See the Cast of ‘Lethal Weapon’ Then and Now
The 1987 film ‘Lethal Weapon’ starred Mel Gibson as a reckless narcotics cop who is reluctantly partnered with a weary homicide detective, played by Danny Glover, to solve a young woman’s suicide. Directed by Richard Donner, the action flick was so successful that it spawned three sequels, and there’s even been talk of a reboot. Now, 27 years later, we revisit the cast of this buddy-cop classic and see what they’re up to these days.
Mel Gibson, Martin Riggs
Then: Mel Gibson played L.A.P.D. narcotics detective Martin Riggs, who is reckless and suicidal following the death of his wife. When he almost kills an unarmed suspect, he’s transferred over to homicide. At the time, Gibson was known best for starring in the ‘Mad Max’ films, which is currently getting a reboot with Tom Hardy leading the cast.
Now: Gibson reprised the role of Riggs for three more ‘Lethal Weapon’ films, and starred in dramas like ‘Forever Young’ and ‘The Man Without a Face.’ He became well known for his roles in action epics like ‘Braveheart,’ ‘The Patriot’ and ‘We Were Soldiers,’ and he was even up for the role of Wolverine in the ‘X-Men’ films (and there’s proof) before the part ultimately went to Hugh Jackman. In addition to acting, he also directed the films ‘The Passion of the Christ’ and ‘Apocalypto.’ More recently, he appeared in ‘Get the Gringo’ and ‘Machete Kills,’ and he can be seen next in ‘The Expendables 3.’
Danny Glover, Roger Murtaugh
Then: Danny Glover played homicide detective Roger Murtaugh, a family man who’s becoming weary and questions whether he’s getting too old for his job when he’s teamed up with the volatile Riggs.
Now: Glover reprised the role of Murtaugh for the ‘Lethal Weapon’ sequels, and also appeared in films throughout the ’90s like ‘Predator 2,’ ‘Angels in the Outfield’ and ‘Beloved.’ In the aughts, you’ve seen him in ‘The Royal Tenenbaums,’ ‘Saw,’ ‘Dreamgirls,’ ‘Be Kind Rewind’ and ’2012,’ among others. Recently, Glover co-starred with Danny Trejo in ‘Bad Asses,’ and appears next alongside Nicolas Cage in ‘Rage.’
Tom Atkins, Michael Hunsaker
Then: Tom Atkins, known for his roles in the John Carpenter films ‘The Fog’ and ‘Escape from New York,’ played Michael Hunsaker, a Vietnam war vet and old friend of Murtaugh’s, whose daughter commits suicide.
Now: Atkins went on to appear in ‘Maniac Cop,’ ‘Bob Roberts’ and ‘Striking Distance,’ and guest starred on shows like ‘Walker, Texas Ranger,’ ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ and ‘Homicide: Life on the Street.’ In more recent years, you may have seen him in ‘My Bloody Valentine 3D’ and ‘Drive Angry.’
Gary Busey, Mr. Joshua
Then: Gary Busey played Mr. Joshua, the chief enforcer working for General Peter McAllister. Busey was known best for his roles in ‘The Buddy Holly Story’ and ‘D.C. Cab.’
Now: Busey went on to reunite with Glover for ‘Predator 2,’ and his selected film credits include ‘Point Break,’ ‘Under Siege,’ ‘The Firm,’ ‘Lost Highway’ and ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.’ The actor was injured in a motorcycle accident in 1988, causing brain damage that led to some of his more outlandish behavior, as revealed on the 2008 season of ‘Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.’ Busey also appeared on two seasons of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ and on episodes of ‘Two and a Half Men’ and the short-lived series ‘Mr. Box Office.’ Busey’s recent film credits include roles in ‘Piranha 3DD’ and ‘Bounty Killer.’
Mitchell Ryan, General Peter McAllister
Then: Former ‘Dark Shadows’ star Mitchell Ryan played General Peter McAllister, a retired special-ops general who runs a heroin-smuggling operation. Ryan also appeared on the television miniseries ‘North and South.’
Now: Ryan since appeared in movies like ‘Hot Shots! Part Deux,’ ‘Judge Dredd,’ ‘Liar Liar’ and ‘Grosse Pointe Blank.’ His many television credits include guest appearances on ‘Renegade,’ ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ ‘Wings’ and ‘The Practice.’ Ryan hasn’t acted in several years, and his last performance was on a 2004 episode of ‘The Drew Carey Show,’ though he also had an uncredited role in the 2005 film ‘Love for Rent.’
Darlene Love, Trish Murtaugh
Then: Legendary singer Darlene Love played Trish Murtaugh, Roger’s wife. Love rose to prominence in the ’60s with The Blossoms, although many of their hit singles were credited to other girl groups of the era, thanks to their producer, Phil Spector, and Love and The Blossoms never fully got the recognition they deserved.
Now: Love played Trish Murtaugh in all four ‘Lethal Weapon’ films, but in 2013, she landed a real starring role in the documentary ‘20 Feet from Stardom,’ where she was given a true voice for the first time in decades, and a place to tell her story — along with the stories of so many other backup singers who were overlooked over the course of rock ‘n’ roll history. In 2011, Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bette Midler.
Traci Wolfe, Rianne Murtaugh
Then: Traci Wolfe made her acting debut as Roger and Trish’s daughter, Rianne.
Now: Wolfe reprised the role of Rianne for all three sequels, but her only other acting credits are guest spots on episodes of ‘In the Heat of the Night’ and ‘The Cosby Show.’ After ‘Lethal Weapon 4′ was released in 1998, Wolfe did not appear in another film, but according to various sources and images found around the ‘net, Wolfe appears to be working as a catalogue model for women’s clothing.