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Today marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Cliffhanger. Die Hard 2, an action-thriller directed by Renny Harlin was first made available to the public on May 28th, 1993. Cliffhanger was a huge success at the box office worldwide, and it starred Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, and Michael Rooker. It was praised for having intense action sequences (especially a stressful opening sequence), compelling actors, and magnificent scenery. These elements contributed to the film’s success. Three decades after the first release of the picture, here is a look at the actors that starred in Cliffhanger.
Sylvester Stallone as Gabriel “Gabe” Walker
Gabriel “Gabe” Walker, played by Sylvester Stallone, is a former mountain climber and rescue ranger tormented by the terrible experience of a bad high-wire rescue operation. This mission resulted in the murder of the girlfriend of his best friend and fellow ranger, Hal Tucker. Sylvester Stallone plays the role of Gabriel “Gabe” Walker. After some time has passed, Gabe is called to assist a still resentful Hal in responding to a distress call coming from the mountains. This occurs after Gabe has returned to his home in Colorado. As a result of Gabe’s actions, he finds himself caught up in a scheme to commit terrorism hatched by a violent group of international thieves led by the psychopath Eric Qualen.
Beginning in the middle of the 1970s, when the struggling actor penned and appeared in one of the most successful movies of all time, Rocky, Sylvester Stallone established himself as one of Hollywood’s most prominent movie stars. Rocky became one of the most successful movies of all time. With an Academy Award for Best Picture, Stallone would become a name everyone would recognize. Throughout the 1980s, he became even more well-known after starring in three successful sequels of the Rocky film series. After being nominated for an Academy Award, the actor would feature in another successful action franchise, the Rambo series, which kicked off in 1982 with the dramatic action film First Blood. Cliffhanger, the science fiction movie Demolition Man, in which Stallone co-starred alongside Wesley Snipes, and Daylight were all examples of Stallone continuing to flex his action muscles during the 1990s. After closing out the decade with a powerful performance in the drama Copland, a less in-demand Sylvester Stallone struggled to find his way during the early 2000s. However, he would return swinging with critically praised sequels to Rocky Balboa and Rambo. This would eventually result in the creation of yet another action film franchise, The Expendables, in which Sylvester Stallone worked alongside Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. After receiving an Oscar nomination for his performance as Rocky Balboa in the legendary sequel Creed, Stallone regained his status as a highly sought-after actor.
John Lithgow as Eric Qualen
Eric Qualen is a psychopathic former British intelligence officer who is now the leader of a gang of international criminals. John Lithgow plays the role of Eric Qualen in the show. After Qualen attempts to steal $100 million from the United States Treasury during a daring midair plane heist that results in three suitcases full of bills falling into the Colorado Rockies below, Qualen takes mountain rescue rangers Gabe Walker and Hal Tucker hostage and forces them at gunpoint to track down the suitcases to retrieve the money.
Lithgow has had one of the most illustrious and varied entertainment careers. Beginning in the 1970s with critically acclaimed performances on the Broadway stage, Lithgow would make his mark in film throughout the 1980s with performances in The World According to Garp and Terms of Endearment that earned him Oscar nominations. Lithgow would also find success on television, garnering nominations for Emmys for his performances in the Steven Spielberg anthology series Amazing Stories and the highest-rated miniseries event, The Day After. Lithgow played both of these roles. In the 1990s, John Lithgow embraced the villainous side of his acting persona in films such as Ricochet, in which he co-starred with Denzel Washington, and the Sylvester Stallone action hit Cliffhanger. However, he also established himself as a comedy star with his award-winning performance as Dick Solomon in the NBC sci-fi comedy sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun. Denzel Washington co-starred in Ricochet. Cliffhanger. Lithgow’s portrayal of Lord Farquaad in Shrek, an animated picture that won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, helped him gain over a younger audience in the 2000s.
Michael Rooker as Harold “Hal” Tucker
Michael Rooker stars in the role of Harold “Hal” Tucker, a mountain rescue ranger who was formerly best friends with Gabe Walker, another former rescue ranger he holds responsible for the death of his girlfriend after a rescue attempt that went wrong. After responding to a distress signal coming from the mountains, Hal and Gabe find themselves being held captive by a group of international robbers who threaten them with firearms and demand that they find three suitcases with a combined total of millions of dollars. The horrific performance that Rooker gave in his first film, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, brought Rooker to the notice of Hollywood for the first time. Strong supporting performances during the 1980s would follow in films such as “Sea of Love” opposite Al Pacino and “Mississippi Burning” featuring Gene Hackman. They continued to do so throughout the early 1990s in films such as “Days of Thunder” against Tom Cruise, “JFK” alongside Kevin Costner, and “Cliffhanger” with Sylvester Stallone. Rooker would score his largest parts after years of working steadily in cinema and television throughout the 2000s. These roles were in the first three seasons of the AMC series The Walking Dead and the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Guardians of the Galaxy, in which he portrayed the character Yondu Udonta.
