See the Cast of ‘When Harry Met Sally…’ Then and Now
Released in 1989, ‘When Harry Met Sally…’ starred Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan as two people who share a series of chance encounters over the course of 12 years in New York City, and contemplates the question of whether a man and a woman can truly ever just be friends. Hailed as one of the greatest romantic comedies of all time, it made Meg Ryan one of America’s Sweethearts and inspired countless films and television shows in the decades that followed. 25 years later, we revisit the cast of this classic rom-com and see what they’re up to now.
Billy Crystal, Harry Burns
Then: Comedian Billy Crystal played Harry Burns, who argues with his college classmate Sally over whether or not men and women can just be friends — he doesn’t believe they can, and the two share several chance encounters over the course of 12 years in which they attempt to be friends anyway.
Now: Crystal went on to produce and star in the ‘City Slickers’ and ‘Analyze This’ films, and wrote and starred in films like ‘My Giant’ and ‘America’s Sweethearts.’ He also wrote, directed and starred in ‘Forget Paris,’ and directed the baseball film ’61*.’ Crystal has hosted the Academy Awards nine times, and is the voice of Mike Wazowski in Pixar’s ‘Monsters, Inc’ and ‘Monsters University’ movies. He recently appeared in the film ‘Parental Guidance,’ and starred in the HBO stand-up special ’700 Sundays.’
Meg Ryan, Sally Albright
Then: Meg Ryan, previously known for roles in ‘Top Gun’ and ‘Innerspace,’ played Sally Albright, Harry’s college classmate who believes men and women can be friends, even though her continued attempts at trying to be friends with Harry always seem to fail.
Now: Ryan went on to star with Tom Hanks in both ‘Joe Versus the Volcano’ and ‘Sleepless in Seattle,’ and starred in films like ‘Prelude to a Kiss,’ ‘When a Man Loves a Woman,’ ‘French Kiss,’ ‘Addicted to Love’ and ‘City of Angels.’ In 1998, she completed her unofficial Tom Hanks rom-com trilogy with ‘You’ve Got Mail,’ and since then has starred in ‘Hanging Up,’ ‘Kate and Leopold,’ ‘In the Land of Women’ and ‘The Women.’ It was recently announced that Ryan will be the narrator and the future voice of Greta Gerwig’s character on the upcoming series ‘How I Met Your Dad.’
Carrie Fisher, Marie
Then: Carrie Fisher played Sally’s friend Marie, whom Sally tries to set Harry up with at a New Year’s Eve party. Fisher was best known for playing Princess Leia in the ‘Star Wars’ films, of course.
Now: Fisher went on to appear in the films ‘Drop Dead Fred’ and ‘Soapdish,’ as well as ‘Scream 3,’ ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,’ ‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,’ and ‘Wonderland.’ In addition to acting, she doctored screenplays for ‘Sister Act,’ ‘Hook,’ and ‘The Wedding Singer.’ She also guest starred on ‘Sex and the City,’ ‘Smallville,’ ‘Family Guy,’ and ’30 Rock.’ Fisher wrote two memoirs in recent years on the topics of her struggles with drinking and shock therapy, ‘Wishful Drinking’ and ‘Shockaholic,’ and developed a play based on the first. She recently guest starred on ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ and can be seen next in David Cronenberg’s new film ‘Maps to the Stars,’ in addition to reprising her Princess Leia role for ‘Star Wars: Episode 7.’
Bruno Kirby, Jess
Then: Bruno Kirby played Jess, Harry’s best friend whom he tries to set Sally up with on New Year’s Eve in order to avoid his real feelings for her. At the time, Kirby was known for roles in ‘The Godfather Part II,’ ‘This Is Spinal Tap,’ and ‘Good Morning Vietnam.’
Now: Kirby reunited with Billy Crystal for ‘City Slickers,’ and starred in films like ‘Hoffa,’ ‘The Basketball Diaries,’ ‘Sleepers,’ and ‘Donnie Brasco.’ He played a fictionalized version of himself on a few episodes of ‘The Larry Sanders Show,’ and starred on the TV movie ‘Helter Skelter.’ Sadly, Kirby passed away in 2006 at the age of 57. His final role was a guest spot on the HBO series ‘Entourage.’
Steven Ford, Joe
Then: Steven Ford, son of former President Gerald Ford, played Joe, a boyfriend of Sally’s who also happens to be an old friend of Harry’s. Ford was then known for his role on daytime soap ‘The Young and the Restless.’
Now: Ford went on to host the short-lived early ’90s series ‘Secret Service, and guest-starred on shows like ‘JAG,’ ‘Baywatch,’ and ‘Walker, Texas Ranger.’ He’s had supporting roles as military characters in ‘Contact,’ ‘Starship Troopers,’ ‘Armageddon,’ ‘Black Hawk Down,’ and ‘Transformers.’ Ford serves on the board of trustees for the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, and uses his spare time to give to charitable causes and deliver motivational speeches to student groups on the topic of alcoholism.
Lisa Jane Persky, Alice
Then: Lisa Jane Persky played Alice, one of Sally’s friends. Persky had previously appeared in films like ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ and ‘Great Balls of Fire.’ In addition to acting, Persky was also a journalist and photographer, and one of the founding members of the New York Rocker magazine staff, and she participated in the development of the early CBGB music scene.
Now: Persky appeared in the films ‘Coneheads,’ ‘Pontiac Moon,’ Female Perversions,’ and ‘The Dogwalker.’ She also guest-starred on several TV shows, including ‘Designing Women,’ ‘Murphy Brown,’ ‘The X-Files,’ and ‘NYPD Blue.’ She’s a founding editor of The Los Angeles Review of Books, and continues to work as a journalist and a photographer, with her work appearing in publications such as The Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly.
Michelle Nicastro, Amanda Reese
Then: Michelle Nicastro played Amanda Reese, Harry’s college sweetheart and the woman who introduces him to Sally in the first place. In addition to acting, Nicastro was a very talented singer and stage actress, and also played pop star Sasha Schmidt on the daytime soap ‘Santa Barbara.’
Now: Nicastro went on to voice Princess Odette in the animated ‘Swan Princess’ film and its sequel, and was the singing voice of Callisto in an episode of ‘Xena: Warrior Princess.’ She also guest-starred on episodes of ‘Coach’ and ‘Wings,’ and released four albums on which she sang popular songs from animated films and musicals. Nicastro tragically passed away in 2010 at the age of 50 due to complications from cancer.
Harley Jane Kozak, Helen Hillson
Then: Harley Jane Kozak played Helen Hillson, a woman to whom Harry is briefly engaged, which takes Sally by surprise. Like Nicastro, Kozak was also known for her role on the daytime soap ‘Santa Barbara’ — when her character was killed off, fans were so angry they started a letter-writing campaign to have the writers bring her back.
Now: Kozak went on to appear in the movies ‘Parenthood’ and ‘Arachnophobia,’ as well as short-lived series like ‘Harts of the West’ and ‘You Wish.’ She also starred on the 1996 TV miniseries ‘Titanic,’ and guest-starred on episodes of ‘Chicago Hope’ and ‘Once and Again.’ These days, Kozak focuses mostly on her writing: she’s written four novels that revolve around amateur sleuth and greeting card designer Wollie Shelley, the first of which, ‘Dating Dead Men,’ garnered three awards. Her fifth novel, ‘Keeper of the Moon,’ is a paranormal romance story and was released last year.