Already have an account?
Get back to the

‘Splash’: Catch Up With the Cast of the 1984 Magical Mermaid Rom-Com

What's better than mermaids and Tom Hanks?


Imagine this: You find your soulmate and fall madly in love. Everything seems perfect, except for one complication… your beloved is, well, half fish. What could possibly go wrong? In the movie Splash, an epic cast comes together to tell the love story of man and his lady fish.

In March of 1984, Allen Bauer was on the big screen with his blonde mermaid companion named Madison, enduring all the emotions expected to come out of this bizarre situation. Luckily, he got his happy ending when he and his love swam off into the sunset together.

That’s the story of Splash, a blockbuster movie with a star studded cast that turned 40 this month. It’s the movie that brought Tom Hanks, who plays Allen, into superstardom, and gave actress Daryl Hannah her sophomore big hit after Blade Runner.

MUST-READ: 20 of the Best Movies from 1984 — Celebrating Their 40th Anniversary This Year

Daryl Hannah in the Splash cast, 1984
Daryl Hannah, Splash, 1984Zayne/MoviestillsDB

Together, the two beautifully acted out the endearing story of a human and a mermaid reuniting and falling in love in New York City, years after a childhood rescue at Cape Cod. All the while, corrupt scientists and frogmen try to capture the mermaid for research, and they succeed temporarily by sticking Madison into an aquarium like a clownfish at a pet store.

Here is what some key members of the Splash cast have done in the past four decades.

Splash cast, then and now

Tom Hanks as Allen Bauer

Tom Hanks in 1984 and 2024, Splash cast member
1984 / 2024Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images ; Momodu Mansaray/WireImage/Getty Images

Allen Bauer was just a regular guy who falls in love – with a woman who happens to be half human and half piscine. Talk about complicated!

Tom Hanks led the Splash cast as Allen. As one of America’s most beloved actors, Oscar-winning Hanks has been on Hollywood’s A list of talent for four decades. He was baby-faced at age 28 in Splash, the film that made him a major movie star. His lead role opposite Hannah was a lucky stroke, and Hanks stole hearts on screen with the down-to-earth relatability that is the actor’s hallmark.

MUST-READ: Tom Hanks Through the Years: 27 Rare Photos of the ‘Nicest Guy In Hollywood’

Tom Hanks, 1984
Tom Hanks, 1984Nik Wheeler/Corbis via Getty Images

Tom Hanks was the endearing everyman in Splash – that’s what he projected,” film historian Leonard Maltin told USA Today. “He couldn’t have asked for a better vehicle that let him be funny, romantic and even heroic in a broadly popular mass-audience movie.”

Not even four hands could have enough fingers to count major hits starring Hanks in the 80s, 90s and beyond. There’s Big, Turner & Hooch, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Sleepless in Seattle, Philadelphia and Forrest Gump to name a few, and those are just hits from the first decade following Splash.

MUST-READ: The ‘Forrest Gump’ Cast Then and Now: See What the Beloved Stars Look Like Today

Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump, 1994
Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump, 1994Sunset Boulevard/Getty Images

Beyond traditional acting, Hanks has also earned fame as the voice of animated characters, like cowboy toy Woody in the Toy Story movie series and several characters in The Polar Express. Hanks also has crossed to the other side to be a director.

Interestingly, Hanks said in a recent interview that while he has no regrets about any role he has played, the one he’d least like to be remembered for is the single-episode role of Rick Martin on The Love Boat in 1980. (Trust us, Tom – we don’t remember that!)

MUST-READ: ‘The Love Boat’ Cast: See the Stars of the Campy Classic Then and Now

Tom Hanks, 2017
Tom Hanks, 2017Christopher Polk/Getty Images for People’s Choice Awards

More recently, Hanks’ most prominent roles include Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and the titular character in A Man Called Otto. We hope for many more years of entertainment from this brilliant talent, starting with the highly anticipated movie Here, coming out in 2024 and featuring Forrest Gump co-star Robin Wright.

