See the Cast of ‘Tootsie’ Then and Now
Recently, an AFI archive video was released in which Dustin Hoffman talked about how much he learned from playing Dorothy Michaels in the film ‘Tootsie.’ In the film, Hoffman plays a difficult actor who no one wants to work with, so he hatches a scheme to pretend to be a woman in order to get more work. Over 30 years later, we take a look back at this landmark film and see what the cast is up to these days.
Dustin Hoffman, Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels
Then: Dustin Hoffman got the idea for ‘Tootsie’ while filming ‘Kramer vs. Kramer.’ Originally, the role of Dorothy Michaels went out to Peter Sellers and Michael Caine, and when they turned it down, Hoffman decided to play the part himself, receiving a little vocal acting help from his ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ co-star, Meryl Streep.
Now: Hoffman is one of America’s most renowned actors, having starred in films as varied as ‘Rain Man,’ ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and ‘Meet the Fockers.’ He recently made his directorial debut with the drama ‘Quartet.’
Jessica Lange, Julie
Then: The ‘King Kong’ star played Julie, Michael/Dorothy’s love interest and co-star on the soap opera ‘Southwest General.’
Now: Lange won the Emmy for her portrayal of Big Edie in the HBO film ‘Grey Gardens,’ based on the classic documentary of the same name. She currently stars on the FX series ‘American Horror Story.’
Teri Garr, Sandy
Then: The memorable co-star of Gene Wilder in ‘Young Frankenstein,’ Teri Garr played Sandy Lester, Michael’s friend and acting student in ‘Tootsie.’
Now: Garr has starred in a ton of films, including ‘After Hours’ and ‘Ghost World,’ and notably appeared on the TV series ‘Friends’ as Phoebe’s mom. The actress doesn’t work as often anymore due to her struggles with multiple sclerosis.
Dabney Coleman, Ron
Then: Dabney Coleman was originally supposed to play Michael/Dorothy’s agent in the film, but Hoffman demanded that director Sydney Pollack play that role. Still wanting to keep Coleman in the picture, Pollack changed his role to that of Ron, the sexist director of the soap opera.
Now: Coleman recently completed an arc on HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ and hasn’t starred in a film since 2007. He lent his voice talents to the animated series ‘Pound Puppies.’
Bill Murray, Jeff
Then: To keep audiences from thinking ‘Tootsie’ was the same kind of movie as ‘Caddyshack’ or ‘Meatballs,’ Bill Murray agreed to have his name omitted from the opening credits. In the film, he plays Michael’s friend, Jeff. His part is small, but incredibly memorable.
Now: Murray has moved away from the wacky comedic roles that made him famous, and has become a frequent collaborator with Wes Anderson, starring most recently in Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom.’ Murray can be seen next in ‘Monuments Men,’ and is currently shooting ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ with Anderson.
Geena Davis, April
Then: Davis made her big screen debut in ‘Tootsie’ as April, one of Dorothy’s co-stars on the soap opera.
Now: Davis is best known for roles in ‘A League of Their Own,’ ‘Thelma and Louise,’ ‘Beetlejuice,’ and several other films on her long and impressive resume. Her most recent film credit is the 2009 movie ‘Accidents Happen.’ She spends most of her time heading up the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which she started in 2007.