When Christmas with the Kranks premiered in the fall of 2004, it wasn't deemed a Christmas classic by critics, it's fair to say. While the cranky comedy was scathed mercilessly by critics, audiences were comparatively kinder. Based on John Grisham's novel, Skipping Christmas, the movie hasn't earned the same fanfare as bonafide Christmas classics, like Elf from the year prior, for instance, but Christmas with the Kranks is elevated by its esteemed ensemble, including star turns from Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, along with notable supporting roles from Dan Aykroyd, M. Emmet Walsh, and Felicity Huffman.
Now that nearly 18 years have passed, with the holiday season upon us and the film available to watch streaming on Starz, let's see what Christmas with the Kranks' cast is doing now.
Tim Allen (Luther Krank)
As Luther Krank, a hard-working businessman who decides to forgo the holiday festivities when his daughter takes a trip abroad for the season, Tim Allen plays the protagonist in Christmas with the Kranks. Most notably, the actor-comedian is known as the Emmy-nominated star of ABC’s Home Improvement. Allen was also the frontman of ABC/Fox’s long-running sitcom, Last Man Standing.
Away from television, however, Tim Allen is best known as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in all four Toy Story movies, along with other Toy Story projects. Furthermore, Allen starred in The Santa Clause trilogy, Galaxy Quest, Wild Hogs, Jungle 2 Jungle, El Camino Christmas, and The Shaggy Dog, which he also produced. He also starred in and directed 2010’s Crazy on the Outside. Away from acting, Allen wrote two books: 1994’s Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man and 1996’s I’m Not Really Here.
Currently, Tim Allen co-hosts History Channel’s Assembly Required.
Jamie Lee Curtis (Nora Krank)
In the role of Nora Krank, Luther’s more socially-conscious wife who also decides to skip Christmas this year in order to take a trip on a cruise, Jamie Lee Curtis plays the female lead in 2004’s Christmas with the Kranks. Making her acting debut as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter’s hugely influential Halloween, the actress became known as a scream queen, particularly in films like The Fog, Prom Night, Terror Train, and Roadgames. Additionally, Curtis reprised her role as Laurie Strode in Halloween II, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Halloween: Resurrection, and, most recently, 2018’s Halloween and this year’s Halloween Kills. She can also be seen and heard, albeit briefly, in Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
Outside of the horror genre, Jamie Lee Curtis is also known for Trading Places, A Fish Called Wanda, for which she received several award nominations, True Lies, Blue Steel, My Girl, My Girl 2, Freaky Friday (2003), and Knives Out. Away from film, the actress was Emmy-nominated for her lead performance in CBS’ Nicholas’ Gift. Curtis’ other television credits include New Girl, Scream Queens, and Operation Petticoat. In addition to the new Halloween movie, Curtis was recently seen in Senior Entourage.
Next, the actress will appear in Everything Everywhere All at Once and Borderlands. Curtis will also star in Halloween Ends. Beyond acting, Curtis is behind last year’s podcast, Letters From Camp. She’s also set to write and direct the eco-horror movie, Mother Nature. Furthermore, Curtis wrote several children’s books.
Julie Gonzalo (Blair Krank)
Playing the part of Blair Krank, Luther and Nora’s world-traveling daughter who won’t be home for Christmas this year, Julie Gonzalo is a young, adventurous woman in Christmas with the Kranks. The year prior, the actress appeared in 2003’s Freaky Friday with Jamie Lee Curtis. Gonzalo’s other notable film credits include A Cinderella Story, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, and Must Love Dogs. Additionally, the actress starred in Hallmark Channel’s Flip That Romance, The Sweetest Heart, and Pumpkin Pie Romance. She also frontlined Lifetime’s 3 Holiday Tails.
