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Ferris Bueller's Day Off Cast: What The Stars Of The John Hughes Movie Are Doing Now

Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. That is a valuable lesson I once learned from the immortal words of Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller in writer and director John Hughes’ iconic 1986 comedy - and one of the best high school movies of all time - about one young man’s struggle to take it easy.

While the fourth-wall-breaking, titular character was obviously the star, some argue that the real heart and soul of the movie was Alan Ruck as Cameron Frye and, of course, who could forget Ben Stein’s epic, show-stealing economics rant? There is something to love about several of the supporting players, many of whom are in our breakdown of what the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off cast has been up to lately, starting with the silver-tongued lead.

Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

(Image credit: CBS Photo Archive / Contributor)

Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller)

Teenage con artist and all around “righteous dude,” Ferris Bueller was not quite the breakthrough movie role of Matthew Broderick - that's WarGames from 1983 - but it does remain the one character he is best known for, even after voicing Simba in the original The Lion King cast in 1994. He also played a smaller, more domesticated talking cat in Season 4 of Rick and Morty and will also lend his voice to an upcoming documentary about the Gettysburg Address. 

In February 2022, the theatre-trained actor returned to Broadway with a production of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite with his wife, Sarah Jessica Parker. Broderick is also playing disgraced pharmaceutical industry tycoon Richard Sackler in Netflix’s upcoming limited series about the opioid crisis, Painkiller, and will star alongside Marisa Tomei and Anne Hathaway in the romantic dramedy She Came to Me, which is now in post-production.

Alan Ruck in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

(Image credit: Paramount)

Alan Ruck (Cameron Frye)

Fellow theatre-trained actor Alan Ruck is also best known for playing Ferris Bueller’s  neurotic best friend, Cameron. The former Spin City star has actually reprised the character in two different commercials poking fun at Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - one for garage door opener manufacturer Liftmaster, and another for Dominos Pizza starring Stranger Things’ Joe Keery in the Bueller-esque role.

Ruck’s more recent contribution to the coming-of-age genre was joining the Freaky cast as a temperamental wood shop teacher in the fun teen slasher from 2020. Before then, he was already starring on the hit HBO dramedy, Succession, as Connor Roy. He is also playing real-life physician and entrepreneur Jay Rosan on Hulu’s upcoming limited series about disgraced Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes, The Dropout.

Mia Sara in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

(Image credit: Paramount)

Mia Sara (Sloane Peterson)

As Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend, Sloane, we have Mia Sara, who previously made her feature-film debut as Princess Lily in the Ridley Scott-directed fantasy, Legend, the previous year. She would go on to star in memorable films like the 1994 sci-fi action flick Timecop, opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme, and play Harley Quinn on the short-lived DC TV show, Birds of Prey, in the early 2000s.

Her last major acting role was another princess in another fantasy called Dorothy and the Witches of Oz - a reimagining of the classic story - from 2011 before retiring to focus more on motherhood, according to an interview with Games Radar. However, she would find a new career as a poet publishing her work in the literature magazine, Barrelhouse, since 2016.

Jennifer Grey in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

(Image credit: Paramount)

Jennifer Grey (Jeanie Bueller)

As Ferris Bueller’s sister, Jeanie - who is understandably jealous of all the attention her sibling gets - we have Jennifer Grey, who broke out a couple of years before Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in the teen action thriller Red Dawn. The ’80s icon would then land her most famous role a year after starring in the high school comedy by reteaming with Red Dawn’s Patrick Swayze to play Baby Houseman in Dirty Dancing.

More recently, the actress would appear in recurring roles alongside the Grey’s Anatomy cast in 2019, and on the rebranded Roseanne revival, The Conners, the following year. In 2022, she appeared on the Hulu original comedy Dollface as the mother of Kat Dennings’ character, Jules Wiley.

Cindy Pickett in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

(Image credit: Paramount)

Cindy Pickett (Katie Bueller)

Ferris Bueller’s mother, who is almost completely unwitting of her son’s troublemaking ways, is played by Cindy Pickett. Right after starring in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the former Guiding Light star would go on to join the cast of hit medical drama St. Elsewhere until 1988 and also star in films like the Stephen King-penned guilty pleasure, Sleepwalkers, in 1992 or the Pauly Shore-led comedy, Son in Law, the next year.

