The Mighty Ducks: The Cast Then And Now

The main cast of The Mighty Ducks.
(Image credit: Buena Vista Pictures)

As wild as it may seem, Disney’s Mighty Ducks franchise kicked off more than 30 years ago with a classic and beloved movie about a one-time hockey hotshot who finds redemption by coaching a group of kids with a lot of unrealized talent (and attitude). The Mighty Ducks, and its two sequels, featured an outstanding cast of established stars like Emilio Estevez and up-and-coming child actors with promising futures. But what became of those young stars over the years?

Well, since nostalgia and curiosity tend to go hand-in-hand these days, we put together a quick yet comprehensive rundown of The Mighty Ducks cast and what they’ve been up to since we last saw them all those years ago. From record-breaking Saturday Night Live mainstays to stars of some of the best Marvel TV shows, and more, there’s a lot to unquack, err, unpack.  

Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks and Gzame Changers

(Image credit: Disney)

Emilio Estevez (Gordon Bombay)

Emilio Estevez was the leader of the rag tag group of hockey playing kids and was the only bona fide star in the first film. He’d been famous for seven years already, having starred in the classic "Brat Pack" films The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire. Then he played Billy the Kid in a pair of Young Guns movies. 

A few years after the release of D3: The Mighty Ducks, Estevez started to focus more on behind-the-scenes work, primarily working as a director and producer for films like Bobby, The Way, and The Public. He did return to the franchise in 2021 for the Disney+ original series, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, but didn’t return for the show’s second and final season.

Joshua Jackson in The Mighty Ducks and Fatal Attraction

(Image credit: Disney; Paranount+)

Joshua Jackson (Charlie Conway)

The first Mighty Ducks film was only Joshua Jackson’s third acting job in his career. Jackson would go on to wider fame two years after the release of D3: The Mighty Ducks, when he would play Pacey in the well-remembered teen soap Dawson’s Creek

While Jackson’s film roles began to trail off over the years (his most recent movie appearance was 2015’s Sky), he has continued to be a major force on the small screen. Following successful runs on shows like Fringe and The Affair, Jackson gave tremendous performances on the likes of Dr. Death and the 2023 Paramount+ original series Fatal Attraction.

Elden Henson in The Mighty Ducks and Game Changers

(Image credit: Disney)

Eldon Henson (Fulton Reed)

Playing Fulton Reed, the first kid to call himself a Duck, Eldon Henson already had been working for 10 years when he filmed the first Mighty Ducks movie. In Ducks, he was the enforcer because of his size. This asset became part of many of his characters over the years, including his role as the silent giant Maxwell Kane in The Mighty. He also had a large part as the best friend of Ashton Kutcher in The Butterfly Effect

More recently, Henson has continued to find success in both movies and TV, with his most notable role being that of Foggy Nelson in the various Netflix Marvel shows. And while he returned as Fulton in The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, there’s no word on if he’ll pop back up as Matt Murdock’s best friend and law partner when Daredevil: Born Again debuts on Disney+.

Kenan Thompson in D2: The Mighty Ducks and on SNL

(Image credit: Disney; NBC)

Kenan Thompson (Russell ‘Russ’ Tyler)

Kenan Thompson scored his first movie role when he was cast as Russ in D2: The Mighty Ducks, the street hockey player who helps save the day. The same year he would be cast in Nickelodeon’s kids sketch comedy show All That, which would in turn spawn the Kenan and Kel side project, as well as Good Burger, a movie based on the show’s most popular sketch. Three years after All That wrapped, Thompson would join the cast of the granddaddy of all sketch shows, Saturday Night Live, where he can still be found today.

Probably the most recognizable member of the old guard, Thompson has continued to find success, even outside of his SNL duties. With appearances in movies like Home Sweet Home Alone, Bros, and the upcoming Good Burger 2, he’s remained busy on the big screen. 

Kathryn Erbe in D2: The Mighty Ducks and on Law & Order: Criminal Intent

(Image credit: Disney; NBC)

Kathryn Erbe (Michelle MacKay)

Kathryn Erbe played Michelle MacKay, the tutor for team USA in the Junior Goodwill Games of D2: The Mighty Ducks. For most people, however, she will always be detective Alexandra Eames, the partner of Vincent D’Onofrio for 10 years on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. She reprised the role for a couple of guest spots on Special Victims Unit, and even did it again as part of a sketch on John Oliver’s HBO series Last Week Tonight back in 2014.

In more recent years, Erbe has popped up on The Black List, City on a Hill, and The Good Fight, to name a few of her TV appearances.  

Marguerite Moreau in D2: The Mighty Ducks and Game Changers

(Image credit: Disney)

Marguerite Moreau (Connie ‘The Velvet Hammer’ Moreau)

Marguerite Moreau portrayed Connie “The Velvet Hammer” Moreau, one of the few girls on the Ducks' hockey team in all three of the original movies. The next time you probably saw her, she had grown up quite a bit in her role as Katie in Wet Hot American Summer, which she later reprised in the various Netflix sequel series released years later.

Moreau most recently appeared on an episode of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, reprising her role from the classic Disney sports movies.

Shaun Weiss in Mighty Ducks

(Image credit: Disney)

Shaun Weiss (Greg Goldberg)

Shaun Weiss was a major part of all three Mighty Ducks movies with his portrayal of the team’s talented, and hilarious, goalie Greg Godlberg. Following the success of the family-friendly sports trilogy, Weiss made multiple appearances on various popular TV shows throughout the late ‘90s and early 2000s, including The King of Queens, Freaks and Geeks, and Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, Weiss would battle addiction and other issues in the years that followed, resulting in a January 2020 arrest on meth and burglary charges. But Weiss was able to turn it around and find humor in the whole situation by creating a stand-up act based on his past.

