Ever wonder what the ‘Feral Kid’ from ‘Mad Max’ is up to today. or what he really looks like? Or for instance, the one time hit child actor ‘Little Piggy’ from Lord Of The Flies? Well, wonder no more! Flash back to the days of TGIF and relive the glory days with these photos of some of our favorite child stars we all grew up with. These once cute kids turned into adults and changed from what we remember them. It’s nice to see our favorite stars grown up an doing cool things as adults.
Amber Scott – Private Life
Although she was one of the less prominent stars of the movie, Hook, Scott performed the movie’s Oscar-winning song When You’re Alone at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1992. Despite her good looks and obvious talent, Scott has disappeared from public life and seems to have chosen a quiet life away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood. Scott keeps herself so far out of the spotlight, not even her Facebook profile gives anything away. Presumably, stardom just doesn’t agree with everyone.
Edward Furlong – Rising Star of Rehab
Unforgettable in his role of John Connor in the action movie, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Furlong looked set for a successful film career. While his debut performance gained him plenty of attention, his career fizzled out quite quickly, largely as a result of his problems with drug addiction. In an interview in 2006, Furlong admitted to being a heroin and coke addict, adding that he was now clean. It seems he hasn’t stayed that way as he agreed to go to rehab again after he was arrested in 2013.
Taran Noah Smith – Marriage and Marijuana
Smith dedicated much of his childhood and teenage years to the sitcom, Home Improvement, playing the role of the youngest son in over 200 episodes. The series came to an end when he was 16, leaving him with a long future but no plans. A year later, Smith married Heidi Van Pelt amongst much controversy over their 16-year age difference while also accusing his parents of stealing money from his trust fund. Things haven’t improved much since then and Smith was arrested six years ago for possession of illegal substances
Madeline Zima – Audition Addict
Not one to rest on her laurels, after securing stardom with her role in the TV series, The Nanny, Madeline Zima tried to attend every audition that came her way. After her success in the role of Grace Sheffield, she continued acting and secured some decent parts, including that of Gretchen Berg in the series Heroes. Zima returns to the big screen this year with the movie, Painkillers, in which she plays the wife of a surgeon beleaguered with guilt after his son’s death.
Brittany Ashton Holmes – Political student
Although Brittany Ashton Holmes started her acting career at the tender age of 5, it only lasted a couple of years before she decided she was destined for other things. Holmes appeared in the 1994 film, The Little Rascals, playing the role of Darla and subsequently in Inhumanoid. This action movie was released in 1996, after just 18 days in the making with a tiny budget of $70,000. After its completion, at the age of seven, Holmes retired from acting and has since found a new direction, studying political science.
Jeff Cohen – Legal Eagle
The cult movie, The Goonies, was released in 1985 and was a box office hit, propelling its young stars onto celebrity scene. Cohen played the key role of Chuck but, after a few television appearances, left the acting world behind him to focus on his education. Since graduating from UCLA in 2000, Cohen has proved himself to be a successful lawyer, focusing on entertainment law. In addition to his legal firm, Cohen also writes on a range of business and legal matters for CNBC and The Huffington Post.
Mara Wilson – Movies and Mental Health
Wilson decided at an early age that she wanted to be an actress, despite her parents’ objections. Nevertheless, they allowed her to attend a few auditions which resulted in her securing a part in Mrs. Doubtfire. Wilson is best remembered for her starring role in Matilda. Sadly, Wilson’s mother passes away just as the film was completed, a heartbreaking event that dampened Wilson’s enthusiasm for acting. She now works with the non-profit organization, Project UROK, which is dedicated to helping young people with mental health issues.
Lisa Jakub – Anxious Author
Jakub was discovered at a farmer’s market at the age of four and found herself jettisoned into a celebrity lifestyle before she was even into her teenage years. With her role in Mrs. Doubtfire, Jakub’s career ran away with her, leaving her battling against anxiety. She retired from acting in 2001 at the age of 22 and has since become a successful author. Jakub’s first book, a humorous autobiography entitled You Look Like That Girl: A Child Actor Stops Pretending and Finally Grows Up, was published in 2015.
