Uncle Buck Cast: Then and Now – Where Are They Today?

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Are you a fan of John Hughes’ 1989 classic Uncle Buck? If so, you might be curious to know what the cast of this hilarious comedy is up to now.

Starring John Candy, Uncle Buck tells the story of a bachelor who unexpectedly becomes the caretaker of his brother’s teenage daughter and her siblings.

Despite mixed reviews upon its release, the movie became a box office success, earning $79.2 million against a $15 million budget.

The cast of the 1989 movie "Uncle Buck" includes John Candy as Buck Russell, Gaby Hoffmann as Maizy Russell, Macaulay Culkin as Miles Russell, and Jean Louisa Kelly as Tia RussellThe cast of the 1989 movie “Uncle Buck” includes John Candy as Buck Russell, Gaby Hoffmann as Maizy Russell, Macaulay Culkin as Miles Russell, and Jean Louisa Kelly as Tia Russell (Credit: Hughes Entertainment)

In this feel-good comedy, Uncle Buck’s chaotic and endearing presence entertains his young charges and eventually earns him their love and respect. John Candy’s performance as the bumbling but lovable uncle is unforgettable and a testament to his comedic talent.

So, where are the Russells now? Join us as we reminisce about this classic movie and look at what the cast of Uncle Buck has been up to since the movie’s release over 30 years ago.

From big-screen blockbusters to TV series and beyond, we’ll explore these beloved actors’ diverse careers and exciting projects.

1. John Candy (Buck Russell) – 6ft 2 in. (188 cm)

John Candy, who is 6ft 2 inches (188 cm) tall, brought his trademark humor and warmth to the role, making Buck Russell hilarious and endearing. As the unlikely babysitter to his brother’s children, Buck initially seems rough around the edges but soon reveals a heart of gold.

The character’s love of the Chicago Cubs was evident in his jersey, which belonged to the team’s iconic player, Ernie Banks. And who can forget “The Beast,” the Mercury Marquis coupe that Buck drove and made a sound like a gunshot and a firecracker when it backfired?

In 2006, Canada issued a stamp honoring successful Canadian actors in Hollywood, featuring beloved actor John Candy, who had made a name for himself in numerous Hollywood filmsIn 2006, Canada issued a stamp honoring successful Canadian actors in Hollywood, featuring beloved actor John Candy, who had made a name for himself in numerous Hollywood films (Credit: Neftali / Shutterstock)

During filming, John struck up a friendship with the film’s music supervisor, Tarquin Gotch, which led to an incident where director John Hughes thought the actor was out too late and canceled filming for the day.

But despite this, John continued to bring his A-game to the role of Uncle Buck, which marked his first significant part in a John Hughes film.

John’s comedic talents had been on display for years before Uncle Buck, with his work on Second City Television (SCTV) and in films such as Summer Rental and The Great Outdoors earning him critical acclaim.

John Candy delivered a memorable performance as Buck Russell, the fun-loving and carefree bachelor who steps up to babysit his brother's kids in the beloved 1989 comedy film Uncle BuckJohn Candy delivered a memorable performance as Buck Russell, the fun-loving and carefree bachelor who steps up to babysit his brother’s kids in the beloved 1989 comedy film Uncle Buck (Credit: Hughes Entertainment)

He even collaborated with Mel Brooks on the iconic spoof Spaceballs in 1987. But Uncle Buck cemented John’s status as a true comedic icon, and he went on to star in other classics such as Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with Steve Martin.

John’s life and career were cut short when he died from a heart attack in March 1994 at 43. At the time of his death, he had an estimated net worth of $15 million.

At the time of his sudden death on March 4, 1994, due to a heart attack while filming the movie "Wagons East!" in Durango, Mexico, John Candy, the Canadian actor and comedian, had a net worth of $15 millionAt the time of his sudden death on March 4, 1994, due to a heart attack while filming the movie “Wagons East!” in Durango, Mexico, John Candy, the Canadian actor and comedian, had a net worth of $15 million (Credit: Vicki L. Miller / Shutterstock(

Despite this untimely end, the beloved comedy actor’s legacy continued with his success in the Olympic-themed island bobsledding film Cool Runnings. His final movie, Canadian Bacon, was completed before his passing.

