It’s been 40 years since audiences were first introduced to Ponyboy — played by C. Thomas Howell — and his gang of greasers, making the cast of “The Outsiders” household names.
Based on the 1967 novel with the same name, the movie tells the story of Ponyboy and his struggle between right and wrong. He finds himself in the middle of a war between two rival gangs — the Greasers, the working-class gang that he and his friends and family belong to, and the Socs, the upper-class gang — as he tries to figure out where he truly belongs.
The movie launched the careers of many of its young stars, including Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise, elevating them to the status of Hollywood heartthrobs.
In a recent interview with Fox News Digital, Lowe compared his experience to making the film to the bonds people form as members of a fraternity, saying: “It was my first time away from home, it was my first movie. I’ll never forget it. It feels like it was four days ago, not 40 years.”
Here is a look at the cast of “The Outsiders” then and now.
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Rob Lowe had only had a few credits to his name before he was cast as Sodapop in “The Outsiders,” a character described as having movie star good looks with silky brown hair in the book.
Following the success of “The Outsiders,” Lowe continued to act in a number of movies, including “St. Elmo’s Fire,” also starring Demi Moore and his “Outsiders” co-star Emilio Estevez. He later reunited with Moore in “About Last Night.” He then appeared in the movie “Wayne’s World” and three Austin Powers movies, including “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.”
From 1999 to 2006, Lowe starred as Sam Seaborn in the popular NBC drama “The West Wing,” which follows the lives of presidential advisers as they struggle to balance the demands of their job in the White House with their personal lives. His role on the show earned him an Emmy nomination and two Golden Globe nominations.
He also starred in the miniseries “Salem’s Lot,” the London West End production of “A Few Good Men,” had a 78-episode run on “Brothers & Sisters” from 2006 to 2010 and had a supporting role in “The Invention of Lying.”
In July 2010, it was announced Lowe would join the cast of “Parks and Recreation,” as Chris Traeger, the health conscious Pawnee city manager, alongside Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones. Since then, he’s appeared in “The Grinder,” “Dog Gone” and “9-1-1: Lone Star.”
In 1988, Lowe was the subject of a major scandal when he filmed himself having sex with a woman who turned out to be underage. He settled a lawsuit with the girl’s family, was never charged with a crime and maintained that he wasn’t aware she was underage given that they met in a nightclub. However, the rumors and innuendo marred his career at a time when his star should have been on the rise thanks to “St. Elmo’s Fire.”
Eventually, his reputation recovered, and he even made jokes about it when hosting “Saturday Night Live” a few times. Two years after his sex tape scandal, Lowe decided to quit drinking and embrace sobriety, later calling that the best decision he ever made.
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Lowe met wife Sheryl Berkoff when they were set up on a blind date in 1983, but they didn’t get close until they met again on set of their movie “Bad Influence.” They have been married since 1991 and have two sons, Matthew Edward Lowe and John Owen Lowe.
After a number of small television roles, Patrick Swayze starred as Darrel Curtis, the oldest brother to Rob Lowe and C. Thomas Howell’s characters in “The Outsiders.”
While this role gave him his start, Swayze’s big breakthrough came in 1987 when he got the role of Johnny Castle in “Dirty Dancing.” His performance in the film earned him his first of three Golden Globe nominations. He also wrote a Top 10 hit, “She’s Like the Wind,” which was on the movie’s soundtrack.
The success of “Dirty Dancing” opened a lot of doors for Swayze, who quickly became a sought-after actor. After a few successful films, his next big role came in 1990 when he starred alongside Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg in “Ghost.” The movie was a big success and earned him his second Golden Globe nomination.
He continued to appear in a number of successful films in the ’90s, including “Point Break,” “Letters From a Killer” and “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar,” which earned him a third Golden Globe nomination. During this time, he also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Throughout the early 2000s, Swayze continued to dominate both on screen and on the stage, starring in “Donnie Darko,” “Waking Up in Reno,” “King Solomon’s Mines” and “One Last Dance,” as well as the production of “Guys and Dolls” on the West End in London in 2006.
His final acting role was in the A&E drama “The Beast.” Swayze was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer shortly after filming on the show began. However, the actor remained committed to fulfilling his contract, working throughout his treatment process.
Swayze was married to wife Lisa Niemi 34 years. They met in 1970 when he was 18 and she was 14 and got married in 1975. In January 2008, Swayze was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
In January 2009, he was hospitalized due to pneumonia, and in April of that year, his condition worsened. He died in September 2009 at the age of 57, 20 months after his initial diagnosis.
Ralph Macchio’s first big role was Johnny Cade in “The Outsiders,” the best friend of the main character Ponyboy.
Macchio’s success in “The Outsiders” led him to the role for which he is most known for — Daniel LaRusso in 1984’s “The Karate Kid.”
He reprised his role for the film’s two sequels, “The Karate Kid Part II” and “The Karate Kid Part III.”
