12 Former Child Actors You Don’t Have To Worry About
1. Rider Strong
Strong played Shawn Hunter, TV’s second least threatening bad-boy (after Fonzie) for seven years until Boy Meets World wrapped in 2000. Since then he’s done some behind the camera work, directing a short film called Dungeon Master (centering on a group of dungeons and dragons players), graduating with an English degree from Columbia, and earning an MFA from Bennington. Now it looks like he might be lobbying for a part on USA’s next legal drama.
3. Mara Wilson
Mara Wilson might be the poster girl for the well adjusted post-Hollywood child star. Consistently adorable in ’90s kids movies like Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire, and A Simple Wish Wilson’s last film was 2000’s Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Now twenty-five she’s an NYU grad and blogs about everything from her leaving acting to Ira Glass at the perfectly titled MaraWilsonWritesstuff.com.
4. Ralph Macchio
Ralph Macchio, aka The Karate Kid’s Daniel-san played a teen long after his real high school days would have ended; when the last Karate Kid dropped he was twenty-eight. After landing his first big adult role in My Cousin Vinny he did a few guest appearances on shows like Psych and Law and Order: Criminal Intent, even placing fourth on the 12th season of Dancing With the Stars. His family life is so stable (he and his wife of twenty-five-years have a daughter as well as a son named, of course, Daniel) it was parodied for a Funny or Die video.
6. Nate Richert
Richert never landed a big role after his seven-year stint as Sabrina’s doppy boyfriend Harvey on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, so he moved on to music. His third album, “Halogen Moon” is coming out soon according to his website, and he’s performed live in a few Hollywood venues as recently as this August.
7. Soleil Moon Frye
Soleil Moon Frye was first known as the cute, if eccentrically dressed title character in the ’80s show Punky Brewster, then as Sabrina’s friend Roxie on Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the early 2000s. Now Frye runs a kids eco-friendly clothing store called The Little Seed , and she and her husband of fourteen-years have two daughters, Jagger and Poet.
8. Scott Weinger
Weigner, known as DJ Tanner’s boyfriend and the voice of Aladdin is still very involved with Hollywood, though he’s taken on more of a behind the scenes role. After he left Full House Weigner enrolled at Harvard, graduating in 1998. Steve, the hungry, hungry hippo of Full House, graduated from Harvard. Just let that sink in. Now a screenwriter he’s written scripts for TV shows like What I Like About You and 90210 in addition to doing Aladdin voice work for video games like Kingdom Hearts.
9. Gaby Hoffmann
Hoffman owned the role of the cute little girl in the late ’80s and early ’90s, appearing in Uncle Buck, Sleepless in Seattle, and Field of Dreams. She managed to score so pretty big teen roles as well, including leads in Now and Then and the first Freaky Friday remake. She graduated from Bard college in 2003, and after graduation took to the stage, performing in Suburbia in Broadway. More recently she’s gotten back into TV and movies, guest staring on shows like Louie, Private Practice, and The Good Wife.
10. Bradley Pierce
Pierce, who played the increasingly hairy Peter in Jumanji and voiced Chip in Beauty and the Beast continued voice acting for TV and video games until 2008. Married since 2005 Pierce has two sons, Gavin and Dorian.
11. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Jonathan Taylor Thomas spent most of the ’90s smirking adorably, first on Home Improvement, then in movies like Man of the House and Tom and Huck. After Home Improvement ended in 1998 he did some guest spots on Smallville and Veronica Mars, but his IMDB page has been quiet since 2005. He graduated from Columbia in 2010 after spending some time at Harvard, and with no reports to the contrary I think it’s safe to assume he’s chilling out in his den, reading important books surrounded by his Kids Choice Award blimps.
12. Ariana Richards
Richards, who perfected her terrified expression in 1993’s Jurassic Park, continued to act in TV movies through the late ’90s before turning her attention to art. She graduated from Skidmore college and now runs a gallery where she displays her portraits and landscapes, though her masterpiece might be the dinosaur themed watercolor she created for Steven Spielberg.
14. Liesel Matthews
Liesel Matthew’s, who’s legal name is Liesel Anne Pritzker, had only three roles in her short Hollywood career: Harrison Ford’s daughter in Air Force One, the lead in A Little Princess, retiring after starring in the 2000 comedy Blast. Two years later she was in court, but unlike most child stars with legal issues, she was on the offensive. After suing her cousins for her fair share of a massive family inheritance, Pritzker walked away with over $280 million dollars. It’s safe to say she can watch her old movies and reminisce on a really, really big TV.
15. Robert Oliveri
Oliveri played Nick Szalinski in all three Honey I Was Playing with Size Related Technology I Really Have No Business Touching movies and the little brother in Edward Scissorhands, securing him enough clout to land a full photo in Bop magazine. He left Hollywood after ‘94, but reports claim he’s married with a son and daughter.