Did John Candy Improvise in Home Alone?

It turns out that John Candy’s influence on the classic Christmas movie Home Alone exceeded his limited screen time.

According to Kieran Culkin, who played Kevin McCallister’s cousin in the film, John’s improvisation skills were fully displayed during his brief appearance.

In the movie, John portrayed Gus Polinski, the Polka King of the Midwest, who helped Kevin’s mother return to her son.

John Candy's brief role as Gus Polinski in the classic Christmas movie Home Alone showcased his exceptional improvisation skillsJohn Candy’s brief role as Gus Polinski in the classic Christmas movie Home Alone showcased his exceptional improvisation skills (Credit: Hughes Entertainment)

Kieran recalled how John’s improvisational abilities brought fresh and unexpected energy to the scene in a March 2023 interview with Esquire.

He said, “Apparently because he only showed up and did one day of work and most of what he did in Home Alone was improvised. There was all that stuff about how he left a kid at the funeral home. That’s amazing. It’s one day’s work. If you see that it’s a big chunk of movie that he’s in, all in one like twenty-something-hour-long day that’s mostly improvised. The man was brilliant.”

Who Played Uncle Buck’s Girlfriend?

Amy Madigan, 5 ft 5 inches (166.4 cm) tall, played Chanice Kobolowski, Buck’s patient girlfriend and tire store owner.

She made her Hollywood debut in 1981 as the lead vocalist for the band Jelly. In 1978, she was featured on the cover of Playboy to promote the band’s sole album, A True Story.

Her role in the 1985 film Twice in a Lifetime earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and helped catapult her to stardom.

Actress Amy Madigan, who played Chanice Kobolowski, the girlfriend of Uncle Buck and proprietor of a tire shop, with her husband Ed Harris and her daughter Lily at the Ed Harris Star ceremonyActress Amy Madigan, who played Chanice Kobolowski, the girlfriend of Uncle Buck and proprietor of a tire shop, with her husband Ed Harris and her daughter Lily at the Ed Harris Star ceremony held on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on March 13, 2015, in Hollywood, California (Credit: Jaguar PS / Shutterstock)

Amy won a Golden Globe award for her work in the 1989 television movie Roe vs. Wade and received a Primetime Emmy nomination. She is also recognized for her role as Kevin Costner’s supportive wife in Field of Dreams.

The actress is currently 73 years old and continues to work actively in the film industry. Her recent projects include the 2020 TV series Penny Dreadful: City of Angels and the 2021 film Antlers, where she played the Principal.

Amy Madigan and Ed Harris met in 1981 while performing in a play called The Jacksonian, got married the following year and have been together ever sinceAmy Madigan and Ed Harris met in 1981 while performing in a play called The Jacksonian, got married the following year, and have been together ever since (Credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock)

She has been married to actor Ed Harris for 40 years. The couple has a daughter named Lily Harris, and they remain one of Hollywood’s most enduring and beloved couples.

2. Jean Louisa Kelly (Tia Russell) – 5ft 3 in. (160 cm)

Jean Louisa Kelly, who towers at 5ft 3 inches (160 cm), made her acting debut with this movie, portraying Tia Russell, the teenage daughter of Buck’s sister-in-law.

Tia is portrayed as a rebellious, sarcastic teenager who refuses to connect with Uncle Buck, even when he is trying to help her through a difficult time.

When "Uncle Buck" was released in theaters on August 16, 1989, Gaby Hoffmann was 7 years old, Macaulay Culkin was 8 years old, and Jean Louisa Kelly was 17 years oldWhen “Uncle Buck” was released in theaters on August 16, 1989, Gaby Hoffmann was 7 years old, Macaulay Culkin was 8 years old, and Jean Louisa Kelly was 17 years old (Credit: Hughes Entertainment)

The role of Tia was initially offered to Winona Ryder, but she turned it down due to her busy schedule with the 1988 film Heathers.

