Forrest Gump is an undeniable classic, despite the backlash it has received over the years. Released in 1994 and loosely based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom, the film grossed over $24 million in its opening weekend, ultimately earning over $327 million in the United States, according to Box Office Mojo. Over the years, the characters and their lines have become ingrained in popular culture. It’s a generally beloved film, with review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes reporting that audience members have given the film a 95 percent “fresh” rating, based on over 250,000 reviews.
While some of the film’s stars have skyrocketed to fame since the movie’s debut in the early ’90s, others may have left you scratching your head wondering, “Hey, what ever happened to that one actor…?” In the more than two decades since the film’s release, a lot has happened in the lives — and careers — of the cast. Here’s what the cast of Forrest Gump looks like today.
Tom Hanks hasn't slowed down since portraying Forrest Gump
There are many fans who consider Forrest Gump to be Tom Hanks’ best movie ever. Given the sheer number of Tom Hanks movies, this is no small feat. By the time Hanks starred as Gump, he’d already proven his star power in movies like 1984’s Splash and 1992’s A League of Their Own to name just a couple. After Forrest Gump, Hanks only became more popular, starring in a range of roles including comedies, rom-coms, and dramas, even lending his voice to beloved animated features, including Woody the cowboy sheriff doll in the Toy Story films. His comedic and dramatic range alike also made him a Saturday Night Live standby, with his portrayal of David S. Pumpkins gaining a cult following.
Hanks is such a beloved American icon that his COVID-19 diagnosis in 2020 actually changed the way the public viewed the virus, according to researchers at Penn State and Washington State University. In early 2021, Hanks lent his star power to hosting the Celebrating America program for President Joe Biden’s inauguration, all while gearing up for his next films, including his portrayal of Geppetto for Disney’s live-action remake of Pinocchio and the upcoming science-fiction film Bios.
Robin Wright went from playing Forrest Gump's lifelong love to a political powerhouse
Robin Wright’s acting career was still in its infancy when she portrayed Forrest’s lifelong friend and love interest Jenny Curran in Forrest Gump seven years after her eponymous role in The Princess Bride. While she is still well known for her portrayal of Jenny, Wright (like Hanks) has moved far beyond that early role. In the ’90s and throughout the 2000s, she appeared in film after film, including 1999’s Message in a Bottle, 2002’s White Oleander, and 2011’s Moneyball before taking on the starring role of Claire Underwood on the Netflix series House of Cards from 2013-2018, moving from the secondary protagonist in earlier seasons to the main protagonist in the final season, for which she directed the series’ finale (via Entertainment Weekly).
During and after her House of Cards run, Wright also starred in the 2017 blockbuster films Blade Runner 2049 and Wonder Woman as well as 2020’s Wonder Woman 1984. In 2021, she directed and starred in Land about a woman living off the grid. One thing’s for sure: Wright is definitely not off the grid in Hollywood, not even a little.
Sally Field was already a TV and movie veteran when she portrayed Mrs. Gump in Forrest Gump
Sally Field’s acting career began in the 1960s in television roles, decades before Forrest Gump was conceived. She transitioned primarily to film roles by the 1970s and was already a huge film star by the time 1994 rolled around. After Forrest Gump, however, Field returned to television roles with Emmy-winning appearances on the medical drama ER from 2000-2006 and starring as matriarch Nora Walker on Brothers & Sisters from 2006-2011. Never one to stick to just one type of role for long, Field then took up the mantle of Aunt May in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, despite later regretting it, then starred as the title character in 2015’s Hello, My Name Is Doris.
These days, the highly-regarded actress is back to television, appearing in the 2018 television mini-series Maniac and the AMC series Dispatches from Elsewhere, which premiered in 2020. Catch her in her next project, playing Jessie Buss in HBO’s currently untitled L.A. Lakers mini-series, slated for 2022.
Mykelti Williamson has been busy in film and TV since portraying Bubba Blue in Forrest Gump
Benjamin Buford Blue, a.k.a. Bubba, played a pivotal role in Forrest Gump’s life, and actor Mykelti Williamson’s portrayal of Bubba gave us one of the most heart-wrenching deaths of the movie. Forrest Gump was one of Williamson’s first big-screen roles, but far from his last. In the years following the success of the film, Williamson scored roles in 1995’s Waiting to Exhale, 1997’s Con Air, and 1998’s Primary Colors, proving his range as an actor.
