See the Cast of ‘The NeverEnding Story’ Then and Now
‘The NeverEnding Story’ captured the imagination of children and adults alike in 1984 with its tale of a young boy who reads a magical book and becomes an active participant in the fate of a land called Fantasia. It’s been almost 30 years since the film’s release, so we thought we’d catch up with the stars and see what they’ve been up to since they left Fantasia.
Barret Oliver, Bastian Bux
Then: Barret Oliver got his big break as lead character Bastian in ‘The NeverEnding Story,’ in which he reads a book and becomes unwittingly involved in the fate of its characters. Oliver went on to star in ‘D.A.R.Y.L.,’ and both ‘Cocoon’ and ‘Cocoon: The Return.’
Now: Oliver’s last acting role was in a 1988 episode of the John Ritter vehicle ‘Hooperman.’ As a teen, Oliver left acting to join the Church of Scientology and married a fellow Scientologist at the age of 19. They later divorced, and Oliver went on to become a printer and photographer specializing in 19th century film processes. In 2007, he published a book titled ‘A History of the Woodbury Type.’
Noah Hathaway, Atreyu
Then: Prior to playing hero warrior Atreyu in ‘The NeverEnding Story,’ Noah Hathaway originated the role of Boxey on the original ‘Battlestar Galactica’ series. But it was his role as Atreyu that made him something of an ’80s teen heartthrob, especially in Europe.
Now: After starring in ‘Troll’ in 1986, Hathaway took a break from acting, returning in 2012 with roles in B-movies ‘Sushi Girl’ and ‘Mondo Holocausto.’ Hathaway is really into motorcycles and martial arts, and has black belts in Tang Soo Do and Shotokan Karate.
Tami Stronach, The Childlike Empress
Then: Tami Stronach had the key role of the Childlike Empress, the overseer of Fantasia who falls ill and needs our hero Bastian to save her by giving her a name.
Now: ‘The NeverEnding Story’ was Stronach’s only real film role — the Israeli American actress and dancer quit acting at the behest of her parents, who feared she might follow in the path of troubled teen starlets. Stronach returned to her first love, dancing, joining the Israeli dance troupe Neta Dance Company, based out of the U.S. She continues to perform to this day.
Alan Oppenheimer, voices of Falkor, Gmork, Rockbiter and Narrator
Then: Noted character actor Alan Oppenheimer provided voices for Falkor (the infamous Luck Dragon), Gmork, Rockbiter and the narrator of ‘The NeverEnding Story.’ Oppenheimer also had small roles in ‘Hogan’s Heroes,’ ‘Get Smart’ and a recurring part on ‘Mama’s Family.’
Now: Oppenheimer continues to use his powerful voice for animated projects and video games, including ‘God of War 2,’ ‘Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel’ and ‘Superman/Batman: Public Enemies,’ in which he voices Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Deep Roy, Teeny Weeny
Then: A Kenyan-born English actor and puppeteer, Deep Roy made appearances in ‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again,’ ‘The Dark Crystal’ and an episode of the classic ‘Doctor Who’ series before landing a role as Teeny Weeny, the messenger who rides a racing snail, in ‘The NeverEnding Story.’
Now: Roy continues to enjoy a successful career, having appeared in Tim Burton films like ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Big Fish.’ He also plays Scotty’s alien sidekick Keenser in both ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’
Moses Gunn, Cairon
Then: Moses Gunn played Cairon, servant to the Childlike Empress and the one who sends Atreyu on his quest to stop the evil Nothing from destroying Fantasia. Gunn had a long and varied resume, including roles in ‘Shaft,’ ‘Rollerball’ and ‘Roots.’
Now: Gunn continued acting, showing up in epidoes of ‘The Cosby Show,’ ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and ‘Homicide: Life on the Street,’ to name a few. Sadly, he passed away in 1993 at the age of 64 due to complications from asthma.
Gerald McRaney, Mr. Bux
Then: Gerald McRaney played Bastian’s father, a widower and workaholic who hardly notices what’s going on with his son. (Great parenting!) McRaney was known primarily for his television work, with starring roles in ‘Designing Women,’ ‘Major Dad’ and — of course — Rick Simon from ‘Simon and Simon.’
Now: McRaney has continued to find success on television, appearing in two episodes of ‘The West Wing,’ and landing lead roles on ‘Jericho’ and the third season of ‘Deadwood.’ Most recently he starred in the Netflix original series ‘House of Cards,’ produced by David Fincher.