What The Little Giants Cast Looks Like Today

The following article references suicide and addiction.

With the amount of love sports films such as "Field of Dreams" and "The Mighty Ducks" have gotten over the years, it's clear how impactful the genre is outside of pure nostalgia. While those cult classics are fun films in their own right, they've also taught us important life lessons in friendship and perseverance. Look no further than a certain movie about a group of rejects who develop strong bonds with one another through their shared desire to become a respectable Pee-Wee football team.

"Little Giants" hit theaters on October 14, 1994. In a 2019 chat with ESPN, writers Bob Shallcross and Jim Ferguson revealed that the idea for the movie started as a Super Bowl commercial. The 90-second ad stuck with filmmaker Steven Spielberg — so much so, he pushed for a feature film. "[Spielberg] said, if you can do this in, he said 60 seconds, if you guys can do this in 60 seconds, let's see what you can do in 90 minutes," Ferguson recalled. From there, the two screenplay novices began a nationwide search for children to star in the movie. Its success helped launch the careers of several young actors and supported the careers of established actors. All these years later, it's only natural to assume what the cast has been up to since the movie's release. From well-deserved breaks to diving into parenthood to tackling a wide variety of acting gigs, here is what the cast of "Little Giants" looks like now.

Ed O'Neill added more roles to his ever-growing resume

Before "Little Giants," Ed O'Neill was already a well-established actor, guest starring in several projects such as "The Equalizer" and "Miami Vice." In 1987, O'Neill started a ten-year-long gig playing Al Bundy in the sitcom "Married... with Children." 

As if his comedy chops weren't enough, O'Neill also happens to know his way around a football field. "Ed O'Neill's name came up, and I had known that Ed played I think a year for Pittsburgh or something," director Duwayne Dunham told ESPN. "He actually was a football player." Talk about a perfect fit. To fully embody the coach of the opposing Pee-Wee football team, O'Neill channeled real-life superstar football coach Mike Ditka.

Of course, O'Neill continued to do well for himself after "Little Giants." In addition to his roles in movies such as "The Bone Collector" and "Inseparable," O'Neill struck sitcom success again in 2009 when he snagged the role of Jay Pritchett in "Modern Family," which earned him several awards during its 11-season run. After it drew to a close in 2020, it appeared that O'Neill was taking a break from acting altogether. That was until Deadline announced the 77-year-old's inclusion in an upcoming project called "Sterling Affairs." With the limited series currently in production, the set release date has yet to be revealed. 

Devon Sawa played an estranged father in the 2023 drama Who Are You People

In "Little Giants," Devon Sawa played Junior Floyd, the underdog team's quarterback. Legend has it that Jonathan Taylor Thomas was originally supposed to take on the role, but one thing led to another, and Sawa ended up the one brought aboard. And by all accounts, he sure seemed to have enjoyed his time filming the football flick. "I don't know if you notice in the background, but there was McDonald's and Slush Puppies on the side of the field and they were all open to us and we were allowed to go nuts on those," he once dished to E! News. "So we were constantly eating McDonald's and it was a lot of fun. It was three months of football and goofing around."

The '90s were a busy time for Sawa. Throughout his teenage years, he found work in films such as "Now and Then," "Night of the Twisters," and "The Boys Club." He went on to play Alex Browning in "Final Destination" and portray an over-attached fan in the music video for Eminem's "Stan." 

All these years later, Sawa keeps on hustling, adding to his extensive resume. As of 2023, you can find him playing the estranged father Karl in the drama "Who Are You People." "I'm on a great road," he said of his career in a 2023 chat with Popternative. "90% of the stuff I've done is I feel like ... I just did it because I loved it."

Rick Moranis stepped away from acting

Like Ed O'Neill, Rick Moranis was a Hollywood veteran when he landed "Little Giants." Moranis played Danny O'Shea, the younger brother to Kevin (O'Neill) and dad of Becky (Shawna Waldron) who becomes a junior football coach to rival his brother's team. Understandably, there was a lot of excitement when he joined the roster. As Devon Sawa recalled to ESPN, "[Y]ou're like, 'Al Bundy is coaching football with the guy from 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,' you know what I mean. It was amazing."

Though "Little Giants" only added to his already established acting career, Moranis eventually stepped away from the limelight. After participating in projects ranging from "Big Bully" to "Brother Bear," Moranis began to take fewer roles by the time 2008 rolled around. From then, Moranis — who seemingly prefers voice acting gigs instead of being in front of the camera — only starred in a 2018 episode of "The Goldbergs." 

In a 2020 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Moranis opened up about why he'd stepped away from his Hollywood career. "Stuff happens to people all the time, and people make adjustments, change careers, move to another city," he stated. "Really, that's all I did." Though Moranis appears to be focused on his personal life, he is optimistic about acting on-screen again. Despite his perceived pickiness, director Josh Gad posted a screenshot of Rick Moranis on Instagram in 2022, teasing his reported return for the reboot of "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids."

