Cast of Tender Mercies: Then and Now in 2024

Cast of Tender Mercies: Then and Now in 2024
Robert Duvall as "Mac Sledge" (Courtesy: Universal Pictures Associated Film Distribution)

Article updated: 24/04/2024

The movie "Tender Mercies" holds a special place in the hearts of film enthusiasts, especially those who appreciate the incredible talent of its cast. Released in the '80s, this film captivated audiences with its powerful storytelling and outstanding performances. In this article, we will take a nostalgic journey through time and explore the cast of "Tender Mercies" then and now as we catch up with these talented actors and actresses in 2024.

Tender Mercies

Tender Mercies Poster
Stream on Amazon

Cast

  • Robert Duvall as Mac Sledge. He was born in 1931, so he was 52 years old when the film was released in 1983, and he will be 93 years old in 2024. He is well known for his roles in The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Apostle, and many other films. He won an Oscar for his performance in Tender Mercies. He is still active as an actor and producer, and his latest film is The Pale Blue Eye (2022)
Robert Duvall

Interesting Fact

The film was originally released on March 4, 1983 in only three movie theaters, in New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. This was possibly due in part to poor test screenings, which had caused Universal executives to lose faith in the film, but also because Universal Pictures had released the far more expensive and anticipated Scarface (1983) the same year, and was spending most of its advertising budget to promote that film instead. Willie Nelson was nonetheless one of several country performers who were impressed by the authenticity of Robert Duvall's performance, and offered to help promote it. However, studio executives told Duvall that they did not understand how someone like Nelson could help publicize it. Duvall later reflected that this was indicative of the studio's lack of understanding about both the genre and the film.


  • Tess Harper plays Rosa Lee. She was born in 1950, so she was 33 years old when the film was released, and she will be 73 years old in 2024. She is well known for her roles in Crimes of the Heart, No Country for Old Men, Breaking Bad, and many other films and TV shows. She was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Crimes of the Heart. She is still active as an actress, and her latest film is The Rosebud Lane (2023)
Tess Harper

  • Betty Buckley plays Dixie. She was born in 1947, so she was 36 years old when the film was released, and she will be 76 years old in 2024. She is well known for her roles in Carrie, Eight Is Enough, Cats, and many other films, TV shows, and musicals. She won a Tony Award for her performance in Cats. She is still active as an actress and singer, and she currently makes guest appearances on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
Betty Buckley

  • Wilford Brimley as Harry. He was born in 1934, so he was 49 years old when the film was released, and he died in 2020 at the age of 85. He was well known for his roles in The China Syndrome, Cocoon, The Natural, and many other films and TV shows. He also appeared in commercials for Quaker Oats and diabetes testing supplies.
Wilford Brimley

  • Ellen Barkin plays Sue Anne. She was born in 1954, so she was 29 years old when the film was released, and she will be 70 years old in 2024. She is well known for her roles in Diner, Sea of Love, The Big Easy, and many other films and TV shows. She won an Emmy Award for her performance in Before Women Had Wings. She is still active as an actress and producer, and her latest appearance was an episode in the TV series Poker Face in 2023.
Ellen Barkin

  • Allan Hubbard plays Sonny. He was born in 1972, so he was 11 years old when the film was released, and he will be 52 years old in 2023. He is not well known for any other roles besides Tender Mercies. He retired from acting after the film and became a lawyer.
Young Allan Hubbard with Robert Duvall
šŸ’”
Allan Hubbard (Sonny) had his tenth birthday shortly after the film wrapped, and was preparing to celebrate it with his family at his home in Paris, Texas. He was pleasantly surprised when Robert Duvall showed up at his house and gifted him with a guitar for the occasion. Hubbard, who went on to teach guitar professionally, still owns the guitar to this day.

  • Lenny von Dohlen as Robert. He was born in 1958, so he was 25 years old when the film was released. He is well known for his roles in Electric Dreams, Twin Peaks, Home Alone 3, and many other films and TV shows. Sadly, Lenny passed away in 2022, aged 63.

  • Paul Gleason is the reporter. He was born in 1939, so he was 44 years old when the film was released, and he died in 2006 at the age of 67. He was well known for his roles in Die Hard, The Breakfast Club, Trading Places, and many other films and TV shows.
Paul Gleason

Thanks so much for taking the time to read. Please leave a comment on your thoughts; we'd love to hear from you!

Find More Movie Lists from The Rewind Zone


FAQ's

What is the movie Tender Mercies about?

Tender Mercies is a 1983 American drama film directed by Bruce Beresford. It stars Robert Duvall as a down-on-his-luck country music singer who finds love and redemption in a small Texas town. Duvall won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film.

Who were the main cast members of Tender Mercies?

The main cast members of Tender Mercies were:

  • Robert Duvall as Mac Sledge
  • Tess Harper as Rosa Lee
  • Betty Buckley as Dixie
  • Ellen Barkin as Sue Anne
  • Wilford Brimley as Hub

What happened to the cast of Tender Mercies?

  • Robert Duvall continued his acclaimed acting career, appearing in numerous films such as The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, and The Judge.He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Tender Mercies.
  • Tess Harper has appeared in films and TV shows like No Country for Old Men, Crazy Heart, and Friday Night Lights.
  • Betty Buckley has had a successful career on stage and screen, starring in films like Carrie and TV shows like Eight is Enough.
  • Ellen Barkin has appeared in many films over the years, including Sea of Love, The Big Easy, and Ocean's Thirteen.
  • Wilford Brimley went on to star in films like The Natural, The Firm, and Cocoon after Tender Mercies.

How have the Tender Mercies cast members been received over the years?

The cast of Tender Mercies, led by Robert Duvall's Oscar-winning performance, has been widely acclaimed over the years. The film is considered one of the great character studies in American cinema, and the cast's nuanced, naturalistic performances were integral to its success.

Who played Mac's love interest Rosa Lee?

Tess Harper played Rosa Lee, the young widowed motel owner who gives Mac a job and eventually becomes his wife. This was Harper's film debut.

Did any of the actors actually sing in the film?

Yes, Robert Duvall did his own singing as the former country singer Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies. He learned to sing and play guitar authentically for the role.