See the Cast of ’21 Jump Street’ Then and Now
Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, ’21 Jump Street’ was the thing, boasting a cast that was way too cool in a story that seemed too unbelievable. That didn’t stop young viewers from eating it up, though.
Focusing on a team of blessedly young-looking police officers who posed as students to bust crimes in high school, college and any other teenage hot spot, the ’21 Jump Street’ cast became rather popular — especially one guy named Johnny Depp.
But that was then and this is now, and the stars have gone their separate ways to pursue whatever ventures their futures had in store, with some being a tad better than others. Let’s take a look at the cast of ’21 Jump Street’ then and now:
Holly Robinson Peete — Officer Judy Hoffs
Then: Having held a rather impressive resume already as a child actor, Holly Robinson Peete (at the time Holly Robinson) played Officer Judy Hoffs for 44 episodes. Apprently, she not only acted in the series but also sang the opening theme, ‘JUMP!!,’ along with backing vocals by Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise. Who knew?
Now: Life post-‘Jump Street’ has been just fine for Peete, who went on to star in ‘Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper‘ and appear in various other projects such as ‘Love, Inc.,’ ‘For Your Love’ and ‘Mike & Molly.’ She even reprised her role in the 2012 ’21 Jump Street’ film and served as one of the original hosts of the daytime show ‘The Talk.’ Today, Peete is married to former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete. Together, they have four children. She also does ads for Carnation.
Peter DeLuise — Officer Doug Penhall
Then: Playing Officer Doug Penhall, partner to Depp’s Tom Hanson, Peter DeLuise rocked the series as arguably the heart of Jump Street. His character was quick with a joke, and as we would come to find, the humor was merely a way to bury a deeper sadness.
Now: After his stint on ’21 Jump Street’ met it’s conclusion, DeLuise found success in shows such as ‘SeaQuest 2032.’ However, it wasn’t until he began directing television that he found his way. Throughout the late ’90s and 2000s, DeLuise — who is the son of Dom DeLuise and the brother of actor Michael DeLuise — directed everything from the ‘Stargate’ television shows to kid’s shows like ‘Level Up.’ And along with some others on our list, he reprised his role for the ’21 Jump Street’ film.
Johnny Depp — Officer Tom Hanson
Then: It’s hard to believe this Oscar nominee was a teen pop icon of the ’80s. It was during his time on ‘Jump Street’ that Depp realized his true passion was to explore films. Luckily, he was released from his six-year contract. And the rest? Well, as they say, it’s history.
Now: Simply put, Johnny Depp is one of the biggest stars on the planet. With blockbuster hits such as the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films and more offbeat choices like ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ and ‘Edward Scissorhands’ — the film that started his still ongoing partnership with director Tim Burton — Depp has established himself as a Hollywood powerhouse. He, too, appeared in the 2012 ‘Jump Street’ film, which allowed us to hear just why he left the show.
Dustin Nguyen — Officer Harry Truman Ioki
Then: Making his acting debut on ‘Magnum, P.I.’ Nguyen played Harry Truman Ioki from Jump Street’s beginning until 1990. His “by the book” attitude often went against the other members of the undercover unit, but when times were tough, Ioki stayed a true partner.
Now: Nguyen’s career after ’21 Jump Street’ led him to the 1998 T&A fest ‘V.I.P.’ starring Pamela Anderson. He’s made guest-starring appearances on ‘General Hospital,’ ‘Highlander’ and ‘SeaQuest DSV,’ and continues to act, produce, direct and write.
Steven Williams — Captain Adam Fuller
Then: Before gracing the screen on ’21 Jump Street’ Williams played Lt. Jefferson Burnett on ‘The Equalizer,’ but it would be his time on ‘Jump Street’ as Captain Adam Fuller that solidified him as a star. As the incoming leader who was initially mistrusted by his team, Fuller eventually won them over and turned into a father figure to the crew.
Now: Williams has kept a rather successful and steady career as an actor in both film and television, having appeared in 14 episodes of ‘The X-Files’ as well as ‘Stargate,’ ‘The Bernie Mac Show’ and ‘Supernatural.’ Williams was also featured in the ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ film, playing the Master of Secrets.
Sal Jenco — Sal ‘Blowfish’ Banducci
Then: Jenco had the good fortune of being old pals with Johnny Depp, so he was cast as Sal ‘Blowfish’ Banducci in ’21 Jump Street,’ after having visited his old roommate up in Vancouver. Playing the “maintenance engineer” of the Jump Street Chapel, ‘Blowfish’ was the comic relief of the show. He would become one of the show’s most popular recurring characters.
Now: It looks as if Jenco’s acting career is no more, having last had a credit in 1998. However, he did appear in the Depp and Al Pacino vehicle ‘Donnie Brasco’ in 1997.
Richard Grieco — Officer Dennis Booker
Then: Grieco began his career as a model working for Armani, Calvin Klein and Chanel, but shifted to acting when he won a role on ‘One Life to Live.’ Eventually, he hit ’21 Jump Street’ in 1988 and stayed until Fox developed a spinoff, ‘Booker,’ which lasted one season.
Now: The days after ’21 Jump Street’ included a lot of B-movies and voice work in cartoons like ‘Gargoyles.’ An appearance in ‘Night at the Roxbury’ briefly brought Grieco back to the big screen and he had a memorable role on ‘Veronica Mars.’ He served as an executive producer for the Showtime series ‘Gigolos’ and returned to B-movies, playing Loki in Asylum’s ‘Thor’ knock-off/cash-in ‘Almighty Thor.’
Michael DeLuise — Officer Joey Penhall
Then: The real-life brother of Peter DeLuise, Michael debuted his acting skills in 1979 opposite his father (Dom DeLuise) in ‘Hot Stuff.’ His work continued throughout the ’80s in shows such as ‘Amazing Stories,’ ‘My Two Dads’ and ‘TV 101.’ In 1989, he settled into the role of Officer Joey Penhall — brother of his actual brother — in ’21 Jump Street.’ He would appear on 13 episodes, exiting in 1990.
Now: After his ’21 Jump Street’ role, DeLuise had consistent work in the ’90s and 2000s, with hits such as ‘Encino Man’ and stints on ‘NYPD Blue’ and ‘Gilmore Girls.’ You may also remember him as one of Wayne and Garth’s long-haired metal pals in ‘Wayne’s World.’
Frederic Forrest — Captain Richard Jenko
Then: Forrest held an extensive resume before ‘Jump Street,’ having appeared in film (an Oscar-nominated role in ‘The Rose’) and TV (‘Mrs. Columbo’) since the late ’60s. (Word has it that Forrest was the main reason Johnny Depp decided to do the show.) Unfortunately, his character (who was the original Captain) lasted only a handful of episodes, getting killed by a drunk driver.
Now: After nearly four decades, Forrest retired from acting in 2006. His last role was in the Sean Penn political drama ‘All the King’s Men.’