Where The Christmas Vacation Cast Is Now

Where the Christmas Vacation cast is now starts with Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, the Griswold parents, both of whom are still acting now.

By Rick Gonzales | Updated

Where The Christmas Vacation Cast Is Now

‘Tis the season to be sitting back with a cup of hot cocoa spiked with peppermint schnapps, fireplace roaring, in front of the television as you watch all the Christmas favorites. One of those “must watch” Christmas movies have got to be National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the third film in the Vacation franchise and whose Christmas Vacation cast included original stars Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo as Clark and Ellen Griswold.

The Christmas Vacation cast was a mixture of old and new, even back when it was made in 1989. It did feature the return of Cousin Eddie and his wife Catherine, but it also featured the third version, in as many movies, of Clark and Ellen’s children, Rusty and Audrey. This time, the Griswolds didn’t have to travel far, as they remained home for the holiday, so let’s take a look at the Christmas Vacation cast and see where they are today.



Chevy Chase – Clark Griswold

As the Christmas Vacation cast leader, Chevy Chase returned for the third time as Clark Griswold. Always positive and upbeat until he can no longer stand it and snaps, Chase’s Clark is the straw that stirs the Christmas Vacation comedy. Not all of it is a hit, but there are enough Clark Griswold-created smiles to fill the entire movie.

Chevy Chase has been a comedic legend ever since he first appeared as a Saturday Night Live (SNL) regular back in October 1975. He was immediately known for creating the “fall of the week,” a physical brand of comedy where Chase would open SNL with a clumsy, but funny, fall where he would then introduce, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” He was also well-known on SNL for creating the Weekend Update.

Chase wouldn’t last on SNL but for a year and a half, leaving the show as the second season was rolling. There were conflicting reasons for his departure, some saying it was because the movie roles were starting to pile up, while others say it was his girlfriend, Jacqueline Carlin, whom he eventually married. Billy Murray replaced Chase in Season 2.

Well before Chevy Chase became the lead member of the Christmas Vacation cast, he and Bill Murray had a feud to settle. It happened when Chase returned to be a guest host in 1978. Witnessed by cast members John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, and Laraine Newman, Murray first made a derogatory comment about Chase’s troubled marriage with Carlin, whereas Chase countered by making snide comments about Murray’s physical appearance. It started with fisticuffs and ended in 1980 when the two appeared together in the hit comedy, Caddyshack.

Throughout the years, Chase has been involved in numerous funny films including Foul Play, Seems Like Old Times, Fletch, Three Amigos, Man of the House, and, of course, the Vacation franchise. He was also part of the great cast of the TV sitcom, Community. Chase would appear on that series for four seasons and a cameo in the Season 5 premiere, but it is said that Chase’s overall poor set behavior is what got him booted from the series.

Hollywood has seen very little of the now 79-year-old comedian since his departure from the series. He appeared opposite Richard Dreyfuss in the 2019 Netflix film, The Last Laugh, then the following year in The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee, appearing as himself. In 2021, Chase lent his voice to Panda vs. Aliens, and since then, not much has been heard from Chevy Chase.

Beverly D’Angelo – Ellen Griswold

As the matriarch of the Christmas Vacation cast, Beverly D’Angelo’s Ellen is able to stand toe-to-toe with the shenanigans her husband Clark always seems to find himself in. Ellen is always game, but sometimes enough is enough for her, and she reaches her breaking point. The same can be said during Christmas Vacation.

Beverly D’Angelo has enjoyed a long and successful career. Not only was she part of the Christmas Vacation cast, but she appeared in all of the Vacation films including the 2015 semi-reboot, Vacation, which starred Ed Helms as the grown-up Rusty Griswold. Chevy Chase would also return for this film.

Throughout D’Angelo’s career, she proved she was more than just a comedic actress. She appeared in non-comedic films such as Coal Miner’s Daughter, Aria, The Miracle, Eye for an Eye, and American History X. After taking some time off in 2019, D’Angelo returned with a vengeance in 2022, appearing in the films Violent Night and The Good House while also appearing in an episode of the TV series, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Johnny Galecki – Rusty Griswold

As the Rusty Griswold of the Christmas Vacation cast, Johnny Galecki became the third Rusty in three Vacation movies. He followed Anthony Michael Hall, who played Rusty in the original, and Jason Lively, who played Rusty in the second film, National Lampoon’s European Vacation.

