Friday, May 1, 2009

A Historical Note on Dante Basco

-Dante Basco

Children of the 1980s often find themselves wondering what happened to the favorite actors of their youth. Macaulay Culkin went from Kevin McCallister to Richie Rich, grew up to be sort of weird, and got married really young; the guy who played Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez became a firefighter; and everyone knows NPH went from Doogie to Barney. So whatever happened to Dante Basco?

Basco, who played the scene-stealing Rufio in the 1991 blockbuster “Hook”, vanished from relevance quicker than you can say bangarang. Readers surely recall that Rufio was by far the oldest of the Lost Boys; by the time filming wrapped, Basco had reached college age. The youngest child of a hard-working Filipino-American family, Basco’s acting helped pay the bills, but his parents never considered it a successful career, particularly given that older brothers, Derek and Darian, were both products of prominent east-coast professional schools and his father had put in his 20 years in the U.S. Navy. Basco matriculated at Stanford in 1992, dee-jaying under the Rufio moniker and taking the occasional commercial-acting job (Nerf Manta Ray, Sega Genesis, and the local Swanson Ford, to name a few). After staying in Palo Alto for law school, Basco returned to Los Angeles to become an entertainment lawyer specializing in arbitration for child actors. He still works the turntables on occasion, welcoming “Ru-fi-o! Ru-fi-o! Ru-fi-OOOOOOOOO!” chants and saying “You are The Pan” on demand to partygoers at Avalon on Vine.


  1. That's so exciting! I always worried he died in obscurity. I'm glad he went on to have a productive life (though really, after Hook, all is anti-climax).

  2. I see him every week on Heroes. Well, during commercials promoting the Heroes website, in which he plays some comic book geek.

    On a totally tangential side note, I used to smoosh my boyfriend's face around and exclaim, "It is you, Peter. It is!" (per Hook). One of my favorite movies ever, along with Total Recall.

  3. Yeah, it doesn't surprise me that he still gets some work. Who can forget Rufio?

  4. In all fairness, he did do some voice acting. American Dragon was lame, but the geek in me still says he was beastly as Zuko in Avatar the Last Airbender.

  5. like other child star, Basco bright one day, and the mext day was only another child, people who left their footprint in the history and dissapear, remember Gary Coleman, this is not the case of the boy who acted in "Generic Viagra"