Away from film, Julie Gonzalo is known for playing Pamela Rebecca in TNT’s Dallas, Maggie Dekker in ABC’s Eli Stone, and Parker Lee in Veronica Mars. Most recently, the actress was seen as Andrea Rojas in The CW’s Supergirl. And in 2020, Gonzalo starred in Hallmark Channel’s Jingle Bell Bride. Most recently, she appeared in A Dark Foe and made a guest appearance in ABC’s The Good Doctor.
Dan Aykroyd (Vic Frohmeyer)
As Vic Frohmeyer, the Kranks’ holiday-loving, Frosty-enforcing neighbor, Dan Aykroyd plays a stubborn supporting character in 2004’s Christmas with the Kranks. Most notably, the actor-comedian was one of the original members of NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Aykroyd is also the co-writer and star of Ghostbusters I and II, The Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers 2000, Dragnet, Spies Like Us, and Coneheads. Additionally, the actor was Oscar-nominated for his supporting turn in Driving Miss Daisy. Aykroyd also previously worked with Jamie Lee Curtis in Trading Places and My Girl 1 and 2. His other notable film credits include The Great Outdoors, Chaplin, Sneakers, Grosse Point Blank, and Get On Up. Moreover, Aykroyd wrote, directed, and starred in Nothing But Trouble.
Currently, Dan Aykroyd narrates Travel Channel’s Hotel Paranormal. He also recently lent this voice to The Simpsons. Most notably, Aykroyd produced and reprised his role as Ray Stantz in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Away from acting, he co-founded the House of Blues chain of music venues and the Crystal Head Vodka brand.
M. Emmet Walsh (Walt Scheel)
In the role of Walt Scheel, the Kranks’ cranky old neighbor, M. Emmet Walsh is a grouch who can’t stand his neighbors in Christmas with the Kranks. Most notably, the acclaimed character actor starred in Blood Simple, for which he was well-recognized. Walsh was also seen in The Jerk, Ordinary People, Blade Runner, Wild Wild West, Critters, Calvary, Harry and the Hendersons, Raising Arizona, Back to School, Fletch, Straight Time, Romeo + Juliet, Serpico, and Slap Shot, to name only a select few. He’s also heard in The Iron Giant. Most recently, Walsh appeared in Knives Out and The Mimic.
On television, furthermore, M. Emmet Walsh played Colonel Fred Patterson in ABC’s Home Improvement. His other TV credits include Sneaky Pete, Damages, The Sandy Duncan Show, Nichols, and The Mind of a Married Man. Most recently, Walsh was seen in HBO’s The Righteous Gemstones. Next, the actor will appear in Shriver and The Immaculate Boom.
Elizabeth Franz (Bev Scheel)
Playing the part of Bev Scheel, Walt’s ailing wife, Elizabeth Franz has an emotional supporting role in 2004’s Christmas with the Kranks. Most notably, the actress won a Tony for her performance as Linda Loman in Death of a Salesman. Franz later received an Emmy nomination for this acclaimed performance during its televised presentation. Additionally, the actress received two additional Tony nominations for Brighton Beach Memoirs and Morning’s at Seven.
Away from the stage, Elizabeth Franz is known for her turn as Alma Rudder in NBC’s Another World. Her other film credits include Sabrina, The Secret of My Success, Thinner, The Pallbearer, School Ties, Jackknife, and The Substance of Fire. Franz was last seen in 2015’s Take Me to the River.
Erik Per Sullivan (Spike Frohmeyer)
As Spike Frohmeyer, Vic’s son, Erik Per Sullivan had a rare film role in Christmas with the Kranks. Most notably, the child actor was known for his scene-stealing performance as Dewey in Fox’s long-running sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle. Sullivan is also recognized for his voice work in Pixar’s Finding Nemo and its accompanying video game. Additionally, he can be seen in Joe Dirt, Unfaithful, The Cider House Rules, Armageddon, Wendigo, Wonderland, and The King of Queens.
