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Whatever happened to The Ex-Presidents?

In July 1991, Kathryn Bigelow’s Point Break arrived at the cinema and clashed with Terminator 2: Judgment Day‘s (directed by Bigelow’s then husband, James Cameron). Whilst Terminator 2 would dominate, Point Break more than held its own, with a budget of $24 million, the film went on to make $83.5 million worldwide. Suddenly everyone was bleaching their hair and had a knowledge of surfing!

One of the most iconic images that Point Break delivered was its group of surfing bank robbers – The Ex-Presidents! Led by Ronald Reagan (aka Bodhi – played by Patrick Swayze) the Ex-Presidents consisted of Richard Nixon (aka Roach played by James Legros), Jimmy Carter (aka Nathaniel played by John Philbin) and Lyndon B. Johnson (aka Grommet played by Bojesse Christopher), but what ever happened to some of the most cinematic bank robbers of all time?


Ronald Reagan/Bodhi

Played by the legendary Patrick Swayze – the man was already a huge name at this point in his career with roles in Dirty Dancing, Roadhouse, The Outsiders, Red Dawn, Ghost and Youngblood. Following Point Break, Swayze would appear in Donnie Darko, Green Dragon, and Waking Up In Reno amongst others. His final movie role would by in 2009’s Powder Blue. Sadly Swayze passed away on September 14th 2009 aged 57 following a battle with pancreatic cancer,


Richard Nixon/Roach

Played by James LeGros, who apprenticed with the South Coast Repertory Theatre in Southern California before ending up in Hollywood was a well-seasoned professional when Point Break was released having debuted as Thrasher in the 1984 Knightrider episode “The Rotten Apples.” Further appearances included Simon & Simon, Blade in the Punky Brewster two part special “Fenster Hall,” The Ladies Club, Solarbabies, Fatal Beauty, *Batteries Not Included, Phantasm II, Drugstore Cowboy, and Born on the Fourth of July.

Following Point Break LeGros has maintained a very busy career including appearances in The Rapture, Singles, Bad Girls, The Low Life, Rosanne, Boys, Infinity, Countdown, and The Outer Limits. In 1998 he starred as Dr. Max Roacher in E.R. This was followed up with roles in L.A. Doctors, Enemy of the State, Psycho, and Common Ground. From 2000-2001 LeGros appeared as Mark Albert in Ally McBeal.

Roles in Friends, Damaged Care, Straight Into Darkness, Paradise and Law & Order took LeGros into the new millennium then in 2005 he was cast as Special Agent Raymond ‘Ray’ Fuller in Sleeper Cell. Other big roles at that time included Zodiac, Vantage Point, and Skateland.

In 2009 LeGros was cast as Dr. Dan Harris in the TV show Mercy which he played for a year before being cast as Wally Burgen in Mildred Place in 2011. Grey’s Anatomy, Girls, House and a host of other shows followed including the recurring role of Father Paul Whitley in Revenge. LeGros also played Wade Messer in the TV series Justified and would stay in that role until 2014. This was followed up with the role of Ellis McGee in Constantine.

Things went full circle in 2015 when LeGros cameoed as an FBI director in the remake of Point break – the film was not well received with many feeling it was an insult to the original movie. LeGros though remains active with recent roles in Castle Rock, Fear the Walking Dead, and Person of Interest.


Jimmy Carter/Nathaniel

Out all the cast of Point Break, John Philbin was the most comfortable having begun surfing at 12 years old. He then moved onto study acting at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as well as being on the university’s surf team. Due to his skill level, Philbin often gives surf training to actors to prepare them for film roles, one of the most notable being the surf instructor for actors in the film Blue Crush.

Philbin debuted in 1984 as Amos in Children of the Corn. He followed this up with roles in Grandview, U.S.A., Maximum Security, The Return of the Living Dead, Amazing Stories, Martians Go Home, Wiseguy, The Young Riders and Dillenger.

Following Point Break, Philbin appeared in Tombstone, Black Widow Murders: The Blanche Taylor Moore Story, The Killing Jar, Law & Order, Moonbase, ATF, The Break, Riptide, Zombie Farm, Soul Surfer, Shadow and Bikini Inception.

Philbin was arrested on February 28th 2015 in Los Angeles, California for brandishing a gun after a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor weapons charge and was sentenced to 30 days in county jail (credited with 26 days), plus 3 years probation and complete a 52-week AA program and domestic violence classes.

He soon bounced back with a roles in Bones, and has a number of projects due for release including White Wolves, Ghost Babe, and Undateable John.


Lyndon B. Johnson/Grommet

In Point Break, Bojesse Christopher played Grommet, Bodhi’s reckless younger brother but he had a wide career before the movie. Born and raised in San Francisco, he first appeared as Rick in some episodes of Married: With Children, then as Greaser in Ferris Bueller (the TV series), and he also had a recurring role as “Stoned Surfer” in DEA.

Following Point Break, Christopher appeared in Dead Silence, Meatballs 4, Silk Stalkings, Sleepwalkers, and Quantum Leap. Then between 1992-1993 Christopher began playing the role of Billy O’Connell in Picket Fences, and then in 1994 bagged the recurring role of Andy in Beverly Hills 90210. Further roles included Tank Girl, Unhappily Ever After, High Incident, Pacific Blue, Sometimes They Come Back… Again, and Good Vs Evil.

In 2015, like LeGros, Christopher cameoed as an FBI director in the remake of Point Break. This was followed up with roles in Extraction: Genesis, Sable, PSY: Dark Arts, and The Head Thieves.

In 2019, Christopher will be playing the role of Detective Richard Kitting in the third season of True Detective.


Honorary Mention: Rosie

Played by Hero of Cult- Lee Tergesen, Rosie was not a surfer but was Bodhi’s right hand man who got involved in the gangs’ criminal activities. You can read all about Lee by hitting the link.

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