Before the movie, Keaton had typically not played outrageous characters like Beetlejuice, but here he easily inhabited a role that has become one of his most famous. His Beetlejuice is clearly a little unhinged and has a palpable evil quality, but Keaton pulls back to make the character believable, not simply a parody of a B-movie "baddy." Much of his iconic appearance and manner came from Keaton himself. After Tim Burton gave him the outline of the character, Keaton added the wild, unkempt hair, the moldy face, and the dreadful, crooked teeth. Following his role in Beetlejuice, Keaton collaborated with Tim Burton on three other occasions, playing the superhero Batman twice.
Before starring in Beetlejuice, Keaton starred in the comedy film Mr. Mom. Other films include Much Ado About Nothing, The Paper, Inventing the Abbotts, Jackie Brown, Jack Frost, Cars, Toy Story 3, RoboCop, Birdman, Minions, Spotlight, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Dumbo (directed by Tim Burton).
Winona Ryder played the angst-ridden teen Lydia Deetz. Ryder has been vocal about her enjoyment in making this movie and working with Tim Burton. Her role as Lydia won her widespread acclaim and attention; previously she had only appeared in two other films, Lucas and Square Dance. Raised on a commune by hippie parents, and bullied in school for her androgynous appearance, Ryder began working in film at a young age, becoming a teen queen of the 80s and 90s. After Beetlejuice, she portrayed Veronica Sawyer in the teen cult satire Heathers. Other films include Edward Scissorhands, Mermaids, Dracula, The Age of Innocence, Reality Bites, Little Women, How to Make an American Quilt, The Crucible, Celebrity, Girl, Interrupted, A Scanner Darkly, Black Swan, Frankenweenie, The Iceman, and Experimenter. Recently, she has garnered acclaim for her role on the hit television series Stranger Things. She won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in The Age of Innocence. She was nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for her role as Jo in Little Women.
Geena Davis started out working as a model, and her first acting role was a small part in Sydney Pollack's film Tootsie. Following that, Davis played roles in Fletch, The Fly, and Beetlejuice throughout the mid-80s. For her role in The Accidental Tourist, Davis earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in Thelma and Louise. She then played Dottie Hinson in A League of Their Own, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. Other films include Hero, Angie, Speechless, Cutthroat Island, The Long Kiss Goodbye, Stuart Little, and Marjorie Prime. She received a Golden Globe award for her performance in the 2006 television series, Commander in Chief.
One of the three Baldwin brothers (the others, Stephen and Billy, are also actors), Baldwin is a prolific actor whose other work often overshadows his work in Beetlejuice. He is known for playing suave and excessively smooth characters, most iconically spoofed in his role as Jack Donaghy on Tina Fey's sitcom 30 Rock, for which he won 2 Emmys, 3 Golden Globes, and 7 SAG Awards. He made his Broadway debut in 1986 in the Joe Orton play Loot and has also appeared on Broadway in the Caryl Churchill play Serious Money and a revival of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. In 1998, he played Macbeth at the Public Theater. His films include Married to Mob, Working Girl, Alice, Prelude to a Kiss, Glengarry Glen Ross, Ghosts of Mississippi, Notting Hill, State and Main, Pearl Harbor, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Cooler, The Aviator, Elizabethtown, The Departed, Running with Scissors, It's Complicated, Paris Can Wait, and Downsizing.
Sidney, a revered movie actress with a string of classic and cult movies to her name, was difficult to convince to sign onto playing Juno in Beetlejuice. The veteran of the Golden Age of Hollywood had to be begged to join the cast, but the experience was apparently a positive one, as her final film was another collaboration with Tim Burton, the 1996 film Mars Attacks! Early on in her career, she appeared in many films as a "mob moll," the girlfriend of a gangster. In 1973, she was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams. She won a Golden Globe for her role in An Early Frost. Additionally, she appeared in many Broadway plays throughout her long career.
Otho, the decorator with a passion for dabbling in the paranormal, was the breakout role for Glen Shadix, a Southerner who appeared in a couple of bad remakes before being cast by Tim Burton. The two forged a strong working partnership and friendship. Burton was a fan of his Southern accent and baritone range, later casting him as the voice of the Mayor of Halloween Town in The Nightmare Before Christmas, and again as Senator Nado in Planet of the Apes. Other films include Heathers, Love Affair, Dunston Checks In, and Space Jam. He appeared in the television shows The Golden Girls, Roseanne, Seinfeld, Cheers, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Rocket Power, and Carnivale.
Jeffrey Jones has appeared in many roles onstage and on screen, and is perhaps best known for his portrayal of principal Ed Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Charles Deetz in Beetlejuice, and Skip Tyler in The Hunt for Red October. He was nominated for his performance in the 1984 film Amadeus. He also played the publisher A.W. Merrick in the HBO series Deadwood.
Catherine O'Hara is a prolific and beloved comic actress, known for her subtle and hilarious portrayals of outrageous characters. She started out as a member of the acclaimed improv comedy group, The Second City, in Toronto. She then worked on Second City Television, which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series. She was briefly a cast member on Saturday Night Live, but quit to return to SCTV. Her films include After Hours, Heartburn, Beetlejuice, Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, There Goes the Neighborhood, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Chicken Little. She is also well known for her frequent collaborations with Christopher Guest in the rockumentaries Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. She currently stars alongside Second City alum Eugene Levy in Schitt's Creek.
Robert Goulet was a popular actor and singer, known for his role as Lancelot in the musical Camelot. Over his long career, he won a Grammy Award, Tony Award, and Emmy Award.
Bernard, Delia's agent
Dick Cavett was known for his work as a talk show host, working on his own show The Dick Cavett Show, on which he engaged in lengthy and thoughtful interviews with public figures as diverse as Salvador Dali, Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, and Jimi Hendrix.
Beetlejuice Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Beetlejuice is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.