Many of us like to kick back at home and watch a sitcom or two to help us to relax. Sitcoms are now an integral part of our television viewing habits, and it is hard to think of a time when they did not exist. Moreover, they can often be on the air for years, causing many actors to go through transformations during that time. When they end, however, we are left wondering what the stars we regularly tuned in to watch now look like.
The sitcom ALF follows the adventures of an alien who lands on Earth and tries to keep his identity hidden. He crash lands in the garage of the Tanner family and likes it so much there he decides to hang around, much to the dismay of some of the family members. Today, almost 30 years after its cancelation, we can’t help but wonder what the cast members got up to in that time.
Paul Fusco – ALF
ALF is a hairy little creature that crashes onto planet Earth and begins to wreak havoc on the Tanner family. ALF is a friendly extraterrestrial though, and all of the chaos he causes is not malicious. ALF is actually an acronym that stands for Alien Life Form.
ALF comes from the intergalactic planet of Melmac, and he ends up on Earth after following an amateur radio signal. The Tanner family takes ALF into their home to hide him from the Alien Task Force of the US government who are looking for him.
Paul Fusco – Today
This may shock you, but ALF wasn’t really an alien. He was a puppet that had been operated by Paul Fusco. Fusco helped to both bring ALF to life and create the show itself.
While the show was canceled in 1990, Fusco managed to keep ALF alive by bringing him to various chat shows and the puppet made several guest appearances on shows such as Talk Soup, and The Cindy Margolis Show. In 2004 Fusco featured again as ALF in ALF’s Hit Talk Show.
Anne Schedeen – Kate Tanner
You can always rely on mom to have your back, and this is exactly what ALF did on a regular occurrence. Kate Tanner was the mom of the family ALF moved in with, and she always had his back, but would also make sure she kept him in his place.
Kate often threatened shipping ALF to the authorities if he got too out of line, even though she was the member of the family that mainly dealt with keeping his identity a secret.
Anne Schedeen – Today
Anne Schedeen didn’t do too much acting on screen after ALF was unceremoniously dumped from NBC’s airwaves in 1990. She did a couple of TV movies, including Perry Mason: The Case of the Maligned Mobster and Praying Mantis.
She appeared alongside Alec Baldwin in crime thriller, Heaven’s Prisoners. Most recently she featured in the comedy TV series Tiny Nuts in 2014. Today she is an ambassador for Holiday Heroes which helps underprivileged children and families in Bulgaria.
Max Wright – Willie Tanner
This guy is the reason why ALF landed on our planet in the first place. He is the one who sent up the radio signal into space which called to ALF like a beacon. For a man who is very interested in space, you’d think he and ALF would get on very well, but they often clash.
Willie finds ALF’s lack of a sense of responsibility frustrating, and he argues with him a lot. When he is a bit calmer, the two will have long discussions about ALF’s adventures in space.
Max Wright – Today
Wright was best known for his work on ALF but has since added several acting credits to his resume after the show was canceled. He featured regularly in sitcom The Norm Show from 1999 to 2001 playing the role of Max Denby.
Wright appeared in comedy sequel Grumpier Old Men in 1995 starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The actor has had a few brushes with the law and in 2000 was arrested for driving under the influence, and he had another DUI offense to his name in 2003.
Benj Gregory – Brian Tanner
Brian Tanner is the middle child of the family and spends lots of time with his alien friend ALF. Although he spends plenty of time with the extraterrestrial, he also spends a lot of time trying to prevent ALF from eating the family cat, Lucky.
The cat turns out to be very lucky to have Brian as an owner as he saves its life many times, preventing it from becoming ALF’s dinner. Brian finds growing up difficult as he wants to bring his friends home but can’t because ALF would be discovered.
Benji Gregory – Today
Benji Gregory didn’t act much longer after ALF stopped airing on our screens. He appeared in historical TV movie Never Forget in 1991, which was a story about a holocaust survivor.
Gregory provided his voice for the 1993 animated adventure Once Upon a Forest. He decided not to pursue a career in acting and in 2003 he enlisted in the US Navy becoming an aerographer’s mate. Later, in 2005, he would be honorably discharged from the Navy.
Liz Sheridan – Raquel Ochmonek
It would be no fun trying to conceal an alien if you didn’t have a nosy neighbor to hide it from constantly. Raquel Ochmonek was the Tanner’s neighbor who was very interested in what was going on in their house.
She was often grumpy and argued a lot with her husband, Trevor. She and her husband liked to show up unannounced at the Tanners, which always had them scrambling to keep ALF under wraps. ALF enjoys living close to them as he spies on the pair arguing in their own home.
