It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since the release of Spielberg’s ‘80s blockbuster, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial! But what happened to Gertie (Drew Barrymore), Elliott (Henry Thomas) and the rest of the cast after the loveable lost alien finally found his way home?
Henry Thomas was only 11 years old when he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best New Male Star in E.T. The pre-teen didn’t take home the prize, but following his break-out success, he starred in a handful of other 80s flicks, including Cloak & Dagger, The Quest and Murder One.
Henry escaped the curse of many child stars and has maintained an active acting career into adulthood. After hanging up his red sweatshirt, he went on to star in various hits, including All the Pretty Horses, Gangs of New York and Dear John. For his next movie, Henry takes on the role of Philip Whalen in the Jack Kerouac biopic, Big Sur alongside Kate Bosworth and Josh Lucas. On the home front, he’s separated from his wife, German actress Marie Zielcke, with whom he has a daughter named Hazel.
Drew made her Hollywood breakthrough as Elliott’s 5-year-old sister and partner in crime. A scion of the Barrymore acting dynasty, Drew was born to be on camera. Following E.T., she continued to land roles in major movies and even scored a Golden Globe nomination at 9 years old for Best Supporting Actress in Irreconcilable Differences. But early success took its toll on Drew, who began partying, using drugs and drinking before she was a teenager. From posing nude in Playboy to baring her breasts on the David Letterman Show, Drew’s rebellious phase played out in the public eye
By the ‘90s Drew had cleaned up her act and landed a series of starring roles in popular flicks like The Wedding Singer and Ever After. She formed a production company, Flower Films, and found success behind the camera with such films as Charlie’s Angels and Donnie Darko. Most recently, she starred alongside John Krasinski in the 2012 movie Big Miracle. Following her tumultuous adolescence (including two short-lived marriages), Drew found her happily ever after when she wed beau Will Kopelman on June 2, 2012, and the couple are expecting their first child.
After looking after Elliott and E.T. as Thomas’ on-screen big brother, Robert MacNaughton starred in the 1983 young-adult film I Am the Cheese. Throughout the ‘80s he worked in a handful of TV movies and series, but never equalled the box-office acclaim of his first success.
By 1990, Robert had abandoned the silver screen for the stage and performed in shows ranging from “The Diviners” to “Henry V.” Robert later gave up acting altogether and now works as a mail handler in Jersey City, where he lives with his long-time girlfriend and their son, Noah.
Before playing Elliott, Gertie and Michael’s mum, Mary, Dee Wallace starred in several popular horror films. Following “E.T., she kept busy acting in film and television hits such as Cujo and The New Lassie.
Dee has been in more than 85 films and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Along with acting in movies and TV, she’s a self-help author and public speaker. Dee published her first book, “Bright Light: Spiritual Lessons From a Life in Acting,” in April 2011. She has one daughter, Gabrielle, with her late husband, Christopher Stone, who died of heart failure in 1995.
After playing the mysterious government scientist known simply as “Keys”, Peter starred in a number of ’80s movies, including Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, Outrageous Fortune and Jagged Edge.
Following E.T., Peter continued a prolific acting career, appearing in films including Sphere, Patch Adams and Erin Brockovich and television series such as Commander in Chief and Brothers and Sisters. His distinctive speaking voice has provided the narration for various shows, stories and campaigns, and in 1992 he won an Emmy for his narration of an episode of the PBS series The Pacific Century. Most recently, you may recognise his voice from Apple’s 2011 iPad 2 ads. He has two grown children and is married to Stefanie Pleet.
Role: Elliott’s crush
Erika didn’t say much in E.T., but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t memorable. Who could forget Elliott drunkenly kissing his pretty classmate? The role was Erika’s first on film, and she didn’t appear on-screen again for another five years.
The bleach-blond California girl went on to play Shauni McClain on Baywatch from 1989 to 1992. She returned to the big screen in 1992′s Under Siege and continued to star in a variety of independent films throughout the ’90s and early ’00s. In 2005 she appeared on the reality series The Real Gilligan’s Island and a year later was a cast member of Celebrity Fit Club. She has one daughter, Indyanna, who was born in January 2006.