She, more recently, had guest spots on hit TV shows like Burn Notice, and Outcast from executive producer Robert Kirkman of The Walking Dead fame. Speaking of zombies, Pickett also starred in the 2018 miniseries, Age of the Living Dead, and her most recent acting credit is the drama, Chasing the Rain, from 2020.

Lyman Ward in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

(Image credit: Paramount)

Lyman Ward (Tom Bueller)

Playing Cindy Pickett’s onscreen husband, before becoming her real-life husband for six years afterward, is Lyman Ward. The actor’s most notable roles before Ferris Bueller’s Day Off include a recurring spot on the hit ’80s TV show, Hart to Hart, and the horror sequel A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, in 1985.

Ward would also appear alongside his then-wife, Cindy Pickett, in Sleepwalkers, play a Secret Service agent in 1996’s Independence Day, and poke fun at his ‘80s coming-of-age film legacy in Not Another Teen Movie in 2001. He more recently appeared on the Emmy-winning Amazon Prime original dramedy, Transparent, in 2015 and starred in a horror filmed called In the Forest in 2022.

Edie McClurg in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

(Image credit: Paramount)

Edie McClurg (Grace)

As Grace, a secretary at Glenbrook North High School, we have comedian Edie McClurg, who had previously made her feature film debut in the classic Stephen King adaptation, Carrie, a decade earlier. She would go on to work with John Hughes several more times, such as in 1987’s Planes, Trains & Automobiles, She’s Having a Baby the following year, and Curly Sue from 1991.

She has also leant her relatively recognizable voice to several classic animated Disney movies, including 1989’s The Little Mermaid, and Wreck-It Ralph from 2012. She more recently voiced herself on an episode of Family Guy in 2020 and, two years later, starred in Eyes Upon Waking, alongside Joe Estevez - Charlie Sheen's uncle.

Charlie Sheen in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

(Image credit: Paramount)

Charlie Sheen (Boy In Police Station)

Speaking of Charlie Sheen, he made a very memorable cameo in Ferris Bueller’s Day-Off - opposite his Red Dawn co-star, Jennifer Grey - as an unnamed, soft-spoken delinquent - which he would make fun of in a 2015 Goldbergs episode. Also in 1986, he led the cast of Oliver Stone’s Best Picture Oscar winner, Platoon. He would go on to reunite with Alan Ruck when he replaced Michael J. Fox in the Spin City cast in 2000, before becoming the star of Two and a Half Men, for which he was eventually replaced by Ashton Kutcher due to struggles with his own sobriety.

When his series adaptation of Anger Management ended after two seasons on FX, the four-time Emmy nominee played the president in 2013’s Machete Kills; had the title role of the first A24 movie, 2012’s A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III; and was one of five strangers trapped in an elevator during the World Trade Center attack in 2017’s 9/11. He will star as himself, along with former Entourage cast members Kevin Dillon and Kevin Conolly, in the upcoming series, Ramble On.

Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

(Image credit: Paramount)

Ben Stein (Economics Teacher)

Also appearing in just a couple of scenes from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but to unforgettably hilarious effect, is Ben Stein as an unfathomably dull economics teacher. The ever-quotable, partially improvised role was his second acting job ever and led to a very successful career of randomly popping up in various other movies and TV shows, from Ghostbusters to Seinfeld to a role in the John Hughes-penned Dennis the Menace cast in 1993. 

Stein’s instantly recognizable voice has also been heard in various animated shows, like King of the Hill and The Fairly OddParents, and he and Jimmy Kimmel once served as co-hosts of the game show Win Ben Stein’s Money from 1997 to 2002. His last and most notable acting credit was in 2018 when he played historical figure Alexander Hamilton in The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time.

If you're wondering what happened to Principal Edward Rooney, his portrayer, Jeffrey Jones, wasn't included here because, in 2003, he pleaded no contest after being arrested for inducing a minor to pose for sexually explicit photographs.

You’re still here? It’s over. Go read a different CinemaBlend article or revisit the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off cast again by watching the movie, which is now streaming on Showtime. Go. 

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.