Has it already been 25 years since we got to meet the "Stand By Me" cast? This coming-of-age drama perfectly captures the moment between childhood and adulthood. Based on Stephen King’s short story “The Body,” this 1986 film told a simple tale of four hard-luck teens taking a camping trip to find a rumored dead body. Surprisingly, each of the young actors went on to achieve adult stardom or notoriety, which in Hollywood means name recognition.
River Phoenix as Chris Chambers There’s a tragic parallel between a movie about a dead body with a character who dies too young. River Phoenix was only 23 when he died outside the Viper Room because of a combination of drugs. Before his death, he had parlayed his attention-getting performance from “Stand By Me” into leading roles “The Mosquito Coast” and “My Own Private Idaho.” Harrison Ford reportedly picked him to play his younger self in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Phoenix received an Oscar nomination for “Running on Empty” before his untimely death.
Kiefer Sutherland as Ace Merrill Before he made his career-defining stint on TV’s “24” as the federal agent stopping bad boy terrorists, Sutherland’s performance as the quintessential bad boy bully helped propel him out of his movie star father’s shadow. After “Stand By Me,” Kiefer was no longer simply Donald Sutherland’s shorter son, but played the lead in “The Lost Boys” and “Young Guns.” Additionally, Sutherland was briefly starlet Julia Roberts's fiance before losing her to “Lost Boys” co-star Jason Patric). Sutherland may have had some tipsy nights captured in the tabloids, but his career has remained sure and steady.
Jerry O'Connell as Vern Tessio The least likely cast member to marry a supermodel would be the goofy “chubby kid.” Yet, O’Connell has a happy marriage and a pair of twins with the funny and gorgeous Rebecca Romijn (formerly Stamos). He also transformed his candy belly into an enviable six-pack and has maintained a steady TV acting career. He’s also makes the occasional film appearance, including the memorable turn as the first draft pick Frank Cushman in “Jerry Maguire” with Tom Cruise.
Wil Wheaton as Gordie Lachance After playing an iconic, sensitive teen in “Stand By Me,” Wheaton began a seven year run on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” as Wesley Crusher. He continued with steady TV work and video game voice work. Most recently, he has had recurring roles on both “Leverage” and “Eureka.”
Corey Feldman as Teddy Duchamp These days it is hard to use the term “star” for Feldman, but he remains a fixture on the TMZ pages, for his '80s teen idol status (alongside tragic friend Corey Haim from “License to Drive”) and friendship with Michael Jackson. Though it may be painful to see him dress like “the gloved one” at funerals and red carpet events, Feldman has also managed to work steadily for over 30 years in the entertainment industry. He started as a seven-year-old with TV guest spots and now appears in mostly B-horror movies, but he’s sober and still working.