Apparently, Grumpy Old Men of 1993 was one of the best things to see on TV in that era. The movie brought together A-list cast members to tell the story of two grumpy old men – John Gustafson (played by Jack Lemmon) and Max Goldman (played by Walter Matthau) who have been feuding with each other over half a century of their lives for various reasons. Their rivalry first began when John ended up marrying Max’s high school lover much to the angst of the latter. Both men who grew up as childhood friends and next-door neighbors in Wabasha, Minnesota turned to be enemies; insulting and pulling cruel jokes on each other.
Things got further complicated between the men when a new lady – Ariel Truax (played by Ann-Margret) moved into their neighborhood and they both fell in love with her. As they went against each other in the American romantic comedy film, Ariel fell for John which Max took to be John stealing his rightful woman for the second time. John later backed off from Ariel, but as Max began to court Ariel, and John has no one to call his own, in addition to other myriads of problems he was having, he fell into depression and equally suffered a heart attack. However, while he was on his sickbed clinging faintly to life, he reconciled with his childhood friend and later had a full recovery.
The story witnessed several twists which ended up seeing John marry Ariel while Max went off to find his own date. Meanwhile, the two men already had kids from their previous marriages who have grown to be adults. The film ended with John’s daughter Melanie Gustafson (played by Daryl Hannah) starting a new romantic affair with Jacob Goldman (played by Kevin Pollak), Max’s son.
Apart from the already mentioned five Grumpy Old Men cast members, the rest of the stars who made this wonderful film include Burgess Meredith as John Gustafson Sr., Ossie Davis as Chuck (Bait Shop Owner), Buck Henry as Elliott Snyder (IRS Agent), Christopher McDonald as Mike, Joe Howard as Pharmacist and Steve Cochran as Weatherman.
Here’s What ‘Grumpy Old Men’ Cast Members Are Currently Doing
Before Grumpy Old Men, Jack already had a burgeoning career in the entertainment industry as an actor. He had his first film role in The Lady Takes a Sailor (1949) as a Plasterer; an uncredited bit part in the movie. After this, he went on to star in several other movies and television series like Mister Roberts (1955), The Odd Couple (1968) and The Odd Couple II (1998), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Tuesdays with Morrie (1999). His last acting work was The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) where he played the character of Narrator / Hardy Greaves.
Jack Lemmon died on June 27, 2001, from complications resulting from bladder cancer, a disease he developed 2 years before his death.
Just like his fellow Grumpy Old Men star Jack Lemmon, Walter is no more. He had an illustrious acting career that spanned from 1944 to the year 2000. Within this time, he acted in films like Charade (1963), The Odd Couple (1968) and its sequel in 1998, Grumpier Old Men (1995), Against Her Will: An Incident in Baltimore (1992) while his last work was in Hanging Up (2000).
The whole tussle between Grumpy Old Men cast members – John Gustafson Jr. and Max Goldman was all about Ariel Truax which was played by the pretty Swedish-born American multi-talented entertainer Ann-Margret. Unlike her co-stars, Ann is very much still around and waxing stronger in the acting industry.
More recently, she has starred in films like Lucky (2011) as Pauline Keller, Going in Style (2017) as Annie, Papa (2018) as Barbara and many others. She also received an Emmy Award in 2010 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in Law & Order: SVU, as well as the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival – Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
In Grumpy Old Men, one of the characters whose role was quite decisive in one of the many scenes he appeared in was Oliver Burgess Meredith. He played the character of John Gustafson Sr, John’s father who intervened when John and Max were itching to tear each other apart because of Ariel.
Sadly, Burgess Meredith died on September 9, 1997, 4 years after starring in Grumpy Old Men. Before his death, however, he had an illustrious entertainment career on screen and radio which began in 1929 and stopped in 1996. Some of his acting works after the Grumpy Old Men include Camp Nowhere (1994) as Fein, Gloria (as Dr. Adams, 1982–1983) and Rocky Balboa (2006) as Mickey Goldmill.
