There are not a lot of films that are as memorable and iconic as Starship Troopers. In case you did not know, it was actually an adaptation of a book with the same title. At first, it was considered to be a commercial failure. Even though it did not fare very well at the box office, the movie has seen success as a cult classic. But what has the actors and actresses been up to lately? Some of them went on to enjoy huge careers, but others did not eclipse their roles in the movie. Let us find out which stars made it big and which ones decided to simply lie low.
Casper Van Dien As Johnny Rico
The movie simply would not have been the same if it did not have an all-American leading actor. Casper Van Dien was the perfect person to play Johnny Rico thanks to his good looks, undeniable charm, and “good old boy” nature. The actor succeeded at portraying the Arachnid slayer as a dedicated and focused man who had the bravery and fidelity expected of a soldier. On top of that, he gave the character a lot of depth, heart, and humor. It is no wonder the viewers fell in love with him!
Casper Van Dien Today
Even though fans adored the actor in the movie, his acting career did not take off as expected. He got to star in Tarzan and the Lost City, but it was a flop. The same goes for his return to the Starship Troopers franchise in the poorly-received third installment. After trying to get back into the groove of things, he finally landed a worthwhile role. He snagged the role of Johnny Cage in season two of Mortal Kombat: Legacy! Not unlike Casper himself, the character is constantly looking for ways to prove himself and hoping to snag another shot at stardom.
Brenda Strong As Captain Deladier
This actress portrayed Captain Deladier, Carmen’s boss in the fleet. The character is great at coordinating with the team and even saves the ship on a number of occasions. Her leadership skills are truly unparalleled as she guides the crew with zeal. Sadly, she dies prematurely in the film. As proof that she is a caring leading, her dying words had been an order to Zander Barcalow and Carmen Ibanez as they stayed by her side. That is, until she told them to “abandon the ship” so that they can get to safety.
Brenda Strong Today
Her acting career was consistent and steady even after she was in Starship Troopers. She starred in Desperate Housewives and even received two Emmy nominations for her performance during its run of 179 episodes. In case you did not know, she played Mary Alice Young in the soap opera. Aside from her work in the show, she was also in Fear the Walking Dead and Supergirl. Outside of the aforementioned projects, she has worked on yoga therapy videos that were aimed at couples and women trying to conceive as well.
Amy Smart As Pilot Cadet Stack Lumbrezer
Even though she only had a small role in the movie, Amy Smart is still worth mentioning. She played Stack Lumbrezer, who is a friend and roommate of Carmen Ibanez. The character is a dedicated young trainer who is only trying to reach her goals. She is serious about her draining and copilots alongside Carmen Ibanez without any problems. We also got to see how perfectly she does her work and even gets promoted to lieutenant and then stationed as a pilot aboard the new Athena.
Amy Smart Today
Once she was done with the movie, her acting career did not grow immensely right away. In fact, it only really took off in 2001 after she appeared in a comedy called Road Trip. Her stardom continued to grow when she appeared in Rat Race and then an indie adaptation of Macbeth known as Scotland, PA. Aside from these projects she worked on two hit films as well. She got the chance to star in The Butterfly Effect opposite Ashton Kutcher and then in Starsky and Hutch.
Blake Lindsley As Katrina McIntire
As Katrina McIntyre, Blake Lindsley played a girl-next-door type who was super timid. She did not dream of becoming a soldier and only went to the Federal Service to get a license to have kids and begin her very own family. Aside from that, she seems to have a crush on the lead character. After all, she is visibly heartbroken as he is getting whipped after the death of Breckinridge. Unfortunately, she goes on the die in the movie at the hands of a warrior bug while trying to escape the battle.
Blake Lindsley Today
After working on Starship Troopers, Blake Lindsley had a couple of small roles in various big screen projects. Among other things, she was in Coastlines, Mulholland Drive, Inside Me, and Coastlines. She made her debut by appearing in more than 18 TV shows such as Star Trek. She also worked on a video game known as Star Trek: Klingon Academy. In 2010, the actress tied the knot with Stephen Nemeth and quit acting later that year.