Todd Bosley seems focused on voiceover work

Todd Bosley's portrayal of the snotty-nosed Jake Berman was the result of an early interest in self-expression. When he appeared on "The Mighty '90s Podcast" alongside costar Shawna Waldron in 2020, Bosley shared that his tap dancing instructor influenced his mother to push him into acting. After briefly starring in a local grocery store commercial, the Kansas City native got word of a nationwide search for "Little Giants." So, he promptly sent a self-recorded audition tape to the producers. After a long audition process, Bosley finally got the part.

After starring in "Little Giants," Bosley began to guest star in several sitcoms such as "Seinfeld," "Reba," "That's So Raven," "Scrubs," "Good Luck Charlie," and "iCarly." Despite his long list of features in hit television shows, Bosley seemingly decided to transition into voiceover work later in his career. While acting, Bosley voiced Lurky in "Rainbow Brite" and has voice-acting credits in the science fiction video game "Mass Effect." Although there's no information regarding future projects, in June 2022, Bosley updated his followers on Instagram of his current working status by posting a selfie of him in a studio booth, suggesting that he is still finding work in this venture.

Shawna Waldron was a regular on a YouTube gaming web series

Playing Becky "Icebox" O'Shea in "Little Giants" wasn't too big of a stretch for Shawna Waldron. In fact, when she showed up to try out for the role, Duwayne Dunham sensed right away she was the right actor to play Danny O'Shea's tomboy daughter. As she recalled on "The Mighty 90s Podcast," "I had just hefted this massive boulder in the back of my parents' trunk, and I was just covered in dirt, and all these other girls at the audition were wearing jerseys and had perfectly combed hair."

Her performance as Becky O'Shea ultimately launched her acting career. After several guest appearances in movies and sitcoms, Waldron became a regular alongside Betty White for the short-lived series "Ladies Man" in 1999. From there, Waldron remained consistent with her acting career — starring in projects such as "A Long Way Home," "3 Days in LA," "The Exorcism Diaries, and "Teacher" throughout the 2000s.

Though she hasn't been acting as much in recent years, that's not to say she's stepped out of the spotlight entirely. During the global pandemic, Waldron — alongside actors like Jon Lee Brody and Rio Magdaleno — used this time to do a weekly YouTube live series where they played Settlers of Catan

Sam Horrigan embarked on a journey of recovery

As an emerging child actor, Sam Horrigan's experience from "What If" and "Boy Meets World" ultimately propelled him into the role of the brooding running back for the Pee-Wee Cowboy's team, Spike Hammersmith. After "Little Giants," Sam starred in several projects such as "Escape to Witch Mountain," "Grace Under Fire," and "Brink!" As an adult, Sam remained consistent throughout the 2000s, guest-starring in several TV series. In 2016, he and fellow "Little Giants" alum Ed O'Neill reunited in an episode of the sitcom "Modern Family."

In his personal life, Sam hasn't had an easy go of it. The actor has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and in 2018, he filed for divorce from Betty Horrigan after four years of marriage. The following year, a legal battle ensued, and according to The Blast, Sam lost custody of their two kids.

Though he hasn't been on the big screen since 2016, the actor hasn't left the public eye entirely. In 2022, for example, he participated in a panel alongside Shawna Waldron to talk all things "Little Giants." In 2023, Sam offered a testimonial of faith for the YouTube channel "Truth Inspired," in which he detailed his experience with addiction and his newfound life as a devoted Christian. "I would not have been able to get through some of the difficult times I have been through if it wasn't for the fact that God was with me," he shared.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Jon Paul Steuer tragically passed away in 2018

From finding early success in series such as "Star Trek" and "The Wonder Years," Jon Paul Steuer struck gold as he was able to snag the role of Johnny "Viper" Vennaro in "Little Giants." Though Steuer appeared to have a relatively successful career before "Little Giants," the movie catapulted him into playing Quentin Kelly for 73 episodes in the sitcom "Grace Under Fire." Despite his ever-growing career, Steuer later saw the darker side of fame and fortune. In a 2015 interview with AV Club, Steuer revealed that after his gig in "Grace Under Fire," it was hard for him to continue acting due to the unwanted public attention. "I was kind of blown away by how unprofessional people inside the industry were," he said. "It really soured me."

Steuer eventually left Hollywood to chase other aspirations. As a musician, Jon Paul Steuer — or Jonny P Jewels — became the lead singer for Soda Pop Kids and P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. In addition to music, Steuer owned a vegan restaurant called Harvest at the Bindery in Portland. Sadly, Steuer died by suicide in 2018. His band paid tribute to their dear friend on Facebook, stating, "We've lost our singer, but far, far more than that we've lost a friend. Rest in peace, Jonny ... we love you."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Susanna Thompson continues to find success

"I always knew I wanted to be an actor. I was talented in college but not the most talented," actor Susanna Thompson once told HuffPost. "But I knew I wanted to do it and that intention got me there and kept me there." Clearly that intention worked out. Long before she played Junior Floyd's mother/Danny O'Shea's childhood crush, Patty Floyd, in "Little Giants," Thompson started her illustrious career by taking part in the 1985 documentary about the Lemon Grove court case. After a decent break, Thompson began to star in several TV shows and movies throughout the early '90s. From "Civil Wars" to "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Thompson built herself a reputable acting career leading up to her inclusion in the cult classic sports movie.

