With all of these big screen, big budget, big explosion blockbusters that hit theaters on a weekly basis nowadays, it is hard to imagine a world where that wasn’t always the case. One of the great films that helped push special effects with a giant evolutionary leap forward was the universally loved classic Jurassic Park.
You would be hard-pressed to find a detractor of Steven Spielberg’s phenomenal adaptation of the Michael Crichton book. Once the iconic theme pumps in as Drs. Grant and Sattler first gaze upon a real-life dinosaur come to life, it’s an excitement in the film that cannot be explained; it’s as emotional and as exciting a movie can possibly get, and it’s something that is seldom seen on screen.
The movie hit theaters 24 years ago on June 11, 1993, and spawned two sequels, countless video games, clothes, a new movie trilogy (Jurassic World), and a renewed wonder in dinosaurs. Besides those true reptilian stars of the film, where is the rest of the cast? Here are 15 Photos Of The Cast Today.
15 Sam Neill (Dr. Alan Grant)
Our “hero”, Dr. Alan Grant, was not your conventional macho man; Sam Neill played him as a real-life archaeologist, instead of an Indiana Jones rip-off. He wasn’t always likable — who doesn’t like kids? — and besides, the guy went out of his way to scare at least one little guy. But when push came to shove, Dr. Grant not only did what was right, but was the very bravest of men, even when staring down a T-Rex to lure it away from the kids.
Nowadays, even though Jurassic Park is Neill’s best-known role, he has enjoyed consistently steady and award-winning work ever since, both here and in his native New Zealand, including a starring role in the criminally underrated and canceled-way-too-early show Alcatraz.
Comic book fans will get to see Neill very soon in this November’s Thor: Ragnarok He will also be a part of the ensemble cast bringing Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit to theaters in 2018.
14 Samuel L. Jackson (John Raymond “Ray” Arnold)
He may not lay down a patented “mother@$#!&%”, as he does in plenty of other movies, but one of the most popular character actors of our generation, Samuel L. Jackson, found his way into the first Jurassic Park, and of course uttered one of the flick’s most memorable lines, “hold onto your butts”.
Ray was the chief engineer of Jurassic Park, and tried to get the power back on after Nedry’s betrayal. But like many others in the movie, Ray would end up being dino-food. Jackson’s portrayal was one of the many reasons the film was successful thanks to its memorable characters. Only a few months later, Pulp Fiction came out and Jackson became a megastar.
There is always a possibility that the current Capital One Bank pitchman can show up in a Marvel movie playing what is probably now his most known role, Nick Fury, but everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed actor can also be seen in the upcoming not-foul-mouthed-at-all Incredibles 2 as Frozone, and will reprise the role of Elijah Price in the sequel to Unbreakable and Split – Glass.
13 Wayne Knight (Dennis Nedry)
For the multitudes of Seinfeld fans out there, it is hard to hear Wayne Knight’s name and not immediately give your best nasally “Hello, Newman”. But surprisingly enough, Knight has more to resume than just Seinfeld’s scourge of all evil. He was pretty evil in Jurassic Park as well.
As Dennis Nedry, Knight played a computer engineer who designed many of the systems in Jurassic Park and felt slighted as far as pay was concerned. He sabotaged those same systems, allowing for all of the ensuing havoc. He’s a villain to the people living in the movie, but without him, there’s no movie for us to enjoy. So perhaps he’s a hero?
All kidding aside, the formerly very hefty Knight underwent diet and surgery a few years back to get his health under control, and has never stopped working in and around Hollywood ever since, playing all kinds of bit parts in movies and TV shows.
12 Jeff Goldblum (Dr. Ian Malcolm)
With a resume spanning all over Hollywood and many genres, Jeff Goldblum is a thinking man’s actor; an actor plenty of ladies adore. He might be known for turning into a giant gross fly, but he’s also a bit of a sex symbol for the geek community for his turns in Independence Day, and of course, Jurassic Park.
As Dr. Ian Malcolm, Goldblum exudes coolness as a naysayer to all the grandeur, chiding the scientists for not contemplating the consequences of creating dinosaurs and delivered what has become the series’ tagline: “Life…finds a way”. Within the world of Jurassic Park, Malcolm has become a bit of a celebrity and Goldblum will get to ham it up yet again in Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom.
But before Ian Malcolm returns to the big screen, Goldblum will reunite with Sam Neill in Thor: Ragnarok as the Grandmaster, the ruler of Sakaar and the brother of Benicio Del Toro’s character from Guardians, the Collector.
11 Laura Dern (Dr. Ellie Satler)
The more optimistic of the two archaeologists, Dr. Ellie Satler, was like a kid in a candy store when she met a giant triceratops. When it came time to save it from being poisoned, she rolled up her sleeves and handled that sh*t (literally). The firebrand helped get the power up and running and protect the kids from the Raptors.