Neil Patrick Harris As Carl Jenkins
By the time Neil Patrick Harris appeared in the film, he was already a recognizable face. After all, he played Doogie Howser in the TV show of the same name during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. The project was an excellent opportunity for him to show off his acting skills as an adult. According to his fans, it was an important early role for him. When he was in Star Trek, the actor was cast to play the character who not only finds out about the existence but also the weaknesses of Brain Bug.
Neil Patrick Harris Today
The movie might not have exactly boosted his career, but we can’t deny that he did an excellent job at starring in it. We wonder if the psychic abilities of his character helped him figure out that he will become more famous by playing Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother. It was this role that propelled him to Hollywood stardom. Aside from this, he also played Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events and Desi Collings in Gone Girl. The actor has enjoyed a successful career by acting on the stage, the TV, and the big screen.
Jake Busey As Ace Levy
The son of Gary Busey, was there any doubt that Jake would become a star? The actor spent a good chunk of his childhood on film sets and eventually discovered that he loves acting. He made his debut by starring in Straight Time in 1978. Across the ‘80s and ‘90s, he landed even more roles. In 1997, he appeared in sci-fi movies such as Starship Troopers and Contact. In the former, he played Ace Levy, a smart-mouthed soldier who joined Johnny Rico in a couple of battles.
Jake Busey Today
Over the years, Jake Busey has continued to see success as an actor. However, he is probably best known for his screen roles in 1997. At any rate, he went on to appear in more TV shows and films after the sci-fi film. He has portrayed Aiden Tanner in From Dusk till Dawn: The Series, Sean Keyes in The Predator and Acid Man in Freakish. On top of that, he made a couple of short yet memorable appearances in L.A.’s Finest and Stranger Things as well.
Tami-Adrian George As Djana’D
Diana’D was brought to life by Tami-Adrian George. In the movie, she was a recruit in the mobile infantry who was pretty ambitious. Once she was done with training, she also planned to be a politician. People like to blame her for the death of Breckenridge, her fellow trainee. A shock from the training beam caused her to shoot and end his life. She felt so guilty about the incident that he ended up leaving the training program completely. Unfortunately, it was the last time that she was seen in the movie.
Tami-Adrian George Today
Even though Tami-Adrian George did well in the movie, she pretty much disappeared from the acting world after it. Over the years, she has only ever appeared in the credits of two other films. One of them was a commercially successful film called Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. Many people thought that she would continue acting and eventually make a name for herself in the industry. However, she appears to have retired instead. Anyway, she is currently married to the man who played Breckinridge in the movie, Eric Bruskotter. It’s funny when life turns out that way, huh?
Clancy Brown As Sergeant Zim
We have a hard time imagining anyone else playing Sergeant Zim. Clancy Brown was the perfect choice with his figure, height, and deep voice! In Starship Troopers, he plays the tough man of Camp Currie who does not think twice about sacrificing himself if this is what it takes for him to fight the Bugs. In the end, he is able to finally capture the leader! Aside from this role, he also got to play Viking Lofgren in Bad Boys, Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption and Kurgan in Highlander.
Clancy Brown Today
After he saves the human race in the sci-fi film, the actor went on to enjoy a great career. Mind you, he continues to act to this day. He has taken on a lot of roles in both TV and film. Aside from that, he also lent his voice to various video game and cartoon characters like Lex Luthor in the DC Animated Universe, as well as Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants. He has an impressive filmography, but we are delighted to hear that he loves all of the characters regardless of how big or small the part is!
Dina Meyer As Dizzy Flores
We are sure that it was not easy to play the love interest of Johnny Rico in the film. Luckily, Dina Meyer had enough grit to play the part! She was able to strike the balance between “hopeless in love” and “tough as nails” as Isabella “Dizzy” Flores showed her willingness to follow him to the ends of the Earth. Even though the character dies in the first film, her star power had been so strong that it did not stop fans from speculating that she was going to return for the sequels somehow.
Dina Meyer Today
Unlike Casper Van Dien, the actress enjoyed more success after the film! Interestingly, she seemed to fare better in horror than anything else. Perhaps you remember her from the Saw series and The Evil Within. In the latter, she played yet another tough female lead. She has also worked on a number of TV shows such as Castle, CSI, and Friends. In case you were curious, the star continues to act to this day. She has yet to show us signs of slowing down!
