The Cast of 'Scent of a Woman,' Then and Now

8:00 AM 12/23/2017

by Courtney Idasetima

Hoo-ah! It's been 25 years since the story of a powerful friendship between a blind veteran and his caretaker hit the big screen.

Scent of a Woman Still - Photofest - H 2017
Courtesy of Photofest

Scent of a Woman, starring Al Pacino and Chris O'Donnell, tells the story of a young prep school student, Charlie Simms (a fresh-faced Chris O’Donnell), who needs to make some cash for the holidays and agrees to be a caretaker to a blind, retired veteran, Lt. Col. Frank Slade (Al Pacino, who won an Oscar for his performance). On the job, Charlie visits White Plains, N.Y., with Frank and helps Frank by preventing his suicide attempt. He's there for Frank in a way others are not, which forms a unique bond between the two. And who could forget that epic tango performance at the restaurant?

The film, which grossed more than $136.1 million at the domestic box office (adjusted for inflation), was nominated for four Oscars, including best picture, and won three Golden Globes, including best motion picture in the drama category at the 1993 Golden Globes plus another for Pacino

In honor of the 25th anniversary — the movie hit theaters Dec. 23, 1992 — The Hollywood Reporter take look at what the cast of this film is up to now.

  • Lt. Col. Frank Slade, portrayed by Al Pacino

    The established actor known for the Godfather trilogy and Scarface channeled a different character than his usual roles in Scent of a Woman. Pacino played Lt. Col. Frank Slade, a blind veteran who is in need of a caretaker. For his performance, Pacino won his first and only Oscar, in the best actor in a leading role category.

    After the film, Pacino went on to continue his film career starring in films like Ocean's Thirteen, The Devil's Advocate and Jack and Jill. He also has multiple films in the works. He is set to star in the 2018 biopics The Irishman and Happy Valley as labor leader Jimmy Hoffa and legendary college football coach Joe Paterno, respectively.


  • Charlie Simms, portrayed by Chris O'Donnell

    O’Donnell played Charlie Simms, a Baird student on scholarship who works as Lt. Col. Frank Slade’s caretaker over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to earn funds to pay for a ticket to travel home to Oregon for the Christmas break. O'Donnell earned a Golden Globe nom for his performance.

    In addition to playing Robin in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, O'Donnell also has added several TV credits on his filmography. O'Donnell had a recurring spot on ABC hit show Grey's Anatomy in 2006, where he played Dr. Finn Dandridge. He currently stars as G. Callen on NCIS: Los Angeles, a role he’s held since 2009.

  • Mr. Trask, portrayed by James Rebhorn

    James Rebhorn played Mr. Trask, the headmaster of Baird School, which Charlie attends.

    During his prolific five-decade career, Rebhorn was memorable as the district attorney that sent Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer to jail on the Seinfeld finale in 1998 and as the prosecution’s FBI expert automotive witness in the hilarious film My Cousin Vinny (1992). He also had stints as attorneys on the David E. Kelley shows The Practice and Boston Legal and recurring roles on Third Watch, The Book of Daniel, Law & Order and Big Lake.

    Rebhorn died March 21, 2014, in South Orange, N.J., in hospice care, two years after being diagnosed with melanoma

  • Donna, portrayed by Gabrielle Anwar

    Gabrielle Anwar played Donna, the woman in the tango scene with Al Pacino.

    Since her time on the dance floor, Anwar played Fiona Glenanne on Burn Notice from 2007-13 and currently portrays Lady Tremaine/Victoria Belfrey on Once Upon a Time.

  • George Willis Jr., portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman

    A rich, rude, prep-school attitude was what Philip Seymour Hoffman embodied to play the rich, rude, prep student George Willis Jr. in Scent of a Woman.

    The actor died Feb. 2, 2014, in New York due to a combined drug intoxication, but before his death, Hoffman appeared in Boogie Nights, Almost Famous and the Hunger Games trilogy. In 2006, he won an Oscar for his role in Capote.