Check Out What These Kids In TV Look Like Now

By Carole 7 months ago

Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie) - THEN

Image source: Looper
Melissa Gilbert started acting as soon as she could walk! After appearing on "The Dean Martin Show" and "Gunsmoke", she made her debut in 1974 as Laura Ingalls in "Little House on the Prairie." Gilbert stayed with the show for 9 years, even reprising the role for TV movies.

Melissa Gilbert - NOW

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In 2012 Melissa Gilbert took the plunge and accepted the invitation to appear on "Dancing with the Stars" where she made fifth place. Still acting today, Gilbert starred in ABC's "Secret and Lies" and several tv movies. She even ran in Michigan's 8th Congressional District for U.S. Congress but dropped out as she was suffering from health issues.

Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys) - THEN

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Corey Feldman started out in commercials and the odd guest spot on entertainment shows but in 1979 it all changed for the young actor. At the age of only 8 he got to play Regi Tower in "The Bad News Bears TV" program. TV and film roles, including "The Lost Boys" and there was even an attempt at a music career.

Corey Feldman - NOW

Image source: Reddit
Corey Feldman released a book in 2013 which was his memoir and it made difficult reading.  It focussed on Corey's struggle with substance abuse, the death of his best friend, fellow actor Corey Haim and his difficult life growing up in the spotlight. He produced a documentary in 2020 called "My Truth: The R*pe of 2 Coreys" which was based on the sexual abuse he and Haim went through from older guys in the entertainment industry.

Gary Coleman (Diff'rent Strokes) - THEN

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Gary Coleman became famous at ten years of age when he played Arnold in "Diff'rent Strokes."  He spent 8 years on the show which was a massive worldwide hit, playing a character several years younger than he actually was.  Coleman also made appearances in "Silver Spoons", "The Facts of Life" and "The Jeffersons."

Gary Coleman - NOW

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Coleman had his struggles later in life, mainly financial ones but he also suffered emotionally.  He successfully sued his parents and advisers over misappropriation of his earnings and was declared bankrupt.  Gary gave up acting and ran for governor of California in 2003.  Sadly, he passed away in 2010 aged 42.

Danica McKellar (The Wonder Years) - THEN

Image source: Entertainment Today
After appearing in a couple of episodes of "The Twilight Zone", Danica McKellar bagged a great gig as Winnie Cooper in "The Wonder Years."  She was a very natural actress in front of the camera and stayed with the show for five years.  Further tv roles followed and McKellar then took a break away from the limelight for a while.

Danica McKellar - NOW

Image source: CNN
When Danica McKellar returned to our screens, she did voice work for "Phineas and Ferb" and "Transformers: Rescue Bots."  Then there was a stint on "Dancing With the Stars" and a judging role on "Lego Masters."  After gaining a Ph.D in Math from the University of Chicago, she went on to write books on that subject.  One was entitled "Kiss My Math."

Tracey Gold (Growing Pains) - THEN

mage source: Ned Hardy
Tracey Gold was first spotted on the television when she played Carol Seaver in "Growing Pains". Even though she was only 7 years old, she had the makings of a future first class actress. Gold left "growing Pains" when she was 14 and continued with further acting roles during the 1990s and 2000s.

Tracey Gold -NOW

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Tracey Gold released a book in 2003 called "Room to Grow: An Appetite for Life."  This documented her well known battle with eating disorders throughout her youth. Tracey has since been in movies made for tv and won the competition in the reality show "Worst Cooks in America."

Lisa Bonet - THEN

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Lisa Bonet became very recognisable as she was on everyone's tv screens when they watched "The Cosby Show."  Lisa started playing Denise Huxtable in 1984 and the spin off "A Different World."  She then made the transition to movies, making regular appearances during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Lisa Bonet - NOW

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Lisa Bonet popped up in 2010 in episodes of "Drunk History", "Ray Donovan" and "New Girl, Girls." She married Lenny Kravitz and the couple had a daughter Zoe before they split. Bonet moved on to Jason Momoa and they married in 2017, having two children together. That marriage did not last either and they divorced 6 years later.

Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster) - THEN

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Soleil Moon Frye was already a seasoned performer by the age of 7 so it was no surprise when she was offered the lead role in "Punky Brewster." She played the part from 1984 to 1988 and then moved on to star in "The Wonder Years" and some episodes of "Saved by the Bell."

Soleil Moon Frye - NOW

Image source: KVUE
These days, Soleil Moon Frye acts occasionally, mainly through voice acting,  He lent her voice to "Robot Chicken", "Planet Sheen and "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder."  "Punky Brewster" was revived in 2021 on Peacock but only lasted one season. Soleil is the mom to four kids.

Lukas Haas (Testament) - THEN

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Lukas Haas had a different childhood to other kids his age. He spent it in front of the camera, being a natural performer in "Testament" in 1983 and "Witness" in 1985. Other projects followed, both on the big and small screen with over fifty in total, as he grew into adulthood.

