Whatever Happened To The Cast Of Halloweentown

Whenever spooky season comes around, it's time to revisit "Halloweentown," the surprisingly scary children's movie with everybody's favorite grandma. The first installment of the "Halloweentown" series, which was one of the best Disney Channel Original Movies of all time, premiered on the Disney Channel in October 1998, and was succeeded by three sequels that followed the Cromwell-Piper family as they learned to embrace their witchy roots and celebrate All Hallow's Eve. Since the conclusion of the series in 2004, the original cast members have gone their own ways and have led fulfilling and diverse careers. Nevertheless, many cast members are still in touch and often come together to celebrate Halloween through reunions, interviews, and festivals.  

Between winning an Academy Award, competing in national karate championships, and joining the MCU, the "Halloweentown" cast boasts an impressive legacy of high-achieving stars. Over 20 years after defending the citizens of Halloweentown from Kalabar's clutches, the cast is all grown up. Here's what they're up to today.

Kimberly J. Brown kept acting and started dating her co-star

Since Kimberly J. Brown's final portrayal of Marnie Piper in "Halloweentown High," fans have always wondered why Brown was replaced by actress Sara Paxton in "Return to Halloweentown." In 2013, Brown answered this question in a Q&A on her YouTube channel, during which she explained, "Disney decided to go in a different direction and recast the role ... I was bummed and you know I obviously loved the character and the movies and wanted to do it, but ultimately they just decided to hire a different actress, so that's the way it goes."

Brown has long since graduated from the halls of Halloweentown High, and had a role as a recurring cast member on "General Hospital" in 2021 (via Soap Opera Digest). The role marked her second soap opera, as Brown played Marah Lewis in CBS show "Guiding Light" from 1987 to 2006. In 2020, Brown portrayed Stacy Jones in the 20th Anniversary Celebration of "Thomas and the Magic Railroad," which coincidentally featured Joey Zimmerman, who played her on-screen brother in the "Halloweentown" series. 

One of the most surprising developments in Brown's life since "Halloweentown" has many fans of the franchise overjoyed: Brown and her "Halloweentown II" co-star Daniel Kountz started dating in 2016. In 2022, they got engaged, as Brown shared on social media.

Judith Hoag starred in another witchy project after Halloweentown

Judith Hoag has been working steadily since "Halloweentown," and has played roles in TV shows such as "Bones," "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," and "Big Love." Hoag has also had recurring roles as Tandy Hampton in CMT's "Nashville" and as Stephanie Quinn in SyFy's "The Magicians."

Some fans might recognize Hoag as the original April O'Neil from the 1990 "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie. In recent years, Hoag has been a frequent guest of honor at comic conventions across the country. Her legacy as April O'Neil has also led to her being the face of O'Neil in prestigious collectibles by the National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA), as seen in the statue prototype Hoag unveiled in her Turtle Tuesday takeover of NECA's YouTube channel in April 2021.

In addition to reconnecting with her "TMNT" origins, Hoag has also kept in touch with Kimberly J. Brown, who has evolved from her on-screen daughter in "Halloweentown" to her real-life friend. "I feel incredibly blessed. I love that we got to be friends, and dear friends, and that we're still in touch, and I love to see all the things that you're doing," Hoag said in a reunion video with Brown in October 2020.

After a thriving career, Debbie Reynolds died in 2016

Perhaps the most distinguished actor in the series, Debbie Reynolds brought Halloweentown to life with her cheeky persona as Aggie Cromwell, the mischievous matriarch of the legendary Cromwells. Following "Halloweentown" in 1998, Reynolds played supporting characters in TV shows such as "Rugrats," "Will & Grace," and "Kim Possible," as noted by her IMDb page. Additionally, Reynolds had several voice-acting roles in shows including "Family Guy," "The Penguins of Madagascar," and "The 7D." In 2010, Reynolds returned to her Broadway roots in a one-woman variety show lovingly titled, "Debbie Reynolds: Alive and Fabulous." In a YouTube video, Reynolds' on-screen granddaughter Kimberly J. Brown, who'd kept in touch with her, called the show "really awesome."

In 2015, Reynolds was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild, which she joyfully accepted alongside her daughter, "Star Wars" star Carrie Fisher. That same year, Reynolds was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by the Academy for her leadership in the Thalians, a charity devoted to raising awareness and funds for the treatment of mental health issues. 

