12 Child Stars Whose Hollywood Dreams Faded Away

Lindsay Lohan

Sharing is caring!

Achieving Hollywood stardom is a feat that only some adults can achieve. It’s even more exceptional when children become famous because they have to demonstrate that they have that star quality that will draw viewers to their television shows or movies. Some child stars transition into successful acting careers as adults, while others do not. An online pop culture chat board discussed who had acting careers that more or less ended when they reached adulthood, and the replies were a trip down memory lane.

1. Daveigh Chase

Daveigh Chase
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

As a youth, she starred in two blockbuster films in 2002: She was the voice actress of Lilo in the animated Disney film Lilo and Stitch, and she also starred as the evil Samara Morgan in the horror film The Ring. She starred in other Hollywood films like Donnie Darko (2001), was a voice actor in the English dub of Spirited Away (2001), and on television, she played a child bride in the HBO show Big Love. Since then, she has had little presence on the big or small screen.

2. Frankie Muniz

Frankie Muniz
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

From 2000 until 2006, Muniz played the title character in the hit sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. He was set to have an even more extensive acting career as an adult, but he wanted to take a different path. After Malcolm in the Middle ended, Muniz said he did not intend to continue acting. Even though it was his choice to leave Hollywood, fans wonder what his career would have looked like.

3. Devon Sawa

Devon Sawa
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Several fans on the chat board are surprised Devon Sawa’s career didn’t take off after his star-making turn as Alex in the original Final Destination (1999) movie. It was such a massive film at the time that it seemed the door to A-list stardom was open for Sawa, but that wasn’t the case. He has yet to find that same kind of breakout role as an adult.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

4. Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

After starring in successful movies like the remake of The Parent Trap (1998), Freaky Friday (2003), and Mean Girls (2004), Lindsay Lohan was one of the most prominent young stars in Hollywood. Her career trajectory rose rapidly until problems in her personal life made her tabloid fodder, and she experienced multiple career setbacks. While she’s on a better path now, her level of stardom isn’t as high as it was in her youth.

5. Soleil Moon Frye

Soleil Moon Frye
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The iconic television character of Punky Brewster, with her brightly colored, layered wardrobe, introduced the country to Soleil Moon Frye. From 1984 until 1988, audiences loved the antics of the adorable little girl and her foster father. Surprisingly, despite being a household name, her acting career didn’t flourish after the show ended. A 2021 streaming revival of Punky Brewster only lasted for one season.

6. Eliza Dushku

Eliza Dushku
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Dushku came to prominence with her roles as a child actor in 1993’s This Boy’s Life and True Lies in 1994. She’s best known for her role as Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel. The actress has since kept busy with roles in television and motion pictures. Still, her acting roles as an adult have not brought her to the same prominence as her earlier roles.

7. Lisa Bonet

Lisa Bonet
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

She now goes by the name Lilakoi Moon, but when she was known as Lisa Bonet in the 1980s and 1990s, she starred in two popular comedy series: The Cosby Show, where she played Denise Huxtable, and its spinoff series, A Different World, where Bonet played Denise as a college student. Bonet’s big screen debut was in the controversial movie Angel Heart (1987). She’s had minor acting roles since then, but nothing compared to her heyday.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

8. Peter Ostrum

Peter Ostrum in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

His name may not sound familiar, but the beloved character he played is known by audiences everywhere: he was the lucky kid with the golden ticket, Charlie Bucket, in the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Despite the film’s popularity, it was the only time Ostrum ever acted. He may have left Hollywood behind after one film, but his performance will always be remembered.

9. Haley Joel Osment

Haley Joel Osment
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Some of the commenters in the thread consider Haley Joel Osment one of the greatest child actors of all time. It’s understandable why they feel that way about him. He not only starred in Forrest Gump (1994) and A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Osment achieved superstar status with his performance as Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense (1999), playing a young boy haunted by his visions of dead people. Osment has acted steadily since then, but outside of Pay It Forward (2000), it’s hard to name anything he’s starred in.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

10. Maddie Ziegler

Maddie Ziegler
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The incredibly gifted dancer came to prominence as Abby Miller’s prized student in the reality show Dance Moms. She also starred in music videos for Sia’s “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart.” She has since worked as an actress and model, but now that she’s an adult, she isn’t enjoying the same attention and accolades she did during her Dance Moms stint.

11. Joey Lawrence

Joey Lawrence
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

As a young child actor and singer, Joey Lawrence and his adorable bowl haircut charmed audiences in the comedy show Gimme a Break opposite Nell Carter. As a teen, he achieved heartthrob status as Joey Russo in the comedy show Blossom. His acting and singing jobs as an adult pale in comparison to his earlier successes, but Lawrence keeps busy!

12. Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas played Randy Taylor in the Tim Allen-led sitcom Home Improvement for seven seasons. During that time, he also managed to squeeze in time to play the voice of young Simba in the movie The Lion King. While he’s acted in a few projects since the popular program went off the air in 1998, he’s been off the Hollywood radar for quite some time.

Source: Reddit.

Similar Posts