Denise Richards As Carmen Ibanez
In the movie, Denise Richards played Carmen Ibanez. She is a high school fling of the main character but has a very different personality from Dizzy. While Dizzy goes after Johnny, he goes after Carmen! As a matter of fact, Johnny decides to sign up to be a military pilot after she does it first. In the end, he earns a rep as an Arachnid slayer. The actress did a great job of portraying a strong female character who was calm and unflappable. But above all, Carmen Ibanez is someone confident in her talents and abilities!
Denise Richards Today
Even though people thought that she was bound for stardom, the actress received a lot of flak for her roles after the movie. As a matter of fact, she eventually trickled out of the industry despite being cast to play a “Bond girl.” Her personal life eventually overtook her acting career. Nowadays, she seems to be focused on philanthropy as she lends a hand to a number of charities. She is now happily married to Aaron Phypers. The actress recently revealed that he is planning to adopt her youngest daughter!
Ungela Brockman As Corporal Birdie
Corporal Birdie was brought to life by Ungela Brockman. The Mobile Infantry trooper holds a lot of adoration and respect for Lieutenant Rasczak because he saved her life. She refuses to accept any badmouthing about him and even punches Ace after he mocks the officer in front of her. Sadly, she loses an arm and is saved once more by Rasczak. Johnny eventually earns her position. Later in the movie, the lead character fights and kills the Tanker Bug who is the cause of much of her misery!
Ungela Brockman Today
The actress is yet another person who pretty much vanished from show business after starring in Starship Troopers. Before the sci-fi movie, the actress played Angie in a 1995 movie called Showgirls. Even though it was a commercial and critical flop, it is one of her only two other roles. The other one is a comedy film called Mystery Men. Even though Starship Troopers did better than her earlier films, it marked her departure from the acting industry.
Seth Gilliam As Sugar Watkins
This brave and loyal Roughnecks soldier left quite an impression on the viewers of the movie even though he only appears halfway through. Sergeant Sugar Watkins serves Lt. Jean Rasczak with faith and loyalty. His courage had been the focal point of his character arc. Viewers are always sad when they have to say goodbye to this stoic character as he gives himself away while singlehandedly killing as many Warrior Bugs as he could get. Thanks to his sacrifice, Rico and Ace get the chance to escape and survive.
Seth Gilliam Today
The actor had been a pretty unknown name when he landed the role of Sugar Watkins in the movie. At the time, he only had small parts in five short films before this film. After appearing in Starship Troopers, his career took off. He eventually went on to star in critical and commercial successes such as Still Alice and Tar. However, his most prominent roles had been for TV shows such as The Good Wife, Law And Order, Bull, and Teen Wolf. He is probably most recognizable for his recurring role in Breaking Bad.
Patrick Muldoon As Zander Barcalow
In Starship Troopers, Patrick Muldoon played Zander Barcalow, a pilot on the Rodger Young when the vessel crashed on Planet P. He is the archrival of Johnny Rico since they both have feelings for Carmen. Across the movie, Barcalow fights tooth and nail with him for her affections. Even though he does not have the best rep for his relationship with the main character, it was fun to see him meet his doom. In the end, the Brain Bug more than made up for everything that he did in the movie.
Patrick Muldoon Today
The actor earned a successful leading man image in Hollywood. He appeared in a number of popular TV shows like Melrose Place and Days of Our Lives even before he was cast in Starship Troopers. The actor was able to maintain a foothold in Hollywood as a musician and TV star. He went on to star in Ice Spiders and Project Viper as well. When it comes to TV movies, you might have seen him in Fatal Acquittal and Chain of Command. If you are interested in listening to his band, it is called The Sleeping Masses.
Michael Ironside As Jean Rasczak
In the movie, Michael Ironside plays Jean Rasczak. We have already talked a little about this soldier early on. He is a sharp professor who teaches philosophy and has an amputated right arm. When the bugs attack the Earth, he is quick to take on the commander role. He is a very capable soldier and one of the bravest characters in the film. He eventually asks Rico to give him a swift death once he falls into the sand hole. Even though he is not happy about it, Rico agrees to grant him his last wish.
