Tom and Huck, Then and Now
Among the immense quantity of Disney movies released in the ’90s, Tom and Huck may not be the most memorable, but it sure is a fun one worth reminiscing about, with a cast that featured up-and-coming child stars who would eventually become teen sensations and heartthrobs. Based on Mark Twain’s classic American novel The Adventures of Tom Swayer, the film follows Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, the “two original bad boys,” according to Disney, as they set out on a mischievous adventure seeking justice and truth. It’s been more than two decades since the movie was released in 1995, and some of the cast members are still finding ways to entertain.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Tom Sawyer)
Before taking on the role of the famous troublemaker Tom Sawyer, Jonathan Taylor Thomas was well known for his role as Randy Taylor on Home Improvement and his voice role as young Simba in Disney’s The Lion King. After Tom and Huck, Thomas continued playing the role of Randy until 1998 (the year he also led the holiday film I’ll Be Home For Christmas) and later had roles in Ally McBeal (2000), Veronica Mars (2005), and most recently, a TV reunion with Home Improvement’s Tim Allen for a role on ABC’s Last Man Standing (2015).
Brad Renfro (Huck Finn)
Brad Renfro started acting at the age of 10 and broke out with a role in Joel Schumacher’s The Client in 1994. The one-time Huck Finn went on to land roles in several movies including The Cure (1995), Sleepers (1996), and the 2001 Oscar-nominated film Ghost World. Renfro’s career was cut tragically short when he died from a heroin overdose in 2008 at the age of 25.
Rachael Leigh Cook (Becky Thatcher)
Before playing Huck’s friend and love interest, Cook made her film debut in The Baby-Sitters Club (1995). After Tom and Huck, Cook became a bona fide teen star, starring in 1999’s She’s All That opposite Freddie Prinze Jr., 2001’s Josie and the Pussycats, and even throwing in a few episodes of Dawson’s Creek, too. More recently, Cook starred on the TV series Perception and Psych, and she’s found steady voice work in video games and television (Robot Chicken). Recently, you can catch her in Hallmark’s Autumn in the Vineyard (2016) and Summer in the Vineyard (2017).
Amy Wright (Aunt Polly)
Wright’s career spans back to the ’70s with a resume that boasts dozens of films and TV shows including The Deer Hunter (1978), Breaking Away (1979), Stardust Memories (1980), The Amityville Horror (1979), and The Accidental Tourist (1988). Wright also starred in The Scarlet Letter (1995) with Eric Schweig. Today, the actress is a faculty member at the HB Studio acting school in New York City.
Charles Rocket (Judge Thatcher)
Before being cast as Judge Thatcher, Rocket was already a comedy star, leaving his mark on Saturday Night Live as one of the most iconic Weekend Update anchors during his short tenure in the ’80s. Before 1995, Rocket had been known for his roles in Dances with Wolves, Dumb and Dumber, and Hocus Pocus as well as gigs on shows like Moonlighting and Max Headroom. Later in his career, Rocket would star in The Home Court and Touched By An Angel and make dozens of TV guest appearances before taking his own life in 2005.
Peter Mackenzie (Mr. Sneed)
Mackenzie had previously been best known for playing the character of Genius (Intellect) in the series Herman’s Head (1994). Post-Tom and Huck, he found two decades of steady work appearing in dozens (and dozens and dozens) of series like Hart of Dixie, Ally McBeal, Gilmore Girls, Scandal, Grace and Frankie, CSI, Will & Grace, Bones, Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23, and American Dad. On film, he also found gigs in successful movies like Trumbo and 42. Today, he co-stars as Anthony Anderson’s character’s problematically enthusiastic co-worker Mr. Stevens on the Emmy-nominated comedy Black-ish.
Michael McShane (Muff Potter)
Character actor McShane’s extensive career includes classic roles in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Seinfeld, Spawn, and Brotherly Love. On the children’s front, he also voiced the characters of Tuck and Roll in A Bug’s Life and appeared in Tower of Terror shortly after Tom and Huck. In recent years, the actor has appeared on shows like Doctor Who and Wayward Pines, as well as the 2016 series Red Bird.
Marian Seldes (Widow Douglas)
Marian Seldes’ career has spanned over six decades, and she was widely recognized as one of the best stage actresses of her time. Prior to her role as Widow Douglas, she earned five Tony Award nominations and in 1967 won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Play for A Delicate Balance. Seldes’ screen resume includes dozens of roles in TV and film — among them, roles in One Life to Live and Guiding Light, as well as Murder She Wrote, Frasier,, Nurse Jackie, Wings, Murphy Brown, and Mona Lisa Smile. Seldes passed away in 2004 at the age of 86.
Eric Schweig (Injun Joe)
Schweig catapulted to fame for his breakout supporting role as Uncas in The Last of the Mohicans (1992) alongside Daniel-Day Lewis and Madeleine Stowe. The actor went on to play numerous and diverse roles throughout the years on film (like Pike Dexter, a quiet gay man with an unrequited love, in 2000’s Big Eden) and on Canadian television (in the series Cashing In and Blackstone).
Courtland Mead (Sid)
Before Tom and Huck, Mead was already a child star known for playing Phillip Chancellor IV, Nina’s son, on The Young and the Restless in the early ’90s. He’s also known to children of that era for his role as Uh-Huh in 1994’s The Little Rascals. After Tom and Huck, Mead appeared on numerous TV shows, notably carving out a niche as a popular voice actor behind characters like Gus from Recess and Lloyd from Lloyd in Space.