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Whatever Happened To These Mission: Impossible Actors?

Looper logo: MainLogoLooper 7/1/2022 Samuel Stone
Jane Carter infiltrates a gala © Paramount Pictures Jane Carter infiltrates a gala

While Tom Cruise and his action hero role as Ethan Hunt may be the face of the "Mission: Impossible" film series, the long-running franchise has introduced plenty of friends and foes who have come and gone from the tangled web of its world of spies. As Hunt carries out work around the world for the Impossible Missions Force, a clandestine American intelligence agency, he is partnered with a rotating team of specialists and tangles with memorable enemies throughout his adventures. And though several members of Hunt's team have become a recurring presence in the movies, many of Cruise's co-stars are limited to one or two appearances across the series.

Here are several actors who have played particularly notable roles in the "Mission: Impossible" franchise, but have since departed from the screen as Hunt and his usual regulars encounter new characters in their ongoing mission to keep the world safe on behalf of the IMF.

Henry Czerny

Eugene Kittridge arrives in Prague © Paramount Pictures Eugene Kittridge arrives in Prague

One of Hunt's earliest opponents in the franchise is Henry Czerny's IMF Director Eugene Kittridge, who confronts Hunt after a disastrous mission unfolds in Prague. Kittridge suspects Ethan of being a double agent working with an arms dealer, as Hunt is the apparent sole survivor the mission. Kittridge pursues Hunt across Europe, but by the end of the original "Mission: Impossible," Hunt successfully clears his name. Kittridge is replaced off-screen as IMF director by the events of "Mission: Impossible 2."

Following his "Mission: Impossible" appearance, Czerny has continued to have a prolific acting career across film, television, and stage. Among Czerny's more notable acting roles after Kittridge are recurring roles on the television series "Revenge" and "Quantico," similarly playing governmental bureaucrats. After 26 years away from the character, Czerny is reprising his role as Kittridge in both installments of "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning." Per his IMDb biography, Czerny lives in Los Angeles with his wife Claudine Cassidy, whom he married in 2001.

Emmanuelle Béart

Claire Phelps reveals her true colors © Paramount Pictures Claire Phelps reveals her true colors

With most of his friends on the IMF gruesomely killed, Hunt is unsure who to trust before he reconnects with Claire Phelps, the wife of Hunt's field team leader Jim Phelps. Played by French actor Emmanuelle Béart, Claire provides a romantic foil for Hunt as he races to learn who was responsible for betraying his team, only to learn Claire was part of the plot. With Jim revealed to have faked his death, Claire is killed by her husband when she attempts to surrender, with Hunt killing Jim shortly afterwards.

Béart has been a staple in French cinema and television since 1976, earning a total of eight César Award nominations (the French equivalent to the Academy Awards). Béart won a Cesar Award for her performance in the 1986 film "Manon de Sources," with her most recent nomination for 2001's "Sentimental Destinies." Béart has predominantly resumed working in French television and film projects, and works as an ambassador for UNICEF (via The New York Times).

Emilio Estevez

Jack Harmon hides on an elevator © Paramount Pictures Jack Harmon hides on an elevator

Among the most recognizable characters betrayed and killed by Jim and Claire Phelps early in the original "Mission: Impossible" movie is Jack Harmon. Played by Emilio Estevez, Harmon is the team's tech expert and provides support on the field by hiding on top of an elevator at the embassy where the mission is taking place. This hiding spot turns out to be Harmon's undoing when Jim programs the elevator to rush to the top of the shaft, where Harmon is graphically killed.

Estevez was in the middle of starring in the "Mighty Ducks" trilogy when the first "Mission: Impossible" came, and was one of the more prominent members of the cast. Since then, Estevez has continued his filmmaking career as an actor, director, writer, and producer on a number of projects in television and film. In 2021, Estevez reprised his "Mighty Ducks" role as Coach Gordon Bombay in the Disney+ original series "The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers," but left after the first season due to contractual and creative disputes (per Deadline).

Dougray Scott

Sean Ambrose is betrayed by Nyah © Paramount Pictures Sean Ambrose is betrayed by Nyah

Squaring off against Hunt and his team in 2000's "Mission: Impossible 2" is the traitorous IMF operative Sean Ambrose, portrayed by Scottish actor Dougray Scott. In order to play the villainous Ambrose, Scott told The Telegraph he had to give up the role of Wolverine in "X-Men," which famously went to Australian actor Hugh Jackman to great success. Since then, Scott has appeared in a variety of television and film projects, including serving as the primary antagonist in 2014's "Taken 3" opposite Liam Neeson.