Definitely not a confusing move, but also of note, Ethan Embry would portray Rusty in the fourth film, Vegas Vacation, and this was the only time in any Vacation film that Rusty was younger than Audrey.

Galecki’s role as Rusty opened the door for his future. He had a big role on Roseanne and its recent reboot, The Conners, but he was probably best known for his role as Leonard Hofstadter on the hit sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. For this role, Galecki became the world’s second-highest-paid television actor, bringing in over $900,000 per episode (his Big Bang co-star, Jim Parsons, was the highest-paid).

The Big Bang Theory brought Galecki fame, which he capitalized on by starring in films such as Hancock, In Time, The Cleanse, and Rings. Galecki’s last film role came in 2019 with A Dog’s Journey. 2019 also marked the last time he’d be seen on television with his role on The Conners.

Also back in 2019, it was announced that Galecki was returning to his Vacation roots by executive producing a series for HBO Max titled The Griswolds. Not much was known of it back then, including if Galecki would return to the role of Rusty or remain on the sidelines. It was also not known if any of the other original cast members, mainly Chevy Chase or Beverly D’Angelo, would be involved.

Juliette Lewis – Audrey Griswold

When Juliette Lewis joined the Christmas Vacation cast as Audrey Griswold, she became the third Audrey in the first three Vacation films. She followed Dana Barron, who played Audrey in the first, and then the late Dana Hill, who played Audrey in National Lampoon’s European Vacation. Lewis got her career started well before National Lampoon knocked on her door.

Juliette Lewis’s career began two years prior to her landing the role as the third Audrey. She was seen on the series I Married Dora, The Facts of Life, and the feature films My Stepmother is an Alien, Meet the Hollowheads, and The Runnin’ Kid. Becoming a part of the Christmas Vacation cast opened bigger doors for her down the road.

Not only is Lewis known for films such as Cape Fear, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Natural Born Killers, and From Dusk Until Dawn, but Lewis is also an accomplished singer who has fronted the band Juliette and the Licks, while also striking out musically on her own.

Lately, Lewis has continued to get great projects. In 2022 alone, Juliette Lewis starred in six episodes of Queer as Folk, six episodes of Welcome to Chippendales, and since 2021 has been part of the cast of Yellowjackets.


Randy Quaid – Cousin Eddie

Although Randy Quaid’s Cousin Eddie did not appear in two of the Vacation films, he was a welcomed member of the Christmas Vacation cast. Quaid plays Cousin Eddie in Christmas Vacation just as mindless as he did when he introduced the character in the original Vacation. Here, Cousin Eddie arrives unannounced at the Griswolds for Christmas with his wife, Catherine, and various children in tow.

Randy Quaid, the older brother to actor Dennis Quaid, has been around for some time. He made his feature film debut in the 1971 hit film, The Last Picture Show and is best known for the Vacation franchise as well as films like The Long Riders, Caddyshack II, Days of Thunder, Quick Change, The Paper, Independence Day, and Kingpin. It has been four years since Quaid was seen on film, with the 2018 movie, All You Can Eat.

Lately, Quaid has not been quiet on the political front. He is often seen and heard on his Twitter account, posting very clear feelings about how he sees things in our country.

Just two days ago he posted, “Summer of Antifa was much worse than January 6th and everybody knows it!” and then followed that up with his most recent post, “This Christmas pray…to remove Joe Biden from the White House. He is an utter, complete failure and a vicious, incompetent, corrupt senile old man who hates America. His failures are too many to count and are killing Americans daily.”

Miriam Flynn – Catherine Johnson

Miriam Flynn as Cousin Catherine (Eddie’s wife) was another welcome return and addition to the Christmas Vacation cast. Like Quaid, she appeared in the original National Lampoon’s Vacation, offering a crazy balance to Quaid’s Eddie. But Flynn’s career is much more than just the Vacation franchise.

