Everyone loves a good Christmas movie. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is no exception! It hit theaters in 1989 and set a new bar for holiday feature films. It was a box office hit and remains a favorite today. People everywhere wanted to be a part of the Griswold family. The last we saw all these great actors together was over 20 years ago. What happened to this fun-loving crew? Today, you are about to find out!
Jeremy Roberts as the ‘Cop’
Actor Jeremy Roberts played a brief role in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. In one of the first films that he made, he played a cop. You can see him on screen when Mrs. Shirley brings the police back to the home. Talk about having a fun start to a movie career! Jeremy was used to acting in tougher roles. However, when Christmas Vacation came along, Roberts was chosen to be the funny policeman. We were none the wiser that he wasn’t trained in comedy!
Supportive Husband and Regular Guy
Jeremy Roberts hasn’t appeared in a movie since 2000, but he did have many television appearances since Christmas Vacation. He appeared on television shows that included Sunset Beach, Renegade, Days of our Lives, and Star Trek. Now that he is semi-retired from acting, Jeremy has been enjoying more family time at home. His wife is a professional figure skater, and he is often in the audience rooting her on. While he does miss the acting world, he can’t complain how well life has turned out for him.
Keith MacKechnie as the Delivery Boy
This scene is unforgettable. Clark found out that he wasn’t getting his normal Christmas bonus. Instead of getting a nice paycheck, Clark Griswold had a delivery boy show up at his door to give him a membership to the Jelly of the Month Club! That delivery guy was Keith MacKechnie. Keith was new to acting when he appeared in Christmas Vacation. It took him a couple of years after this movie to get a stable foothold in Hollywood. He had many smaller roles in television since then.
Still Doing Movies
After Christmas Vacation, Keith kept on doing movies in addition to television. He can be seen on popular TV shows such as NYPD Blue and Melrose Place. He also has a lot of made for television movies under his belt. Today, Keith is still acting. He is starring as Clayton Blake in a TV movie called Christmas Getaway. Keith has had a lot of success in his acting career, and he is sure to be in more! Christmas Vacation has to be one of his favorites.
Nicolette Scorsese as ‘Mary.’
Clark Griswold’s appreciation for beautiful women has been highlighted in all the National Lampoon movies. Christmas Vacation was no exception. Nicolette Scorsese plays Mary, a stunning saleswoman at the lingerie counter. Nicolette was already known in Hollywood by this time. Her career started off in modeling during the eighties, and she managed to break into acting at the same time. She has had appearances in on The A-Team and Charles In Charge.
The Future of Nicolette
In 1993, Nicolette Scorsese appeared in the film Boxing Helena where she played a sexy character again. That was her first on-screen appearance since Christmas Vacation. She was often typecast into these types of roles going forward. Nicolette hasn’t appeared in anything substantial since the 1990s. Many still see her as the pretty woman on Christmas Vacation. Nicolette enjoys the notoriety and can be seen attending fan events.
Natalija Nogulich as Mrs. Shirley
Mrs. Shirley only had a couple of scenes towards the end of Christmas Vacation. Natalija Nogulich played her well. In the movie, she shows up with the cops to help her find her kidnapped husband. This was her first movie role! Natalija started acting in the 1980s and took on a variety of small roles before she found her big break. She appeared in many popular television shows. Soon after the movie, she got cast in many television roles including Designing Women.
Timeless Star Quality
In 2014, Natalija could be seen playing an Admiral in Star Trek. She has ridden the wave of success and can be seen in television dramas and sitcoms. There is nothing she can’t do! On top of the success that she’s already had, Natalija can even be found in an episode of the popular Netflix Original Fuller House! She is nearly unrecognizable since her Christmas Vacation days. Her incredible acting has thankfully stayed the same.
Brian Doyle-Murray as Frank Shirley
Brian Doyle-Murray played Clark’s mean boss, Frank Shirley. He was known for his greed and cutting remarks to the family man. He even dismissed his Christmas bonus for a cheap gift! No wonder he was kidnapped! Most people aren’t aware that Brian is comedian Bill Murray’s brother! The talent runs deep in that family. He didn’t even need to ride the coattails of his famous sibling for this one. He was good all on his own.