In the 2000s, Williamson started doing more television roles again, playing Lt. Philip Gerard on the television adaptation of The Fugitive, Detective Bobby “Fearless” Smith on Boomtown, and Virgil Hayes on Kidnapped. From 2007-2009, he reunited with Gary Sinise while playing Chief Brigham Sinclair on Sinise’s series CSI: NY and has continued playing military and law enforcement roles on television shows ever since, breaking the pattern to appear in the 2016 Denzel Washington film Fences as well as two 2020 movies, Emperor and The 24th.
Gary Sinise's Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump was the first of many memorable roles for the actor
When Gary Sinise was cast as Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump, he’d mostly appeared in television shows and TV movies, but following the film’s success, Sinise was virtually everywhere. In 1995, he once again shared the screen with Tom Hanks in Apollo 13, then starred alongside Mel Gibson in 1996’s Ransom, alongside Nicolas Cage in 1998’s Snake Eyes, and alongside Ben Affleck in 2000’s Reindeer Games. He also once again reunited with Tom Hanks for 1999’s The Green Mile in addition to roles in several other major films.
Beginning in 2004, however, Sinise found his niche in the television realm, guest starring as Mac Taylor on CSI: Miami and leading CSI: NY in the same role from 2004-2013. When that series ended, Sinise wasn’t yet ready to give up the crime procedurals, and so he starred as Jack Barrett in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders in 2016 and 2017. Outside of acting, Sinise is a well-known supporter of American military troops and plays with his band, The Lieutenant Dan Band, to benefit the Gary Sinise Foundation, which supports veterans and first responders.
Sam Anderson went from being Forrest Gump's skeevy school principal to doing it all on television
If you watched Forrest Gump for the first time as a child, you may not have fully realized what was going down between Mrs. Gump and school principal Mr. Hancock that ultimately allows Forrest to go to public school. It’s a pretty skeevy principal that would trade sex for school admission, but Sam Anderson made the portrayal believable.
But while the part is pretty memorable, Anderson has also appeared in many movies since, including 2011’s Water for Elephants and 2016’s Ouija: Origin of Evil. Television, however, seems to be Anderson’s sweet spot, where’s he’s appeared in a number of memorable roles, including the one he is, perhaps, most recognized for: Bernard Nadler on Lost from 2005-2010. In more recent years, Anderson has guest starred on shows such as How to Get Away with Murder, Station 19, and This Is Us. He also starred in the 2021 film Echoes of Violence.
After playing Jenny's abusive boyfriend in Forrest Gump, Geoffrey Blake focused on television roles
You can’t help but hate Jenny’s abusive boyfriend, Wesley, in Forrest Gump, but that’s a credit to the actor behind the role, Geoffrey Blake, who seems to be able to take on any role with ease. Though you may not realize it, you’ve likely seen Blake in countless television shows and movies both before and after Forrest Gump. The year after Forrest Gump, Blake appeared alongside Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise once again in Apollo 13 and made an appearance as Maynard Graham in the 2000 Hanks’ film Cast Away.
A peek at Blake’s demo reel reveals just how many television shows you’ve likely seen him in as well. These include his portrayal of Strife in an episode of Charmed, guest appearances on both Grey’s Anatomy and its spinoff Private Practice, playing Gerry Nelson on Franklin & Bash from 2011-2013, portraying Doc Meyer on Man in the High Castle in 2015, and many (many) others.
Playing Forrest Jr. in Forrest Gump was just the beginning for Haley Joel Osment
Haley Joel Osment was just 6 years old when he played Forrest Gump and Jenny Curran’s son in Forrest Gump, years before his iconic “I see dead people” line in The Sixth Sense and haunting portrayal of David in A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Beginning in the mid-2000s, Osment stepped away from traditional acting to attend college, something he told Matt Lauer “was never really negotiable.” During that time, he lent his voice to video games (including Sora, the main character of the beloved Kingdom Hearts franchise) and television shows before making an on-screen return with television acting in The Spoils of Babylon, Alpha House, and Silicon Valley.
