Forrest Gump: Where are the cast now?

22 December 2023, 14:10

Forrest Gump became an instant classic after its 1994 release. But where are the cast now?
Forrest Gump became an instant classic after its 1994 release. But where are the cast now? Picture: Alamy

By Thomas Edward

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"Run Forrest, run!"

1994 comedy-drama Forrest Gump became an immediate classic as soon as it was released, due to the endless amount of quotable lines that each character had throughout the film.

That wasn't the only reason of course - it was down to the film's ingenuity, with director Robert Zemeckis offering a fresh take on how an unknowing, gentle and uncomplicated man made a major impact on those around him and the wider world.

Based on Winston Groom's 1986 novel of the same name, the titular Forrest Gump - a kind-hearted, simple man from Alabama - was involved in and responsible for some of the 20th century's most important happenings.

Whether it was fighting in Vietnam and rescuing his entire platoon, inspiring John Lennon's peace anthem 'Imagine', accidentally creating the 'happy face' logo, and inadvertently purchasing shares in the biggest tech company the world has ever seen in Apple, Gump brought light and laughter to people's lives without necessarily knowing what he was doing.

Forrest's kindness, compassion, and naivety are often derided by the world around him, though the film paints him as a virtuous person, despite him not being aware of such virtues.

Needless to say, Forrest Gump was a major success upon its 1994 release, becoming the second highest grossing film of the year behind only The Lion King.

It won numerous awards too, winning the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing.

But where is the cast of Forrest Gump now? Here's all you need to know:

Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump)

Tom Hanks played Forrest Gump.
Tom Hanks played Forrest Gump. Picture: Getty/Alamy

Tom Hanks played Forrest Gump, and you'd have to be living under a rock to not know who Tom Hanks is or how his career has progressed since.

He was already an established actor before taking the role of Gump, starring in Sleepless In Seattle, Big, The Money Pit, and earning his first Oscar for Best Actor for his role in AIDS-related legal drama Philadelphia.

Arguably his most notable and critically acclaimed films since include Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile, Apollo 13, Cast Away, Catch Me If You Can, Road To Perdition, You've Got Mail, and starring as the voice of Woody the cowboy in the iconic Toy Story animated film series.

Before taking on the role of Forrest Gump, other actors were reportedly in the frame including John Travolta (who regretted turning down the opportunity), Sean Penn, and Bill Murray.

Hanks is one of the most distinguished and beloved lead actors of his generation, if not all-time.

His most recent work includes playing Colonel Tom Parker in 2022 music biopic Elvis, Geppetto in Robert Zemeckis' animated Pinocchio, and A Man Called Otto.

Robin Wright (Jenny Curran)

Robin Wright played Jenny Curran.
Robin Wright played Jenny Curran. Picture: Getty/Alamy

Robin Wright played Forrest Gump's life-long love interest, Jenny Curran, and consistently dedicated himself to her despite her insistence that they were never meant to be together.

The victim of child abuse from her father, Jenny took a completely different path in life to Forrest, involving herself in the hippy movement and substance abuse before later returning to Forrest so he could care for her.

Breaking through in her first notable role in the 1987 fantasy comedy The Princess Bride, Robin Wright has had a hugely successful career in film and television since.

After Forrest Gump, Wright has starred in films like Unbreakable alongside Bruce Willis, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo alongside Daniel Craig, and award-winning television series like the political drama House Of Cards.

Wright has been nominated for various accolades throughout her career including eight Primetime Emmy Awards, and winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role as Claire Underwood in House Of Cards opposite Kevin Spacey.

Sally Field (Mrs. Gump)

Sally Field played Mrs. Gump.
Sally Field played Mrs. Gump. Picture: Getty/Alamy

Sally Field was already acting royalty before she took on the role of Mrs. Gump, Forrest's devoted mother and loved him unconditionally, and could communicate with him in a way to help him understand the world.

Some of her most iconic lines in Forrest Gump include "life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get", "stupid is as stupid does", and "you have to do the best with what God gave you", all of which are often repeated by Forrest throughout the film.

Prior to her starring in Forrest Gump, Sally Field had already won two Academy Awards for Best Actress for 1980's Norma Rae and 1985's Places In The Heart.

Notable films she's taking roles in are Mrs. Doubtfire alongside Robin Williams, Steel Magnolias alongside Dolly Parton and Julia Roberts, Smokey and the Bandit, and Kiss Me Goodbye.

Field has also won two BAFTA Awards, two Golden Globes, two Emmys, a Tony Award, and was nominated for another Oscar for her supporting role in 2012 political drama Lincoln.

Gary Sinise (Lieutenant Dan Taylor)

Gary Sinise played Lt. Dan Taylor.
Gary Sinise played Lt. Dan Taylor. Picture: Getty/Alamy

Gary Sinise starred as Lieutenant Dan Taylor, the leader of Forrest Gump's platoon in Vietnam who was later rescued from imminent death by Forrest after losing his legs in battle.

Lt. Dan resented Forrest for saving his life, as he had to grow accustomed to living life without his legs, angry at the fact he was now disabled and therefore looked down on by society.

Sinise started his acting career in theatre before moving into film and television, winning a Tony Award both before and after his role in Forrest Gump.

He received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Lieutenant Dan Taylor, though lost out to Martin Landau for his role in Tim Burton's Ed Wood featuring Johnny Depp.

Sinise appeared alongside Hanks again in Apollo 13 and The Green Mile, before taking on the lead role of Detective Mac Taylor in the crime series CSI: NY.

Mykelti Williamson (Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue.

Mykelti Williamson played Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue.
Mykelti Williamson played Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue. Picture: Getty/Alamy

Mykelti Williamson starred in Forrest Gump as "Bubba", a fellow slow-witted man who befriends Forrest during their time in Vietnam and its preceding training camps.

After he dies in battle, Forrest pursues Bubba's dream of starting his own shrimping business, turning the business into an empire with Bubba's name at the helm.

Williamson's film debut came in 1984 with Streets Of Fire, though his role as Bubba in Forrest Gump arguably became his most prominent and remembered film role.

He also starred in various action films such as Con Air, Heat, and reprised his Broadway role of Gabriel Maxson for Denzel Washington's film adaptation of Fences in 2016.

Haley Joel Osment (Forrest Gump Jr.)

Haley Joel Osment played Forrest Gump Jr.
Haley Joel Osment played Forrest Gump Jr. Picture: Getty/Alamy

Haley Joel Osment was cast and Forrest Gump Jr., the child of Forrest and Jenny, in what was his debut film role after being spotted by a casting director from a Pizza Hut advert.

Osment went on to become a major Hollywood child actor, appearing notably in The Sixth Sense opposite Bruce Willis, in A.I. Artificial Intelligence with Jude Law, and Pay It Forward.

He was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of boy psychic Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense, becoming the second-youngest performer ever to receive an Academy nomination for a supporting role.

Nowadays he predominantly takes on more comedic roles in various television and film series.