The holiday, a tradition observed in the USA and Canada on February 2, derives from an old superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow and essentially predicts whether winter will continue for six more weeks, or if spring will come early.
The ceremony held at Puxsatawney in Pennsylvania is the most iconic, and it’s there that the Harold Ramis-directed movie is set.
It stars Bill Murray as Phil Connors, an arrogant newsreader who gets caught in a time loop; repeating the same day – Groundhog Day – over and over again until he re-examines his attitude to life and those around him.
So what happened to its stars?
Bill Murray as Phil
Of course Murray has continued to be a Hollywood power player, still receiving top billing today. Later this year he’ll voice a role in Isle of Dogs, and since GHD he’s also appeared in work as diverse as Space Jam and The Darjeeling Limited. In voice work, he voiced Baloo in the 2016 re-interpretation of The Jungle Book.
Andie MacDowell as Rita
MacDowell’s most iconic role came soon after Groundhog: she played Carrie in Four Weddings And A Funeral (1994) alongside a young Hugh Grant. She’s stayed busy ever since, although her work nowadays isn’t quite as high-profile: late last year she was in Netflix original movie Christmas Inheritance.
Chris Elliott as Larry
Cameraman Larry was one of Elliott’s earliest movie roles, and he too has maintained a strong career. He had a memorable turn as Dom in 1998’s There’s Something About Mary, and has more recently been starring as Ronald Schitt in the series Schitt’s Creek.
Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned Ryerson
Ned Ryerson provided one of the greatest recurring gags in Groundhog Day, and Tobolowsky has barely stopped working in the 25 years since. He’s had as much luck on the small screen as the big screen: he’s Principal Ball in The Goldbergs, and was Jack Barker in Silicon Valley, to name two recent credits.
Brian Doyle-Murray as Buster Green
Doyle-Murray and his voice will be recognisable from a great many productions: he was Mel in Seinfeld, he’s voiced three separate characters in Family Guy, and he was Hank Murphy in Sullivan and Son. Recently he’s been Mr Ehlert in the TV sitcom The Middle.
Angela Paton as Mrs Lancaster
Paton passed away in 2016 at the age of 86, after becoming a hugely successful actress. Her many, many credits included parts in The Wedding Singer, Cybil, ER, Home Improvement, NYPD Blue, Star Trek: Voyager, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Red Eye and Grey’s Anatomy.
Rick Overton as Ralph
Comedian and actor Overton is still very busy: recently he’s been in Veep, Grimm, the US version of The Office and Lost.