Just what became of the Turtles after they defeated Shredder and the almighty Foot Clan? Technically, they never really went away, and live on in cartoons and toys, but I’m specifically talking about the actors who brought their personalities to life on the big screen. Sam Rockwell of course went on to become a big Hollywood movie star — and the world’s greatest dancer — but what about the actor who played Shredder? Where the hell has that guy been for the last 20 years? With the Michael Bay reboot just mere hours away, now is the perfect time to catch up on what Casey Jones, April, and Shredder have been up to since parting ways with their reptilian co-stars.
April O’Neil (Judith Hoag)
Playing reporter April O’Neil was Judith Hoag’s big break and she followed it up with a role in Robin Williams’ Cadillac Man the same year. Since then she’s made appearances in shows like Quantum Leap, Walker Texas Ranger, Murder She Wrote, and JAG. Hoag was a recurring cast member for five years on HBO’s Big Love and is now a regular on ABC’s country-tinged drama, Nashville.
Ralphael (Josh Pais)
As mentioned in our Ninja Turtles facts piece, Josh Pais was the only actor to both wear the turtle suit and provide his character’s voice. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was one of Pais’ earliest roles and he went on to land smaller parts in some pretty high-profile movies over the years including Rounders and A Beautiful Mind. He’s been a recurring cast member on Law & Order for nine seasons as well as currently making regular appearances on Showtime’s Ray Donovan.
Splinter (Kevin Clash)
Kevin Clash is best known for providing the voice of Elmo, and was a regular on Sesame Street from 1982-2013. During that time he also provided the voice for the baby dino on the short-lived 90s sitcom Dinosaurs as well as something called Dog City. Following his departure from Sesame Street after an alleged sex abuse scandal, Clash has kept a rather low profile.
Head Thug (Sam Rockwell)
Rockwell had one of the smallest parts in the Ninja Turtles movie, not even getting a proper name for his character, but simply “head thug.” The head thug went on to do big things of course, becoming a bigger name than anyone else in the cast with large roles in blockbusters (Iron Man 2) and indies (Choke) alike. Currently, Rockwell is filming a remake of the 80s supernatural horror, Poltergeist.
Casey Jones (Elias Koteas)
Next to Rockwell, Elias Koteas has probably had the strongest career following his hockey stick-wielding days with the turtles. Koteas is an in-demand character actor, often playing a cop or criminal with long list of movie credits to his name like, The Thin Red Line, Zodiac, Gattaca, and Now You See Me. Koteas was a regular on the gone-to-soon AMC series, The Killing, and is currently a cast member on Chicago P.D.
Shredder (James Saito)
Saito has been a working actor since the mid-1970s, appearing in shows like The Waltons, M*A*S*H, and Bosom Buddies. Following his stint as the turtles’ metal-clad nemesis, Saito worked on everything from Die Hard With a Vengeance to The Devil’s Advocate, Eli Stone, and Life of Pi.
Donatello (Corey Feldman)
Prior of course to joining up with the turtles Feldman was a teenage star in Hollywood with parts in License to Drive and The Lost Boys. Feldman didn’t return for Secret of the Ooze, but did come back for the series third installment. Since then he’s been in Tales from the Crypt, My Life as a Troll, Zero Dark Dirty (not the Oscar-winning film), and done voice work for the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.
Michaelangelo (Robbie Rist)
Robbie Rist started as a child actor in Hollywood, appearing on shows like The Brady Bunch and Mary Tyler Moore prior to going full surfer dude for his role as Michelangelo. Rist works as a musician and producer for local Los Angeles bands and does a lot of cartoon and video game voiceover work, too. Oh, and he was also fortunate enough to play “Robbie the bus driver” in the original Sharknado.
Leonardo (Brian Tochi)
Before teaming up with the turtles, Brian Tochi’s most memorable part was as “Toshiro Takashi” in Revenge of the Nerds and a few of the Police Academy sequels. After coming back for both of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequels, Tochi has worked mostly as a voiceover actor for shows like Dexter’s Laboratory and Johnny Bravo. His most recent big screen credit was a small part in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Danny Pennington (Michael Turney)
Turney only stuck around in the acting business for one more credit after his role with the turtles, a thriller with Eddie Falco called Cost of Living. After that Turney pretty much stepped out of the spotlight altogether, but did work as a producer on a geek radio show called The Action Room.