Among Scott's memorable, more heroic roles since appearing in "Mission: Impossible 2" was a recurring role in Season 3 of "Desperate Housewives" as Ian Hainsworth. Recently, Scott was a series regular for the first two seasons of "Batwoman" before starring and serving as an executive producer on the British procedural series "Irvine Welsh's Crime." Since 2007, Scott has been married to fellow actor Claire Forlani, with the couple having a child born in 2014 and living together in London (via The Guardian).

Richard Roxburgh

Hugh Stamp attacks an attendant © Paramount Pictures Hugh Stamp attacks an attendant

Ambrose's right-hand man in "Mission: Impossible 2," Hugh Stamp is eventually outmaneuvered by Hunt and accidentally executed by Ambrose himself. Stamp is played by Australian actor Richard Roxburgh, a frequent collaborator with acclaimed filmmaker Baz Luhrmann. That cinematic partnership has endured through Roxburgh appearing in Luhrman's 2022 film "Elvis" as Vernon Presley. Roxburgh has been a staple in Australian television and cinema, earning multiple Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards and winning one in 2014 for his role in "The Hunting."

Roxburgh followed up his "Mission: Impossible" role with a memorably antagonistic turn as The Duke in his first collaboration with Luhrmann, 2001's "Moulin Rouge!" Roxburgh then starred as Count Dracula in the 2004 monster mash "Van Helsing," meeting co-star Silvia Colloca on set and marrying the Italian actor shortly thereafter. According to The Daily Telegraph, the couple has three children and live together in Sydney, with Colloca becoming a successful television cooking personality and author.

Michelle Monaghan

Julia Meade reunites with Ethan © Paramount Pictures Julia Meade reunites with Ethan

By the start of 2006's "Mission: Impossible III," Hunt has retired from field work with IMF, training new recruits while attempting to build a domestic life with his fiancée Julia Meade, played by Michelle Monaghan. Julia discovers the truth about Hunt's professional life when she's targeted by the villainous arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Monaghan reprised her role as Julia in 2010's "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" and 2018's "Mission: Impossible - Fallout," with the couple separating to avoid Julia from being targeted again.

In between "Mission: Impossible" appearances and beyond, Monaghan has steadily maintained her career in film and television with a variety of high-profile roles. Her more prominent cinematic projects include 2011's "Source Code," 2015's "Pixels," and 2016's "Patriot's Day," alongside roles on TV series like "The Path" and "Messiah." Monaghan and her husband Peter White have been married since 2005 and have two children, living together in New York City (per People).

Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Declan Gormley takes the wheel © Paramount Pictures Declan Gormley takes the wheel

Among the IMF operatives working directly with Hunt in "Mission: Impossible III" is Declan Gormey, played by Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Gormley works with Hunt over the course of the film in Italy and China, but is never heard from again after the 2006 film, with no reason given for his departure. Despite his noticeable ongoing absence from the "Mission: Impossible" franchise, Meyers has appeared in a growing list of high-profile television and film projects.

Following his "Mission: Impossible" role, Meyers played English monarch Henry VIII in the television series "The Tudors," earning an Emmy Award nomination for his performance. Among Meyers' other roles were appearing alongside his "Mission: Impossible" co-star Keri Russell in 2007's "August Rush" and a series regular role on the popular historical drama "Vikings." Meyers married actor Mara Lane in 2016, with the couple having a son born in December of that year (via E! News). Meyers continues to work extensively in television and film, with occasional modeling endorsements.

Maggie Q

Zhen Lei targets Davian © Paramount Pictures Zhen Lei targets Davian

Another vital member on Hunt's "Mission: Impossible III" field team is Zhen Lei, who assists with his mission in Italy and China. Played by Maggie Q, Lei is a highly skilled field operative who is injured while pursuing Davian in Shanghai, effectively sidelining her for the remainder of the movie. Like Gormley, Lei is never heard from again after "Mission: Impossible III," with no explanation given for her absence from the IMF.

