The Cast of 'Working Girl,' Then and Now

8:15 AM 12/21/2018

by Christi Carras

The classic workplace comedy, starring Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver, turns 30 in December.

Courtesy of Photofest

Religious holidays aren't the only ones worth celebrating in late December — this year, the workplace romantic comedy Working Girl, starring Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver, turns 30 on Dec. 21.

Set in New York City, Working Girl follows Griffith's Tess McGill — secretary to Weaver's Katharine Parker — who takes over for her boss while she recovers from injury in the hospital. Also among the film's star-studded cast were Alec Baldwin, Joan Cusack and Olympia Dukakis.

When the title first hit theaters in 1988, it raked in more than $63 million at the domestic box office, with its leads fresh off hit blockbuster franchises like Alien and Star Wars. And since the late 1980s, Working Girl's cast of players has hardly slowed down, going on to score several Golden Globe and Oscar nominations, as well as star in Emmy-winning TV series.

In honor of Working Girl's 30th anniversary, The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at what the actors were up to then and now.

  • Melanie Griffith

    Tess McGill

    Courtesy of Photofest; Getty Images

    Griffith scored her first and only Oscar nomination for starring in Working Girl as an overworked and under-appreciated employee who seizes her opportunity to shine in an executive role — albeit a borrowed one. After landing a few parts alongside industry heavyweights like Gene Hackman early on in her career, Griffith eventually made a name for herself in the '80s with breakout roles in films like Body Double, Something Wild and Working Girl. Since her career-defining '80s run, Griffith has gone on to star in many memorable films and series, including Lolita, Pacific Heights, Milk Money and Another Day in Paradise. Most recently, she played an acting coach in James Franco's The Disaster Artist.

  • Sigourney Weaver

    Katharine Parker

    Courtesy of Photofest; Getty Images

    Before Weaver portrayed the villainous, demanding boss figure in Working Girl, audiences already knew her as the heroic Ripley from the Alien franchise. By 1988, Weaver already had one Oscar nomination to her name for her lead role in the second Alien installment, Aliens. 1989 marked her second and third Oscar nominations for her performances in both Working Girl and the biopic Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey. While she hasn't garnered any Oscar recognition since, Weaver has gone on to star in several more hits, including The Ice Storm, A Map of the World, Prayers for Bobby and Political Animals — all of which earned her Golden Globe nominations — as well as Holes and James Cameron's Avatar. She's set to reprise her role as Dr. Grace Augustine in four additional Avatar installments.

  • Harrison Ford

    Jack Trainer

    Courtesy of Photofest; Getty Images

    Though Ford played fellow executive and love interest to Griffith's Tess, he had already made a name for himself as Star Wars' space cowboy, Han Solo, and as Indiana Jones in another iconic George Lucas franchise, beginning with 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark. Some more of Ford's '80s hits include Blade Runner, The Mosquito Coast and Witness, for which he scored his only lead actor Oscar nomination. More recently, Ford has continued to reap the success of his career-defining '80s characters, reprising his roles in reboots for both Star Wars and Blade Runner. Up next, he'll star in Secret Life of Pets 2 and Call of the Wild. Plus, he's set to return as Indy for a fifth Indiana Jones project, directed by Steven Spielberg.

  • Alec Baldwin

    Mick Dugan

    Courtesy of Photofest; Getty Images

    Badlwin hit his stride as a TV actor prior to playing Tess' cheating boyfriend in Working Girl, known to viewers as Joshua Rush from the hit series Knots Landing. Throughout the '90s and early 2000s, Baldwin starred in many notable films, including The Cooler — for which he earned a supporting actor Oscar nomination — The Hunt for Red October, The Marrying Man, Glengarry Glen Ross and The Shadow, as well as Martin Scorsese's The Aviator and The Departed. But his most memorable roles have been on the small screen in popular shows like 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live — both of which scored him Emmy Awards. Most recently, he reprised his character Malcolm Widmark for NBC's reboot of Will & Grace.

