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  • Writer's pictureAugust Sorenson

10 Must-See Festive Productions Featuring Academy Alumni

Updated: Nov 10, 2020


Sarah Paulson (1993) in Ratched. Photo Credit: Netflix

Sarah Paulson, star of "American Horror Story", reteams with creator Ryan Murphy for Netflix's "Ratched". Paulson revives the iconic role of Nurse Mildred Ratched, the villain of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest".



Lisa Brescia (1991) in Wicked. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Born and raised in the Midwest, Lisa Brescia arrived to the Broadway production of "Wicked" on February 13, 2007, as the standby for Elphaba. Departing Broadway in May of 2008, Brescia then played the role in the Chicago production for several months. More recently, she played the Witch in "Into The Woods" with the renowned PlayMakers Repertory Company in North Carolina.



Alexander Ward. Photo Credit: Corey Castellano

Alexander Ward specializes in monster, creature, and inhuman characters, and his resumé is chock-full of them. From "American Horror Story" to "Annabelle Comes Home", and with characters such as: Addicted Demon, Wolf, Monster, Xenomorph, Nosferatu, and Grummy, Ward has found his wheelhouse. The actor also streams playthroughs of games like "Bloodborne" and "Dead by Daylight" on Twitch.



(L-R) Elizabeth Montgomery (1953), Agnes Morehead (1929) and Marion Lorne (1940) in Bewitched. Photo Credit: IMDb

The beloved classic sitcom "Bewitched" featured a trio of alumni with Elizabeth Montgomery as married witch Samantha, trying to live a "normal" life without using her powers, Agnes Morehead as Samantha's meddling sorceress mother Endora and Marion Lorne as bumbling Aunt Clara, who was posthumously awarded an Emmy for the role.



John Cassavetes (1950) and Ruth Gordon (1914) in Rosemary's Baby. Photo Credit: Amazon

In 1968, "Rosemary’s Baby" showcased two Academy graduates: John Cassavetes and Ruth Gordon. Both actors had graduated decades apart, but found themselves cast in one of Hollywood's most iconic horror films of all time.



Catherine Dyer in Stranger Things. Photo Credit: strangerthings.fandom.com, IMDb

Netflix’s "Stranger Things" has garnered a massive following with young audiences by melding a childlike fantasy with the conventional blockbusters of the 1980’s. Our very own Catherine Dyer appears throughout the first season as Agent Connie Frazier, as government forces search for Eleven.



Jessica Chastain (1998) in It: Chapter Two. Photo Credit: IMDb

In the 2019 adaptation of Stephen King's sprawling horror epic "It: Chapter Two", alumna Jessica Chastain must face the evil clown Pennywise and confront some dark secrets from her own past by returning to her hometown of Derry as the grown-up Beverly Marsh.



Paul Rudd (1991) in Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. Photo Credit: IMDb

Alumnus Paul Rudd faced down the unstoppable Michael Myers and lived to tell the tale in the 1995 film "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers". Rumor has it that his character Tommy Doyle might make an appearance in future installments of the franchise.



Danny DeVito (1966) in Batman Returns. Photo Credit: Entertainment Weekly

Alumnus Danny DeVitotook the character of Gotham City villain The Penguin from cartoonish to terrifying in the 1992 film "Batman Returns". His role was a big reason why the film went on to be nominated for Best Makeup at that year's Academy Awards.



Past student Matthew Lilllard in Scream. Photo Credit: IMDb

The original "Scream" effectively rewrote the rules for slasher films by playing right along with them. Past student Matthew Lillard brings his signature wit and energy to his unforgettable role as Stu Macher.

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