The Naked Gun cast then and now

We admit it, we love procedural dramas, and apparently we’re not alone: many psychologists speculate that crime shows and films are so popular because we have a desire to feel the adrenaline and the fear of watching crime occur, without actually taking part in it ourselves or being the victims. But as much are here for a suspenseful movie about a grizzled cop in a one-man pursuit of justice, there’s also something a little… ridiculous, maybe? about the over-the-top dramatics of some of these films. Which is exactly what makes movies like The Naked Gun so, so funny – they get that, and play on crime dramas’ grandiose nature, making us crack up while the good guys on screen crack down on the criminals.


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The Naked Gun film series, was created by the legendary filmmaking trio, Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker (more commonly known as ZAZ). However, their story didn’t start with The Naked Gun. In 1982, the world was graced with a hilarious crime comedy show called Police Filed! Created by ZAZ, this show was broadcast on ABC and was popular – but not popular enough. In fact, the show was canceled after just six episodes, and left ZAZ with hundreds of ideas and nowhere to put them. Just a few years later, they decided to use these ideas for a new movie series, and The Naked Gun was born. Since then, we have been blessed with three hilarious movies including, From the Files of Police Squad! in 1988, The Smell of Fear in 1991, and The Final Insult in 1994. One of the main reasons we tuned in to watch all three of these movies is because of the epic cast, but have you ever wondered what they are up to nowadays?

Priscilla Presley as Jane Spencer – Then

If you’re a keen fan of this series, you’ll actually know that Jane Spencer’s name didn’t stay the same throughout her run. In fact, she became Jane Drebin in the final movie, after marrying hapless detective, Frank Drebin. Nevertheless, her importance within the franchise didn’t change at all. As one of the most popular characters within the storyline, Jane Spencer had the pleasure – or displeasure – of being the assistant of Vincent Ludwig. However, Jane is completely oblivious to the fact that her boss aims to take over the world in whatever way possible, and simply gets on with her job. As the movies progress, so does Jane, and she soon becomes a lawyer, a mother, and a wife.

Priscilla Presley – Now

By the time that Priscilla Presley was making the rounds as Jane Spencer, her whirlwind romance with Elvis Presley was already over – but that doesn’t mean she was any less impressive in the celebrity world. Since leaving the film franchise behind her, Priscilla has continued on her path to success, and has often found herself taking on smaller guest roles in movies and TV shows. Yet, she is now most highly regarded as a businesswoman. With a clothing line, a fragrance line, a linen line, and her very own charity, Priscilla is proving that her time definitely hasn’t come to an end, and she is busier than ever!

Vanna White as herself

Vanna White had a role in Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult. She shows up at the award ceremony together with ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, and after the two exit the limo together, they’re intercepted by Lt. Frank Drebin and Jane Spencer (who need to get in to find where a bomb is hidden). They take their clothes and invitations, and are able to walk into the award ceremony without a problem. Funnily enough, Weird Al has a song called Stuck In A Closet With Vanna White.

Vanna White – now

Vanna has been the legendary Wheel of Fortune gameshow host since 1982, stepping in after Susan Stafford left the show. Vanna was actually a contestant in the 1978 pageant for Miss Georgia before she came to host Wheel of Fortune, to which she signed onto until 2020. Aside from her cameo on third The Naked Gun movie, she also had cameos in several other movies and TV shows, such as the action series The A-Team, and comedies Just Shoot Me!, The King of Queens, and Fresh Off the Boat.

O.J Simpson as Nordberg – Then

We’ve met Mrs. Nordberg, so let’s say hello to Mr. Nordberg! This character is one of the main police officers within the force, and is most notably remembered for working alongside Frank Drebin. In fact, these two are best friends. While Drebin is efficient and lucky in his job, it’s safe to say that Nordberg has not been as lucky within his career. He always seems to be the one getting in trouble and always finds himself getting injured. Despite this, he never suffers any life-threatening injuries. Thank goodness!

O.J Simpson – Now

Although O.J Simpson is still famous for his role in the film franchise, he is now mostly remembered for his actions after filming ended. More specifically, he is remembered for his criminal trial in 1994, where he was accused and charged with the passing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, as well as their friend, Ron Goldman. He was later acquitted of this charge, but soon found himself back in prison for kidnapping and robbery. He was ultimately released in 2017, but his story is still one of the most notorious to date.

Morgan Fairchild as herself

Morgan Fairchild also makes a cameo in the sequel Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult, playing herself. She’s one of the actresses nominated to receive an award at the ceremony, for a film called Final Proposal. The movie was described as “One courageous pioneer woman’s triumphant victory over bulimia, set during the Donner Party crossing.” Morgan is looking hopefully at the camera, wishing to be the one who takes the prestigious award home with her.