Following Malcolm in the Middle's series finale, Erik Per Sullivan gradually moved away from acting. Most notably, the former actor played the title character in 2007's dramedy, Mo. He also lent his voice to Arthur and the Invisibles' English dub and starred in 2006's short film, Once Not Far From Home. Sullivan was last seen in Joel Schumacher's Twelve.
Cheech Marin (Officer Salino)
In the role of Officer Salino, Cheech Marin provides a cameo in 2004’s Christmas with the Kranks. Most notably, the actor-comedian is known for his collaborations with Tommy Chong, including several movies that they co-wrote and starred in together. Those films include Up in Smoke, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, Nice Dreams, Things Are Tough All Over, Still Smokin’, and Cheech & Chong’s The Corsican Brothers. Marin also starred in, wrote, and directed Get Out of My Room and Born in East L.A. He can also be seen in Tin Cup, From Dusk Till Dawn, the Spy Kids movies, Machete, After Hours, Ghostbusters II, and Desperado.
Most recently, Cheech Marin was seen in The War with Grandpa. He was also heard in Maya and the Three. Next, Marin will be seen in Shotgun Wedding and heard in Lapham Rising.
Felicity Huffman (Mary)
Playing the part of Mary, Nora’s concerned friend, Felicity Huffman has a minor role in Christmas with the Kranks. Prior to this film, the actress was best known for her Golden Globe-nominated performance as Dana Whitaker in ABC’s Sport Nights. The same year that this movie was released, however, Huffman gained acclaim for her Emmy-winning turn as Lynette Scavo in ABC’s Desperate Housewives. She also received three Emmy nominations for her work in ABC’s American Crime.
Away from television, Felicity Huffman was Oscar-nominated for her lead performance in Transamerica. She can also be seen in Georgia Rule, Magnolia, and The Spanish Prisoner. Most recently, Huffman produced and starred in Otherhood and Tammy’s Always Dying. In 2019, the actress gained nationwide attention for her involvement in a college entrance exam cheating scandal, where she was charged with conspiracy to mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Huffman later pleaded guilty to federal charges. After keeping a lower profile, she landed her latest major role with an untitled ABC baseball drama.
Jake Busey (Officer Treen)
As Officer Treen, Jake Busey also makes a cameo in 2004’s Christmas with the Kranks. The actor’s most notable film credits include The Frighteners, Starship Troopers, Twister, Contact, Identity, Tomcats, Enemy of the State, PCU, Straight Time, and The Predator. Additionally, Busey starred in and produced The Rain Makers and Cross. Most recently, the actor was seen in DIVOS!, A Solider’s Revenge, Adventures of Dally & Spanky, and In from Outside.
Perhaps most notably, however, Jake Busey plays Bruce in Stranger Things 3. His other television credits include L.A.’s Finest, Ray Donovan, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, Shasta McNasty, and Sex, Love & Secrets. Next, Busey is expected to star in Black Zone.
Austin Pendleton (Marty)
In the role of Marty, an umbrella salesman dressed as Santa Claus who might be more than he seems, Austin Pendleton played a small-but-notable part in Christmas with the Kranks. A well-distinguished actor, playwright, and theater instructor of great renown, the performer was Tony-nominated for his direction of 1981’s The Little Foxes. He has amassed a number of other stage credits throughout the past five decades, resulting in the documentary, Starring Austin Pendleton, being made about his professional history. Currently, Pendleton teaches acting, though he continues to remain active as a performer through the Steppenwolf Theatre.
On the screen, moreover, Austin Pendleton’s other notable film credits include Short Circuit, My Cousin Vinny, The Muppet Movie, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, The Notorious Bettie Page, A Beautiful Mind, Searching For Bobby Fischer, and Catch-22, to name a few. He’s also known for his work on HBO’s Oz. Most recently, the hard-working entertainer was seen in Our Father, The Mimic, Before/During/After, Paint, and 5-25-77. Pendleton also appeared on The Good Fight and New Amsterdam. Next, the actor will be seen in The Reunion and the short film, Audition in Hell.
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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