The Academy Award nominee kept busy with a diverse range of projects up to her death in 2016, maintaining her impressive presence both on and off screen as she juggled TV and movie roles with philanthropy and awards ceremonies. 

Joey Zimmerman, aka Dylan Piper, cofounded a company

The middle child of the Piper family is all grown up. Joey Zimmerman had some success as a child actor in the '90s and early 2000s, working on shows like "7th Heaven," "That '70s Show," and "Lizzie McGuire" in between filming of the "Halloweentown" movies. Zimmerman has mostly retired from acting, only occasionally dabbling in smaller roles in independent television and movie projects in recent years. In 2020, he was Henry in the 20th Anniversary Celebration of "Thomas and the Magic Railroad," which featured dozens of Broadway and television stars and functioned as a fundraiser for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (via Broadway World). Since 2014, Zimmerman has served as a writer, director, and producer for the production company ZFO Entertainment that he co-founded with Bradley Pierce, who voiced Chip the Teacup in Disney's animated "Beauty and the Beast."

Zimmerman has since focused on his creative photography and is living a cozy lifestyle with his wife and their cat. On his Instagram, Zimmerman frequently connects with his "Halloweentown" family, and makes regular pilgrimages to St. Helens, Oregon for the Spirit of Halloweentown festival. The festival celebrates the town's history as the filming location for both the "Halloweentown" series and the "Twilight" movies. Fans can meet with their favorite stars from "Halloweentown" and pose in front of the town's giant Jack O'Lantern from the movies.

Emily Roeske retired from acting, but is making a comeback

The youngest witch of the Cromwell family retired from acting after "Halloweentown High" in 2004, and moved to Arizona, where she now lives with her family. Emily Roeske is now an MMA instructor at her family's karate studio and a third degree black belt. According to her instructor bio, Roeske is a national champion and was formerly ranked No. 1 in the country for her martial arts prowess. 

Fans can often find Roeske at the Spirit of Halloweentown festival; she announced on her social media platforms that she'd be attended in 2021. To access more charming "Halloweentown" skits and videos, fans can follow Roeske's TikTok, where she regularly makes "Halloweentown" nostalgia content. In addition to attending the Spirit of Halloweentown festivals every year, Roeske continues the Halloween celebration year-round by making "Halloweentown" merch on her personal website.

Roeske also announced her return to acting via her social media in July 2021.

Phillip Van Dyke, who played Luke in Halloweentown, is down for a reboot

Once Kalabar's goblin henchman, Luke, played by Phillip Van Dyke, quickly redeemed himself as a trustworthy and loyal friend to Marnie and the Cromwell family in "Halloweentown." So what's Van Dyke been up to? Well, he was the voice of Arnold in "Hey Arnold!" from 1997 to 2000. Before retiring from acting in 2003, Van Dyke made appearances on TV shows like "Noah Knows Best," "The Amanda Show," "Gilmore Girls," and "Boston Public."

Van Dyke is a regular participant in the Spirit of Halloweentown Festival, where he reconnected with and became great friends with Joey Zimmerman, who portrayed Dylan Piper in the "Halloweentown" movies. In a 2020 interview with E! News, Van Dyke was asked if he would consider joining a hypothetical "Halloweentown" reboot, to which he replied, "If the rest of the cast came back and wanted to do that, I would be up for it." Another "Halloween" movie hasn't been in discussion since Sheri Singer, the executive producer of the franchise, mentioned her interest in it in another exclusive interview with E! News in 2017, but fans can still dream, right?

Robin Thomas is still recognized from his role as Kalabar

After Kalabar was defeated by the Cromwell family, Robin Thomas has kept himself busy with several recurring roles in TV shows such as "Queer as Folk," "The Division," "Life Unexpected," "Switched at Birth," "Fuller House," "Zoo," and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."

Unlike the rest of the tight-knight cast, Thomas hadn't really kept in touch with his former "Halloweentown" castmates until they reunited at a Spirit of Halloweentown festival. In an interview with Bustle, Thomas described a moment in the green room where he mistakenly introduced himself to Emily Roeske, who played Sophie Cromwell in the movies. "I totally didn't recognize her at all. It was Emily, and we hugged," he explained. In that same interview, Thomas shared that he is still recognized as "Kalabar" by strangers at events. It just goes to show that you can take the man out of Halloweentown, but you can't take the Halloweentown out of the man.

