Your Favorite 25 Child Stars: Where Are They Now?

Hollywood has churned out many child stars. A few of them have made a lot of money by becoming household names, whole others were quickly forgotten once they got older. But it’s not all doom and gloom for child stars. There are many who simply go on to pursue different careers, and that’s the reason why you don’t hear from them anymore. Others are actually still acting today, but are just taking on much smaller roles.

So what exactly happened to the child stars you loved growing up? Here’s a look at your 25 favorite child stars and where they are today.

1. Anna Chlumsky

On the left is a picture of Anna Chlumsky in My Girl. On the right is a picture of Anna Chlumsky in Veep.

Left: Anna Chlumsky in My Girl | Columbia Pictures Corporation, Right: Anna Chlumsky in Veep | HBO

The actress played little Vada in My Girl with Macaulay Culkin. She continued acting, but wasn’t in any films as big as My Girl. Anna Chlumsky is one of those child stars you might have forgotten about, but she has been doing just fine. She has continued acting over the years and was recently on the hit show, Veep.

2. Mara Wilson

On the left is a picture of Mara Wilson in Matilda. On the right is Mara Wilson on Katie years later.

Left: Mara Wilson in Matilda | TriStar Pictures, Right: Mara Wilson on Katie | CZ Productions

You probably remember the adorable little actress from Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Miracle on 34th Street. After her streak of ’90s movies, her acting career slowed down. So what is she up to now? Well, she wrote a book called, Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental FameShe told NPR that she actually wished she had stopped acting after Matilda.

Sometimes I wish I had stopped [acting] after Matilda because I think that that was really the peak for me. There wasn’t really anywhere that I could go from there. So I think that I was already starting to age out of acting. … I think it would have been a good time to re-evaluate things. But I think that after my mother died, I felt like I had to keep going because film was the only constant in my life. …

The actress made a modest return to the industry. She currently does the voice for Jill Pill in BoJack Horseman. 

3. Jerry O’Connell

On the left is a picture of Jerry O'Connell in Stand by Me. On the right is Jerry O'Connell attending the Oscars.

Left: Jerry O’Connell in Stand by Me | Columbia Pictures, Right: Jerry O’Connell at the Oscars | Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The actor’s first role was playing the chubby Vern in Stand by Me at just 12-years-old. He has been working steadily ever since and had one of the most shocking physical transformations. A lot of his projects are more comedic like Burning Love. He’s also in Jerry Maguire. The actor is still jumping between projects and does small roles on television.

4. Drew Barrymore

On the right is a picture of Drew Barrymore screaming in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. On the right is a picture of Drew Barrymore on the right carpet.

Left: Drew Barrymore screaming in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial | Universal Pictures, Right: Drew Barrymore on the red carpet | Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

The actress’ first big movie was E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at 7-years-old. She continued to star in movies like Firestarter. Now, she’s a powerful producer and actress. Her newest project is Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix, where she plays a suburban mother who goes through a big change.

5. Haley Joel Osment

On the left is a picture of Haley Joel Osment looking down in The Sixth Sense. On the right is a picture of Haley Joel Osment smiling on the red carpet.

Left: Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense | Hollywood Pictures, Right: Haley Joel Osment on the red carpet | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The actor played Cole in The Sixth Sense when he was 11 years old. He was so good in the film that he was nominated for an Oscar. Many might think the actor disappeared from the public eye after the film, but he’s still working. He recently had reoccurring roles in Comedy Bang! Bang! and The Spoils Before Dying.

6. Macaulay Culkin

On the left is a picture of Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone. On the right is a picture of Macaulay Culkin taking a picture on his phone at a panel.

Left: Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone | Hughes Entertainment, Right: Macaulay Culkin at a Robot Chicken panel | Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The actor is recognized for starring in the Home Alone movies, My Girl, Richie Rich, and more. This was all when he was around 10 years old. He did transition to more adult, darker roles like his part in Party Monster in 2003.

In real life, the actor was arrested after being caught with pills and marijuana in 2004. More recently, the actor has been able to steer clear of trouble. He was getting steady work on Robot Chicken where he voiced different characters up until 2010. He was also on The Jim Gaffigan Show in multiple episodes through 2016.

