Of course, when I say “been there,” what I really mean is that we’ve all probably seen “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” the 1977 Steven Spielberg blockbuster in which a single mom strives to get her son back after he disappears in a massive UFO. That mom was played by Melinda Dillon, an actress who would later secure her place in the Movie Mother Hall of Fame by raising Ralphie and Randy in “A Christmas Story.” And young Barry, the wide-eyed little boy so entranced by the multicolored lights of a spaceship? He was played by Cary Guffey, which naturally raises the question … whatever happened to him?
After making his movie debut at the age of 4 in “Close Encounters,” Guffey spent the next few years getting roles in memorable (and not-so-memorable) TV shows and movies. The more notable additions to his resume included parts in “The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid,” “Stroker Ace” and the miniseries “North and South.” That miniseries marked his final acting gig; in 1985, at the age of 13, Guffey’s acting career came to an end.
Naturally, he moved on with his life, finished high school, earned a marketing degree from the University of Florida and, later, an MBA from Jacksonville State University. If imdb’s information remains accurate, Guffey is now married with two kids and working in Birmingham, Ala., as a financial planner. Hey, the “Close Encounters” kid went to outer space and back. Maybe now he can help each of us dig our way out of our financial sinkholes.
Images: Columbia Pictures Via imdb.com; Filmweb