Talent Runs in the Family
Like his brother, Brian has a long history in film and television. He has been on Saturday Night Live and was also on the National Lampoon Radio Hour. He and Chevy Chase have worked in numerous movies together since this one. Today, you can still find Brian acting. He has been on Veep, Trip Tank, and a series titled Extra Innings. He was also the voice of the Atomic Dutchman in SpongeBob SquarePants from 1999-2017.
Mae Questel as Aunt Bethany
Mae Questel is a Hollywood legend. She played Clark’s aunt, Bethany, and she has been said to be the character with the best lines in the movie! She is unforgettable as the hilarious relative. Mae started out acting by appearing in Vaudeville shows in her late teens. A few years later, she was chosen to be the was voice for the vintage cartoon, Betty Boop. She went on voice numerous characters since then.
A Hollywood Legend
Some of the characters she voiced included Olive Oyl from Popeye. When you hear her voice in Christmas Vacation it is easy to see why she was chosen for such fun animated roles. She had a lot of life in her! Unfortunately, Mae’s appearance in Christmas Vacation was her last until her death. She made the movie as memorable as her spirit. She is still remembered by the industry as someone who brought a lot of laughs on set.
William Hickey Played Uncle Lewis
Uncle Lewis was a great addition to Christmas Vacation. Who doesn’t want him in the family? William Hickey played him perfectly. The uncle is most remembered for his fake and hilarious toupee faux pas. William had been working in the entertainment business since 1951. By the time the movie rolled around he was a pro. He was a Broadway vet and loved to act. He could teach his costars a thing or two!
William Was an Acting Chameleon
Christmas Vacation wasn’t William’s only well-known film role. He played Don Corrado Prizzi in the movie Prizzi’s Honor in 1985. Outside of that, Hickey was almost nominated for his role in the horror series Tales from the Crypt! Talk about a chameleon in his field. William also taught acting at the HB Studio in New York. Some of his famous students included Barbara Streisand, George Segal, and Sandy Dennis. After Christmas Vacation, Hickey continued to work. He passed away at the age of 69 due to complications of emphysema.
Nicolas Guest as Todd Chester
Todd Chester was one half of the salty neighbors of the Griswold family. Nicolas Guest had the privilege of playing that character. His portrayal of Todd was funny and over the top. The perfect mix! Nicholas’ mother was a former vice president of casting at CBS, and his father was part of the British Royal Family. What an upbringing! His wealthy upbringing must have opened a few doors for him.
From the Big Screen to the Mic
After Nicholas’ appearance on Christmas Vacation, he kept himself busy on multiple projects. In the 1990s, he was on hit television shows that included Beverly Hills 90210, Pacific Blue, and Zorro. Outside of television, he can be seen on the hit movie The Joy Luck Club. He now lends his voice to video games and cartoons. That is where his focus is right now. He still loves to act, but he has found his true calling behind the camera.
Miriam Flynn as Cousin Catherine
Cousin Catherine is the cousin of Ellen Griswold. She is played by actress Miriam Flynn. In the film, Catherine is married to Cousin Eddie. This was one of her first roles we can see her in. She actually never intended to be an actress. She wanted to be a comedian! Miriam has been an extremely successful voice actor since the 1980s. She has worked in movies such as The Land Before Time and The Emperor’s New Groove. She loves to use her voice to make us laugh.
Award Winning Actress
Miriam has been in Hollywood for many years. You may remember her on sketch comedy production, The Tim Conway Show. She even was given her own sitcom out of it, but it lasted less than one season. After the 1980s sitcom was canceled, she snagged the role of Catherine. After the blockbuster, she can also be seen on shows that include Malcolm & Eddie and Grounded for Life. She can also be seen on some smaller movies that went straight to DVD.
Sam McMurray Played Bill
Sam McMurray played Clark’s co-worker, Bill. He is not a stranger to the camera, either. Not only can you find him on the big screen, but he also works on television. Drop Dead Gorgeous and Raising Arizona are just a couple of his movies. Sam’s voice is recognizable, too. He has been a voice actor in many television shows and video games. He was also the first guest voice actor on The Simpsons. You can also hear him in other favored cartoons such as Hey, Arnold! and Johnny Bravo.
