ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

It's been 20 years since Andy Dufresne crawled through a river of effluent and came out clean on the other side, but The Shawshank Redemption still remains at the top of must watch film lists.

Even though the movie was released way back in 1994, it is still held up as a perfect example for film studies, and no doubt millions of teenagers have analyzed its memorable quotes for exam essays all over the world. While I knew the movie had aged incredibly well, I thought it would be good to see just what the Shawshank prison's most memorable characters are up to these days.

Check out what 20 hard years in the slammer has done to The Shawshank Redemption stars:


Tim Robbins (Andy Dufresne)

Then: Tim Robbins was already an established actor when he was cast as the wrongfully imprisoned Andy Dufresne. After being sentenced to a life at Shawshank prison, Dufresne got busy living and cemented himself as a hero, if not for fighting for his freedom then at least for the dedication it takes to tunnel out of prison through a sewage pipe.

Now: After Shawshank, Robbins career went from strength to strength and he won an Academy Award in 2003 for Mystic River. Recently, he appeared in 2011's [Green Lantern](movie:593221) and the 2014 TV miniseries [The Spoils Of Babylon](series:887938). You can also catch him in the upcoming movie A Perfect Day.


Morgan Freeman (Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding)

Then: Freeman was already an Academy Award nominated actor, having shot to stardom in Street Smart and Driving Miss Daisy, by the time he was cast in Shawshank. His role as Red, the 'only guilty man in Shawshank,' earned him his third Academy Award nomination.

Now: 20 years later, a 77-year-old Morgan Freeman still can't put a foot wrong! After being nominated for a further two Academy Awards (and winning one!), he's also starred in [The LEGO Movie](movie:376368)and [Lucy](movie:935973) and is currently filming [Ted 2](movie:660778) and [London Has Fallen](movie:1159657). Did I already mention he's 77-years-old? Incredible.


Bob Gunton (Warden Norton)

Then: After starring mostly in TV series', The Shawshank Redemption became Bob Gunton's most famous role. The hard line Warden Norton who welcomed Andy Dufresne so warmly to prison, was a perfect match for Gunton who often plays strict, authoritarian characters.

Now: Following Shawshank, Gunton has played two US Presidents, Doctors, Captains, Judges, and Colonels. He appeared in the 2012 film [Argo](movie:46573), the TV series [24](movie:39266), and will soon appear in as ex-Chilean President Sebastián Piñera in [The 33](movie:630001).


Clancy Brown (Captain Hadley)

Then: Clancy Brown was already well through his roles in Highlander and Pet Sematary Two when he played the brutal Captain Hadley, who Andy Dufresne helped in return for a box of beer.

Now: Brown has had many roles since, often voicing animated characters in TV series'. His most famous role is that of Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants. His voice will be making an appearance in [SpongeBob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water](movie:575700) when the film is released in 2015.


James Whitmore (Brooks Hatlen)

Then: James Whitmore had been a prominent film, theater, and television actor for over 40 years by the time he was cast as Shawshank's institutionalized librarian, Brooks - he even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Now: Sadly, James Whitmore passed away in 2009 at the age of 87, after a brief battle with lung cancer. Over the course of his long and illustrious career he had won a Tony, Grammy, Emmy, and a Golden Globe award, and was also nominated for two Academy Awards.


William Sadler (Heywood)

Then: Sadler did not have the long list of screen credits to his name like some of the other actors in Shawshank, but he was well known for his role in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey and Die Hard 2 before he played the 'innocent' criminal, Heywood.

Now: After being cast in another Stephen King prison film (The Green Mile), Sadler continued a busy career. He starred in 2013's [Iron Man 3](movie:24391) , the TV show [Hawaii Five-O](series:722495) and will soon appear alongside Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson in [By Way of Helena](movie:1663612).


Gil Bellows (Tommy)

Then: The Shawshank Redemption was Gil Bellows first, and best known, motion picture role. He played the young criminal, Tommy, who revealed the truth about Andy Dufresne's innocence and was killed for doing so.

Now: Like his Shawshank alumni, Bellows has also kept busy with on screen acting. This year alone he has been on CSI, Kill the Messenger, and ADDicted which is currently in post-production.


Wow, so there you have it! It's fantastic that after Shawshank all these guys went on to continue making amazing movies and television shows, and it's fair to say, they definitely fared better than most of their Shawshank counterparts.


Is The Shawshank Redemption one of your 'must watch' movies?

Source: IMDB


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