Although she didn’t get along with her character on screen, Jean Louisa strongly bonded with John off-screen, calling him a legend and an honor to work with. Her first big break came with the film, and she then attended Columbia University.

After a few film roles, Jean Louisa started working in television in the late 1990s. She played Nurse Diane in Mad About You and landed her most significant acting role as Kim Warner in the CBS family sitcom Yes, Dear from 2000 to 2006.

Jean Louisa Kelly, who plays a small role as the wife of Val Kilmer's Iceman, with her husband James Pitaro, at the "Top Gun: Maverick" World PremiereJean Louisa Kelly, who plays a small role as the wife of Val Kilmer’s Iceman, with her husband James Pitaro, at the “Top Gun: Maverick” World Premiere on May 4, 2022, in San Diego, California (Credit: Faye’s Vision / Cover Images)

Despite being 52, Jean Louisa still kills it in the industry. Her recent work includes playing Sarah Kazansky, the wife of Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, in Top Gun: Maverick and starring in the horror thriller Malignant.

Who Played Tia’s Boyfriend in Uncle Buck?

Jay Underwood is 5ft 10 inches (178 cm) tall and played the role of Bug, Tia’s sleazy boyfriend in Uncle Buck. Thanks to Buck’s intervention, Bug paid the price for his misdeeds.

Meanwhile, his breakthrough performance as Eric Gibb in the 1986 film The Boy Who Could Fly showed a more empathetic side of Jay’s acting skills.

In the 1986 movie "The Boy Who Could Fly," Jay Underwood played the character of Eric Gibb, while Lucy Deakins played the character of MillyIn the 1986 movie “The Boy Who Could Fly,” Jay Underwood played the character of Eric Gibb, while Lucy Deakins played the character of Milly (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

His acting career began in the 1980s, and he achieved success as a young actor with leading roles in popular films such as Not Quite Human, The Invisible Kid, The Sonny and Cher Story, and Young Indiana Jones. He even played the Human Torch in the unreleased Fantastic Four movie from 1994.

In 2005, Jay put his acting career on hold to study at The Master’s Seminary and later served as a junior high pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Burbank, California. From 2007 to 2020, he served as a full-time pastor at First Baptist Church of Weaverville, California.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Jay is the current interim pastor-teacher at Calvary Bible Church in Burbank as of January 1, 2021. Despite his successful acting career, Jay found a higher calling and devoted his life to serving as a pastor.

3. Gaby Hoffmann (Maizy Russell) – 5ft 7 in. (170.2 cm)

Gaby Hoffmann, who stands at 5ft 7 inches (170.2 cm), portrayed Maizy Russell. She was the adorable and mischievous youngest child of Bob and Cindy. She was known for her charming personality and tendency to get into trouble, like when she made Buck sleep in the same bed as her, leaving him on the floor.

Gaby started her acting career at just seven years old when she landed roles in both Uncle Buck and Field of Dreams, where she first acted alongside Buck’s girlfriend, Amy Madigan, in the latter.

To help pay the family bills, Gaby Hoffmann started acting in commercials at the age of four and later went on to star in her first movie, "Field of Dreams" with Kevin Costner in 1989, and then in the same year, she worked alongside John Candy and an up-and-coming child star, Macaulay Culkin, in Uncle BuckTo help pay the family bills, Gaby Hoffmann started acting in commercials at the age of four and later went on to star in her first movie, “Field of Dreams” with Kevin Costner in 1989, and then in the same year, she worked alongside John Candy and an up-and-coming child star, Macaulay Culkin, in Uncle Buck (Credit: Universal Pictures)

She also starred in Sleepless in Seattle in 1993 and the movie Volcano in the late 1990s. She focused mainly on Broadway and other theatrical work in the new millennium.

