See the Cast of ‘Hocus Pocus’ Then and Now
Released in 1993, Disney’s horror comedy ‘Hocus Pocus’ wasn’t well-received, though it eventually became a cult Halloween classic. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy play a trio of ancient witch sisters who are accidentally resurrected by a teen boy and his sister. The witches won’t rest until they’ve absorbed the life force of all the town children to keep themselves young forever.
20 years later, we take a look back at the cast of this beloved film and see what they’re up to now.
Bette Midler, Winifred Sanderson
Then: Actress and singer Bette Midler played Winifred Sanderson, the eldest of the three Sanderson witch sisters and the meanest.
Now: Midler has appeared in ‘What Women Want,’ ‘The Stepford Wives,’ and more recently, ‘Parental Guidance.’ She continues to perform on stage and says that of all of her films, ‘Hocus Pocus’ is still her favorite.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Sarah Sanderson
Then: Sarah Jessica Parker played Sarah Sanderson, the youngest of the three Sanderson sisters. Sarah is a ditzy blonde stereotype who can hypnotize children.
Now: Parker played Carrie Bradshaw in six seasons and two film versions of ‘Sex and the City.’ She had a recurring role on ‘Glee’ as Kurt’s mentor and Vogue editor Isabelle Wright. Parker is married to actor Matthew Broderick.
Kathy Najimy, Mary Sanderson
Then: Kathy Najimy played Mary Sanderson, the middle Sanderson sister who loves to eat children. Her power is being able to smell and keep tabs on kids. The part was originally offered to Rosie O’Donnell, who turned it down because she didn’t want to play a scary witch.
Now: Najimy was the voice of Peggy Hill on the long-running animated series ‘King of the Hill,’ and she’s lent her voice to ‘Wall-E’ and ‘American Dad.’ She recently appeared in the film ‘The Guilt Trip,’ and can be seen next in ‘A Madea Christmas.’
Omri Katz, Max Dennison
Then: Teen actor Omri Katz almost didn’t get the part of protagonist Max Dennison — Leonardo DiCaprio turned the role down to appear in ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,’ and Katz was ill during his first audition. Katz starred on both ‘Dallas’ and ‘Eerie, Indiana.’
Now: Following ‘Hocus Pocus,’ Katz appeared in the 1996 TV movie, ‘Dallas: J.R. Returns.’ Since then, he’s only appeared in two short films. Katz is currently a hairdresser and spends part of his time living in Israel.
Thora Birch, Dani Dennison
Then: Thora Birch played Max’s spunky younger sister, Dani Dennison. Birch had previously appeared in the films ‘All I Want for Christmas’ and ‘Patriot Games.’
Now: Birch went on to star in ‘Now and Then,’ ‘American Beauty,’ and ‘Ghost World.’ In recent years she’s appeared in the indie film ‘Petunia,’ and the TV movie ‘The Pregnancy Pact,’ based on a true story.
Vinessa Shaw, Allison
Then: ‘Ladybugs’ star Vinessa Shaw played Allison, Max’s love interest. Allison comes from a wealthy family who owns the old Sanderson cottage.
Now: Shaw has appeared in the films ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (director Stanley Kubrick personally approached her for the part), ’40 Days and 40 Nights,’ and ‘The Hills Have Eyes.’ Her recent film credits include ‘Big Miracle’ and ‘Side Effects,’ and she guest-starred on an episode of ‘House.’
Doug Jones, Billy Butcherson
Then: Doug Jones played Billy Butcherson, Winifred’s old lover who is now a zombie. He helps the kids defeat the witches.
Now: Jones is known for his incredible talents as a contortionist, often appearing under heavy make-up as non-human characters in films like ‘Hellboy,’ ‘Pan’s Labyrinth,’ ‘Legion,’ and ‘The Watch.’ He currently stars on the series ‘The Neighbors’ and ‘Falling Skies.’
Jodie Rivera, Emily Binx
Then: Jodie Rivera played Emily Binx, a young girl who had her life force sucked out by the Sanderson sisters in ancient Salem.
Now: Rivera is known as YouTube personality VenetianPrincess. She filmed and edited a series of videos called ‘The Princess Chronicles,’ and often spoofs pop songs by artists like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus.
Sean Murray, Young Thackery Binx
Then: Sean Murray played the role of young Thackery Binx, whose sister Emily is killed by the Sanderson sisters in front of him. Thackery is turned into a cat, who eventually becomes the pet of Max and Dani.
Now: Murray has appeared on ‘ER,’ ‘JAG,’ and ‘Boston Public,’ and currently stars on the CBS series ‘NCIS.’
Larry Bagby, Ernie “Ice”
Then: Larry Bagby played Ernie, aka “Ice,” the leader of a group of high school bullies.
Now: Bagby played Larry Blaisdell on ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ and has appeared in the films ‘Saints and Soldiers’ and ‘Walk the Line.’ He had a recurring role on ‘Young and the Restless.’ In addition to acting, Bagby is also a country musician, and has released a couple of albums.