Daryl Christine Hannah as a cast member of Grumpy Old Men played the character of Melanie Gustafson, John’s daughter who ended up being a relationship with Max’s son Jacob Goldman. Needless to say, her role in the film stands out as one of what made the film a ready mention in any list of the best 90’s American romantic comedy films of all time.
Aside from her acting career which she began with the film The Fury in 1978 as Pam, Daryl is also a vocal American activist and is at the forefront of some discourses on the environment and how we tend to it. Back to her acting career, the Grumpy Old Men star has recently acted in films like Papa (2018) as Sarah Freidman and the television series Sense8 (2015-2018) as Angelica Turing in 17 episodes.
The role of Melanie Gustafson couldn’t have been complete in the film without Jacob Goldman which was acted by Kevin Elliot Pollak. Similarly, Just like his love interest in the film, Kevin has also been doing quite well in his career. Aside from acting, he is equally noted as an impressionist and comedian.
Kevin has lately starred in some film works like Goalie, and Benjamin both in 2019. On TV, he has played several characters on shows like NCIS (2018) as Albert Hathaway in episode: “Keep Your Friends Close”, The Simpsons (2018) as the voice of Ross in episode: “3 Scenes Plus a Tag from a Marriage” and as himself in The Comedy Central Roast (2018) in episode: “Bruce Willis.”
Ossie Davis who originally went by Raiford Chatman Davis is one of the Grumpy Old Men cast members who are no more. He began his entertainment career in theatre in 1939 in Joy Exceeding Glory and had his last performance on screen in the documentary film A Trumpet at the Walls of Jericho (2005).
Just like most of his fellow cast of Grumpy Old Men, Ossie Davis was a celebrated artist of his time. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1994 and alongside his wife (Ruby Dee), Ossie received the NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame, National Medal of Arts, Kennedy Center Honors.
On February 4, 2005, Ossie was found dead in his hotel room in Miami. Though what caused his death was not officially stated, it is believed that he probably died as a result of heart problems which he suffered from.
In the American romantic comedy film, the character of Henry Zuckerman/Buck Henry – Elliott Snyder (an IRS Agent) was a pain in the ass for John Gustafson Jr. While John was struggling to keep, Max, his childhood friend turned enemy away from their joint love interest – Ariel, Elliott Snyder was hot on his pursuit of John as a result of the huge amount of money the latter owed in back taxes and penalties totaling $57,000. Buck played his role so well that whenever his best films are mentioned, Grumpy Old Men will readily make the list.
Other movies and TV works he has acted in include The Bridge (1959), The Graduate (1967), The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Murphy Brown (1980), I’m Losing You (1999) and Franklin & Bash (2013). In addition to acting, Buck is also a comedian, television and film director.
Though Christopher is not famously known to many people as one of the cast members of the Grumpy Old Men, his role as Mike, the husband of Melanie Gustafson whom she later divorced can’t be ignored.
After starring in Grumpy Old Men, the American actor played several other roles in films and television series like Best of the Best 3: No Turning Back (1994) as Jack Banning, Requiem for a Dream (2000) as Tappy Tibbons, Rumor Has It… (2005) as Roger McManus, Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2006–2011) as Evan Corman/Declan Pace in 2 episodes and The Real Bros of Simi Valley (2018–2019) as Cal Surf in 5 episodes. He still remains an actor and we hope to see him in more roles.
Steve Cochran now works as a radio broadcaster. This is, however, a career line he has been more focused on even before he played the role of a TV weatherman in the Grumpy Old Men film. Aside from his radio show hosting job with WGN in Chicago, Steve is also a comedian.
Joe Howard is by no means the least of the Grumpy Old Men cast where he acted as a pharmacist. He began his acting career in the year 1980 and over the course of the years, Joe starred in films and TV shows like Square One TV’s Mathnet (from 1987 to 1992) The Powers of Matthew Star (1983), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999), Anger Management (2003), Un-broke: What You Need To Know About Money (2010), and Lost on Purpose (2012) being his last credited acting role. Not much has been heard about him lately.