See the Cast of ‘Troop Beverly Hills’ Then and Now
Released in 1989, ‘Troop Beverly Hills’ starred Shelley Long as a self-absorbed shopaholic whose wealthy husband leaves her, so she decides to use her socialite skills to become the den mother of her daughter’s girl scout troop to prove she can follow through on her commitments. With a supporting cast of bright young stars, ‘Troop Beverly Hills’ wasn’t a huge hit at the box office, but amassed a cult following over the years, particularly among young women. Twenty-five years later, we look back at the cast of this beloved classic and see what they’re up to now.
Shelley Long, Phyllis Nefler
Then: ‘Cheers’ star Shelley Long played Phyllis Nefler, a socialite whose husband leaves her and accuses her of being a self-absorbed shopaholic, so she decides to use her particular skill set to become the den mother of her daughter’s girl scout troop, helping them navigate the wilderness of Beverly Hills.
Now: Long reprised her ‘Cheers’ role on its spinoff, ‘Frasier,’ guest-starring on a few episodes, and popped up on shows like ‘Murphy Brown’ and ‘Boston Legal.’ She played Carol Brady in the ‘Brady Bunch Movie’ and ‘A Very Brady Sequel,’ and appeared in the films ‘Dr. T and the Women’ and ‘Trust Me.’ More recently, she’s played Phil’s mom on ‘Modern Family’ (pictured above right), guest-starred on ‘Switched at Birth,’ and appeared in the film ‘Best Man Down.’
Craig T. Nelson, Freddy Nefler
Then: Craig T. Nelson played Freddy Nefler, Phyllis’ estranged husband and the wealthy owner of an auto shop chain. Nelson was known for his roles in ‘Poltergeist’ and ‘Silkwood,’ and had just debuted in his new hit sitcom ‘Coach.’
Now: ‘Coach’ ended in 1997, and Nelson went on to appear in ‘The Devil’s Advocate,’ ‘Wag the Dog,’ ‘The Skulls,’ and lent his voice to Pixar’s ‘The Incredibles’ as Mr. Incredible. From 2000 to 2004, he starred on the drama series ‘The District,’ and has also appeared in the films ‘The Family Stone,’ ‘Blades of Glory,’ and ‘The Proposal.’ He’s had recurring roles on ‘My Name Is Earl’ and ‘CSI: NY,’ and he currently stars on the hit series ‘Parenthood.’ He can be seen next in the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy ‘Get Hard.’
Betty Thomas, Velda Plendor
Then: Betty Thomas played Velda Plendor, the leader of a rival troop who despises Phyllis’ style of training and her socialite attitude. Thomas was known for her role on the series ‘Hill Street Blues,’ for which she won an Emmy for Supporting Actress in 1985.
Now: Thomas moved behind the camera, directing television and film, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series in 1993 for her work on the HBO series ‘Dream On.’ She made her feature film directorial debut in 1992 with ‘Only You,’ and reunited with Shelley Long in 1995 to helm ‘The Brady Bunch Movie.’ Her other directing credits include ‘Private Parts,’ ‘Dr. Dolittle,’ ’28 Days,’ and ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.’
Jenny Lewis, Hannah Nefler
Then: Jenny Lewis played Hannah, Phyllis and Fred’s daughter, a skilled gymnast who just wants her mom to act like a normal troop leader. Lewis had also starred in the 1989 film ‘The Wizard,’ and appeared on shows like ‘The Golden Girls.’
Now: Lewis went on to appear in ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry… They Get Even,’ ‘Foxfire,’ ‘Little Boy Blue,’ and ‘Pleasantville.’ Lewis left acting in 1998 to pursue a musical career, forming the indie band Rilo Kiley with fellow former child star Blake Sennett, and the band released their fourth and final album in 2007. Lewis has also released two solo records, and lent her voice to the animated film ‘Bolt,’ also providing a song for the film’s soundtrack. In 2010, she released an album with her boyfriend, fellow musician Jonathan Rice, under the name Jenny and Johnny. More recently, she contributed a song to HBO’s ‘Girls,’ which was featured in the season 3 premiere and on exclusively on the season 2 soundtrack release.
Carla Gugino, Chica Barnfell
Then: Carla Gugino made her acting debut as Chica Barnfell, a serious girl who is often left alone by her traveling parents. Gugino also starred in ‘Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael’ the following year.
Now: Gugino rounded out the ’90s with ‘This Boy’s Life,’ ‘Son in Law,’ and ‘Snake Eyes,’ before hopping on the Robert Rodriguez train with roles in the ‘Spy Kids’ films and ‘Sin City.’ She appeared in ‘Night at the Museum’ and ‘American Gangster’ before landing her most memorable — and best — role to date, as Silk Spectre in Zack Snyder’s ‘The Watchmen.’ She’s married to director Sebastian Gutierrez, and appeared in his indie films ‘Women in Trouble,’ and its sequel, ‘Elektra Luxx,’ and reunited with Zack Snyder for ‘Sucker Punch.’ More recently, she guest-starred on ‘Justified’ and ‘New Girl,’ and reunited with Snyder again for a role in ‘Man of Steel.’
Kellie Martin, Emily Coleman
Then: Kellie Martin, who previously appeared in the film ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash,’ played Emily Coleman, the daughter of an unemployed actor. Martin also made her debut on the sitcom ‘Life Goes On’ that same year.
Now: ‘Life Goes On’ ended in 1993, and Martin went on to appear in the film ‘Matinee’ before spending a lot of time starring in TV movies, like ‘A Friend to Die For’ (reuniting her with ‘Troop Beverly Hills’ co-star Tori Spelling), ‘If Someone Had Known,’ and ‘Her Hidden Truth.’ From 1998 to 2000, Martin played Lucy Knight on the hit series ‘ER,’ and in recent years has appeared on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Private Practice,’ ‘Drop Dead Diva,’ and had a recurring role on ‘Army Wives.’
Tori Spelling, Jamie
Then: Tori Spelling, daughter of television and film producer Aaron Spelling, made her film debut as Jamie, one of the girls from the rival troop who tries to sabotage Phyllis’ scouts. A year later, she’d land the role of Donna Martin on ‘Beverly Hills, 90210,’ a show produced by her father.
Now: ‘Beverly Hills, 90210′ ended in 2000, and Spelling also appeared on shows like ‘Saved by the Bell’ and ‘Melrose Place.’ She had supporting roles in films like ‘The House of Yes,’ ‘Scream 2,’ and ‘Scary Movie 2,’ but mostly stuck to television, appearing in TV movies, like ‘A Friend to Die For’ with Kellie Martin,’ or popping up on shows like ‘Less Than Perfect’ and ‘Smallville.’ She stars in the reality series ‘Tori and Dean’ with her husband, Dean McDermott, with whom she shares four children, and has released six books.