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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Then/Now: 'E.T.' Turns 30

    On June 11, 1982, director Steven Spielberg introduced us to “E.T.,” a figment of his childhood imagination turned into a major Hollywood motion picture.

    The film became the highest grossing movie of all time, a record it held for 10 years. It maintains its popularity today due in part to its timeless story and the winning performances of its outstanding young cast.

    So dust off your flying bicycle and take a ride with our friends at as we check out where some of the stars of “E.T.” are now, 30 years later.

    Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

    Henry Thomas as “Elliott”

    Henry Thomas auditioned for the part of Elliott alongside hundreds of other boys, and though his original reading didn’t impress producers, his tears on cue in improvised scenes put his name at the top of the list.

    Only 10 years old at the time, Thomas led a cast comprised mainly of other child actors.

    Henry Thomas Today

    In addition to continuing his acting career, Thomas is also involved in music. In the mid-’90s he performed with the band the Blue Heelers, and while they never landed a record deal, they enjoyed wide success in their home state of Texas.

    Today Thomas lives in L.A. and is a member of the band Farspeaker. His next movie, “Big Sur,” is slated for release in late 2012.

    See the entire gallery of “E.T.” stars at

    J. Emilio Flores, Getty Images

    Robert MacNaughton as “Michael”

    MacNaughton played the part of needling older brother to Elliott and Gertie. Even though he was particularly menacing to Elliott, he came through for him in the end, helping E.T. to escape his would-be captors and return home.

    Robert MacNaughton Today

    Robert MacNaughton left acting in the late ’80s after appearing in several TV series and TV movies. He currently resides in Jersey City with his wife and son and works as a mail handler.

    See the entire gallery of “E.T.” stars at

    Scott Kirkland, Getty Images

    Drew Barrymore as “Gertie”

    Drew Barrymore was only six years old when she made her breakthrough performance as young Gertie in “E.T.” Director Steven Spielberg, who is also her godfather, felt her mischievous imagination made her perfect for the role.

    Unfortunately, her early successes led her down the familiar path of self-destruction that plagues many young actors. She has since made the transition from child star to A-lister and cleaned up her life.

    Drew Barrymore Today

    These days Drew Barrymore is all grown up. She continues to act as well as produce and direct through her own production company, Flower Films, which she co-owns with a friend.

    In 2012 she starred with John Krasinski in “Big Miracle.” She also recently married art consultant Will Kopelman on June 2, 2012, and is currently pregnant with her first child.

    See the rest of the gallery at to find out where more “E.T.” stars, like actress Erika Eleniak a.k.a. “Pretty Girl,” are today.

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