A Christmas Story: Where are they now?
A Christmas Story, Then and Now
Like most family holiday movies, 1983's A Christmas Story teaches you many things, the most important of which being that you should never, ever, ever stick your tongue to a frozen piece of metal. Oh my gosh, just don't do it. See what the cast members of the Christmas classic have been up to since Ralphie first dropped the F-bomb (but still ended up getting a Red Ryder BB Gun), ahead.
Peter Billingsley (Ralphie)
Although he technically only had a handful of lines in A Christmas Story – a muddled expletive being one of them – Peter Billingsley stayed in the Christmas movie circuit later on in life, appearing in Elf (2003) and Four Christmases (2008) years after his iconic role. He also added a handful of TV appearances over the decades on shows like Who's the Boss?, Punky Brewster, and The Wonder Years. Billingsley has primarily worked behind the scenes, as a director of films like Couples Retreat and Term Life and executive producer of projects like Iron Man, The Break-Up, and the Netflix series F is For Family. He also co-produced the original 2012 Broadway musical adaptation of A Christmas Story, and produced the 2020 movie The Opening Act.
Ian Petrella (Randy)
After his breakout role of Ralphie's little brother Randy, Ian Petrella went on to appear in a string of television shows including Diff'rent Strokes, Who's the Boss?, Highway to Heaven, My Sister Sam, and Beverly Hills, 90210 (his last credit before a 15-year acting break). The actor studied improv at the Groundlings Comedy Theater in Los Angeles and now focuses on animation and puppetry (having worked on the Henson Company's '90s series Brats of the Lost Nebula).
Melinda Dillon (Mrs. Parker)
Ralphie and Randy's kind and kooky mother was already a Tony-winning actress before she starred in A Christmas Story, with two Oscar nominations under her belt to boot. Since 1983, Melinda Dillon has appeared in such films as Harry and the Hendersons (1987), Staying Together (1989), Captain America (1990), The Prince of Tides (1991), How To Make an American Quilt (1995), and Magnolia (1999). In 2005, Dillon guest-starred on Law & Order: SVU. She was last seen onscreen in 2007's TV series Heartland and the film Reign Over Me alongside Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Darren McGavin (Old Man Parker)
Back in 1983, Darren McGavin helped to make a practically pornographic lamp an icon as Ralphie and Randy's major-award-winning Old Man. Since then, he appeared in films like Turk 182 (1985), Raw Deal (1986), Dead Heat (1988), and 1990's Captain America alongside his former on-screen wife Melinda Dillon. He played Adam Sandler's billionaire dad in Billy Madison and was also nominated for an Emmy Award in 1990 for his guest appearance on Murphy Brown (other guest spots included Murder, She Wrote, The X-Files, and Touched by an Angel). McGavin died of cardiovascular disease in 2006 at the age of 83.
Scott Schwartz (Flick)
After A Christmas Story, Schwartz appeared in Kidco (1984) and the TV movie A Time to Live (1985) alongside Liza Minnelli and Corey Haim. In the 1990s, Schwartz worked in the adult film industry both in front of and behind the camera, appearing in such films as Scotty's X-Rated Adventure (1996) and Beauty and the Beast Part II (1990). He also starred in a few low-budget horror films, including 2020’s Normal Terror. As of late, he's known for his line of celebrity-based trading cards and was even featured on a 2008 cover of Sports Card Monthly.
R.D. Robb (Schwartz)
Back in 1983, Robb made his acting debut by wearing a sock hat and issuing one of the more memorable, traumatizing acts of peer pressure in cinematic history. Since then, he's gone on to appear in films like Matilda and The Brady Bunch Movie and TV shows like ER, Unhappily Ever After, Touched by an Angel, and The Goldbergs. In 1995 he wrote and directed the movie Don's Plum, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, both of whom tried to stop the movie from being released in the United States. Recently, Robb served as executive producer for the series Siren on Freeform.
Tedde Moore (Miss Shields)
Moore reprised the role of Miss Shields for 1994's My Summer Story (originally released as It Runs in the Family), which was taken from the same book of vignettes as A Christmas Story. She was the only actor to appear in both films. Moore later went on to appear in projects like RoboCop: Prime Directives and the 2011 miniseries The Kennedys. She appeared in the film High-Rise Rescue and Hallmark’s Magical Christmas Ornaments in 2017. Music fans might also know her as the mother of Canadian producer and actor Noah James Shebib, a.k.a. 40, who is best known for his work with Drake.
Jean Shepherd (Adult Ralphie)
The prolific writer and radio host co-wrote the semi-fictional 1983 film and also served as its narrator. Shepherd went on to also narrate the film's sequel-of-sorts, My Summer Story. From 1980-1991, he also lent his signature voice to Sesame Street before his death in 1999 at the age of 78. In 2005, he was posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.