Then and Now: Cast of ‘Sister Act’
Released in 1992, ‘Sister Act’ starred Whoopi Goldberg as a lounge singer from Reno, put in protective custody and forced to stay at a convent, where she must pretend to be a nun to evade a dangerous mob boss. The film was a smash hit and inspired a sequel, released the following year, and a musical that went on to debut on Broadway in 2011. 22 years later, we revisit the cast of this beloved classic comedy and see what they’re up to now.
Whoopi Goldberg, Deloris Van Cartier/Sister Mary Clarence
Then: Whoopi Goldberg played Deloris Van Cartier, a Reno lounge singer who witnesses an execution ordered by her mob boss boyfriend. Placed under protective custody, Delores flees to a convent where she must pretend to be a nun. Goldberg was a comedian who had given acclaimed performances in ‘The Color Purple’ and ‘Ghost.’
Now: Goldberg has since appeared in the films ‘Made in America,’ ‘Boys on the Side,’ ‘Girl, Interrupted,’ and voiced Shenzi the hyena in ‘The Lion King.’ She played the character of Guinan in ‘Star Trek Generations’ and ‘Star Trek Nemesis.’ She also voiced the character of Stretch in ‘Toy Story 3,’ and has appeared in the Tyler Perry films ‘Madea Goes to Jail’ and ‘For Colored Girls.’ Since 2007, Goldberg has been a co-host on the daytime talk show ‘The View,’ and has also had recent roles on ‘The Middle’ and ‘Glee.’
Maggie Smith, Reverend Mother
Then: Acclaimed English actress Maggie Smith played Reverend Mother, who runs the convent and is dismayed when Sister Mary Clarence gives the choir a gospel and oldies R&B infused makeover. Smith, a veteran of stage and screen, had previously been nominated for six Academy Awards, and won Oscars for Best Actress for her role in 1969’s ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ and Best Supporting Actress for her role in 1978’s ‘California Suite,’ making her one of only six actresses to win the award in both categories.
Now: Smith was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 for her services in the performing arts, which have included roles in ‘Hook,’ ‘Gosford Park,’ and playing Professor McGonagall in the ‘Harry Potter’ films. She recently appeared in ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,’ and will star in its upcoming sequel, set for release in 2015. Since 2010 she’s played Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham on the hit BBC series ‘Downton Abbey.’
Kathy Najimy, Sister Mary Patrick
Then: Kathy Najimy, who previously appeared in films like ‘Soapdish’ and ‘The Fisher King,’ played the always jolly Sister Mary Patrick.
Now: Najimy has also starred in the films ‘Hocus Pocus,’ ‘Hope Floats,’ and ‘The Wedding Planner.’ She co-starred on the Kirstie Alley sitcom ‘Veronica’s Closet,’ which ran from 1997 to 2000, but Najimy is best known for providing the voice to Peggy Hill on Mike Judge’s long-running animated series ‘King of the Hill,’ which ended in 2010. She’s also lent her voice to ‘Wall-E’ and ‘American Dad,’ and has recently appeared in the films ‘The Guilt Trip’ and ‘A Madea Christmas.’
Wendy Makkena, Sister Mary Robert
Then: Wendy Makkena played the meek Sister Mary Robert, who, much to everyone’s surprise, has an incredible singing voice. Makkena was a relative newcomer who had previously starred in the film ‘Eight Men Out’ and had a role on the soap ‘Santa Barbara.’ And no, that wasn’t her singing voice in the film — that was Andrea Robinson, a professional singer who has performed for actresses in several films.
Now: Makkena has only appeared in a handful of films, including ‘Camp Nowhere,’ ‘Air Bud,’ and ‘State of Play.’ She’s found more success on television, starring in the short-lived ‘A League of Their Own’ TV series, and with recurring roles on ‘Judging Amy’ and ‘NCIS.’ She’s guest-starred on several shows, including ‘Chuck,’ ‘House,’ and ‘CSI,’ and she starred on the short-lived Fox series ‘The Mob Doctor.’
Harvey Keitel, Vince LaRocca
Then: Harvey Keitel played Vince LaRocca, Deloris/Sister Mary Clarence’s mob boss boyfriend in Reno, who puts a hit out on her when she witnesses a murder. Keitel was known for his tough, seedy guy roles in films like ‘Mean Streets,’ ‘Taxi Driver,’ and ‘Reservoir Dogs.’
Now: Keitel reunited with ‘Reservoir Dogs’ director Quentin Tarantino for a roles in ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ (which Tarantino wrote and starred in). He’s also starred in the films ‘The Piano,’ ‘Cop Land,’ ‘Little Nicky,’ and ‘Red Dragon.’ He appeared in Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ and recently reunited with Anderson for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel.’ He can also be seen in the upcoming film ‘The Congress’ with Robin Wright.
Bill Nunn, Lieutenant Eddie Souther
Then: Bill Nunn played Lieutenant Eddie Souther, who helps Deloris into protective custody. Nunn was previously known for roles in ‘Do the Right Thing’ and ‘New Jack City.’
Now: Nunn went on to have supporting roles in films like ‘Canadian Bacon,’ ‘He Got Game,’ and ‘Kiss the Girls.’ He appeared in all three of Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ movies, and recently starred in the 2012 film ‘Won’t Back Down.’ He also appears in the new USA series ‘Sirens,’ based on the British show of the same name.
Jim Beaver, Clarkson
Then: Jim Beaver played Clarkson, one of the detectives on the Deloris/Sister Mary Clarence case. Beaver previously had supporting roles in several movies, including ‘Silkwood’ and ‘Nighthawks.’
Now: After playing minor roles in films like ‘Magnolia,’ ‘Joy Ride,’ and ‘Adaptation,’ Beaver landed the first role for which he’d become best known: playing prospector Whitney Ellsworth on the HBO series ‘Deadwood.’ When that show was cut short in 2006, he landed the role of Bobby Singer on ‘Supernatural,’ the long-running CW series, which is now entering its 10th season. He’s also had roles on ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Justified,’ and appears in the upcoming Guillermo del Toro film ‘Crimson Peak.’