Christian Blauvelt
December 12, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

Though its ho-ho-hum 1983 release grossed only $19.3 million, A Christmas Story is now a holiday tradition: 47 million people tuned in to last year’s TBS marathon. A snapshot of the cast 25 years later.

Peter Billingsley (Ralphie)
Best buds with Vince Vaughn since they met on a 1990 Afterschool Special, Billingsley, 37, exec-produced Vaughn’s The Break-Up and Four Christmases — as well as Iron Man, in which he played a scientist working for Jeff Bridges’ villain.

Darren McGavin (The Old Man)
McGavin, who died in 2006, wasn’t MGM’s first choice for Ralphie’s cantankerous, furnace-fighting father. The studio sought Jack Nicholson to play ”The Old Man” — but couldn’t afford him.

Ian Petrella (Randy)
Now a 34-year-old animator and graphic designer, Petrella donated his ”I can’t put my arms down!” snowsuit to the Christmas Story House & Museum in Cleveland, where the exteriors of the Parker home were shot.

Melinda Dillon (Mrs. Parker) — Director Bob Clark cast Dillon after seeing her in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (which earned her the first of two Oscar noms). Now 69, she had a recurring role on TNT’s Heartland.

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