7. Jonathan Lipnicki

On the left is a picture of Jonathan Lipnicki talking on the phone in Jerry Maguire. On the right is a picture of Jonathan Lipnicki on the red carpet.

Left: Jonathan Lipnicki talking on the phone in Jerry Maguire. | TriStar Pictures, Right: Jonathan Lipnicki on the red carpet | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The young actor was little Ray in Jerry Maguire. He also starred in the family movies, Stuart Little and The Little Vampire. Jonathan Lipnicki was also on television, most notably on The Jeff Foxworthy Show. So where is the actor now?

He’s still keeping busy acting and played Chaz in Interns of F.I.E.L.D. He also has multiple movies in post-production. Sadly, it seems like a lot of his roles are smaller and his bigger roles, are in projects that aren’t as well known.

8. Danny Bonaduce

On the left is a picture of Danny Bonaduce on The Partidge Family. On the right is a picture of Danny Bonaduce at an event.

Left: Danny Bonaduce in The Partridge Family | Screen Gems Television, Right: Danny Bonaduce arrives at NBC’s Fall Premiere Party. | Timothy Norris/Getty Images

The actor played Danny Partridge back in the 70’s on The Partridge Family and also had a role in Goober and the Ghost Chasers. After that, he appeared on television as himself on shows like Hollywood Squares. Now he’s a radio host and has a morning show.

9. Thora Birch

On the left is a picture of Thora Birch dressed as a witch in Hocus Pocus. On the right is a picture of Thora Birch in a dress at a fashion show.

Left: Thora Birch dressed as a witch in Hocus Pocus. | Walt Disney Pictures, Right: Thora Birch posing in a dress while attending a fashion show. | Paul Morigi/Getty Images

The young actress was on shows like Day by Day and Parenthood, but her most recognizable role was probably as Dani in Hocus Pocus. The child actress successfully transitioned into adult roles as she became a teenager. She was in Ghost World and American Beauty. 

However, her career took a turn when she started getting fired from roles due to her father, who was also her manager. He would reportedly get into arguments with her costars. Her career has significantly slowed down, but she is still acting. She most recently was on two episodes of Colony.

10. Thomas Brodie-Sangster

On the left is a picture of Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Love Actually. On the right is a picture of Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Game of Thrones.

Left: Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Love Actually | Universal Pictures, Right: Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Game of Thrones | HBO

You probably remember the child actor as the lovesick little Sam in Love Actually. The British actor has continued to work in the industry and including his role voicing Ferb on Phineas and Ferb. Years later, he has made it into big projects like Game of Thrones and even had a small part in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He also got a role in the Maze Runner movie series.

11. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

On the left is a picture of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in To Grandmother's House We Go. On the right is a picture of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on the red carpet.

Left: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in To Grandmother’s House We Go | Jeff Franklin Productions, Right: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on the red carpet | Robin Marchant/Getty Images

The twins had a career that child stars can only dream of, by turning their success into an empire. They started out taking turns playing Michelle on Full House. After that, they made multiple straight-to-video movies and TV movies together. Eventually, their movies made it to the theater like the film, It Takes Two. The twins also got television series like Two of a Kind, So Little Time, and Mary-Kate and Ashley in Action!

Eventually, their acting careers slowed down. Ashley’s last role was in 2010. Mary-Kate kept working in the industry, and even got a reoccurring role in Weeds and in the film, Beastly. Now, the twins keep busy with their clothing line, The Row.

12. Jake Lloyd

On the left is a picture of Jake Llyod in The Phantom Menace. On the right is a picture of Jake Llyod in a selfie.

Left: Jake Lloyd in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace | Lucasfilm, Right: Jake Lloyd as an adult | Jake Lloyd via Facebook

Most know him as little Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which is not really a good thing since the prequels are pretty much hated amongst the Star Wars fandom. Jake Lloyd was also in the Christmas movie, Jingle All the Way.

After Star Wars, the actor did some voice-over work for video games, but pretty much stopped working after that. So where is he now? Well, things have been rough for the actor. He was in jail after being in a police car chase and in 2016, he was transferred to a psychiatric center to get treatment for schizophrenia, according to TMZ.

