The Stars of 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade': Where Are They Now?

2:21 PM 5/24/2019

by Adam Yuster

It's been 30 years since Harrison Ford and Sean Connery teamed up for the third installment of the rollicking adventure series.

Paramount Pictures/Photofest

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade burst into theaters May 24, 1989, eight years after Harrison Ford's heroic archaeologist made his first appearance in Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Spielberg, who co-created Jones with longtime friend George Lucas, envisioned the third installment of the Indiana Jones series as a return to form after the second film, 1984's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, drew a mixed response from fans and critics. "I wasn't happy with the second film at all," Spielberg told the Sun-Sentinel back in 1989. "It was too dark, too subterranean and much too horrific. I thought it out-poltered Poltergeist."

Considerably lighter and more comedic in tone than its predecessor, Last Crusade was a smashing critical and box office success. The film netted $474 million, nearly 10 times its budget, besting Batman to become the worldwide highest-grossing film of 1989.

Set in 1938, Last Crusade follows Indy as he sets off to find his missing father (Sean Connery) and recover the legendary Holy Grail before the Nazis can get their hands on it. During his mission, Jones entangles with a mysterious brotherhood, escapes a burning castle and falls for a beautiful femme fatale (Alison Doody).

In honor of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade's 30th anniversary, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at what the movie's stars have been up to since its release.

  • Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones)

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    Even in a career filled with iconic roles, Ford's portrayal of Indiana Jones stands out from the pack. His interpretation of the rugged professor-turned-adventurer has charmed audiences ever since the character's 1981 debut.

    Ford himself has been charming audiences for even longer. After a brief stint as a professional carpenter, his first big break came in 1973, when George Lucas cast him in his hit coming-of-age comedy American Graffiti. Lucas later cast Ford in the role of caustic smuggler Han Solo in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, catapulting the actor to superstardom.

    Outside of American Graffiti, Star Wars and the first two Indiana Jones, Ford's impressive pre-Last Crusade résumé includes Blade Runner (1982), Witness (1985) and Working Girl (1988). Following Last Crusade, Ford continued to put his stamp on the action genre through his portrayals of Jack Ryan in 1992's Patriot Games and 1994's Clear and Present Danger, Dr. Richard Kimble in 1993's The Fugitive and President James Marshall in 1997's Air Force One. He also received acclaim for his dramatic turn in the legal drama Presumed Innocent (1990).

    In recent years, Ford has reprised many of his classic characters in films like 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens and 2017's Blade Runner 2049. He will next lend his voice to a character in The Secret Life of Pets 2 and star as Jack Thornton in an upcoming cinematic adaptation of Jack London's Call of the Wild. In 2021, he will reteam with Spielberg and Lucas to reprise his role as Indy for a fifth film.

  • Sean Connery (Dr. Henry Jones Sr.)

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    Connery plays Dr. Henry Jones Sr., Indiana's father. An obsessive scholar of the Grail, Henry vanishes without a trace during his pursuit of the precious artifact, forcing Indy to retrace his steps. Upon their reunion midway through the film, the older Jones becomes an invaluable resource to Indy as tries to find the Grail before the Nazis.

    Connery's interpretation of James Bond in the first five Bond films — Dr. No (1962), From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967) — was so much of an influence on the character of Indiana Jones that Spielberg told Empire in a 2015 interview, "Who else but Bond could have been worthy enough to play Indiana Jones' dad?"

    In addition to Bond, Connery is known for his roles in The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Highlander (1986) and The Untouchables (1987), the latter of which earned him an Academy Award for best supporting actor. After Last Crusade's release, Connery appeared in some of the biggest hits of the '90s, including The Hunt for Red October (1990), The Rock (1996) and Entrapment (1999).

    Connery was knighted in 2000 for his contributions to the film industry. In 2003, Connery starred in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. His character in that film, game hunter Allan Quatermain, originated in the 1885 novel King Solomon's Mines, another major source of inspiration for the Indiana Jones series. After receiving the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, Connery announced his retirement. Post-retirement, he has participated in just two more projects, lending his voice to the video game From Russia With Love in 2005 and the animated feature Sir Billi in 2012.

  • River Phoenix (Young Indy)

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    Phoenix played a teenage version of Indy in the opening scene of the film. When a gang of looters tries to take the Cross of Coronado from a dig site in Arches National Park, Utah, Young Indy swipes it and leads them on a grand chase. This version of Jones proved so popular that he was spun off into his own 1992-1993 TV series, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles starring Sean Patrick Flanery.

