Not all child stars have continued success like Jodie Foster, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brooke Shields, or Drew Barrymore. It is more common for child stars to go down a bad path or simply fall out of the business after childhood.
Many have died young of drug overdoses, had financial trouble, or criminal involvement. The following are 10 former child stars who were pretty popular in their time, but have since lost their fame.
1. Jaleel White
If you do not know the name, you will definitely know his characters name. White played Steve Urkel on Family Matters from 1989-1998. His character was wildly popular, but by the time the show wrapped up White was quite tired of him.
White had a hard time finding roles that were not Urkel-related. He has had other the roles over the years, but nothing will ever top his portrayal of Urkel. So, while White may not be a celeb anymore, Urkel always will be.
2. Jodie Sweetin
Best known for playing Stephanie Tanner on Full House, Jodie Sweetin began to abuse alcohol and meth after the show ended. She has since gotten clean and had a few roles in television and movies. Jodie Sweetin has 2 daughters and 3 ex-husbands.
3. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Jonathan Taylor Thomas is known for playing middle son Randy Taylor on the popular sitcom Home Improvement from 1991-1998. He was quite a teen idol during this time. Thomas left the show to pursue his education. He has had sporadic guest roles since his departure from the acting world.
4. Hallie Eisenberg
The adorable, dimpled Eisenberg had many roles in the late 90s and early 2000s, including that of being “the Pepsi Girl” in Pepsi commercials. Although she has had a few roles since, that cute little girl is all grown up now. For many child stars, it is difficult to find work after they outgrow their cuteness.
5. Taran Noah Smith
Taran Noah Smith played the youngest of the Taylor boys on Home Improvement. When he was 17, Taran Noah Smith married a 33-year-old woman. The marriage lasted 6 years during which the couple opened a vegan cheese factory and restaurant. Unfortunately, in 2012 Smith was arrested on a DUI.
6. Mara Wilson
Another extremely cute child star, Mara Wilson starred in Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire. Mara Wilson has most recently been appearing in web series. She is now an aspiring young adult novelist.
7. Danny Pintauro
Since playing son Jonathan on Who’s The Boss (from 1984-1992), Pintauro has landed a couple of roles, spent time as a Tupperware salesman, and is now managing a restaurant. In April 2014, Danny Pintauro married his boyfriend.
8. Miko Hughes
You might not know the name, but you will surely remember his character in Full House where he played bratty Aaron Bailey. He was also in Kindergarten Cop. Miko Hughes has not landed many coveted roles lately, but he continues to get minor roles and is also a DJ.
9. Tracy Gold
Tracy Gold played daughter Carol on Growing Pains and her life seems to have been filled with them. During her early 20s Tracy Gold suffered, and thankfully recovered, from anorexia. Unfortunately, she was charged with a DUI in 2004. She has since cleaned up her life and is helping other women who suffer from eating disorders.
10. Emmanuel Lewis
Who can forget Webster? Emmanuel Lewis has not done much acting since those days and has had a little financial trouble due to failure to pay taxes for a few years. He has recorded songs, which are popular in Japan.
This list contains a handful of former child stars who have had their troubles, but managed to bounce back and become healthy adults, even if they are not as famous as they used to be. A few on this list simply chose to leave spotlight for better and brighter things.