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‘Adventures in Babysitting’: See the Cast Then and Now!

Plus, learn who dated whom in real life


In 1987, the action-packed and hilarious film Adventures in Babysitting and its now-beloved cast, hit theaters. Directed by Harry Potter‘s Chris Columbus, it follows Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue) as she takes the three kids she was babysitting into the city to pick up her friend who ran away from home. Sounds easy, right? Wrong!

It has heart and fun, and has stood the test of time, which is why we found out everything there is to know about the Adventures in Babysitting cast, including two times that life imitated art.  

Want to watch the film again or for the first time? It’s available on Disney+

Elisabeth Shue as Chris Parker

Elisabeth Shue as Chris Parker
1987/2024 Touchstone Pictures; Mike Marsland / Contributor/Getty

Oscar-nominated actress Elisabeth Shue was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on October 6, 1963. To earn extra money, she started acting in TV commercials for brands such as Burger King, DeBeers Diamonds and Hellman’s mayonnaise. Then, in 1984, she booked the role of Ali opposite Ralph Macchio in The Karate Kid. 

Shue also appeared in 23 episodes of Call to Glory from 1984-1985 and the thriller Link in 1986 before becoming everyone’s favorite babysitter, Chris Parker. 

“What’s interesting for me, too, is looking back at the few great roles that I feel like I’ve had, and I think there are a few, and I really do believe in my heart that is one of them, because she [Chris Parker] gets to carry the movie,” Shue told Today in 2022. “There weren’t too many lead roles for women at the time, for sure. So I think the fact that the film had to have a girl because most babysitters were girls at the time, that’s kind of nice.”

“I had so much fun. I think you can probably see it in my performance. I probably had way too much fun,” Shue added.

After leaving her babysitting days behind, she could be seen in Back To the Future Part II and Part III (1989/1990), Leaving Las Vegas (1996), Gracie (2007), Chasing Mavericks (2012), 71 episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2012-2015) and 2 episodes of Cobra Kai (2021). Her most recent work is 1 episode of Amazon’s Gen V in 2023. 

Did you know? Shue’s brother Andrew had a small cameo in the film. He was the frat boy laughing with Daryl (Keith Coogan) at the party. 

MUST READ: ‘The Karate Kid’ Turns 40 This Year — See the Cast Then and Now

Maia Brewton as Sara Anderson: Adventures in Babysitting cast

Maia Brewton as Sara Anderson: Adventures in Babysitting cast
1987/ Touchstone Pictures;Bobby Bank / Contributor/Getty

Maia Brewton played the Thor-loving Sara Anderson. Brewton began acting in 1984 and had six credits to her name before starring in Adventures in Babysitting

Some notable ones include one episode each of Blue Thunder (1984), Trapper John, M.D. (1985) and Highway to Heaven (1987). That was the last thing Bewtron worked on before becoming Sara. 

Her more recent works include episodes of 21 Jump Street (1989), The Wonder Years (1990) and 70 episodes of Parker Lewis Can’t Loose (1990-1993). She was last in an episode of Odd Mom Out (2015) before retiring from acting. 

Did you know? Both Brewton and Shuw appeared in the Back to The Future franchise, but not at the same time. 

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Keith Coogan as Brad Anderson 

Keith Coogan as Brad Anderson 
1987/ Touchstone Pictures; Rodin Eckenroth / Stringer/Getty

Born on January 13, 1970 in Palm Springs, California, Keith Coogan was destined for Hollywood stardom thanks to his grandfather, Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester from the original The Addams Family).

Coogan’s earlier works include six episodes of The MacKenzies of Paradise, and an episode each of Cove (1979), Laverne & Shirley (1981) and Little House on the Prairie (1981). He was also the voice of Young Tod in The Fox and the Hound (1981). 

Then, in 1987, Coogan became the chocolate-obsessed Brad Anderson in Adventures in Babysitting. In the film, Brad has a huge crush on Chris (Shue), and in 2016, Coogan admitted that he felt the same way as his character. 

still have a huge crush on Elisabeth Shue,” he admitted. “I am amazed at the level of professionalism and the dedication to the work. She really did carry the picture.”

Coogan can most recently be spotted in Walking (2013) and Team of Two (2024). 

Did you know? Coogan would also star in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (1991), another film about the shenanigans babysitting can cause. 

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Anthony Rapp as Daryl Coopersmith: Adventures in Babysitting cast 

Anthony Rapp as Daryl Coopersmith: Adventures in Babysitting cast 
1987/ Touchstone Pictures; Jason Mendez / Stringer/Getty

Anthony Rapp had no acting credits to his name before Adventures in Babysitting. He was born in 1971 and attended Interlochen Arts Camp growing up so that he could perfect his craft before becoming Brad’s best friend, Daryl.  Rapp is perhaps best known, though, for originating the role of Mark Cohen in Rent (1996) as well as the 2005 movie adaptation. He earned two Critics Choice Awards nominations for his work on that. 

Rapp was also one of the people who came forward in the Kevin Spacey trial, saying that when he was 14, Spacey (age 26 at the time) lifted him and pinned him to the ground in an aggressive and sexual manner during the filming of Brighton Beach Memoirs (1987). 

Most recently, Rapp was in Star Trek: Discovery (2017-2024). 

Did you know? Rapp had to dye his natural blonde hair red for Adventures in Babysitting, because because production thought that if he didn’t, audiences would confuse him with Anthony Michael Hall. 

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Bradley Whitford as Mike Todwell 

Bradley Whitford as Mike Todwell 
1987/2023 IMDB;Amanda Edwards / Contributor/Getty

Playboy and eventual ex-boyfriend of Chris Parker, Mike Todwell, was portrayed by Emmy Winner Bradley Whitford. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin and graduated with a theater and English literature degree from Wesleyan University as well as a master’s degree in theater from the Juilliard Theater Center. 

Before becoming Mike, Whitford guest starring on a few series prior to the film. “Brad and I became very good friends after Adventures in Babysitting,” Shue admitted in 2021, “and I actually ended up going out with him!” 

Bradley’s more recent projects include Philidelphia (1993), Billy Madison (1995), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005), 155 episodes of The West Wing (1999-2005), Decoding Annie Parker (2013), Get Out (2017), Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), tick, tick…Boom! (2021) and 4 episodes of Parish (2024). He is also in The Handmaiden’s Tale for much of its run.

Did you know? Bradley used his own car in the film as well as the license plate that read, “SO COOL.”

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Penelope Ann Miller as Brenda: Adventures in Babysitting cast 

Penelope Ann Miller as Brenda: Adventures in Babysitting cast 
1987/2023IMDB; Michael Tullberg / Contributor/Getty

Rounding out the Adventures in Babysitting cast is none other than Tony-nominated Penelope Ann Miller. Similar to a lot of her cast mates, Miller was only in a few things before becoming Brenda, including episodes of Guiding Light (1984), The Facts of Life (1987) and Family Ties  (1987). 

Then, in Adventures in Babysitting, Miller played Chris’ best friend, Barbara, who decides to run away from home, leading Chris to take all of those kids into the city to “rescue” her. 

After that, Miller was in Kindergarten Cop (1990), Carry Me Home (2004), American Dresser (2018) and the Netflix series Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022). 

Did you know? Miller and Coogan were both born on January 13. However, Coogan was born in 1970, and Miller was born in 1964. 

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For all things 1980s, click here!

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