Before the 2004 ‘Mean Girls,’ There Were These REALLY Mean Girls Known As ‘Heathers’

HEATHERS, Winona Ryder, Kim Walker, Lisanne Falk, Shannen Doherty, 1988.
New World Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Looking back at my high-school days, things were just as cliquey as the ultra-sassy movie Heathers portrayed. As a ’92 North Star graduate – barely graduating at that – I was in the throes of every social click. Stoners, jocks, nerds, what have you, I myself was probably more of an art/music geek. I got ripped on for liking Green Day in 1991, ha! Not only that, Heathers was hands-down my favorite movie. However, I wasn’t a Heather, I was a Veronica, and not only because people would tell me everywhere I went I looked like Winona Ryder (if only I could have had the boyfriend of Johnny Depp too, sigh) but more her attitude. To this day I can probably quote this entire movie if someone asked me to. So when I saw the 35th anniversary of this cult classic was this year, I knew I was the only one on our writing team who could take on any assignment about it as I lived it and breathed it, well minus the crazy murdering boyfriend that passed stuff off as suicides. Let’s check in with the croquet-loving mean girls of Westerberg High and see where they are now.

Winona Ryder (Veronica Sawyer)

Best Line: “What is your damage, Heather?”

Winona Ryder now and then Heathers

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images; New World Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Raised in a hippie commune, 1988 was a banner year for the breakout star whose only major movie credit beforehand was Lucas (1986). The NOT a Heather but a Veronica also starred in Beetlejuice the same year. She quickly became the IT actress among teens and twenty-somethings with other big movie roles in the late ’80s and 1990s like Edward Scissorhands, Mermaids and Reality Bites. She also earned two Oscar nominations with The Age of Innocence (1993) and Little Women (1994) and she hasn’t slowed down since. Her personal life on the other hand was a bit of a bumpy ride with her notorious relationship with Johnny Depp, and her arrest for shoplifting and prescription drugs in 2001. Since then, she has been in some more low-key roles until the mega-hit show Stranger Things, which is a throwback to the ’80s in case you have been living under a rock and most currently is reprising her role as Lydia in the long-anticipated sequel to Beetlejuice simply called Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice. She has been in a long-term relationship with fashion designer Scott Mackinlay Hahn and has no children.

Christian Slater (Jason ‘J.D.’ Dean)

Best Line: “Greetings and salutations… you a Heather?”

Christian Slater now and then Heathers

Kambouris/Getty Images; New World Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Getting his start as a child actor, his first major movie credit came alongside Super Girl Helen Slater (no relation) in The Legend of Billie Jean and a reoccurring role on Ryan’s Hope. After Heathers, this star also started to to rise in other young adult cult teen flicks such as Gleaming the Cube and Pump up the Volume to name a couple. In 1994, he famously took the role of Daniel Molloy in Interview With a Vampire after River Phoenix (who was originally cast in the role) had died of an overdose. Slater donated his entire salary to charity in honor of his friend. He also had several run-ins with the law as well as hits and misses throughout the 1990s and 2000s. However, he had a recurring role in the 2016 USA series Mr. Robot, and along the way, he has been doing voice work for several cartoons. Currently, he is doing voice work on the final season of Archer and will be in the upcoming Jerry Seinfeld comedy, Unfrosted. Slater is married with 2 children.

Shannen Doherty (Heather Duke)

Best Line: “Veronica, you look like hell.”

Shannen Doherty now and then Heathers

Gerardo Mora/Getty Images; New World Pictures

Years before Brenda Walsh became a sparkle in Doherty‘s eye she also started as a child actress in Little House on the Prairie, played a pre-teen punk in Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1986), and starred in Our House before she became Heather Duke. Two years later the Aaron Spelling-born Beverly Hills 90210 came along and her popularity skyrocketed. Being well known for being hard to work with, she was let go from the show in its 4th season but wasn’t out of work for long when her next major recurring role came along on the supernatural hit Charmed. Again her strong personality got in her way and she was let go in season 3. Since she has had a smattering of roles but more recently has been back in the spotlight as she has been battling cancer for the past several years and has been very publically open about all the challenges she faces with it on her podcast “Let’s Be Clear.”

Lisanne Falk (Heather McNamara)

Best Line: “God, aren’t they fed yet? Do they even have Thanksgiving in Africa?”

LISANNE FALK now and then Heathers

LISANNE FALK/INSTAGRAM; New World Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Getting her start as a child model, she graced the cover of Foreigners’ 1979 album, Head Games. Other acting credits include Less Than Zero (1987) and Night On Earth (1991) as well as made for TV movies. She currently has dual citizenship as she resides in the UK with her husband Mark Morris.

Renée Estevez (Betty Finn)

Best Line: “Nice guys finish last, I should know.”

Renee Estevez now and then

Ryan Miller/Getty Images; Screengrab

Playing the dorky old friend of Veronica, she is actually the daughter of Martin Sheen. First starting out she was in a CBS Schoolbreak Special, episodes of Growing Pains and MacGyver plus the ‘80s slasher flick Sleepaway Camp: II. Post Heathers took her more towards working with her famous family as she had a reoccurring guest role on dad’s show West Wing, was once directed by brother Emilio in her last screen role The Way (2010) and wrote a few episodes for brother Charlie’s show Anger Management. Since she seems to be leading a quiet life and is divorced from golf pro Jason Thomas Federico.

The Dearly Departed

Kim Walker (Heather Chandler)

Best Line: “Well, fuck me gently with a chainsaw. Do I look like Mother Teresa?”

HEATHERS, Kim Walker, 1988,

New World/courtesy Everett Collection

Better known as Heather Number One, this was Kim Walker’s most notable role. Pre Heathers she did have a couple of supporting roles in episodes of Matlock and Highway to Heaven. In 1989 she had a role in Say Anything alongside other Heathers Alumn Lisanne Falk plus some TV movies before she retired from acting. Walker died in 2001 due to a brain tumor. As fans of the movie know the irony is not lost since that was one of her most well-known lines from the movie.

Glenn Shadix (Father Ripper)

Best Line: “We must pray the other teenagers of Sherwood, Ohio, know the name of that righteous dude who can solve their problems: it’s Jesus Christ, and he’s in the Book.”

Glenn Shaddix

Albert L. Ortega/WireImage/Getty; Screengrab

Shadix was also busy in 1988 as he starred along with Winona in Beetlejuice as Otho. He had a sharp wit as the officiant for all the gruesome suicides/murders J.D. and Veronica were committing. After Heathers, he went on to star in episodes of Seinfeld and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air along with the movies Sleepwalkers and Planet of the Apes. He also has done animation voice work, most notably as the Mayor in Nightmare Before Christmas. Sadly Shadix succumbed to a head injury from a fall and passed away in 2010. I guess that explains why he isn’t in the Beetlejuice sequel.



As far as reboots of this classic? In 2018 there was a brief revival in the form of a TV show and also a stage musical currently running in The UK that is also a movie.

’80s Where Are They Now
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’80s Where Are They Now

March 2023

Who can forget all the great TV shows, movies and music of the ‘80s? See what your favs are up to now!

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