Lark Voorhies – Award Winner and Author
A successful young actress, Voorhies was a six-time nominee the Young Artist Award for her role in the sitcom Saved by the Bell. Voorhies has continued to pursue her acting career with the parts on the popular soap operas, Days of Our Lives in 1993 and The Bold and the Beautiful in 1995. She left the latter show the following year after she refused to participate in the sex scenes written for her character. Voorhies has since self-published three books and appeared in a number of music videos.
Raushan Hammond – Fantasy Films, Reality TV
Hammond’s first role was in the 1991 fantasy adventure movie, Hook, in which he played the part of Thud Butt alongside big names Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman. The chubby child decided he needed to lose weight if he was to avoid being typecast but, sadly, the new look put an end to his acting career. Nevertheless, Hammond is still a respected performer, although he now focuses on magic and has appeared in the reality series The New America’s Funniest People as part of the Prank Patrol.
Madison De La Garza – Famous Half-Sister
You may remember her as Eva Longoria’s TV daughter from Desperate House Wives, but you may not since she has been out of the spotlight since leaving the show. Fun fact about Madison, she is half-sister to pop singer Demi Lavato. The two have both spoken out about how close they are, especially as they have helped one another through their own personal trials. Currently, Madison has relaunched her YouTube channel which discusses acting, directing, producing, writing, and even special effects makeup. What a cool chic!
Matthew Lawrence – Still Life
Another young performer to get his breakthrough role in the comedy, Mrs. Doubtfire, Lawrence continued acting for some years after his debut. In 1995, Lawrence appeared in the sitcom, Brotherly Love, alongside his real-life siblings, Andrew and Joey. Throughout his acting career, Lawrence continued his passion for music, singing in both Brotherly Love and in his role as Jack Hunter in Boy Meets World. Lawrence continues to perform alongside his two brothers, having formed the band, Still 3, in 2017.
Mackenzie Phillips – Comedy and Counselling
After her debut performance in the coming-of-age comedy, American Graffiti, Phillips started earning the big bucks when she appeared in the long-running TV series, One Day at a Time. Unfortunately, the fame and fortune were too much, and her drug and alcohol problems affected her work to such an extent that she was fired from the show in 1980. Phillips continued to battle with drug addiction until 2010, but now works as a drug rehab counselor and is reprising her role in the resurrected series, One Day At A Time.
Erin Moran – Happy Days and Sad Times
Moran started acting when she was just five years old and appeared in several series, including The Waltons, before taking on the part of Joanie Cunningham in the sitcom, Happy Days. In 1988, Moran announced that she was suffering from depression and struggling to sustain her acting career. She subsequently moved to the rural Californian mountains but failed to maintain payments on her home and was evicted in 2010. Moran passed away in Indiana last year after a six-month battle with throat cancer.
Melissa Gilbert – Star Quality
Little House on the Prairie was an iconic TV series based on the autobiographical books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The series ran for almost a decade, during which Gilbert starred as Laura herself, while simultaneously taking additional roles in movies such as The Diary of Anne Frank. Gilbert was briefly linked to Brat Pack actor Rob Lowe and is now married to actor Timothy Busfield. Gilbert has continued acting, appearing more recently in the TV series, Secrets and Lies in the part of Lisa Daly.
Darla Hood- Passed Away
Darla Hood was the original Darla in what later became Little Rascals but was officially called “Our Gang”. She was the leader of the cutest gang of all. And her time on that show is forever TV history. Darla was such a talented child star and truly shined through the screen. In her later years she finished her duties at school and continued acting and even came out with a music record. She focused more on singing appearing on various tv shows. She than started a family & had three children. She sadly had a hear attack at the age of 47 from a medical procedure gone wrong.
Jared Rushton – Rocker
Rushton’s career started with great momentum, taking him from the relatively unknown parts in advertisements such as ‘Barbie and the Rockers’ to the role of Kurt Russell’s son in the 1987 romantic comedy, Overboard. Rushton went on to bag roles in blockbusters such as Big, alongside a very young Tom Hanks, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Leaving acting behind, Rushton has since discovered a love of music and is now a guitarist in the rock band, Deal by Dusk. He certainly coped better with stardom than our next actor.