Q has starred in a growing line of high-profile film and television projects since her one-time "Mission: Impossible" role, often capitalizing on her action star status. On the big screen, Q has starred in the "Divergent" film series and the 2021 action thriller "The Protégé," and starred as a series regular on shows including "Nikita," "Stalker," and "Designated Survivor." Between her work as an actor, Q lives in Los Angeles and is a vocal animal rights activist, serving as an ambassador for the Animals Asia Foundation.

Paula Patton

Jane Carter fights Sabine in Dubai © Paramount Pictures Jane Carter fights Sabine in Dubai

Among the IMF operatives introduced in "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" is Jane Carter, played by Paula Patton, who only appears in the 2011 film. The handler of assassinated IMF agent Trevor Hanaway, Carter is haunted by Hanaway's death and vows revenge on his killer, Sabine Moreau. After successfully avenging Hanaway in Dubai, Carter and the rest of the team stop nuclear terrorist Kurt Hendricks in Mumbai, with Carter never seen mentioned in subsequent "Mission: Impossible" movies.

Since appearing in "Ghost Protocol," Patton has starred in a string of film and television projects, from romantic comedies like 2011's "Jumping the Broom" to the 2017 television miniseries "Somewhere Between." Patton's more notable roles following "Ghost Protocol" include the orc warrior Garona in 2016's "Warcraft" and entertainment lawyer Daniella Hernandez in the 2019 thriller "Sacrifice" and its subsequent TV series continuation. Patton was married to Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Robin Thicke from 2005 to 2015, sharing custody of their son with him following their divorce (per People).

Josh Holloway

Hanaway attempts to leave the scene © Paramount Pictures Hanaway attempts to leave the scene

The most tragic character introduced in "Ghost Protocol" is the ill-fated IMF operative Trevor Hanaway. Played by Josh Holloway, the character's death is what kickstarts the film's story. Ambushed by Moreau in the streets of Budapest, Hanaway is brutally killed and has the confiscated Russian nuclear launch codes stolen from him as he dies. Without Hanaway, the IMF scrambles to reconnect with Hunt and gain his help in tracking down Moreau and her shadowy client, while Hanaway's death weighs heavily on the team.

Prior to his casting in "Ghost Protocol," Holloway was primarily known for his television work, particularly his role as Sawyer on "Lost," which concluded in 2010. Following "Ghost Protocol," Holloway has largely returned to working in television, starring on the 2016 science fiction series "Colony" and having a recurring role on "Yellowstone" since its third season. Years after "Lost" ended, Holloway reunited with producer J.J. Abrams for the HBO Max original series "Duster." 

Tom Hollander

The Prime Minister is briefed by Hunley © Paramount Pictures The Prime Minister is briefed by Hunley

2015's "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" largely took place in the United Kingdom, with Hunt traveling the globe to battle an insidious shadow organization known as The Syndicate. One of the pawns in The Syndicate's plot to secretly manipulate the global order is the British Prime Minister, played by veteran actor Tom Hollander. Deceived by members of The Syndicate within his own government, the unnamed Prime Minister meets with the IMF team to expose the traitor in their midst before The Syndicate is confronted in London.

Hollander has built up an impressive career spanning stage and screen since 1981, including a memorable turn as the villainous Cutler Beckett in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. Following his appearance in "Rogue Nation," Hollander appeared in 2018's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and played three different roles in 2021's "The King's Man" as various European heads of state during World War I. Hollander earned a British Academy of Television & Film Arts Award for his performance in the 2016 television miniseries "The Night Manager."

Sean Harris

Solomon Lane takes aim © Paramount Pictures Solomon Lane takes aim

"Rogue Nation" antagonist Solomon Lane would return in "Fallout," with Sean Harris reprising his role as the twisted mastermind intent on plunging the world into violence. While Lane is incarcerated and awaiting extradition for his past crimes, his protégé John Lark attempts to free him and irradiate a vital water supply in Asia. Hunt and his team foil this plot, recovering the nuclear device, killing Lark, and ensuring that Lane faces justice back in the U.K.

Harris has been a prolifically working actor in film and television, predominantly in British productions, since 1994. He made his Hollywood blockbuster debut with 2012's "Prometheus." Since his "Mission: Impossible" role, Harris has appeared in 2021's "The Green Knight" and "Spencer," among other high-profile projects. Harris earned a BAFTA for his performance in the 2013 television miniseries "Southcliffe," and has subsequently been nominated for three separate British Independent Film Awards. Harris currently lives in London.

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