Michael Ironside Today
Even before he appeared in Starship Troopers, this actor was already established in the industry. We are glad to hear that he continued to enjoy success even after the film. When it comes to films, he often got a typecast to play a stoic hero or a tough villain. Michael Ironside has appeared in a number of commercial hits such as Total Recall, X-Men: First Class, and Top Gun. Aside from these films, the actor also had the opportunity to work on TV shows such as Sea Quest, The Flash, and ER.
Marshall Bell As General Owen
As General Owen, Marshall Bell played a cowardly general who is always there to provide some comic relief in a pretty serious movie. In Starship Troopers, he is a timid officer posted at Whiskey Outpost with a surprisingly authoritative and boastful attitude. Sadly, the outpost was mistakenly thought to be free from Arachnids. After an ambush that resulted in the loss of an officer, the Warrior Bugs found him. As he pleaded for mercy, a dead Hopper Bug crushed him and caused his death.
Marshall Bell Today
The truth is that General Owen is the sort of character that Marshall Bell usually plays. Thanks to his work on The Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, the actor was already pretty established in the industry. After starring in Starship Troopers, he went on to appear in a number of movies such as The Final Season, The Congressmen, and Bling Ring. His most recent role was in a 2020 romantic comedy called Love Is Love Is Love.
Eric Bruskotter As Breckinridge
Breckinridge was brought to life by Eric Bruskotter. He is a regular civilian before he signed up for the Federal Service in Mobile Infantry. He is a big and beefy trainee hailing from a family of farmers. Sadly, he is not exactly the brightest person in the group. While going through an intense training session, he deals with a helmet malfunction that results in him taking it off. Sadly, his demise happens by complete accident when Diana’D ends up pulling the trigger at him. Rico is punished heavily for his death.
Eric Bruskotter Today
The truth is that Eric Bruskotter already had an impressive filmography even before the film! Among others, he appeared on the screen in Nobody’s Perfect, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Can’t Buy Me Love. Unfortunately, he eventually experienced a drought. Breckinridge was actually the last commercial hit that he has worked on to this day. In fact, the actor only appeared in five more films before he went on to completely leave the industry. At the moment, he is a married man and volunteers at Best Friends Animal Society.
Matt Levin As Kitten Smith
Played by Matt Levin, Smith “Kitten” Alphard is another soldier who is a part of the Mobile Infantry. Together with Johnny Rico, he undergoes training at Camp Currie. Even though the character is not the biggest role in the film, it served as a great way to show diversity in the military. The character wants to be an author and loves literature, but he decides to join the military in order to serve the country out of moral obligation. He does not survive, but we daresay that Matt Levin was excellent at playing him.
Matt Levin Today
Before he appeared n Starship Troopers, the actor already had a couple of TV show credits to his name. Among others, Matt Levin appeared in Family Ties and Blossom. Aside from acting on the screen, he is also a prolific voice talent who has worked on TV shows such as Rugrats and Scooby-Doo. He has also worked as a producer for projects like Fatherhood, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Brockmire. Since 1985, he has worked on over 50 projects already! We are sure that this number will go up some more.
Anthony Ruivivar As Shujimi
Shujimi, portrayed by Anthony Rujivivar, is another soldier who joins the Military Infantry. He is a bright student who even gets accepted to the prestigious Harvard University. Sadly, he has no way to pay for the tuition fees and decided to enlist to save some money for future enrollment. Unfortunately, his plan does not come true because he perishes at the battle of Klendathu. It is revealed that his spot in the university is eventually given away to another student.
Anthony Ruivivar Today
After appearing in Starship Troopers, the Hawaiian-born actor only found his next big role in 1999. We are referring to the time he joined the cast of Third Watch to play a paramedic. This show went on to be a pivotal moment in his life since he eventually married Yvonne Jung, who was one of his costars! The couple has two kids together. The actor has stuck to the drama genre and played law enforcers in TV shows like CSI, Quantico, Criminal Minds, and Numb3rs.
Dean Norris As The Commanding Officer
If you check out the filmography of this actor, you will see that he is the perfect person to play the commanding officer. Dean Norris does not seem to have any difficulties playing a tough man or a leader. At the time, he was among the cast members of Starship Trooeprs who already had a lot of credits below his belt. Even though the character has good intentions, however, he has also earned the ire of the viewers. After all, he is the one to hand out ten lashings to Rico as punishment!
