Fame is a funny thing, we all still remember these child stars from their classic roles in ’80s movies, but most of them have fallen completely out of the spotlight. We looked up some of the decade’s biggest (and smallest) stars to learn what they’re up to today.
1. Lukas Haas
Haas was just 8 years old when he played the title character in Witness, an Amish boy who witnessed a murder. He’s been acting ever since, but his career has been experiencing a renaissance lately with roles in Inception and The Revenant.
2. Fred Savage
With big roles in ’80s hits like The Princess Bride and The Wizard, Savage was probably the most famous kid in America during this decade. Savage has switched from acting to directing, but recently made a return to TV on shows like The Grinder and Netflix’s Friends from College.
3. Corey Feldman
Feldman was half of the “Two Coreys,” alongside his Lost Boys costar Corey Haim. He also stood out in family-friend blockbusters like The Goonies and Stand By Me. But fame wasn’t kind to Feldman. He battled a drug addiction, and was arrested for heroin possession twice in 1990 alone.
Feldman’s career is on the mend now, and he appeared on a number of reality shows including The Two Coreys. “It took people a long, long time to forgive me. I was just a kid making mistakes like any other kid,” he said in an interview.
4. Jenny Lewis
She stole our hearts as Haley in The Wizard, but left Hollywood to pursue a music career. Lewis was the singer and lead guitarist for the band Rilo Kiley.
5. Henry Thomas
Thomas had some pretty iconic scenes as Eliot from E.T., but his career pretty much stalled after that. He’s still working to this day with small roles on TV shows. Keep an eye out for him in Gangs of New York and the Brad Pitt film Legends of the Fall.
6. Alyson Hannigan
Before she landed big roles on How I Met Your Mother and Buffy, Hannigan was one of the kids from the ’80s sci-fi comedy My Stepmother is an Alien. She also has success with the American Pie movies, and married Buffy costar Alexis Denisof.
7. Gabriel Damon
Don’t recognize Damon? He was the voice actor for Littlefoot in The Land Before Time, but he also had a juicy role as the foul-mouthed villain from Robocop 2. While he had guest appearances on Baywatch, ER and Star Trek: TNG, he seems to have given up on acting, and his last role was in 2006.
8. Oliver Robins
After playing young Robbie in Poltergeist, Robins was called back to film the horror movie’s sequel, but didn’t do much acting afterwards. Instead he’s writing and directing his own spooky movies, including Celebrity Crush and The Devil’s Whisper.
9. Gaby Hoffman
Hoffman acted alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names in the ’80s, playing Maizy in Uncle Buck and Karin in Field of Dreams. Since then she’s popped up in movies like Volcano and Freaky Friday, and had roles on Girls and Transparent.
If you’re a sci-fi fan you’ll definitely recognize the next actress…
10. Carrie Henn
“They mostly come out at night…mostly.” Her role as Newt in Aliens was totally memorable, but surprisingly it was the only part the young actress every played. While she still gives interviews and makes appearances at conventions, Henn now works as a teacher.
11. Lisa and Michelle Blair
You might not recognize them, but you’ve seen these sisters act in Three Men and a Baby. Baby Mary was played by a pair of twins (which makes it easier to shoot for long hours). They didn’t continue acting after their early success, but surprisingly people did approach them as teenagers looking for autographs.
12. Kirk Cameron
While he was best known for Growing Pains, Cameron was also a teen movie star. Some of his roles from this era include the body-swap comedy Like Father Like Son and debate club flick Listen to Me.
After Growing Pains left the airwaves, Cameron became more religious. Today he helps run an evangelical ministry while appearing in Christian movies like Left behind, Fireproof and Saving Christmas.
13. Peter Billingsley
Yes, prepare to feel old because Ralphie from A Christmas Story is all grown up. People still quote lines from the movie to him in the street. As his roles slowed down in the ’90s, Billingsley switched careers to become a movie producer.
Billingsley was a producer on Iron Man, Zathura and The Break-Up starring Jennifer Aniston.
14. Emmanuel Lewis
The star of the TV comedy Webster, Lewis also had the leading role in the family comedy Lost In London. He hasn’t changed much over the ears, because a physical condition keeps him a childlike 3’6″ tall, even as an adult.
Lewis has appeared in a few cameo roles over the last few years, but his income mainly comes from other jobs these days, including running a car wash and a limousine company.
15. Wil Wheaton
Since his big breaks in the movie Stand By Me and the TV show Star Trek: TNG, Wheaton’s career has showed no sign of slowing down. Along with appearances on TV comedies like The Big Bang Theory, Wheaton is a prolific voice actor and hosts a popular YouTube series.
16. Dana Hill
After playing Audrey Griswold in National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Hill earned a role in the George Clooney comedy Combat Academy, then switched to voice acting. She was the original voice of Max on Goof Troop, before her untimely death in 1996 from a diabetic coma and stroke. Hill was 32.
17. Noah Hathaway
His performance as Atreyu in The Neverending Story as a 13-year-old made him famous around the world, but Hathaway was never able to capitalize on that early success. He had roles on the original Battlestar Galactica and in Troll, but later moved into motorcycle racing and design.
He did reprise his role as Atreyu in 2016, for a Spotify commercial.
18. Jackey Vinson
“I love the Power Glove…it’s so…bad…” Playing a bad boy in The Wizard made Vinson famous, but he led a troubled life off screen. Vinson’s only other major credit was a short-lived TV show named The Grand. In 2004, Vinson was sentenced to 10 years probation for child molestation and forced to register as a sex offender. It’s safe to say that ended his career.
19. Aileen Quinn
While she wasn’t the first girl to play Annie, Quinn’s version of the classic musical was the one we all grew up with. Quinn was a theater actress, and she returned to the stage after her short film career. She still takes a role every once in a while, but mainly works as a Spanish, drama and dance teacher in New Jersey.
20. Jonathan Ke Quan
He was both Data in The Goonies and Short Round in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and his career didn’t stop there. He had roles in Taiwanese and Japanese movies, along with some sitcom work.
Quan later moved into stunt choreography (he studied taekwondo) and planned action scenes for movies including X-Men and The One. He hasn’t had a role since 2002, but told Access Hollywood he hopes to direct a feature film of his own.
21. Joey Lawrence
Before his role on Blossom made him a household name, Lawrence had roles in both the horror movie Pulse and the Disney cartoon Oliver & Company. After Brotherly Love ended Lawrence had guest roles on TV shows like CSI: NY.
Lawrence even competed on Dancing With the Stars (he came in third place) before returning for a new sitcom with Melissa Joan Hart called (duh) Melissa & Joey.
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