From a teenage Josh Brolin, to an already established Corey Feldman, to Sean Astin, who would go on to portray Samwise Gamgee in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Richard Donner’s 1985 adventure blockbuster The Goonies had the young cast of a generation.
The cult film is now an astonishing 34-years-old (cue the whimpering sobs of a whole generation of 80s kids). Looking back, it seems like one of those films that they just don’t make anymore.
In the article below, we’ve taken a look at where The Goonies‘ young actors are now, plus we reveal the haunting story of Sloth actor John Matuszak.
1. Sean Astin as Mikey
Astin, now 44, wasn’t just a child star. He went on to have large roles in films such as Like Father Like Son, Toy Soldiers and Rudy.
He provided the voice-over for Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and played Sam Gamgee in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
2. Martha Plimpton as Stef
Plimpton, 44, has stayed busy since The Goonies. She guest-starred in Grey’s Anatomy in 2009 and recently got an Emmy nod for her role in Raising Hope.
Plimpton also won an Emmy for her work on The Good Wife in 2012, having previously won the Drama Desk award for her 2008 role in the play Coast of Utopia.
She is also an advocate for women’s rights, which includes abortion rights. She even wrote and essay titled “Abortion, Shame, and the Right to Deny me my Rights” in 2014.
3. Kerri Green as Andy
Green had a successful acting career in the 1990’s, starring in “Goonies” and “Lucas” but started to slow down afterwards.
She appeared on a few shows like “Murder, She Wrote” and “ER,” but hasn’t acted much since the 90’s.
She did, however, launch a production company called Independent Women Artists, and even directed the company’s movie, “Bellyfruit.” IMBD states that “she received critical acclaim for it.” Since, she starred in a 2012 film, “Complacent” and still writes screenplays.
4. Jeff Cohen as Chunk
From 1984 to 1987 Cohen was featured in a few episodes of “Family Ties” and acted until 1991, in which he played a role in “Perfect Harmony.”
He also played in some documentaries including “The Living Century” and the “Rise and Fall of Tuck Johnson” in 2009.
He later attended law school and then founded Cohen Gardner LLP in 2002.
He also wrote a book entitled “The Dealmaker’s Ten Commandments: Ten Essential Tools for Business Forged in the Trenches of Hollywood” which was published by the American Bar Association’s imprint Ankerwycke in 2015.
5. Robert Davi and Joe Pantoliano as Jake and Francis Fratelli
The two both had very successful careers after the Goonies.
Davi, now 66, played in Die Hard, Licence to Kill, The Expendables 3 and others.
He is also an accomplished singer; his first album was released in 2011.
Pantoliano most recently starred in the Netflix series Sense8, produced by his Matrix directors the Wachowski sisters.
6. Jonathan Ke Quan as Data
Quan was born in Saigon, South Vietnam (present-day Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). He was forced to leave his country when the Army of the Republic of Vietnam was defeated during the Fall of Saigon.
Quan starred in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and also featured in a few series, including Head of the Class and Encino Man.
He stopped acting in 2000 and graduated from USC. He went on to work as a stunt choreographer.
7. Corey Feldman as Mouth
Feldman, who is 43, starred in a reality show with his friend and collaborator, Corey Haim, called “The Two Coreys.” Haim died in 2010. He then released a memoir “Coreyography” in 2013 which was about his struggles, addictions and how he dealt with the loss of his friend.
Feldman has also been an outspoken critic of the sexual abuse of young boys that was rife in Hollywood when he was a child actor. The Goonies star claimed that his friend Haim died after being unable to cope with the abuse he suffered at the hands of various producers.
8. Anne Ramsey as Mama Fratelli
Anne Ramsey had a successful career in the 1970s, appearing in such television programmes as Little House on the Prairie, Wonder Woman, Three’s Company and Ironside.
In 1988, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Golden Globe in the same category for her role in Throw Momma From The Train.
She sadly died in 1988 of oesophageal cancer.
9. John Matuszak as Sloth
There are few characters more iconic in modern cinema than the loveable giant Sloth.
The man behind the mask, though, is the subject of a somewhat more tragic story.
John Matuszak, the actor who so memorably played the disfigured giant Sloth, sadly passed away just four years after the release of the film, as behind the surface hid a past of drug and alcohol abuse attached to the Hollywood spotlight.
Matuszak was often dubbed “larger than life”, and that is quite an understatement for a man of his stature.
He was an incredible 6’7 and 280lbs- he towered above those he came across, and his infectious laugh made an impact on everyone.
He rose to fame in 1973 when he was drafted to join the Houston Oilers.
It wasn’t until he was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 1976 that he really started to gather momentum. (For those Goonie fanatics, you’ll notice Sloth wearing a Raiders t-shirt in the film itself.)
Matuszak played as a defensive end who could stand up and stop even the most monumental of opponents in his path. He won two Superbowls with the Raiders, before retiring in 1982, where he switched his focus to Hollywood.
He was incredibly popular with fans, but not so popular with his team-mates. Dubbed “The Tooz”, he had an addiction to painkillers and narcotics that was brought on by agonising back pain.
His intake was the stuff of legend. He would either make it a night you wouldn’t be forgetting in a hurry, or one that would be discarded from memory as soon as possible.
One instance involved a playful argument with Raiders assistant coach Terry Robiskie. He slapped his coach in the face with force, and began shaking him. It took the entire team to force the pair apart.
Aggression became a staple part of his personality, and the crutch that Robiskie smashed over his head was later mounted on a wall, dubbed “Biskies Tooz Pick”.
He started off in life as a lanky, awkward youth, but developed into a fiery young man. A young man you really didn’t want to cross.
