to make his escape. His horrible death left the system down permanently, leaving the park open for the dinosaurs to escape.
As Nedry, Wayne Knight made a big impression and was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor, but he went on to play a much bigger role as annoying mailman Newman on the hit TV ’90s series Seinfeld. After that, he had a recurring role on 3rd Rock From the Sun and Hot in Cleveland. We also can’t leave out his voice work on movies like Bee Movie and Kung Fu Panda.
4. SAMUEL L. JACKSON (RAY ARNOLD)
Hold onto your butts, because we’re going to talk about Ray Arnold, the chief engineer of Jurassic Park. He was the one who worked in the control room and tried to salvage the park after the system locked up. After Dennis Nedry locked down the network, Arnold was the only one to say it was a bad idea to restart the system. Arnold ended up being killed by a velociraptor after he went to the maintenance shed.
At the time of Jurassic Park, Jackson was a relative unknown, but he is now one of the biggest stars in Hollywood because his career skyrocketed after he starred in 1994’s Pulp Fiction. After that, he’s made a ton of movies like Unbreakable and Shaft in 2000, Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Most recently, he’s been Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
3. GREG BURSON (MR DNA)
One of the unsung heroes of Jurassic Park was Mr. DNA, a talking, smiling cartoon mascot. Before the park tour, Mr. DNA appeared in the park’s Visitor Center in a movie with John Hammond that explained the process of creating the genetically engineered dinosaurs. Mr. DNA also showed up on signs like in the Geothermal Power Plant and on a roller coaster.
Greg Burson was the voice of Mr. DNA, and he did a lot of other voices, too. He was trained by the legendary Daws Butler and took over the voicing of Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound and most of Butler’s characters when his mentor died. Burson did the same thing for Mel Blanc, performing as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and others. Burson died of complications from diabetes and arteriosclerosis in 2008.
2. LAURA DERN (ELLIE SATLER)
Dr. Ellie Sattler was a paleobotanist invited by Hammond to evaluate Jurassic Park. She was critical of how the park used extinct plants and helped restore the park to escape. Sattler was played by Laura Dern, who was already an Academy Award winning actress at the time of the filming. She went on to return in Jurassic Park III along with Neil. She’s also been a star in other movies like I Am Sam (2001) and The Master (2012). She’s set to make an appearance in 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
She also made in-roads on TV, guest starring in the infamous “Puppy Episode” of 1997’s Ellen. She also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television for her role in 2008’s TV movie Recount, and the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series in HBO’s Enlightened.
1. SAM NEIL (ALAN GRANT)
Arguably, the hero of Jurassic Park (not counting Jeff Goldblum with his shirt open) was Dr. Alan Grant, the palaeontologist who was brought to the park to evaluate it. His fascination with the dinosaurs was contagious and he became the savior when he led the stranded children to safety through the park with his knowledge of the animals.
Sam Neill was Alan Grant, and was a celebrated actor before and after Jurassic Park. The same year, he starred in the award-winning movie The Piano and returned as Grant in 2001’s Jurassic Park III. Neill also had notable roles in TV with 2008’s Merlin and 2007’s The Tudors. Grant is currently starring in TV’s Peaky Blinders as the corrupt Chief Inspector Chester Campbell.