Jennifer From Back To The Future Is In Her 50s And Absolutely Gorgeous SUBSCRIBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXfT0LLOvDM : Because she played Jennifer Parker in 1985’s Back to the Future, actress Claudia Wells will forever have a place in pop culture history, but these days, she’s flying under the radar, still gorgeous in her 50s.
Wells was fresh out of high school when Back to the Future was made. The young actress was still “very shy and inexperienced around boys” at the time, but MIchael J. Fox had a way of putting her at ease. She told Australia’s News.com that the pair used to sit in a car and listen to music between takes, moments that she still cherishes.
“I grew up living with my mom listening to her music, opera, the symphony, Simon and Garfunkel, so when he was playing this popular music it was a real discovery. Michael really did teach me about being cool. I still don’t know if he has any idea about the role he played.”
Wells was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but raised in San Francisco. At 14, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. She managed to land various minor parts in TV shows throughout the early ’80s, but the first Back to the Future film propelled her to all-new levels of fame. Sadly, she was unable to return for the two sequels because of a family tragedy. Wells told News.com,
“When the time came to shoot the sequels, my mom was dying from breast cancer, so reprising my role was the last thing on my mind. I just wasn’t able to think about my career.”
She’s never regretted the decision, but Wells did admit that she had a hard time watching Elisabeth Shue play Jennifer in Part Two and Three, saying,
“It was odd watching her on screen in the role I’d created. It was a sort of like having an out of body experience. I remember just slumping in my seat in the cinema and hiding behind my popcorn.”
“Marty, you’re acting like you haven’t seen me in a week.”
Wells did get the chance to do a bit more acting before she stepped away from the industry to be with her mother, taking on the role of Linda Barrett in Fast Times, the short-lived TV adaptation of ’80s classic Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The character was portrayed by Phoebe Cates in the movie, someone that, like her Back to the Future replacement Elisabeth Shue, Wells encountered on multiple occasions. Wells told Under The Radar,
“Almost every movie in the 1980s came down between the three of us and Sarah Jessica Parker. No matter how many people auditioned, it was almost always the same people it came down to, just switching up who got it.”
Fast Times ended in 1986 after a single season, and Wells vanished from Hollywood soon after. She made a fleeting return to acting in 1996 when she popped up in an independent film called Still Waters Burn, which wasn’t actually released until 2008, but then Wells went on another lengthy hiatus. Out of nowhere, she reappeared in 2011 in an episode of CBS crime drama The Mentalist as well as the sci-fi action flick Alien Armageddon.
25 years after she played Jennifer in Back to the Future, Wells finally reprised the role, voicing the character in a tie-in video game. In the game, Marty finds himself in an alternate timeline in which he isn’t dating Jennifer. In this universe, she’s a rebellious Joan Jett-type who isn’t afraid to give Marty what-for.
“Well, Jennifer is a slightly mean version of her sweet self… I like being the different versions, the sweet Jennifer that she was, plus kinda the rock-n-roll Jennifer.”
Wells has appeared in a handful of shorts and low-budget genre movies since she returned to acting, but she’s dedicated most of her time elsewhere. After quitting acting, she opened up Armani Wells, a shop in Studio City, California which sells designer clothing for men at discounted prices. She’s also an original board member of Kids in the Spotlight, a non-profit organization that teaches filmmaking to foster kids.
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