Where Toy Story are cast now – £325m fortune to family tragedy, horror flesh-eating bug ordeal and film snub | The Sun

A WHOLE generation of children grew up on the Toy Story series ‒ but what happened to the cast who voiced the iconic inhabitants of Andy’s room?

Disney Pixar’s Lightyear was released this weeks, providing eager fans with an origin story for the plucky astronaut the Buzz Lightyear action figure was inspired by.

The film has Chris Evans voicing Buzz and tells the story of a young test pilot who is marooned on a hostile planet and confronts the threat of Emperor Zurg.

Coming out 27 years after the first Toy Story film hit the silver screen, a lot has changed since Woody, Buzz, Mr Potato Head, Slinky Dog, Bo Peep and others animated their way into our hearts.

Here, we look at what happened to the stars who voiced our favourite toys.

Tom Hanks – £360m film fortune

Tom Hanks, who played Woody in the Toy Story franchise, was already a Hollywood big-hitter when he joined the cast, but he has now risen to stratospheric levels.


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The Oscar-winning and Emmy-winning actor and producer, 65, is worth an estimated $400million (£326million).

He has starred in hits like Big, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code, Cast Away, Catch Me If You Can, The Green Mile, and Angel and Demons, while Toy Story 3 was the highest-grossing movie of 2019, raking in $1billion (£811million) in the box office.

Hanks hit headlines this week when he told fans to "back the f*** off" as he rushed to protect his wife Rita Wilson after one nearly knocked her down.

The Hollywood legend yelled at the crowd as the couple were mobbed outside a restaurant in New York.

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The whole incident was caught on camera, as an over-zealous fan accidentally barged into Wilson, before Hanks shouted: "That's my wife. Back the f*** off!"

Meanwhile, concern for Hanks, 65, emerged after he was seen with a visibly shaking hand at a promotional event for a new Elvis biopic.

Tim Allen – Drink driving charge & film snub

Tim Allen, who won over a legion of fans with his portrayal of Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story franchise, was surprisingly overlooked for the new film.

Allen has experienced a series of highs and lies since landing the iconic role, with some career success but a more difficult personal life.

In 1998, he was arrested for driving under the influence in Birmingham, Michigan.

He was sentenced to one year probation and entered a rehabilitation clinic for alcohol abuse as part of his court obligation.

He also went through a tricky divorce from his first wife Laura Deibel, who he legally separated from in 1999, but was not divorced until 2003.

He later married Jane Hajduk in 2006, having dated her for five years.

He has a one daughter with each wife.

More recently, some fans claimed that veteran stand-up comedian Allen, 69, missed out on starring in the new film due to his conservative political beliefs.

However, the producers hit back, saying the decision to exclude Allen was due to creative choices and was in no way connected to his politics.

Galyn Susman told Yahoo: “Tim Allen is Buzz Lightyear the toy. We weren’t making a ‘Toy Story’ movie. We’re making Buzz Lightyear’s movie.”

Don Rickles – Family tragedy & grisly disease

Don Rickles, who played Mr Potato Head, sadly died of kidney failure in 2017 aged 90.

Four years before his death, the stand up comedy legend suffered a bout of necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, leading to multiple surgeries.

Despite this, Rickles continued touring across the US and in a 2014 interview dismissed thoughts of retiring, stating: “I’m in good health. I’m working better than I ever have. 

“The audiences are great. I’m like a fighter. The bell rings and you come out and fight.”

Rickles sadly outlived his son, who died of pneumonia at the age of 41.

Larry Rickles, who won an Emmy for a 2007 documentary about his father, died in December 2011 with respiratory failure.

Don was reportedly slated to reprise his role as Mr Potato Head in Toy Story 4 but died before recording any dialogue. 

With permission from the family, unused archive recordings of Rickles were used in the 2019 film to honour him.

Jim Varney – Tragic early death

Jim Varney, who played Slinky Dog in Toy Story and Toy Story 2, sadly died of lung cancer in 2000 aged just 50.

A long-time chain smoker, Varney started coughing blood while on the set for a film in 1998 and was later diagnosed with the deadly disease.

He threw his cigarettes away so he could keep working, before undergoing chemotherapy.

However, the treatment tragically failed and he died in his home in White City, Tennessee.

His last film, Disney’s Atlantic: The Lost Empire, released a year after his death, was dedicated to his memory.

Wallace Shawn – Controversial backlash

Wallace Shawn, who played Rex in Toy Story, has starred in numerous hit films and TV shows in the past few decades.

He won over viewers in TV shows like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Gossip Girl and more recently Young Sheldon, as well as recent films like Marriage Story and The Addams Family 2.

The 78-year-old has also taken on more voice work in The Incredibles and Chicken Little, as well as stage work.

Recently, however, he faced a backlash after saying he would still work with Woody Allen despite allegations of sexual abuse, which the director has always denied.

Shawn wrote an open letter earlier this year slamming actors for distancing themselves from him.

He told Yahoo Movies: “I was very upset that some of my fellow actors leapt to the conclusion that Woody was guilty of a serious crime that you can go to prison for without really knowing that much about it.”

Shawn said he felt the prevailing assumption that Allen was guilty was a “miscarriage of justice”.

Unlikely couple

Did you ever see Rex and Bo Peep getting together?

Well, Annie Potts, 69, who played Bo Peep, is the love interest of none other than Rex’s Wallace Shawn in the CBS show Young Sheldon.

Potts plays Sheldon’s ‘Meemaw’ (grandmother), while Shawn plays Dr John Sturgis, a physics professor who starts as a pen pal of Sheldon, before he audits his quantum chromodynamics course.

Their unconventional romance quickly became a fan favourite.

Last year, Potts bagged another top gig by joining the Ghostbusters franchise last year.

John Morris – Dropped out of Hollywood

John Morris was just 10 years old when he took on the role of Andy in Toy Story.

Now 37, Morris went on to voice a few other roles including Pepper Roni in the 1997 video game Lego Island and several other Tory Story-related projects, but has mostly stayed away from the public eye.

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John Ratzenberger, most recognisable for his role as Cliff Clavin in Cheers, went on to have an extraordinary voice acting career, including voicing snarky piggy bank Hamm in Toy Story.

In fact, Ratzenberger has acted in every single Pixar film bar one and has been branded the “good luck charm” for the studios.

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