Forty Years Since ‘Police Academy:’ Where Are These Misfit Cops Today?

POLICE ACADEMY, Bruce Mahler (third row left), Kim Cattrall (second row left), Marion Ramsey (front left), Steve Guttenberg (with medal), 1984,
Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

The year was 1984. Apple released the first Mac, and you could see a movie for $2.50. Bruce Springsteen released Born in the U.S.A. and Steve Guttenberg was being sent to the Police Academy so that they could keep tabs on him, and a film franchise was born.

Rising to the No. 5 slot at the domestic box office in 1984, the R-rated comedy went on to gross over $81 million and featured an ensemble cast of actors that became known as their characters. In honor of the 40-year anniversary here is what some of the cast is up to today and those who have left us.

Steve Guttenberg as Carey Mahoney

Steve Guttenberg Police Academy and now

Everett Collection; Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Mahoney is sent to the Academy and doesn’t want to be there, but he has to be. Throughout his stay, he is competent and smart, but does everything to get kicked out.

Before Police Academy

He came to film fresh off a lead role in Barry Levinson’s Diner.

After Police Academy

COCOON, Steve Guttenberg, 1985,

20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection

Guttenberg’s career after Police Academy became even bigger as he went on to appear in not only other future Academy sequels but also many beloved comedies during the decade, including Cocoon, Short Circuit and Three Men and A Baby. To answer the “Stonecutters Song,” you could say that in many ways, it was Police Academy that made him a star.

G.W. Bailey as Lt. Harris

G.W. Bailey Police Academy Now and then

Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection; Rachel Luna/FilmMagic/Getty

Bailey was the lieutenant tasked with whipping these police recruits into shape, a task that would be next to impossible for the bravest man. Harris ends up the butt of most of Mahoney’s jokes and all of his antics but is a good sport throughout.

Before Police Academy

He had just finished wrapping an extensive role on St. Elsewhere as Dr. Hugh Beale and as Albert Addison on Goodnight, Beantown. But his resumé also included roles on M*A*S*H, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, Starsky and Hutch, Soap and more household-name television shows.

After Police Academy

MAJOR CRIMES, G.W. Bailey, 'Two Options', (Season 3, ep. 307, aired July 21, 2014).

Eddy Chen/TNT/courtesy Everett Collection

Bailey came back for all the sequels in the series and had a smattering of other roles, including in the 1987 film Mannequin and countless other television series, such as The Closer and Major Crimes. He most recently appeared as Mr. Dugan in the television show Stargirl.

Kim Cattrall as Karen Thompson

Kim Cattrall Police Academy then & now

Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection; Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

She was the apple of Mahoney’s eye from the moment she appeared at the Academy. He tried to trick her around every corner to fall for him, but it was his wit and charm that just may have won her over.

Before Police Academy

Cattrall had nearly 10 years of television appearances including Quincy M.E., The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, Starsky & Hutch, Charlie’s Angels and the 80s film Porky’s.

After Police Academy

SEX AND THE CITY, Kim Cattrall, (Season 5), 1998-2004,

HBO/ Courtesy: Everett

Films like Mannequin, Big Trouble in Little China and Unforgettable along with several television series were just the appetizer to her most memorable role to date as Samantha in the HBO hit series Sex and the City. Most recently, she has been seen as Future Sophie in the now-canceled series How I Met Your Father.

Bubba Smith as Moses Hightower


Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

In Police Academy, Smith was a quiet, gentle giant; but, before the film concludes, you see him take charge of things like he is in command and his voice can match the situation.

Before Police Academy

Smith had plenty of television and movie roles. From Good Times, Charlie’s Angels and B.J. and the Bear to Eight is Enough, Vega$ and Taxi, he made the transition to the screen look easy. This, of course, came after nine years in the NFL terrorizing quarterbacks.

After Police Academy

He returned to the sequels through part six and had many other television and movie appearances. He was even one of the stars of the classic Miller Lite commercials. Tastes Great or Less Filling? Unfortunately, Smith left us in 2011 at 66.

The rest of the cast included

Leslie Easterbrook as Callahan

Leslie Easterbrook Police Academy Then Now

Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection; Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

Horror fans will recall her being Mother Firefly in The Devil’s Rejects (2005), and, most recently, she was in the 2022 film Give Till it Hurts.

George Gaynes as Commandant Lassard


Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

Also starring as Henry in Punky Brewster in the ’80s, Gaynes was last onscreen in 2003’s Just Married, after a long film career. He passed away in 2016 at 98.

Michael Winslow as Larvell Jones

Michael Winslow Police Academy then and now

Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection; Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Michael Winslow was in countless movies as himself and others. He still does comedy tours, so you can hear some of the amazing sound effects the series used throughout its run.


’80s Where Are They Now
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March 2023

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