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Road House Cast Then and Now (1989 – 2023)

Despite not doing particularly well at the box office or being critically acclaimed, “Road House” has become a classic of the 1980s. Despite having a flimsy plot, the movie boasts a gold mine of fantastic actors and actresses. Join FactVerse as we take a look at the evolution of the Road House cast since the movie’s debut in 1989.

Patrick Swayze

In the thriller, Swayze portrays the highly sought-after bouncer, John Dalton. Initially, he didn’t think of his responsibilities at Double Deuce as being any different from those at his previous jobs. Suddenly, everything becomes personal following the life-threatening situation involving his lover and the death of his old friend, Wade.

Swayze’s career took off in the late 1980s and the early 1990s because of successes like the action classic “Point Break,” the blockbuster road comedy “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything,” and the supernatural romance “Ghost.” However, his career was derailed in the late 1990s when he fractured both legs while filming the HBO film “Letters from a Killer.” In addition to that, he had a terrible drinking problem. Due to those, he had a few minor appearances in the 2000s. Among them was “Donnie Darko,” a 2001 film in which he played a motivational speaker who turned out to be a pervert.

In his last role, Swayze played Charles Barker, an experienced F.B.I. agent, in the short-lived A&E crime drama “The Beast.” Shortly after finishing the first episode of the series, Swayze received a stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Despite that, he was still determined to act for as long as he could. Unfortunately, Swayze passed away from the condition in September 2009, at 57 years old.

Kelly Lynch

Road House saw Kelly Lynch, who played Dr. Elizabeth Clay, star opposite Swayze. She is portrayed as Dalton’s romantic lead after treating his injuries. However, she gets into problems due to Dalton and experiences a close call with death.

In the late 1980s, Lynch enjoyed a successful run on her own. She became well-known for the first time when she played Kerry Coughlin in the 1988 movie Cocktail. She appeared in “Drugstore Cowboy” after “Road House,” for which she received one of her two Independent Spirit Award nominations. In 1992, it was reported that she had turned down a role in the movie “Basic Instinct.” However, considering that Basic Instinct established Sharon Stone as a worldwide celebrity, her decision to decline the role was a big blunder. Since then, she has played a number of important roles, such as the evil Vivian in the movie version of “Charlie’s Angels” and Kit Porter’s (Pam Grier) love interest in “The L Word” on Showtime. In addition, she played a major role in Stephen King’s 2017 American crime thriller “Mr. Mercedes.” More recently, she gave a fleeting performance in Sofia Coppola’s drama-comedy “On the Rocks.” During “The Rich Eisen Show” in 2017, Lynch stated that filming for “Road House” was one of the best moments she had ever experienced.

Sam Elliott

Elliott portrayed Wade Garrett, Dalton’s buddy, father figure, and one of the few figures in the movie who is utterly aware of Dalton’s background and the reasons it haunts him.

Elliott had a considerable following by 1989 because of his roles in The Quick and the Dead, Gunsmoke, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

He portrayed Virgil Earp in the adored Western flick “Tombstone” four years after “Road House,” and six years later, he played the role of “The Stranger” in “The Big Lebowski,” which the Coen brothers produced. He made sure to make an impression early on in the superhero movie craze of the twenty-first century by portraying Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross in the 2003 film “Hulk” and the titular hero’s teacher in the 2007 film “Ghost Rider.” Additionally, he has had a great career as a voice actor, especially in commercials for well-known brands like Coors, I.B.M., and Dodge. Elliott was in his 70s during the 2010s, but he showed no signs of slowing down. He started performing a lot more television work, which included frequent appearances on “The Ranch” and recurrent roles on the Netflix comedy “Grace and Frankie” as well as “Parks and Recreation.” For his role as Bobby Maine in 2018’s “A Star Is Born,” Elliott received his first-ever Academy Award nomination.

Ben Gazzara

Ben Gazzara portrayed the vicious and affluent Brad Wesley. Wesley is basically the local crime lord in the Missouri town of Jasper. He likes to get money from the business owners in town and scare his neighbors’ horses by flying planes low over them.

Prior to joining “Road House,” Gazzara had a lengthy and impressive career. One of his most famous appearances was as the villain in “Road House,” but he is probably best known for costarring with Jimmy Stewart in the 1959 masterpiece “Anatomy of a Murder.”

His portrayal of Jackie Treehorn in the crime comedy “The Big Lebowski” also stands out among his many impressive acting roles. Midway through the 1990s, he began starring in approximately five films each year in addition to his television appearances. Sadly, he passed away in 2012 at the age of 81 from pancreatic cancer, the same illness that killed his co-star Patrick Swayze.