    Phoenix quickly rose to fame for his role in the Stephen King adaptation Stand by Me (1986). Two years later, he received an Oscar nomination for his performance as a high school student hoping to break ties with his family's fugitive past in Sidney Lumet's Running on Empty (1988).

    After playing Young Indy, Phoenix appeared in the ensemble black comedy I Love You to Death (1990). The following year, he starred in the Vietnam War drama Dogfight and was praised by critics for his portrayal of a male prostitute in Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho.

    Phoenix died from a drug overdose in 1993. His final film, Dark Blood, was shelved for 19 years, eventually receiving a release in 2012.

  • Denholm Elliott (Marcus Brody)

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    Elliott played Marcus Brody, the bumbling museum curator who gets roped into the Jones' hunt for the Grail. Brody is a returning character, having previously appeared as Indy's trusted confidante in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    Born in Middlesex, England, Elliott landed his first screen role in 1949 with the film Dear Mr. Prohack. During his lifetime, he appeared in over 120 films and TV shows, leading Roger Ebert to label him "the most dependable of all British character actors." Elliott won three consecutive BAFTAs in the 1980s and received an Oscar nod for 1986's A Room With a View.

    Between the release of Last Crusade in 1989 and his death of tuberculosis in 1992, Elliott starred in 1990's Killing Dad or How to Love Your Mother alongside Julie Walters and Richard E. Grant and played Headmaster Robert Gould in 1991's Toy Soldiers. He was also featured in the 1991 ensemble drama Scorchers.

  • John Rhys-Davies (Sallah)

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    Rhys-Davies played Sallah, a jolly Egyptian excavator and loyal friend to Indy. Like Marcus Brody, Sallah debuted in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    Prior to the Indiana Jones series, Rhys-Davies portrayed Portuguese navigator Vasco Rodrigues on the 1980 miniseries Shogun. It was this role that gained the attention of Spielberg and led to Rhys-Davies' casting as Sallah.

    In the years between Raiders of the Lost Ark and Last Crusade, Rhys-Davies appeared in King Solomon's Mines (1985) and Firewalker (1986), both of which poked fun at the Indiana Jones films and his role in them.

    After Last Crusade, Rhys-Davies starred in the 1993-94 revival of The Untouchables and played Professor Maximillian Arturo in the cult TV show Sliders. In the 2000s, he portrayed the dwarf warrior Gimli in The Lord of the Rings films.

    In 2012, Rhys-Davies again parodied Indiana Jones through his appearance on an episode of Psych, "Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger."

    Currently, Rhys-Davies has 11 projects in the works, including Glastonbury Isle of Light: Journey of the Grail, a film about the real-life legend surrounding the Holy Grail.
     

  • Alison Doody (Elsa Schneider)

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    Doody played Elsa Schneider, an Austrian archaeologist who seduces both of the Jones men in order to learn the Grail's location.

    Pre-Last Crusade, Doody was best known for playing Bond girl Jenny Flex in 1985's A View to a Kill. Only 18 when she shot the film, Doody remains the youngest actress to play a Bond girl.

    After Last Crusade, Doody starred in the 1991 BBC miniseries Selling Hitler and 1994's Major League II before retiring from the film industry to move back to Ireland. In 2003, she came out of retirement for a cameo in the satirical comedy The Actors. The following year, she played Elizabeth Maitland in a two-part Hallmark movie adaptation of King Solomon's Mines, with Patrick Swayze co-starring as Allan Quatermain.

    Most recently, Doody starred as Grace in the 2016 Belgian dramedy Broer. She will next appear in the historical fiction/action film The Rising Hawk.

  • Julian Glover (Walter Donovan)

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    Glover played Walter Donovan, the wealthy businessman who covets the Grail's immortality-granting powers. Initially hiring the Joneses to seek the Grail for him, Donovan later allies with the Nazis.

    A classically trained British actor, Glover performed regularly with the Royal Shakespeare Company before making the jump to film and television in the 1960s. Aside from Last Crusade, he is best known for his roles as the evil General Veers in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Kristatos in the Bond film For Your Eyes Only (1981).

    Following his appearance in Last Crusade, Glover has remained a regular presence on both big and small screens. In 2002, he provided the voice for the giant spider Aragog in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Four years later, he played Claude Monet in the BBC docudrama The Impressionists and appeared in the Woody Allen film Scoop. He also portrayed the Duke of Wellington in 2008's The Young Victoria.

    From 2011 to 2016, Glover played Grand Maester Pycelle on HBO's blockbuster series Game of Thrones. He currently stars as Mark Viner on the Netflix/BBC Two co-production Black Earth Rising.