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Where Are They Now? The People Behind Michael Jackson's Iconic 'Thriller'


By Starrene Rhett Rocque · November 30, 2017

The Thriller album is 35!

Michael Jackson’s iconic album was originally released on Nov. 30, 1982 and pop culture is still feeling its effects.

The sound and visuals were unprecedented at the time and continues to influence artists decades later. But, where are the creative minds behind the original today? Let’s find out!

The man, the legend. We all know that Michael Jackson unfortunately passed away in 2009 and he will be missed, but his legacy lives on.


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The singer/songwriter, formerly of Heatwave, wrote several of Michael Jackson’s hits including, “Thriller,” “Baby Be Mine” and “The Lady in My Life” from the same album. He is responsible for coming up with the title for the album, which was initially going to be called “Starlight.” Temperton has also written for other iconic artists like George Benson, Quincy Jones, and more. He passed away in 2016.

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Giraldi is most known for directing the “Beat it” video. He continued his career as a director and executive producer, and most recently executive produced a short entitled, Desde el Principio.

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After directing the “Billie Jean” video, Barron continued his directing career with credits like Coneheads, Michael Jackson: Number Ones, Bowie: The Video Collection, and Supervized, set to come out in 2018.

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Price was already an accomplished actor before narrating “Thriller” and continued his voiceover and narration career after until his death in 1993, at age 82.

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Porcaro composed music for “Human Nature” and produced the synthesizer for “The Girl is Mine.” He also played synthesizer and keyboard on “Stranger in Moscow” from Jackson’s HIStory album and released his first body of solo work, Someday/Somehow, in June 2016.

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De Lorenzo appeared as a zombie in the “Thriller” video and also danced in “Beat it.” But, you may know him best as detective Torres from New York Undercover. He was last seen as Charlie Grissom in Johnny Gruesome, a 2017 horror release based on the award-winning novel by Gregory Lamberson.  

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Peters choreographed and played a gang member in “Beat It.” He also choreographed “Thriller.” Peters continued his outstanding choreography career, winning a Tony and a Primetime Emmy for his work with Dreamgirls and more. Unfortunately, he died of complications related to AIDS in 1994.

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The “Thriller” video director has had a flourishing career with credits like Blues Brothers 2000 and Beverly Hills Cop III under his belt. His last project according to IMDB was a 2015 short entitled, The Last Kill.

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Paul McCartney musically sparred with Michael Jackson in “The Girl is Mine.” McCartney is still well and making music. He is one out of two living Beatles.


The former Playboy Model is most know for starring alongside Michael Jackson as his girlfriend in the “Thriller” video. Ray filed a lawsuit against Jackson’s estate in May 2009, claiming she wasn’t properly compensated for her appearance in the video. According to TMZ, the suit was settled with the estate. She earned a reported $55,000 before legal fees. Today, Ray has laid low from the spotlight, but she is said to live in Sacramento with her daughter.

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Quincy Jones turns 85 on March 14.

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