Following the movie's success, Thompson continued to stay relevant by the year — acting in several projects from 1995 to 2023. While her performance in films like "Dragonfly," "Malignant," and "Ghost of Mississippi" was met with high praise, Thompson found consistent work in several TV series such as "Once and Again," "Kings," and "Arrow." As of 2023, you could find her acting alongside Octavia Spencer in the crime drama "Truth Be Told."

Courtney Peldon transitioned into a full-time agent

Born in 1981, Courtney Peldon graced our television screens long before her role as Kevin O'Shea's daughter, Debbie, in "Little Giants." In 1986, she popped up in numerous TV series such as "The Ellen Burstyn Show" and "Harry and the Hendersons." After "Little Giants," Peldon continued to make appearances in notable sitcoms like "That 70's Show" and "3rd Rock From The Sun." By 2001, she had already racked up a lengthy amount of award nominations from her performance in "Home Improvement," "Little Girls in Pretty Boxes," "The Princess & the Barrio Boy," and more.

Peldon would remain active throughout the 2000s starring in various short films, TV shows, and full-length movies. The actor, however, shifted her focus to casting talent instead of appearing on the big screen. Following a break from acting, Peldon began to work as a casting agent for broadcasting companies like MTV and HBO — leading her to become a full-time agent for Aqua Talent Agency. On a 2021 episode of "Shari Shaw Studio Talk," she explained why she decided to make this shift. "I was always a working actor, kind of jump show to show to show at a very — again very different time where that was much easier to do," she stated. "And it just wasn't innately who I am." Though she'd continue to star in projects following this venture, she appeared to let go of acting altogether as she doesn't have acting credits spanning past 2018.

Alexa PenaVega settled down and started a family

Shortly before playing Debbie O'Shea's sister, Priscilla, Alexa PenaVega began her acting career playing Emily Newton in "Evening Shade." While "Little Giants" was a great addition to her resume, it would only serve as the start of her illustrious career as a young actor. Following its success, Alexa continued to work yearly, starring in several shows such as "Life's Work" and "Ladies Man." The true highlight of her career, however, was her portrayal of Carmen Cortez in the action comedy "Spy Kids" — which she played four times from 2001 to 2011.

From Hallmark movies to sitcoms to primetime dramas, Alexa's career stayed busy, and her personal life was eventful, too. In 2012, her marriage to her first husband, Sean Covel, came to an end. After divorce, Alexa connected with her future second husband, Carlos PenaVega of Big Time Rush, at bible study. "I just wanted to be friends ... I didn't want anybody in the entertainment industry," she told Fox News. "No actors, no singers ... He was everything on my no-list. And everything on my no list was everything I never knew I needed." Since then, the two introduced Ocean, Kingston, and Rio into their family. In addition to this, the two started their own vlog channel titled "La Vida PenaVega" where they showcase their day-to-day as a growing family.

Marcus Toji's acting career has kept him busy

Marcus Toji played Marcus "The Toe" in "Little Giants." Serving as the team's less-than-reliable kicker, the actor made his way onto the film after years of groundwork in shows like "Drexell's Class," "Dream On," "Beverly Hills, 90210," and "South of Sunset." In an interview with ESPN, Toji revealed that he had no idea how football worked before filming. From learning what a line of scrimmage was to horrible takes of him kicking a football "soccer-style," he jokingly bashed his naive nature throughout the production of the movie. When reflecting on the success of the film, Toji suggested its popularity didn't happen overnight, stating, "Right when the movie came out, it wasn't until about maybe four, five years later that we realized it was popular."

His football-kicking prowess launched Toji into a career full of impressive credits, including "Boy Meets World," "7th Heaven," "Zoey 101," "House," "Criminal Minds," and "Maniac." He's done rather well for himself in the world of voice acting, appearing in "Hey Arnold," "Rocket Power," "Static Shock," "Legend of Korra," "We Bare Bears," and more. In addition to working as an actor, Toji sure appears to love life as a father-slash-husband and beer connoisseur.

Brian Haley became a voice of NFL Blitz

Initially starting a career as a stand-up comedian, Brian Haley's acting career took off in the '90s. After playing overbearing yet passionate father Mike Hammersmith in "Little Giants," Brian snagged notable gigs ranging from "Wings" to "The Weird Al Show" to "Mars Attacks!" He also went on to book Super Bowl commercials and became a commentator for the latest installment of the classic video game "NFL Blitz." As noted by Games Radar, Brian happens to be a pal of veteran "Blitz" announcer Tim Kitzrow. When the game returned in 2012, the pair joined forces in the commentary booth.

His run as an actor was diverse, starring in several dramas such as "The Departed," "Gran Torino," and "Pearl Harbor." In 2016, Haley even participated in a staged reading of "The Voyage Home" at a "Star Trek" convention. In addition to crafting a career that's spanned several decades, he also is a family man who shares five kids with his wife, Marj McCoshen Haley. As of 2018, Brian has not appeared in any new projects.