13. Todd Bridges

On the left is a picture of Todd Bridges in Diff'rent Strokes. On the right is a picture of Todd Bridges on the red carpet.

Left: Todd Bridges in Diff’rent Strokes | Embassy Pictures, Right: Todd Bridges on the red carpet | Valerie Macon/AFP/GettyImages

The young actor played Willis on Diff’rent Strokes, who is a big reason why we have the catchphrase, “Whatcha talkin’ bout, Willis?” Before that, Todd Bridges was in Roots and Fish, and while he has continued acting, he’s been in smaller projects.

Years after his success as a child star, the actor opened up about being sexually abused as a child and his struggle with addiction. He’s now the only surviving main cast member of Diff’rent Strokes. 

14. Lindsay Lohan

On the left is a picture of Lindsay Lohan in Parent Trap. On the right is a picture of her on the red carpet in 2017.

Left: Lindsay Lohan in Parent Trap | Cinema Vehicle Services, Right: Lindsay Lohan on the red carpet | Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images

The redhead is one of many child actors who grew up in the public eye, only to have her career decline just as publicly. She starred in The Parent Trap remake when she was 11 years old. She worked pretty steadily after that and eventually starred in the popular comedy, Mean Girls.

But her personal life took a turn when she started getting arrested. Her first arrest was in 2007 for driving under the influence. She continued to get arrested for drug-related crimes and for violating her probation. In 2011 she was accused of stealing a $2,500 necklace, a claim she later pled guilty to.

The once leading lady is now taking smaller, cameo roles on shows like 2 Broke Girls. Many people in the industry know that it’s too big of a risk to hire her for anything else.

15. Alisan Porter

On the left is a picture of Alisan Porter as Curly Sue. On the right is a picture of Alisan Porter on the red carpet.

Left: Alisan Porter in Curly Sue | Hughes Entertainment, Right: Alisan Porter on the red carpet | Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The young actress starred as the titular character in the John Hughes film, Curly Sue. The big role, however, didn’t launch her career. She only had four more credits after the movie and quit acting in 2008.

So where is she now? Alisan Porter surprisingly popped up in 2016 on The Voice and actually won! She is now working on an album.

16. Fred Savage

On the left is a picture of Fred Savage in The Wonder Years. On the right is a picture of Fred Savage in The Grinder.

Left: Fred Savage in The Wonder Years | New World Television, Right: Fred Savage in The Grinder | Paul Mogel Productions

The Wonder Years was about a family living during the late ’60s. The show was narrated by and told from Kevin’s point of view, who was played by Fred Savage. After the show, the actor continued jumping from TV show to TV show. He was recently on The Grinder with Rob Lowe, which was canceled.

17. Amanda Bynes

On the left is a picture of Amanda Bynes sitting on a bed in All That. On the right is Amanda Bynes in Easy A.

Left: Amanda Bynes in All That | Nickelodeon, Right: Amanda Bynes in Easy A | Screen Gems

The funny girl started out on All That on Nickelodeon. She did so well on the sketch comedy show that she got her own program, The Amanda Show. Her hot streak continued into her teenage years when she got to star in the TV show, What I Like About You. 

Amanda Bynes then started getting movie roles in Hairspray, Sydney White, and finally, Easy A. Sadly, the 2010 movie was her last after she started showing signs of having a troubled personal life. In 2012 she was arrested for a DUI, in 2013 she was charged with driving with a suspended license, and later, she was accused of throwing a bong out of her window and was arrested.

Today, you don’t hear much about Bynes. This is because she is reportedly pursuing a career in fashion and is going to school.

18. Freddie Highmore

On the left is a picture Freddie Highmore in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. On the right is a picture of Freddie Highmore in Bates Motel.

Left: Freddie Highmore in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory | Warner Bros., Right: Freddie Highmore in Bates Motel | Universal Television

You probably recognize young Freddie Highmore from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, August Rush, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. The actor has kept pushing on since then. Now you can catch him playing the young Norman Bates in Bates Motel.

19. Hallie Eisenberg

On the left is a picture of Hallie Eisenberg with a parrot in Paulie. On the right is a picture of Hallie Eisenberg with a dog.