Rino Romano has continued to have a successful voice acting career

The kooky cab driver of "Halloweentown" is voiced by Rino Romano, who has had great success as a voice actor since then. Romano has provided his voice acting talents to TV shows, movies, and video games of all varieties. Most notably, Romano has voiced Spider-Man in the show "Spider-Man Unlimited" and Batman in "The Batman." Some other significant roles of his include Lonestarr in "Spaceballs: The Animated Series" and the narrator in the "Curious George" television series. Other notable shows that Romano has been involved in include "Men in Black: The Series," "Godzilla: The Series," and "The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy."

In 2019, Romano joined his former castmates at the Spirit of Halloweentown festival, where he posted a picture of himself posing next to Benny on Instagram. It's unclear what happened to the robot that was used for Benny during shooting, but Kimberly J. Brown fondly remarked in an 2016 interview that she would "always remember the 'errr err' sound it made."

Kenneth Choi joined the MCU after getting his start with Halloweentown

You might be surprised to learn that the unnamed Hip Salescreature in "Halloweentown" was actually played by Kenneth Choi. Choi may be best known for his roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Jim Morita in "Captain America: The First Avenger" and Principal Morita in "Spider-Man Homecoming."

In addition to his roles in the MCU, Choi has also starred in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" as Chester Ming. Choi is also widely known for his roles as Chimney in "9-1-1," Lewis in "The Last Man on Earth," Judge Lance Ito in "American Crime Story," and Henry Lin in "Sons of Anarchy."

In an interview with The Morton Report, Choi explained that "Halloweentown" was his "first paying acting gig and the movie airs every October." In addition to making his debut opposite of Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, Choi also received his Screen Actors Guild card for his work. Clearly, the Hip Salescreature has been going places ever since.

Sara Paxton played Miss Flynn in Blonde

Even though Sara Paxton wasn't in the original "Halloweentown" film, that doesn't make her portrayal of Marnie Piper in "Return to Halloweentown" any less memorable. In the movie, the star even took on the role of a young Aggie Cromwell, playing the family matriarch. Still, Paxton's been up to plenty of other things since taking on the Disney Channel role. As noted by Distractify, back in the early 2000s, the star was well known for her work in tween movies like "Aquamarine," "Sleepover," and "Sydney White." However, by the late 2000s, Paxton decided to switch things up and began to take on more roles in horror films like "The Last House on the Left," "Enter Nowhere," and "Shark Night."

In addition to becoming a horror film fixture, Paxton also made guest appearances on series like "This is Us," "Twin Peaks," and "How to Get Away with Murder." Her more recent work in television was a multiple-episode guest part playing Amber Dooley on "Good Girls" from 2018 to 2019. Her most recent role was playing Miss Flynn in "Blonde," Netflix's fictionalized story of Marilyn Monroe. During an interview at the premiere, Paxton stated, "I hope that people really empathize with Marilyn's story and she was beautiful and sexy and whatever but she also was a person who was actually very intelligent and very funny." In her personal life, Paxton is married to comedian Zach Cregger, who she's been linked to since 2013.

Finn Wittrock played AHS villains

In 2004, budding actor Finn Wittrock appeared on the small screen in the third installment in the "Halloweentown" series, "Halloweentown High." In the movie, Wittrock played Cody, Marie Piper's love interest. But of course, Wittrock has come a long way since his time on Disney Channel. Following "Halloweentown High," the actor appeared on "CSI: Miami," "All My Children," and "Torchwood." He additionally made his big screen debut with the film "Twelve." With no shortage of acting credits to his name, Wittrock became even more recognizable thanks to "American Horror Story," which he first started to appear on in 2014. On "AHS," he's played fan favorites like Dandy Mott, Tristan Duffy, Rudolph Valentino, and Harry Gardner.

Still, according to Wittrock via The Wrap, playing villains on the popular series does have its downside. According to the star, people have come up to him on the street, calling him evil in reference to his "AHS" characters. "I used to be offended when people would come up to me and say [you're evil]," said Wittrock. 

