Released on Aug. 13, 1982, Fast Times at Ridgemont High featured a cast comprising almost entirely unknown young actors portraying the film’s high school-age characters.
Many notable actors were up for roles in the film but ultimately didn’t make the final cast. Tom Hanks, then a TV star who hadn’t yet made the transition into movies, was considered for the role of Brad Hamilton. Jodie Foster was reportedly up for the role of Stacy Hamilton but instead wanted to focus on her studies at Yale. Actress Justine Bateman was offered the part of Linda Barrett but had to turn it down so she could accept a role on the sitcom Family Ties. And Jeff Spicoli, the character that made Sean Penn a star, nearly went to another ’80s icon: Matthew Broderick.
Still, for all the what-ifs in casting, there’s no denying the young stars of Fast Times at Ridgemont High absolutely nailed their roles. The result was an impressive ensemble performance and one of the landmark coming-of-age teen comedies in film history.
In the decades since its release, a striking number of Fast Times‘ actors have gone on to become Hollywood mainstays, while others… haven’t. Sadly, many of the more established adult actors who portrayed Ridgemont High faculty members have died, including Ray Walston (Mr. Hand), Vincent Schiavelli (Mr. Vargas) and Taylor Negron (Pizza Guy).
Here, we take a look at the young cast members of Fast Times at Ridgemont High and where they are now.
‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ Cast: Where Are They Now?
Several members of Fast Times‘ relatively unknown cast went on to enjoy long, fruitful and occasionally stratospheric careers.