See the Cast of ‘Commando’ Then and Now
Released in 1985, ‘Commando’ starred action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger as a retired Delta Force operative who must rescue his daughter from the mercenaries who killed his entire team. Also starring a young Alyssa Milano and Rae Dawn Chong, ‘Commando’ was yet another hit for Schwarzenegger, who had previously impressed audiences as both Conan and the Terminator. Almost 30 years later, we revisit the cast of this action classic and see what they’re up to now.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Matrix
Then: Arnold Schwarzenegger played Colonel John Matrix, a previous Delta Force operative who must rescue his daughter from the mercenaries who killed the other members of his unit. Schwarzenegger previously rose to fame with roles in the ‘Conan’ films and ‘The Terminator.’
Now: Schwarzenegger is an action icon, known for his roles throughout the ’80s and ’90s in films like ‘Predator,’ ‘Total Recall,’ ‘Last Action Hero,’ ‘True Lies’ and ‘Batman and Robin,’ as well as comedies like ‘Twins,’ ‘Junior’ and ‘Jingle All the Way.’ He also appeared in both ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ and ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’ before taking a break from acting for several years to act as Governor of California. He recently returned to the big screen, appearing in ‘The Last Stand,’ ‘The Expendables 2,’ ‘Escape Plan’ and ‘Sabotage.’ He’ll be seen next in ‘The Expendables 3,’ and has confirmed an appearance in ‘Terminator 5.’
Rae Dawn Chong, Cindy
Then: Rae Dawn Chong played Cindy, an off-duty flight attendant whom John enlists to reluctantly help him on his mission. Chong was primarily known best for her role in the 1981 film ‘Quest for Fire.’
Now: Chong went on to appear in ‘The Color Purple,’ ‘Soul Man,’ ‘Tales from the Darkside’ and ‘Hideaway.’ She also guest starred on shows like ‘Melrose Place’ and ‘The Outer Limits.’ In recent years, she appeared in the indie films ‘Cyrus’ and ‘Jeff, Who Lives at Home’ from writing/directing duo Jay and Mark Duplass.
Dan Hedaya, Arius
Then: Dan Hedaya played the role of Arius, a South-American dictator whom John Matrix is hired to assassinate before he can carry out a military coup in his home country. Hedaya previously appeared in ‘Blood Simple,’ and had the recurring role of Nick Tortelli on ‘Cheers.’
Now: Hedaya was very busy in the ’90s, starring in movies like ‘The Addams Family,’ ‘Mighty Ducks,’ ‘Nixon,’ ‘Clueless,’ ‘To Die For,’ ‘The Usual Suspects,’ ‘The First Wives Club’ and many more. In the aughts, he appeared in ‘Mulholland Drive’ and ‘Swimfan,’ and had a recurring role on ‘Yes, Dear.’ More recently, you may have seen him in the HBO movie ‘Too Big To Fail’ or on an episode of ‘The Mindy Project.’
Vernon Wells, Bennett
Then: Vernon Wells, known for his roles in ‘Mad Max 2′ and ‘Weird Science,’ played Bennett, a former member of Matrix’s unit who is now a mercenary working for the opposition.
Now: Wells went on to appear in films like ‘Innerspace,’ ‘Fortress’ and ‘Space Truckers.’ He had a recurring role on the ‘Power Rangers Time Force’ TV series and guest starred on shows like ‘JAG.’ These days, Wells makes a living appearing in B-movies with titles like ’100,000 Zombie Heads’ and ‘Rise of the Dinosaurs.’
David Patrick Kelly, Sully
Then: David Patrick Kelly played Sully, one of Arius’ trusted men. Kelly was best known for his role in the classic film ‘The Warriors.’
Now: Kelly appeared in David Lynch’s ‘Wild at Heart,’ and Lynch wrote the part of Jerry Horne on his series ‘Twin Peaks’ specifically for Kelly. He has since appeared in the films ‘The Crow,’ ‘Flags of Our Fathers’ and ‘K-PAX.’ Kelly also had a recurring role on ‘Gossip Girl,’ and guest starred on ‘Louie’ and ‘Bored to Death.’
Alyssa Milano, Jenny Matrix
Then: Alyssa Milano played Jenny Matrix, John’s young daughter who is kidnapped by mercenaries from his secluded mountain home. At the time, Milano had been starring on the hit sitcom ‘Who’s the Boss’ for a year.
Now: ‘Who’s the Boss’ ended in 1992, and Milano tried to move away from her good girl teen idol image, appearing in direct-to-video films like ‘Deadly Sins,’ ‘Embrace of the Vampire’ and ‘Poison Ivy II: Lily.’ She also starred in the 1996 thriller ‘Fear’ and had a recurring role on ‘Melrose Place’ before landing a leading role on the WB series ‘Charmed.’ Since that show ended in 2006, she had a recurring role on ‘My Name Is Earl,’ and appeared in the films ‘Hall Pass’ and ‘New Year’s Eve.’ More recently, she became a host and judge for ‘Project Runway: All Stars’ on Lifetime, and stars on the series ‘Mistresses.’
Bill Duke, Cooke
Then: Bill Duke played Cooke, a former Green Beret and one of the mercenaries who’s out to get John Matrix. He previously made an impression on audiences with his roles in ‘Car Wash’ and ‘American Gigolo.’
Now: Duke reunited with Schwarzenegger for ‘Predator,’ and appeared in films like ‘Action Jackson,’ ‘Menace II Society,’ ‘The Limey’ and ‘Exit Wounds.’ He also had recurring roles on the short-lived shows ‘Fastlane’ and ‘Karen Sisco,’ and had a small role in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand.’ In addition to acting, Duke also works behind the camera, and his directing credits include ‘The Killing Floor,’ ‘Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit,’ ‘Hoodlum,’ as well as several episodes of classic TV series and the 2011 documentary ‘Dark Girls.’