Jurassic Park Celebrates 25th Anniversary: Where Is the Original Cast Now?
A quarter of a century after Steven Spielberg brought dinosaurs back to life in Jurassic Park, the franchise, like Ian Malcolm famously says about life, has found a way to survive.
With the film's 25th anniversary on Monday, and the recent premiere of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – which is raking in millions at home and overseas in the box office sales – PEOPLE decided to find out what the original cast is up to these days.
Sam Neill (Alan Grant)
Starring as the film's hero, Neill, played a paleontologist brought onto the island to analyze the park. His love and awe over the dinosaurs helped make them feel as real as the film's special effects.
Also in 1993, he starred in the acclaimed foreign film The Piano and reprised his Jurassic Park character in the series' third installment in 2001. He also had prominent roles in 2008’s Merlin and 2007’s The Tudors. He also starred as the villainous Chief Inspector Chester Campbell in Peaky Blinders.
In 2014, he reconnected with his son, Andrew, who was adopted after Neill fathered him in his early 20s. The actor told The Times the two "went looking for" each other and that they had a "much more grownup" reunion than he expected.
Laura Dern (Ellie Satler)
Dern, who also played a paleontologist invited to evaluate the park, has thrived since appearing in the thriller, starring in numerous films and earning critical praise along the way. She was nominated for an Oscar in 2015 for her supporting role in Wild and won a Golden Globe this year for Big Little Lies. She also won Golden Globes in 2012 and 2009 for Enlightened and Recount, respectively. In addition, she won an Emmy last year for Big Little Lies, and was a nominee for Enlightened and Recount.
Ariana Richards (Lex Murphy)
Richards, now 38, has come along way since her days cowering from Raptors. She's made a name for herself as a artist, traveling around the world painting and promoting her work. Though she acknowledges that life after Jurassic has been much quieter, she admits she wouldn’t mind acting again.
“If some great role or project finds me, absolutely that could be a nice thing to do, for sure,” she told PEOPLE in 2015.
As of 2015, Richards was living in South America promoting her art tour. On top of that, she announced to PEOPLE that she and her husband, Mark Bolton, were expecting their first child together. They welcomed a daughter.
Joseph Mazzello (Tim Murphy)
Richards’ on-screen brother, Mazzello, 31, stuck with the film industry, going on to earn a degree in cinema and television from the University of Southern California. In fact, he got some help from director Spielberg.
“Steven wrote me a recommendation for USC to go to film school. Believe it or not, I got in,” Mazzello previously told PEOPLE. “He’s been there for me throughout my life whenever I really needed him.”
Besides Jurassic Park, the actor’s most prominent role came in 2010 when he played Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz in The Social Network. He also starred that same year in HBO's The Pacific.
Samuel L. Jackson (Ray Arnold)
After delivering a memorable performance as the park's chain smoking chief engineer, who likes to remind fellow characters to hold on to their butts, Jackson appeared in numerous hit films.
One of his most acclaimed performances came the next year with Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, and he continued starring in hits like Die Hard with a Vengeance, Jackie Brown, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Shaft, Django Unchained and many more. He also joined the Marvel Universe as Avengers leader Nick Fury.
Wayne Knight (Dennis Nerdy)
After wreaking havoc on the park and allowing the dinosaurs to escape, Knight's character was rewarded with one of the film's most memorable death sequences.
The actor already was a fan favorite as Jerry Seinfeld's curmudgeonly mailman neighbor Newman on the hit sitcom Seinfeld, a role he returned to after the film. He later had recurring roles on the shows 3rd Rock from the Sun and Hot in Cleveland, and did voice work for films like Kung Fu Panda.
Sir Richard Attenborough (John Hammond)
The acclaimed actor and Oscar-winning director, who played the park's creator in the original film, died at the age of 90 in 2014.
Many younger fans of Jurassic Park, and his other hit 90s film, the remake of Miracle on 34th Street, might not have appreciated his long career and artistic range. As a director, Attenborough made several successful movies, from Oh What a Lovely War! in 1969 to Chaplin and Shadowlands in the 1990s. His greatest success was Gandhi, a film that was 20 years in the planning and won eight Oscars, including Best Picture.
His later years were marked by a horrendous personal tragedy when he lost his daughter Jane and granddaughter in the tsunami that hit Thailand the day after Christmas in 2004. He was in frail health after a fall at his house in 2008, and spent his last years in a nursing home with his wife. She died in 2016. They are survived by their son and daughter.
Jeff Goldblum (Ian Malcolm)
Goldblum was famous before playing mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, but his charismatic, wise-cracking role in the film – not to mention his chest hair and unbuttoned shirt – helped make him an icon.
After Jurassic Park, Goldblum starred in more blockbusters, like Independence Day, and also earned critical praise for films like The Grand Budapest Hotel and for his Emmy nominated work on Will & Grace. He's also joined the Marvel Universe as the Grandmaster, appearing recently in Thor: Ragnarok.
In addition to reprising his role in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Goldblum has been soaking up married life with his wife Emilie Livingston. The duo, who tied the knot in 2014, recently welcomed a son, River Joe, on April 7, 2017. Their firstborn son, Charlie Ocean, was born on July 4, 2015.