Then + Now: The Cast of ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’
Robin Williams‘ sudden and tragic death has left millions reeling, mourning the loss of an immensely talented actor, comedic genius, and a man we all saw as a friend. In our remembrance of the beloved star, we are looking back at one of his most iconic roles as Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire, the cherished housekeeper with one seriously wicked sense of humor. The movie not only holds a special place in our hearts, but in the hearts of millions of fans, all looking to seek comfort in the Williams films they loved most.
Take a look at the cast of ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ then, now, and the 20+ years in between.
Robin Williams (Daniel Hillard/Mrs. Doubtfire)
Then: By the time “Uncle Frank and Aunt Jack” transformed Robin Williams’ Daniel Hilliard into the firecracker that was Mrs. Doubtfire, the actor had already established himself as bonafide talent, with scene-stealing turns in ‘Mork and Mindy,’ ‘Dead Poets Society,’ ‘Hook’ and ‘Aladdin.’ Following ‘Doubtfire,’ for the rest of the decade Williams continued to warm our hearts in classics like ‘Jumanji,’ ‘The Birdcage,’ ‘Jack,’ ‘Flubber,’ ‘Good Will Hunting’ (for which he won an Academy Award), ‘Patch Adams’ and ‘Bicentennial Man.’
Now: In the 2000s, Williams continued to star in countless films, including ‘One Hour Photo,’ ‘Night at the Museum,’ ‘Happy Feet’ and many, many more, entertaining the millions and millions of fans he had amassed worldwide over the years. Shortly before his death, Williams had checked into rehab to maintain his sobriety after having struggled with alcohol and drug addition in the past. The world truly lost a legend when Williams committed suicide on Aug. 11, 2014. He is survived by his three children, all of whom have spoken out about their late father, and his third wife, Susan Schneider, who hopes that her late husband’s memory lives on in his work.
Though Williams went on to play many more iconic parts after ‘Doubtfire,’ his adoration of the “hip old granny who can hip-hop [and] be-bop” never faded. Throughout the years, Williams continued to pay tribute to Mrs. Doubtfire, including in his role as the Genie in the third ‘Aladdin’ movie (in a hilarious clip that you can watch here), in a 2013 appearance on ‘Letterman,’ and even in reference to Kim Kardashian’s floral print gown at the Met Ball.
Sally Field (Miranda Hillard)
Then: Sally Field first zoomed into our hearts as the lovable ‘Flying Nun,’ but quickly earned significant praise for her work in dramatic roles, including her turn as the titular character in ‘Norma Rae,’ for which she won her first Academy Award in 1979. In ‘Doubtfire,’ Field once again showed off her comedic chops (“The whole time?!”) as Williams’ ex-wife Miranda, who divorces her husband and then unknowingly hires him to be their kids’ nanny and housekeeper.
Now: Field has gone on to receive countless accolades for her acting, including multiple Academy Awards and nominations. Since ‘Doubtfire,’ some of her most famous roles include starring parts in ‘Forrest Gump,’ ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ and ‘Lincoln.’ And here are two fun facts: Did you know that Sally Field was the voice of Sassy in ‘Homeward Bound’ and also had a singing part in the third ‘Little Mermaid’ movie? True story.
Lisa Jakub (Lydia Hillard)
Then: Lisa Jakub played the oldest Hillard daughter, Lydia, who at first resented Mrs. Doubtfire but quickly grew to love her, especially as soon as her dad let her in on the whole secret. Post-‘Doubtfire,’ Jakub had another significant role in ‘Independence Day’ before quitting acting in 2001.
Now: Happily married since 2005, Jakub is now a writer, blogger and yoga enthusiast. Her first memoir, ‘You Look Like That Girl,’ is set to be published next year. And for all of you ‘Doubtfire’ fans, Jakub recently revealed (via a Reddit AMA) that director Chris Columbus first introduced Williams-as-Mrs.-Doubtfire as his mom — and she had no idea it was really him. After Williams’ death, she also took to her blog to share one striking memory she had with the late actor.
Matthew Lawrence (Chris Hillard)
Then: Matthew was not only the middle Lawrence brother, he was also the middle child in the Hillard family, playing Williams’ son Chris in the film — best known for dancing on tables to ‘Jump Around’ and accidentally exposing his dad’s surprising secret.
Now: Lawrence went on to become a serious hottie as Shawn’s half-brother Jack in the later seasons of ‘Boy Meets World.’ He has been acting steadily since (in films like 2004’s ‘The Hot Chick’) and recently made several appearances on his brother Joey’s ABC Family sitcom ‘Melissa & Joey.’
Mara Wilson (Natalie Hillard)
Then: Mara Wilson played the role of Nattie, Williams’ youngest daughter, in ‘Doubtfire,’ maintaining that adorable wide-eyed innocence throughout the film. Of course, Wilson soon went on to play the titular character in ‘Matilda,’ her most well-known role to date.
Now: Though Wilson quit film acting after 2001, she has since become a writer and has maintained a pretty thorough online presence, especially through Twitter and her blog. In 2013, she did an interview with MTV for the 20th anniversary of ‘Doubtfire,’ and revealed that her character would probably have grown up and gone to art school or become a veterinarian. (P.S.: She and Lisa Jakub are still close and still treat each other like big-sis/little-sis.)
Pierce Brosnan (Stu Dunmyer)
Then: Already well-known for his role as the titular character on ‘Remmington Steele,’ Pierce Brosnan waltzed into ‘Doubtfire’ as Stuart ‘Stu’ Dunmeyer, Miranda’s old-turned-new flame and the bane of Daniel/Mrs. Doubtfire’s existence. Stu may have been “more of a thick soup than a name, really,” but not Brosnan, who later became synonymous with his role as James Bond in several of the franchise’s films.
Now: Brosnan, Pierce Brosnan, has continued his career in the spotlight, with starring roles in films like ‘Mamma Mia!,’ ‘The Ghost Writer,’ ‘Remember Me,’ and dozens of others. And just in case you need some clarification that he’s still unbelievably dashing, just take a look at the above picture on the right. Man is like a fine wine.
Robert Prosky (Jonathan Lundy)
Then: Prior to his role as Daniel’s boss Mr. Lundy in ‘Doubtfire,’ Robert Prosky was a critically acclaimed stage actor, garnering over 100 credits to his name in the theater. In 1993, the same year as ‘Doubtfire’ was released, he scored a turn in the football classic ‘Rudy.’ And a year after that, he reunited with his ‘Doubtfire’ co-star Mara Wilson for the remake of ‘Miracle on 34th Street.’
Now: Prosky continued to act up until his death, with roles in films like ‘Dead Man Walking’ and ‘The Scarlet Letter,’ as well as on television as a regular on ‘Veronica’s Closet.’ He passed away in 2008, just several days short of his 78th birthday.
Anne Haney (Mrs. Sellner)
Then: Anne Haney played uptight social worker Mrs. Sellner in ‘Doubtfire,’ unimpressed with Daniel’s character voices but all about Mrs. Doubtfire’s nightly meringue mask. A few years later she would go on to play Jim Carrey’s secretary Greta in ‘Liar, Liar,’ another of her most well-known roles.
Now: Though Haney had amassed dozens of credits to her name prior to and after ‘Doubtfire,’ her role as Mrs. Sellner remained one of her most famous and beloved. Sadly, Haney passed away in 2001 due to heart failure. She was 67.
Watch a Moving Tribute to Robin Williams