  • Joan Cusack

    Cynthia

    Courtesy of Photofest; Getty Images

    Cusack's turn as Tess' friendly co-worker in Working Girl garnered the actress her first Oscar nomination, though Cusack was already a familiar face from her sketch work as a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live. Working Girl was the start of a blossoming film career, which later included titles like School of Rock, Grosse Pointe Blank and In & Out, for which she received another supporting actress Oscar nomination. And her TV career has seen plenty of critical recognition as well, including four Emmy nominations and one win for her turn as Sheila Jackson in Showtime's Shameless. Up next, she'll reprise her voice role as the beloved cowgirl Jessie in Disney's Toy Story 4.

  • Olympia Dukakis

    Personnel Director

    Screengrab; Getty Images

    Just a year after her breakout role opposite Cher in Moonstruck — which garnered her a supporting actress Oscar win — Dukakis occupied a small role as a personnel director in Working Girl. She later went on to star in many memorable projects from the star-studded Steel Magnolias to the critically acclaimed miniseries Sinatra, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. Dukakis also lent her talents to the small screen and has received three Emmy nominations for her performances in Lucky Day, More Tales of the City and Joan of Arc. She is currently filming a Tales of the City reboot, in which she'll reprise her role as Anna Madrigal alongside Laura Linney, Ellen Page and Molly Ringwald.

  • Ricki Lake

    Bridesmaid

    Screengrab; Getty Images

    Like Dukakis, Lake starred in her breakout role — as Tracy Turnblad in 1988's Hairspray — just before appearing briefly as a bridesmaid in Working Girl. Her turn as the unfailingly chipper school girl in the movie-musical was a milestone for plus-size representation in Hollywood, and her groundbreaking performance would later be imitated by Nikki Blonsky in the 2007 remake and by Maddie Baillio in NBC's Hairspray Live! She went on to appear in more films like Serial Mom and the Johnny Depp starrer Cry-Baby. She recently made a cameo alongside Baillio in Hairspray Live!

  • Philip Bosco

    Oren Trask

    Screengrab; Getty Images

    Bosco, who played a benevolent competing executive in Working Girl, went on to appear in several film and TV titles, including the Philip Seymour Hoffman starrer The Savages and the classic revenge comedy First Wives Club. But Bosco's career really flourished on the stage. After the late '80s, the actor booked several Broadway roles in productions like An Inspector Calls, The Heiress, Twelfth Night, Copenhagen, Twelve Angry Men, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Lend Me a Tenor, which earned him a Tony award. Most recently, he narrated multiple episodes of the long-running docuseries American Experience. He died Dec. 4 at age 88.

  • Oliver Platt

    David Lutz

    Screengrab; Getty Images

    Lutz was an early career role for Platt, who got his acting start in 1987 when he appeared in the hit crime series The Equalizer. Though he has appeared in many notable films, like Flatliners and 2012, Platt has found more success on the small screen, scoring multiple Emmy nominations for his performances in The West Wing, Nip/Tuck and Huff — for which he also received a Golden Globe nomination in 2004. He currently stars as Daniel Charles in NBC's medical drama series Chicago Med.

  • Kevin Spacey

    Bob Speck

    Screengrab; Getty Images

    Before Spacey became a household name with performances in films like The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, L.A. Confidential and Se7en, he played a small role in Working Girl as Bob Speck. Spacey's acting career came to a halt in 2017 when actor Anthony Rapp accused him of sexual assault. The accusation, as well as Spacey's ill-received apology statement, ended his time on the hit Netflix series House of Cards. The streaming service responded by killing off Spacey's character and refocusing the final season on his former costar Robin Wright. Rapp's accusation and the string of stories about Spacey's behavior that followed also prompted reshoots of 2017 biopic All the Money in the World — in which Spacey was replaced in the role of J. Paul Getty by Christopher Plummer. 

     

     

  • Robert Easton

    Armbrister

    Screengrab; Getty Images

    Easton had already been in the industry for nearly 40 years before appearing in Working Girl as Armbrister. Throughout his career, he played supporting roles in more than 100 films and series alongside names like Robert Vaughn, Andy Griffith and Dennis Weaver. His variety of credits includes The Munsters, The Beverly Hillbillies, Lost in Space and more. Before his death in 2011, he gave one last performance as a neighbor in the animated comedy Horrorween.