Liz Sheridan – Today
Sheridan is probably best known for her role in sitcom Seinfeld, where she played Jerry’s mother, Helen. She featured in the show from 1989 to 1998. She stopped acting in 2010 but had a busy acting career, with over 80 acting credits.
Sheridan’s last acting roles were 2010 comedy drama Trim and in romcom Play the Game, released in 2009. She released a book in 2000 about her claims to have had a love affair with James Dean, who was then-unknown.
Josh Blake – Jake Ochmonek
Jake was sent to live with his aunt and uncle, Raquel and Trevor when his father was sent to jail. Jake is well liked by the Tanner family, and eventually, he moves in with them. He was one of the first to accidentally discover ALF as he sneaks into the Tanner’s garage to steal their telescope.
Clearly interested in space, he was about to encounter an alien much closer to home than he would ever have expected. ALF stayed in the Tanner’s garage and inevitably was discovered by the intruding Jake.
Josh Blake – Today
Josh Blake has appeared fleetingly in many TV shows since playing Josh in ALF. He made guest appearances in shows such as Full House, Married With Children, Home Improvement, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and JAG.
He did have a regular role in 2001 TV drama Spyder Games, appearing in six episodes as Jamie. Blake has done voice work for video games including Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland and Psychonauts. Blake worked as a stunt driver in the 2003 adventure comedy movie Just for Kicks.
Andrea Covell – Jody
ALF manages to make a friend during the TV series that isn’t one of the Tanner family. He befriends Jody after they both feature on a radio chat show. After appearing on the show, the pair find mutual interests and become the best of friends.
There is one good reason why Jody is able to hang out with ALF, she is blind. This means she has no idea ALF is not from this planet and amazingly, she never guesses there is something a little different about him.
Andrea Covell – Today
Andrea Covell didn’t do much acting outside of her performances as Jody in ALF. Around the time of appearing in ALF, she had minor guest roles in TV dramas Thirtysomething and Our House.
After ALF she appeared in crime drama L.A. Law in 1990, and that’s pretty much it as far as her acting career goes. She looks as though she perhaps tried to get back into acting recently though as she appeared in 2016 short film Future Boyfriend, an animated comedy directed by Ben Rock.
Jim J. Bullock – Neal Tanner
Neal Tanner is the younger brother of Willie and comes across as the fun uncle of the Tanner children, Lynn, Brian and Eric. Neal actually divorced his wife for making him do all of the housework, which leads to him residing at the Tanner’s house for a while.
He ends up doing odd jobs and becomes a handyman once his divorce is finalized. He is very grateful the Tanners took him in during his hour of need and repaid the favor by looking after ALF for a while.
Jim J. Bullock – Today
Jim was one of the major characters in ‘80s comedy series Too Close for Comfort, he starred as Monroe Ficus in what was his breakout role. Following ALF he regularly featured in the family TV show Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide as Mr. Monroe.
Jim appeared in TV drama The Bold and the Beautiful from 2005 – 2009 as Serge, the wedding planner. He most recently appeared on our screens in the TV comedy Good Job, Thanks! Jim is a sufferer of the AIDS virus but thankfully remains healthy.
Anne Meara – Dorothy Halligan Deaver
Dorothy is a recurring character in the show. She is Kate’s widowed mother and is the grandmother of the Tanner children. She is a fan of gambling and is often seen with her bookie friend Nick “The Fish” Mints.
Much like Kate, she isn’t too keen on ALF, but her attitude toward the alien verges on dislike. She often insults ALF and ALF is only too happy to reciprocate, his name for her is The Wicked Witch of the West.
Anne Meara – Deceased
Sadly Anne passed away in 2015 due to natural causes. She was the wife of Jerry Stiller, and together they formed the comedy duo of Stiller and Meara. Meara and Stiller had two children including the comic actor Ben Stiller.
During her career, she would often take to the stage as well as being in front of the cameras. She acted alongside her son Ben in the fantasy adventure Night at the Museum and got to perform one last time with her husband Jerry in 2014 animation Planes: Fire & Rescue.
Paul Dooley – “Whizzer”
Whizzer Deaver plays the clarinet, he plays it pretty well and is in a band called Whizzer Deaver and the Whizztones. Dorothy meets Whizzer, and the two find they are attracted to each other, but Dorothy struggles with her feelings.
She doesn’t want to betray her late husband but agrees to date him after her family tells her they want her to be happy. The pair eventually marry but have different feelings when it comes to ALF. Whizzer is actually fond of the alien, unlike his new wife.
Paul Dooley – Today
Dooley has done a lot of acting in his long career. He is closing in on his 200th role as an actor, a feat which is rarely seen. His first role was in 1963 in TV drama East Side/West Side, and he last appeared on our screens in 2017 in TV drama The Good Doctor.