Morgan Fairchild – now

Morgan is known for playing powerful, glamorous women who know what they want and take it. The actress actually started out as Faye Dunaway’s double in the film Bonnie and Clyde. She’s been on shows like the soap Search for Tomorrow, romantic drama Falcon Crest, Fashion House, Days of Our Lives, and even on the hit comedies Friends and Roseanne. The Texas born actress now serves as a board member of SAG-AFTRA, and has recently appeared in the TV movie My Perfect Romance.

Anna Nicole Smith as Tanya – Then

Tanya was the kind of character that we all loved to hate. As the girlfriend of the evil villain in The Final Insult, Tanya looks sweet and beautiful from the outside – but is full of malice on the inside! Throughout this movie we see Tanya working against the good guys to help her evil henchmen, which means she is a solid target for Drebin and his force. Yet, as time goes on, Tanya seems to form a soft spot for Officer Drebin, and her ice-cold heart seems to melt – if only a little.

Anna Nicole Smith – Now (Deceased)

In addition to becoming known for marrying a billionaire many years her senior and then inheriting him, Anna Nicole Smith became famous after appearing on the cover of Playboy in 1992. After that, she became one of the most sought-after models of her time, and later made her transition into the world of acting. In fact, her role in The Naked Gun was one of her first movie appearances, and she later went on to star in other movies and shows. She even had her own reality show named after her. Sadly, though, Anna Nicole passed away in 2007, after a battle with narcotics and while still mourning the death of her son.

Pia Zadora as Herself – Then

Pia Zadora was another A-list celebrity who got the chance to appear in the movie series, and her appearance was certainly one to remember. Pia took on the role in The Final Insult and used her acting and singing skills to her advantage. As she performed her very own musical number in front of an adoring crowd, it’s safe to say that her rendition of ‘This Could Be The Start of Something Big’ was one to go down in history. It got even weirder when she ended up on Drebin’s shoulders…

Pia Zadora – Now

Amazingly, Pia Zadora made her professional acting debut when she was just 11 years old, when she appeared as a child star on Broadway. After appearing in the movie franchise in 1994, Pia only went on to star in two other roles – including one in the comedy show, Frasier. However, Pia’s life came crumbling down in 2013 when she was arrested and charged with domestic violence. This charge came after Pia found herself in an altercation with her own son. Reports suggest that his altercation came about after the pair argued about her son’s bedtime.

Shannen Doherty as herself

Not many people remember this, but Shannen Doherty actually made a small cameo in the third movie of the series, Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult. At the award ceremony, one of the actresses who is nominated for an award is no other than Shannen Doherty. She’s nominated for a movie called Basic Analysis, so when the nominees are presented on the screen, you can briefly see her in the audience, throwing us a lovely smile.

Shannen Doherty – now

Shannen started out as a child actress, with a role on Little House on the Prairie. She’s mostly famous for playing Brenda in Beverly Hills, 90210, and Prue her hit supernatural TV show, Charmed. In films, she known for Girls Just Want to Have Fun and the dark comedy Heathers. During her early years, she was accused of being difficult to work with, but has since managed to shed the bad reputation. Shannen was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, but she has since announced it is, thankfully, in remission.

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic as ‘Weird Al’ – Then

Weird Al had the pleasure of appearing in all three of the “Naked Gun” movies – and that is truly an accolade to remember! In the first movie he appeared as himself, but in the last two movies he took on the role of a criminal thug. With his classic comical timing and his impressive acting skills, ‘Weird Al’ definitely left an impression on us as viewers, and Drebin and Nordberg. In fact, we have a feeling those guys will never forget the comedy and the crime of this guy.

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic – Now

Weird Al Yankovic proved that he was the same hilarious character he is in real life during his time in the franchise, and it seemed to work wonders for his career. The author, actor, satirist, singer and songwriter has since become a major name in the world of Hollywood, and is known for his comedic style and wit. Although he is perhaps best known for writing and producing his own music, Yankovic has dedicated a portion of his career to acting, and has most recently starred in the animated series, Milo Murphy’s Law, and Mighty Magiswords.

Susan Beaubian as Mrs. Nordberg – Then

As you can probably tell, Mrs. Nordberg was the wife of Mr. Nordberg – who was more commonly known as just Nordberg. As a loving wife, Mrs. Nordberg doesn’t get a huge chance to tell her story in this movie series, but we do learn that she loves her husband more than anything in the world. In fact, her most memorable appearance came after her husband is the victim of a violent crime. As she visits her husband in hospital, we realize how much she truly cares for her Mr. Nordberg.