Actress Laura Dern brought realism and wonder to Satler – in fact, Spielberg thought her performance was so honest that he said, “I thought she was the perfect Ellie Satler.” After the film, Dern and Goldblum tried to take their character’s flirtations and translate them to real life, but it didn’t last long and Dern would end up married to musician Ben Harper for several years until 2013.
Dern, similar to her Jurassic Park co-stars, will be once again firmly thrust back into geek culture when she joins the cast of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo.
10 B.D. Wong (Dr. Henry Wu)
One of the coolest under-the-radar actors on the planet, B.D. Wong will live on forever on TV, thanks to constant re-runs of Law And Order: SVU, where Wong played Dr. George Huang for 14 seasons. But before playing SVU’s go-to FBI psychoanalyst, Wong was part of Jurassic Park.
As Dr. Henry Wu, Wong was one of the scientists that helped to recreate and grow new “Dino DNA” that brought forth the dinosaurs to modern times. But while he was a calm and soothing doctor in 1993, Wong played a different version of Dr. Hu in Jurassic World, one who was incredulous and actually tried to blame the owner of the new park for asking him to create the Indominus Rex.
Besides returning to Jurassic World for the sequel, Wong has been busy portraying Dr. Hugo Strange in Gotham, twisting every trait that made Huang a good man into an evil one. He is also up for an Emmy award for his guest role on Mr. Robot.
9 Joseph Mazzello (Tim Murphy)
How cool must it be for a young boy to have a multi-gazillionaire eccentric grandpa? You literally could do and have anything you want. What if grandpa decided to bankroll Jurassic Park? Joseph Mazzello must have been like a kid in a candy store when he was cast as Tim. He was the perfect dinosaur-loving age for the part.
While so many of the characters in the flick showed a childlike wonder at the sight of the reptilian giants, Tim, being a kid, of course, was the character so many kids would identify with. Mazzello did as well, despite almost getting fried and becoming raptor food at various points in the film.
Mazzello himself has lived a fairly modest life since Jurassic Park. He used the money he received from a cameo in The Lost World to put himself through college and has consistently scored bit parts. But his career opportunities might be expanding very soon, thanks to his portrayal as John Deacon, the bassist for the legendary Queen in Bohemian Rhapsody.
8 Ariana Richards (Lex Murphy)
A little bit older, and a little grossed out by getting dino-snot on her, Tim’s older sister, Lex, played by Arianna Richards, fancied herself a hacker, which was a really funny plot point, especially by 1993 computer standards. But it’s a Spielberg flick involving kids, so of course Lex gets to save the day. Even cooler is that besides the T-Rex, Richards has one of the most iconic shots in the movie thanks to her terrified face while eating Jello.
After Jurassic Park, she focused more on her painting; one of them is a portrait of her and her “brother” Tim, which hangs in Spielberg’s office. As for the rest of her paintings, she has been featured on shows like Good Morning America and her work, such “Lady Of The Dahlias”, has won top honors at the 2005 National Professional Oil Competition.
While her artwork is her passion and livelihood, don’t count on seeing Richards in any film just yet. While she takes roles few and far between, she does take them, most recently in the 2013 TV movie Battledogs.
7 Martin Ferrero (Donald Gennaro)
According to John Hammond, Donald Gennaro, played by Martin Ferrero, was “the bloodsucking lawyer”. Hired to inspect the park and ensure its security, Gennarro could not believe Hammond didn’t want to charge people to get into the park, when he could be charging $2,500-$10,000 just for a day.
Gennarro found himself stuck in the same car as Lex and Tim when the T-Rex came looking for food, but instead of being brave, the lawyer heads for the nearest toilet where Rexi gobbles him right up. You can see how much Spielberg liked lawyers, right?
As luck would have it, getting eaten by a Tyrannosaur while sitting on the toilet happens to be one of the most memorable deaths in cinema. Not to mention one of Ferrero’s most memorable roles, as well. “When people recognize me on the street, they pause and then say, ‘You were the guy who got eaten on the toilet in Jurassic Park.’ So yes, I’m the guy who died on the toilet.”
Ferrero hasn’t actually done much in Hollywood besides this iconic role; he has been part of the Antaeus Theater Company since 2008.
6 Whit Hertford (Volunteer Boy)
Whit Hertford is one of those “working actors”. We all know the term. He has worked consistently on a number of film and TV productions over the years. He even directs the UK theater company, Riot Act. He has also been in and around Hollywood for a long time as both a voice and live actor in various shows and movies, he just isn't a Hollywood megastar. His most known role though would have to be as the little boy touring the park who isn’t that scared of a little velociraptor.