Janine Turner as Ranger Jessica “Jessie” Deighan
Janine Turner plays the role of Jessica “Jessie” Deighan, a helicopter pilot for the mountain rescue service and the girlfriend of former mountain ranger Gabe Walker. Since a rescue operation turned fatal a few months previously, Walker has been estranged from Jessie and their relationship. When fellow ranger Hal Tucker and Gabe do not return after responding to a distress signal, Jessie’s investigation leads to her joining Gabe in a game of cat and mouse against a gang of ruthless thieves who are searching for three suitcases filled with millions of dollars that are scattered somewhere over the Colorado Rockies. Jessie and Gabe’s opponents are looking for three suitcases scattered over the Colorado Rockies. Before beginning her acting career with guest roles on the popular CBS drama Dallas, Turner began her career as a young model. Because of this, I secured the part of Laura Templeton on the soap opera General Hospital. Turner would go on to be cast as Maggie O’Connell in the CBS comedy-drama series Northern Exposure, for which she would be nominated for Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. After taking a hiatus from her profession, with which she felt dissatisfied, Turner would go on to be cast in the series. After that, Turner would star alongside Sylvester Stallone in the action thriller Cliffhanger, followed by a string of movies made specifically for television and a recurring part in the NBC sports drama Friday Night Lights.
Rex Linn as Richard Travers
Richard Travers, played by Rex Linn, is an agent for the United States Treasury who is a double agent working for Eric Qualen, the leader of a vicious gang of international criminals. Qualen and Travers stole $100 million from the United States Treasury during a midair robbery. When the money, which was stored in three enormous suitcases, falls into the valley below in the Colorado Rockies, the equally untrustworthy Travers and Qualen seek to find the money, provided that they don’t kill each other first. Linn is an American actor who became prominent because of his recurring role as Sergeant Frank Tripp on the television show CSI: Miami. Linn made his acting debut in the crime drama Night Game, which also starred Roy Scheider, playing the role of a serial murderer. Before landing his first recurring part on the television series JAG, the prolific actor appeared in many films and television shows in various capacities. In addition to that, Linn would play regular parts on the shows Better Call Saul and Young Sheldon.
Caroline Goodall as Kristel
The role of Kristel, the companion of British terrorist Eric Qualen and the helicopter pilot for his worldwide gang of thieves, is played by Caroline Goodall, who also acts in the show. Kristel is as infamous and brutal as any other male in her group. Goodall is a British actor who has worked on many stages and in television shows before being cast as Hook opposite Robin Williams by director Steven Spielberg. After appearing in Schindler’s List and Disclosure, she starred in the Australian television dramas The Silver Brumby (with Russell Crowe) and Hotel Sorrento, for which she received an AFI award nomination. Recent work by Goodall includes the writing and production of the suspense film The Bay of Silence, which features Brian Cox and Olga Kurylenko.
Leon Robinson as Kynette
The character of Kynette, who is the second in command to Qualen, the most feared member of the gang due to his cruel and violent techniques, is played by Leon Robinson, who was just known as Leon at the time. Throughout the decade of the 1980s, the American actor Leon Robinson appeared in many films and television programs, as well as the controversial music video for Madonna’s song “Like a Prayer.” After that, high-profile roles would come his way, such as the lead in the action thriller Cliffhanger starring Sylvester Stallone and the lead in the sports comedy and box office success Cool Runnings. In the upcoming basketball thriller Above the Rim starring Tupac Shakur and the NBC music biography miniseries The Temptations, roles are expected to become available.
Craig Fairbrass as Delmar
The role of Delmar, a former English football player turned henchman for Qualen, is played by Craig Fairbrass. Delmar is revealed to be the most vicious member of the group. Fairbrass is an English actor best recognized for his part in the Rise of the Footsoldier series, where he played the ruthless criminal Pat Tate. Following his début in the film For Queen and Country, where he co-starred with Denzel Washington, Fairbrass would star in the first two seasons of the police procedural television series Prime Suspect, which was primarily starring Helen Mirren. After getting his first part in Hollywood in the Sylvester Stallone action thriller Cliffhanger, Fairgrass returned to the United Kingdom to star in the popular soap opera EastEnders, where he portrayed the role of Dan Sullivan for two years. Cliffhanger was Fairgrass’s first role in Hollywood. In addition to leading the critically acclaimed British crime independent films Muscle and Villain, Fairgrass provided the voices for various characters in the Call of Duty gaming franchise.