The ALF tv sitcom originally appeared on NBC from September 22, 1986, to March 24, 1990. ALF ran for 4 seasons and 99 episodes, including three one-hour episodes (“Try to Remember”, “ALF’s Special Christmas”, and “Tonight, Tonight”) that were divided into two parts for syndication, totaling 102 episodes. The show tells the story of an alien life form (ALF) from the planet Melmac that crash lands on earth, specifically in the Tanner family’s garage. Confused, The Tanners decided to take ALF into their home and hide him from the Alien Task Force (a part of the U.S. military that specializes in aliens) until ALF can repair his spacecraft. ALF has an infinity for wanting to eat cats, which didn’t bode well for the Tanner family’s cat “Lucky”. ALF basically becomes a part of the Tanner family over the course of the series.
So The Cast Of ALF…Where Are They Now?
Max Wright as “Willie” Tanner
Max Wright played the character of Willie Tanner for the duration of the series. And while he is most famous for the role, he personally didn’t like portraying the character and being a supporting actor to a puppet. Over the years, he relaxed somewhat over his distaste for the show and admitted that the tv show brought a lot of joy to people. He was on the tv show Friends for 2 seasons and appeared on many other shows including WKRP in Cincinnati, The Drew Carrey Show, and Mad About You. He continued to appear in tv shows and feature films over the years with his final role being in the TV movie Back to Norm (2005). Sadly, Max Wright, died from Lymphoma on June 26, 2019, at the age of 75.
Anne Schedeen as “Kate” Halligan Tanner
Anne Scheeden appeared on the popular tv show Cheers before landing the role of Kate Tanner on ALF. She also made numerous appearances in other popular 80s tv shows including Magnum P.I., Simon And Simon, and Murder She Wrote. In 1996 she appeared in the feature film Heaven’s Prisoners starring Alec Baldwin and Kelly Lynch. In 2001, she had a recurring guest-starring role in the legal drama Judging Amy. In 2015, she became an ambassador for Holiday Heroes, a non-profit organization assisting disadvantaged families. Anne Schedeen appears to be currently be retired from acting.
Andrea Elson as Lynn Tanner
At age 14 Andrea Elson made her debut on the tv show Whiz Kids. The show only lasted one season, but it was enough for her to gain notice as an up-and-coming teen star in the 80s. After ALF ended Elson appeared on episodes of Who’s the Boss?, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, Married… with Children, Mad About You, Step by Step, and the soap-opera The Young and the Restless. Elson retired from acting in 1998. Since 2008 Andrea Elson has worked as a yoga instructor.
Benji Gregory as Brian Tanner
Prior to his role on ALF, Benji Gregory appeared in the tv shows Fantasy Island (1978), The A-Team (1984), T.J. Hooker (1984), Amazing Stories (1985), The Twilight Zone (1985) Benji made an appearance in the Whoopi Goldberg film Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986) and he appeared on Murphy Brown in 1988. After ALF ended he did voice work for the animated series Fantastic Max (1988-1990), and Pound Puppies (1986-1987) and was the voice of Edgar the Mole in the animated feature Once Upon a Forest (1993). Benji Gregory enlisted in the Navy in 2003 and graduated to become an aerographer’s mate. He received an Honorable discharge in 2005 and married in 2006. Benji Gregory is currently retired from acting.
Paul Fusco as ALF
Paul Fusco created the puppet of ALF in 1984 and used it to annoy his friends as an obnoxious alien. He pitched the idea of an ALF sitcom to NBC who loved the idea. Fusco was the voice, puppeteer, creator, producer, director, and writer of the show. Later, he created and produced two animated series for NBC: ALF: The Animated Series and ALF Tales. The original live-action series of ALF was canceled unexpectedly and left the show on a cliffhanger episode. Fusco provided closure for the show by creating the television movie in 1996 called Project ALF for ABC. In 2019 ALF made appearances on the television series Mr. Robot and Young Sheldon. In 2012, Fusco announced that an ALF was being turned into a CGI-Live action film for Sony Animation, but has not been released at this time.
Photo credits: Andrea Elson (Left image Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images), Anne Schedeen (Right Image) Flickr user Greg2600 (Wikipedia). Cast photo: Everett Collection