Hocus Pocus: Where are they now?
Catch up with the stars of the Halloween classic.
Bette Midler (Winifred)
Then: Winifred was the ringleader of the Sanderson sisters. When the Salem townspeople caught and hanged them in the late 1600s, she was quick enough to cast a spell that would allow the sisters to come back eventually. She was insecure about her looks and stopped at nothing to complete the potion that would make her young again. She led her sisters around when they came back, navigating the 20th century with relative ease and even giving a guest performance of “I Put A Spell On You” at a Halloween party.
Best line: "Oh look, another glorious morning. Makes me sick!"
Now: While Bette Midler didn't get her youth potion in Hocus Pocus, her career certainly didn't end there. She went on to star next to Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton in 1996's The First Wives Club and Danny DeVito in 2000's Drowning Mona. She also played Bobbie in 2004's The Stepford Wives and has released multiple albums covering what she considers to be the greatest hits, the most recent of which is entitled It’s the Girls! Most recently, Midler appeared on Ryan Murphy’s series The Politician, which earned the Divine Miss M an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah)
Then: The most beautiful Sanderson sister, Sarah was especially interested in the teenage boys the witches encounter. While a dunce most of the time, her special talent seemed to lie in the area of seduction — whether it's sitting on the lap of a 20th century bus driver or canoodling with Winifred’s former beau, Billy Butcherson.
Best line: "My lucky rat tail! Just where I left it!"
Now: Carrie Bradshaw, err, Sarah Jessica Parker graduated from witch costumes to a coveted closet of high-fashion threads in Sex and the City, both the late-’90s, early-'00s HBO television series and the late-2000s movies that followed. In keeping with her fashionista character, Parker has her own line of clothing and accessories as well as fragrances. Other popular appearances post-Hocus Pocus include 1996's The First Wives Club with Midler, 2006's Failure to Launch, and 2009's Did You Hear About the Morgans?, a brief stint on Glee in 2012, and starring opposite Thomas Haden Church in the HBO series Divorce which ran from 2016 to 2019. In 2020, Parker appeared in the Inside & Outwards PSA about the mental health challenges for people alone during the COVID-19 crisis.
Kathy Najimy (Mary)
Then: Mary was the sweetest Sanderson witch — if sweet witches can really be a thing. Most of what she does was in service to her sister Winifred, to whom she’s clearly devoted. At one point, she even offered to let her sibling hit her if that would improve her spirits. Her less redeeming quality was that she had the ability to smell children and used it multiple times to locate Max, Dani and Allison.
Best line: "Since this promises to be a most dire and stressful evening, I suggest we form a calming circle."
Now: All three of the Sanderson sisters went on to have wildly successful acting careers. After Hocus Pocus, Kathy Najimy's credits are extensive. She (or her voice) appeared in the mid-1990s series Ellen, the late-'90s TV take on Hercules, 1998's Hope Floats, 2008's Wall-E, and 2013's Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas. She's also spent more than 10 years as Peggy on King of the Hill, and made appearances on Veep, Inside Amy Schumer, Descendants, The Rocketeer, and Duncanville.
Omri Katz (Max)
Then: Max was a new kid in Salem, an outcast Cali dude who thinks Halloween is just for candy companies. After his parents forced him to take his little sister trick-or-treating, he quickly shed his distaste for the holiday when the two were joined by his crush, Allison. In an effort to impress Allison, Max suggested a visit to the old Sanderson house and stupidly lights the black flame candle — finally, the virgin the witches have been waiting for.
Best line: "Let's light this sucker and meet the old broads."
Now: Katz's most popular role remains that of the virgin who lit the black flame candle. He went on to appear in the 1996 TV movie Dallas: J.R. Returns and made a guest appearance as Brad on the 1999 Freaks and Geeks episode "Tests and Breasts." He also appeared briefly on General Hospital in 2000 as a tattoo artist.
Thora Birch (Dani)
Then: While Max was unhappy with the move and skeptical of Salem's traditions, his little sister Dani was all in. She spends the entire movie dressed in a witch costume and begs her brother to take her trick-or-treating — which, of course, leads to the revival of the town's witch problem from three centuries ago. She was sassy, she knew a weird amount about her big brother being a virgin, and she rocked a mean red lip for an 8-year-old.
Best line: "Max likes your yabos. In fact, he loves 'em."
Now: Birch kept a somewhat steady lineup of projects after Hocus Pocus. Her childhood stardom continued in Clear and Present Danger in 1994, Alaska in 1996 and Touched by an Angel in 1997. In 1999, she starred in American Beauty, perhaps her most notable role after Dani. She went on to appear in 2010's The Pregnancy Pact and a couple episodes of Colony in 2016, and most recently, was in 2019’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco and joined The Walking Dead.
Vinessa Shaw (Allison)
Then: Allison managed to catch Max's eye as soon as he moved to Salem. As he told Dani, she's the girl of his dreams — and she just so happens to be the daughter of the woman who formerly ran the Sanderson sisters museum. Allison's knowledge guides the film's storyline. It's she who first introduces the black flame candle, and she's the one who figures out the witches can’t handle salt.
Best line: "Form a circle of salt to protect from zombies, witches and old boyfriends."
Now: Vinessa Shaw has maintained a steady resume of acting credits, her most notable including Eyes Wide Shut in 1999, The Hills Have Eyes in 2006 and 3:10 to Yuma in 2007, the latter of which earned her a nomination for a Screen Actors Guild Award. Her most recent roles include Kate in 2014 episodes of Ray Donovan and Penelope in 2015's Bereave, and the lead in the 2018 horror film Family Blood. Shaw also stars in actress Carlson Young’s upcoming feature directorial debut The Blazing World alongside Dermot Mulroney.