Brandon Adams in The Mighty Ducks

(Image credit: Disney)

Brandon Adams (Jesse Hall)

Brandon Adams probably had the best three-year run when it comes to ‘90s kids sports films, as he played Jesse Hall in 1992’s The Mighty Ducks and 1994’s D2: The Mighty Ducks, with an unforgettable performance as pitcher Kenny DeNenuz in the all-time great baseball movie, The Sandlot in between.

Adams would largely step away from acting for two decades before taking on the role of the narrator in the 2021 Peacock original series, The Resort.

Mike Vitar in D2: The Mighty Ducks

(Image credit: Disney)

Mike Vitar (Luis Mendoza)

Brandon Adams wasn’t the only member of The Sandlot cast to also play a role in the Mighty Ducks movies, as Mike Vitar, a.k.a., Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez in the 1993 classic, also showed up in D2: The Mighty Ducks as Luis. Following the release of D3: The Mighty Ducks in 1996, Vitar appeared in a 1997 episode of Chicago Hope, his final credited role.

Vitar would later become a firefighter, but would land in legal trouble in October 2015 after he and other firemen allegedly assaulted a man they thought was handing out drug-laced candy, per the Los Angeles Times.

Garette Ratliff Henson in D2: The Mighty Ducks and Game Changers

(Image credit: Disney)

Garette Ratliff Henson (Guy Germaine)

Garette Ratliff Henson played the talented Guy Germaine in all three Mighty Ducks movies, a role he would later reprise for a guest spot in the continuation series, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers

In the years following his turn as the lights-out forward, Henson appeared on shows like Cold Case and NCIS before taking a more behind-the-scenes role, working as a director and producer on various short films.

Matt Doherty in D2: The Mighty Ducks and Game Changers

(Image credit: Disney)

Matt Doherty (Lester Averman)

Matt Doherty was another instrumental part of the Mighty Ducks movies, in which he played Lester Averman in all three sports titles.

Over the years, Doherty has continued to pop up in movies and on TV shows, with appearances on everything from Rosewood to Maron, and several others. He also reprised his role on The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers like a large portion of his former co-stars.

Jussie Smollett in The Mighty Ducks and on Empire

(Image credit: Disney; Fox)

Jussie Smollett (Terry Hall)

Jussie Smollett may be one of the more interesting stories from the entire Mighty Ducks cast. After getting the role of Terry in the first film, he practically vanished. He wasn’t in either of the sequels, and while he certainly continued to work, the different series he ended up on never made it much beyond a single season. Cut to 2015. Smollett jumps back into the forefront of notice as Jamal on FOX’s series Empire

Smollett’s involvement with the show would end in 2019 after he became wrapped up in a hate crime hoax that would eventually see him be found guilty of lying to police. The final season of Empire, which didn’t feature Smollett’s character, premiered in 2020. Though he hasn’t appeared on screen since then, Smollett did direct the 2021 drama film, B-Boy Blues. He also continues to focus on his music career.

Danny Tamberelli in The Mighty Ducks and on Nick Rewind

(Image credit: Disney; Nickelodeon)

Danny Tamberelli (Tommy Duncan)

Danny Tamberelli would have been a recognizable face to the kids in the audience because of his role as one of the Petes in The Adventures of Pete & Pete shorts on Nickelodeon that had started in 1990. The shorts would become a proper series the same year the first Ducks movie came out. While Tommy would not return in any of the subsequent sequels, the kid kept busy as both a cast member and writer on All That (alongside Kenan Thompson) as well as various other classic Nickelodeon shows.

While he has mostly stepped away from acting (his last appearance was a voice role in 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V), Tamberelli remains busy thanks to his various podcasts and writing, including his 2023 book, The First Date Prophecy, according to his Instagram.

Scott Whyte in D2: The Mighty Ducks and "Milk of Magnesia Cowboy"

(Image credit: Disney; The Scott Whyte)

Scott Whyte (Gunner Stahl / Scott ‘Scooter’ Holland)

Scott Whyte has the distinction of having had parts in both of the Mighty Ducks sequels, but as different characters – Gunner Stahl in D2 and Scott “Scooter” Holland in D3 After continuing to take various acting roles in the intervening years, his primary focus today is voice acting, with appearances in movies like Missing Link and Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers in recent years. 

However, Whyte’s primary focus the past decade or so has been in video games, providing his voice for games like Marvel’s Spider-Man, Horizon Forbidden West, Saints Row, and Star Ocean: The Divine Force.

Vincent LaRusso in The Mighty Ducks and Game Changers

(Image credit: Disney)

 Vincent LaRusso (Adam ‘Cake Eater’ Banks) 

Vincent LaRusso’s Adam Banks was the star of the Mighty Ducks team, even if he was a “Cake Eater.” The former Hawk who was forced onto the team of losers when it turned out his house was in the wrong district. While Adam was both envied and disdained at first, he eventually won over his teammates, and they won him over as well. Shortly after the last Ducks movie, LaRusso mostly stepped away from the spotlight. He hadn’t left acting entirely, having cameos in the spoof Superhero Movie and Joss Whedon's Dollhouse in the late 2000s. He also returned for an episode of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers in 2021. 

You can go back and see all these actors (and the characters they play) as all the movies are currently available for anyone with a Disney+ subscription

Stream The Mighty Ducks on Disney+.
Stream D2: The Mighty Ducks on Disney+.
Stream D3: The Mighty Ducks on Disney+.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.