Celebrity is a double-edged sword, and nowhere is that axiom truer than when it comes to child actors. Many child actors grow up and nurture their latent talents, becoming big names in the industry into adulthood. Consider a young Jodie Foster in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver or the debut of actors like Sean Austin and Josh Brolin in the Richard Donner kid-caper The Goonies.
You Won’t Believe What They Look Like Now…
But for every child actor/actress that makes it big, there are hundreds more who don’t. Some stars crash and burn in a haze of drug and alcohol abuse, others simply collect their paycheque, go to college and get on with their lives. One thing’s certain though, we can’t help but wonder what happened to these child actors after they grow up. Some grew up to be hot, others… not so much. Here’s what happened when these child stars went through puberty…
After starting her young career in 1991, this child star went on to receive four Primetime Emmy nominations for her role in the HBO series Veep…
27. Anna Chlumsky
Anna Chlumsky was well-known for her role in the film My Girl, but took a six-year hiatus from acting in order to focus on her education. Since then she has been a familiar face on the big and small screen, appearing as Vice-Presidential aide Amy Brookheimer in the Armando Iannucci produced series Veep and a role as FBI agent Miriam Lass in the Brian Fuller Psycho-horror series Hannibal.
If you don’t recognize her face, you’ll definitely recognize her voice from shows like Pepper Ann, Family Guy, and Dr. Dolittle…
26. Jenna Von Oÿ
Jenna Von Oÿ was best known for her role as Six LeMeure on the NBC sitcom Blossom. She also voiced Trinket in the NBC animated series Pepper Ann. In June 2000, Von Oÿ recorded a demo CD in an attempt to launch a recording career in Country music. Her debut album, Breathing Room, was released on September 18, 2007. On October 10, 2010, Von Oÿ married computer data consultant Brad Bratcher in Newtown, Connecticut. They have two daughters together.
From being friends with a giant purple dinosaur to being one of the world’s biggest musical artists (and sex symbols), what a career this young woman is enjoying…
25. Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez wasn’t always strutting around in next to nothing in her steamy music videos. After starting her young career in Barney & Friends, Gomez went on to star as the lead role in Disney’s Wizards Of Waverly Place. Fast-forward to 2016, and she’s enjoying a successful music career.
This actress was once listed in a “20 Teens Who Will Change The World” list. Needless to say, she’s yet to do that…
24. Mackenzie Rosman
Mackenzie Rosman is probably best known for her television role as Ruthie Camden on The WB Television Networks’ longest-running show 7th Heaven. Now, she is something of a renaissance woman, she currently resides in West Hollywood, California. In addition to acting, she also enjoys competitive equestrian show jumping and rides in jumping competitions on her horse Mentos Junior. What a name for a horse! She is also something of an altruist; an active supporter of fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and wishes to educate the public about the need for organ donation.
This actor is living proof that fame at such a young age can cause an individual to fall into a spiral of addiction and crime…
23. Jeremy Jackson
Jeremy Jackson stole the hearts of teenage girls across the nation when he starred as the lovable surfer, Hobie Buchannon in the hit show Baywatch. However, things went downhill after the show was axed, as Jackson struggled to find decent acting work. After attracting negative press for addiction, violence, and a certain home movie, Jackson is best known now for his appearances on reality TV shows, and his failed stint as a Chippendale.
She’s still only 27-years-old, so we’re still predicting big things for this ravishing redhead…
22. Scarlett Pomers
Scarlett was best known by American audiences for her role playing the half-human half-alien character of Samantha Wildman in the Star Trek tv series Voyager. Since then she has also played the character of Kyra Hart on the television series Reba, and is now a singer-songwriter who has just released a debut EP. Tragically, she suffered from a severe eating disorder in the mid-noughties. However, she has since managed to overcome this hurdle and now practices yoga and vegetarianism.
The world has literally watched this amazing actress grow up. From a bewitching witch in Harry Potter to an amazing activist…
21. Emma Watson
We literally watched Emma Watson grow up in front of our eyes after she was cast at just 10-years-old as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies. Since finishing the franchise, she has done a great job at proving she is much more than just a little witch!
After making her film debut in 1995, this actress soon ventured into modeling in order to pay the bills…
20. Monica Keena
Keena made her film debut in While You Were Sleeping (1995), followed by a supporting role in The Devil’s Advocate (1997) and a lead role as Snow White in Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997) co-starring with Sigourney Weaver as Snow White’s evil stepmother. Nevertheless, she was best known for starring as Abby Morgan on Dawson’s Creek. However, in 2009 she became romantically attached to Terminator 2 child-star Edward Furlong, who proved to be abusive toward her. She has since picked up smaller roles in independent movies.