He is best known for appearing in the musical movie Hairspray as Mr. Spritzer and as Wimpy, in 1980 adventure Popeye. Children will recognize his voice as Sarge in the animated Cars movies.
Bill Daily – Dr. Larry Dykstra
Dr. Larry Dykstra regularly appears as the mental health therapist trying to help the tension between ALF and Willie. Such is the strict doctor-patient confidentiality bond, Dr. Dykstra must keep the knowledge of ALF’s existence to himself.
His presence in the show helps the family be open about the situation they find themselves in. ALF becomes frustrated at being stuck in the family home unable to do anything, so the doctor urges the family to make ALF feel valued.
Bill Daily – Today
Daily retired from acting in 2010, but it is safe to say he had achieved an awful lot in his time as an actor. He is best known for playing Roger Healy in the fantasy sitcom I Dream of Jeannie and later an airline co-captain, Howard Borden, in ‘70s sitcom The Bob Newhart Show.
He last featured on screen in the comedy horror Horrorween in 2010, where he played GrandPa. He does occasionally appear on stage doing some stand-up comedy or on occasions guest contributions to documentaries.
Carla Gugino – Laura
Jake admires Laura from afar but is too shy to approach her himself. ALF senses Jake’s longing and writes romantic poems to Laura as Jake to help sway things in Jake’s favor. The poems work, and she agrees to go on a date with Jake.
Perhaps Jake was so nervous about asking her out because her dad is a police officer and he found the whole situation a little intimidating. While on the date Jake realizes Laura has a really annoying high-pitched voice and has second thoughts about her.
Carla Gugino – Today
Carla Gugino has appeared in many of Hollywood’s major movie releases over the past twenty years and has made a successful move from TV to the big screen. She appeared in the comic book adaptation Sin City in 2005.
She featured in another comic book adaptation, Watchmen, in 2009. Gugino played the mom in the action movie franchise Spy Kids and was recently in the 2017 Netflix thriller Gerald’s Game. She has dipped back into TV roles occasionally and recently made a guest appearance in musical drama Nashville in 2017.
Rich Little – Himself
What could be easier than playing yourself in a TV show? Probably not having to appear in a TV show, but maybe that’s just us. ALF guest hosts a spoof episode of the Tonight Show, which features in the episode Tonight, Tonight.
ALF continually gets on the host Johnny Carson’s nerves and drives him to breaking point. He even breaks Carson’s mug! Rich Little is drafted in to try and bring some calm to the madness and plays himself, as well as a legendary impressionist can play himself and not everybody else.
Rich Little – Today
Rich Little earned the nickname of “The Man of a Thousand Voices” thanks to his ability to mimic the voices of many Hollywood stars. He frequently performed stand up routines as well as making various guest television appearances during his career.
Unsurprisingly for an impressionist, many of his acting credits are for his vocal work. In 2013 he played the boxing announcer in the boxing movie Grudge Match and appeared in animated comedy series Futurama as himself doing an impression of journalist Howard Cosell.
Molly Hagan – Denise
ALF ends up stuck in an elevator with a pregnant lady. That pregnant lady is Denise and, unfortunately for her, she goes into labor when stuck in an elevator with an alien. The pregnant lady’s husband goes missing, so it is left to ALF to deliver the baby.
Thankfully it all goes okay, and the little girl came into the world safely. ALF had visited the hospital one time before after meeting a girl, Tiffany, with a terminal illness. ALF suggest the newborn should be called Tiffany, and Denise agrees.
Molly Hagan – Today
Molly Hagan began her acting career in 1985 when she appeared in TV drama movie First Steps. She went on to play a lot of minor roles and featured in TV shows such as Friends, Becker, Charmed, ER, and Numb3rs.
Her first regular standout role as Angel in TV comedy Herman’s Head in the early ‘90s. Recently she featured in the crime horror show iZombie in 2015, and her most recent role was in TV show sci-fi action Legion in 2018.
Raye Birk – Officer Griswold
Officer Griswold is a part of the police crew that turns up to help the Ochmoneks when their house is burgled, along with several of their neighbors. Griswold initiates a neighborhood watch program with the intentions of stopping further crimes being committed in the area.
ALF heads to the Ochmonek’s house to try and scare off a thief that’s inside but ends up getting trapped in the house. Griswold thinks ALF is a burglar and has hostages in the property. Luckily Willie manages to sneak ALF out before he is discovered.
Raye Birk – Today
Birk worked regularly as an actor during the ‘80s and ’90s making guest appearances in movies. He featured in the comedy series ‘The Naked Gun’ and romcom Doc Hollywood starring Michael J. Fox.