Daryl Hannah as Madison

Daryl Hannah, Splash cast member
1984 / 2023Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images ; Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Hannah enjoyed one of her most well-known starring roles as Madison the mermaid, which turned her into one of the most sought-after movie stars of the 80s. Soon after Splash, she played prominent roles in several more hits, including Wall Street, Steel Magnolias and Memoirs of an Invisible Man.

MUST-READ: ‘Steel Magnolias’ Cast Then and Now — See What This Group of A-Listers Has Been Up to Since the Film’s 1989 Release

In recent years, Hannah has done some acting, but she is enjoying a newer gig on the other side of the camera as a director. She got a Grammy nomination for directing a documentary about her husband, singer Neil Young, and his band. The movie is called A Band, A Brotherhood, A Barn.

Daryl Hannah, 2023
Daryl Hannah, 2023Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Now, Hannah tells PEOPLE, she is editing another documentary she shot and directed about Young’s last solo tour. “I’m really happy making films,” she told the magazine.

Outside of show business, Hannah works as a strong advocate for environmental causes and animal rights.

MUST-READ: Daryl Hannah Young: A Look Back at the Blonde Beauty’s Most Iconic ’80s Roles

John Candy as Freddie Bauer in the Splash cast

John Candy in 1985 and 1993
1985 / 1993B Bennett/Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images ; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc/Getty Images

Sadly, Canadian actor John Candy — who played Freddie Bauer, Allen’s womanizing brother — died 30 years ago at just 43 from cardiac arrest. Some of his co-stars from movies recently paid tribute to Candy on the 30th anniversary of his March 4, 1994 death.

John’s comedy lives on, but my memory of him has the words ‘kindness’ and ‘sweetness’ in the headlines,” Steve Martin told PEOPLE.

Steve Martin and John Candy, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, 1987
Steve Martin and John Candy, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, 1987 Paramount/Getty Images

Martin co-starred with Candy in the big hit Planes, Trains & Automobiles, a popular Thanksgiving movie. Candy, as was often the case, played a highly annoying character in this film as well as in Splash, but he gave us some good laughs with his eccentric roles. Other notable Candy movies after Splash include Spaceballs, Uncle Buck, JFK and Home Alone.

Eugene Levy as Dr. Walter Kornbluth in the Splash cast

Eugene Levy in 1985 and 2023
1985 / 2023Maureen Donaldson/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images ; Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

Canadian actor Eugene Levy played the main antagonist, Dr. Walter Kornbluth. In Splash, this villain — who captured Madison and trapped her in an aquarium with the intent to dissect her — has a crisis of conscience in the end, and he helps Allen free his lady love.

The bespectacled Levy with bushy eyebrows has said in recent interviews that he is considering retiring from show business. “I’m not afraid of retirement,” Levy told The Independent. “I love it when I have nothing on the agenda. I really do. I love getting up and the only big decision is where to go for lunch. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Eugene Levy, 2023
Eugene Levy, 2023Dave Benett/Getty Images for Apple

Levy’s current docuseries, The Reluctant Traveler, airs on Apple TV +. Throughout his long career, he has appeared in more than 60 motion pictures and, since Splash, his prominent credits include Father of the Bride Part II, American Pie, American Pie 2, and the TV series Schitt’s Creek.

Dody Goodman as Mrs. Stimler in the Splash cast

Dody Goodman, 1978
Dody Goodman, 1978Paramount Pictures/Getty Images

Remember Mrs. Stimler, who played the ditzy office assistant? If you thought she looked and sounded familiar, it’s because you have probably seen the actress, the late Dody Goodman, in several television shows and movies.

Goodman had a distinctive quivery, high-pitched voice. She had supporting roles in many popular shows including Aunt Sophia on Diff’rent Strokes and Mrs. Morton on Punky Brewster. Goodman reprised her role as Mrs. Stimler for the TV sequel Splash, Too in 1988.

Goodman remained in acting until the mid-2000s, dying in 2008 at age 93.

Enjoy much more of our entertainment stories!

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.