He Played Billy in "Kramer vs. Kramer." See Justin Henry Now at 51.
The former child star was nominated for an Oscar for the family drama.
Before his 10th birthday, Justin Henry had already reached the pinnacle of any actor's career, earning an Academy Award nomination for playing Billy, a young son torn between two divorcing parents, in the 1979 blockbuster drama, Kramer vs. Kramer.
The film, which stars Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep as the titular exes, became an unlikely hit, winning awards the world over, including the Oscar for Best Picture, and changing the national conversation around divorce. Their young co-star—who still the holds a Guinness World Record for the youngest person ever nominated for a competitive acting Oscar—would go on to star in another iconic, genre-defining film before finding a quieter life offscreen. Keep reading to learn where Justin Henry is now at age 51.
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He continued acting.
Henry followed up his Oscar-nominated turn with a supporting role in another enduring film, 1984's Sixteen Candles, starring Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall. At age 13, Henry played Ringwald's character's annoying little brother Mike in the beloved teen comedy.
He also appeared in several lesser-known films throughout the 1980s, including Martin's Day with Richard Harris and Sweet Hearts Dance with Susan Sarandon. He later acted in the 1996 made-for-TV movie Andersonville and appeared in two episodes of ER. Since 2000, Henry has acted occasionally in direct-to-video films and guest-starred on My Own Worst Enemy and Brothers and Sisters.
He took time off from Hollywood to go to college.
After appearing in four films between 1983 and 1985, Henry took a break from acting to go to elementary school like a normal kid, the actor told the On Screen & Beyond podcast in 2014. He said he also "took a sabbatical" from acting when it came time for college. Henry attended Skidmore College in New York, where he eschewed acting classes to study psychology and art history, according to his LinkedIn page.
He founded a film festival.
In 1998, Henry co-founded the Slamdunk Film Festival, which was held annually in Park City, Utah, alongside and as an alternative to the buzzier Sundance Film Festival. Screenings and events later expanded to film festivals in Toronto and Cannes.
Slamdunk aimed to draw attention to independent filmmakers who couldn't get a spot at Sundance, festival co-founder John Peterson explained to MovieMaker. The festival operated for five years, holding its last events in 2003.
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In between occasional acting gigs, he works a "regular" job.
Though Henry still acts and appears onscreen occasionally, most recently participating in the On Cinema comedy series as well as in short films, he has spent most of the last several decades building a career outside of the spotlight. Henry works in marketing and digital media for tech companies and agencies in the Los Angeles area.
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He's happy to revisit his experiences making Kramer vs. Kramer.
Though Henry told the On Screen & Beyond podcast that he hasn't remained in touch with his one-time fictional parents Hoffman and Streep, saying only that he occasionally runs into Hoffman in L.A. But he thinks back fondly on his experiences making the film and remembers them as "nurturing, caring, and kind." He particularly recalls enjoying the time he spent running around New York with Hoffman, noting that their "relationship onscreen was a result of what we did offscreen."
To that end, he's continued to support the film over the decades, appearing at events celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2009 and 40th anniversary in 2019.