Throughout her vast career, Miriam Flynn has appeared in over 150 films and TV series. She is a wonderful and talented character actor who has seen time on shows like Murder, She Wrote, Herman’s Head, Doogie Howser, M.D., L.A. Law, Grey’s Anatomy, and Boston Legal. She is also a wonderful voice actor and most recently has been seen on Mom, The Unicorn, and Disney’s Fancy Nancy.


Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Margo Chester

Julia Louis-Dreyfus will forever be known as Elaine Barnes in one of the biggest sitcoms to ever come to television, Seinfeld. But it was the year before she took on that role that Louis-Dreyfus was part of the Christmas Vacation cast. In it, she played one half of an uber yuppie couple, Margo Chester, who were next-door neighbors to the Griswolds, and a major thorn in Clark Griswold’s side.

Christmas Vacation led Louis-Dreyfus right into the cast of Seinfeld, where she played Elaine Barnes for nine seasons. After Seinfeld, she went on to star in her own sitcom, The New Adventures of Old Christine. She then moved on to another popular series, Veep, before joining the MCU as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Black Widow, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Nicholas Guest – Todd Chester

Nicholas Guest has been a wonderful character actor since 1980. He joined the Christmas Vacation cast as Todd Chester, the other half of the yuppie couple neighbors to the Griswolds. Guest has done a ton of voice work on animated films such as The Land Before Time III: The Time of the Great Giving, Tangled, Rio, Astro Boy, Frozen, and ParaNorman. The last few projects Guest worked on were the reboot of MacGyver, Madam Secretary, and Guest Appearances.


Diane Ladd – Nora Griswold

Diane Ladd became part of the Christmas Vacation cast as Nora Griswold, mother to Clark. Ladd’s career is a long one, starting in 1957 on the TV series, Decoy. Over her eclectic and nearly eight-decade career, she has performed both on the big and small screens. She was married to actor Bruce Dern for nearly a decade and from that marriage, they produced actress Laura Dern.

Diane Ladd was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of Flo in the film Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. She has appeared in a number of films with her daughter, Laura, that include Wild at Heart, Rambling Rose, and Citizen Ruth. At 87, Ladd is still acting with her latest roles being the series Chesapeake Shores, and the films Gigi & Nate and Isle of Hope.

John Randolph – Clark Wilhelm Griswold

John Randolph was another great character actor who enjoyed a long career. When he arrived as part of the Christmas Vacation cast, Randolph had already established over three-quarters of his acting career. He was known for films such as Serpico, Earthquake, All the President’s Men, and Heaven Can Wait.

After Randolph’s performance as Clark Griswold’s father, he found parts in films like Sibling Rivalry, You’ve Got Mail, and Sunset Strip. Randolph passed away in 2004 at the age of 88.

Doris Roberts – Frances Smith

Doris Roberts is the five-time Emmy-winning actress who is best known for her role as Marie Barone in the long-running sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond. Over her nearly six-decade career, Roberts has seen time in feature films, on television, and on the stage.

Along with being part of the Christmas Vacation cast, Roberts has been seen in projects like The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Grandma’s Boy, Aliens in the Attic, and Madea’s Witness Protection. Roberts passed away in 2016 at the age of 90.

E.G. Marshall – Art Smith

Where The Christmas Vacation Cast Is Now

Between the 1950s and the end of the 1970s, E.G. Marshall was a heavyweight in the film industry. His early film career included The Caine Mutiny, 12 Angry Men, Man on Fire, Cash McCall, and Tora! Tora! Tora! When he joined the Christmas Vacation cast as Art Smith, father of Ellen Griswold, it would prove to be one of the few remaining projects Marshall would take on. He passed away in 1998 at the age of 84.


When National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation first hit movie theaters, it was met with wildly mixed critical reaction. Many didn’t care for the repeated hijinks that Chevy Chase brought to the table. But over the years, the film has now become what’s considered a Christmas classic. Go figure.

So, if Christmas Vacation is on your Christmas movie-watching list, now is the time to sit back and have some laughs. Enjoy your time with the Griswolds and all the trouble Clark finds. Please have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!