Matthew Broderick became a superstar right after playing high school senior Ferris Bueller in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Ferris, in the movie, decides to skip school and convinces his shy best friend Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck), to ditch with him. After calling the school and pretending to be his girlfriend Sloane Peterson’s (Mia Sara) bereaved father, Ferris, Cameron and Sloane take the day off.
The three friends run around Chicago, going to a baseball game, becoming part of a city parade and chilling by the pool, all while Ferris’ sister, Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), is trying to prove he is in fact lying about being sick to their parents.
Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), Ferris’ principal, is also not convinced as to how ill the high schooler really is and spends his day trying to catch the teen red handed.
The ‘80s film also features a brief cameo from Charlie Sheen, who played “Boy in Police Station” and is seen making out with Jeanie when she gets taken in for calling the police after an intruder (Rooney) tries to get into her house.
Three decades after the John Hughes’ film hit theaters, the cast reunited virtually for a June 2020 episode of Josh Gad’s Reunited Apart series. “Everybody said, ‘He’s the Steven Spielberg of teen movies,’” Broderick said of Hughes, admitting he hadn’t seen the late director’s work until he was being considered for the movie.
When it came to casting Ferris’ BFF, Broderick and Ruck told Gad that they already knew each other, but the team wasn’t convinced with their chemistry after an awkward wardrobe test.
“John Hughes was under a lot of pressure right then to produce,” Ruck said, noting Broderick fixed everything by not stressing. “Matthew came in and was like, ‘I’m a movie star and we’re going to be OK.’ And that’s what John needed to hear.”
Scroll down to see what the cast has been doing since the movie’s 1986 release.
After his rise to fame playing everyone’s favorite teenager Ferris, Broderick starred in The Freshman, The Cable Guy, Election, Inspector Gadget and voiced Simba in The Lion King and The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride. He also appeared in Deck the Halls, Tower Heist, Manchester by the Sea and Love Is Blind. The New York native had a recurring role on The Conners, Better Things and Daybreak in addition to voicing the dad in Wonder Park and Despereaux in The Tale of Despereaux. Broderick also directed and produced the 1996 film Infinity. The actor has had a successful theater career as well, appearing in both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, including The Odd Couple and Plaza Suite. He has won two Tony Awards and been nominated for one Emmy Award and one Grammy. Broderick married Sarah Jessica Parker in 1997. The couple share son James and twin daughters Tabitha and Marion.
Ruck followed up his portrayal of Ferris’ BFF Cameron Frye with a starring role on Going Places and The Edge. He then appeared in Star Trek: Generations, Born to Be Wild, Twister, Cheaper by the Dozen, I Love You, Beth Cooper, Dreamland and Captive State. The Ohio native also starred on Muscle, The Bronx Is Burning, Persons Unknown and Succession and played Stuart Bondek on Spin City for six seasons. The actor first acted with Broderick in his Broadway debut in 1985 in Biloxi Blues, before later stepping into his longtime friend’s shoes as Leo Bloom in The Producers in 2005. Ruck has been married to actress Mireille Enos since 2008. The couple share two children, Vesper and Larkin. He is also father to daughter Emma and son Sam from his previous marriage to Claudia Stefany.
Sara’s performance as Ferris’ girlfriend, Sloane Peterson, was her third acting gig ever. She has since stared in A Stranger Among Us, The Set Up, Black Day Blue Night, Turn of Faith and Dorothy and the Witches of Oz. She also appeared on Birds of Prey as Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn and The Witches of Oz. After stepping back from acting in 2013, Sara became a writer and has since been published in The Superstition Review, Helix, The Summerset Review, PANK (where she had a long-running column) and the Write Room. The New York native married Muppets’ Brian Henson, whose parents created the puppet show, in 2010. They share daughter Amelia. Sara is also mother of son Dashiell from her previous marriage to British actor Jason Connery, son of the late Sean Connery.
After playing Ferris’ nemesis Ed Rooney, Jones starred in Beetlejuice, Without a Clue, Ed Wood, Sleep Hollow, Stuart Little and Dr. Dolittle. He also appeared on The People Next Door and Deadwood, in addition to having a recurring role on Justice League and Invader ZIM. In 2002, Jones was arrested for possession of child pornography, and in 2003 he pleaded no contest to hiring a minor to pose for sexually explicit photos. After failing to register with the sex offender registry in 2009, which must be done annually, he was sentenced to three years’ probation and 250 hours of community service following a guilty to the felony charge. Jones, who shares one son, Julian Coutts, with his late partner Lloy Coutts, returned to theater work in 2015 with a role in 63 Trillion.
A year after portraying Ferris’ big sister, Jeanie Bueller, Grey landed the starring role of Baby Houseman in Dirty Dancing. She has since starred in Bloodhounds of Broadway, Lover’s Knot, Portraits of a Killer, Bounce, In Your Eyes, Untogether and Bittersweet Symphony. The New York native also appeared on It’s Like, You Know… before voicing multiple characters on Phineas and Ferb and playing Judy Meyers/Judy Rosen on Red Oaks. The actress won season 11 of Dancing With the Stars in 2010 and stepped in as a temporary judge on Strictly Come Dancing the following year. After 19 years of marriage, Grey split from actor Clark Gregg in January 2020, filing for divorce seven months later. The pair share one child, daughter Stella.
After playing Ferris’ mom, Katie Bueller, Pickett starred on Amerika, St. Elsewhere, Hyperion Bay and Age of the Living Dead. She then appeared in Hot to Trot, Sleepwalkers, Coyote Summer, Confession, Being Rose and Chasing Rain. Pickett continues to act in plays and is a photographer when she’s not on stage. After meeting on Ferris Bueller, Pickett married Lyman Ward (her movie husband) in 1986, and they divorced six years later. They share son Shaun and daughter Miranda.
Ward portrayed Ferris and Jeanie’s father, Tom Bueller, in the ‘80s film. He has since starred in Milk and Honey, Sleepwalkers (with Pickett), The Beverly Hillbillies, The Wrong Woman, Not Another Teen Movie, Farah Goes Bang and In the Forest. He also played Justice Brian Chandler on First Monday and had a guest starring role on Murder She Wrote, JAG and Legit. The Canada native is a published writer, releasing the 2016 novel Fortune’s Tide, a historical fiction based on his hometown. He married Pickett in 1986 and divorced in 1992 after welcoming son Shaun and daughter Miranda.
McClurg played Grace, Ed Rooney’s assistant, in the film. She then played Mrs. Patty Poole for six seasons of Valerie before appearing in Planes, Trains & Automobiles, She’s Having a Baby, Curly Sue, Flubber, The Master of Disguise and Simple Things. She also starred on Drexell’s Class and Higglytown Heroes and had a recurring role on 7th Heaven. The Missouri native’s voice work includes The Addams Family, Bobby’s World, Life With Louie, Rocket Power, A Bug’s Life, Cars and Wreck-It Ralph.