See the Cast of ‘Die Hard’ Then and Now
âA Good Day to Die Hard,â the fifth movie in the franchise in which John McClane is tasked with stopping a diabolical mad man (as per usual), opens on Valentineâs Day.
It may be hard to believe, but the original âDie Hardâ came out 25 years ago. With a new Blu-ray set and the original films returning to theaters, now is as good a time as any to see what the stars of the landmark first ‘Die Hard’ film are doing today.
Bruce Willis, John McClane
Then: Willis was already a star when âDie Hardâ came out, thanks to his work on âMoonlighting.â But his work in âDie Hardâ launched him into another rarified air of action icon, alongside Schwarzenegger and Stallone. Willis went on to star in a boatload of hits, including âPulp Fiction,â âArmageddonâ and âThe Sixth Sense.â He had some misses along the way (âHudson Hawk,â âThe Bonfire of the Vanitiesâ) and wound up marrying Demi Moore. They had three kids before getting a divorce.
Now:Â Willis, 57, also has a daughter with model Emma Heming, whom he married in 2009. As for his on-screen exploits, Willis shows no signs of stopping. Later this year, you can catch him in two other sequels: âG.I. Joe: Retaliationâ and âRed 2.â
Bonnie Bedelia, Holly McClane
Then: Bedelia played Willisâ estranged wife in âDie Hardâ and returned for the second film in the series. A trained ballerina, Bedeliaâs nephew is Macaulay Culkin.
Now:Â She never appeared in another film that could rival the success of âDie Hard,â but Bedelia, 64, has worked steadily, starring in scores of TV movies, as well as the Lifetime series âThe Division.' Currently, she stars as the family matriarch on the NBC drama âParenthood.â
Reginald VelJohnson, Sgt. Powell
Then: A relative unknown at the time, VelJohnson was Al Powell, the cop with a love of sweets first summoned to check out Nakatomi Plaza. This New York City native kicked around in a few films before âDie Hardâ (he had played a jail guard in 'Ghostbusters'), but the 60-year-oldâs real legacy didnât come until the â90s when he played Carl Winslow on ABCâs TGIF staple, âFamily Matters.â He played the part for over 200 episodes before the series ended.
Now: Heâs remained busy, lending his voice to âDie Hardâ video games and scoring a recurring roles on shows like 'I'm With the Band' and 'Mike and Molly.' He currently plays Southern gentleman Dash DeWitt on 'Hart of Dixie' and voices Able on 'Tron: Uprising.'
Alan Rickman, Hans Gruber
Then: As international terrorist Hans Gruber, Rickman, 66, was one of the most memorable bad guys on the big screen. In fact, the American Film Institute named Gruber the 46thÂ best villain in movie history.
Now: Rickmanâs distinctive voice continues to serve him well, earning him plenty of work since âDie Hard.â He has starred in several blockbusters, including the âHarry Potterâ series where he portrayed Severus Snape. Heâs also appeared in the film adaptation of âSweeney Todd,â and will play Ronald Reagan in the upcoming political drama 'The Butler.'
De'voreaux White, Argyle
Then: White was already a grizzled veteran of TV and film when he added a touch of levity to âDie Hardâ with his portrayal of Argyle, the limo driver who offers to help John McClane in case he canât patch things up with his wife. He had done films before â you may remember him as the kid who tries to steal a guitar from Ray Charlesâ store in âThe Blues Brothersâ â and scored several appearances on âLittle House on the Prairie,â as well as cropping up on âWhatâs Happening!!,ââThe Jeffersons,â and âMax Dugan Returns.â
Now: After âDie Hard,â he landed the role of Aristotle on âHead of the Classâ before fading into obscurity. In fact, he doesnât appear to have acted on screen between 2000 and 2012 when he showed up in a film called âSandbar.â
James Shigeta, Mr. Takagi
Then: An accomplished singer, Shigeta played Mr. Takagi, the man who runs the Nakatomi Corporation. The Hawaiian native was a staple on the guest star circuit of TV shows in the â60s, â70s and â80s (âMedical Center,â âPerry Masonâ and âThe Greatest American Hero,â among others). He kept chugging along in the post-âDie Hardâ era, landing parts on âBeverly Hills, 90210,â âMurder, She Wroteâ and lending his voice to the part of General Li in the hit film âMulan.â
Now: Now 79, Shigeta has slowed down in recent years â his most recent credit came in 2009 in the movie âThe People Iâve Slept With.â And hereâs a fun fact to impress people the next time youâre at a party. Shigeta is actually a Golden Globe winner, nabbing the now-defunct award for Most Promising Male Newcomer award in 1960, an honor he shared with George Hamilton and Troy Donahue.
Hart Bochner, Ellis
Then: Bochner played Ellis, Bonnie Bedeliaâs sleazy co-worker who wasnât afraid to give up McLaneâs identity to the terrorists. His performance was so good that Ellis was named the second greatest movie sleazeball by Maxim in 2005. Bochner burst on the scene in the â70s, landing a role in âBreaking Awayâ and kept working steadily.
Now: After âDie Hard,â he continued to be seen on the small and big screen, appearing in the TV miniseries âWar and Remembranceâ and landing a recurring role as Debra Messingâs boyfriend in âThe Starter Wife.â The 56-year-old has also gone behind the camera, directing four films, most notably the 1994 comedy, âPCU.â
Robert Davi, Special Agent Johnson
Then: In âDie Hard,â Davi played FBI Special Agent Johnson, but you may remember him as one of the bumbling bad guys in âGoonies,â as well as his turn as another agent -- Agent Malone -- on the â90s series âProfiler.â He also played the villain in the James Bond flick âLicence to Kill.â
Now: Davi has worked consistently throughout his career in TV and film, with more than 120 credits to date. (Mostly as bad guys.) What you may not know is that Davi, 59, is a pretty good singer and worked as a headliner belting out Frank Sinatra songs at the Venetian in Las Vegas last year. The acting well hasnât dried up, either. Davi has three projects slated to come out in 2013, including the controversial 'Raging Bull' prequel/sequel 'The Bronx Bull.'
Clarence Gilyard Jr., Theo
Then: The lone American among the bad guys, Gilyard's Theo spent the bulk of the film trying to break the code to get access to the money. Prior to 'Die Hard,' Gilyard had done a lot of TV work, surfacing on 'CHiPS' and working with a then-unknown Jim Carrey on the short-lived series 'The Duck Factory.' He even had a small part in 'Top Gun.'
Now: After 'Die Hard,' Gilyard enjoyed a mountain of jobs, becoming a cast member on 'Matlock' and 'Walker, Texas Ranger.' (He played Chuck Norris' sidekick James Trivette.) While he didn't act between 2005 and 2012, the 57-year-old Gilyard now has two films in the can and remains active teaching theater at UNLV.