May 19 2010
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of musicals. My favorite musical ever is Little Shop of Horrors, and if I ever get around to ranking my 10 favorite movies of all time, there’s a pretty good chance it would make the list. I first saw the movie when I was in third grade. My parents took me and a bunch of my friends to see Three Amigos, but for some reason (maybe it was sold out?), we had to see Little Shop of Horrors instead. At the time, I had no idea what it was about, but it instantly became one of my favorites. I still know almost all the words to every song. And oh, that’s not to say I don’t like Three Amigos.
It’s been a long time since third grade, so let’s see what happened to the cast of Little Shop of Horrors.
Rick Moranis as Seymour Krelborn
Rick Moranis had a very successful Hollywood career following his role as the geeky Seymour Krelborn. He played Dark Helmet in Spaceballs, reprised his role as Louis Tully in Ghostbusters II, played the lead in the wildly successful Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and was reunited with Steve Martin in the very funny My Blue Heaven. However, in 1991, Rick lost his wife to liver cancer and a brief hiatus from acting eventually turned into retirement.
Rick didn’t sit around and mope, though, and in 2005, he released a comedy/country album called The Agoraphobic Cowboy. The album was nominated for a Grammy. Still, he wasn’t involved in voice acting for the Ghostbusters video game, and there’s pretty much no chance he’d appear in Ghostbusters 3, should that movie ever see the light of day. But hey, you never know.
Ellen Greene as Audrey
Ellen Greene – who actually played Audrey on Broadway before the Little Shop of Horrors movie – has gone on to be featured in various film and television roles. She appeared as Mathilda’s mother in The Professional, appeared on Law & Order, and was a recurring character on Pushing Daisies. Recently, you may have seen her as Sylar’s mother on Heroes. But because of her great voice, Ellen probably best known for her work in theater. Just this past summer, she starred as Lady Adelaide in a concert version of Guys and Dolls.
In 2004, Ellen released an album called “In His Eyes.” Currently, she is set to appear in the upcoming movie Privileged.
Vincent Gardenia as Mr. Musnhik
Following his appearance as Mr. Mushnik, Vincent Gardenia was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Cosmo Castorini in Moonstruck. Still, Gardenia had been acting since 1945, so it’s not surprising that the bulk of his career came before Little Shop of Horrors. He won an Emmy in 1990 for his performance in Age Old Friends and had a recurring role on L.A. Law as Murray Melman. Gardenia’s last role was in The Super in 1991, as he died of a heart attack in Philadelphia the following year.
A section of 16th Avenue in Bensonhurst, New York has been named Vincent Gardenia Boulevard in his honor.
Steve Martin as Orin Scrivello, DDS
You probably don’t need me to tell you what Steve Martin has gone on to do since his role as Orin Scrivello, as he’s clearly the biggest star amongst the Little Shop of Horrors cast. So instead, enjoy this clip of Steve and Bill Murray, which is pretty easily my favorite scene in the movie:
Levi Stubbs as the voice of Audrey II
Levi Stubbs, who voiced the giant, man-eating Audrey II, is known for being the lead singer of The Four Tops. Stubbs and his fellow Tops were inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, where they rightly belong. When not singing, Stubbs didn’t just voice plants – he also voiced Mother Brain in that old Nintendo cartoon “Captain N: The Game Master.” Remember that one? Where King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard were Mother Brain’s witless henchmen? I sure do.
Sadly, Stubbs passed away in his sleep in 2008.
Tichina Arnold, Michelle Weeks, and Tisha Campbell as Crystal, Ronette, and Chiffon
Tichina Arnold has had a very steady career ever since her role as Crystal, appearing on The Cosby Show, and landed recurring roles on Martin and most recently, as Rochelle Rock on Everybody Hates Chris. Obviously a talented singer, Arnold has also appeared as Evillene in the Revival of The Wiz at the New York City center. She currently lives in Atlanta with her daughter and is very, very good friends with Tisha Campbell.
Tisha Campbell played Martin’s girlfriend Gina on the show Martin. She also appeared with her friend Tichina in Everybody Hates Chris and has had a pretty successful television career. Her notable recurring roles are as Janey Kyle on My Wife and Kids and, more recently, as Patty on Rita Rocks. Tisha released a music album in 1990 and is currently married to actor – and incredible basketball player – Duane Martin.
Michelle Weeks hasn’t shared the success as Tichina and Campbell, but she’s still doing a lot of singing. You can check out her myspace page HERE.
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