Based on the classic Stephen King novella "The Body," "Stand by Me" tells the story of four young boys who set out one day in search of a dead body they overhear someone talking about. While King is best known for his horror, this story is a dramatic tale of these young boys coming of age and learning something important about themselves during their harrowing journey. The actors portraying each of the four young boys remain well-known years after the movie faded into memory.
Wil Wheaton stars as the main character in the movie -- the individual who narrates the story in flashback throughout the film. Wheaton plays Gordie, a sensitive young man who lives a neglected childhood, and is the surviving child following the death of an older brother. Wheaton enjoyed minor success when he grew up, with his most popular roles being on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and a recurring part in the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory."
River Phoenix (Spoiler included)
The tragic member of the "Stand by Me" cast is River Phoenix, who stars in the movie as Chris Chambers, a young man who lives in an abusive household and desperately tries not to fall into a life of crime like his family. The character is tragic as, once the story concludes, we learn that Chris avoided his family's criminal activities but died while trying to stop a fight in a restaurant. Mirroring the tragic end of Chris, River Phoenix also saw his life end early when he overdosed outside of a club in Los Angeles in 1993.
Corey Feldman stars as Teddy, a young man physically scarred thanks to a violent act by his father. He is missing part of his ear and uses a hearing aid, rendering him an angry boy prone to violent outbursts. Feldman enjoyed a very successful career as a child actor, normally appearing with his friend, Corey Haim, in various movies as they grew up together. The two eventually co-starred in a television reality show but Haim's life met a tragic end when he died following a drug overdose. In his most recent major movie role, Corey Feldman starred in "Lost Boys: The Thirst" in 2010, a sequel to the movie in which he and Haim starred more than 20 years ago. Outside of movies, Feldman has also worked on an alternative music career.
Jerry O'Connell stars in "Stand by Me" as Vern, an overweight boy who overhears his older brother mention the dead body. This is the catalyst that sends the boys on their journey. O'Connell was the youngest of the four boys and took a little longer to get his feet under him in the acting profession. He worked in TV and went to NYU film school where he said one of his classes studied "Stand by Me." After completing his education, he appeared in small roles in movies such as "Jerry Maguire" and "Scream 2" before finally earning his breakout role in the television series "Crossing Jordan." In 2010, he starred in the big screen horror movie, "Piranha 3D."
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