Life After Santa Claus: The Movie™

As they say, Life goes on, and in this segment of, Fifth Edition, we're gonna tell you about what the cast and crew of Santa Claus: The Movie™ did after they made the film. We've talked at length elsewhere in the site about both Dudley Moore and John Lithgow; while some of the major figures involved in the development of the film are still around, both before and behind the cameras, most of them have long since passed away. As was the case with our Meet the Cast! and Meet the Crew Principals! segments, this one was prepared with the help of the Internet Movie Database. Enjoy!

And fittingly, our look at the survivors of Santa Claus: The Movie™ begins with the Jolly One himself! DAVID HUDDLESTON was born in Vinton, Virginia, and was notorious for appearing in such legendary films as WUSA, Frantic, Spot Marks the X, Lucky Luke, and of course, Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, and as Jeffrey, The Big Lebowski. Among David's TV credits were episodes of Barnaby Jones, Charlie's Angels, Sanford and Son, Vega$, and more recent network series from The Practice, Judging Amy and Gilmore girls to The West Wing, Nickelodeon's The Wild Thornberrys and Jericho. In 2007, our Kris Kringle joined the cast of the film version of the videogame Postal, produced and directed by Uwe Boll --- the man some have called the world's worst living filmmaker! Luckily, David eventually worked with some better directors: the team of Bruce Dellis and George Huang, for whom David completed scenes for the straight-to-DVD feature Locker 13. In 2010, David portrayed "Floyd Marley" in The Benevolent Byzantine Order of the Nobles of the Enigmatic Oracle. David's last major role was in the direct-to-DVD mystery thriller, Locker 13. David Huddleston passed away in Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 2nd, 2016. He was 85.

Besides looking after things over at, JUDY CORNWELL segued from her legendary Keeping Up Appearances to another BBC icon, EastEnders, where she portrayed the wise and fabulous Queenie. Her other credits include Rumpole of the Bailey, The New Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, The Life and Crimes of William Palmer and Doctors. Her autobiography, The Adventures of a Jelly Baby, tells a few slightly silly stories of her days on the Santa Claus: The Movie set. After completing a 7-year run on another hit British series, Doctors, Judy also starred in the historical drama Connemara Days.

To one generation, he will always be known as the tragic Henry Bemis, in the classic Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last." To another generation, he will always be known as one of Batman's most frequent villians, the Penguin. To still another, he'll always be Sylvester Stallone's feisty mentor, Mickey Goldmill, in the Rocky saga. And at least one or two of us will recognize him as ol' Grandpa Gustafson in the two Grumpy Old Men movies. But when BURGESS MEREDITH died on September 9th, 1997, he left behind an era of 1960's, 70's and 80's film acting, with over 200 film and television appearances beneath his belt. How lucky we are that the Salkinds chose Burgess to portray the wise and philosophical Ancient One. (And that great big, long, flowing beard wasn't bad, either!)

After co-starring as the motorist in the film version of the popular board game Clue, JEFFREY KRAMER forsook acting for production chores. Hooking up with executive producer David E. Kelley, Jeffrey was a member of the team who in 1997 developed Ally McBeal, where he appeared as a pedestrian in that show's pilot episode. Jeffrey also developed Kelley's sister series, The Practice, before subsequently striking out on his own in 2007 to executive produce a never-aired pilot, Almost Famous, for CBS.

CHRISTIAN FITZPATRICK made one other feature film, Vice Versa, co-starring Judge Reinhold, before deciding against furthering his movie career. A while ago, we caught up with Christian via e-mail in Boston --- only to learn that he had returned to his hometown of Chicago. Presently (again), other than his Facebook presence, his current whereabouts are a mystery. (And no, we're still not letting you contact CARRIE KEI HEIM, either. She, her husband Peter, and their daughter Kathy remain very happy together, and we insist that you folks respect their privacy.)

JOHN BARRARD's film career dates from 1956, when he debuted in an uncredited role in Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. A veteran of BBC television sitcoms and dramas, John's appearances have spanned from Doctor Who to Whoops Apocalypse. John also starred in the lead role in a 10-minute short subject, The 10th Man, and his last role was a brief appearance in the romantic comedy Swinging with the Finkels. John passed away in October 2013, at the age of 92.

ANTHONY O'DONNELL appeared in two hit BBC series: one, the Doctor Who spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, where he guest-starred as the dangerous alien Kaagh; then, in 2009, a second guest shot as the Sheriff of York, on Robin Hood. He followed those up with two additional guest star appearances: first, as "Roger Bowman" on New Tricks; then, as "Mike Chubb" on Doc Martin. He has a brief cameo in the now-classic James Bond epic Skyfall, portraying one half of a husband-and-wife duo in the London Underground who watch Daniel Craig as 007 chasing nasty Silva (Javier Bardem) and successfully hopping aboard! Anthony's one line: "Well, he's keen to get home!"

