When a child begins acting, that opens several doors to the future. Some child stars stay in show business while others are never heard of again. Let’s find out what some childhood actors are doing now!
Daniel Radcliffe became a child star when he played Harry Potter at age 11. Radcliffe grew up on the Harry Potter movie series, and by the final film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two”, Radcliffe was 22 years old. In an interview with Daniel Radcliffe, he was asked what his favorite memories from filming were. Radcliffe answered that he was fond of scenes he played with Gary Oldman, who played Sirius Black, and David Thewlis, who played Remis Lupin. Not too long ago, HBO had a 20th anniversary for the Harry Potter stars, and Daniel Radcliffe communicated his fondness of the memories he had with the cast. After the hit movies, just like other childhood actors, Radcliffe branched out to different genres including the Broadway show “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”. Radcliffe is best known for his role as Harry Potter, but you will still see him on the screen from time to time.
The Sprouse Twins
Dylan and Cole Sprouse are best known for their childhood roles on the hit Disney show, “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody”. This fan favorite show went on for three seasons. Before they were seen on Disney, the Sprouse twins appeared on “Friends” and “Big Daddy” with Adam Sandler. The twins took a break from film to attend New York University, but both are back to acting in movies and TV shows. Dylan has been in several music videos since his comeback, while Cole has played character Jughead on “Riverdale”. Outside of acting, the twins have interesting lives. Dylan is the co-owner of All-Wise Meadery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Cole shares his talent as a photographer for Teen Vogue and more. I mean who wouldn’t include these two amongst some of the best childhood actors in film?
In 1989 Raven Symone began as a childhood actor by playing Olivia Kendall on “The Crosby Show”. However, Symone is best known for her role on Disney’s “That’s So Raven”. After a few years, Symone made appearences on shows like “Nashville” and “Empire”. Symone recently left as co-host on “The View” to star in the Disney spinoff, “Raven’s Home”. Like “That’s So Raven”, “Raven’s Home” stars Symone and her psychic powers. In the show, Symone has two daughters, one of which shares her psychic power. Symone’s best friend Chelsea from the original show makes a comeback too.
Frankie Muniz started as a child star as Malcom in “Malcom in the Middle” in the early 2000s. He was nominated for an Emmy Award as well as two Golden Globe Awards because of his talent and charm at a young age. He went on to act in many other shows including “Agent Cody Banks”, “Big Fat Liar” and “My Dog Skip”. He was considered one of Hollywood’s most talented teens. Muniz eventually disappeared from the scene due to health conditions after a fatal car crash. Muniz has suffered several mini-strokes, and he has also suffered from memory loss. But what is Muniz doing now? He recently bought a specialty shop in Arizona called Outrageous Oils and Vinegars. He also married his long-term girlfriend, Paige Price.
Mayim Bialik’s career as a big childhood actor started when she played Blossom Russo in the ‘90s show “Blossom”. Bialik took the role as Blossom at 12 years old and played her for six seasons. Before her big role, she acted in the horror film “Pumpkinhead”. Bialik left the acting scene to earn a doctorate in neuroscience, but then returned to play Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory”. As Mayim Bialik has become a mother, she has used her platform to speak about parenting and the issues mothers face through her own website.
At age 11, Shannen Doherty played Jenny Wilder on “Little House on the Prairie”. The TV show ran from 1974 to 1983. Since then, Doherty has starred in many films and shows including “Heathers”, “Beverly Hills 90210”, and “Charmed”. Doherty has been married three times, but she is currently married to Kurt Iswarienko. In 2015, Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was in remission in 2017, but by 2020 her illness returned. Despite struggling with cancer, Doherty participated in the revival of “BH90210”. Lately Doherty has been active on her Instagram account giving updates for her cancer.
Abigail Breslin became a child star when she acted in the film “Little Miss Sunshine”. Before her big hit, she had roles in films like “Signs”, Raising Helen”, and “The Princess Diaries 2”. Since “Little Miss Sunshine”, Breslin has been busy with her acting career. She has appeared in the movies “No Reservations”, Zombieland”, “New Year’s Eve”, “August: Osage Country”, and “Ender’s Game”. She has also starred on the TV show “Scream Queens”. Breslin recently appeared in the film “Stillwater” that hit theaters in 2021. Outside of actine, Abigail Breslin is also a singer. She released a song called “Steve McQueen” which she stated is “about a relationship you can never quite grasp, one that you can’t ever hold onto for very long because it slips through your fingers like sand… but you appreciate the fleeting moment in which it existed.” It’s great to see the “Little Miss Sunshine” star all grown up.
