See the Cast of ‘Carrie’ Then and Now
Released in 1976, Brian De Palma’s ‘Carrie’ (based on Stephen King’s first novel) followed a young, homely girl named Carrie White who is tormented by her peers for being different and strange. When Carrie discovers she has telekinetic powers, all it takes is one last push over the edge to incite her wrath, and one magical prom evening becomes a blood-soaked hell. It’s been 37 years since the release of the film, and with a remake hitting theaters this weekend, we take a look back at the cast of the original movie and see where they are now.
Sissy Spacek, Carrie White
Then: Sissy Spacek, star of Terrence Malick’s ‘Badlands,’ was not Brian De Palma’s first choice for the role of Carrie White. Linda Blair, Farrah Fawcett, and Melanie Griffith all auditioned for the role but were passed over. Amy Irving was De Palma’s favorite, but production designer Jack Fisk suggested his own wife, Sissy Spacek, be allowed to audition. At first, De Palma wanted her to read for the roles of Sue and Chris, but Spacek showed up to audition with vaseline in her hair, her face unwashed, and wearing an old sailor dress her mother made for her with the hem cut off. She instantly won the role of Carrie.
Now: Spacek is still married to Fisk, who directed her in the films ‘Raggedy Man’ and ‘Violets Are Blue.’ She had a recurring role on the HBO series ‘Big Love,’ and has appeared in the films ‘Hot Rod,’ ‘Get Low,’ and more recently, ‘Deadfall.’
Piper Laurie, Margaret White
Then: Piper Laurie played Margaret White, Carrie’s religious zealot mother. When Laurie read the script, she thought the film was more satirical in tone because her character was so over the top.
Now: Laurie starred on the David Lynch series ‘Twin Peaks.’ She returned to horror in Robert Rodriguez’s 1998 film ‘The Faculty,’ and has since appeared in ‘Eulogy,’ ‘The Dead Girl,’ and ‘Hesher.’
Amy Irving, Sue Snell
Then: When Sissy Spacek won the part of Carrie, Amy Irving was given the smaller but still important role of Sue Snell. Sue is one of Carrie’s bullies early in the film, but has a change of heart and convinces her boyfriend Tommy to take Carrie to prom. Irving made her big screen debut in ‘Carrie,’ and it was on the film’s set that she met Steven Spielberg, who she was later married to for four years.
Now: Irving appeared in ‘Yentl’ and ‘Terror in the Aisles,’ and provided the singing voice of Jessica Rabbit in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit.’ She reprised the role of Sue Snell for ‘The Rage: Carrie 2,’ in which she plays an older Snell who is now a guidance counselor trying to help a teen girl similar to Carrie White. Irving recently appeared on the series ‘Zero Hour.’
William Katt, Tommy Ross
Then: Playing the role of Tommy Ross, school jock and boyfriend of Sue, helped put actor William Katt on the map.
Now: Katt went on to become the star of the TV series ‘The Greatest American Hero,’ and in recent years he’s appeared on ‘House,’ ‘Heroes,’ and ‘House of Payne.’ He has written a ‘Greatest American Hero’ comic book and contributes to the official Facebook page.
Nancy Allen, Chris Hargensen
Then: Nancy Allen wasn’t having a lot of luck in Hollywood and was ready to pack up and leave when she got the call to audition for ‘Carrie.’ She was the last actress to audition for the film, and she won the role of Chris Hargensen, the ringleader of the girls who bully Carrie White.
Now: Allen is also well-known for playing Officer Anne Lewis in all three ‘RoboCop’ films. She also appeared in Brian De Palma’s films ‘Dressed to Kill’ and ‘Blow Out.’ She doesn’t act much these days, and focuses on her work as Executive Director of the weSPARK Cancer Support Center.
John Travolta, Billy Nolan
Then: A then relatively unknown John Travolta had just come off of starring in the TV movie ‘The Boy in the Plastic Bubble’ when he was cast as Billy Nolan, Chris’ boyfriend who helps her acquire and drop the bucket of pig’s blood on Carrie’s head during prom.
Now: The following year, Travolta became a major star with the film ‘Saturday Night Fever,’ followed by the films ‘Grease’ and ‘Urban Cowboy.’ He worked with De Palma and Allen again in the film ‘Blow Out.’ More recently, Travolta has appeared in ‘Savages’ and ‘Killing Season.’ He is married to actress Kelly Preston.
Betty Buckley, Miss Collins
Then: Betty Buckley made her big screen debut as Miss Collins, the gym teacher who tries to help Carrie.
Now: Buckley starred on the long-running classic sitcom ‘Eight is Enough,’ and later had a recurring role on the HBO series ‘Oz.’ She has appeared in the films ‘Wyatt Earp,’ ‘Simply Irresistible,’ and ‘The Happening.’ Buckley has been teaching song interpretation and scene study for over 40 years.
P.J. Soles, Norma Watson
Then: One of P.J. Soles’ earliest roles was as Norma Watson, a high school bully and friend of Chris Hargensen in ‘Carrie.’ That same year, Soles appeared with ‘Carrie’ co-star John Travolta in ‘The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.’
Now: Soles went on to star in ‘Halloween’ and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.’ Her other film credits include ‘Private Benjamin,’ ‘Stripes,’ ‘Terror in the Aisles’ (with ‘Carrie’ co-star Amy Irving), ‘Jawbreaker,’ and ‘The Devil’s Rejects.’