Sadly, this actress is just another one of those child stars who struggled to find work and fell into obscurity…
19. Christie Abbott
Christie Abbott was best known for playing the lead role in the PBS Kids show Wishbone, which detailed the colorfully imaginative adventures of an ordinary Jack Russell Terrier. Yeah, it was pretty out there. But since then, Abbott also featured as a guest star in numerous other productions such as Walker, Texas Ranger, Dr. T And The Women, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
This Disney starlet took the world by storm, and after continuing to reinvent herself, Ariana Grande remains one of the most popular females in music…
18. Ariana Grande
Would you believe that the now-23-year-old Ariana Grande hit our screens as the lead role of the Nickelodeon television series Victorious all the way back in 2009! Since then, Grande has done a fantastic job reinventing herself as a sultry pop star and continues to be a huge star around the globe.
It was perhaps the most popular teen sitcom in the early 90s, but can you believe this star is now 42-years old!?
17. Lark Voorhies
Lark Voorhies rose to fame playing Lisa Turtle on the NBC sitcom Saved By The Bell from 1989 until 1993. She was nominated for the Young Artist Award six times, winning in 1990 and 1993 for her work on the show. Voorhies has appeared in several music videos, and had guest star roles in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Family Matters and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Since 2010, Voorhies has also written three books: Reciprocity, Trek of the Cheshire, and A True Light.
We welcomed her into our homes as “Nicole Bradford”, but what has she been up to since leaving her two dads?
16. Staci Keanan
Keanan is best known for her roles in the late 80’s television series My Two Dads, an NBC sitcom about two romantic rivals who end up in joint custody of a recently departed mother’s only daughter. The show ran for three seasons before finishing in 1990. Since then, she’s had roles in the short Stolen Poem (2004) and the films Hidden Secrets (2006), and Death and Cremation (2010) with Brad Dourif, Jeremy Sumpter, and Daniel Baldwin. In 2009 Keanan appeared in Holyman Undercover, starring David A.R. White. She also co-starred in the film Sarah’s Choice.
Very few actresses have had such a rollercoaster career, but regardless of what she does, fans continue to support LiLo…
15. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan started her career back in 1998 as a Disney sweetheart in the amazing remake of The Parent Trap. However, despite a fantastic performance in the hit movie, Mean Girls, Lohan’s career has been plagued by arrests and DUIs. Nowadays, the star is looking much better, as she appears to have got a hold on her hectic lifestyle.
The child star stayed in school and is now known for her brains, as well as her beauty…
14. Danica McKellar
Danica McKellar was best known for playing the role of Winnie Cooper in the nostalgic tv series The Wonder Years. She struggled to find work soon after the finale of the show, but had a recurring part as portraying Elsie Snuffin, the stepsister, and assistant of Deputy White House Communications Director Will Bailey, as well as flourishing as a voice actress. She is also well known for being a mathematician and has written several books encouraging the young woman to pursue a career in mathematics.
This actress actually popped up in the Boy Meets World sequel, Girl Meets World. Did you spot her?
13. Senta Moses
Best known for her co-starring role as Phoebe, the lab assistant in the children’s series Beakman’s World, Senta Moses has since appeared in more than 100 commercials since she was six-months-old. She also had supporting roles in Everyone Loves Raymond and My So-Called-Life. Moses was also in an improv comedy troupe called “Danger Danger”. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
It must have been an amazing feeling to be cast as a 10-year-old Harry Potter, knowing you were going to go on to earn a whopping $110 Million…
12. Daniel Radcliffe
The much-loved star of the Harry Potter franchise started his career as a baby-faced spectacled nerd and developed into a rather dashing nerd. Despite the fears that Radcliffe would struggle to break free from his “Harry Potter” persona, Radcliffe has gone on to star in many amazing roles on screen and on stage.
With her amazing good looks, this former child star has had no problem keeping busy and continues to pop up on our screens…
11. Madeline Zima
Best known for portraying Grace Sheffield on the sitcom The Nanny, Madeline Zima has also had a role as Mia Lewis in the comedy series Californication opposite the X-Files star David Duchovny. From 2009 to 2010, Zima joined the cast of Heroes as Gretchen Berg, Claire Bennet’s quirky bisexual roommate and tentative love interest.
Many of us grew up with Matilda, as she taught us the superpower of love and kindness, Now, what is the most iconic child star on the 90s doing now?
