“21 Jump Street” followed a group of young police officers during their daily routine of scoping out youth crimes. The series, which was created by Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J. Cannell, was a big hit for a fledgling Fox Network. In 2012, a film adaptation of the show was released to huge box office success, which led to its 2014 sequel titled “22 Jump Street.” With more films in the works, the “21 Jump Street” franchise will live on for years to come. We take a look back at the cast of the show and shine a spotlight on some fun and interesting show trivia.
Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Tom Hanson turned him into a teen idol overnight. Since the show, the actor has earned a plethora of nominations for his roles of Captain Jack Sparrow in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise, the title role of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” and Frank Tupelo in “The Tourist.” His latest film credits include “Yoga Hosers,” “Black Mass,” and “The Lone Ranger.”
Holly Robinson Peete
Holly Robinson Peete played the role of Officer Judy Hoffs on the show. After its conclusion, the actress landed roles on “Hanging With Mr. Cooper” and “For Your Love.” Recently, she started her own reality series on the Oprah Winfrey Network titled “For Peete’s Sake,” which follows the lives of her family members.
Peter DeLuise is best known for his role of Officer Doug Penhall on the show. After the show ended, he began writing, directing and producing episodes of the hit sci-fi series “Stargate SG-1” and its spinoff “Stargate Atlantis.” He reprised the role of Officer Doug Penhall for the 2012 film “21 Jump Street.”
Dustin Nguyen portrayed Officer Harry Truman Ioki on the hit show. After leaving the show, the actor landed prominent roles of Tranh in “Phantom 2040” and Johnny Loh in “V.I.P.” In 2012, he was the host of “The Amazing Race Vietnam.” He recently appeared in “The Man with the Iron Fists 2,” “Jackpot” and “Zero Tolerance.”
Oscar-nominated actor Frederic Forrest portrayed the role of Captain Richard Jenko for the first season. After leaving the show, he made his way to the 1989 “Lonesome Dove” miniseries with the role of “Blue Duck.” His last acting role was in the 2006 film “All the King’s Men.”
Steven Williams’ best-known role is Captain Adam Fuller on “21 Jump Street.” Since leaving the show, he landed a recurring role of Mr. X on “The X-Files,” and he was on the main cast of “L.A. Heat” and “Linc’s.” Recently, he had the recurring role of Rufus Turner on the hit CW series “Supernatural.”
Sal Jenco, who is a childhood friend of fellow “21 Jump Street” star Johnny Depp, rose to fame portraying Sal “Blowfish” Banducci on the show. After the 1998 film “Living Out Loud,” he retired from acting. Jenco, along with Depp, was a co-owner of The Viper Room in Hollywood, California until 2004.
Richard Grieco portrayed the role of Detective Dennis Booker on the show and its short-lived spinoff “Booker.” For comic book fans, Greico is known for providing the voice of Ghost Rider in the animated series “Fantastic Four” and “The Incredible Hulk” and the 2011 video game “Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.” He recently appeared on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Celebrity Ghost Stories.”
Yvette Nipar played the recurring role of Jackie Garrett on the series. After leaving the show, she landed small roles on “Matlock,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” Her last role was Agent Kate Jensen in the 2007 films “Walking Tall: The Payback” and “Walking Tall: Lone Justice.”
David Barry Gray
David Barry Gray starred in the recurring role of Officer Dean Garrett on the show. The New York City native has turned his attention to producing; some of his projects include “Gossip Girls and Boys,” “The Classiest President,” and “Love.” It also doesn’t hurt that he’s the heir to the Pepsi fortune. His grandfather Philip Rubenstein was one of the founding members of Pepsi Cola.
Alexandra Powers had a recurring role of Officer Kati Rocky on the show. One of her most memorable roles came from her portrayal of Tonya Harding in the 1994 TV movie “Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story.” Her last role was Sara in the 2001 film “Zigs,” which starred Jason Priestley.
Michael DeLuise, who is the brother of “21 Jump Street” actor Peter DeLuise, portrayed Officer Joey Penhall on the show. Since the show ended, the Los Angeles native has been featured on “NYPD Blue,” “seaQuest DSV,”“Brooklyn South,” and “Gilmore Girls.” His last role was in a 2013 episode of “Bunheads.”
After appearances on “My Two Dads” and “Doogie Howser, M.D.,”” Michael Bendetti landed his biggest role of his career on “21 Jump Street” as Officer Michael Leonetti. The California native turned his eyes to producing with the 2003 comedy film “Between the Sheets,” which starred “21 Jump Street” actor Peter DeLuise.
Detective Dennis Booker was originally set to be killed off at the end of the third season. He became so popular, that they decided to give him his own spinoff show. Unfortunately, the show was canceled after the first season due to low ratings. The series was released on DVD in 2008.
When the second season of “21 Jump Street” ended, there were talks of making a spinoff titled “City Court,” which was geared towards following the show’s cases through the court system. They wanted to put Tom Hanson on trial for murder for the pilot, but plans were cancelled because of the 1988 writer’s strike.
“21 Jump Street” was based in the United States, but the show was filmed primarily in Vancouver, British Columbia. This was the first time a major television series was filmed in the area. Other shows that filmed in Vancouver since that time include “Stargate Atlantis,” “The Flash,” “Dark Angel,” and “The X-Files.”
Set Me Free
Johnny Depp was getting a handful of movies roles before “21 Jump Street.” He was hesistant on joining the show, but he decided to sign a six-year contract because he assumed the show would be cancelled very quickly. Unfortunately, the show became a hit, and Depp was eager to get back to doing films. With the help of his lawyers, he was able to leave the show after the fourth season.
The Theme Song
The theme song for “21 Jump Street” is one of the catchiest themes in ’80s television. Actress Holly Robinson Peete sang lead vocals on the tune, and co-stars Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise provided backup vocals. The song was composed by Jay Gruska and Peter Bernstein, who is the son of the late Academy Award winning composer Elmer Bernstein.
Plethora of Guest Stars
Everyone wanted to be a part of “21 Jump Street,” and the long list of guest stars is impressive. Josh Brolin, Blair Underwood, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Thomas Haden Church are among those that have made appearances throughout the series. The late Dom DeLuise, who is the father of “21 Jump Street” co-stars Peter and Michael DeLuise, also made an appearance.
Final Season On Syndication
“21 Jump Street” proved to be a big hit for Fox, but the fourth season, which was the last for Johnny Depp and Dustin Nguyen, didn’t live up to the station’s expectations. The show was cancelled, but the fifth season lived on through local Fox affiliates. The fifth season was released on DVD in 2006.