In 1979, the cast and crew of the Alien movie changed the course of cinematic history. The groundbreaking movie set the standard for the science fiction genre, even today. Since 41 years have passed, we thought it was the perfect time to provide an update on the cast and crew now. Enjoy!
Oh, and if you don’t already own a copy of the Alien movie, you can buy it on Amazon.
Helen Horton, Mother (voice)
The Alien movie was Horton’s biggest role throughout her career. She also appeared in Superman III (1983). Horton passed away in 2007. We were unable to locate any recent photos.
Bolaji Badejo, Alien
Alien (1979) is Badejo’s only acting credit in IMDB. He was discovered by a member of the Alien movie film crew at a bar. At 6′ 10″ and very thin, Badejo fit the bill. Sadly, he passed away on December 22, 1992, in Ebute Metta, Lagos.
Dan O’Bannon, screenplay writer & Alien story creator
An alumnus of USC Film School, this LA native created the Alien story with his friend Ronald Shusett. After Alien, O’Bannon went on to write and direct more films. He wrote the screenplay to The Long Tomorrow, co-wrote Total Recall (1990) with Ronal Shusett, and wrote and directed The Return of the Living Dead (1985).
O’Bannon passed away on December 17, 2009, from complications related to Crohn’s disease. He actually came up with the idea of an alien bursting through your chest because of his experiences with Crohn’s disease.
Ronald Shusett, Alien story creator
Ronald Shusett met Dan O’Bannon in 1974. The pair formed a friendship that resulted in some pretty great stories and screenplays. He co-wrote both Alien (1979) and Total Recall (1982) with his pal O’Bannon. Shusett adapted the story “Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick, which was supposed to be a sequel to Total Recall. Unfortunately, plans for the movie fell through, and eventually novelist Jon Cohen was hired to re-write the screenplay for Minority Report (2002).
Shusett is 85 years old and has largely remained out of the news for a while now.
Yaphet Kotto, Parker
Kotto’s career encompassed many famous roles. He portrayed Dr.Kananga/Mr. Big in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die (1973). He starred in The Running Man (1987), Midnight Run (1988), and Homicide: Life on the Street (1993-1999), Kotto was even considered for the role of Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Kotto made news in 2017 when, during an interview, he declared he’s been abducted by aliens numerous times since he was a child.
Veronica Cartwright, Lambert
Cartwright, like Skerritt, has an acting career ranging way back in time, starting in 1958. Although the Alien movie was her biggest movie, she is mostly known for her role as Bun Waverly in The Witches of Eastwick (1987). She also starred in L.A. Law (1989-1992), ER (1997), The X-Files (1998-1999), Eastwick (2009), Bosch (2015), and General Hospital (2019).
Cartwright’s most recent acting credits include Breaking Fast (2020) and The Phantoms, which is currently in post-production.
If you love the Alien movie franchise, you should check out our post on how to watch every Alien movie in chronological order!
Harry Dean Stanton, Brett
Stanton’s career spanned six decades. Yes, six. Acting in mostly supporting roles, Stanton appeared in Cool Hand Luke (1967), The Godfather Part II (1974), Escape from New York (1981), Christine (1983), Red Dwan (1984), Pretty in Pink (1986), The Green Mile (1999), and Alpha Dog (2006). His only lead roles include Paris, Texas (1984), and Lucky (2017).
Stanton passed away at age 91 on September 15, 2017.
John Hurt, Kane
The original face-hugger victim began his acting career in 1962. After playing Kane in the Alien movie, Hurt went on to star in The Elephant Man (1980), Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984), The Field (1990), the Harry Potter films (2001-11), Hellboy films (2004 and 2008), V for Vendetta (2005), and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011).
Hurt passed away on January 25, 2017 from pancreatic cancer.
Ian Holm, Ash
After starring as the android Ash in the Alien movie, Holm went on to star in many more films and television series, but none more popular than The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film series. His portrayal of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) won him the Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture.
Holm passed away on June 19, 2020, at the age of 88. He suffered from prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Tom Skerritt, Dallas
Tom Skerritt’s career extends all the way back to 1962. His acting career mostly involves roles in television series, as opposed to movies like Alien. After the Alien movie, Skerritt went on to star in Top Gun (1986), Cheers (1988), Steel Magnolias (1989), Picket Fences (1992-1996), Contact (1997), Brothers & Sisters (2006-2009), and many more.
At 87 years old, Skerritt doesn’t act as much as he used to. His latest film, East of the Mountains, is currently in post-production.
Sigourney Weaver, Ripley
As the primary protagonist and the sole survivor of Alien (excluding Jones the cat), Sigourney Weaver certainly proved her acting chops in action movies. She went on to star in Ghostbusters (1984), Aliens (1986), Ghostbusters II (1989), Alien3 (1992), Alien Resurrection (1997), WALL-E (2008), Avatar (2009), The Cabin in the Woods (2011), and many more works in between. More recently she’s working on a new Ghostbusters movie and 4 more Avatar movies.
More recently, Weaver’s working on a new Ghostbusters movie and 4 more Avatar movies.
Ridley Scott, director
After achieving major success with Alien, Ridley Scott went on to direct Blade Runner (1982), Thelma & Louise (1991), Gladiator (2000), Black Hawk Down (2001), Prometheus (2012), The Martian (2015), and Alien: Covenant (2017).
Rumor has it Scott is currently working on a new Alien prequel movie, though it’s believed to be unrelated to Prometheus or Alien: Covenant.
Well, that’s it! It’s sad to see how many of the original actors of the Alien franchise have died. They’re gone but not forgotten, fortunately memorialized indefinitely via their involvement in the movie Alien.