He Lived Every Kid’s Dream! Snakkle Catches Up With Ricky Stratton And The Cast Of Silver Spoons, 31 Years Later!
Ricky Schroder as Richard “Ricky” Bluedhorn-Stratton
Before catapulting to child stardom in Silver Spoons, Shroder made his acting debut at the age of 9 in the 1979 remake of the boxing film The Champ, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best New Male Star of the Year in a Motion Picture. He then went on to star in a few minor films before getting his big break playing Ricky Stratton on Silver Spoons, the adorable yet slightly uptight kid who moves in with his really rich (and really childish) dad, played by Joel Higgins. TV execs were aiming to create an innocent TV version of the 1981 film Authur which starred Dudley Moore –without the booze.
Despite a few wrinkles here and there, Ricky now “Rick” Schroder still looks like the baby-faced kid he used to be. Since the end of Silver Spoons, Ricky has done more serious TV roles in shows such as NYPD Blue and 24. In 2003, he returned to comedy and appeared on Scrubs, then made his directorial debut with the 2004 film Black Cloud. His latest project is the U.S. Army-sponsored reality show, Starting Strong.
Joel Higgins as Edward Stratton III on Silver Spoons
Joel Higgins started out his career as a Broadway actor before moving on to television. In 1982, he was cast in Silver Spoons as born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-his-mouth Edward Stratton III, the lovable but immature dad who later learns to become a responsible father figure when his surprisingly mature son, Ricky, comes to live with him.
After the last season of Silver Spoons, Higgins did a few guest appearances on TV shows like Family Matters and Home Improvement. His last acting credit was in 2003’s crime-drama film Dead Canaries, which was featured at the 2004 Bahamas International Film Festival. He hasn’t done any acting work since then.
Jason Bateman as Derek Taylor on Silver Spoons
We all know Jason from his lead roles in hit comedies such as The Change-Up and Horrible Bosses, but back when he was just getting into acting, he got a role as a supporting character on the ‘80s sitcom Silver Spoons. He played Derek Taylor, Ricky Stratton’s “bad boy” friend from military boarding school.
Though he eventually got his own show (It’s Your Move, which only lasted one season), it wasn’t until he hit his teens when he achieved star status with his role in The Hogan Family as David Hogan. Jason eventually hit a lull in his career until 2003, when he was cast in the critically acclaimed TV series Arrested Development. Since then, Jason has enjoyed a steady acting career, appearing in films such as Hancock, Up In The Air, The Switch, and Couples Retreat. He released his directorial debut Bad Words this year.
Alfonso Ribeiro as Alfonso Spears on Silver Spoons
Like Joel Higgins, Alfonso’s fist acting role was in a Broadway musical. Soon after, he got his first TV role in Silver Spoons and played Ricky Stratton’s breakdancing best friend, Alfonso Spears. He also appeared in a Pepsi commercial with Michael Jackson that same year. Following the end of the hit ‘80s sitcom, Ribeiro went on to become even more famous by playing spoiled rich kid Carlton Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
After a famous stint on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air playing Carlton Banks from 1990 – 1996, ans then a series of minor roles in film and television, Alfonso flexed his singing chops and emerged victorious in the reality competition show Celebrity Duets in 2006. Then he competed on 2007’s Dancing With The Stars. In 2008, he hosted the game show Catch 21. His latest acting role was in the third season of the Nickelodeon show Big Time Rush, where he made a guest appearance in the aptly named episode, “Bel Air Rush.” Ribeiro won this last season of Dancing with the Stars.
Silver Spoons (1982 – 1987)
John Houseman as Edward Stratton II on Silver Spoons
The Oscar-winning actor already had an impressive number of film roles under his belt, but he only gained mainstream fame when he starred in Silver Spoons as Ricky’s wealthy grandfather, Edward Stratton II. Unlike his son, who was played by Joel Higgins, Houseman’s character was a serious business magnate who often disagreed with his son’s childish and happy-go-lucky lifestyle.
After the fifth season of Silver Spoons, John Houseman did four more films: The Naked Gun, Another Woman, Bright Lights, Big City, and Scrooged, in which he played everyone’s favorite humbug. He passed away at the age of 86.
Franklyn Seales as Dexter Stuffins on Silver Spoons
Seales is best known for his role as the stuffy and fussy business manager, the aptly named Dexter Stuffins, who is uncle to the breakdancing Alfonso Spears (played by Alfonso Ribeiro), who becomes Ricky’s new best friend when he arrives on the set in 1984.
Seales had studied acting and trained under John Houseman at the prestigious Juilliard school in NYC. Houseman would later join Seales on Silver Spoons playing the stoic Grandpa Stratton. Unfortunately, the talented Seales died at just age 37 in 1990 from complications of AIDS. The actor’s brother-in-law Jean Dorsinville, published a biography honoring the actor and painter, Franklyn V.E. Seales: Life of An Artist, in 2012.
Erin Gray as Kate Summers Stratton on Silver Spoons
Following a successful modeling career, Erin Gray tried her hand at acting and starred in a few films and TV shows—most notably as the super sexy Colonel Wilma Deering in the sci-fi series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century—before landing the role of Kate Summers, Edward’s eye candy and assistant, who later became his wife and Ricky’s step-mom.
After Silver Spoons, Gray went on to star in a handful of sci-fi and horror movies (including the Friday the 13th franchise) before becoming a Tai Chi instructor and casting agent. She currently owns a talent agency, Heroes for Hire, which specializes in casting sci-fi and fantasy actors.