Child Stars: Where Are They Now?
by By Genevieve Corteau
Cute button noses, precocious humor, sassy acting—child stars can make any audience fall in love with them. But what happens when they’re all grown up? While some graduate from college and others go to rehab, some become stay-at-home moms and others go back into show biz.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas, “Home Improvement”
Before Zac Efron, Robert Pattinson, and the Jonas Brothers, there were three little initials: J.T.T. Girls plastered photos of him all over their lockers and bedroom walls. Tiger Beat should have renamed itself J.T.T. Beat for his countless cover stories. But where is he now?
Jonathan Taylor Thomas Now
Jonathan Taylor Thomas disappeared from the public eye for many years, and in 2010 he graduated from Columbia University under his birth name, Jonathan Taylor Weiss. But in October of 2013, J.T.T. reunited with his former TV father, Tim Allen, on his sitcom “Last Man Standing.”
A.J. Langer, “My So-Called Life”
Who could forget crazy Rayanne Graff, the life and soul of the teen-angsty drama “My So-Called Life”?
A.J. Langer Now
While MSCL star Claire Danes went on to play a princess onscreen, Langer is now countess of Devon—she married Charlie Courtenay, the earl of Devon, in 2004. “We met in a bar in Vegas,” Langer said. “He didn’t know I was an actress. I didn’t know he had a castle.”
Anthony Michael Hall, The Breakfast Club
Forever the King of the Dipshits, Anthony Michael Hall played some of the most memorable nerds on film: Farmer Ted in Sixteen Candles, Brian “The Brain” Johnson in The Breakfast Club, and Gary Wallace in Weird Science.
Anthony Michael Hall Now
Turns out über-nerd Hall is kind of a badass—he starred in the gritty sci-fi TV series “The Dead Zone” and had a prominent role in the 2008 movie The Dark Knight.
Eve Plumb, “The Brady Bunch”
“Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” Middle sister Jan always lived in her beautiful big sister’s shadow.
Eve Plumb Now
Everyone’s favorite middle sibling is now a professional oil painter. Plumb, fifty-one, shows her works in galleries nationwide.
Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense
“I see dead people!” Osment’s famous line has been parodied countless times since The Sixth Sense was released in 1999, but the precocious child actor had a bright future.
Haley Joel Osment Now
After a DUI conviction in 2006, Osment laid low until resurfacing on Broadway in David Mamet’s American Buffalo. The 2008 play opened to mixed reviews; the unfortunate Osment received near-unanimous censure.
Jonathan Lipnicki, Jerry Maguire
Who else could charm Tom Cruise with the line, “Did you know the human head weighs eight pounds?”
Jonathan Lipnicki Now
Lipnicki’s film work has been sporadic since 2005. His official website’s tagline is: “Are Killers Born or Made?” Gee, kid, we hope that’s a reference to an upcoming role…
Kirk Cameron, “Growing Pains”
One of Hollywood’s most outspoken evangelicals, Cameron often clashed with “Growing Pains” producers about so-called “adult” themes on the show. Eventually, Cameron’s demands became so outlandish that three executive producers quit.
Kirk Cameron Now
Cameron co-founded the Way of the Master, an evangelical ministry, and frequently debates with atheists and evolutionary theorists on his TV show.
Keshia Knight Pulliam, “The Cosby Show”
As Rudy, the cutest of the Huxtable kids, Knight Pulliam became the youngest Emmy Award nominee in history.
Keshia Knight Pulliam Now
Rudy’s all grown-up now! After stints on celebrity versions of “Fear Factor” and “The Weakest Link,” Knight Pulliam has become part of Tyler Perry’s entourage, playing roles in Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Madea Goes to Jail.
Mayim Bialik, “Blossom”
No one could make oversize floppy hats look as good as Blossom did. The sweet teen captured hearts as she dealt with “very special episodes”: her parents’ divorce, bullies, and her first kiss.
Mayim Bialik Now
Bialik returned to acting after receiving a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA in 2007. She stars as Amy Farrah Fowler in the award-winning sitcom, “The Big Bang Theory” and has guest-starred on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Fat Actress.“
Peter Billingsley, A Christmas Story
Poor Ralphie. All he wanted for Christmas was a genuine Red Ryder BB gun. Instead, everyone from his mother to his teacher to Santa Claus told him, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”
Peter Billingsley Now
After becoming close friends with comedy stars Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, Billingsley has executive-produced several of their films and even directed the 2009 comedy Couples Retreat, starring Vaughn and Favreau.