Teen comedy movies are a dime a dozen—but every when in awhile, one comes follow me that isn"t simply funny and also truthful, but manages to stand the test of time. Fast time at Ridgemont High premiered in 1982, and more than three decades later, its mix of raucous comedy and also poignant coming-of-age drama still rings true. You don"t need to be a son of the "70s to identify with the struggles of high schoolers functioning at low-paying jobs, navigating romantic relationships, or managing teenage pregnancy. 

It"s not surprising the the film was based on real events—drawn from the publication Cameron Crowe created after security a year undercover in ~ a California high school. Fast time at Ridgemont High was a sleeper struggle that ended up being a cult classic, and it aided launch the careers of numerous young actors along the way. Let"s take it a look ago at the actors that aided make Fast Times such a success, and find out what they"re up to today.

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Stoner and also surfer dude Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) spends many of his institution days locked in perpetual fight with his straight-laced history teacher, Mr. Hand (Ray Walston). Once he"s not driving Mr. Hand to distraction v his truancy and also clowning, Spicoli is busy chasing the perfect wave, to plan his next stunt, or delivering some of the movie"s most memorable lines.


For Sean Penn, his function as Spicoli in Fast time at Ridgemont High and also his part as a military cadet in the 1981 activity drama Taps assisted push him right into the Hollywood mainstream. Back he"s had actually a couple of flops follow me the way, Penn"s acting career has contained a variety of critically acclaimed films—including the 2003 crime drama Mystic River and also the 2008 biopic Milk, each of i beg your pardon earned that an Academy Award. Penn has additionally stepped behind the camera ~ above a variety of occasions; many notably, he command the 2007 survive biodrama Into the Wild. Many recently, pen made waves when it was revealed he"d carried out a mystery face-to-face interview v Mexican medicine lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman simply weeks before the kingpin"s arrest in 2016.


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For the well-known Brad Hamilton (Judge Reinhold), an elderly year the high institution is sort of a drag. ~ angering one impossible-to-please client (you know the type), Brad"s fired from his project at All-American Burger, and also every brand-new job he it s okay is worse 보다 the last. His girlfriend dumps him, and also the girl that likes to walk in on him while he"s fantasizing around her in the bathroom. Luckily for Brad, that isn"t all bad—in the epilogue, we find out that he gets supported to manager in ~ a convenience store after protecting against a robbery.


Like numerous of the various other young cast members, Reinhold"s component in Fast time at Ridgemont High to be his "big break." because then, he"s unable to do on to show up in dozens that films and also TV shows, most notably as Billy Rosewood in the Beverly Hills Cop movie franchise and also as the "close talker" in the 1994 Seinfeld illustration "The Raincoats"—a guest spot which deserve Reinhold an Emmy nomination. Most recently, Reinhold starred in the 2017 crime comedy Bad Grandmas together Florence Henderson, in what would be her last film function before her death in November 2016.


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For 15-year-old Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh), life it s okay more facility during the search for romance. After losing her virginity come a client at the pizza parlor wherein she works, Stacy briefly dates the shy mark Ratner, yet the 2 break points off after some blended signals. Later, she gets pregnant ~ a one-night-stand with another classmate, and also decides to obtain an abortion. In the end, Stacy and also Mark manage to occupational things out and get ago together.


Although she had some roles as a child star in miscellaneous TV shows and also films, Jennifer Jason Leigh"s part as Stacy in Fast Times assisted kick off her adult acting career. She"s due to the fact that gone on to appear in a number of popular films and television shows, prefer Backdraft, The Hudsucker Proxy, Weeds, and Quentin Tarantino"s The Hateful Eight—for which she got an Academy award nomination. Most recently, Leigh starred in the 2017 fear film Amityville: The Awakening and also held under a recurring role on the Showtime rebirth of Twin Peaks. She"s also slated come co-star alongside Natalie Portman in the very anticipated 2018 scientific research fiction thriller Annihilation.


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Mike Damone (Robert Romanus) fancies self something of a casanova and a rebel—scalping concert tickets to make money and also regaling his shy friend note Ratner v the details of his "five-point plan" for success with the ladies. Later, Damone reveals just just how immature he yes, really is once it comes to romance, acquiring Mark"s like Stacy pregnant during a one-night-stand and also bailing top top her as soon as she asks the to help pay for an abortion. This revelation nearly leads Mark and Mike to pertained to blows in a locker room confrontation.


Romanus" function as Damone in Fast Times helped gain him into the acting business, and that role, together with a recurring component in the TV series The facts of Life, remains his many memorable—although he"s consistently ongoing to action in TV shows and also movies since. Romanus additionally owned a coffee shop in phibìc Hollywood because that a time, i beg your pardon has because closed down. Most recently, you can spot that in the 2016 family members dramedy The Remake.


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The shy however friendly mark "Rat" Ratner (Brian Backer) is a bit of a geek, and also he originally struggles with exactly how to technique his crush, Stacy Hamilton. After part advice native the smooth-talking Mike Damone, mark lands a date with Stacy—but he panics and also leaves before he deserve to make his interest in she clear. Like plenty of of the other characters in Cameron Crowe"s initial book, Ratner was based upon a real-life person: Andy Rathbone, that went on come success as the author of the "...For Dummies" collection of computer system self-help books.