In 2021, the actor spoke with Entertainment Weekly about his role as Bart in the rom-com "Long Weekend," stating his appreciation and surprise at the expected twists in the script. The outlet similarly noted that Wittrock typically tries to take on new roles that greatly vary from his previous ones. More recently, Wittrock appeared in Netflix's "Luckiest Girl Alive," playing Luke Harrison, the main character's rich and hardworking fiancé. 

Daniel Kountz is engaged to former co-star Kimberly J. Brown

When Daniel Kountz first appeared in "Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge," most viewers didn't think that Marnie Piper's love interest-turned-villain Kal would later become Kimberly J. Brown's fiancé. Still, fans of the franchise were undoubtedly thrilled after People reported that these former co-stars would be tying the knot. "She said yes," Kountz declared on his Instagram, sharing a video slideshow of pictures during their relationship. Brown similarly recounted the happy news on her account, with a post stating, "Have I introduced you guys to my Fiancée?" Unsurprisingly, People said that fans of the couple and "Halloweentown" lovers were thrilled by the news and expressed their delight in the comments.

Likewise, the outlet noted that the romance between Kountz and Brown happened long after the two appeared together in the "Halloweentown" film. This was confirmed by Brown, who shared a throwback of the couple on her Instagram, revealing in the caption, "We met filming #halloweentown2, but didn't start dating until a few years ago." Outside of his personal life, Kountz continues to pursue work as an actor. Some of his more recognizable roles were Cal in "Ghost Whisper," Connor Phillips in "Youthful Daze," and Gary Osborn in "Mad Men." He's also had parts in TV series like "American Dreams," "United States of Tara," and "My Crazy Roommate." Kountz's more recent work includes video game roles, playing Walter Goodly in "Vegas Tales" and Byggvir in "God of War: Ragnarök."

Lucas Grabeel appeared in Disney Plus's HSM series

He may not have appeared in the original movie, but Lucas Grabeel's role as Ethan Dalloway in "Halloweentown High" and "Return to Halloweentown" was still definitely memorable. After the "Halloweentown” franchise's third and fourth installments, Grabeel appeared on "Boston Legal" before taking on another Disney role that would further his fame. In 2006, the actor played Ryan Evans in the first "High School Musical" movie, a character he would reprise for the second and third Disney television films. Still, despite his "HSM" Ryan's popularity, Grabeel recently revealed during an interview with TMZ that he wouldn't have agreed to play the role if it were offered to him today.

Grabeel stated that the reasoning behind his choice is because, as a straight white man, he wouldn't want to take the role of a gay character away from an LGBTQ+ actor. Though the character Ryan was never openly gay in the movies, the film's director later revealed that the character was indeed a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, but added that he didn't think that Disney was ready to portray Ryan accurately. More recently, Entertainment Tonight reported that Grabeel had returned to his "HSM” roots for the Disney+ show "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series." However, instead of playing Ryan, Grabeel appeared as a fictionalized version of himself. While chatting with ET about his decision to return to his Disney roots, the star said, "Yes, it was an immediate 'yes!'"

Todd Tolces lends his voice to various projects

He may not have been one of the main characters in "Halloweentown," but that doesn't mean that Todd Tolces's role as the second head of the two-headed bus ticket man wasn't memorable. According to IMDb, Tolces's career as an actor started in 1985 with a voice credit for "The Adventures of Mark Twain." Other credits prior to the Disney Channel television film include "The Haunting of Sarah Hardy," "The California Raisin Show," and "Dr. Giggles." After his brief — yet unforgettable — part in "Halloweentown," Tolces played an evidence officer on the popular television series "Leverage." His more recent credits are mostly shorts, which include "Zealot," "Beacon," and "Vow of Silence."

The actor's LinkedIn page states that Tolces currently works as a voice actor, voice-over artist, narrator, audio editor, and audiobook narrator. According to Tolces's official website, he initially began his career working as a rock critic in San Francisco, writing for the Melody Maker newspaper. During that period, the actor also worked for radio stations in San Francisco, Marin County, Lake Tahoe, and Portland, Oregon. Nowadays, he is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. In addition, his image and voice have appeared in thousands of commercials, movies, cartoons, and several Emmy Award-winning animation projects from the Oscar-winning director Will Vinton. Tolces currently resides in Portland, Oregon.