Man of Many Talents
Sam has an extensive resume that’s put him in both films and television. His most notable and recent television roles are on The King of Queens and Breaking Bad. He is a pro in every genre. He is an acting heavyweight! Sam still takes on lead and supporting roles today. He hasn’t slowed down for decades, and he has no plans on stopping! This past year he landed two major television roles in a pair of new series. How lucky we are to see him again!
E.G. Marshall as Art Smith
Art Smith is the father of Ellen Griswold in Christmas Vacation. The character was played by actor and radio personality, E.G. Marshall. He is most known for his portrayal of Lawrence Preston on The Defenders and for his performance as Juror #4 in 12 Angry Men. Despite all that, no one could ever forget his role as grumpy Art Smith. The actor was born in 1914 and from an early age decided the performing world was for him. He has certainly become an incredible actor.
Man of Mystery
Marshall also took a strong interest in politics when he was in his 20s. He tried to go to college but soon realized it wasn’t for him. Instead, he felt he was made for acting and radio. He had a creative mind and loved to use it. When asked about his education, Marshall has remained elusive as to what college he attended. There are no records on his admission to school. He won’t name any names. It looks like the truth is going to stay with him. Marshall passed away in 1998.
John Randolph as Clark Griswold, Sr
Tony Award winning actor, John Randolph, played Clark’s father, Clark Griswold, Sr. He was very well versed when it came to performing and acting. On set he commanded a lot of respect just for his long resume and experience. John debuted as a professional actor in 1938 and then decided to join the Air Force during World War II. He and his wife then got blacklisted from Hollywood. They got accused of being communists. John fought to return to acting in 1966.
Never Stop Working
John is also quite popular due to his role on Roseanne in the 1990s. He played Roseanne’s father and brought a ton of chuckles in his episodes. John also made multiple television guest appearances during the next few years. John’s intense love for acting kept him working consistently up until 2003. The only reason why he stopped was because he was getting older. He couldn’t keep up with the demanding schedule. John died of natural causes in 2004.
Diane Ladd as Nora Griswold
Famous actress Diane Ladd took on the role of Nora Griswold in Christmas Vacation. Diane has been cast in over 130 movies and television shows, and you can find her in productions such as Alice, Chinatown, Joy, and Wild at Heart. During Diane’s career, she was nominated for three Oscars. She isn’t just an accomplished actor, either. She also has a college degree in psychology and worked as a part-time nutrition counselor.
Accomplished Actor and Author
Diane is still acting today. Most recently, she has appeared on Hallmark’s show Chesapeake Shores. She has written a handful of books over the years and continues to spend her down time with her family. Her career has been going strong for nearly 70 years. Diane is an advocate for proper nutrition. Outside of acting and writing, she runs a website where she offers nutritional advice. Diane also goes on book tours to promote her writing. She also has been outspoken when it comes to Hollywood “greed” and “corruption.”
Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie
It’s no secret that one of the most favorite Christmas Vacation characters is Cousin Eddie who is played by Randy Quaid. The character is wacky and wild, which made Randy Quaid the perfect actor to play him. As of 2009, Randy Quaid quit acting. However, he made his mark on Hollywood before he left. He has been nominated for an Oscar and has done comedy and drama throughout his career. With 90 movies under his belt, he has conquered a lot!
Conspiracy Criminal on the Run
In 2004, Randy decided to try theater acting. He also produced a few stage productions for the next four years. This was when his life took a turn for the worse. He and his wife failed to pay a $10,000 bill and were arrested. After being released on bail, they fled the United States. Over the past couple of years, he has been in and out of trouble with the law. Who we see in the news is a man so different than how he was in his heyday.
Doris Roberts Played Francis Smith
Hollywood and fans everywhere loved Doris Roberts as the harmless, but intrusive, Marie Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. Before that fame, she played Francis Smith on Christmas Vacation. She had very humble beginnings before she made it big in Hollywood. She lived with her single mother when she was younger. She soon decided that she wanted to try to make it in acting. She succeeded! She’s starred in more than 150 movies and television shows. Since the 1960s, Doris was known amongst television’s elite.