Lukas Haas - NOW

Image source: Rotten Tomatoes
Lukas Haas has been lucky enough to feature in several critically acclaimed movies, "The Inception" and "The Revenant" being just a couple. He has acted alongside Leonardo DiCaprio, Elliot Page and Tom Hardy. He was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for the film "Babylon" in 2022.

Sean Astin (The Goonies) - THEN

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In 1985, young Sean Astin starred in "The Goonies" as Mikey Walsh. Up until then he was an unknown actor with a few credits to his name. This cult movie made Astin a household name and catapulted him to further roles. He received an Oscar nomination for "Kangaroo Court" in 1994.

Sean Astin - NOW

Image source: Variety
Sean Astin earned earned further acclaim as Samwise Gamgee in the brilliant "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy. He then did voice work on "Sofia the First", "Bunnicula" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Live action roles followed with "No Good Nick", "The Strain" and "Stranger Things." 

Emmanuel Lewis (Webster) - THEN

Image source: Variety
Emmanuel Lewis was on everyone's tv screens as they ate their dinner each evening as he did over 50 commercials!  You may remember the ones he did for Campbell's soup, Life cereal and Burger King. His Colgate commercial is seen in the movie 'Splash' when Madison goes to the mall (it can be seen in the background). Lewis starred as the main character in "Webster."  He also made a cameo as himself in the movie "Kickin' It Old Skool" several years later.

Emmanuel Lewis - NOW

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Emmanuel Lewis moved into music and recorded his own songs. He kept up a friendship he had made with Michael Jackson many years earlier. They would both turn up at award ceremonies, dressed the same and they often discussed performing and the highs and lows of show business.

Joey Lawrence (Gimme a Break!)- THEN

Image source: Entertainment Tonight
Joey Lawrence secured his first big role when he played Joey Donovan on "Gimme a Break!" playing Joey Donovan. The casting director said his real name suited him so they didn't change it!  He then played another Joey, Joey Russo in "Blossom."  He had a catchphrase "Whoa" which always followed him around.

Joey Lawrence - NOW

Image source: Fox 5 New York
Joey Lawrence starred alongside Melissa Joan Hart in "Melissa & Joey" (keeping his real name yet again!)  This was in 2010 and the show ran for five years.  Following that, Lawrence was a contestant on "Cupcake Wars", "Celebrity Big Brother" and then showed his vocal ability on "The Masked Singer."

Ricky Schroder (Silver Spoons) - THEN

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Viewers first set eyes on Ricky Schroder back in 1979. He starred in "The Champ" alongside Faye Dunaway and Jon Voight (Angelina Jolie's dad). After a few more movies he hit the small screen in "Silver Spoons", spending five years on that show up until 1987.

Ricky Schroder - NOW

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Ricky Schroder didn't let the grass grow under his feet!  He played Dr West in "Strong Medicine" and Mike Doyle in "24."  Schroder made a cameo as himself in "Get Him to the Greek", before moving behind the camera as a director and producer. He caused controversy when he harassed a Costco staff member for their policy on mask wearing during the height of COVID.

Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains) - THEN

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Kirk Cameron started out in small part guest roles on tv but became a household name in 1985 when he was chosen to play Mike Seaver in "Growing Pains."  The show was very successful and led to Cameron getting his very own spin-off "Kirk."  Unfortunately, the audience weren't enamored and it was short lived.

Kirk Cameron - NOW

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Kirk Cameron tired of acting as he had more serious matters on his mind.  He had become very religious and wanted to focus on this  He became a born again Christian and these days restricts his on-screen work to stuff that involves his faith. These have included "Fireproof", "Saving Christmas" and "Lifemark" in 2022.

Fred Savage (The Wonder Years) - THEN

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Fred Savage rose to fame at a very early age. He had roles in "The Princess Bride" in 1987 and "Little Monsters" in 1989. These led to him securing the part of Kevin Arnold in "The Wonder Years." When Savage left that role in 1993, he moved to "Working" on NBC and stayed until 1999.

Fred Savage - NOW

Image source: Deadline
Following a variety of projects, Fred Savage returned to the television. He had a starring role in "The Grinder", opposite Rob Lowe. Things went badly thereafter. A costume designer accused him of assault and although Savage was cleared of the crime, he was no longer flavor of the month. There were further allegations of misconduct during the reboot of "The Wonder Years" and that appeared to be the nail in the coffin for him.

Jenny Lewis (Growing Pains) - THEN

Image source: YouTube
Jenny Lewis started off by appearing in commercials, a couple of tv movies and an episode of "The Twilight Zone."  She carried on acting through the late 1980s into the early 1990s, appearing in "Growing Pains", "Roseanne" and "The Golden Girls."  Her big break was when she was cast in the movie "Troop Beverly Hills."

Jenny Lewis - NOW

Image source: Rolling Stone
Jenny Lewis made a successful transition from acting to music and she received critical acclaim for her 2014 album "The Voyager" and also for "On The Line" in 2019.  Lewis occasionally appears on tv, in light hearted roles and she has her own online streaming program.

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