MELVYN HAYES is best known to most U.S. viewers for his role as Albert the Street Cleaner, on ABC's 1970 Saturday morning series, Here Come the Double Deckers!, for which he did double duty as story editor, dialogue coach --- and co-writer of that show's opening theme song, "Get on Board." Melvyn later joined the cast of the aforementioned EastEnders, where he had an eight-episode run as Michael Rawlins. He also appeared in the ITV Britain documentary series It Ain't Half-Hot, Mum. Other TV credits include The Slammer, The Legend of Dick and Dom, Benidorm, and two seasons starring in the title role as Mr. Pink.

DON ESTELLE had a surprise hit single in the U.K. when he and Windsor Davies recorded the single "Whispering Grass." Standing 4'9", Don died in August 2003.

TIM STERN's post-Santa Claus: The Movie™ adventures have been mostly limited to television. Among his various guest appearances: Agatha Christie's Poirot (wherein he made three recurring appearances as the character Alf Penny); Lovejoy; The Ruth Rendell Mysteries; Tales from the Crypt; Agatha Christie's Miss Marple in "4.50 from Paddington" and Holby City. He also co-starred in 2005's Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God, which frequently runs from time to time on Syfy. Tim also co-starred in a comedy-mystery, Agatha Raisin in The Quiche of Death.

PETER O'FARRELL is the only Santa Claus: The Movie™ cast member to have made it to another major film fantasy: Harry Potter. In 2002's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, he was featured as a short reporter for everyone's favorite wizard news source, the Daily Prophet. His one other major film credit to date saw him assuming the peg-leg of Long John Silver, in An Awfully Big Adventure (1995). In 2010, Peter teamed up with his two brothers, Daniel and Xavier, for a 7-minute supernatural short film called Locked.

CHRISTOPHER RYAN is no stranger to the world of Doctor Who, having starred as the evil Lord Kiv in Parts Five through Eight of the episode "Trial of a Time Lord" immediately after Santa Claus: The Movie™, then taking on the recurring role of lovable Uncle Cockshaw on the BBC's French & Saunders. Chris returned to the TARDIS world in two new Doctor Who episodes, portraying another, more sinister bad guy, the mighty General Staal; later, he took on a mellower assignment, with a three-episode run as Tony Driscoll on The Green, Green Grass. He was also seen in another British-made romcom, City Slacker.

DICKIE ARNOLD was featured in three episodes of the popular drama, All Creatures Great and Small. His BBC credits included episodes of Ripping Yarns and How We Used to Live. Dickie died in January 1990.

Born February 4th, 1937 in New York City, DAVID NEWMAN married LESLIE in June 1958. Working with Robert Benton, the Newmans were notorious throughout the 1960s as editors at Esquire magazine; ultimately, the trio moved to Los Angeles, where they wrote, among other credits, Bonnie & Clyde, There was a Crooked Man, and the stage musicals Oh! Calcutta and, with composer Charles Strouse and lyricist Lee Adams, It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Superman®! In between the Supermovies, David wrote or co-wrote Jinxed!, Sheena and Still of the Night. Shortly after working on Santa Claus: The Movie ™, David wrote the "Smooth Criminal" sequence of Michael Jackson's Moonwalker video. David Newman died in June 2003; Leslie Newman has since gone on to earn an outstanding reputation as a top food author and cooking columnist, having written the cookbook Feasts! Menus for Home-Cooked Celebrations.

Santa Claus: The Movie™ was ARTHUR IBBETSON's last theatrical film. Beginning his career in 1941, Ibbetson served as a third-unit camera operator on Disney's 1950 Treasure Island; afterwards, he served, credited and uncredited, as a top camera operator, landing his first stint as director of photography in 1949, with Stop Press Girl. From there, it was on to such classics of British and American cinema as The Horse's Mouth, The Angry Silence, The League of Gentlemen, There was a Crooked Man, The Canadians, Whistle Down the Wind, I Could Go On Singing, Die! Die! My Darling, The Wild Affair, The Fighting Prince of Donegal, A Countess from Hong Kong, Where Eagles Dare, Inspector Clouseau, The Railway Children, Anne of the Thousand Days (Academy Award Winner, Best Cinematography, 1970), A Little Night Music, The Bounty --- and, naturally, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Retiring in the late summer of 1987, Ibbetson passed away a decade later, in October 1997.

Whether it's stage, screen, or television, writer-composer-lyricist LESLIE BRICUSSE is truly a master craftsman in every sense of the word! Five-time Tony Award winner; four-time Grammy Award nominee, and 10-time Oscar nominee and double Academy Award winner, Bricusse's "Talk to the Animals" from Doctor Dolittle (1967), and "The Candy Man" from Willy Wonka, co-written with Anthony Newley, have been embraced by children all over the world as two of the most hummable tunes on Earth! Among his other popular tunes: "Pure Imagination" and "The Oompa-Loompa Songs," also co-written with Tony Newley, from Willy Wonka; "Thank You Very Much" from Scrooge; "When You're Alone" from Hook; "Somewhere in my Memory" from Home Alone; and "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas" from Home Alone 2 (all with John Williams). Oh yeah: Leslie and John wrote one other tune, for some girl named Lois Lane .... Anyway, Leslie lives in London with his wife Evie.

