Sneakers, released 25 years ago, was a lighthearted crime caper that dealt with the “high-tech” worlds of cryptography and computer technology, mixed with international intrigue and espionage. Much has changed since then (can someone say “Internet”?), not the least of which being the talented group of actors who brought life to this movie. What have they been up to since? Click next to find out.
Robert Redford (Marty Bishop)
Robert Redford was already a legend several times over in Hollywood when Sneakers hit theaters, but the film was rare for him in terms of tone — along with Legal Eagles six years prior, these were some of the few comedies Redford became known for. Up next for the prolific actor, director and producer is Old Man and the Gun, based on the true story of an elderly bank robber who escaped prison over a dozen times, opposite Casey Affleck and Elisabeth Moss.
Dan Aykroyd (Darren/Mother Roskow)
Aykroyd, of Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters mega-fame, is quite accomplished behind the camera as well, specifically as a writer: Aykroyd co-wrote the original scripts for both of those films. Since appearing in Sneakers and dozens more films (including a notable recent appearance in Steven Soderbergh’s Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra), Aykroyd will next be penning two TV projects, based on Ghostbusters and Blues Brothers, respectively.
Sidney Poitier (Donald Crease)
Sidney Poitier, the first African-American man to win a Best Actor Oscar (in 1964 for Lillies of the Field), led a remarkable career for over 50 years in Hollywood, and retired from acting in 2002. Earlier this year, Poitier, also a noted human rights activist, turned 90 — an occasion he celebrated with his wife and six daughters.
Mary McDonnell (Liz)
Sneakers was one of McDonnell’s first roles after her career-defining performance as Stands With a Fist in Dances With Wolves in 1990, but it was far from her last — the actress went on to portray a willful First Lady in Independance Day (1996), and a concerned mother in Donnie Darko (2001). More recently, she’s found work on TV in Major Crimes and the third season of FX’s brilliant anthology series Fargo.
Ben Kingsley (Cosmo)
“It’s not about who’s got the most bullets, it’s about who controls the information! What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it’s all about the information!” Turns out, truer words were never spoken, here uttered by Ben Kingsley as deranged genius baddie Cosmo in Sneakers. Kingsley is something of a cult hero among film fans, having appeared in beloved movies such as The Wackness and Sexy Beast (not to mention his Oscar-winning turn in Gandhi in 1982). Currently, the actor has no less than nine projects in the works, including a new take on Watership Down.
River Phoenix (Carl Arbogast)
River Phoenix’s portrayal of tech wizard Carl in Sneakers was among the young actor’s last roles; tragically, Phoenix died of a drug overdose in Los Angeles on Halloween the following year. While River’s brother Joaquin has grown up to become a lauded actor in his own right, fans have this film, along with Stand By Me and My Own Private Idaho, among others, to remember the fallen star.
David Strathairn (Irwin 'Whistler' Emery)
David Strathairn has many impressive titles in his credits, including two ’90s films that are elevated by his bold performances: Dolores Claiborne (1995) and The River Wild (1994). In 2005, the actor was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck, and will next be seen (or heard) as Ralph Waldo Emerson in The Gettysburg Address.