17 Child Actors You’ve Forgotten About And What They’re Doing Now.
This article is based on "What Happened to 31 Child Stars You Forgot About". If you're interested in reading more, check out the link at the bottom of the article.
When we think "child star" most of us picture a washed up 20-something doing drugs on the cover of a tabloid magazine. It's not a pretty sight. But that's the media sensationalizing something that is, for many young people, a pretty exciting experience that ends up having little effect on the rest of their lives. Read below to find out about some actors and actresses that survived childhood stardom and turned out pretty normal. Whatever "normal" is.
2. Joseph Mazzello (Jurassic Park)
You may not recognize him anymore but Tim Murphy from Jurassic Park is still going strong in the film industry, appearing in movies like Raising Helen and The Social Network. He did take a break in his career for university, though lucky him, Steven Spielberg gave him a personal letter of recommendation for the University of Southern California.
3. Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Love, Actually)
Easily one of the cutest kids to grace the screens in years, Thomas came into public spotlight with roles in Love, Actually and Nanny McPhee. Unlike many of the other actors in this article he has kept acting as an adult, though his young appearance means that even at 25-years-old he's still playing children in Maze Runner and Game of Thrones.
4. Bradley Pierce (Jumanji)
Since appearing in Jumanji when he was 13, Bradley has gone on to do voiceovers for video games like Kingdom Hearts and produce short films with his own production company. He has received commendation from the mayor of San Diego for his charity work and volunteerism.
5. Ross Bagley (Fresh Prince Of Bel Air)
Nicky Banks from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air may have left the big world of television but not for long. Years ago he enrolled at California State for a degree in film studies and we're waiting to see his big debut now that's he graduated.
6. Jonathan Ke Quan (Indiana Jones)
Jonathan immigrated to the US with his family during the Fall of Saigon and shortly afterwards made a name for himself after appearing in two major films: Indiana Jones Temple of Doom as Short Round and The Goonies as Data. As a young adult he studied at the University of South California and University of Manchester before finding his niche as a stunt choreographer for action films.
7. Mara Wilson (Matilda)
Beloved child actor Mara Wilson lost passion for acting after her mother died during the filming of Matilda. Though she went on to star in three more movies, including A Simple Wish, she quit acting in 2000 to focus on school and a writing career.
8. Philip Wiegratz (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
German actor Philip Wiegratz made his English-language debut as Augustus Gloop in the 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Since then he has gone back to acting primarily in German films, including another book adaptation of Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier, but hasn't appeared in anything since 2013.
9. Liesel Matthews (A Little Princess)
Liesel appeared in exactly three movies during her childhood: A Little Princess, Air Force One, and Blast. After a brief onstage career the heiress of Hyatt Hotels left the performing world. She was thrust back into public spotlight though when she and her brother sued their parents for misuse of trust funds, resulting in a $280 million settlement.
10. Brian Bonsall (Star Trek)
This cute kid dedicated over 10 years of his childhood to acting in TV shows like Family Ties, as Andy Keaton, and Star Trek, as Alexander Rozhenko. He then retired from acting and joined rock and punk bands before focusing on his own music. He has been quoted saying that he has not interest in returning to acting.
11. Carrie Henn (Aliens)
Despite having no previous acting experience Carrie was chosen out of 500 children to play Newt in the 1998 film Aliens, a performance that won her a Saturday Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor. After the premiere her father was moved to an air force base in another state and her future acting career disappeared. She now works as a teacher.
12. Maia Brewton (Back to the Future)
You may remember her as Sara Anderson in Adventures in Babysitting or as Lorraine's little sister in Back to the Future. After some hefty roles as a child she quit acting to pursue a law degree at Yale. She is now an attorney, and lives with her wife and two children.
13. Amy O'Neill (Honey I Shrunk The Kids)
One of the most recognizable kids on this list, Amy didn't even have to change her name when she played Amy Szalinski in Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Honey I Blew Up the Kid. However she quit acting in her teens when she started receiving scripts that required nudity. She worked in the circus for several years and is now part of the LA performance art community.
14. Peter Ostrum (Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
Like many child actors Peter Ostrum only ever appeared in one film, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The studio offered him a 3-film contract after the success of the Roald Dahl adaptation, but he opted to pursue a stage acting career. After few successes in theatre he became a veterinarian and currently works out of a clinic in New York.
15. Noah Hathaway (Battlestar Galactica)
Best known for his roles of Atreyu in The NeverEnding Story and Boxey in Battlestar Galactica, Hathaway took a break from 1986 to 1994 before making To Die, To Sleep and then an 18-year hiatus before making Sushi Girl. He seems to be back for good. In his spare time he has trained in martial arts and enjoys designing and racing motorcycles professionally.
16. Olivia Hack (Brady Bunch)
From Cindy in the Brady Bunch movies to Cloe in the Bratz movies, Olivia has had one of the more successful yet low-key careers of her child star peers. You won't recognize most of her credits these days though as she mostly does voiceover work for children's shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Care Bears.
17. Alisan Porter (Curly Sue)
Curly Sue from Curly Sue is back! Though the child star quit film and television before entering high school and went on to have a music career in a band called The Alisan Porter Project, she continued to act in high school and perform professionally in musicals. She recently made an appearance on The Voice.
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We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."
This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.