Goldthwait was well-known for both his stand-up comedy and his role as Zed in the "Police Academy" movies when the then-26-year-old appeared in "Scrooged" as Eliot, whose life takes a downward spiral when Bill Murray's character fires him on Christmas Eve. In 1992, he began writing and directing a series of darkly satirical film comedies with "Shakes the Clown," in which he played an alcoholic clown. Since then, he's also helmed such satires as "Sleeping Dogs Lie," "World's Greatest Dad," and "God Bless America." He also became a respected director of TV comedy and variety series, including "Chappelle's Show," and "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Now 51, Goldthwait most recently wrote and directed the 2013 feature "Willow Creek."
Throughout the 1980s, Karen Allen enjoyed starring roles in such films as "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Starman," but the 37-year-old's role in "Scrooged" as Bill Murray's philanthropy-minded love interest was her last lead role in a major studio film for 20 years. She continued to star in independent movies and play cameos in studio films ("Malcolm X," "The Sandlot," "The Perfect Storm"). In 2008, she reprised her "Raiders" role as Marion Ravenwood in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Now 62, she most recently appeared on screen in the teen sci-fi movie "I Am Number Four" (2012).
Forsythe was 70 and at the height of his TV fame on "Dynasty" when he played the "Scrooged" role of Lew Hayward, the mentor who returns as a Jacob Marley-like ghost. to warn Bill Murray's character. In 2000, he reprised his the voice of unseen detective agency owner Charles Townsend in the movie version of "Charlie's Angels," which co-starred Murray. His last film was the 2003 sequel, "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle." He died in 2010 at age 92.
Glover has played countless villains on TV and film. When he was 44, he played Brice Cummings, Bill Murray's character's rival, in "Scrooged." His films since then have included "Gremlins 2: The New Batch," "Robocop 2," "Batman and Robin," and "Payback," but he's best known for his long-running TV role as Lex Luthor's father on "Smallville." He won a Tony for his dual Broadway role as John and James Jeckyll in "Love! Valour! Compassion!" and played both roles again in the 1997 film version. Now 69, his latest film is the 2013 horror anthology "Sanitarium."
The role of the first ghost was initially written for then-rising comic Sam Kinison, but Murray made sure it went instead to his pal, the pioneering proto-punk singer of the New York Dolls. In the mid-'80s, when Johanson reinvented his music career as the dance-band frontman Buster Poindexter, he also began acting in TV and movies. He was 38 when he played the "Scrooged" ghost as a wisecracking cabbie. He went on to play character parts in other movies, finally earning a lead opposite John C. McGinley in the big-screen version of TV cop comedy "Car 54, Where Are You?" He's also continued with his music career (including a Dolls reunion a few years ago.) As an actor, the 63-year-old recently wrapped a role opposite Billy Crudup in forthcoming big-screen boxing drama "Glass Chin."
Kane was a 36-year-old veteran comic actress, fresh off her performance opposite Billy Crystal in "The Princess Bride," when she got to play the two-fisted Ghost of Christmas Present in "Scrooged." Since then, her film appearances have included "Addams Family Values," "Office Killer," "Man on the Moon" (in which she reprised her TV role as Simka from "Taxi"), and "Four Christmases." She's spent much of the last decade playing Madam Morrible in various productions of "Wicked" and appearing on TV guest spots, including episodes this year of "Girls" and "Anger Management." At 61, she most recently co-starred opposite Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow in this fall's big-screen comedy "Thanks for Sharing."
1988 was a busy year for 71-year-old Hollywood icon Robert Mitchum. He starred in the TV mini-series "War and Remembrance" and the movie "Mr. North" as well as playing a rare comic role in "Scrooged" as Bill Murray's pet-obsessed boss. Mitchum continued to work occasionally throughout his '70s, including appearances in 1991's "Cape Fear" (Martin Scorsese's remake of Mitchum's 1961 thriller) and 1993's "Tombstone" (as the narrator). His last major screen appearance came opposite Johnny Depp in Jim Jarmusch's 1995 western "Dead Man." Mitchum died in 1997 at age 79.
The "Saturday Night Live"-bred Murray was already one of the most successful comedy movie stars of his generation when he starred in "Scrooged" at age 38. He could have continued to sleepwalk through comedy leads (indeed, he seemed to do so the following year in "Ghostbusters II"); instead, he continued, as in "Scrooged" to find success playing characters searching for redemption, first in broad comedies ("Groundhog Day"), and later, in the subtler films of Sofia Coppola ("Lost in Translation") and Wes Anderson ("Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou," and many others). That helped Murray transition seamlessly from brash comedy hipster to minimalist comedy guru. Watch for the 63-year-old next year in George Clooney's World War II drama "Monuments Men" and in Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel."
John Murray is one of three of Bill Murray's siblings with a role in "Scrooged." (Brian Doyle-Murray plays Frank's dad in a flashback, and future "Mad Men" co-star Joel Murray has a walk-on as a party guest.) John was 30 when he got to play his real-life big brother's younger brother in "Scrooged," having already played the lead role in the comedy "Moving Violations." After "Scrooged," however, John's movie and TV career was idle for over a decade, until he resurfaced as a producer and co-star, along with his three brothers, of TV golf travelogue series "The Sweet Spot." Now 55, he appeared most recently in the 2008 film "A Darker Reality."
Phillips played Woodard's character's speechless son, the Tiny Tim of "Scrooged." The movie was his film debut. The boy appeared in just one other movie, 1991's "Night of the Cyclone." His last credited role came in 1992 as youngest Jackson Five member Randy Jackson in the TV movie "The Jacksons: An American Dream."
Pollard first made a splash with his Oscar-nominated supporting role in 1967's "Bonnie and Clyde." He was 49 and a veteran character actor when he appeared 21 years later in "Scrooged" as Herman, the homeless man whom Bill Murray's Frank is unable to prevent from freezing to death. After "Scrooged," he appeared in 16 movies in three years, including "Next of Kin," "Tango & Cash," and "Dick Tracy." Films since then have included "Arizona Dream" (with Johnny Depp), "Tumbleweeds," and "House of 1000 Corpses." Now 74, he most recently appeared in the 2012 feature "The Woods." He appears in the comedy "The Next Cassavetes," which is awaiting a release date.
The 36-year-old Woodard's role in "Scrooged" as Bill Murray's overworked and underpaid assistant (the story's Bob Cratchit) came five years after her Oscar-nominated performance in "Cross Creek" put her on the map. Highlights of her film career since then include "Grand Canyon, "Passion Fish," "Crooklyn," "How to Make an American Quilt," "Star Trek: First Contact," "Down in the Delta," "What's Cooking," "Beauty Shop," and "The Family that Preys." She's also been busy on TV, where she's earned a career 18 Emmy nominations and four wins; her TV work includes starring roles in the movies "The Piano Lesson" and "Miss Evers' Boys" and a season each of "Desperate Housewives" and "Memphis Beat." Now 61, she can be seen in theaters in the current movie "12 Years a Slave."