Larry Bagby (Ernie 'Ice')
Then: Ernie, who preferred the moniker "Ice" – which he has shaved into the back of his head – was one half of Salem's local troublemaking duo. He stole Max's cross trainers and interrupted small children trick-or-treating to demand a candy toll. His antics eventually landed the bullies in cages in the Sanderson house after he called the witches "ugly chicks."
Best line: "Tubular!"
Now: Ice took a break from bullying kids in graveyards and moved on to playing Larry Blaisdell on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the late 1990s. He made appearances in popular shows like JAG, CSI, ER, Ray Donovan, and The Young and the Restless, but is best known for his roles in 2003's Saints and Soldiers and 2005's Walk the Line.
Tobias Jelinek (Jay)
Then: Jay was the peanut butter to Ernie's jelly. He rocked a leather jacket and long blonde hair, and engaged in typical bully activities like hanging out in graveyards and peer pressuring kids into having butts (cigarettes).
Best line: “Wanna look in windows and watch babes undress?”
Now: The leather jacket role served Jelinek well. He appeared in Batman & Robin in 1997 as a motorcycle gang member. After a few TV movies and a 2014 stint on The Young and Restless, Jelinek appeared on The Mindy Project as Dirk and starred in the 2015 horror Fire City: End of Days. Most recently he’s appeared on Arrow for a brief character arc, the short-lived series American Woman, This Is Us, and the final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2020.
Stephanie Faracy (Jenny)
Then: Jenny was Max and Dani's mom. Although she was rarely present in the movie, she notably dressed as Madonna for a Halloween party. When her children busted in to tell her they're being pursued by three evil witches, she simply laughed it off and chalks up their excitement to an excess of sugar.
Best line: "How much candy have you had, honey?"
Now: Post-Hocus Pocus, Faracy's most popular roles have been in 2004's Sideways and 2010's Temple Grandin. She also made brief appearances in 2011's Bad Teacher and episodes of Desperate Housewives, Happily Divorced, and Modern Family in 2011 and 2012. Since then Faracy has popped up in the 2016 comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, a season of Lifetime’s Devious Maids that, in a recurring role on How to Get Away with Murder, on the Amazon series Sneeky Pete in 2019.
Charles Rocket (Dave)
THEN: Dave was the perfect embarrassing movie version of a dad. When Max introduced him to Allison, his first instinct was to kiss her hand — and naturally he was dressed up as Dracula when he did it. He was entirely clueless as to what was really going on with the kids throughout the entire movie – oblivious to their witch hunt as well as Max's unhappiness at his new school.
Best line: "It’s not Dad, it’s Dadula."
NOW: Rocket went on to appear in 1994's Dumb & Dumber, 1997's Father's Day, and 2000's Titan A.E. He had television roles on shows like Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Touched by an Angel, King of Queens, and 3rd Rock from the Sun throughout the 1990s and early 2000s before he passed away at the age of 56 in 2005.
Doug Jones (Billy Butcherson)
Then: Billy was at one point Winifred’s lover, but when his fair lady found him "sporting" with her sister Sarah, she poisoned him and sewed his mouth shut with a dull needle. When the witches return, Winifred summoned Billy from the grave and instructed him to pursue the children and her precious spell book. However, he wasn't particularly cooperative. Perhaps because of the aforementioned poisoning thing, Billy proves an ally to the kids instead. When he cuts open the stitches so he can finally speak, he makes it pretty clear that he hasn’t been pining for Winifred all those years.
Best line: "Wench! Trollop!"
Now: Doug Jones has come a long way from the grave of Billy Butcherson. He is best known for his roles in 2006's Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy and Hellboy II in 2004 and 2008, respectively. He played Lady Sharpe in 2015's Crimson Peak, and Amphibian Man in the Oscar-winning film The Shape of Water in 2017. Most recently Jones has appeared in the TV adaptation of What We Do in the Shadows and Star Trek: Discovery.
Sean Murray (Thackery)
Then: In human form, Thackery's only role was that of a protective big brother. When his little sister Emily answered the witches' siren call three centuries ago, he dashed through the woods barefoot to their cabin in an attempt to save her. He failed, and the witches sentenced him to live forever in feline form. Murray was Thackery in body only — a separate actor voiced all of his lines.
Best (silently mouthed) line: "I'm sorry, Emily. I had to wait 300 years for a virgin to light a candle."
Now: After playing Thackery, Sean Murray moved on to roles where he used his own voice. He played Zane Hart in 1993's Harts of the West, and made appearances on Touched by an Angel, ER, and JAG in the late 1990s. He is best known for his role as Special Agent McGee on NCIS.
Jason Marsden (Thackery's Voice)
Then: While Sean Murray played Thackery in human form, Marsden did the voice work for both human Thackery and cat Thackery.
Best line: "So for three years, I guarded the house on Halloween night, when I knew some airhead virgin might light that candle."
Now: Marsden's voice evidently kept him a busy man for the rest of the '90s. He lent his vocals to Sonic the Hedgehog and Marsupilami in 1993, various Batman series throughout the '90s and '00s, and 1995's The Goofy Movie. His body finally got some screen time in Boy Meets World in the mid-'90s, in which he played Eric's friend. After that, it was back to voice work with Jungle Cubs, The Lion King 2, and Hercules. Other notable titles include Kim Possible, The Fairly OddParents and The Garfield Show.