Osment appears to be gearing up for even more work going forward, following a prolific year of acting in 2020. The actor starred in many projects this year, including appearances in What We Do In The Shadows, Chrysalis, and Goliath as well as the film Bad Therapy and the psychedelic documentary Have a Good Trip. Get ready, because it’s Haley Joel Osment’s world, and we’re all just living in it.
Hanna Hall is focused on directing all these years after playing young Jenny in Forrest Gump
One of the most iconic lines from Forrest Gump came from young Jenny in the form of “Run, Forrest, run!” Believe it or not, playing young Jenny was the acting debut for Hanna Hall. After Forrest Gump, Hall held a few small roles until being cast in The Virgin Suicides in 1999, then in Rob Zombie’s Halloween in 2007. Hall found an apparent niche in the horror genre, later starring in horror films Text in 2008 and Visible Scars in 2012 as well as scoring a small role in the second season of the television adaptation of The Purge in 2019.
While she’s stayed busy with acting, Hall has also forayed into directing. She served as an assistant director for two episodes of the television show There Will Be Brawl in 2009 and 2010 as well as two episodes of Batgirl: Spoiled in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, she told Yahoo’s Michael Yo (via International Business Times) that she was working as a director at the Electric Lodge Theater in Venice, California, for the show Astral Dick, which she referred to as “a resounding success” on the Kickstarter for the show.
Michael Conner Humphreys, who played young Forrest Gump, is making an acting comeback
Just like Hanna Hall who played young Jenny, the role of young Forrest in Forrest Gump was the acting debut for Michael Conner Humphreys. But, unlike Hall, Humphreys returned to being a regular kid after the film. He later served in the military until 2008, and then immediately took a role as a soldier in the film Pathfinders: In the Company of Strangers, but didn’t pursue acting following this performance. In a 2019 YouTube video, Humphreys revealed that he joined the military, “as more or less a direct result of doing [Forrest Gump].”
He went on to explain that he has spent the past 25-plus years essentially trying to ignore that he was even in the film, and the past decade or so trying to ignore the fact that he was in the military. Despite trying to forget his military experience, Humphreys acknowledged that he has struggled upon returning from Iraq, explaining that while he doesn’t have typical PTSD, he’s just felt “off.” Now that he’s addressing the repercussions of war, Humphreys is ready to act again. He’s currently slated to appear in the television series Knight’s End, in pre-production in 2021.
Afemo Omilami's career extends far beyond his portrayal of Forrest Gump's drill sergeant
One of the places Forrest Gump fit in well was the military, and his drill sergeant, played by Afemo Omilami, lets him know right away that he’s practically a genius when Forrest tells the drill sergeant that his sole purpose in the army is to do whatever he’s told. Omilami’s role in Forrest Gump is a small but memorable one, followed up by roles in several other films including 1994’s Gordy, 2000’s Remember the Titans, 2003’s Cold Mountain, and 2006’s Madea’s Family Reunion, along with a small role as the mayor of District 11, announcing the arrival of Katniss and Peeta in 2013’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
These days, Omilami is most frequently seen on the small screen. These roles include his portrayal of Police Chief Holloway on True Detective and Detective Noah St. Charles on Saints & Sinners. Off-screen, Omilami serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the non-profit Hosea Helps, alongside his wife and CEO Elisabeth.
From movies to television, Forrest Gump's bus driver Siobhan Fallon Hogan has done it all
While Forrest Gump’s bus driver, Dorothy Harris, played by actress and comedian Siobhan Fallon Hogan (often credited as simply Siobhan Fallon), is only seen twice in the whole movie, she’s a scene stealer both when she meets Forrest for the first time and, years later, when she meets Forrest Jr. One of Fallon’s earliest breaks was as a Saturday Night Live cast member in the 1991-1992 season, followed by a stint on Seinfeld.
While her name may not be as recognizable as Tom Hanks or Robin Wright, Fallon has starred in a number of successful television series and movies since her role in Forrest Gump, including 1997’s Men in Black and science-fiction television series Wayward Pines. Fallon revealed in a 2021 interview for the Garden State Film Festival that in between acting jobs, she often does one-person shows. Recently, however, Fallon decided to give screenwriting a shot and wrote the film Rushed, in which she also stars, proving that she really can do just about anything in the industry.
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