31 Photos of the Steel Magnolias Cast: Then and Now

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The cast of Steel Magnolias, back then and now!

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31 Photos of the Steel Magnolias Cast: Then and Now

We have rounded up 31 photos of the Steel Magnolias cast: then and now to celebrate the fantastic movie. It has been years since Steel Magnolias first came out, but that doesn't mean that the movie isn't as relevant today as it was 29 years ago! As it has become a classic, it may even be more relevant today because people are still watching it and love it!

Scroll on for 31 photos of the Steel Magnolias cast: then and now!

1. Cast Of Steel Magnolias

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  • Sally Field - M'Lynn Eatenton
  • Dolly Parton - Truvy Jones
  • Shirley MacLaine - Ouiser Boudreaux
  • Daryl Hannah - Annelle Dupuy Desoto
  • Olympia Dukakis - Clairee Belcher
  • Julia Roberts - Shelby Eatenton Latcherie
  • Tom Skerritt - Drum Eatenton
  • Sam Shepard -Spud Jones
  • Dylan McDermott - Jackson Latcherie
  • Ann Wedgeworth - Aunt Fern
  • Bibi Besch - Belle Marmillion

2. Julia Roberts: Then

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While Steel Magnolias wasn't Julia Roberts' first movie, it was the movie that launched her career, playing Shelby Eatenton Latcherie.

3. Julia Roberts: Now

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Today, Julia Roberts stars in the 2018 TV show Homecoming about a secret government agency and will be in the upcoming movie Ben Is Back.

4. Sally Field: Then

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When Steel Magnolias came out, Sally Fields had recently been in a movie called Punchline.

5. Sally Field: Now

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Now, Sally Field has a TV show coming out called Maniac. She also recently tried to get her son a date with Olympian Adam Rippon.

6. Steel Magnolias Cast

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Steel Magnolias is based on a true story. Playwright Robert Harding wrote it after his sister died during surgery for type 1 diabetes complications. "All I wanted to do was have somebody remember her."

7. Dolly Parton: Then

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In 1989, Dolly Parton was doing a lot of musical performances for TV shows, such as Saturday Night Life, The Pat Sajak Show, The 1989 Miss Tennessee Pageant, and the 23rd Annual Country Music Association Awards.

8. Dolly Parton: Now

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Dolly Parton has an 8 episode Netflix series coming out. It is currently untitled and no release date is known at this time.

9. Steel Magnolias

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Steel Magnolias nearly wasn't a comedy! Harling, writer of the Steel Magnolias play, says, "All the women I knew were really funny. They all love one-liners and they talk in bumper stickers, and they’re sharp, funny women." When talking of Margo Martindale, Truvy from the original play, Harling says, "I just saw her not too long ago. She’ll say, 'Remember when we just didn’t realize we were gonna get all those laughs? We thought we were doin' a drama!'"

10. Daryl Hannah: Then

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Daryl Hannah had recently starred in Wallstreet when Steel Magnolias came out in 1989.

11. Daryl Hannah: Now

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Recently, she has been in Sense8 as Angelica Turing and will be in the upcoming Vampires of Hollywood.

12. Cast of Steel Magnolias

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Steel Magnolias became Julia Roberts' first Oscar nomination. It was actually the only nomination the movie received despite wonderful performances, sets, costumes, and script across the board.

13. Shirley MacLaine: Then

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Around the same time Shirley MacLaine played Ouiser Boudreaux, she also played Aunt Zena in Waiting for the Light.

14. Shirley MacLaine: Now

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Shirley MacLaine will be in the upcoming live action The Little Mermaid movie, along with Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver.

15. Olympia Dukakis: Then

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In 1989, Olympia Dukakis starred in Look Who's Talking.

16. Olympia Dukakis: Now

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In 2018, she will be in a TV show called Switch as well as a movie called Change in the Air.

17. Tom Skerritt: Then

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The year before Steel Magnolias came out, Tom Skerritt was in Poltergeist III.

18. Tom Skerritt: Now

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Currently, Tom Skerritt is starring in an Off-Broadway play called Straight White Men.

19. Steel Magnolias Cast

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In the movie, the nurse that turns off Shelby's life support machine after her body rejects the kidney is the same nurse in real life that attended Harling's sister and, eventually, had to turn off her life support. It "added a sense of real gravity and reality to it all." Harling's mother even watched them film that scene despite him trying to discourage her. In her words, she wanted to be able to watch Julia Roberts' character walk away the way her daughter never had. Talk about emotional!

20. Dylan McDermott: Then

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Dylan McDermott acted in the 1989 movie Twister.

21. Dylan McDermott: Now

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Today, he plays Captain Dave on the TV show LA to Vegas.

22. Cast Of Steel Magnolias

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After Harling's play came out, he worried that that the woman he based the cranky Ouiser off of would be offended, but it turns out that everyone wanted to be her. "They all said they were Ouiser," Harling said."

23. Sam Shepard: Then

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Sam Shepard stared in Bright Angel as Jack not long after Steel Magnolias came out.

24. Sam Shepard: Now

Sadly, Shepard passed away in 2017. His last projects were a movie called Never Here and the TV show Bloodline.

25. Ann Wedgeworth: Then

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Ann Wedgeworth also was in Miss Firecracker in 1989 as the character Miss Blue.

26. Ann Wedgeworth: Now

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Ann Wedgeworth passed away in 2017. Her last project was in a movie called The Hawk Is Dying.

27. Steel Magnolias Cast

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While the movie version has male characters in it, the play of Steel Magnolias had an all-female cast! Harling primarily modeled them after his mother's friends. "I always thought the women in my community were so witty and clever. it was like a witty one-upmanship [between them]."

28. Bibi Besch: Then

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Bibi Besch guest starred in several TV shows in 1989, including Knots Landing, The Golden Girls, Heartbeat.

29. Bibi Besch: Now

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In 1996, Bibi Besch died after a long battle with breast cancer. She continued to act right up until her death.

30. Steel Magnolias Remake

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In 2012, Lifetime released a remake of Steel Magnolias featuring a black cast. It starred Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Adepero Oduye, Condola Rashad, Jill Scott, and Alfre Woodard.

Of the remake, Queen Latifah says, "When Craig (Zadan) and Neil Meron called me with the idea of redoing Magnolias with a black cast, I was all in. I’d worked with them before, so I didn’t even need to see the script for it. I also knew that story was timeless and colorless, which is something a lot of people need to understand about life. Certain things in life are universal."

31. Steel Magnolia Play

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The play originally came out in 1987, just two years after Harling's sister's death, and was Off-Broadway. In 2005, it became a Broadway production for the first time.