The Stars of Hocus Pocus: Then & Now

With news breaking that Hocus Pocus is said to come back for a remake (without the original cast, we must add), we immediately rushed to our movie collection to find it and put it on. It might be a bit early for Halloween for you wonderful lot, but it’s never too early for Halloween in the CherryCherryBeauty den.

We were wondering to ourselves, what happened to the stars of Hocus Pocus? Where are they now? What are they doing with themselves? Well, if you’re wondering that too, you’re about to find out. We’ve done some research. We’ve found out what the stars of Hocus Pocus are up to these days. Are you eager to find out? You’d better make yourself comfortable …

Released in 1993, Hocus Pocus has become one of the most popular Halloween movies of all time. A story about three witches that come back to life in the modern world, it’s as funny as it is spooky. There are even times where you feel the need to shed a little tear. The three Sanderson sisters, Sarah, Mary, and Winifred were played by Bette Midler, KathyNajimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker. In fact, that seems like a pretty good place to start …

Bette Midler

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We all know who Bette Midler is, right? She played Winnie, or Winifred Sanderson, in Hocus Pocus. You know the one — the one with all the power and that book. She actually started her career on Broadway, and it was in the seventies that she started singing, causing her to rise in prominence.

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During the 1970’s, Bette Midler released a whopping 14 studio albums and has even made the move into Hollywood. Her debut was in The Rose, a movie that was released in 1979. At the Golden Globes, she won ‘Best Actress’. She’s won plenty more awards since then, including a couple of Tony Awards, three Emmy’s, three more Golden Globes (bringing her total to four), and also three Grammy Awards. That’s before we mention the 30 million records she’s reportedly sold across the globe. Her most recent work includes the 2017 movie, Freak Show, also starring Abigail Breslin and Larry Pine.

Kathy Najimy

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Mary Sanderson was played by Kathy Najimy, an actress also known for her part in Sister Act, alongside Whoopi Goldberg. Let’s be honest about this, she was also the funniest witch, with her silly humour. A comedienne as well as an actress, it was in the 1990’s that her career first kicked off. Her first big role was Sister Act in 1992. You may recall that she played Sister Mary Patrick and we loved her. There was the subsequent follow-up in 1993, and the same year bought Hocus Pocus.

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There have been a string of movies since then, although nothing since 2015. She was in 1998’s Bride of Chucky, as well as lending her voice to another Mary in Wall-E. She is also now very well known for her charity work, especially with animal rights organisations. Working closely with PETA, Kathy appeared on Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off in 2013, choosing to make only vegetarian dishes. A year later, the organisation even awarded her the ‘Compassionate Action Award’.

Sarah Jessica Parker

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If you don’t know what Sarah Jessica Parker has been up to since her Hocus Pocus days, there’s a good chance you’ve been living under a rock. She was, of course, Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, the ultimate shoe-lovin’ gal. She has since released her own shoe range too called the SJP Collection. There have been a few celebrity fragrances too. All of which we think smell lovely. Quite apt really, seeing as the 2005 perfume release was actually called “Lovely”.

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Sarah played the youngest of the Sanderson witch sisters, and the flirtiest too! (We re-watched it recently and she’s definitely flirty!) She’s been chasing the limelight from an early age too, starting on Broadway at just 11 years old. That was before she made the leap to movies, starting with a relatively unknown movie in 1983. Then, there was Footloose in 1984.

Omri Katz

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Omri Katz is now a 41-year-old retired actor, but in Hocus Pocus he played Max Dennison, the teenage ‘hunk’ who saves the day. Admittedly, he started all the problems in the first place by lighting that candle, but we’ll just forget about that for a moment …

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He’s done a lot since his Hocus Pocus days, although he is retired now. He actually started his career in Dallas, back in 1983. He had the main role of John Ross Ewing III for a whopping 149 episodes. Since then, there have been brief spells in General Hospital and Freaks and Geeks.

Thora Birch

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Max Dennison’s younger sister, Dani, was played by now 25-year-old Thora Birch. This American actress originally made her movie debut in the 1988 movie, Purple People Eater. You could go as far as to say that Thora was very much a child star, with a number of commercials under her belt. There was also the TV show, Day By Day.

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Since Hocus Pocus in 1993, there have been a number of movies, such as Ghost World, The Hole, Dungeons & Dragons, and American Beauty. 2017 saw the release of two movies, one called Above Suspicion, a thriller also starring Johnny Knoxville. The other is called The Etruscan Smile, originally titled “La sonrisa etrusca” in Spanish.

