See the Cast of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ Then and Now
Horror master Wes Craven’s slasher film ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ was a huge success with both audiences and critics in 1984. In fact, it was such a hit that it spawned multiple sequels, remakes and various television incarnations.
However, the first movie remains the most memorable, because that’s when we were introduced to psychotic dream-stalker Freddy Krueger. While it was barely noticed at the time, the original ‘Nightmare’ was also the first appearance of an actor who went on to become one of the most popular entertainment figures of our time.
See who that was — and check up on what the cast of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ is up to these days — below.
Heather Langenkamp, Nancy Thompson
Then: Langenkamp played Nancy Thompson, a teen who wages an epic dream-time battle against Freddy Krueger. The 20-year-old was slated to make her film debut the year before in ‘The Outsiders,’ but her scenes got deleted. Her other career highlights include a run as Marie Lubbock on the ‘Growing Pains’ spin-off ‘Just The Ten Of Us’ and playing figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in the TV movie ‘Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story.’
Now: Langenkamp owns a special effects and makeup studio with her husband. The 2012 thriller ‘The Butterfly Room’ was her first acting role in a decade.
Robert Englund, Freddy Krueger
Then: The now iconic role of murderous burn victim Freddy Krueger in ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ was Englund’s big break. But his big break had almost come seven years earlier, as he was considered for the role of Han Solo in ‘Star Wars’ before it went to Harrison Ford.
Now: The ‘Nightmare’ franchise made Englund a horror superstar. In addition to reprising Freddy Krueger dozens of times on TV and film, the classically trained actor has popped up in such horror films as ‘Urban Legends’ and ‘Hatchet’ and most recently headlined the gore-fest ‘Strippers vs. Werewolves.’
John Saxon, Lt. Don Thompson
Then: In ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street,’ Saxon was Lt. Don Thompson, a cop trying to track down Krueger. During that period he was playing recurring character Tony Cumson on ‘Dynasty.’ Saxon is probably best known for co-starring with Bruce Lee in 1973’s ‘Enter The Dragon.’
Now: Well into his sixth decade as an actor, the 76-year-old last appeared in the 2009 movie ‘The Mercy Man.’ He has two movies, ‘The Extra’ and ‘Bring Me The Head of Henriksen,’ in post-production.
Johnny Depp, Glen Lantz
Then: Yup, Johnny Depp was in ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street.’ He played Nancy’s boyfriend Glen Lantz and didn’t quite make it to the end of the film. It was the acting debut for the 21-year-old, who came into prominence a few years later on the cop drama ’21 Jump Street.’
Now: Depp is arguably the biggest movie star in the world. This year he starred in ‘Dark Shadows,’ his eighth collaboration with director Tim Burton. In 2013, he will be Tonto in ‘The Lone Ranger‘ and a fifth ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film, of which he’s the star, has been announced. Not bad for a guy who got his start being sucked into a hole in his bed.
Ronee Blakley, Marge Thompson
Then: You might remember Blakley as Marge Thompson, Nancy’s hard-drinking mom. An accomplished singer, she was nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role in the 1975 Robert Altman film ‘Nashville.’
Now: Blakley, 67, stopped appearing on movies or on TV around 1990, partly so she could raise her daughter. But her singing career continues, and in 2009 she released the album ‘The River Nile.’
Amanda Wyss, Tina Gray
Then: Wyss was high school student Tina Gray, the first to encounter Freddy, and the first to die. Prior to ‘Nightmare,’ she scored a small role in ‘Fast Times At Ridgemont High.’
Now: Wyss has had a steady acting career since ‘Nightmare.’ The 51-year-old was last seen as a guest star on ‘CSI,’ and in 2010 she played a supporting role in the movie ‘Deadly Impact.’
Nick Corri, Rod Lane
Then: Corri is best remembered for playing Tina’s doomed boyfriend Rod Lane. Corri had made his acting debut two years earlier on an episode of ‘Fame.’
Now: In 1997, Corrie reverted back to his birth name of Jsu Garcia. He continues to act, and in 2011 played the role of Francisco D’Anconia in ‘Atlas Shrugged: Part One.’ The 49-year-old also runs the production company Scott J-R Production.