See the Cast of ‘Cry-Baby’ Then and Now
Back in 1990, before Johnny Depp was the major A-list actor he is today, he starred in the John Waters cult musical comedy ‘Cry-Baby,’ about a conservative girl in 1950s Baltimore who falls for a rebellious bad boy against her mother’s wishes. A parody of classic musicals like ‘Grease,’ the movie wasn’t a major success at the time, but went on to become a beloved cult classic and inspire a Broadway musical. Twenty-four years later, we revisit the cast of the film that helped make Depp famous and see what they’re up to now.
Johnny Depp, Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker
Then: Director John Waters was looking for a young, hot actor to play the role of bad boy Wade “Cry-Baby” Walker, so he bought $30 worth of teen heartthrob magazines and found Johnny Depp, star of the show ’21 Jump Street,’ on the cover of every one. Depp thought the role was interesting and liked the subversive, quirky script, and he wanted to avoid being typecast in teen idol roles.
Now: A few years later, Depp really gained traction with his role in Tim Burton’s ‘Edward Scissorhands,’ and since then has starred in several of Burton’s films, including ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the more recent ‘Dark Shadows.’ He is also well known for playing Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films, and recently reprised his old ’21 Jump Street’ role for a cameo in the 2012 film. Next he’ll appear in ‘Transcendence,’ the debut film from Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer, and he’ll reprise his roles for ‘Alice in Wonderland 2′ and a new ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film.
Amy Locane, Allison Vernon-Williams
Then: Amy Locane’s first major film role was as Allison Vernon-Williams, a “square” (conservative) young lady who is tired of being a goody two-shoes and falls in love with Cry-Baby.
Now: Locane went on to star on the nighttime soap ‘Melrose Place,’ and in the films ‘School Ties,’ ‘Airheads,’ ‘Prefontaine,’ and ‘Secretary.’ In 2010, Locane was driving drunk when she collided with another vehicle, killing a 60-year-old woman and injuring the woman’s husband. In 2013, Locane was sentenced to three years in prison for the crime.
Polly Bergen, Mrs. Vernon-Williams
Then: Polly Bergen portrayed Allison’s mom, Mrs. Vernon-Williams, a conservative older woman who disapproves of Allison dating Cry-Baby and prefers for her to date another square. Bergen was a classic singer, actress and television host known for her role in the classic 1962 film ‘Cape Fear’ and for guest appearances on shows like ‘The Love Boat’ and ‘Murder, She Wrote.’
Now: Bergen has since appeared in the films ‘Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde,’ ‘The Surrogate’ and ‘Paradise, Texas.’ She had recurring roles on ‘Desperate Housewives’ and the short-lived series ‘Commander in Chief,’ and guest starred on ‘The Sopranos.’ More recently she appeared in the indie film ‘Struck by Lightning,’ written by and starring Chris Colfer of ‘Glee.’
Ricki Lake, Pepper Walker
Then: Ricki Lake played Pepper Walker, Cry-Baby’s sister who has kids and is pregnant again even though she’s still in high school. Lake previously made her film debut in John Waters’ ‘Hairspray.’
Now: Lake went on to host her own talk show from 1993 to 2004, and appeared in the John Waters films ‘Serial Mom,’ ‘Cecil B. Demented’ and ‘A Dirty Shame.’ She also starred in ‘Cabin Boy’ and ‘Mrs. Winterbourne.’ In 2007, she had a role in the remake of ‘Hairspray,’ as a nod to her participation in Waters’ original film version, and in 2008 she produced and appeared in the documentary ‘The Business of Being Born.’ Since then she guest starred on ‘Drop Dead Diva,’ competed on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ and hosted her own talk show again from 2012 to 2013.
Traci Lords, Wanda Woodward
Then: Traci Lords played Wanda Woodward, one of Cry-Baby’s friends who comes from a good, suburban home but hangs around with the rebel kids from the wrong side of the tracks anyway. Lords previously gained notoriety for her teen porn career before deciding to study method acting at the famed Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute at the age of 18. ‘Cry-Baby’ was one of her first major roles.
Now: Lords also appeared in John Waters’ ‘Serial Mom,’ and went on to star in films like ‘Nowhere,’ ‘Blade,’ ‘Zack and Miri Make a Porno’ and ‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.’ She guest starred on a ton of shows, including ‘Married… with Children,’ ‘Roseanne,’ ‘Melrose Place,’ ‘Gilmore Girls’ and ‘Will & Grace.’ Recently she lent her voice to the video game ‘Hitman: Absolution,’ and appeared in the horror films ‘Excision’ and ‘Devil May Call.’
Darren E. Burrows, Milton Hackett
Then: Darren E. Burrows played Milton Hackett, one of Cry-Baby’s more quiet friends who rebels against his religious zealot parents. Burrows also starred on the series ‘Northern Exposure,’ which debuted in 1990, the same year ‘Cry-Baby’ hit theaters.
Now: ‘Northern Exposure’ ended in 1995, and since then Burrows has guest starred on ‘The X-Files’ and its spinoff series ‘The Lone Gunmen,’ ‘NYPD Blue’ and ‘CSI.’ He also appeared in the films ‘Amistad’ and ‘Sunset Strip,’ and he can be seen next in the indie film ‘Love Is Strange,’ starring Alfred Molina and John Lithgow. When he’s not acting, he lives in Kansas with his wife, who is a French chef, and their four sons.
Willem Dafoe, Hateful Guard
Then: Willem Dafoe had a small, uncredited role as a hateful prison guard during the portion of the film in which Cry-Baby is wrongfully sent to prison for a riot started by Allison’s jealous boyfriend. Dafoe previously appeared in the film ‘Platoon,’ in which Johnny Depp had a small role when he was even lesser known.
Now: Over the years Dafoe appeared in films like ‘The Boondock Saints,’ ‘American Psycho,’ ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘The Aviator.’ He had a supporting role in Wes Anderson’s ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ and lent his voice to ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox,’ and starred in Lars Von Trier’s ‘Antichrist.’ More recently, he starred in ‘Out of the Furnace’ and ‘A Most Wanted Man.’ He can be seen next reuniting with Wes Anderson for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and with Lars Von Trier for ‘Nymphomaniac.’ He also appears in ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ ‘John Wick’ and reprises his voice role from ‘Finding Nemo’ for the sequel, ‘Finding Dory.’