Vinessa Shaw

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Allison was the girl that Max Dennison had his eyes on in Hocus Pocus. She was played by Vinessa Shaw, a 41-year-old American actress also known for movies such as Eyes Wide Shut in 1999 and 40 Days and 40 Nights with Josh Hartnett in 2002. There have been a number of movie appearances over the years, with a number of rather larger movies under her belt. These include The Hills Have Eyes, Stag Night, Big Miracle, and even this year, Clinical. This is a thriller/horror Netflix movie with Vinessa playing the main part.

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It was actually in 1981 that Vinessa first made her acting debut, in another horror film (this time a slasher) called Home Sweet Home. It was after that the TV roles began to pour in. She’s popped up in quite a few of those too – CSI: NY, House, Murder, She Wrote. She even a regular part in Ray Donovan back in 2014.

Sean Murray

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We had a little bit of a crush on the cat from Hocus Pocus, Thackery Binx, in his human form. He was played by this fine chap – Sean Murray. He’s now a 39-year-old actor known for shows such as NCIS, in which he plays Special Agent Timothy McGee.

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Life has been relatively quiet for the actor, but he has popped up in a string of TV shows, such as ER, Harts of the West, and JAG. You may also recall seeing him in This Boy’s Life in 1993 (the same year as Hocus Pocus) though. In that, he starred alongside Hollywood greats, Leonard DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.

Doug Jones

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Billy Butcherson was originally Winnie’s lover in Hocus Pocus. He also turned good to save the day, in the end, clearly knowing which side his bread was buttered. (So they say.) Played by Doug Jones, an actor, and contortionist (who knew?), he’s a big name in the world of special effects and scary or gory movies. He’s particularly known for playing Abe Sapian in both Hellboy and Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

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Of course, more recently, some of you may recall that Doug Jones played the part of Silver Surfer in the 2007 hit, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, as well as appearing in Crimson Peak in 2015, and Ouija: Origin of Evil a year later.

Charles Rocket

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Charles Rocket is sadly dead now, but many of you may recall that he played Max and Dani’s father in Hocus Pocus, as well as a host of other movies. Dumb and Dumber in 1994 was a particular stand-out one to watch, and there have been a number of TV shows along the way too, including The X-Files, Star Trek: Voyager, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and more.

Stephanie Faracy

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65-year-old Stephanie Faracy played the mother of Max and Dani Dennison in the movie, but Hocus Pocus isn’t the only movie that this actress is known for. Most recently you may have spotted her in the ABC drama series, How to Get Away with Murder. She also had a regular role on Devious Maids too, also for ABC.

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Let’s not forget the appearances in hit shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, How I Met Your Mother, and even Will and Grace too. It’s safe to say that she’s done pretty well for herself, and that’s before you even look at her movie career, which includes 2005’s Flightplan.

Larry Bagby

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He wanted us to call him “Ice” but his real name was Ernie. He was played by Larry Bagby, a musician and actor well known for parts in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Walk the Line, and also The Young and The Restless.

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In the latter, he played Frank Ellis for 12 episodes. He seems to have been rather quiet since around 2015, but there’s always Hocus Pocus to fall back on, of course!

Tobias Jelinek

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He played the long-haired blonde kid in Hocus Pocus and has actually starred in quite a few other things over the years since then too. He popped up in the 1997 movie, Batman & Robin, in case you didn’t know, and he’s also popped up in the likes of The Mindy Project, The Originals, and even Stranger Things! We can’t wait for the second series of that.

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Tobias’ most recent work includes the TV show, American Woman, which should be airing soon. There are also a few movies . The Cloud, for example, is said to be a thriller, conspiracy movie that will unfold one of the biggest mysteries of the twentieth century.

So … What do you think? Are there any surprises there? We were quite shocked to learn that the last one on the list of stars of Hocus Pocus: Then & Now, Tobias Jelinek, was in Stranger Things. We didn’t even recognise him.

We’re off to watch Hocus Pocus now. What Halloween movies are you going to be watching this year? And what will you be dressing up as? If you need a little inspiration, don’t forget to have a little look around the ‘Halloween’ category of CherryCherryBeauty. Who knows what weird and wonderful ideas and looks you might uncover …