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Where Sister Act cast are now – from Nazi outrage to £40K catfishing scam, bitter custody battle and star’s shock death

WHOOPI Goldberg has vowed to make a third Sister Act – but many of the original cast will not be back in their habits.

The 1992 movie about a singer who joins a convent to escape the clutches of mobsters was a massive hit that spawned a sequel and a stage musical.

Sister Act is a 90s classic
The Kobal Collection

Fans have long hoped for Whoopi’s Sister Doloris to get the choir back together – and next year they will get their wish.

Tragically, though, many of the original crew are no longer with us.

The award winning director died of AIDS, the tough cop actor was lost to leukaemia, and the actress who played Sister Mary Lazarus died three years after Sister Act’s release.

There has also been turmoil for its other stars, including a bitter custody battle, catfishing, the loss of a beloved husband and a third divorce.

Here we look at what happened to the cast of Sister Act.

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act and in New York this year

Once a homeless heroin addict, Whoopi Goldberg is an Oscar-winning actress worth an estimated £30million.

The star of Ghost and The Colour Purple is arguably best known for playing Deloris Wilson in Sister Act, who pretends to be a nun as part of a police witness protection scheme.

Whoopi, 67, is not short of work, with a regular slot hosting a talk show called The View and plenty of acting roles, including the forthcoming Amazon Prime Video series Anansi Boys by writer Neil Gaiman.

But her controversial opinions keep getting her in trouble, with her saying at the end of last year that the Nazis “were not killing racial” at the beginning of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were murdered.

“It wasn’t originally [about race],” she claimed in an interview. Whoopi later apologised for the comments.

The actress, who has been divorced three times and has one daughter, Alexandrea Martin, 48, is believed to be single.

She said: “Some people are not meant to be married and I am not meant to.”

Dame Maggie Smith

Dame Maggie Smith in 1992 and three decades later

Whoopi has stated she will go to any lengths to entice Dame Maggie to appear in the third Sister Act movie.

Maggie, 88, was already a double Oscar winner when she played Mother Superior in the 1992 original.

Whoopi said: “I just can’t do it with anybody but you.”

But it was playing the straight-talking countess Violet Crawley on Downton Abbey that made Maggie so famous that she can no longer go to the supermarket without being stopped by fans.

Maggie, also famous for playing Professor McGonogall in the Harry Potter movies, reportedly told a co-star “I was fine in my career until I did f*****g Downton Abbey. Everybody left me alone. I can’t even go to Waitrose.”

Controversially, while she was “deeply grateful” for both roles, she admitted it “wasn’t what you’d call satisfying”, telling ES Magazine: “I didn’t really feel I was acting in those things.”

Twice married, she has been widowed since the death of second husband Beverley Cross in 1998, aged 66.

Both their sons Chris Larkin, 55, and Toby Stephens, 53, best known for playing the baddie in Die Another Day, are actors.

Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel as Vince and at a pre Oscars event this year

There is no doubt 1992 was a big moment for Harvey Keitel – with him starring in Sister Act, Reservoir Dogs and Bad Lieutenant.

The year before he’d split from long time lover Lorraine Bracco, who went off with actor Edward James Olmos, sparking a bitter custody battle for their daughter Stella, 37.

These days both Keitel’s career and private life are far quieter.

His most recent big movie was Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman in 2019 and he appeared in the Mike Tyson drama series Mike last year.

But he proved he’s still cool in 2013 by appearing as a beauty pageant host in the video for Beyonce‘s hit Pretty Hurts – because he’s a huge fan of the singer.

Keitel, who has three children from three relationships, has been married to actress Daphna Kastner, 61, since 2001.

In Sister Act he played gangster Vince who tries to have Deloris bumped off.

Wendy Makkena

Wendy Makkena as Sister Mary Robert and at a 2019 premiere

Sister Mary Robert wasn’t really suited to the quiet life of a nun with her wishing to experience new things.

Wendy Makkena, 64, though, is going to be returning to the role in Sister Act 3.

Her career has been steady since 1992, with Wendy taking supporting roles in movies such as State of Play and appearances in TV dramas.

She got hitched to film producer Bob Krakower in 1997 and they have a daughter named Ruby.

Sister Mary Robert’s amazing vocals were provided by Andrea Robinson in the previous two Sister Act movies.

Kathy Najimy

Kathy Najimy in Sister Act and in New York last year

The upbeat Sister Mary Patrick was played by Kathy Najimy, who cannot believe her remarkable acting career.

Najimy, who starred in last year’s Hocus Pocus sequel with Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker, said: “I came from a small town, and we struggled financially, and I don’t look like a supermodel. 

“None of those things was a sure-fire path to success.”

So far the 66-year-old actress has not been cast in the third Sister Act movie.

She has been married to comedian Dan Finnerty since 1998 and their daughter Samia, 26, is a successful singer.

Kathy, who had an abortion at 18, is a vocal supporter of a woman’s right to choose whether to keep an unborn child.

Jenifer Lewis

Jenifer Lewis in Sister Act and on a US talk show last year

Jenifer went from being a choir singer in Sister Act to a star of TV and film.

But fame had a dark side for the star of the comedy Black-ish when a convicted fraudster persuaded her to invest £40,000 in a dodgy sound effects company.

Jenifer, 66, fell for catfisher Antonio Mariot Wilson who claimed to be an Oscar winning sound effects designer, Oxford university graduate and former Navy SEAL.

None of that was true and Wilson, 59, spent the money on his own lavish lifestyle.

The actress, who also starred in the movie What’s Love Got to Do With It and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, said: “I am sure Tony was confident that being a celebrity I would never tell. Wrong girl.”

He was jailed for eight years in 2021 for tricking Jenifer and three other women.

Jenifer, who required therapy, said: “It’s an assault, you’re humiliated. It’s an impact of a tsunami when somebody gets that close to you and you find out it’s all a lie.”

The actress, who voiced Flo in the Cars animated movies, is divorced and has one daughter.

Bill Nunn

Bill Nunn as Lieutenant Souther and in New York in 2013

The Spider-Man actor played Lieutenant Eddie Souther whose idea it is to send star witness Dolores to a nun’s convent.

He was better known as Peter Parker’s colleague Joseph ‘Robbie’ Robertson at The Daily Bugle in the Tobey Maguire superhero movies.

Bill, whose big break was playing the boombox carrying Radio Raheem in Do The Right Thing, sadly died in 2016 from leukaemia.

He was just 62 and left behind his wife Donna Nunn and their two children Cydney and Jessica.

Mary Wickes 

Mary Wickes in Sister Act and Little Women two years later

Doloris was unimpressed by Sister Mary Lazarus’s efforts to lead the convent choir and decided she could do a better job.

But veteran comic actress Mary Wickes always put on a good show whatever movie she was in.

In a career that started in 1942 she appeared in Postcards From the Edge, Little Women and The Music Man.

But three years after Sister Act was released, Mary died at the age of 85.

Emile Ardolino 

Emile Ardolino collecting his Oscar and directing Sister Act

Emile Ardolino had an Oscar, 17 Emmy nominations and made Dirty Dancing – but his biggest box office success was Sister Act.

Tragically, he died in 1993 from an AIDS related illness in Los Angeles at the age of just 50.

He won a Best Documentary Oscar in 1983 for He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’ and his final movie was The Nutcracker with Macaulay Culkin.


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