Jack Nicholson (Melvin Udall)
Helen Hunt (Carol Connely)
Greg Kinnear (Simon)
Cuba Gooding Jr. (Frank)
Shirley Knight (Beverly)
Skeet Ulrich (Vincent)
Jesse James (Spencer)
Jill (Verdell)

Jack Nicholson as "Melvin Udall"
Jack Nicholson as "Melvin Udall"
Jack Nicholson, who in 1995 was honored with the American Film Institute's Lifetime Acheivement Award, plays the extremely complicated character of Melvin Udall. Melvin has a clinical illness known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He carries plastic gloves and plastic picnic ware in his pockets, he doesn't step on cracks and everytime he washes his hands he uses a different bar of soap.

"I think this is one of the toughest characters Jack has had to play" says Brooks. "There's something wrong with Melvin, but the nature of what is wrong with him is that he spends his life disguising what's wrong with him."

Jack has many many awards and credits to his name, including "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", which won him an Oscar, "A Few Good Men", "The Shining", "Ironweed", "China Town", "Easy Rider" and who could ever forget his portrayal of the Joker in "Batman".

CONGRATULATIONS to Jack for his Oscar win for Best Actor for "AGAIG"

Helen Hunt as "Carol Connely"
Helen Hunt as "Carol Connely"Helen Hunt who is best known for her portrayal as Jamie Buchman on NBC's hit sitcom "Mad About You" gives life to Carol Connelly, a single mother whose son has chronic, life-threatening asthma. "Carol's in her late thirties and has worked for a long time in this very nice cafe in Manhatten" says Hunt of her character. "She meets this man who comes in everyday at 11 o'clock and they develop a very one-of-a-kind relationship"

Hunt had been a fan of the story even before James Brooks had become attached. "It's my favorite story that I have read in years. It's hard to talk about it with out sounding grand."

"Helen came in to read and that was it" says Brooks. "She is such a total actress, that there have been moments when I don't think there's anyone else who could have done it."

CONGRATULATIONS to Helen on her Oscar win for Best Actress for "AGAIG"

Greg Kinnear as "Simon Bishop"
Greg Kinnear as "Simon Bishop"Greg Kinnear portrays Simon, a gay artist who lives across the hall from Melvin. Simon is a lovable guy that gets beat up by one of his models that he is painting, as a result he goes broke and Frank, his art dealer, calls upon the help of Melvin to help get Simon through these hard times.

Greg most recently starred in the comedies "A Smile Like Yours" opposite Lauren Holly and "Dear God" directed by Gary Marshall. He had previously made his film debut opposite Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond in "Sabrina." Kinnear first came to prominence as the animated, wisecracking host of E! Entertainment Television's "Talk Soup." As his popularity grew, Kinnear was hired as host and executive producer of his own NBC late night talk show, "Later with Greg Kinnear,"' a position he left to focus on his feature film career.

Cuba Gooding, Jr. as "Frank Sachs"
Cuba Gooding Jr. as "Frank Sachs"Cuba Gooding, Jr. is hilarious in the role of Frank Sachs, Simon's art dealer.

Although Frank is a gentle guy, he often finds himself having to threaten Melvin to defend his good friend Simon.

Cuba most recently won the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor for his scene-stealing performance opposite Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire." Gooding made his film debut as the star of writer/director John Singleton's searing coming-of-age drama "Boyz N The Hood" in 1991. For his portrayal of a 17-year-old high school student, Gooding earned rave reviews and a NAACP Image Award. A year later Gooding was featured in the Oscar®-nominated "A Few Good Men," and was honored as the NATO/Showest 1992 "Newcomer of the Year" for his performance. His other theatrical screen credits include "Gladiator," "Judgement Night," "Lightning Jack," "Losing Isaiah" and "Outbreak."

Shirley Knight as "Beverly"
Shirley Knight as "Beverly"

Veteran actress Shirley Knight portrays Carol's mother Beverly. Knight describes Beverly as "a good mother and a good grandmother, very strong, but fun-loving, too."

When Melvin Udall sends a doctor over to Carol's house it is Beverly who must convince her daughter to accept this heaven sent gift. "This is not a string of pearls, you just don't send this one back"

Shirley Knight is a well decorated actress. She has starred in such films as "Sweet Bird of Youth", "The Rain People" (a role written for her by Francis Ford Coppola), "Diabolique", "If These Walls Could Talk", "The Color of Night", "Stuart Saves His Family" and "Hard Promises." Shirley has also won 3 Emmy's and a Tony Award for "The Young Man from Atlanta"

Skeet Ulrich as "Vincent"
Skeet Ulrich as "Vincent"Skeet Ulrich poses as Vincent, one of Simon's models. It is Vincent's friends that rob Simon while he is painting Vincent, and when Verdell hears the noise and starts to bark Simon walks in on the robbery and is beat up.

Skeet Ulrich has been seen lately in many films some of which include "The Craft" and "Scream" both which star Party of Five's Julia, Neve Campbell. Others include "Boys", "Last Dance", "Touch", and "Albino Alligator".

Jesse James as "Spencer"
Jesse James as "Spencer"Jesse James is a 7 year old who made his film debut as Spencer Connelly.

Spence is the son of Carol, and her main focus in life. He has chronic life-threatening asthma and requires constant attention. Things don't look so good for Spence until Melvin comes along.....

Jesse has also appeared on "Sesame Street", and has been in "Domino's Pizza" and "Tommy Hilfiger" commercials.

Jill the Dog as "Verdell"
Jill the Dog as "Verdell""Yes, I hate the doggy, Yes I hate the doggy." Those are the words that come out of Melvin's mouth, but we all know that he loves that adorable little pooch. I mean who could not love a face like that?

Jill is a Brussles Griffon, a rare European breed. "They really took to it - it's an extraordinary breed of dog, very intelligent and very trainable" said Brooks.

They? Yes. It took 6 dogs to play the part of Verdell: Timer,Sprout, Debbie, Billy, Parfait, and Jill. Brooks enthuses, "Breed apart, Jill is the star. She's more beautiful, quicker and smarter than most of her breed."

"They'll bring Timer in for hours of having to do the same thing, and right when they're going to go in for the close-up, they'll pull Timer out and Jill will be brought in on a big fluffy pillow," says Kinnear. "She is such a scene stealer. She's got these lashes and big eyes, and when she walks onto the set everybody just says, 'ooh.' Then they'll roll the camera for that important shot."