Tia and Tamara Mowry
Tia and Tamara are best known for their child star roles on “Sister, Sister” in 1994 on ABC. During “Sister, sister”, the twins also appeared in Nickelodean’s “Are you Afraid of the Dark?” and The WB’s “Smart Guy” which starred their younger brother, Tahj Mowry. After the series, Tia and Tamara starred in Disney Channel original movies “Seventeen Again”, Twitches”, and “Twitches Too” thus springing them into one of the top known childhood actors in the world. After a few years of gigs, the twins got back together for a reality series called “Tia and Tamara”, which displayed their transition into adulthood. Aside from acting, Tia has published a cookbook and a book about pregnancy. Tia has found some success in her series “Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix” where she gives lifestyle advice including cooking and parenting. Tamara’s last acting gig was Hallmark’s “A Christmas Miracle” in 2019. Since 2013, Tamara has been hosting a daytime talk show called “The Real”, but she recently stepped down to focus on future projects.
Hilary Duff got her biggest childhood actor role as Lizzie McGuire on Disney Channel. “Lizzie McGuire” aired from 2001 to 2004. Duff isn’t just an actor though. She has written several songs such as “So Yesterday,” “Metamorphosis,” “Why Not,” “Break My Heart” and “Our Lips Are Sealed”. In 2019, Disney announced that “Lizzie McGuire” was getting a reboot. Unfortuneately, Duff announced in 2020 that the revival series was being cancelled. Since then, Duff has appeared in “Younger”, and she’s starring in the series “How I Met Your Father”. Other than acting, Duff holds the responsibility as a mother, and she loves it. She has one son and two daughters she loves dearly.
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen
Mary kate and Ashley Olsen had their big break when they were cast as Michelle Tanner on “Full House”. Their charm and personality humored thousands. After “Full House”, the twins starred in several direct-to-DVD films such as “Our Lips Are Sealed”, “Passport to Paris”, How The West Was Fun”, and “The Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley”. In the meantime, the twins released a clothing line, a cosmetics line, video games, and a board game. The twins then acted in their last movie together when they were 18 years old, “New York Minute”. After their final movie together, Ashley decided to put acting aside to focus on fashion. Mary Kate continues to act for a few years before retiring in 2011. The two now focus on fashion together, with their clothing lienes “The Row” and “Elizabeth and James”.
Zac Efron had his big break as a child star when he was a teen. Efron starred in Disney’s “High School Musical” series, and girls loved him. In the 2010s, Efron became even more popular as he played roles in movies like “17 Again”, “New Year’s Eve”, and “The Lucky One”. Efron has always been into fitness, so in 2014 he was granted the Best Shirtless Performance. Recently he has showed talent in “Baywatch”, “The Greatest Showman”, and “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile”. Efron has come a long way since his “High School Musical” days!
You may know Macaulay Culkin best from the hit movie “Home Alone”, but he had quite a history before it. Culkin runs in a family of actors, from his father Kit Culkin to his aunt Bonnie Bedelia. Culkin himself started acting when he was 4 years old. He played roles in “The Midnight Hour” and an episode in “The Equalizer”. Culkin got his big break in 1990 playing Kevin McCallister in “Home Alone”. Kevin was a crowd favorite, so Culkin went on to receive an American Comedy Award and a Young Artist Award. In the early 90’s Culkin continued to act until 1994 when he took a break for school. By 2000, the actor was back in show businessin the play “Madame Melville” on London’s West End. In 2013, Culkin shifted his career to music. He formed the comedy rock band The Pizza Underground. The group toured North America and Europe before splitting up in 2018.
Skai Jackson began her career at a very young age. At nine months old, Jackson had become a model and continued down that path for a few years. At eight years old, Jackson auditioned for the Disney Channel show “Jessie”, and she got the part. Jackson is probably best known for her role as Zuri on “Jessie”, but before the show she had been in a few films such as “Liberty Kid”, “Rescue Me”, and “The Rebound”. After “Jessie” ended, Jackson got to play Zuri again on the spinoff “Bunk’d”. In 2016, Skai Jackson made the list for Time’s 30 Most Influential Teens. This is due to her global impact through social media. Jackson was just 14 years old when she got this achievement. Jackson now uses her platform to speak up against racism, but maybe she will continue to act in the future.
There are many childhood actors who still act now, but some have moved on to music, writing, and much more. The actors you knew as children have grown up, and they are changing the world. This list may have made you feel a little old, but hopefully it brings back good memories. It’s good to know where our favorite child stars are now.
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