Her connection to New York was evident in the Chelsea on the Rocks documentary, which paid tribute to the Chelsea Hotel, where she spent her formative years. She also starred in Manhattan Romance, another notable film.

Gaby Hoffmann, who played the youngest daughter of Bob and Cindy Russell in Uncle Buck, in a stunning sequined Rachel Comey dress with a small blue Bernie Sanders pin at the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild AwardsGaby Hoffmann, who played the youngest daughter of Bob and Cindy Russell in Uncle Buck, in a stunning sequined Rachel Comey dress with a small blue Bernie Sanders pin at the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2016, in Los Angeles, California (Credit: Kyle Rover / Startraksphoto)

From 2014 to 2019, she was a significant character on the hit Amazon series Transparent, which was created especially for her after the showrunner saw her episode in Louie’s third season.

Gaby, now 42 years old, also enjoyed her time on HBO as a significant character in Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty.

4. Macaulay Culkin (Miles Russell) – 5ft 6 in. (167.6 cm)

Macaulay Culkin, the 5ft 6 inches (167.6 cm) tall, iconic child actor, portrayed Miles Russell, Bob, and Cindy’s likable and charming son. His portrayal of Miles was just as endearing and entertaining despite being nothing like his future character of Kevin McCallister in Home Alone.

One memorable scene in the film is when Miles interrogates Buck. To maintain the scene’s rapid-fire tempo, John read the conversation from the screenplay so Macaulay could respond on time.

John Candy and Macaulay Culkin both starred in the 1989 movie "Uncle Buck," with John Candy playing the title character, Buck Russell, and Macaulay Culkin playing his nephew, Miles RussellJohn Candy and Macaulay Culkin both starred in the 1989 movie “Uncle Buck,” with John Candy playing the title character, Buck Russell, and Macaulay Culkin playing his nephew, Miles Russell (Credit: Universal Pictures)

Macaulay’s ascent to the top of the box office began with his breakout role in Home Alone in 1990, followed by its sequel in ’92. He showed his comedic chops in Richie Rich in 1994, but his role in The Good Son in 1993 truly showcased his range as an actor.

After taking a break from acting for a few years, Macaulay made a guest appearance on the television show Will & Grace in 2003. He also appeared in films like Party Monster and lent his voice to the popular show Robot Chicken.

Macaulay Culkin strutted down the runway in a shiny printed jacket, Hawaiian-print shorts, pleated khaki pants with a signature Gucci belt, and sporty orange shades at the Gucci Love ParadeMacaulay Culkin strutted down the runway in a shiny printed jacket, Hawaiian-print shorts, pleated khaki pants with a signature Gucci belt, and sporty orange shades at the Gucci Love Parade on November 2, 2021, in Los Angeles, California

Most recently, Macaulay starred in The Righteous Gemstones, an HBO comedy alongside Danny McBride. At 43 years old, he welcomed two children with his partner, Brenda Song, marking a new chapter in the life of the former child star.

5. Elaine Bromka (Cindy Russell) – 5 ft 4¼ in. (164.5 cm)

Elaine Bromka, who is 5ft 4 ¼ inches (164.5 cm) tall, portrayed Cindy Russell, the mother who wanted nothing more than to keep her family safe, which was why she was so wary of Buck.

Before her role in Uncle Buck, Elaine’s acting credits were minimal, but after her breakout performance, she went on to showcase her talent in various TV programs such as Days of Our Lives, Made in Jersey, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, ER, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

In the 1989 movie "Uncle Buck", John Candy played the title character, Buck Russell, while Macaulay Culkin played his nephew, Miles Russell, and Gaby Hoffmann played his niece, Maizy Russell. Jean Louisa Kelly played the character of Tia Russell, the eldest daughter of the family, while Garrett M. Brown and Elaine Bromka played Bob and Cindy Russell, the parents of the children Buck is babysittingIn the 1989 movie “Uncle Buck,” John Candy played the title character, Buck Russell, while Macaulay Culkin played his nephew, Miles Russell, and Gaby Hoffmann played his niece, Maizy Russell. Jean Louisa Kelly played the character of Tia Russell, the eldest daughter of the family, while Garrett M. Brown and Elaine Bromka played Bob and Cindy Russell, the parents of the children Buck is babysitting (Credit: Universal Pictures)