For gibbs Brian Backer, his duty as Rat in Fast Times put him on the map, and also he continued to act on regular basis in movies and television mirrors over the next decade. Since 1991, Backer has only appeared in a grasp of roles—most newly in the 2012 film Vamps, which was likewise helmed by Fast time at Ridgemont High manager Amy Heckerling.


As Ridgemont High"s only "star" player ~ above its lackluster football team, Charles Jefferson"s (Forest Whitaker) year take away a turbulent turn when his tiny brother and also slacker Jeff Spicoli take his 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 the end for a joyride and also end increase wrecking it. Spicoli manages to change the blame for the accident by parking the auto in former of the school and painting it with insults—making the look favor the rival team indigenous Lincoln High was responsible. Jefferson channels his fury into prowess ~ above the football field, leading Ridgemont to victory versus the Lincoln High team.


Although he"s now globally famous, commonly respected for his dedication to every function he plays, and has taken home countless accolades—including an Academy Award for his power in The last King of Scotland—Forest Whitaker acquired his begin in Fast times at Ridgemont High, which was his an initial prominent role. Since then, he"s appeared in dozens of films and also television shows. Star Wars fans will certainly no doubt remember him because that his performance together the eccentric rebel militant observed Gerrera in 2016"s Rogue One. Increase next, Whitaker is slated to play Zuri in the 2018 superhero movie Black Panther.


She didn"t pat a huge role in Fast time at Ridgemont High, yet you most likely remember Lisa (Amanda Wyss), who continues Brad Hamilton"s cable of poor luck when she dumps him after he loses his project at the All-American Burger. Actress Amanda Wyss later had her very own breakout function in 1984, once she co-starred in the horror standard A Nightmare ~ above Elm Street. Transparent the "80s and "90s, Wyss showed up regularly in various other movies and also TV shows, consisting of as reporter Randi McFarland in the Highlander tv series. In recent years, Wyss has popped increase in illustration of JAG, Dexter, and CSI: Crime scene Investigation. Her many recent task is the fear TV movie The Sandman, which premiered on Syfy in October 2017.


The no-nonsense Mr. Hand (Ray Walston) spends much of his college year competing with Jeff Spicoli and also the remainder of his students, whom he frequently berates for being "on dope." In the end, Mr. Hand it s okay his revenge when he mirrors up on Spicoli"s doorstep the night the the graduation dance—forcing him to spend hrs an in expanded study conference in order to pass his class.


Long prior to Fast time at Ridgemont High, beam Walston to be a Hollywood veteran that made a name for self with functions in the popular "60s TV collection My favourite Martian and also 1973"s The Sting. Walston later reprised his role as Mr. Hand in the short-lived TV Fast Times spinoff, and continued come act in movies and on TV throughout the rest of his career; Stephen King fans may remember him as Glen Bateman in the 1994 miniseries The Stand. Later on that year, his lupus diagnosis compelled Walston to slow down his exhilaration career, and also he only showed up in a dozen or for this reason roles in between 1994 and also his death in 2001.


Along v the hard-nosed Mr. Hand, enthusiastic scientific research teacher Mr. Vargas (Vincent Schiavelli) had actually the most display time among the educators in ~ Ridgemont High—including one specifically memorable step in which his class visits a morgue. Choose Mr. Hand, Mr. Vargas returned for the TV series based top top the film. Transparent his mainly four-decade career, Vincent Schiavelli was recognized for his great character exhilaration abilities, and his stature and unique face features. Schiavelli endured from the connective tissue disorder Marfan Syndrome, yet he didn"t allow that slow-moving down his work.


Along through acting, Schiavelli likewise had a enthusiasm for food—he composed a variety of cookbooks, appeared in a cooking show for PBS, and even winner a James beard journalism award because that his food write-ups in the Los Angeles Times. Sadly, his career to be cut short when Schiavelli passed away from lung cancer in 2005, at just 57 years old.


For the sexually energetic Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates), handling the ins and also outs the teenage relationship is solid mystifying—and Linda does her finest to recommend her much more inexperienced and also naïve friend, Stacy. Linda handles herself through aplomb after wade in ~ above Brad in during a potentially-awkward situation, and comes to Stacy"s assist after Mike Damone won"t aid pay for her abortion.

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Phoebe Cates didn"t collection out to come to be an actress, however after one injury cut brief her Juilliard dance career and she invested a couple of years as a model, she landing her very first roles in Fast Times and another 1982 film, Paradise. She continued come act in films and also TV movies till 1994, once she essentially retired native acting. Cates later on opened her very own boutique gift shop in brand-new York City and also returned briefly to the huge screen in 2001, as soon as she appeared in the romantic dramedy The Anniversary Party—which to be written and directed by her friend and also former Fast Times castmate Jennifer Jason Leigh. Many recently, Cates lent her voice come the personality of Kate Beringer in the 2015 Lego Dimensions video game.