Macchio has also appeared in Broadway’s “Cuba and His Teddy Bear,” alongside Robert DeNiro. Next, he starred as Bill Gambini in “My Cousin Vinny,” alongside Marisa Tomei and Joe Pesci. He followed that performance with a return to the stage in the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”
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After a few guest appearances on shows like “Ugly Betty,” “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Deuce,” it was announced Macchio would reprise his role of Daniel LaRusso in the Netflix series “Cobra Kai.” The show picks up decades after the original movie and centers around the resurgence of the Cobra Kai Dojo and the relationship formed between him and his former rival.
The actor opened up about how the Karate Kid movies and “Cobra Kai” have shaped his life in his 2022 memoir “Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me.” The Netflix show is set to end with its upcoming sixth season.
Macchio married his wife Phyllis Fierro, a nurse practitioner, in 1987. They have two children, a daughter Julia and a son Daniel.
With only a few acting credits to his name, Tom Cruise appeared in “The Outsiders” as Steve Randle, one of the story’s main protagonists. He followed that up quickly with another success, the film “Risky Business,” considered a classic movie for Cruise.
Cruise proved his worth as a leading man when he starred as Maverick in 1986’s “Top Gun,” starring alongside Val Kilmer, Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan. He followed that with a leading role in “Rain Man,” starring opposite Dustin Hoffman. The film won best picture at the Academy Awards.
The next year, he starred in “Born on the Fourth of July,” a role that earned him a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nod.
After a series of movies, including “Days of Thunder,” “Far and Away” and “Interview with the Vampire,” Cruise starred in “Jerry Maguire” alongside Renee Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr., leading him to another Golden Globe award and Oscar nomination.
A few years later, he won a third Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination for his role in “Magnolia.”
From 2000 to 2010, Cruise starred in many successful films. In that decade, he was nominated for two more Golden Globes for his roles in “The Last Samurai” and “Tropic Thunder,” as well as starring in “Vanilla Sky,” “Minority Report,” “War of the World” and “Valkyrie.”
Starting in 1996, Cruise began acting as Ethan Hunt in “Mission: Impossible,” a role that cemented his status as an action star. He has since starred in five more installments and another two that are set to be released in July of this year and 2024. While starring in these movies, Cruise became known for doing his own stunts.
In 2022, Cruise returned to the character of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the highly anticipated “Top Gun” sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick.” It was met with critical acclaim and quickly became the highest-grossing film of Cruise’s career. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in the film, and the movie was nominated for best picture at the 2023 Academy Awards. It was announced in 2020 his next movie will be filmed in space.
Cruise was married to his first wife Mimi Rogers from 1987 to 1990. He was first introduced to the Church of Scientology because Rogers was one of its top members.
Not long after their divorce, Cruise met Nicole Kidman on the set of “Days of Thunder,” and the two were married in December 1990. The couple adopted two children, Isabella and Connor, before they split in 2001.
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After being linked to a few women, Cruise started a relationship with actress Katie Holmes. Cruise famously professed his love for her during an appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” by jumping on the couch saying how much he loved her.
Their daughter Suri Cruise was born in April 2006, and they were married in November of that same year. In June 2012, Holmes filed for divorce, which was finalized a month later.
Matt Dillon was already in a number of successful films before getting cast as Dallas Winston on “The Outsiders.” He starred in two other adaptations of S.E. Hinton’s novels, including “Tex” and “Rumble Fish,” working with Francis Ford Coppola and Diane Lane on multiple occasions.
He continued to act throughout the ’80s, appearing in movies such as “The Flamingo Kid,” “The Big Town” and “Native Son.” And he made his Broadway debut in the play “The Boys of Winter” in 1985. His most popular film in that decade was “Drugstore Cowboy,” in which he played a drug addict.
The actor went on to star in a number of successful movies throughout the ’90s, including “Singles,” “To Die For” starring Nicole Kidman, “Wild Things” and “There’s Something About Mary” starring Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller. In 2002, he wrote, directed and starred in the movie “City of Ghosts” alongside James Caan.
In 2004, Dillon starred in the movie “Crash,” also starring Don Cheadle and Sandra Bullock, and Dillon earned a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination.
He then appeared opposite Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson in “You, Me and Dupree” as well as “Bad Country,” “The House That Built Jack” and, most recently, “American Dreamer.”
Dillon dated his “There’s Something About Mary” co-star Cameron Diaz from 1995 to 1998 and has been dating Italian actress, dancer and choreographer Roberta Mastromichele since 2014.
C. Thomas Howell
C. Thomas Howell’s starring role as Ponyboy in “The Outsiders” was only his second acting credit. His first was in Steven Spielberg’s film, “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.”
The actor has worked consistently after “The Outsiders,” starring in movies like “Grandview, U.S.A.” and “Red Dawn” with Patrick Swayze, as well as “Secret Admirer” with Lori Loughlin, “The Hitcher” and its sequel and “Young Toscanini” alongside Elizabeth Taylor.
