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

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  • 30 Years Later! Where Are They Now? 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'

    “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” released this week in 1982, not only launched the acting careers of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, Nicolas Cage, Anthony Edwards, and Sean Penn, it wove the catchphrase “Hey, bud, let’s party!” into the fabric of American teen and college speak everywhere.

    The iconic film was inspired by a series of articles for “Rolling Stone” magazine penned by a then 15-year-old unknown (now big time director) Cameron Crowe, who went on to write the “Fast Times” script. It’s hard to believe it has been 30 years since the film’s release, and our friends at help us look back at the film that made “Jeff Spicoli” a household name.

    Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for The Michael J Fox Foundation

    Phoebe Cates as Linda Barrett

    Cates’ film career was launched as Linda Barrett, the “experienced” girl who had all the right moves with a carrot in the cafeteria and coming out of a pool in her bikini. All she really did was manage to give a bunch of bad advice to Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh). At least she defended Stacy’s tarnished honor when Mike Damone (Robert Romanus) bailed on her.

    See the entire gallery of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” stars at

    Phoebe Cates Now

    Cates went on to star in “Gremlins” (1984, with “Fast Times” alum Judge Reinhold), the infamous 1980s miniseries “Lace”, and TV’s “Drop Dead Fred” (1991). She also appeared with Jennifer Jason Leigh, her best friend, in “The Anniversary Party” (2001). Cates married actor Kevin Kline and opened her own boutique in 2005 on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, named Blue Tree.

    S bukley/ImageCollect

    Judge Reinhold as Brad Hamilton

    Brad Hamilton—the guy who goes from BMOC to not being able to hold a fast-food job or a girlfriend and getting caught in one major embarrassing position—still manages to be a decent brother and a hero when he douses hot coffee on a would-be convenience store robber and finally gets a promotion at work. Who can blame him for tossing the Captain Hook Fish & Chips uniform out the car window? He’s so much more distinguished in a convenience store uniform.

    See the entire gallery of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” stars at

    Judge Reinhold Today

    The 1980s was a prolific decade for Reinhold. He went on to star in the “Beverly Hills Cop” franchise, “Gremlins” (1984), and “Ruthless People” (1986). He followed up with the “Santa Clause” holiday films beginning in the 1990s. His latest starring role is in the independent film “Comics Open” (2012), currently in post-production.

    Carrie Nelson/ImageCollect

    Jennifer Jason Leigh as Stacy Hamilton

    Stacy Hamilton, the 15-year-old girl who can’t lose her virginity fast enough, attempts to find love through sex, but in the end, realizes that romance is more important for her. We were also treated to Jackson Browne’s popular hit “Somebody’s Baby” from Stacey’s steamiest scene.

    Jennifer Jason Leigh Today

    Jennifer Jason Leigh has not stopped since her success as the hot-to-trot Stacy Hamilton. She’s starred in the thriller “Single White Female” (1992), played Dorothy Parker in “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle” (1994), and played alongside Alan Cumming in “The Anniversary Party” (2001). She can currently be seen on “Weeds”, playing Jill Price-Gray, the twisted sister of Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker).

    See the entire gallery of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” stars at

    CBS via Getty Images

    Ray Walston as Mr. Hand

    Before he was the very disagreeable high school history teacher Mr. Hand, Ray Walston was a television institution, known for his 1960s sitcom “My Favorite Martian.” Mr. Hand became a memorable fixture in the film, reminding everyone how important his time was and enjoying his highly antagonistic relationship with one Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn), who loved to greet his perturbed teacher with: “Aloha, Mr. Hand!”

    Ray Walston:  1914-2001

    In the 1990s, Walston had another generation engaged in his cantankerous personality in the critically lauded TV series “Picket Fences” as Judge Henry Bone. He also appeared in popular shows such as “Ally McBeal” and “Star Trek: Voyager.” He never stopped acting. His last role was an uncredited appearance in “7th Heaven (2001)”.

    Ray Walston passed away in 2001 at the age of 86.

    Aloha, Mr. Hand.

    See the entire gallery of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” stars at

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