Keith David

Keith portrayed Ernie, one of the rookie bartenders at Double Deuce. Strangely, although David was already a well-known actor by 1989, he had very little screen time and few lines. Notwithstanding that, Notwithstanding that, he was paid handsomely for the role. He became well-known thanks to roles in movies like “They Live,” “Platoon,” and “The Thing.” David hasn’t slowed down in the slightest since the release of “Road House.” He has made a name for himself as a voice actor, and he also keeps working in live-action movies and T.V. shows, like the critically acclaimed Oprah Winfrey TV drama “Greenleaf.” He has provided his voice for a wide variety of projects, including Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” “Rick and Morty,” the first game in the “Fallout” series, and countless documentaries.

Marshall R. Teague

Even though Brad Wesley is the main bad guy in “Road House,” he physically poses little danger to Dalton. Instead, Wesley keeps the vicious Jimmy, played by Marshall R. Teague, close by to fulfill that job. Jimmy dies in the film’s most fatally iconic scene, when he engages Dalton in a one-on-one fight that ends with Dalton ripping his throat. He made numerous television appearances before and after his role in “Road House,” including the first season of “Walker, Texas Ranger.” On that show, he took on the roles of six different characters, appearing in both the season opener and the season finale. He also had a recurring role in the science fiction series “Babylon 5,” primarily playing the alien Ta’Lon.

Kathleen Wilhoite

Even though Dalton’s romantic interests later shift, when he enters the Double Deuce, Kathleen Wilhoite’s character Carrie, a waitress, notices him immediately. Carrie isn’t a significant character in “Road House,” but she manages to serve as both a waitress and an entertainer when she performs the song “Knock on Wood” live.

In the 1980s, Wilhoite’s name was well-known in typically supporting roles. However, things started to look up when she was cast as Charles Bronson’s co-lead in the 1986 movie “Murphy’s Law.” Her acting career persisted after “Road House,” and she went on to play one-off and recurring parts in T.V. shows, including “Gilmore Girls,” “L.A. Law,” and most recently, “Yellowstone” and “The OA.”

Acting is not the only form of creativity that Wilhoite engages in. She is a singer and composer who has released two studio albums: “Shiva” (2000) and “Pitch Like a Girl” (1987). Her original song “Wish We Never Met” was featured in “Consequences,” a Season 3 episode of the T.V. series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” as well as other movies and T.V. shows like “Cop Rock,” “Ally McBeal,” and “Murphy’s Law.”

Jeff Healey

Cody, a blind jazz and blues guitarist, is portrayed by the late Jeff Healey. By the time he appeared in “Road House,” Healey was no stranger to the entertainment industry. Healey had a rare eye disease called retinoblastoma, which took away his vision even before he could start walking. He managed to start playing the guitar when he was three by developing a unique technique. A month after “Road House” came out, “Angel Eyes,” one of his band’s singles, debuted at No. 85 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and eventually went all the way to No. 5.

Tragically, Healey’s battle with cancer was not over. He was 41 years old when he passed away in 2008 from sarcoma. However, Healey continued producing a large amount of music until his passing. Healey made more than 20 albums, both on his own and with his band, the Jeff Healey Band. Some of them came out during his life, and others came out after he died. For instance, “Mess of Blues” came out only a few weeks following his death.

Julie Michaels

Julie Michaels portrays Brad Wesley’s girlfriend, Denise. To Wesley, she is nothing but a tool at his disposal to intimidate Dalton.

Since her appearance in “Road House,” Michaels has almost certainly appeared on both large and small screens, though you may not have recognized her in many situations. Michaels has kept acting over the years. Her most recent appearance was in Paul Leyden’s 2020 film “Chick Fight,” in which she played Malin Kerman’s mother, an underground boxer. Though she frequently appears on camera, she usually stands in for other actors rather than taking the lead. Since the 1980s, Michaels has worked as a stuntwoman for actresses like Pamela Anderson as well as for movies like “Rush Hour 3,” “Charmed,” “V.I.P.,” and many more. She has also been credited as a stunt coordinator for a wide variety of films and television productions.

Her work as a stunt coordinator on the set of “Shameless” earned her a 2014 Primetime Emmy Award nomination. In 2017, she received a nomination for the same prize, this time it was for her involvement in the action series “SEAL Team.”

Gary Hudson

The sarcastic Steve, played by Gary Hudson, is one of the bouncers at Double Deuce that you quickly come to detest. Fortunately, he gets the beating of a lifetime after Dalton discovers him in a lewd act with a minor he had sneaked into the club.

Though “Road House” is still among the movies for which Hudson is most known, he indeed has a prolific career. He has held roles in several famous recurring TV series, like “Smallville” and “The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.” He has taken pleasure in special episodes of well-known series like “NCIS,” “Taken,” and “Suits,” among others. In the follow-up, “Fifty Shades Freed,” he appears as Elena’s ex-husband.

It appears as though Hudson might be pursuing a career as a voice actor in his senior years. Several well-known video games feature his voice. He gives voices to several characters in games like “Fallout 76” and “Red Dead Redemption II.”

There you have it. It’s now time to hear from you. Which other Road House cast member do you remember?

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