Tina Majorino – Actress For Life
Gaining her start in the 1994 film, When A Man Loves A Woman, Tina Majorino took like a fish to water when it came to acting. The 1990’s held great success for Majorino as she went on to appear in noteworthy titles such as Andre, Water World, and Corrina, Corrina. Though, she had great success, Majorino took a break from acting between 1999 and 2004. When she returned to acting in 2004, her first role was Deb in Napoleon Dynamite. Acting seems to suit Tina as she has kept with it since her return and currently appears in the TV show, Scorpion.
Raven-Symoné – Still a Celebrity
Symoné’s stardom began with her role in the long-running sitcom, The Cosby Show in which she played the part of Olivia Kendall. For four years, from 2003 to 2007, Symoné starred in the lead role of the series, That’s So Raven, playing the part of a psychic teenager who tries to keep her powers under wraps. Symoné has also released a number of albums and has continued acting and singing, recently appearing in the spin-off of her old series, Raven’s Home, which premiered last year.
Barret Oliver – Photos First
After appearing in a few minor film and television roles, Oliver’s big break came when he was cast as Bastian in The Neverending Story. A year later, he won a Saturn Award for his performance as the android, Daryl in the science fiction movie, D.A.R.Y.L. Oliver hasn’t been seen on screen since 1989 when he appeared in the comedy, Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills. Oliver is now a respected photographer, specializing in 19th-century processes such as Woodburytype, on which he has written a book.
Noah Hathaway – A Life of Variety
Another Neverending Story star, Hathaway secured his first big role in Battlestar Galactica when he was just seven years old. Hathaway struggled to maintain momentum in his acting career, eventually giving it up to become a street and jazz dance instructor until an injury forced him to stop in 1989. Over 20 years later, he returned to acting with a role in the 2012 crime drama, Sushi Girl which he followed up with Blue Dream a year later. Hathaway has since changed direction and now works as a tattoo artist.
Jonathan Brandis – Hard-Working Depressive
At two years old, Brandis was already working, employed as a model for Brown Buster Shoes. He continued to appear in various advertising roles before securing steady work at the age of six with his part in the soap opera, One Life to Live. The hard-working child star grew up in Hollywood, securing his first lead role in the fantasy film sequel, Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter. This unconventional upbringing seemingly took its toll on Brandis and he suffered from severe depression, committing suicide in 2003.
Dante Basco – Fancy Footwork
As the leader of the Lost Boys in the fantasy film, Hook, Basco has continued acting and dancing since his film debut. Basco appeared in the 2006 dance drama, Take the Lead, alongside Hollywood star Antonio Banderas and has since provided the voices for a wide variety of projects, including numerous video games. Last year Basco played the role of Principal Cullen in the short Hook prequel, Bangarang and has been instrumental in trying to raise money for a feature film of the same name.
Melissa Sue Anderson – Rolling with the Roles
Anderson’s star potential was first spotted by her dance teacher and, after signing with an agent, she appeared in several commercials before landing a small role on the series, Bewitched. Anderson’s acting career got serious when she was 11 years old, with her role as Mary Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. Anderson has continued to land roles ever since, both on the small and big screen, and it looks set to continue with this year’s offering, The Brits are Coming.
Jason J. Richter – Peaceful Obscurity
Famous for his role in the children’s adventure movie, Free Willy, Richter actually had a fair bit of acting experience before he hit the big screen. Having performed in a number of advertisements, Richter’s career was going strong from an early age. He had his choice of roles throughout the Nineties, after which the acting opportunities started to dry up. Richter turned his hand to music for a while, playing bass guitar for a band called Fermata. He has since slid away into peaceful obscurity.
Hayden Panettiere – From Cradle to Grave
Panettiere started her career at a younger age than pretty much anyone else in this article, securing several roles in commercials before she was even a year old. At the age of four, she got a regular role in the soap opera, One Life to Live and went on to star in the Disney movie Remember the Titans. Her big breakthrough, however, came with her performance in the celebrated series, Nashville in 2012. Panettiere continues to act and it looks as though she will do until her dying day.
