Prom. It can be one of the most traumatic high school rituals—but when you’re talking about the 1976 horror flick Carrie, where you get an overdose of blood, flying objects, teenage carcasses, and bad hair strewn all over the prom dance floor—that would be an understatement.
Starring Sissy Spacek in the lead role as meek-to-murderous Carrie White, and costarring John Travolta and Piper Laurie, the Stephen King novel turned movie was the ultimate revenge horror flick for all nerdy high school rejects!
If you can’t get enough of the telekinetic killer powers of the humiliated prom queen, an umpteenth version of Carrie, which goes by the same name, will be premiering today in theaters all across America.
But before you dive into the newest gore-filled version of the original Brian De Palma-directed film, let’s take a look back at the old cast and see what they’ve been up to since the disco era.
Sissy Spacek: Young Sissy Spacek was the complete antithesis of the awkward and isolated girl she portrayed in Carrie. The Texan made quite a splash in New York City during the Flower Power movement of the 1960s when she began singing in coffee houses under the pseudonym “Rainbo.” Trippy! She even recorded a song titled “John, You Went Too Far This Time,” which was her response to John Lennon’s naked cover photo appearing alongside his then-girlfriend Yoko Ono. (So perhaps she was a bit conservative like Carrie.) Besides appearing as an extra in Andy Warhol’s Factory, Spacek garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her breakthrough role in Carrie. Although she didn’t win that year, she did so in 1980 for her role as country star Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter. Some of her other memorable roles include The River, Crimes of the Heart, JFK, and In the Bedroom. She’s also guest starred in HBO’s TV drama Big Love before returning to film and starring in The Help and 2012’s Deadfall, opposite Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde.
John Travolta: A bully with feathery hair who plotted Carrie’s demise on prom night, Billy Nolan (John Travolta) didn’t know that’d be his last prank! Although Carrie was Travolta’s feature film debut, he first made a name for himself as a television actor. He had breakthrough roles in Welcome Back, Kotter and as The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. Post Carrie, Travolta had two other blockbuster films in the '70s: Saturday Night Fever and Grease—both of which exhibited his hair’s ability to have a life of its own. Things sorta hit a slump after that, though he did have a hit in 1989 with Look Who’s Talking. But in 1994 Quentin Tarantino gave Travolta a real comeback role as mob hitman Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction. Other notable films of his include Get Shorty, Phenomenon, and Face/Off… (and no, we had no intention of including Battlefield Earth on this list). Travolta’s personal life took a turn for the worst in 2009 when he and his wife, actress Kelly Preston, lost their eldest of three children, son Jett, who passed away after reportedly suffering a seizure. Although it’s been a long road of mourning for the actor, Travolta is returning to the big screen with one of his most anticipated projects: playing the lead role as mobster John Gotti Sr. The film is scheduled to be released in 2014.
Amy Irving: Amy Irving played Sue Snell in Carrie, a convincing bully albeit with a conscience. Irving was raised in a show business family - her mother is actress Priscilla Pointer and her father, Jules Irving, was a director - and she followed in their footsteps training in theater. Seven years after her role in Carrie, Irving received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Yentl alongside Barbra Streisand. In the late 1970s Irving had a tumultuous on-and-off-again relationship with director Steven Spielberg. Spielberg had initially offered the role of Marion Ravenwood in Raiders of the Lost Ark to Irving, but after their breakup, he gave it to Karen Allen instead. Despite the loss, Irving had steady gigs in both TV and film, and even starred in 1999’s Carrie 2 as an older Sue Snell. As for Spielberg and Irving? Although they rekindled their relationship by marrying in the mid-80s and having a son together, they divorced four years later—at a very hefty price for Spielberg. The judge threw out their non-formal prenup agreement (because it was written on a napkin), and the director was forced to cough up $100 million dollars as a settlement. The dissolution of Irving and Spielberg’s marriage still goes down has one of the heftiest divorces of all time. Love will cost ya.
William Katt: Tommy Ross’ blonde froey locks were no match for young and lusty Carrie. Behind that mass of gorgeous curls was actor William Katt, a Los Angeles native and a son of two actors. Carrie was Katt’s most prominent role in a feature film, although he starred in other flicks that you may recall in the 80s like Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (dinosaurs never looked so real!) and the horror-comedy cult classic House. Although he was close to landing the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, the gig ultimately went to another blondie, Mark Hamill. But by and large, Katt has mostly maintained his acting career with TV roles and did end up playing another superhero of sorts for a few seasons in the 80s... The Greatest American Hero, anyone? These days, he’s been seen on TV shows like Andromeda and Justice League and has made some smaller film appearances in films like Gamers and Alien vs. Hunter.
Piper Laurie: Piper Laurie was one bad mother (bleep) in Carrie. Playing Carrie’s mother Margaret White, a religious zealot who saw the devil in all things, she sure wasn’t happy to see her daughter wearing slinky prom dresses that revealed her “dirty pillows.” But way before that outstandingly scary role, Laurie was already acting alongside Hollywood heavyweights. In 1950 she appeared in Louisa, a comedy starring Ronald Reagan. Laurie has been quoted as saying that the two dated for a while and that she lost her virginity to the future U.S. pres. In the 1960s she starred in The Hustler with blue-eyed hunk Paul Newman and some 30 years later played the evil Catherine Martell in Twin Peaks. Most recently, Laurie continues playing sinister roles in smaller (but forgettable) films like Bad Blood and its sequel Bad Blood…the Hunger.
Betty Buckley: Miss Collins doubled as Carrie’s bodyguard and gym teacher, and although we think she could have done more to save her, we still give her props for trying to help the angry teen. Betty Buckley indeed was a true angel in Carrie as Miss Collins, but she swapped the goody two-shoes role when she played Carrie’s demented dogmatic mom Margaret White in the musical adaptation in 1987. But Buckley returned to her more kindhearted roles in TV series such as Eight Is Enough, Oz, and most recently, Pretty Little Liars. A distinguished theater, film, and TV actress, Buckley has found steady work in big feature films like M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, and television dramas like HBO’s The Pacific, opposite Tom Hanks. In January of this year, she was inducted into The Theater Hall of Fame.