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 a costar

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 have been publicly dating since 2018, as noted by Page Six. Kountz has regularly been a guest on Brown's YouTube channel and on her 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," Playbill reported. 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.