‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ is a holiday staple every single year. It’s been over 30 years since the holiday comedy was released, so we’re taking a look back at the cast then and now.
After all these years, no one can match Clark Griswold’s dedication to his Christmas lights. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was the third movie in the Vacation franchise and one of the very best. The movie was released on Dec. 1, 1989, and has become a Christmas classic for families every holiday season.
All of the main Christmas Vacation stars have continued to act through the years. Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki, the Griswold kids in Christmas Vacation kids, are all grown up now so prepare to feel very old. See what the cast is up to after 31 years.
Chevy Chase, 77, is widely recognized for his portrayal of Clark Griswold in five National Lampoon’s Vacation films. He last played the character in the 2015 movie Vacation, which starred Ed Helms and Christina Applegate. Chevy, who rose to fame on Saturday Night Live, went on to briefly host his own late-night talk show, The Chevy Chase Show, in 1993.
The actor notably played Pierce Hawthorne on the NBC comedy series Community from 2009 to 2014. Chevy recently starred in the 2020 film The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee. He’s set to star in the upcoming films The Ogilvy Fortune and Federal Offense.
Beverly D’Angelo’s appearance in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation marked her third time playing Ellen Griswold. She continued to play the character in Vegas Vacation and the 2015 film Vacation. Beverly, now 69, went on to star in many films, TV films, and TV series after Christmas Vacation.
She notably recurred as Barbara “Babs” Miller on Entourage. Her recent TV roles include playing Patricia in USA Network’s Shooter and Stella Rose Buckley in Netflix’s Insatiable. The actress dated Al Pacino, 80, from 1997 to 2003. Their twins, conceived through IVF, were born in 2001.
Juliette Lewis’ first major film role was playing Audrey Griswold, Clark and Ellen’s daughter. The role of Audrey had been previously played by Dana Barron and Dana Hill. Just a couple of years later, Juliette earned an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Cape Fear.
The 47-year-old’s other well-known movies include What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Natural Born Killers, Strange Days, August: Osage County, Conviction, and more. She recently appeared in Tate Taylor’s horror film Ma. She’s set to reunite with the director in the upcoming film Breaking News in Yuba County. The actress has also had several widely-recognized film roles in series like The Firm, Wayward Pines, and Secrets and Lies.
Johnny Galecki, 45, starred as Rusty Griswold, Clark and Ellen’s son, in Christmas Vacation. The role had been previously played by Anthony Michael Hall and Jason Lively. Johnny appeared in a number of movies and TV series in the years after Christmas Vacation, but his big break was playing David Healy in the TV series Roseanne. He joined the show in season 4.
His next major TV role was playing Leonard on The Big Bang Theory. He earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2011. The show ran for 12 seasons and aired 279 episodes. Johnny became one of the highest-paid TV actors, earning nearly $1 million per episode between 2017 and 2019. Since The Big Bang Theory ended, he returned to the role of David Healy and guest-starred on the Roseanne spinoff The Conners.
Johnny and his Big Bang Theory co-star Kaley Cuoco, 35, secretly dated for about two years while they were filming the show. Despite their breakup, they remain friends. Johnny started dating Alaina Meyer in 2018. Their son was born in Dec. 2019. The couple split in Nov. 2020.
Randy Quaid, 70, played Cousin Eddie Johnson, Catherine’s husband, in the film. He played the role of Cousin Eddie in three out of the five movies in the National Lampoon’s Vacation film series. After Christmas Vacation, Randy’s best-known roles were in movies such as Independence Day and Brokeback Mountain, as well as television roles in the Elvis miniseries. Randy received an Emmy nomination for his performance as Colonel Tom Parker.
Randy has faced a lot of legal trouble over the years. Randy and his wife, Evi Motolanez, were first arrested in 2009 for allegedly defrauding an innkeeper. They were arrested again and charged with burglary in 2010 after spending 5 days living in the guest house of a home they once lived in. The couple failed to appear in court and left for Canada seeking asylum. They were arrested in Canada and later released on bail. They’ve continued to have legal issues since. His last role was in the 2018 film All You Can Eat.