Child Stars You Forgot About Who Grew Up and Stopped Acting
Child stars often captivate us with their talent and charisma, but as they grow up, they sometimes choose to step away from the limelight. Whether it’s pursuing other passions, focusing on education, or dealing with personal challenges, these former child stars have left the acting world. In this article, we’ll take a trip down memory lane and explore the lives of 10 child stars who chose a different path.
Jenette McCurdy: From iCarly to Behind the Scenes
Jenette McCurdy, known for her role as Sam Puckett on the popular show “iCarly,” has left the acting scene. If you tuned into the new iCarly reboot and missed her presence, it’s because McCurdy has shifted her focus. Instead of acting, she’s chosen to pursue writing and directing, showcasing her versatility in the entertainment industry.
Amanda Bynes: A Hiatus for Personal Growth
Amanda Bynes, a former child star with a remarkable career in both television and movies, is on an indefinite hiatus. This break began in 2010 when she decided to step back from the spotlight to address substance abuse and legal issues. Before her hiatus, Bynes graced our screens with her appearances on shows like “All That” and “The Amanda Show,” as well as movies like “Hairspray” and “She’s the Man.” In 2019, she graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Irvine, showing a commitment to personal growth.
Peter Ostrum: The Willy Wonka Star Who Became a Veterinarian
Peter Ostrum, the child star who played Charlie Bucket in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” chose a different path. Rather than pursuing a career in acting, Ostrum became a veterinarian. So, if you ever wondered where he disappeared to after his sweet adventures in the chocolate factory, he’s the one in the checkered shirt, caring for animals instead.
Mara Wilson: From Child Actress to Podcast Personality
Mara Wilson, who charmed audiences with her performances in beloved films like “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Matilda,” and “Miracle on 34th Street,” has transitioned her career. While you may not see her on the screen these days, you might hear her on podcasts like “Welcome to Night Vale” or find her lending her voice to “Big Hero 6: The Series.” She also wrote a book titled “Where Am I Now?True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame,” offering a glimpse into her time in Hollywood.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas: From Teen Heartthrob to Scholar
Jonathan Taylor Thomas, a heartthrob of the ’90s due to his role in “Home Improvement,” has largely stepped away from acting. Instead, he shifted his focus to education, ultimately graduating from Columbia University in 2010. This child star chose a different path to explore his intellectual pursuits.
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen: Twins Turned Fashion Icons
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who rose to fame as infants sharing the role of Michelle Tanner on “Full House,” have retired from acting. While they had a successful run with TV movies and direct-to-video releases, as well as movies like “When in Rome” and “New York Minute,” they shifted their attention to the fashion world. The twins co-founded the luxury fashion brand, “The Row,” as well as “Olsenboy” and “StyleMint,” establishing themselves as fashion icons.
Jake Lloyd: Anakin Skywalker’s Difficult Journey
Jake Lloyd, known for his role as the young Anakin Skywalker in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” faced the challenges of skyrocketing to fame in a major movie franchise. After the film, he retired from acting and encountered legal and mental health issues, demonstrating the complexities child stars may encounter as they grow up.
Omri Katz: From “Hocus Pocus” to Cannabis Apparel
Omri Katz, remembered for his role in the Halloween classic “Hocus Pocus” and his part in the long-running series “Dallas,” chose to leave acting behind. Instead, he now runs a cannabis apparel store, showcasing a different entrepreneurial spirit.
Angus T. Jones: From Child Star to a Different Path
Angus T. Jones, once the highest-paid child star in TV for his role in “Two and a Half Men,” took a step back from the show when the storyline became more adult-oriented. This transition demonstrates how child stars may choose to redefine their careers as they grow up.
Shirley Temple: A Diplomat’s Journey
Shirley Temple, one of the most popular child stars of all time, left acting in 1950 at the age of 22 after a series of subpar film roles. She went on to become a diplomat and represented the United States at a session of the United Nations General Assembly. Her journey showcases how child stars can make remarkable contributions beyond the world of entertainment.
Child stars who step away from the spotlight often embark on diverse and remarkable journeys. Their transitions reflect the challenges and opportunities that come with growing up in the public eye. While their paths may diverge from acting, they continue to inspire us with their resilience and pursuit of new passions.
- Why do child stars sometimes leave acting? Child stars may leave acting for various reasons, including a desire for personal growth, pursuing education, addressing personal challenges, or exploring different career paths.
- What is Jenette McCurdy doing after leaving acting? Jenette McCurdy has shifted her focus to writing and directing, showcasing her talents in a different aspect of the entertainment industry.
- Where can I find Mara Wilson’s work today? Mara Wilson can be heard on podcasts like “Welcome to Night Vale” and has also lent her voice to “Big Hero 6: The Series.” Additionally, she’s authored a book titled “Where Am I Now? Real Accounts of Childhood and Inadvertent Notoriety.”
- What career path did Peter Ostrum choose after acting? Peter Ostrum, known for his role as Charlie Bucket in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” became a veterinarian.
- How did Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen transition after retiring from acting? The Olsen twins shifted their focus to the fashion world, co-founding the luxury fashion brand “The Row,” as well as “Olsenboy” and “StyleMint.”