Mindy Cohn – Still Featuring in Film
Cohn is another child star who has continued to perform since she started out in 1979 as the character Natalie in The Facts of Life. Cohn carried on in the sitcom until its conclusion in 1988. Despite a five-year battle with breast cancer, Cohn has continued to keep her acting career going with a variety of roles and will be appearing in the forthcoming feature film, Hollywood Dirt. Other significant roles include the voice of Velma in the Scooby-Doo movies and the leading part in the film Violet Tendencies.
Thomas Wilson Brown – Jack of All Trades
Although most people hadn’t heard of Thomas Wilson Brown until he played the part of Little Russ Thompson in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, his first role was in the American western, Silverado. Brown pursued acting as an adult but failed to gain much recognition, despite his role in the 2010 thriller, The Mooring. These days, Brown focuses more on behind-the-camera roles and is the part-owner of the production company, Thunder Basin Pictures. Brown wears several different hats and is known for his abilities as director, writer, and producer.
Balthazar Getty – Affairs of Acting
Descended from the extremely wealthy J. Paul Getty who founded Getty Oil, Balthazar Getty established himself as a talented young actor after his performance in the lead role in Lord of the Flies in 1990. Getty has continued acting with regular roles in a wide range of movies, including Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers in 1994 and Hard Cash opposite Val Kilmer in 2002. Getty embarked on a widely publicized affair with Jude Law’s long-time partner Sienna Miller but ultimately returned to his fashion-designer wife, Rosetta Millington.
Brian Bonsall – From Actor to Singer
Bonsall started acting when he was just five years old, securing the part of Andy Keaton in Family Ties. His acting abilities were recognized early on and he went on to prove himself in the controversial horror movie, Mikey and later in the comedy, Blank Check. He retired from acting in 1995 when he was 14. In 2007, Bonsall was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend but seems have got his life back on track, touring with the band Ataris and, last year, getting married to Courtney Tuck.
Chris Furrh – Tattoos in Texas
Another young actor whose career began with the cult survival drama, Lord of the Flies. Unlike some of his co-stars, Furrh’s career stopped almost as soon as it started and, after appearing in two other movies, he opted for early retirement. Furrh now sports a very different look to his clean-cut childhood appearance and sports some interesting body art. Although he has remained out of the public eye since his retirement, he’s reported to have spent some time in prison in Texas.
Nicholle Tom – Still Acting
In addition to her part in the Beethoven movies, Tom is also remembered for playing Maggie Sheffield in the popular sitcom, The Nanny. Tom has continued to act, although probably not because she needs the income, as her early roles secured her a healthy nest-egg. Last year, Tom starred in the comedy, F The Prom, taking on the role of Principal Statszill. Now just 39 years old, we can expect to see a lot more of Tom over the coming years.
Candace Cameron – Making her Hallmark
Cameron ceased the opportunity for worldwide recognition when she agreed to take on the role of DJ Tanner in the sitcom, Full House. Although she took some time away from acting in order to focus on her family life, she has since appeared in several Hallmark movies and co-hosted the daytime talk show, The View, from 2015 to 2016. Cameron has strong Christian beliefs which she credits for her successful marriage. Cameron has also written three books, including the semi-autobiographical, Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness.
Alisan Porter – Singing for Her Supper
Porter started singing and dancing when she was just three years old, going on to become the youngest contestant to win the talent show, Star Search. Her big break came with her leading role in the movie, Curly Sue opposite John Belushi. Porter has continued singing and appeared in a number of Broadway shows including The Ten Commandments: The Musical at the Kodak Theatre alongside Val Kilmer. In 2012, Porter married fellow child actor Brian Autenrieth with whom she has two children, although the couple split last year.
Joey Cramer – Legal Issues
The Eighties was a good period for Cramer and he appeared in a number of films, including The Clan of the Cave Bear and Flight of the Navigator for which he received a Saturn Award nomination for his portrayal of a young boy abducted by aliens. His career stumbled to an end in the Nineties and over the past decade, Cramer has had several legal issues to deal with, having been arrested for possession of narcotics, cashing forged cheques and even attempting to rob a bank.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar – A Healthy Cycle
Gosselaar’s acting career may have started when he was just 15, but that hasn’t stopped him pursuing other pastimes. In addition to his various roles in film and TV, Gosselaar is also an avid cyclist, competing in the Far West Championships in 2005. Gosselaar became a popular Tv personality when he landed the role of Zack Morris in Saved by the Bell in 1989. The cycling actor has also done some modeling, as well as taking the lead role in the romantic drama, 12 Dates of Christmas in 2011.