Dean Norris Today
At one point or another, you must have seen Dean Norris play a law enforcer of some kind. Before he worked on Starship Troopers, he got to appear in Total Recall, Lethal Weapon 2, and Terminator 2. However, he is better known for playing DEA Agent Hank Schrader in Breaking Bad. He has received a lot of praises for his portrayal of this character! Aside from the aforementioned films, he also worked on Evan Almighty, The Big Bang Theory, and CSI. He and his wife live in California, where they launched the Norris Performing Arts Center.
Robert David Hall As The Recruiting Sergeant
When Robert David Hall talked about this role, he has said that he feels “proud” of and “more jovial” about it. The actor did an excellent job of portraying this character, who finds himself in a rut. He is the one to tell Ibanez that she did the right thing by enlisting. He is also hawk-eyed and notices that Jenkins has potential early on, so he supports the young man. The character still has a grudge because of his disability and says that enlistment into the infantry makes him remember “the man he is today.”
Robert David Hall Today
After the film, Robert David Hall did not stop acting. As a matter of fact, he appeared in The Negotiator and a couple of TV shows such as The West Wing and LA Law. Aside from that, he also narrated a documentary series called North Mission Road. You might have also seen him in The Roymann Closure. Fun fact: he is actually an amputee in real life. Aside from acting, he is also a great musician who can play the piano, guitar, and mandolin. Aside from that, he also writes, records, and performs his own music!
Rue McClanahan As The Biology Teacher
It might not be the most glamorous part in the film, but we are just happy that Rue McClanahan was in Starship Troopers. She was a big name in Hollywood from the ‘70s until the ‘90s. If you were alive in those days, you could not have missed her in the film! She was cast in the role of the biology teacher, but it was neat to see her don glasses, a lab coat, and a cane. As a teacher, she strolls around the room and keeps an eye as the students perform their projects.
Rue McClanahan – Deceased
Sadly, her acting career came to an end when she passed away in 2010. She had been 76 years old at the time of her passing. This was horrible news, but we are happy that she at least enjoyed a great career over the years. In 1987, the actress bagged an Emmy for her performance in Golden Girls. She starred in the sitcom from 1985 until 1992. Even though her career slowed down after the show, she still continued to act throughout the 2000s. In fact, she was still acting even a year before her death.
Christopher Curry As Mr. Rico
In the movie, Christopher Curry played Mr. Rico, the father of the lead character himself. At first, the character expressed apprehension about the decision of his son to enter the Federal Service. It is not hard to see that he is an indignant and stubborn character. He also threatens to cut Johnny off when the young man leaves. Even though he did not get a lot of screen time in the film, it is still a very important role. After all, Johnny Rico would not have existed if it were not for him!
Christopher Curry Today
Now in his 70s, the actor has yet to announce that he is retiring. How impressive is that? However, he has not appeared in projects after he appeared in Sully back in 2016. Aside from that movie, he primarily stuck to television projects over the past decade. Perhaps you have even seen him when he appeared in shows like Castle, Glee, and BlackBoxTV! Considering his age, we are not all that surprised to see that he has since been slowing down. At any rate, we admire him for his acting chops.
Lenore Kasdorf As Mrs. Rico
We have just talked about Mr. Rico, so it would not feel right if we did not discuss Mrs. Rico as well! Like him, it was a minor role in Starship Troopers. She also gets in a fight with their son once he makes up his mind to leave home. However, her approach is softer than the one used by Mr. Rico. She tries her best to convince their son to stay, but she ends up offending him with the way she talks about Carmen. Despite this, it is easy to tell that she really does love him.
Lenore Kasdof Today
Outside of the film, actress Lenore Kasdof has not really worked on anything else. Her performance in the movie was great, but she has a pretty limited filmography. As a matter of fact, the only other project that she worked on since then was a 2004 movie called Cellular. In that project, she only played a ticket checker. She seems to have retired after that, and it is difficult to see what she has been getting up to since then. It is clear to us that she enjoys her privacy!