Air Bud's 17th anniversary: where are they now?
The movie Air Bud turns 17 years old today (that's 119 in dog years), so to celebrate, let's take a look at what the cast has been up to since 1997.
In 1989, Kevin di Cicco was camping near Yosemite National Park when he found a stray dog. When di Cicco couldn't find an owner, he kept his new furry friend and, naturally, taught him to play a variety of sports. The two appeared on Letterman for Stupid Pet Tricks, where Buddy impressed everyone with his basketball skills (see the video below for a clip from the Letterman episode), and the rest is history. He starred in the Air Bud series and was nominated for a Kids Choice Awards in 1998 (but he didn't get slimed. How could you do that to such a luscious coat?), and according to di Cicco, Buddy has more sequels than any character in Hollywood history outside of James Bond (now that's a movie I'd like to watch). Buddy also played Comet for 6 seasons on Full House. Sadly, Buddy died in 1998, but he's survived by lots of puppies and an impressive legacy. This video with di Cicco takes a weird turn when he describes freezing a dog's sperm:
Buddy's costar Kevin Zegers has had a pretty decent acting career since the Air Bud series (in which he appeared in almost every film). Framm won 4 YoungStar and Young Artist awards for his work on the Air Bud movies and Most Valuable Primate. More recently, he was in Gossip Girl as heartthrob Damian Daalgard, "the elegant and handsome son of a Belgian ambassador [and] in line to be a prince." Last year he was in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones as Alec Lightwood, an openly-gay Shadowhunter. Soon, you'll be able to see Framm in Fox's Gracepoint, a 10-episode American reboot of the UK drama Broadchurch, premiering this October.
No, not this Michael Jeter. Air Bud's Michael Jeter played Norm Snively, an alcoholic clown and Buddy's abusive owner before Josh adopts him. Jeter is best known for his work as Eduard Delacroix in The Green Mile and Dr. L. Ron Bumquist in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but he also did a lot of work with Sesame Street, where he played Mr. Noodle's brother who was also named Mr. Noodle. He also voiced a poacher named Neil Beiderman on The Wild Thornberrys. Jeter won a Tony Award in 1990 for the musical Grand Hotel and a 1992 Emmy for playing Herman Stiles in a sitcom called Evening Shade. Jeter passed away in 2003 from epilepsy complications. He is survived by his partner, Sean Blue.
Wendy Makkena played Josh's mom, who tries to return Buddy to his rightful owner, but when she sees how much her son loves the dog, lets the two stay together. Makkena is probably best known for her work in Air Bud, but you might also have seen her in Sister Act as Sister Mary Robert. Currently, you can see her on NCIS as Dr. Rachel Cranston.
Since Air Bud, Smith’s most notable successes have been in Canada. He wrote and directed 2003’s The Snow Walker, for which he earned nine Genie Award nominations (the Genie Awards are like the Canadian Oscars). In 2008, his film Stone of Destiny (which starred Charlie Cox, Robert Carlyle, and Kate Mara) was the closing Gala Presentation at the Toronto Film Festival. American audiences might be familiar with his 2011 movie Dolphin Tale, which starred Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, and Morgan Freeman. The sequel, Dolphin Tale 2, will come out later this year.