Bug Hall -- Who doesn't remember the Alfalfa and Little Rascals? I seriously still quote this movie as an adult that's how much it's ingrained in my brain. Don't give me a dollar if you don't want me to sing. Besides guest starring on shows like Charmed, CSI and Cold Case, he's got quite a few movies coming out in 2014. Oh, and he's grown out of that awkward stage and is pretty cute now. Google him.
Ben Savage -- I wrote a post months ago about how I wanted to be Topanga from Boy Meets World so bad because my 8 year old self was pretty much in love with Cory Matthews (and because she
Anna Chlumsky -- I probably watched My Girl over a dozen times as a kid. I loved it. And when I watch it back as an adult, I realize that Anna Chlumsky had acting chops for real. To be able to do those tough, more adult scenes like Thomas J's funeral and her crush on her teacher at that age, well, damn. With all that talent it's too bad she gave up acting in 1999. She's realized acting is her calling since then (duh, girl!), and has starred in 30 Rock, Law & Order, Covert Affairs and Veep, a role for which she was nominated for an Emmy in 2013.
Shari Lewis (Lamb Chop) -- I had to include Shari Lewis, because although she wasn't a kid star, she was freaking Lamb Chop! As a child, I was obsessed with Lamb Chop's Play-Along. When my dad gets to reminiscing down memory lane, this is usually his first stop. Judging from it's multiple Emmy wins (I'm talking every year it was broadcasted), I wasn't the only kid who loved the show. Sadly, Lewis passed in 1998, but we still have "this is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend". How fitting :)
Erik Von Detten -- Besides being the inspiration for this post basically, this skater boy stole my heart in Brink! (sorry, Cory) and I continued to buy every magazine he was in and watch anything I could with him in it, like Escape to Witch Mountain and So Weird. It's understandable though. I mean look at that hair and those crystal blue eyes. *Swoon* Detten's most recent credit is the voice of Vic in Toy Story 3.
Raven-Symone -- As the cutest addition to The Cosby Show in 1989, little Olivia stole everyone's hearts. And she was a little comedian even back then! Have you seen those Olivia Boss Chick memes on Instagram? Click here to laugh your ass off. After roles in her own show, That's So Raven, and the Cheetah Girls movie series, Raven-Symone continued to act in episodes of other shows as well as playing the role of Deloris in the Broadway musical Sister Act in 2012.
Larisa Oleynik -- Alex Mack from The Secret Life of Alex Mack was my twin. Except I had no super powers and falling into a vat of chemicals couldn't explain my weirdness. Although overshadowed by bigger stars like Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger, Larisa Oleynik continued her career with a supporting role in 10 Things I Hate About You in 1999, and she's scored multiple movie and television roles since then, including a few episodes of Mad Men and Pretty Little Liars in the past 2 years.
Shawna Waldron -- You may not remember her by name but most of us 90s kids know exactly who you are talking about as soon as you say "Icebox" from Little Giants. She was the only girl on the football team and she kicked ass on the field. Waldron's credit list is decently long and she's still acting, mostly as a thriller actress, but she'll always be the girl who taught me it was okay to be tougher than the boys.
Mackenzie Rosman -- Little Ruthie, the youngest of the Camden family on 7th Heaven, isn't so little anymore. It seems that she took a few years off between the show and her current movie/show credits in 2011, to grow up. And grow up, she did, posing for Maxim magazine in July 2013.
Kirsten Storms -- When I catch Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century on the Disney channel, I freak out a little bit. Zenon made it completely okay to rock bright pink, purple, blue and silver in one outfit with super-high pigtails to top it off, because it was the future. Ready for the crazy part? The movie was set in the year 2049, which seemed so far in the future when I was 11, but most of us will totally be alive then. Creepy. Since playing and reprising the role of Zenon for two more movies, Kirsten went on to voice an animated character in the Kim Possible movie and star in General Hospital.
Emmy Rossum -- In 1999, she made being the smart girl in school totally cool in the Disney channel movie, Genius. And when I recognized her in the film adaptation of my favorite broadway musical, Phantom of the Opera, it was like opening my eyes to a new, adult, gorgeous, opera-singing Emmy Rossum. She's amazing. Now she stars in the show Shameless, which I hear is great.
Christy Carlson Romano -- We all know what happened to her Even Steven's costar, Shia LaBeouf (he became super hot, albeit a little weird. end of story), but what about his older, smarter and slightly annoying sister Ren? Christy voiced the lead animated character of Kim Possible for the Disney channel show of the same name, and she also acted the lead role in ABC Family's Cutting Edge. Oh, and apparently Christy was just as much of a brainiac as Ren was. She met her now-husband while studying at Columbia University.
Tahj Mowry -- Tia and Tamara were cool and all, but I loved Tahj and his show Smart Guy. I tuned in every week to see what new challenges this super smart 12-year-old faced in high school where his sister, brother and family friend also attended. It was dramatic and funny, and I still sing the theme song when I think about it. Tahj turned out to be quite the singer as well. Although he starred in a multitude of Disney channel shows and movies as well as the ABC Family show Baby Daddy, you can check out his covers on YouTube to hear him sing.
Ben Foster -- Alongside Jewel Staite, Ben Foster starred in Flash Forward as Tuck and I ate it all up. A relatively overlooked actor, Ben really is quite phenomenal. He's like a chameleon, taking on character after character and making it believable. I loved him as Trevor Adams in Bang, Bang You're Dead, a movie that tackles the topic of school shootings in masterfully, but he's also had great roles in X-Men:The Last Stand, Alpha Dog, and 3:10 to Yuma.
Sometimes, it's just fun to see how these kid stars grew up right along with us. This is just a list of stars I remembered to look up from the shows I loved in the 90s and early 00s. I'm sure I'm missing tons of people. Shout 'em out in the comments below!
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