Written by actors Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, the first two Ghostbusters flicks became such a hit with moviegoers that the franchise spawned an animation series, video games and recent reboots. The latest iteration, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, is considered a continuation of the 80s franchise.
Want to know what your beloved Ghostbusters cast has been doing since they saved New York City from paranormal destruction? Read on:
Bill Murray (Peter Venkman)
Seen as the laziest of the Ghostbusters, parapsychologist Peter Venkman was nonetheless considered the group's leader. His disinterested attitude in ghosts, immense sarcasm and propensity to flirt with the ladies were characteristics that Bill Murray was able to embody with originality and verve. For some fans, Venkman was one of Murray's best characters of all time, but the actor had so many roles after Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II that are worthy of mentioning, such as Scrooged (1988), Groundhog Day (1993) and Lost in Translation (2003), the last of which won him a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award. And Murray's career wouldn't be complete without mentioning his Wes Anderson collaborations—The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012), to name a few. Murray reprised his role as Venkman in 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Dan Aykroyd (Ray Stantz)
If Peter Venkman is the lazy Ghostbuster, then character Ray Stantz is the team member with the most heart. Stantz's enthusiasm for studying and understanding ghosts is unparalleled, and if you know a thing or two about Dan Aykroyd, then you'd know Stantz's fascination with the paranormal isn't too far off from the actor's own personal interests. Post Ghostbusters, Aykroyd has starred in memorable films like Dragnet (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Coneheads (1993) and Christmas with the Kranks (2004), among many others. Aykroyd returned as Ray Stantz in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler)
Who created the Containment Unit and the Proton Pack? That would be Dr. Egon Spengler, the "brain" of the Ghostbusters (and if anyone was honest, the "hair" of the Ghostbusters, too). When Egon got tech crazy, Ray was the only one who managed to understand his nerd language... well, that's not entirely true. Actor Harold Ramis, who played Egon did, too, since he co-wrote both Ghostbuster films with Aykroyd. Ramis wasn't only a film writer, but he also directed some box office hit comedies such as National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), Groundhog Day (1993) — for which he won a BAFTA award — and Analyze This (1999). Sadly, Ramis died from an autoimmune disease in 2014. The 2016 female reboot of Ghostbusters was dedicated to him.
Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore)
As the fourth member of the team, Winston Zeddemore was considered the "common man" of the Ghostbusters. Actor Ernie Hudson embodied the sensible, reliable and ethical Zeddemore who joined the Ghostbusters because he wanted a steady gig. Hudson's future beyond the supernatural has been impressive. He starred as Warden Leo Glynn on Oz starting in the late 90s and on the big screen he appeared in Leviathan (1989), The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), The Basketball Diaries (1995), Miss Congeniality (2000) and had a cameo in the all-female cast of Ghostbusters (2016). Hudson busted more ghosts in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Sigourney Weaver (Dana Barrett)
As Dana Barrett, Sigourney Weaver played a single cellist who happened to be living in the Upper West Side apartment that became the portal for the evil shape-shifting apocalyptic ghost Gozer the Gozerian. She was also the target of Venkman's flirtation. Fast forward to Ghostbusters II, and Weaver ended up being a single divorcé with an eight-month-old baby boy back in trouble with evil spirits. Weaver's damsel-in-distress role was a refreshing one, considering audiences knew her as the mega ass-kicker in the Alien franchise. Post Ghostbusters, Weaver went on to appear in Galaxy Quest (1999), WALL-E (2008) and Avatar (2009), among other films. She also appeared in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Rick Moranis (Louis Tully)
Who knew ghosts were bullies? They sure picked on nerdy accountant Louis Tully, played by Rick Moranis, when they decided to possess him in the first Ghostbusters. In the sequel, Moranis played Tully again, only this time, he was a newly licensed lawyer who represented the Ghostbusters when they went to trial. He also ended up becoming the fifth Ghostbuster. Moranis had a full-fledged Hollywood career in the 80s to mid-90s with notable projects like Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Spaceballs (1987), the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise (1989 - 1997), Parenthood (1989) and Flintstones (1994). In 1997, Moranis stepped away from acting to take care of his kids after his wife died of cancer. He made a return to acting in the early 2000s, being very selective about his roles.
Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz)
As the bored receptionist of the Firehouse, Janine Melnitz only found joy when a call came in to catch a ghost... and also when she was hitting on Egon. With her oversized glasses, squeaky voice and sass, Annie Potts fit the role of Janine perfectly and moved on to being a sitcom star on Designing Women. Potts also has done voiceover work for the Toy Story franchise and appeared in Young Sheldon. Potts played Janine once again in Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
William Atherton (Walter Peck)
Serving as one of the ancillary antagonists in Ghostbusters, William Atherton played EPA inspector Walter Peck who gave the Ghostbusters a headache with his determination to assess their Containment Unit (aka Storage Facility) for possible hazardous waste. Needless to say, Peck and Venkman butted heads big time. With an affinity to play annoying really well, Atherton was also memorable for his role as the irresponsible reporter Richard Thornburg in the first and second Die Hard flicks (1988, 1990).
Peter MacNicol (Janosz Poha)
If he wasn't crushing on Dana Barrett, museum restoration department head Janosz Poha was busy getting incensed by Venkman and being possessed by evil tyrant sorcerer Vigo the Carpathian. Embracing both comedy and evil so well, Peter MacNicol performed a similar good guy-bad guy role as a camp owner in Addams Family Values (1993). Among his other notable credits, MacNicol starred in Ally McBeal as lawyer John Cage (and won an Emmy). He also had roles in Chicago Hope, 24, Grey's Anatomy, Veep and Numb3rs.
Kurt Fuller (Jack Hardemeyer)
Leave it to Kurt Fuller to play weasel Jack Hardemeyer, the mayor's assistant, in Ghostbusters II. Thanks to Jack's testimony during the Ghostbusters' trial, the team was thrown into a psychiatric ward, which would ultimately lead to Jack's professional doom. Post sequel, Fuller added more solid credits to his name in both television and film, such as Psych, Wayne's World (1992), Scary Movie (2000), The Good Wife, Parenthood and Rosewood.