Susan Beaubian – Now

Since her time in “Naked Gun,” Susan Beaubian has made it her mission to ensure that her name doesn’t get forgotten – and it’s safe to say that it hasn’t! In recent years, the actress has continued her path to success and has worked on major crime shows including Cold Case, Criminal Minds, and even the bio-drama, American Crime Story, which followed the criminal doings of her on-screen husband, O.J Simpson. She has also just finished filming a brand new comedy movie, 5th of July.

Jeanette Charles as Queen Elizabeth II – Then

When you think about it, Queen Elizabeth II really was the star of From the Files of Police Squad! While the first story follows the life of Detective Frank Drebin as he goes about his daily life, there’s one mission that proves more important than any other. Yes, this is the mission to stop an evil mastermind from sending Queen Elizabeth II to sleep with the fishes. As she plays with her Corgis and tries to visit Los Angeles without a hitch, she has no idea what is going on behind closed doors…

Jeanette Charles – Now

Unlike many of the other names on this list, Jeanette Charles is actually a British actress, which makes sense if you’re going to play a British Royal. Thanks to her incredible likeness to Queen Elizabeth II, Jeanette has taken on numerous roles as the monarch within comedy movies such as National Lampoon’s European Vacation and Austin Powers in Goldmember. Sadly, Jeanette retired in 2014 and is now living a quiet life of retirement away from the world of show business.

Winifred Freedman as Stephie – Then

When it comes to comic relief, ZAZ know just how it’s done, and their inclusion of Stephie is the perfect example of this. Stephie appears in the first movie as a frightened and anxious learner driver. However, things don’t get any easier for Stephie as time goes on, as she soon finds her learner car commandeered by none other than Lt. Franklin Drebin himself! As Drebin aims to catch an evil criminal in front of them, it’s down to Stephie to follow the car and catch him in the act. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it seems.

Winifred Freedman – Now

Winifred Freedman’s role as Stephie has since gone down in history as one of the funniest moments within the movie, and it’s one that we won’t forget any time soon. It seems as though this appearance has also allowed her to maintain a successful acting career. Although she has not taken on any major roles recently, Winifred continues to work on television and on other crime shows such as Major Crimes and Without A Trace. Her last acting credit came in 2015, when she appeared in family adventure series, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street.

Wylie Small as Defense Attorney – Then

If you cast your mind back to The Final Insult, you might remember the hilarious courtroom scene. In this scene, the whole room is filled with moms cradling their babies – as they watch as a father gets thrown under the bus for not paying his alimony. It’s at this moment that the Defense Attorney pips up to defend her client, but things aren’t as they may seem. Amazingly, this attorney is also cradling her own baby. It’s safe to say that this scene is more like a daycare scene rather than a courtroom scene…

Wylie Small – Now

Although she only played a small role in the movie franchise, it’s safe to say that Wylie Small made an impression on us that we will never forget. It seems as though this actress isn’t quite ready to quit the acting lifestyle just yet, as she has most recently taken on roles in some of the most famous drama shows to date, including Bones, American Horror Story and Lethal Weapon. As if that wasn’t cool enough, she has also starred in numerous comedy shows, such as Gilmore Girls and Mom.

Raquel Welch as Herself – Then

Amazingly, Raquel Welch had the chance to play herself in The Final Insult – and she just had to say yes! For her part in this movie, Raquel Welch takes on the role as an awards ceremony host, where she unfortunately gets paired up with Officer Drebin. As she makes her way down the stairs in a breathtaking silver dress, she has no idea that Drebin is falling down the stairs behind her. In fact, the only sign she gets of this is when he bumps into her and forces the microphone straight down her throat.

Raquel Welch – Now

Raquel Welch first rose to our attention in 1966 and later made a name for herself as one of the most popular actresses and singers of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Since her cameo within the comedy crime movie, Raquel has continued a hugely successful career. In recent years, Raquel has worked on comedy shows and movies such as How To Be A Latin Lover, Date My Dad, and Forget About It. As if that wasn’t enough, Raquel is also a businesswoman, and even has her own beauty line with MAC Cosmetics.

Leslie Nielsen as Lt. Frank Drebin

Frank Drebin is a part of the Police Squad, which is a unique department of the police. While in the original television series he was the “straight man” to other people’s goofy comedy, in the movies he plays the more comic figure. He often acts foolishly and causes way more problems than he actually solves, while being totally oblivious to it most of the time. This, of course, makes him one of the funniest police detective in film history.

Leslie Nielsen – deceased

The Canadian born actor, comedian, and producer has almost 250 credits to his name, in both film and television, and a career spanning across 60 years. He’s mostly known for his comedy roles, especially in satirical and slapstick comedy films. Aside from The Naked Gun movies, he’s taken part in other comedies like Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker, Airplane!, Superhero movie, Stan Helsing, and parts three and four of the Scary Movie series. The actor sadly passed away in 2010 of pneumonia, at age 84.

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