The Stars of 'Broadcast News': Where Are They Now?

5:41 AM 12/18/2017

by Katherine Schaffstall

On the 30th anniversary of the film, see what Holly Hunter, Albert Brooks, William Hurt and more have been up to.

Broadcast News Still 1987 - Photofest - H 2017

Thirty years ago, Broadcast News told the story of a changing media landscape through a demanding TV news producer Jane Craig (Holly Hunter), smart writer-reporter Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks) and handsome anchorman Tom Grunick (William Hurt), who also spend the film juggling their changing feelings for one another.

The film, which also featured memorable appearances from Joan Cusack and Jack Nicholson among others, earned more than $67 million at the global box office following its Dec. 18, 1987 release. Broadcast News — written directed and produced by James L. Brooks — also garnered seven Oscar nominations.

In honor of the film’s anniversary, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at what Hunter, Brooks, Hurt and more of the Broadcast News team are doing now.

  • Jane Craig, portrayed by Holly Hunter

    Hard-working Jane valiantly tries to maintain her high journalistic standards as she also grapples with her feelings for Tom and Aaron. The character is based off of television news producer Susan Zirinksy’s experience at CBS News in the early 1980s. Hunter earned her first of four Oscar nominations for her role in Broadcast News. The actress went on to star in the films Always, A Life Less Ordinary, Levity, Thirteen, Little Black Book, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Strange Weather, The Big Sick and Song to Song. She won an Oscar in 1994 for her role as Ada in The Piano. Hunter has also been nominated for seven Emmys and won for her roles in Roe vs. Wade and The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom. The critically acclaimed actress is set to reprise her role as Helen Parr/Elastigirl in the 2018 animated film The Incredibles 2.

  • Aaron Altman, portrayed by Albert Brooks

    Aaron is a talented writer and reporter who originally keeps his love for his close friend and colleague Jane a secret. Brooks was nominated for an Oscar for his role as Aaron. Following the 1987 film, Brooks went on to act in films like I’ll Do Anything, Out of Sight, The In-Laws, Drive, This Is 40, A Most Violent Year and Concussion. He has lent his voice to many animated films, most notably Finding Nemo and Finding Dory as patriarch Marlin. Brooks has also worked behind the camera as the writer and director of the films Defending Your Life, Mother, The Muse and Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World. He has also voiced a variety of characters on The Simpsons since 1990. Brooks co-created and was set to lend his voice to the upcoming TBS animated series The Cops, on which production has been suspended due to the sexual misconduct claims made against co-creator and star Louis C.K.

  • Tom Grunick, portrayed by William Hurt

    Hurt portrays Tom, a likable news anchorman who lacks experience and is well aware that he only got his job based on his good looks. The actor was nominated for an Oscar for his work in Broadcast News and has gone on to appear in the films The Accidental Tourist, Alice, Jane Eyre, Tuck Everlasting, The King, A History of Violence, Mr. Brooks, Days and Nights and Race. He will appear as Pere La Chaise in the upcoming film The King’s Daughter. The Academy Award winner has made appearances in the TV shows Damages, Humans and Goliath. 

  • Blair Litton, portrayed by Joan Cusack

    One year after Cusack portrayed assistant director Blair Litton in Broadcast News, she was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar for her role as Cynthia in Working Girl. Cusack went on to act in films like Men Don’t Leave, Addams Family Values, Nine Months, Grosse Pointe Blank, In & Out, Runaway Bride, School of Rock, My Sister’s Keeper, Snatched and Unicorn Store. The actress voices the role of Jessie in the Toy Story franchise and is set to reprise the role for the 2019 film Toy Story 4. From 2011-2015, she starred as Sheila Gallagher in the Showtime series Shameless, winning the 2015 guest actress in a comedy series Emmy for her role.

  • Ernie Merriman, portrayed by Robert Prosky

    The late actor played Ernie Merriman, the network's Washington bureau chief. Following his role in Broadcast News, Prosky went on to act in the films Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Hoffa, Mrs. Doubtfire, Last Action Hero, Miracle on 34th Street, The Scarlet Letter, Dead Man Walking, Mad City and Dudley Do-Right. He also starred as Pat Chase in season 1 of the NBC sitcom Veronica’s Closet. The actor appeared in a number of stage productions, including the Broadway shows Glengarry Glen Ross and A View From the Bridge. His last acting role was in the 2008 film The Skeptic as Father Wymond. Prosky died in 2008 at the age of 77 after complications occurred during heart surgery.