The Cast of 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit,' Then and Now

8:30 AM 6/22/2018

by Kalia Kornegay

The movie first hit theaters 30 years ago, on June 22, 1988.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) - Bob Hoskins, Jessica Rabbit - Photofest -H 2017
Buena Vista Pictures/Photofest

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, having first hit theaters June 22, 1988.

The movie, directed by Robert Zemeckis, was based on the 1981 book Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf. It was a critical and commercial success, earning $329.8 million internationally and winning three Oscars for its technical work along with a special achievement award.

The live-action/animated film follows private eye Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) after he is hired by cartoon producer R.K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern) to investigate a major adultery scandal with Roger Rabbit’s (Charles Fleischer) wife, Jessica Rabbit (Kathleen Turner). However, when Jessica’s alleged lover, Martin Acme (Stubby Kaye), is killed, Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) marks Roger as the No. 1 target. What ensues is an adventure in clearing up Roger’s name to save ToonTown.   

In honor of Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s 30th anniversary, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at what the pic's cast has been up to over the years.

  • Bob Hoskins

    Hoskins starred as down-on-his-luck private eye Eddie Valiant. The investigator used to regularly work with the "toons" along with his brother, Teddy, but left the field after his brother was killed by a toon. He lapsed into alcoholism and hadn't looked back, but is brought on to Roger Rabbit's case after Roger begs him for help. At the time of the film's release, Hoskins had been active in the industry since the early 1970s, predominantly as a television actor. He made the switch to film later in his career, appearing in lead roles for movies like The Long Good Friday (1980) and Mona Lisa (1986). He was later cast in supporting roles for Brazil (1985), A Christmas Carol (2009) and Snow White and the Huntsman (2012). Hoskins died April 29, 2014, of complications due to pneumonia.

  • Christopher Lloyd

    Lloyd played Judge Doom, the evil and feared judge of ToonTown who is out to get Roger Rabbit. The actor's onscreen debut was in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), and he gained recognition for his role as Rev. Jim Ignatowski on TV's Taxi (1978-83), a series about a taxicab company in New York City, on which Lloyd won two Emmys. He is best known for starring as Emmet "Doc" Brown in the Back to the Future (1985-90) trilogy and Uncle Fester in The Addams Family (1991). In terms of voice work, Lloyd can be heard in DuckTales the Movie (1990), Anastasia (1997), the PBS Kids show CyberChase (2002-15) and Cartoon Network's Over the Garden Wall (2014). He is still very active in the industry, with his latest role in the just-released film Boundaries and other projects set to premiere in 2019. 

  • Charles Fleischer

    Roger Rabbit, Benny the Cab, Greasy and Psycho's voices all belonged to that of Charles Fleischer. The actor also has lent his vocal talents to The Polar Express (2004) as the Elf Captain, We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993) as Dweeb and a reprisal of his role as Benny the Cab on House of Mouse (2001-02). In addition to his acting work, Fleischer also does occasional gigs as a stand-up comedian and most recently appeared on the TV shows Mozart in the Jungle (2015) and Dimension 404 (2017).

  • Stubby Kaye

    Marvin Acme marked the last film role for Stubby Kaye. Before Roger Rabbit, Kaye appeared in many classic Broadway shows and film musicals and was known for his role as Nicely Nicely Johnson in both the film and Broadway versions of Guys and Dolls (1950). In the 1960s, his career continued to pick up steam as the host of a weekly children's talent show called Stubby's Silver Star Show. Kaye's final Broadway appearance was in 1985 with Grind, and he also appeared on a 1987 Doctor Who episode titled "Delta and the Bannerman." His final film role was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He died Dec. 14, 1997, from lung cancer at age 79.

  • Joanna Cassidy

    Starring as Eddie Valiant's ex-girlfriend, Dolores, Joanna Cassidy was in the middle of an extensive film career at the time of Roger Rabbit. The Golden Globe-winning actress is best known for his roles as Zhora in Blade Runner (1982) and Mrs. Davis in The Grudge 2 (2006). She also has had appearances on television shows including HBO's Six Feet Under (2001-05), Body of Proof (2011-13) and Odd Mom Out (2015-17). 

  • Alan Tilvern

    Alan Tilvern starred as the behind-the-scenes mastermind behind Roger's demise as the head of Maroon Cartoon Studios, R.K. Maroon. Known for his "tough-guy" demeanor, Tilvern appeared in supporting roles in several films starting in the late 1940s and is most well known for his work with Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He died Dec. 17, 2003, at age 85.

  • Mel Blanc

    Mel Blanc voiced several characters in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety and Sylvester. Known by his nickname of "The Man of a Thousand Voices," Blanc voiced some of the most beloved cartoon characters in the business. His work is present in everything from Looney Tunes (1930-69) to The Flintstones (1960-66) to The Jetsons (1962-63, 1985-87) and many others. Roger Rabbit was one of his last film appearances before he died July 10, 1989, of cardiovascular disease at age 81.