Though on the surface the actor was gentle and polite, his addictions ran rife throughout him.
“He just couldn’t control himself,” said former Raiders employee Mike Ornstein.
“He just couldn’t have one drink. He thought his body was so large, it would absorb it. His drink was triple Crown Royal with a beer backer. The man lived a hard life.”
Matuszak knew himself that he had demons on his back. In his autobiography, “Cruisin’ With The Tooz”, he lists six incidents that led to convictions. These included drug possession, drink driving, collisions with parked cars, and even concealing weapons.
This ultimately resulted in him being put behind bars.
He did however attempt many a time to get on the straight and narrow, but twice he left rehab centres prematurely and fell off the wagon.
Hollywood was just not the right place for Sloth, for a man seeking to return to a normal existence. The movies more than paid the rent. As well as playing Sloth, he also made appearances in “Miami Vice“, “The A Team” and “The Dukes Of Hazzard“.
But his new found fame did nothing to help quell his darkest urges and dependencies.
It actually magnified them.
He ultimately died from a drug overdose in June 1989, after a fatal amount of prescription rugs were found in his system. There were also traces of cocaine.
By the time of his death, he had made his mark on both the worlds sports and entertainment industries. The actor will be long remembered, as his young co-stars used to say…Goonies never die.
Although Matuszak isn’t with us anymore, we still have the memories of the legendary film. So why not keep reading below and find out 10 fun facts about The Goonies that you never knew?
In the 1980s, the Steven Spielberg brand was untouchable. His was the gold standard for popular entertainment: in addition to the classic movies he personally directed in this period, Spielberg also acted as producer on the blockbusters Poltergeist, Gremlins and, perhaps most importantly of all to kids of a certain age, The Goonies.
Produced by Spielberg, written by Gremlins scribe Chris Columbus and directed by Superman’s Richard Donner, The Goonies was a perfect storm of family entertainment. And what was only modestly popular then, a 1985 box office sleeper hit and critical smash, has by now become a bona fide cult item.
You guys, here are ten things you never knew about The Goonies.
10. It was Josh Brolin’s debut film
Josh Brolin, of Avengers, Sicario and Deadpool 2 fame, has been hard at work in the film industry for more than 30 years at this point.
Now Oscar-nominated and a major player in not one but three Hollywood franchises, it all believe it or not actually started with The Goonies for Brolin, playing the older brother to Sean Astin’s Mikey Walsh in what was his big screen debut.
9. John Matuszak had to spend a ridiculous amount of time in makeup
He may have been used to physical challenges, but even for former NFL star John Matuszak, playing Sloth in The Goonies must have been tasking.
Matuszak had to spend five hours in the makeup chair every day to transform into the deformed Sloth, with Matuszak also having to constantly contend with the nuisance of a remote-controlled mechanical eye.
8. The One-Eyed Willy skeleton is no prop
Think the skeleton of One-Eyed Willy was just something knocked up by the props department? Think again.
The bones of One-Eyed Willy that we see in the film are real, and they once belonged to a man who died of lead poisoning named Raul Woo.
7. The Inferno was a life-sized working ship
One-Eyed Willy’s ship, like One-Eyed Willy himself, was no product of camera trickery. The Inferno was a real, life-sized working ship built especially for the film over the course of two-and-a-half months.
Once completed, the ship measured 105 feet long and was so impressive that Josh Brolin cursed upon first seeing it, ruining a take.
6. Steven Spielberg directed parts of the film
Steven Spielberg didn’t just produce and dream up the story for The Goonies, according to those who were there.
Spielberg was, reportedly, and much to the annoyance of official director Richard Donner, an extremely hands-on producer, acting as a kind of co-director and helming a lot of footage himself.
5. Sean Astin got to keep the treasure map (until he lost it)
Sean Astin was luckier than most kids. Not only did he aged 14 get to play the lead in a Steven Spielberg-produced adventure movie about pirate treasure, but Astin got to take home the film’s prized treasure map once filming wrapped.
Unfortunately, the map didn’t stay in Astin’s possession for long: his mum, thinking it was just an old piece of paper, soon threw the valuable prop in the bin.
4. There’s real blood on that map
Talk about suffering for your art. J Michael Riva, The Goonies’ production designer and props man, was initially unhappy with how inauthentic the film’s treasure map looked.
To make it camera-ready, Riva ‘aged’ the map with coffee and, in a final macabre touch, smeared some of his own blood on it.
3. Ke Huy Quan was forbidden from swearing on-set
Ke Huy Quan, who plays brainbox Data in The Goonies, was under strict instructions from his mother not to curse on the project.
This necessitated a change to the film’s script: in the cave scene, as rocks fall from the ceiling, Data yells “Holy S-H-I-T!”, Quan spelling the word out as opposed to saying the line as scripted.
2. A longer version of the film is out there (and there’s only one way you’ll ever see it)
If you’re a child of the 80s, then chances are you’ve seen The Goonies enough times to know the film inside and out.
What you might not know is that the movie with which you’re so familiar isn’t the full movie: the uncut version, which includes two scenes trimmed from the theatrical version, isn’t available on home video. This rare edition can only be seen occasionally on US television.
1. A sequence with a giant octopus was deleted from the film
Enormous effort was put into one of those sequences that were removed from the theatrical cut. An action setpiece featuring, yes, a giant octopus, involved the creation of said beast by the special effects department as well as an original song, Eight Arms to Hold You, by Arthur Baker and Cyndi Lauper.
All that’s left of the sequence in the theatrical edition is a fleeting mention at the end of the film (“The octopus was really scary!”).