Stand By Me cast then and now: What happened next to the film's young characters?

21 April 2023, 14:48

Stand By Me cast then and now
Stand By Me cast then and now. Picture: Columbia/Getty

By Tom Eames

Stand By Me is one of the most beloved films of the 1980s, and is still a fantastic, if a little heartbreaking, watch all these years later.

Thanks to its brilliant '50s and '60s soundtrack (including the title track of course) and coming-of-age drama, Stand By Me still holds up as a must-see movie.

Directed by Rob Reiner and based on Stephen King's novella The Body, the film celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2021.

It also introduced us to a cast of young actors who would go on to star in many iconic TV shows and films. Here's a look back at what happened to them next.

  1. Corey Feldman (Teddy)

    Corey Feldman
    Corey Feldman. Picture: Columbia/Getty

    By the time of Stand By Me, Corey Feldman had already made a name for himself as a child star with huge potential, appearing in films Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Gremlins and The Goonies.

    In the following years, he starred in The Lost Boys with Corey Haim, and they became known as 'The Two Coreys'.

    By the 1990s, Corey was battling a drug addiction, and his Hollywood career stalled.

    However, he has kept busy ever since, appearing in various small film and TV roles, and reality TV shows. In 2012, he appeared in the UK's Dancing on Ice, and performs music with his band Corey's Angels.

    He is also known for his friendship with Michael Jackson, and has defended the late star on many occasions, calling him "a dear friend". He tweeted: "I stand with all victims. However that will never negate the times and memories we shared. Those were our experiences and while I was a victim of molestation, my time with MJ was pure and innocent, and that is the person I choose to remember."

  2. Jerry O'Connell (Vern)

    Jerry O'Connell (Vern)
    Jerry O'Connell (Vern). Picture: Columbia/Getty

    Just over 10 years after starring as Vern in Stand By Me, Jerry O'Connell re-emerged as a hunk, starring as Quinn Mallory in sci-fi show Sliders.

    His other roles have included Joe's Apartment, Jerry Maguire, Scream 2, Kangaroo Jack and Crossing Jordan.

    He has kept busy ever since, and currently, Jerry voices Commander Jack Ransom on the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks.

    In 2007, Jerry married actress and former model Rebecca Romijn, and their twin girls were born in 2008.

  3. Wil Wheaton (Gordie)

    Wil Wheaton (Gordie)
    Wil Wheaton (Gordie). Picture: Columbia/Getty

    A few years after playing Gordie in Stand By Me, Wil landed his best-known role, Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

    He also had roles in the films Toy Soldiers and Flubber opposite Robin Williams. He has also had voice acting roles in Teen Titans and Ben 10.

    He famously appeared regularly as a fictionalized version of himself on The Big Bang Theory, and was the creator of the YouTube board game show TableTop.

  4. River Phoenix (Chris)

    River Phoenix (Chris)
    River Phoenix (Chris). Picture: Columbia/Getty

    River Phoenix was the older brother of several actor siblings, most famously Joker star Joaquin Phoenix.

    Following his first major role in Stand by Me, he starred in a number of films including Running on Empty (which earned him an Academy Award nomination at 18) and My Own Private Idaho. He also played a young Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade.

    River tragically died at the age of 23 from a combined drug overdose in West Hollywood in the early hours of Halloween, 1993. At the time of his death, he was filming Dark Blood, which was finally released incomplete 19 years later, in 2012.

  5. Kiefer Sutherland (Ace)

    Kiefer Sutherland (Ace)
    Kiefer Sutherland (Ace). Picture: Columbia/Getty

    The son of renowned actor Donald Sutherland, this film was one of Kiefer's first major roles.

    Other film roles following the film include The Lost Boys, Young Guns, Flatliners, A Few Good Men, The Three Musketeers, Dark City, and Melancholia.

    In 2001, Kiefer landed his most famous role, Jack Bauer in the action TV series 24, which he appeared in until 2014. For the role, he won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two Satellite Awards.

    More recently, he starred as President Tom Kirkman in Designated Survivor, and has released his own music.