The Cast of 'Revenge of the Nerds,' Then and Now

8:15 AM 7/19/2019

by Mary Malloy

In 1984, they were "laughed at, picked on, and put down." The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at what the cast — including John Goodman, Curtis Armstrong and Ted McGinley — have been up to in the years since.

20th Century Fox/Photofest

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Jeff Kanew-directed film Revenge of the Nerds, which follows lovable nerds Lewis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowell as they navigate their freshman year at Adams College with help from an unlikely group of outcasts.

The movie was a fan favorite and scored three sequels: Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation and Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love. The film’s stars Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong went on to executive produce and host the reality game show King of the Nerds, where a self-proclaimed “nerd” had the chance of winning a cash prize.

This film served as the launching pad for actors who would later go on to become castmembers of Saturday Night Live, Captain America and American Dad!

Read on to see more of what the actors have been up to in the years since the movie first hit theaters July 20, 1984, and click here to read The Hollywood Reporter's original review of the comedy.

  • Robert Carradine

    Lewis Skolnick

    20th Century Fox/Photofest; Getty Images

    The son of actor John Carradine and actress Sonia Sorel, Robert Carradine scored one of his first leading roles with Revenge of the Nerds. Before his days as the optimistic nerd Lewis, Carradine appeared in The Cowboy with John Wayne and revisited the character in the television series The Cowboys, which aired for only one season. Carradine played a physically demanding role alongside Jane Fonda and Jon Voight in Hal Ashby’s Coming Home. Carradine can also be seen in The Big Red One, in which he co-starred opposite Lee Marvin and Mark Hamill. He went on to reprise the role of Lewis Skolnick in the three sequels. He dabbled into television as the father on the popular Disney Channel show Lizzie McGuire and executive produced and hosted King of the Nerds.

  • Anthony Edwards

    Gilbert Lowe

    20th Century Fox/Photofest; Getty Images

    Before taking television by storm, Anthony Edwards landed his breakout film role as Lewis’ pessimistic best friend. Before Edwards was making people laugh as Gilbert, he was co-starring in ABC’s It Takes Two. Edwards brought back Gilbert Lowe in Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise. He later landed what might be his most recognizable role, as Dr. Mark Greene in ER (1994-2008). Edwards took home the 1998 Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for his work on the long-running medical drama. His other film credits include Top Gun, Big Sur and Zodiac. Edwards’ voice can be heard as Echo in Disney’s 2013 animated film Planes. Recently, Edwards had a recurring role on Designated Survivor.

  • Julia Montgomery

    Betty Childs

    Photofest; Getty Images

    Before Julia Montgomery was the coveted sister of Pi Delta Pi, she was Samantha Vernon on One Life to Live and Lisa in Up the Creek. Montgomery went on to revisit her role as Betty Childs in Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation and Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love. Since her days as the beautiful cheerleader, Montgomery has appeared in Stewardess School, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Savage Justice.

  • Michelle Meyrink

    Judy

    Photofest

    Michelle Meyrink is best known as Marcia in the 1983 hit The Outsiders. Prior to her playing Judy, Meyrink appeared in the Nicolas Cage romantic comedy Valley Girl. Before retiring from the entertainment industry in 1989, Meyrink worked on Real Genius, Nice Girls Don’t Explode and Permanent Record.

  • Curtis Armstrong

    Booger

    20th Century Fox/Photofest; Getty Images

    Curtis Armstrong made his break into the film industry as Miles Dalby in Risky Business, starring Tom Cruise. Armstrong reprised his role of Booger in Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise, Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation and Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love. Other memorable film credits include Better Off Dead. After Armstrong made his transition into the world of television, he has appeared on shows from Moonlighting to New Girl and is the voice of Snot on American Dad! Armstrong later went on to be the executive producer and host of TBS' King of the Nerds alongside Robert Carradine.

  • Brian Tochi

    Takashi

    20th Century Fox/Photofest; Getty Images

    Brian Tochi was a seasoned child actor before his days as Revenge of the Nerds’ Takashi. His credits include the television shows Star Trek, The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan and Space Academy. Following Revenge of the Nerds, Tochi played Cadet Nogata in Police Academy 3: Back in Training and Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol. He also voiced Leonardo in the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and its sequels. Tochi revisited his role of Takashi in all of the Revenge of the Nerd films.

  • Ted McGinley

    Stan Gable

    20th Century Fox/Photofest; Getty Images

    Stan Gable is one of Ted McGinley’s first credited roles. Following his time as the antagonist of Revenge of the Nerds, McGinley went on to have numerous TV credits. In addition to playing Roger Phillips in Happy Days from 1980-84, McGinley co-starred in The Love Boat, Dynasty, Married ... With Children and Hope & Faith, among others. Other credits include Transformers: Robots in Disguise, The West Wing and Sports Night. McGinley currently stars with Roma Downey in the digital series The Baxters.

  • Matt Salinger

    Burke

    20th Century Fox/Photofest

    Salinger is a graduate of Columbia College and the son of an author and a psychologist. He played Burke, an Alpha Beta brother who took pride in terrorizing outcasts, in Revenge of the Nerds. Since then, Salinger has appeared in shows like Picket Fences and 24 and played the title character in 1990's Captain America, long before Chris Evans stepped into the role.

  • James Cromwell

    Mr. Skolnick

    Getty Images

    James Cromwell was acting for a decade before he stepped into the role of Mr. Skolnick for Revenge of the Nerds and its sequels. The son of actress Kay Johnson and actor-director John Cromwell, the actor was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar as farmer Arthur H. Hoggett in Babe in 1996. Cromwell also is known for his performances as warden Hal Moores in Green Mile, Dudley Smith in L.A. Confidential and Robert Callaghan in the animated series Big Hero 6.

  • John Goodman

    Coach Harris

    Twentieth Century-Fox/Photofest; Getty Images

    Before his run on Saturday Night Live and before winning the Golden Globe for best actor in 1993 for Roseanne, John Goodman played the anti-nerd football coach. Since Revenge of the Nerds, Goodman has become a household name for roles like Dan Conner in Rosanne, reprising his role for the 2018 reboot and again for The Conners. Goodman has also appeared in films such as The Big Lebowski, Argo, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Barton Fink and 10 Cloverfield Lane.

  • Bernie Casey

    U.N. Jefferson

    Twentieth Century-Fox/Photofest; Getty Images

    Former NFL star Bernie Casey made his film debut in the 1969 film Guns of the Magnificent Seven. In 2017, Casey died in Los Angeles after a brief illness. In addition to playing the president of Lambda Lambda Lambda in Revenge of the Nerds, some of Casey's most memorable credits include Von Morton, the former slave and train robber in Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha, and Mr. Ryan in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.