Production Designer ANTHONY PRATT came to the Santa Claus: The Movie ™ team straight from having served in the same role on Paul McCartney's Give My Regards to Broad Street. He later joined Bob Ringwood on both Excalibur and Solarbabies, ultimately going on to serve as production designer for Paris by Night, Not Without My Daughter, Shining Through, Year of the Comet, Michael Collins --- and more recently, the movie version of Lord Lloyd Webber's Phantom, the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, and the two-season HBO/BBC epic saga Rome. Also notorious for being Boris Karloff's great-nephew, Tony Pratt is a double Oscar and double Emmy nominee. He also production designed the Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks HBO miniseries, The Pacific; as well as John Boorman's Queen and Country, the sequel to Hope and Glory.

BOB RINGWOOD has been twice nominated for the Best Costume Design Oscar; his outstanding flair for intricate costume detail spotlights his work on such films as Dune, Excalibur, Solarbabies, Empire of the Sun, four Batman films, The Time Machine (2002), and Troy.

PETER HOLLYWOOD's association with Team Salkind began when he was given the responsibilities of associate editor on Superman III. He was then assigned editing duties on Where is Parsifal? before being commissioned to write, direct and edit the Supergirl making-of documentary, as a temporary replacement for Iain Johnstone. After Santa Claus: The Movie ™, Hollywood went on to edit Amazing Grace and Chuck, Terry Gilliam's Baron Munchhausen, Neverending Story 2, Sarafina!, Command Performance and Red Rose. Other editing credits for Peter: Hollow; Fever; Elfie Hopkins; and 247 Degrees Fahrenheit. He also completed editing and post-production chores on Just Ate, The Lost Choices, and We Are Tourists.

When he died in September 1995, DEREK MEDDINGS left behind a visual effects legacy that few in his beloved London have been capable of matching both before and since: from the Salkinds' Supermovies, to the Supermarionation epics of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, to most of the James Bond adventures, to a few additional projects in between: among them, Krull, Spies Like Us, Batman, Neverending Story 2 and 3, and Hudson Hawk.

ROY FIELD's sudden death on May 23rd, 2002, robbed the visual effects community of one its truest icons. Oddly enough, Roy had been part of the optical team who had worked with Richard Donner on The Omen; his work as a maestro of the duplicate negative earned him two BAFTA Award nominations. Roy supervised optical sequences for Jim Henson's The Great Muppet Caper and The Dark Crystal, consulting in that capacity on Labyrinth; and heading the visual effects unit for live-action on Don Bluth's Rock-a-Doodle.

Like Derek Meddings before him, DAVID LANE began his career with Gerry and Sylvia Anderson prior to joining the Supermovie team. With cameraman Ron Goodman and pilot Marc Wolff at his side, David's style for background flying plates made him a legend in the opticals business. In 2005, David Lane rejoined his old boss, Gerry Anderson, to work with him on the New Captain Scarlet series.

Whether you know him as one half of the Stalmaster/Lister Company, or whether you know him from his short time in partnership with Toni Howard, LYNN STALMASTER has been there and back again, casting talent for some of the finest projects on film and on television. Starting his career in front of the cameras in 1951, Lynn moved to the world of casting in 1954. Until his retirement circa 2007, Lynn was the man responsible for shaping the acting style and look of the movies and television shows the world has grown up with. In November 2016, he was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences during its Governor's Awards Ceremony, along with kung fu icon Jackie Chan, film editor Anne V. Coates, and documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman.

From Santa Claus: The Movie ™ to Harry Potter: JOHN TREHY has served as a production accountant and/or controller since launching his career in 1975, when he was an accountant on Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon. Trehy joined the Heyday Films team as production controller on Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban, before being kicked upstairs to associate producer for Goblet of Fire, and ultimately co-producer of Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows, Parts 1 and 2 --- and the two most recent chapters in the Wizarding World Chronicles, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its follow-up, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, both currently on DVD, Digital DVD and Blu-ray, with three additional sequels to follow.

DEREK CRACKNELL died in May 1991, having worked as first assistant director on Revolution, Batman, Aliens, Farewell to the King and King Ralph. He began his career as an assistant director in 1968, with the Kubrick icon 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he then followed up in 1971 with Clockwork Orange; prior to joining Team Salkind for Supergirl, and later Santa Claus: The Movie™. Derek's credits included: The Deep, Oh Heavenly Dog, The Mirror Crack'd, Evil under the Sun and Krull.

PAT GARRETT made her debut as a choreographer for film and television with Santa Claus: The Movie™; her credits immediately following ran the gamut from Little Shop of Horrors to King Ralph to two Muppet movies --- Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island. She made her directorial debut in 2005 with the short subject Just One More Night, followed in 2007 by the inevitable sequel, Just One More Bite! Two years later, Pat turned to directing full-time, with the made-for-TV movie, Kristina.

Return to Dooley's Office