He worked in theatre as well and from 2004 to 2008 Birk played the cantankerous Ebenezer Scrooge in the festive play A Christmas Carol. He appeared in a feature-length film in 2009, the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man and made a couple of appearances in short movies after that.
Dean Cameron – Robert Sherwood
Dean Cameron plays Robert Sherwood, a street performer the Tanners hire for a luau. Robert also acts as Rex Savage’s assistant but his best moments in the show came as a performer. He would throw and juggle fire batons as well as do a fun mime act.
He and Lynn sparked up a relationship, and the two seemed to get pretty serious. Lynn moves in with Robert, despite her family’s protests. Eventually, Lynn realizes Robert isn’t that serious about the relationship and comes back home.
Dean Cameron – Today
Dean Cameron has made several guest appearances in Hollywood movies, including the 2015 music biopic Straight Outta Compton and 1987 canine comedy Summer School. He was the narrator in a couple of episodes of the comedy series Some Kind of Joke in 2017.
He has mainly worked as a voiceover talent and can be heard on radio and TV commercials. Cameron is a fan of music and played bass guitar in the local band The Thornbirds, and even went on to write some songs for the comedy rock band Steel Panther.
John LaMotta – Trevor Ochmonek
Trevor is the husband of Raquel and as we mentioned earlier became fond of ALF, unlike his troublesome wife. He has a very thick New York accent, and this adds to his generally loud demeanor.
He is fond of stopping by at the Tanner house without any prior warning which always keeps them on their toes, not only does he turn up unannounced but he frequently steals their food. Unfortunately for him the food often tends to be whatever ALF has left on his plate, much to the audience’s delight.
John LaMotta – Today
John LaMotta began his acting career in the ‘60s, appearing in the fantasy horror TV series Dark Shadows. Although he was best known for playing Trevor in Alf, he was a fan of violent movies and often appeared in them.
LaMotta appeared in the martial arts adventure American Ninja in 1985 after appearing in previous martial arts movies Revenge of the Ninja and Ninja III: The Domination. He appeared in 1987 espionage movie Remington Steele opposite future James Bond actor, Pierce Brosnan.
Andrea Elson – Lynn Tanner
Lynn Tanner is the only daughter of Willie and Kate’s and is often referred to as Lynnie. We first met Lynn during her mid-teens, and like many that age, she struggles to find much confidence in herself.
ALF tries his best to help Lynn grow in confidence, and one method he tries is to enter her in a beauty pageant. The pair become very close friends, and Kate often jokes her grandchildren are going to be half-alien because the pair are so close, but they just remain friends.
Andrea Elson – Today
Andrea Elson first appeared on our screens in the mystery adventure TV series Whiz Kids, playing the role of Alice Tyler but mainly she is known for her role as Lynn in ALF.
She worked in TV throughout the ‘90s and appeared in the comedy sci-fi series They Came from Outer Space and sitcom Step by Step. Her last acting credit came as a guest in the comedy show Men Behaving Badly in 1997. Elson has turned her attention away from acting, and in 2016 she became a yoga instructor.
Teresa Ganzel – The Matinee Lady
Teresa Ganzel appears in ALF as the matinee lady for the local gym. She is responsible for showing off the results that spending time in the gym can have.
She is helping to advertise the gym, Pecs ‘R Us and she appears on the Tonight show with ALF when he is the guest host. This matinee lady only appears on the show once, but she has a very bubbly personality and certainly is one of the more memorable characters to have only had a minor appearance.
Teresa Ganzel – Today
While she appeared as a matinee lady in ALF, she was actually famous for being a matinee lady on the real Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and regularly appeared between 1983 – 1992. She was a celebrity contestant on the game show The $10,000 Pyramid.
As an actress, she has played several ditzy characters and famously appeared in the 1982 comedy The Toy alongside Richard Pryor and Jackie Gleason. Most recently she provided additional voices for the animation Despicable Me 3.
Fran Drescher – Roxanne
The great thing about a show focused on an alien is that it doesn’t have to take itself too seriously. In one episode we are given a window into ALF’s dreams, which is where we meet Roxanne.
ALF dreams that all of the Tanner children have left home and are grown up. Brian is now married to Roxanne but has failed to notice that she is, in fact, a mob boss – even though ALF has given him several warnings. Roxanne tries to bump ALF off, but he wakes up just in time.
Fran Drescher – Today
Before she was in ALF’s dreams, Fran Drescher made an appearance in the dancing drama Saturday Night Fever in 1977 alongside John Travolta.
She was the star of the 1997 romcom The Beautician and the Beast, where she plays a beautician mistaken for a scientist sent to Eastern Europe to teach science. She turned her attention to writing after a while and wrote and starred in ‘90s comedy show The Nanny. Recently she played the voice of Eunice in the animated adventure Hotel Transylvania.