Cast of ‘A Christmas Story:’ Where Are They Now?
The Christmas season brings a host of favorite movies to watch to get in the holiday spirit. It’s A Wonderful Life, Elf, Home Alone, and The Santa Clause are all considered must-see viewing in December.
One film that never loses its magic is 1983’s A Christmas Story based on the writings of author Jean Shepherd. This treasured holiday tale follows the adventures of Ralphie Parker (played by Peter Billingsley), navigating through the season with his little brother Randy (Ian Petrella) and buddies Flick (Scott Schwartz) and Schwartz (R.D. Robb), all while dodging the school bully Scott Farkus (Zack Ward). Throughout the movie, Ralphie’s one wish is to get a a ‘Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle’ for Christmas, despite his mother’s protests telling him ‘You’ll shoot your eye out!’
While the film was not a huge box office success, it developed a cult following and is now considered a holiday staple. Since the film debuted in November 1983, some fans have wondered what became of the young actors. The Hollywood Reporter was able to track down some details on the bunch of boys since the film wrapped.
Ralphie – Peter Billingsley
The starring role of Ralphie went to Peter Billingsley, who beat out 8,000 candidates for the part, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He went on to become a TV and film producer, often collaborating with Marvel Cinematic Universe director Jon Favreau and actor Vince Vaughn.
His partnership with the two Hollywood heavy hitters kept him pretty busy on several high-profile projects. Some included serving as executive producer on the Four Christmases and The Break-Up, both starring Vaughn, as well as Favreau’s Iron Man. Billingsley co-produced Zathura, also directed by Favreau. The actor made his directorial debut with 2009’s Couples Retreat, starring and co-written by Favreau and Vaughn.
Billingsley currently executive produces the Netflix animated series F Is for Family, which is produced by Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Television.
Randy – Ian Petrella
Who can forget Randy eating his mashed potatoes ‘like the piggies do’ or being robed in so many coats and scarves he cried out, “I can’t put my arms down!” Ian Petrella became a fan fave as Ralphie’s whiny little brother, going on to guest star in shows including Who’s the Boss? and Diff’rent Strokes in the ’80s and Beverly Hills, 90210 in the early 1990s. He later switched career paths, becoming a puppeteer and animator.
Flick – Scott Schwartz
Most probably remember Flick with his tongue stuck to a frozen pole after being ‘triple-dog dared’ to attempt the feat. After A Christmas Story, Schwartz appeared in the 1985 TV movie A Time to Live with Liza Minnelli and Corey Haim. In an unexpected career move, Schwarts went into the adult film industry in the 1990s but has since left that field.
Schwartz – J.D. Robb
Taking on the role of the ‘triple-dog darer,’ J.D. Robb made his acting debut as Schwartz in A Christmas Story. He went on to appear in several films and TV shows, including The Brady Bunch Movie and an episode of ER.
Robb also has a directing credit to his name for the indie film Don’s Plum, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, which had a bit of controversy surrounding its release. DiCaprio and Maguire made the film before they became mega stars, and purposely prevented the film from being released in the U.S. To date, it has never been legally shown outside of Europe.
Scott Farkus – Zack Ward
Who can forget ‘those yellow eyes’ that belonged to the legendary bully Scott Farkus? After A Christmas Story, Zack Ward stuck with acting and landed some substantial TV and film roles. He has appeared in NYPD Blue, Almost Famous (2000), Deadwood (2004-05), Transformers (2007) and American Horror Story (2017), and served as director on the 2016 horror film Restoration.
Ward had a hand in business as well, where he helped spearhead the Global Sports Financial Exchange in 2017, of which he is also the CEO.
The young actors most likely had no idea what a beloved classic A Christmas Story would become. Try to take some time to enjoy the treasured film this Christmas!