Ivan Simon Cary Elwes, known professionally as Cary Elwes, is an English actor and writer. While he'd had several film roles prior to The Princess Bride, his role as Westley in the 1987 film skyrocketed him into a prominence that continued for the next decade and a half, and it is perhaps the role for which he's most remembered today. He has had starring roles or was heavily featured in such subsequent films as Days of Thunder, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Twister, Liar Liar, Saw, and many others. Princess Bride director Rob Reiner selected him for the part of Westley after seeing his performance as Guilford Dudley in Lady Jane (1986).
Elwes, along with Mandy Patinkin, spent weeks studying fencing with both his right and left hand in order to perform the entire duel between Inigo and the Man in Black without doubles (except for the one flip he does over the bar in the archway). It was noted that any time he or Patinkin were not filming, they were practicing their swordsmanship to aid in the authenticity of the scene. They ended up choreographing a 3 minute 10 second duel which took almost a week to film from all angles. Elwes also injured one of his big toes during the production in a minor ATV accident, forcing Reiner to shoot around the fact that he had a slight limp and was unable to put pressure on the injury for many days.
Buttercup, a.k.a. "The Princess Bride"
A Texas native, Robin Gayle Wright rose to stardom as Kelly Capwell on the soap opera Santa Barbara from 1984 to 1988, as well as her role as Buttercup in The Princess Bride. She has since held roles in many prominent works such as Forrest Gump, Beowulf, Money Ball, and more recently as Antiope in Wonder Woman and Claire Underwood in the Netflix series House of Cards, for the last of which she has won a Golden Globe and received several Emmy nominations.
Wright won the title role in The Princess Bride while still under contract with Santa Barbara. To receive temporary leave from the show, she reluctantly agreed to add nine months to her contract. She and Cary Elwes admitted to being quite taken with each other on set, sharing great chemistry. The story goes that during their filming of Westley and Buttercup's final kiss, the two kept asking for re-takes so they didn't have to stop filming.
Chris Sarandon is an American actor best known for his role as Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride, and also known for his role as Jerry Dandrige in Fright Night and the voice of Jack Skellington in Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. He is sometimes credited with helping launch the career of his first wife, actress Susan Sarandon, when he brought her along to an audition. He's held many prominent film and television roles since his performance in The Princess Bride. Presently, while continuing to act, he is on the Advisory Board for the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, West Virginia.
Mandel Bruce "Mandy" Patinkin is an American actor and singer best known for his role as Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, his recurring role as Jason Gideon on the TV series Criminal Minds, and his current role as Saul Berenson on Showtime's Homeland. He is also an accomplished musical theater performer, originating the roles of Georges Seurat in Sunday in the Park with George and Ché in the original production of Evita on Broadway.
In preparation for his role as a skilled swordsman in The Princess Bride, Patinkin, along with Cary Elwes, spent weeks studying fencing with both his right and left hand in order to perform the entire duel between Inigo and the Man in Black without doubles (except for the one somersault he does over the bar in the archway). The scene ultimately took almost a week to shoot. Patinkin has said that he sustained no injuries during the film's shooting except for a "bruised rib" as he tried to hold in his laughter acting alongside Billy Crystal as Miracle Max.
Andre the Giant
André René Roussimoff, better known as André the Giant, was a professional French wrestler and actor. He was famous for his incredible size, a result of gigantism caused by excess growth hormone, which later resulted in acromegaly. At 7 feet 4 inches tall, and weighing over 500 pounds, he towered over others. He famously feuded with fellow wrestler Hulk Hogan, and was beloved for his role as Fezzik in The Princess Bride. He sadly died in 1993 at the age of 46 as a result of congestive heart failure due to his great size.
Wallace Shawn is a famous American actor, comedian, and playwright with an easily identifiable face and voice. In addition to his role as Vizzini in The Princess Bride, Wallace Shawn is well-remembered for his voice acting as Rex the dinosaur in the Toy Story franchise, as well as Mr. Incredible's uptight boss Mr. Huph in The Incredibles.
Before filming The Princess Bride, Shawn was under the impression that he was the second choice for the part of Vizzini after Danny DeVito (although there's still confusion over whether the latter was ever seriously considered for the role). He became convinced that he was wrong for the part and in danger of being fired at any moment, and was therefore extremely nervous throughout filming, visibly sweating during his 'battle of wits' scene with Cary Elwes.
Christopher Haden-Guest, also known as 5th Baron Haden-Guest or by his stage name Christopher Guest, is an English-American actor, screenwriter, musician, director, and comedian, known for his role as Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride as well as his many mock-umentary style comedy films such as A Mighty Wind, For Your Consideration, and Mascots. He was once an active member of the British House of Lords before the House of Lords Act of 1999 removed his right to a seat in the parliament as a hereditary peer. He is married to actress and writer Jamie Lee Curtis.
Billy Crystal is an American actor, writer, director, producer, comedian, and television host. Like Wallace Shawn, he is well-known for his unmistakable voice. He arose to prominence in the 70s on the ABC sitcom Soap and through his many film roles in the 80s and 90s, including his iconic appearance as Miracle Max in The Princess Bride. Among younger generations, he is known as the voice of Mike Wazowski in the Monsters Inc. films. He has hosted the Academy Awards 9 times between 1990 to 2012.
Carolyn Laurie Kane, known professionally as Carol Kane, is an American comedian and actress. She rose to prominence in the 70s for films like Hester Street, for which she was nominated for an Oscar, and Annie Hall. In the 80s, she won two Emmys for her role as Latka in the TV series Taxi. Among her many performances, she is beloved for her small but hilarious appearance in The Princess Bride and, more recently, as Lillian Kaushtupper on Netflix's The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Fred Savage is an American actor, producer, and director, best known for his role as Kevin Arnold in the TV series The Wonder Years (1988-1993). He won a Young Artist Award for his portrayal of the grandson in The Princess Bride, at which time he was relatively new to acting, being only 10 years old when it was filmed.
Peter Michael Falk was an American actor, best known for his role as Lieutenant Columbo in the long-running television series Columbo, a performance which won him four Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe. He was the first actor ever to be nominated for both an Oscar and an Emmy in the same year, accomplishing this two years in a row in 1960 and 1961. He held countless roles in film and television over the course of his life. In 1996, TV Guide ranked Falk #21 on its "50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time" list. He died of natural causes in Beverly Hills at the age of 83.
The Princess Bride (film) Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Princess Bride (film) is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.