Animal House made John Belushi a movie star, inspired countless other raunchy comedies like Porky’s, the Police Academy franchise and the American Pie films, and made toga parties cool.
Released July 28, 1978, the film, which turns 35 this year, introduced the world to the underachieving Delta fraternity brothers as they took on the Omegas and Dean Wormer at fictional Faber College. The film’s gross, over-the-top humor proved irresistible and timeless, landing Animal House on many greatest-movies lists.
So let’s shout a little bit louder now as we catch up with the cast of Animal House.
John Belushi/John ‘Bluto’ Blutarsky
Belushi became a comic legend playing the ultimate drunken frat boy, who is first seen urinating in front of the Delta house. While his other Saturday Night Live cast mates, Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd, turned down the film, Belushi split his week between the movie set and the show. When the movie became a hit, Belushi left SNL for a film career, starring in three other films, including The Blues Brothers, before he was found dead in 1982 from a drug overdose at the age of 33.
Tom Hulce/Larry ‘Pinto’ Kroger
As shy freshman Larry Kroger, Tom Hulce walks unwittingly into Delta house, where he gets re-christened as Pinto. Hulce went on to critical acclaim for playing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1984’s Amadeus. He is also known for his role as Quasimoto in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Though he has largely retired from acting to focus on directing theater and producing, Hulce, now 59, was last seen in the films Stranger Than Fiction and Jumper.
Tim Matheson/Eric ‘Otter’ Stratton
As the smooth Delta playboy Eric “Otter” Stratton, Matheson broke free of his child acting roles in ’60s shows such as Leave it to Beaver and My Three Sons. Numerous film and TV roles followed, but Matheson is probably best known for his Emmy-nominated recurring role as Vice President John Hoynes on The West Wing. In the 2002 college comedy Van Wilder, Matheson, now 65, played the father of the title character who was inspired by his own character in Animal House.
Kevin Bacon/Chip Diller
Director John Landis wanted to cast unknowns for the ensemble film, giving Kevin Bacon his screen debut as Omega pledge Chip Diller. Bacon went on to become a movie star with Footloose. Other notable films included Apollo 13, Mystic River and X-Men: First Class. The 55-year-old actor is currently starring in the Fox series The Following.
Karen Allen played Katy, the sexually frustrated girlfriend of Delta Donald “Boon” Schoenstein. Like Bacon, Allen made her big-screen debut in Animal House before going on to star in movies including Raiders of the Lost Ark and Starman. After taking smaller film and TV roles while focused on raising her son and starting her own textile company, Allen, now 61, reprised her best-known role as Marion Ravenwood for the 2008 sequel, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Donald Sutherland/Professor Dave Jennings
Allen’s character ends up having an affair with liberal, pot-smoking professor Dave Jennings, played by veteran actor Donald Sutherland. Already known for his roles in M*A*S*H, Klute and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Sutherland went on to a variety of memorable roles, from Ordinary People to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Hunger Games.
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