Talented and Smart
Doris was highly intelligent, too. She graduated high school just a few months after she turned 16 and attended New York University. It was actress Lily Tomlin who convinced Doris to move to Hollywood in the 1970s. Roberts is also known for her philanthropy which included the Children with Aids Foundation. Doris remained consistently busy in Hollywood up until her passing in 2016. She was 90 years old and is forever remembered.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Margot Chester
Margot Chester was the wife of Todd Chester. Julia-Louis Dreyfus played the part. Of course, she is now an A-list actress in Hollywood. She has her role in Seinfeld to thank for that. When Christmas Vacation was released, it was only her seventh role. The famous actress started her career in acting after she dropped out of Northwestern University. When she was 21, she landed a gig on Saturday Night Live. Her huge moves paid off immensely since then.
Hollywood and Politics
After Seinfeld, Julia has produced, directed, and acted all over Hollywood. Some of her hits include Arrested Development, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Veep. Julia has also been very active in politics. She is highly focused on environmental causes. Recently, Julia has announced that she has breast cancer. She has completed chemotherapy and is in remission. All her fans surely wish her the best of health going forward.
Beverly D’Angelo as Ellen Griswold
Ellen Griswold was played by Beverly D’Angelo. She was the beautiful wife of Clark. This is probably her best-known role to date. Beverly has starred in over 110 television shows and movies throughout her career. She has always loved to entertain. Before this movie, Beverly received a Golden Globe nomination for her part in also starred in the movie Coal Miner’s Daughter. She can also sing and was the singer of a rock band for over a decade! What a talent!
Funny Actress and Loving Mom
The chemistry between Beverly and Chevy Chase was great. Many believed that they were an item in real life, but that was never the case. Their acting was just that good! In her personal life, Beverly was dating Al Pacino and has two children with him. Currently, Beverly is still acting. She has been on hit series Entourage and the movie The House Bunny. When she is not acting, Beverly enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She still looks just the same today as she did in Christmas Vacation.
Juliette Lewis Played Audrey Griswold
Juliette Lewis was born to be a Hollywood star. She played Audrey Griswold, the daughter of Clark and Ellen, at the age of just 16. She started her career at the age of six and hasn’t looked back. Her acting talent is incredible. After Christmas Vacation, Juliette starred in Too Young to Die? alongside megastar Brad Pitt. At the age of 18, Juliette was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Cape Fear. For that role, she played alongside Robert De Niro and Jessica Lange.
From Hollywood to Song Bird
Juliette starred in many successful films throughout her acting career, but she decided to leave Hollywood in 2002. Another one of her passions had always been music, so she started a band called Juliette and the Licks. She stayed with the group for six years. Juliette has since returned to acting. She’s most recognized for her role as Mallory Knox in the critically acclaimed Natural Born Killers, and her portrayal of Becky in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. She has also appeared on television and has two films in post-production.
Johnny Galecki as Rusty Griswold
Johnny Galecki is now known as Leonard Hofstadter in the award-winning show The Big Bang Theory. Before that, one of his first roles was playing Rusty Griswold in Christmas Vacation. Before he got the role, he was a young child actor in local theaters. When Johnny was cast as Rusty Griswold, his family decided to move to Hollywood. After two years of being there, Johnny luckily met comedian and actress Roseanne Barr. Roseanne cast him on her popular show, Roseanne, where he played the role of David Healey.
Maintaining a Private Life
Johnny has spent the majority of his life in the public eye. He has been cast in many roles since being spotted on Christmas Vacation. Because of that, he’s always been extremely private with his personal life. It keeps him sane in a roller coaster industry. There are only a few things fans know about Johnny’s life. He loves motorcycles and he also owns 360 acres of land in California. The land has vineyards and a ranch. Unfortunately, the home was destroyed by California wildfires in summer of 2017.
Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold
You don’t only have to be a fan of the National Lampoon’s series to recognize Chevy Chase. He’s been on Saturday Night Live and other hilarious hit shows. However, his portrayal of Clark Griswold is iconic! His comedic timing can’t be duplicated. Chevy attended college to become a doctor but ultimately graduated with a degree in English. He has been acting since the 1970s and has steadily climbed his way to the top of Hollywood. Almost anyone knows his work one way or another.
Chevy Chase: The Ultimate Comedian
Chevy was one of the original cast members of SNL. It wasn’t until the second season that he left to explore more television and film. He is still very active in Hollywood. He returned to television in 2009 to star in Community. He does commercial work and has also done some sketch comedy over the years. Chevy has also done voice work for movies and most recently is in post-production for a film coming out later this year.