He continued to act throughout the ’90s, often making guest appearances on popular TV shows and in both feature films and TV movies. During this time, he also wrote and directed the movie “Hourglass” and also appeared in “Acting on Impulse,” “Laws of Deception,” “Dilemma,” “Baby Face Nelson” and “Sealed with a Kiss.”
From 1999 to 2000, he starred in the show “Amazon,” and, in 2005, he had a recurring role on “Summerland,” playing Zac Efron’s father. Around that time, he also starred in “The Hillside Strangler,” “War of the Worlds,” “The Day the Earth Stopped” and played a serial killer in a recurring role on “Criminal Minds.”
Howell also appeared in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which starred Andrew Garfield, had recurring roles on “Ray Donovan” and “Animal Kingdom,” and most recently appeared in “The Walking Dead” and “SEAL Team.”
In 2001, the actor was acquitted of five misdemeanor charges stemming from an incident in southern California. The actor was accused of driving away after hitting a skateboarder with his car, only to allegedly return with a hammer, threatening to hit him.
Howell was charged with a hit-and-run, making terrorist threats and brandishing a weapon. Had the jury found him guilty, he could have been sentenced to at least four years in a county jail.
In 1989, the actor married actress Rae Dawn Chong. They divorced the following year in 1990. He married his second wife Sylvie Anderson in 1992, and they welcomed three children together, Dashiell, Isabelle and Liam, before getting divorced in 2016.
Emilio Estevez followed in his father Martin Sheen’s footsteps, pursuing a career as an actor, appearing in a few films before landing the role of Keith “Two-Bit” Matthews in “The Outsiders.”
Soon, he became known for being a part of the “Brat Pack” with Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson, Demi Moore, Molly Ringwald, Andrew Thomas McCarthy and Ally Sheedy.
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Following “The Outsiders,” Estevez had starring roles in “The Breakfast Club,” which also starred many members of the Brat Pack; “Repo Man” and “St. Elmo’s Fire,” also starring Lowe and Moore. He then wrote the screenplay for and starred in “That Was Then, This Is Now.”
He made his directorial debut in 1986 with the film “Wisdom,” making him the youngest person at the time to write, direct and star in the same movie. He continued appearing in many successful projects, including starring as Gordon Bombay in the three “Mighty Duck” movies. He went on to star and direct in “Men at Work,” “The War at Home,” “Rated X” and “Bobby.”
Estevez has also made multiple appearances in music videos for Jon Bon Jovi for the songs “Blaze of Glory” and “Say It Isn’t So,” as well as making appearances on brother Charlie Sheen’s sitcom, “Two and a Half Men.” Most recently, he reprised his role as Coach Gordon Bombay in the Disney+ series, “The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers,” in 2021.
The actor has two children: a son, Taylor, and a daughter, Paloma, with model Carey Salley, who he dated on and off in the ’80s.
In 1987, Salley filed a $2 million paternity lawsuit against Estevez. Estevez was also engaged to Moore before she called off their nuptials in December 1986.
He was married to Paula Abdul from 1992 to 1994.
Diane Lane had been acting for quite a few years prior to landing the role of Cherry Valance in “The Outsiders.” After playing Cherry, she acted in a few more projects before taking a break from Hollywood in 1984.
Lane returned to acting in 1987 in the film “Lady Beware,” but solidified her comeback in the 1989 miniseries, “Lonesome Dove,” which earned her an Emmy nomination. She followed that up with a role in “My New Gun” in 1992 and “A Walk on the Moon” with Liev Schreiber, Viggo Mortensen and Anna Paquin.
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Her next big role came in 2002 when she starred as a housewife who has an affair in the movie “Unfaithful.” For her role in the movie, she was nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. The following year, she starred in “Under the Tuscan Sun,” for which she earned another Golden Globe nomination.
She then starred in “Must Love Dogs,” “Nights in Rodanthe” and “Jumper.”
The actress went on to act in “Secretariat” and “Cinema Verite,” a role that earned her a third Golden Globe nomination. In 2013, Lane returned to the stage, starring in a production of “Sweet Bird of Youth.” In 2015, she starred in an off-Broadway play “The Mystery of Love and Sex.”
Lane has also provided her voice for the animated movie “Inside Out” and has appeared in the critically-acclaimed film “Trumbo.” She then appeared in the last season of “House of Cards,” “Let Him Go” and is set to appear in season 2 of Ryan Murphey’s “Feud.”
In October 1988, Lane tied the knot with Christopher Lambert, whom she met on “The Cotton Club” in 1984. The couple was married for almost six years and welcomed a daughter, Eleanor Jasmine Lambert, before getting divorced in March 1994.
Lane later married actor Josh Brolin in August 2004. After only a few months of marriage, Lane called the police on Brolin in December 2004, and he was arrested on misdemeanor charges of domestic battery. However, Lane declined to file charges, calling the situation a misunderstanding.
They filed for divorce in February 2013, and the divorce was finalized in December of that year.
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