10. Mara Wilson
Mara Wilson won numerous awards for her role in the Danny DeVito directed adaptation of the Roald Dahl children’s book Matilda, but found that a reputation as a child actor only exacerbated problems in her personal life. These days, however, she focuses far more on writing than acting and has a thriving career as a journalist and playwright. She has a legion of followers on Twitter and on her blog, and has spoken openly about her struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Sadly, the pressures of becoming a star at such a young age were all too much for this actress, and she turned to the bottle…
9. Jaimee Foxworth
Best known for her role of Judy Winslow, the youngest daughter of Carl and Harriette Winslow on the ABC/CBS sitcom Family Matters, Foxworth has since struggled with alcohol and substance abuse and has been in and out of rehab many times. She even had a stint as a pornographic model. Since the birth of her first son, however, she appears to have gone sober for good and is writing a memoir about her downward spiral.
Love her or hate her, you certainly won’t be able to forget her…
8. Miley Cyrus
She’s come a long way since southern singing sensation, Hannah Montana. Despite her relatively short career, Cyrus has repeatedly made headlines due to her outlandish behavior – especially her apparent hate of clothes – but whatever you may think of her, there is no denying the fact that she is a very intelligent young woman, who looks amazing no matter what she does.
You’d have to be a serious fan of Blind Melon to remember this former child star, but what is this busy bee up to in 2016?
7. Heather DeLoach
Heather DeLoach is perhaps best known for her portrayal of the tap dancing “Bee Girl” in the 1992 music video for the hit single ‘No Rain’, by Blind Melon. Despite appearing on a few episodes of medical drama ER she subsequently struggled to find work in the industry and retired from acting after graduating from California State University. She now operates Sweet Bee Candy Stations and Event Planning in Lake Forest, California
She’s shouted one of the most iconic lines in movie history! Nobody can forget the wonder “Jen-nay” from Forrest Gump…
6. Hanna Hall
Hanna Hall is best known for playing the kid version of Forrest Gump’s love interest Jenny in the eponymous Robert Zemeckis movie. She went on to star in Sofia Ford Coppola’s adaptation of the Jeffery Eugenides novel The Virgin Suicides, as well as a remake of the classic John Carpenter film Halloween. Nowadays she has moved away from acting and works as a theatre director.
Talk about career revivals! How did this actress manage to remain relevant more than 25 years after her acting debut?
5. Alisan Porter
Alisan Porter’s breakout role came in 1991 when she played the lead in the film Curly Sue opposite Jim Belushi. As an adult, Porter pursued roles in musical theatre, including a run on Broadway in The Ten Commandments: The Musical. A solo album followed in 2009. In 2016, she auditioned for NBC’s The Voice, earning a spot on Team Christina. Porter was announced in May as the winner of season 10.
A British star who was perfect for the snobby role of Mary Lennox in the hit film, The Secret Garden…
4. Kate Maberly
Kate Maberly starred as Mary Lennox in the feature film The Secret Garden, a role for which she received numerous accolades. Nowadays she is known for her work on the stage, having played Juliet in numerous productions of the Shakespearian romance, as well as She has completed several radio works for BBC Radio 4, including The Dorabella Variation, A Certain Smile, and National Velvet. More recently, Maberly teamed up with a London area music producer to record several of her own songs for a new mini album.
One of the most recognizable young faces in the history of Hollywood movies…
3. Carrie Henn
When James Cameron released Aliens, the blockbusting sci-fi sequel to the Ridley Scott film Alien, Carrie Henn was catapulted into the limelight for her performance as the traumatized space colony survivor Newt alongside Sigourney Weaver. She received a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor, but ultimately decided not to pursue an acting career, and later became a teacher. She is still a regular guest speaker at science fiction conventions.
Literally, my first crush growing up, this Jurassic Park star captured the hearts of the entire world with her amazing performance in the dino-flick…
2. Ariana Richards
Ariana Richards won several awards for her performance in the Stephen Spielberg film Jurassic Park, but since then has decided to focus on a career as a professional artist. Her paintings, usually of landscapes and figures, tend to be in the style of the impressionists. In October 2005, she won first place in the National Professional Oil Painting Competition (sponsored by American Artist magazine) for the painting ‘Lady of the Dahlias’.
This recognizable star was the Pepsi girl! But who’s her famous brother?
1. Hallie Eisenberg
Best known for being “The Pepsi Girl” in a series of Pepsi commercials during the 90’s, Hallie is now best-known as actor Jessie Eisenberg’s sister. She has starred in numerous film productions since then, but took an indefinite break from acting in 2010 in order to focus on her further education.