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See the Cast of ‘The Thing’ Then and Now

The Thing
Universal

In 1982, legendary master of horror John Carpenter unleashed ‘The Thing’ in theaters. Based on the novella ‘Who Goes There?’, which also served as inspiration for the classic Howard Hawks film ‘The Thing From Another World,’ the story follows a group of researchers in Antarctica who stumble upon an enigmatic, parasitic alien life form — one by one, our characters succumb to the Thing.

31 years later, we take a look back at the cast of this classic horror film and see what they’re up to now. 

Kurt Russell, MacReady

The Thing Kurt Russell
Universal/Getty Images

Then: Kurt Russell had previously starred in John Carpenter’s ‘Escape from New York,’ though he wasn’t the first choice to play MacReady in ‘The Thing.’ Both Nick Nolte and Jeff Bridges turned down the role of the film’s lead protagonist before it went to Russell.

Now: Russell went on to star in two more films for Carpenter: ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ and ‘Escape from L.A.’ The veteran actor can be seen next in the films ‘The Art of the Steal’ and ‘Fast and Furious 7.’

Wilford Brimley, Blair

Universal/Getty Images

Then: Wilford Brimley played the role of Blair, . The role was originally intended for Donald Pleasence, who played Dr. Sam Loomis in Carpenter’s ‘Halloween,’ but Pleasence was already committed to another project at the time.

Now: Brimley went on to star in the hit film ‘Cocoon,’ and has appeared in various movies including ‘In and Out’ and ‘Did You Hear About the Morgans?’. He has appeared in commercials for Quaker Oats and, more notoriously, for Liberty Medical, in which he talks about his diabetes. Brimley is also a controversial activist who has funded ads for Utah to allow horse-race gambling and has spoken against the banning of cock-fighting in Arizona and New Mexico.

Keith David, Childs

Universal/Getty Images

Then: The competition for the role of Childs was a tough one — Bernie Casey, Isaac Hayes, Ernie Hudson, and Carl Weathers were all considered for the part. Hudson almost landed it, but lost to Keith David, a then-unknown actor.

Now: David went on to star in Carpenter’s ‘They Live,’ and has appeared in the films ‘Dead Presidents,’ ‘Requiem for a Dream,’ and more recently, ‘Cloud Atlas.’ The actor is also known for his voice — he’s guest-starred on ‘Adventure Time’ and plays Nick Fury in ‘Marvel Heroes.’

Donald Moffat, Garry

Universal/Getty Images

Then: Lee Van Cleef, who had just worked with Carpenter in ‘Escape from New York,’ was considered for the role of Garry, along with Jerry Orbach, Kevin Conway, and Powers Boothe. The part went to Donald Moffat, who had previously appeared in the TV version of ‘Logan’s Run.’

Now: Moffat went on to star in ‘The Right Stuff,’ the 1988 version of ‘The Bourne Identity,’ and ‘Clear and Present Danger.’ His last film role was in 2001′s ’61*.’ In addition to film acting, Moffat is a trained stage actor, and has appeared in several plays both on and off-Broadway.

Richard Masur, Clark

Universal/Getty Images

Then: Richard Masur, who previously appeared in ‘Heaven’s Gate,’ played Clark. Clark is later killed without ever having been taken over by the alien creature — in the original story, Clark’s character is assimilated and then killed.

Now: Masur has appeared in ‘Risky Businss,’ ‘Six Degrees of Separation,’ and the ‘My Girl’ films. He reunited with ‘Thing’ co-star Donald Moffat for ’61*,’ and made a guest appearance on the first season of ‘Girls’ as Hannah’s touchy-feely boss.

David Clennon, Palmer

Universal/Getty Images

Then: Actor Richard Mulligan auditioned for the roles of Garry and Palmer, but landed neither. Instead, Palmer went to David Clennon, star of ‘The Paper Chase’ and ‘Being There.’

Now: Clennon went on to star in the acclaimed TV drama ‘Thirtysomething,’ and had recurring roles on ‘Once and Again’ and ‘Weeds.’ The actor’s recent film credits include ‘The Good Doctor’ and ‘J. Edgar,’ and he can be seen next in David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl.’

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