Of course, Dr. Grant puts the fear of the big lizard in the boy by explaining how it would eviscerate the poor boy without a thought. Thanks to Jurassic World, a new fan theory has emerged that Owen (played by Chris Pratt in the new series) is supposed to be the very same Volunteer Boy.
Hertford playfully dispelled this theory when he let the world know “guys like me don’t grow up to be Chris Pratt.”
5 Julianne Moore (Sarah Harding)
There’s nothing like a fiery redhead to spice up the proceedings, is there? Especially when played by a then-fairly fresh-faced Julianne Moore. She played Dr. Sarah Harding, a behavioral paleontologist who is hired by Hammond to go to Isla Sorna, an island near Isla Nubar (where Jurassic Park is located) to show that the dinosaurs who lived on Sorna should be left alone by the public.
Since she was dating Ian Malcolm at the time, she was all the inspiration he needed to head back to Jurassic Park to help/save his girlfriend in The Lost World. The stakes change drastically when they learn of a plot to bring the dinos to San Diego for a new theme park.
Moore, of course, has gone on to become one of the greatest actors of this generation, starring in The Big Lebowski, and most recently, the upcoming Suburbicon and Kingsmen sequel. She also is an accomplished children’s author, thanks to the Freckleface Strawberry series.
4 Vince Vaughn (Nick Van Owen)
Want to hear something funny about funny-man Vince Vaughn? Perhaps more than any other comedic actor, he has used his acting chops for a slew of other films that aren’t comedies. From westerns to detective thrillers, Vaughn has done his best to keep his slacker persona at bay, even though films like Wedding Crashers and Dodgeball are some his best and highest grossing projects.
But The Lost World is still one of his most memorable performances. As photographer and environmentalist, Nick Van Owen, Vaughn shows poise (along with sarcasm), and bravery as he helps to set a baby T-Rex’s leg before giving him back to his big bad mama.
Most recently, Vaughn starred in the film Term Life (directed by Ralphie Parker himself, Peter Billingsley) and Brawl In Cell Block 99, both decidedly unfunny roles for a guy who is so associated with his comedy.
3 Camilla Belle (Cathy Bowman)
Some of the beauty of the first two Jurassic Park adventures is that there are plenty of memorable roles and characters that are not part of the main cast. Sweet little Cathy Bowman is one of those characters. While on vacation with her family, she wandered off and started to feed a small Compsognathus, when a bunch of its friends came out and attacked her, setting off an attack by a swarm of the little guys, setting the stage for The Lost World.
That little girl was played by none other than Camilla Belle, who would go on to star in thrillers like When A Stranger Calls, and The Quiet. She’s about to star in The Mad Whale, a unique take on Moby Dick, about a group of women in a mental asylum performing Herman Melville’s classic story. The flick will also star James Franco and Summer Phoenix.
2 Richard Attenborough (John Hammond)
Even though he passed away in 2014, this article wouldn’t be complete without paying homage to the great director, Richard Attenborough, and his portrayal of the charismatic, childlike, and enigmatic proprietor of Jurassic Park, John Hammond. Perhaps his biggest strength, though, was also his weakness: Attenborough played him with such an altruistic nature that he was taken advantage of.
Attenborough was highly respected by Spielberg when he was cast in Jurassic Park; Spielberg waited for Attenborough to finish his own film, Chaplin, just so that he could work with him on this film.
After Jurassic Park, Attenborough would make several more films, like Shadowlands (that featured Joe Mazzello) and In Love And War, with a young Sandra Bullock and Chris O’Donnell. He also starred in several more films, most notably as Kris Kringle in the remake of Miracle On 34th Street.
1 Cameron Thor (Lewis Dodgson)
In the world of Jurassic Park, there are two big genetics companies: InGen, the company that is headed by John Hammond, and Biosyn, which is headed by Bill Steingarten in the books, but Lewis Dodgson in the film, played by Cameron Thor.
Thor, in the nineties, had several bit parts in some pretty big movies and TV shows, including Hook (also directed by Steven Spielberg), Clear And Present Danger, A Few Good Men, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. As Dodgson, he was responsible for colluding with Nedry to try to steal dinosaur embryos. Thanks to his ridiculous attempt to be inconspicuous and Wayne Knight’s comic timing, we now have the meme “We got a Dodgson here!”.
Unfortunately, Thor’s life took a turn for the worst when he decided it would be a good idea to have an affair with one of his acting students, Jordyn Ladell, who was 13 at the time. Thor, despite motions filed by his lawyers for a new trial based on insufficient evidence, has been sentenced to six years in state prison.