ByGrant Hermanns, writer at
I know way too much about movies, my mind is like a walking IMDB, only not perfect. Don't forget to hit up my Twitter: @grantheftautho
Grant Hermanns

Whether you remember watching the cartoons on Saturday mornings as a kid, or taking your sibling to see the Michael Bay-produced reboot from two years ago, chances are you've seen some form of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on one screen or another. But of all the adaptations, everyone knows and loves the first live-action portrayal of the four New York heroes from 1990 released by New Line Cinema. Check out the trailer for the action comedy:

(P.S. The trailer's old, so forgive its editing)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles received very moderate reviews, but was a huge hit with audiences, earning over $200 million off of a small $13.5 million budget and seeing an 80% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film's success spawned two sequels over the course of three years — each a smaller success in money and reviews than the previous — but still proving that the turtles could bring in the money.

The film franchise got a reboot in 2014 with actors in suits being replaced with CGI turtles, as well as a retooling of the story. The reboot was a major success, earning nearly $500 million off of a $125 million budget, which led Paramount to green-light a sequel, Out of the Shadows, coming out June 3, 2016, adding Arrow star Stephen Amell as franchise favorite, Casey Jones. Here's a trailer for the new sequel:

Over the course of 26 years, the cast have all added many projects to their names, some bigger than others. Let's take a look back and see where they've been for the last (almost) three decades:

1. Judith Hoag - April O'Neal

Ninja Turtles was Hoag's big splash into the acting world, being her first starring role and only her second role ever at the time. Hoag has since gone on to have many supporting roles in both television and movies in the years since, and some major roles including Armageddon, Halloweentown, Big Love and Nashville.

2. Elias Koteas - Casey Jones

Even if you can't remember his name, chances are you've seen Koteas in some of your favorite movies, always saying "Hey, that guy was in that other thing." Koteas got his start as an uncredited extra in 1980's Atlantic City and has since appeared in nearly 90 movies and TV shows — but TMNT was also Jones' first big step into acting and still remains as one of the biggest roles of his career. Some of his other big roles include the 1995 action thriller The Prophecy, the 1998 horror thriller Fallen, the 2009 horror film The Haunting in Connecticut, and the current NBC crime drama Chicago P.D.

3. Josh Pais - Raphael

The leader of the turtle team could not have been more perfect for the role at his younger age, having been born and raised in New York, just like his heroic character. Pais proved early on his dedication to the acting world with Ninja Turtles, as he was the only cast member from the voices of the turtles who also performed in the suit. In the years since, Pais has had mostly supporting roles, which have gone up in importance in recent times, with shows such as Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll and Ray Donovan, as well as film roles including Adventureland, Leaves of Grass and Phone Booth.

4. Robbie Rist - Michelangelo

Robbie Rist is well-known for his voice acting career that has followed Ninja Turtles, appearing in nearly 130 roles ranging from films to TV to even video games. Rist is very popular amongst anime fans for his roles in major shows and video games including the Final Fantasy game franchise and the Naruto TV shows, movies and video games.

5. Brian Tochi - Leonardo

Brian Tochi is another turtle actor who is more known for his voice acting career than his live-action, however unlike the others, he got his start with some substantial live-action roles, including films such as The Omega Man and Revenge of the Nerds. In the years since Turtles, Tochi's voice career has really taken off, and he has acted in animated shows such as Static Shock and Avatar: The Last Airbender, as well as video games such as True Crime: Streets of LA and The Darkness II.

6. Corey Feldman - Donatello

Even if you weren't born in the '80s, chances are good you know of the famous duo 'The Two Coreys,' made up of Feldman and friend/fellow actor Corey Haim. Feldman made a big name for himself in the decades with lead roles in Gremlins, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, The Goonies, Stand By Me, and License to Drive.

Unfortunately for the child actor, his career slowly trailed off in the years following, making cameo appearances in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star and Pauly Shore is Dead as satirized versions of himself. In more recent years, Feldman has appeared in more direct-to-DVD films, including two sequels to his 1987 horror comedy hit, The Lost Boys.

What's your favorite 'TMNT' adaptation? Who was your favorite actor in the original film? Are you excited for the upcoming sequel to the reboot?


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