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Top 10 '90s Kid Stars: Where Are They Now?

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Where did these 90s kids stars go? For this list, we’ll be looking at 10 young stars who came to fame during the 1990s and bring you up to date on what they’re doing these days. Many are still famous, but they’re often working on smaller projects. We’ll be excluding those stars who are still in the spotlight due to more prominent work, such as Neil Patrick Harris or Ryan Gosling. We’ve included celebs like Melissa Joan Hart, Amanda Bynes and Michelle Trachtenberg!

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Top 10 ‘90s kid stars: what they’re up to now

They were big in the ‘90s, but what’s their story now? Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 ‘90s kid stars: what they’re up to now.

For this list, we’ll be looking at young stars who came to fame during the 1990s and bring you up to date on what they’re doing these days. Many are still famous, but they’re often working on smaller projects. We’ll be excluding those stars who are still in the spotlight due to more prominent work, such as Neil Patrick Harris or Ryan Gosling.

#10: Melissa Joan Hart

Best known for her eponymous roles in teen sitcoms “Clarissa Explains It All” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” Melissa Joan Hart won over audiences with her natural comedic flair and relatable style. Although she may have gone under the radar for a few years after starting a family, Hart appeared in another sitcom called “Melissa & Joey” on ABC Family/Freeform in the 2010s. Fans of her early work will be pleased to hear that a revival of “Clarissa Explains It All” is in development, with Hart playing Clarissa as a mother.

#9: Haley Joel Osment

Another child actor with three names, Haley Joel Osment came to fame by playing precocious and intelligent young characters, such as the title character’s son in “Forrest Gump.” He made his biggest impression, though with his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Cole, the boy who sees dead people in “The Sixth Sense.” While he hasn’t appeared in quite so many famous or iconic roles since, Osment has acted in several Kevin Smith films. He also has guest starred in popular shows such as “Silicon Valley” and “The X-Files,” proving that his career is far from dead.

#8: Tia & Tamera Mowry

These two sisters are fondly remembered as the twins that gave the sitcom “Sister, Sister” its name. Despite becoming famous as a duo, Tia and Tamera have mostly gone their separate ways professionally since the show’s conclusion - although they did star in a reality show together in the 2010s. Tia starred in several sitcoms, such as “The Game” and “Instant Mom,” while Tamera is currently one of the hosts of the talk show, “The Real.” The sisters may be reuniting with each other and the roles that they gained fame with though, as “Sister, Sister” is another ‘90s show that has a revival in the works.

#7: Amanda Bynes

First coming into the public eye on Nickelodeon sketch comedy show “All That,” she also garnered attention from her own starring role on “The Amanda Show.” Amanda Bynes went on to transition into film roles as well as a lead on the sitcom “What I Like About You.” However, the 2010s saw the actress take a break from the limelight after several public breakdowns and legal troubles led to her diagnosis with mental illness. Bynes has expressed interest in making a comeback in 2018 though, now that she’s gotten help to manage her mental health.

#6: Kenan Thompson

While we’re on the subject of former Nickelodeon stars, Kenan Thompson is another kid actor from the network that some may have lost track of. A player on “All That,” as well as the sitcom “Kenan & Kel,” Thompson has had no shortage of work since the ‘90s, appearing in many movies and TV shows. Unfortunately, not all of them have been big hits. However, his best known role has been as a member of “Saturday Night Live” since 2003, continuing his sketch comedy roots, and even setting a record for the number of seasons he’s appeared on the program.

#5: Mara Wilson

The star of film adaptations like “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Matilda,” often in the role of a kid smarter than the adults around her, Mara Wilson has continued her penchant for intelligence today. Semi-retired from acting, Wilson still appears occasionally in small roles on TV and film, usually via voiceover, as well as featuring in some internet series. She’s primarily focused on writing these days – on her blog, the stage, and in print. The latter of these includes a memoir appropriately titled, “Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame.”

#4: Jaleel White

“Did I do that?” Yeah, he probably did, but what has he done lately? Jaleel White attained pop culture fame during the ‘90s playing breakout character Steve Urkel on “Family Matters.” Urkel’s catchphrases and memorable look made him synonymous with the show and a hit with audiences. Since then, the actor has had no shortage of parts on TV, often featuring in guest roles - though he’s had a few starring parts that failed to take off. White has also ventured onto the big screen, appearing in a handful of films, though rarely front and center.

#3: Michelle Trachtenberg

Yet another child star who got their start on Nickelodeon, Michelle Trachtenberg is remembered by some for her role on “The Adventures of Pete & Pete.” The actress also played the title part in Nickelodeon’s first feature film, “Harriet the Spy.” However, barring her stints on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Gossip Girl,” Trachtenberg has been mostly restricted to guest or recurring appearances on television, and little-to- no on-screen acting work in the mid-to-late 2010s. Whether it’s out of personal choice or casting agents, we don’t know, but we’d love to see her return to our screens.

#2: Macaulay Culkin

With his iconic leading performance in “Home Alone,” Macaulay Culkin burst onto the scene in the early ‘90s to become one of the most successful child stars ever. However, midway through the decade, Culkin, seeking to have a normal life out of the spotlight, took a break from acting. After several years, he returned to sporadic film and TV work, though nothing quite as high profile as before. For example, he’s made appearances in a couple of movies by musician Adam Green. Speaking of music, Culkin also spent several years singing and playing in a band called “The Pizza Underground.” Yes, really.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Anna Chlumsky

Jake Lloyd

#1: Christina Ricci

Christina Ricci is another child/teen star who reached peak popularity in the ‘90s. After breakout roles in movies like “The Addams Family” and its sequel, Ricci went on to appear in a plethora of films during the decade. Hey, she appeared in seven in 1998 alone. She remained a familiar presence in films in the early 2000s, but since then her profile has diminished somewhat, even if she’s gotten steady work. In the 2010s Ricci seems to have found a niche appearing as historical figures on the small screen, portraying both Lizzie Borden and Zelda Fitzgerald. Here’s hoping that Ricci’s history of acting is still in its early years.


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