Aside from her acting career, Bromka is known for co-writing the one-woman show Tea for Three, where she portrayed three former first ladies. Her versatility and talent were displayed as she played Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, and Betty Ford.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Now 74, Elaine has been married to Frederick Phillips since 1976 and continues to inspire others with her talent and passion for acting.

6. Garrett M. Brown (Bob Russell) – 6ft 3 in. (191 cm)

Bob Russell was portrayed by Garrett M. Brown, who stands 6ft 3 inches (191 cm). He brought warmth and sincerity to the role of the father of the Russell family. But when he suffers a heart attack, it is up to his brother Buck to step in and take care of the kids while he recovers.

His acting career began in 1979, and he quickly found success on television with recurring roles in popular shows like What A Country and Sisters.

In the 2007 American romantic comedy film Kiss the Bride, Joanna Cassidy played the character of Evelyn Golski, while Garrett M. Brown played her husband, Gerald GolskiIn the 2007 American romantic comedy film Kiss the Bride, Joanna Cassidy played the character of Evelyn Golski, while Garrett M. Brown played her husband, Gerald Golski (Credit: Regent Releasing)

Despite his success on the small screen, Bob also made a name for himself in movies, appearing in films like Kick-Ass and I Am Number Four.

At 75, he is still actively pursuing his passion for acting, recently appearing in the documentary Kubrick by Kubrick alongside Tom Cruise. His part in the 2015 film Hello, My Name is Frank earned him critical acclaim and the Best Actor Award at the Manhattan Film Festival.

Who Played the Drunk Clown in Uncle Buck?

In Uncle Buck, Mike Starr played Pooter-the-Clown, a drunken and obnoxious clown.

Born on July 29, 1950, in Queens, New York City, Mike Starr is known for his versatility as an actor. Standing at an impressive 6 feet 3 inches (191 cm), Starr has made a significant impact in Hollywood with his diverse roles.

Mike Starr played the character of Pooter the Clown, a birthday clown who Buck rejects for being drunk, in the 1989 movie Uncle BuckMike Starr played the character of Pooter the Clown, a birthday clown who Buck rejects for being drunk, in the 1989 movie Uncle Buck (Credit: Universal Pictures)

Mike has been active in the industry for several decades, with memorable roles in films such as Dumb and Dumber, Ed Wood, Goodfellas, and Miller’s Crossing. He has also appeared in numerous TV shows, including Law & Order, The Blacklist, and Chicago PD.

Aside from acting, Mike is also a producer and has been married to Joanne since 1975, and they have three children.

Was Uncle Buck Filmed in the Same House as Home Alone?

Uncle Buck and Home Alone are two beloved family comedies, but despite their similarities, they were not filmed in the same house.

However, they are located close, which could explain why they share some resemblances. Interestingly, both houses are in Lincoln. However, Home Alone is on Lincoln Avenue, while Uncle Buck is on Lincoln Street.

Most of the sets for Uncle Buck, including the two-story Russell house, were constructed in a nearby high school gymnasium. The production team did a fantastic job recreating the cozy interior of the house in the gymnasium.

The Home Alone movie's renowned mansion of Kevin McCallister has become an iconic landmark in Winnetka, IllinoisThe Home Alone movie’s renowned mansion of Kevin McCallister has become an iconic landmark in Winnetka, Illinois (Credit: Emma_Griffiths / Shutterstock)

Initially, the movie was planned to be filmed in St. Louis. However, due to the unseasonably warm weather in the winter of 1988, the decision was made to move the shoot to Chicago, John Hughes’s traditional filming location.

This change was significant as the film was set in winter, and the Chicago area was experiencing the right weather conditions.