Christopher Castile – Popular Professor
Castile gained significant popularity after taking on the role of Ted in the popular family comedy, Beethoven. Castile reprised his part in the 1993 sequel Beethoven’s 2nd before taking on the role of Mark Foster in the sitcom Step By Step. When the sitcom was canceled, Castile retired from acting to pursue a more academic career. Castile is a now a professor of political science and teaches at Biola University in California as well as teaching history at Downey High School.
Nicola Peltz – Faithful to Film
Peltz started acting at a young age and by the time she was 12, she already had an agent. It wasn’t until 2010, however, that Peltz’s career really started to take off, although she appeared in a couple of comedy films prior to that. Her role in the fantasy adventure, The Last Airbender, made Peltz a household name and she hasn’t looked back since. Later this year, Peltz will be back on the big screen with two movies set for release – the thriller, Our House, and the drama Back Roads.
Ralph Macchio – Cameo Kid
One of the most famous films ever made was The Karate Kid which hit the screens in 1984, taking Macchio from obscurity to international recognition. Macchio remained in the public eye for a few years, reprising his role as Daniel LaRusso in the two Karate Kid sequels. Since then, he has mainly been seen in cameo roles, although it was recently announced that he will be coming back to the small screen as an older LaRusso in the upcoming Cobra Kai series.
Jeremy Miller – Screen Success
Miller’s career began when he landed the part of Ben Seaver in the sitcom Growing Pains when he was nine years old. Since then, Miller has appeared in numerous TV shows and movies, including The Growing Pains Movie in 2000 and the sequel that was released in 2004. His steady work has ensured he has enough money to support his acting wife, Joanie, and his three stepsons. Despite his stable family life, Miller admits to being an alcoholic for years, having started drinking at just four years old.
Justin Cooper – Tuned into Radio
Cooper’s first television appearance was on an advertisement for Domino’s Pizzas back in 1993 when he was just five years old. Cooper went on to charm audiences with his performance as Max in the fantasy comedy, Liar Liar, starring Jim Carey. Cooper went on to appear in the sitcom, Brother’s Keeper, for which he was nominated for a Youth in Film award. Like some of the other stars in this article, Cooper has since opted for a different direction and works as a producer for Fox Sports Radio.
Jimmy Workman – Family Life
Workman’s acting career began with his role in the film, The Addams Family, but it pretty much ended there as well. Workman had a small role in the film, The Biggest Fan, which was eventually released in 2005 after three years of filming. The show business industry never seemed right for Workman and he has since disappeared from the limelight, although his celebrity connections continue with his sister, Ariel Winter, being well-known for her part in the sitcom, Modern Family. Workman now has a young family and lives in Los Angeles.
Blake McIver Ewing – Renaissance Man
Ewing’s first role was a minor part in the 1993 comedy-drama, Calendar Girl, starring Jason Priestly. After he got a taste of acting, his career developed quickly with the 1994 offering, The Little Rascals and a three-year stint on the TV series, Full House. In addition to acting, Ewing also spent a year working as a go-go dancer in Los Angeles, a job that enabled him to save up enough to finish his first record. Ewing is now a host on the reality television series, The People’s Couch.
Abigail Breslin – Career Girl
Breslin’s long and busy career is a testament to her hard-working attitude. She appeared on an advertisement for Toys R Us when she was just three years old and secured her first film role at the age of five. Since then, Breslin has appeared in 30 movies and a number of televisions series, somehow finding time to work with the non-profit organization, Project Sunshine, which offers recreational activities to children with medical conditions. Breslin is due to appear in the ensemble comedy, Saturday at the Starlight, later this year.