Left: Hallie Eisenberg in Paulie | DreamWorks, Right: Hallie Eisenberg | Hallie Eisenberg via Twitter

The young actress starred in Pepsi commercials before making it to movies. She was in Paulie and Bicentennial Man, but she decided to bow out of the business after doing the 2010 movie, Holy Rollers with her brother Jesse. She went to college that year and has yet to make an acting comeback.

20. Charles Korsmo

On the left is Charles Korsmo in Hook. On the right is Charles Korsmo smiling in a professional photo all grown up.

Left: Charles Korsmo in Hook | TriStar Pictures, Right: Charles Korsmo | Case Western Reserve University

He used to be known as “Charlie” Korsmo when he was starring in movies like Hook. The young actor only has seven credits to his name. His last film was when he was a teenager playing William in Can’t Hardly Wait. 

So where did he go? Well, he’s now an Associate Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University.

21. Taran Noah Smith

On the left is a picture of Taran Noah Smith on Home Improvement. On the right is a picture of Taran Noah Smith smiling on the red carpet.

Left: Taran Noah Smith on Home Improvement | Touchstone Television, Right: Taran Noah Smith on the red carpet | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

You probably know him as Mark Taylor on Home Improvement. This child star also had a short acting career with only six credits to his name. His last job was doing voice-over work in an episode of Batman Beyond. So what happened to him?

Taran Noah Smith ended up suing his parents at 17 years old to get control of his $1.5 million trust fund. He and his mother, Candy Bennici, ended up coming out with a book called Stardom Happens:Nurturing Your Child in the Entertainment Business, which is a guide on how to navigate the industry as a kid. Smith also has been working as an installation artist.

22. Christina Ricci

On the left is a picture of Chrisitina Ricci with Casper in Casper. On the right is a picture of Christina Ricci as Zela in Z: The Beginning of Everything.

Left: Christina Ricci in Casper | Universal Pictures, Right: Christina Ricci in Z: The Beginning of Everything | Amazon

The actress starred as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family movies and was also in Casper. She got steady work over the years and was even in the Oscar-winning movie, Monster. Now you can catch her playing Zelda Fitzgerald in Z: The Beginning of Everything.

23. Malcolm David Kelley

On the left is a picture of Malcolm David Kelley on a beach on Lost. On the right is a picture of Malcolm David Kelley on the red carpet.

Left: Malcolm David Kelley in Lost | ABC Studios, Right: Malcolm David Kelley at Paleyfest | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The actor played young Walt on Lost for several years. Afterward, he got roles on smaller shows like Saving Grace and Gigantic. He also started making it into movies. In 2016 he was in True to the Game, and will be in some upcoming movies as well.

24. Michael Fishman

On the left is a picture of Michael Fishman on Roseanne. On the right is a picture of Michael Fishman on the red carpet.

Left: Michael Fishman on Roseanne | Paramount Television, Right: Michael Fishman on the red carpet | Dave Mangels/Getty Images

You probably know him as D.J. on Roseanne, a role he had for many years. After the show ended in 1997, he continued working but hasn’t gotten many other roles. It looks like he is still at it since he was in Undrafted in 2016 and has another movie coming out in 2017.

25. Corey Feldman

On the left is a picture of Corey Feldman in Stand by Me. On the right is a picture of Corey Feldman in 2012.

Left: Corey Feldman in Stand by Me | Columbia Pictures Corporation; Right: Corey Feldman attends the American Film Market. | Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images

This child star has many classics under his belt including Stand by Me, The Goonies, Gremlins, and The Lost Boys. He lost a lot of fellow former child costars to drug overdoses and has talked about the dark side of the industry. He revealed that child stars like Corey Haim — who died in 2010 at just 38 years old from pneumonia — were invited to Hollywood parties and were sexually abused.

Yes. I believe that Haim’s rapist was probably connected to something bigger and that is probably how he has remained protected for all these years. This person uses intimidation and threats as a way to keep people quiet. And all these men were all friends. Ask anybody in our group of kids at that time: They were passing us back and forth to each other.

Feldman’s career has significantly slowed down, but he still works in the industry. He voices Slash in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He also has been making music and touring, so he has been keeping busy.

Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice

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