Aileen Quinn – Annie be Good
The curly little redhead with her face full of freckles stole the show when she appeared in the starring role of the 1980s musical, Annie. Quinn worked hard for her lead role, auditioning repeatedly and fighting off thousands of rivals to secure the part. After graduating from the Drew University, Quinn turned her attention to the stage and performed in productions such as Peter Pan and Fiddler on the Roof. Quinn has continued her singing career with the band, Leapin Lizards, and is also a teacher.
Frankie Muniz – From TV to Track
AS the star of the extremely popular sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle, Muniz started his career with a bang, earning himself an Emmy Award nomination and a Young Star Award from The Hollywood Reporter. He thrived as a young star, making numerous television appearances, as well as the lead role in the 2003 movie, Agent Cody Banks. Muniz looked all set to transition from child actor to adult star but ended up receiving mainly cameo roles. Muniz is now a writer and producer, as well as a keen racing driver.
Haley Joel Osment – Career Comeback
While most famous for his starring role in the critically acclaimed thriller, The Sixth Sense, Osment’s career actually began with the box office hit, Forrest Gump. Osment went on to become a big earner with his starring role in the romantic drama, Pay It Forward and earnt critical acclaim for his part in Steven Spielberg’s 2001 sci-fi drama, A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Osment took some time away from acting to finish his education but is making a comeback in some unconventional roles, including a part in Yoga Hosers alongside Johnny Depp.
Emil Minty – Sydney based Jeweler
The Australian child star, Emil Minty, shot to fame with his role in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, opposite Mel Gibson. Although he had no lines in the movie, his role as the Feral Kid captured the audience’s hearts and minds. His following roles were pretty minor, including the part of Toby, a deaf child, in the Australian film called Fluteman. Emil resigned as an actor just as he was completing school and now works as a jeweler for Chris Lewis Jewelers in Gladesville, Sydney.
Jonathan Ke Quan – Turning Tricks
Originally from Vietnam, Ke Quan and his family were selected for political asylum and moved to the United States in the mid-Seventies. His acting career took off soon afterward, with his first appearance in the box office hit, Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom. Thanks to his language skills and fluency in Mandarin, Ke Quan took the lead role in The Big Eunuch and the Little Carpenter. Ke Quan now works alongside Corey Yuen, choreographing stunts and fights for movies such as X-Men.
Brandon “Bug” Hall – Family Man
Everybody knew Hall’s face after he took on the role of Alfalfa in The Little Rascals. After that, Hall continued acting for several years, appearing in the adventure comedy, The Stupids, and telefilm, The Munsters’ Scary Little Christmas, for which he received a YoungStar nomination. In addition to his film roles, Hall has made a number of guest appearances on TV shows including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Criminal Minds, and Strong Medicine. Last year, Hall married Jill de Groff and is now focusing on his family life.
Tami Stronach – Dancing Queen
The fantasy movie, The Neverending Story, was a big hit in the Eighties, grossing around US$100 million internationally and gaining Stronach some modicum of fame and celebrity status. Her parents were unwilling to let their daughter pursue a career in acting, fearing the temptations of celebrity lifestyle would prove too much for her. Instead, Stronach returned to school where she discovered a love of dance, going on to perform with the US-based Israeli dance troop, Neta Dance Company. Stronach recently to acting with the movie Ultra Low.
Dan Pipoly – Just Living Life
Although he was only 12 years old when he was selected for the part of Piggy in the movie, The Lord of the Flies, Pipoly worked hard and produced an impressively mature performance. The actor received widespread recognition for his role and two award nominations. Despite this, he appeared in just three other movies, The Torkelsons in 1991, followed by the role of Zeke MacGruder in the 1992 movie The Giant of Thunder Mountain and completing his acting career with martial arts comedy, 3 Ninjas Knuckle up in 1995.
Erin Murphy – From Witch to Writer
The sitcom, Bewitched, enjoyed a long run due to its immense popularity and Erin appeared in no less than 103 episodes between its debut in 1964, until its end eight years later. Originally, she shared the role of Tabitha with her twin sister but, when the two started to mature, they ceased to look so much alike, and the role was given to Erin. Murphy continued acting for a short time afterward, appearing on numerous commercials. These days, she is better known as a fashion and beauty writer.