Child Stars of The 1990s


If you were a 90s kid, you most surely know about many of the child stars from way back then. But can you recognize them today? Where are they now? Through this gallery we find out how these people fared after they experienced fame as child and teen stars during the decade.

Actress and poet Amber Tamblyn was spotted by her father’s friend and agent when she was playing Pippi Longstockings in her school play. Her father, by the way, is actor Russ Tamblyn (known for his performance in the musical The West Side Story).

Tamblyn rose to recognition when she played the role of Emily Bowen in the long-running hit soap opera General Hospital, which she played for six years from 1995 to 2001. Her other more notable works were the Western adaptations of Japanese hit horror films The Ring, The Grudge 2, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. As a poet, Tamblyn has released several publications featuring her poetry collections that has been warmly received by critics.

Britney Spears

Singer, dancer, and actress Britney Spears was the ultimate teen sensation during the late 1990s and the early 2000’s. She released her debut album …Baby One More Time in 1999 — and became an international star almost immediately. Her first album became the best-selling album by a teenage solo artist. Spears maintained her success with her second album Oops I Did It Again.

Along with the fame, there came the much-publicized personal issues and controversies, that include two failed marriages, hospitalizations, and her erratic behavior. But Spears made it through these tough times and managed to balance her career. In August 2014, she announced that she had renewed her recording contract with RCA, and that she is also writing and recording new tunes for her next album, as of this writing.

Spears’ status as the “Pop Princess” as well as the best-selling teenage artist of all time is still undisputed. Currently, Spears is performing at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas show, Britney: Piece of Me.

Christina Ricci is one of the more recognizable child stars and teenage icons during the 1990s. Of course, you remember her through her most popular films such as The Addams Family (where she was Wednesday Addams, Ricci’s breakthrough role) and its sequel Addams Family Values, Now and Then, Casper, and Sleepy Hollow.

Ricci has since continued acting in various television productions and also acted in smaller-scale, independently-produced films, where she is also known for. Aside from her acting career, Ricci is married and now a new mother to a baby son. She also serves as national spokesperson for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN).

Edward Furlong had his breakthrough performance as John Connor in the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991 and received numerous awards for his performance. Since then the talented actor has appeared in other films such as American Heart, Pet Sematary Two, A Home of Our Own, Pecker, and American History X, among others. He had starring roles in several of these films.

However, his career was derailed by numerous arrests and legal problems, as well as battles with drug abuse and alcoholism. His most recent notable acting appearance is 2011’s Green Hornet, where he played a supporting role.

Hayden Christensen is widely remembered by many moviegoers as Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) in the films Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith (2005).

Long before that though, the Canadian-born actor started his career in the early 1990s, and later in the decade, appeared in several films such as Goosebumps and The Virgin Suicides. He later received wider critical recognition for his performance as a misunderstood teen in the American drama film Life as a House in 2001. Christensen still acts, and has also become a film producer.

Hilary Duff‘s rise to fame came when she starred as the titular character in the Disney Channel sitcom Lizzie McGuire, which ran from 2001 to 2004. Since the success of the series, Duff parlayed her stardom to recording, feature films, and merchandise such as dolls, clothing, and fragrances carrying the Lizzie McGuire name.

From being a teen queen, Duff began to enjoy a transformation as a sex symbol following a string of magazine covers and music videos that displayed her come-hither side. Duff has continued her acting and recording career since the 90s and been active in her philanthropic endeavors.

Also known by his initials JTT, Jonathan Taylor Thomas rose to stardom when he became part of the cast of the hit sitcom Home Improvement, where he stayed from 1991 to 1998. He left the show to continue his studies. Thomas was also the voice of the young Simba in The Lion King. He was one of the hottest child stars and teen icons during his time.

Thomas pursued his academics seriously. He graduated with honors then went on to study philosophy at Harvard University, and also spent his third year in St. Andrews University in Scotland. He eventually graduated from the Columbia University in 2010. His recent works include guest appearances on Last Man Standing, where he also reunited with his Home Improvement dad Tim Allen.

Actor and director Joseph Mazzello first gained recognition for his appearance as Tim Murphy in Jurassic Park in 1993. His other notable film appearance is Shadowlands which starred Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger.

Mazzello is an alumnus of University of Southern California’s School in Cinematic Arts, where he enrolled through a recommendation letter from Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg. As an adult, his most notable film role is Dustin Moskovitz, one of the co-founders of Facebook in The Social Network in 2010. Mazzello made his directorial debut with Matters of Life and Death where he also acted.

Lacey Chabert received wide recognition for playing the role of Claudia Salinger on the hit series Party of Five, alongside Scott Wolf, Matthew Fox, and Neve Campbell. While in the series, Chabert provided the voice of Eliza Thornberry in the cartoon series The Wild Thornberrys. Among her most well-known film appearances in the following years are in Lost in Space and Mean Girls.

Chabert’s more notable appearances in recent years include recurring roles in the sitcom Baby Daddy from 2013-2014. She is now married to her longtime boyfriend David Nehdar, and has been presently living in Southern California since her Party of Five days.

When she was just 11 years old, Lindsay Lohan rose to fame for her dual roles as twins Hallie Parker and Annie James in her film debut The Parent Trap. Lohan eventually transformed into a teen star with other box-office films Freaky Friday, Mean Girls. and Herbie: Fully Loaded. She is also a successful singer and recording artist, releasing albums Speak and A Little More Personal (Raw), both of which became hits.

However, her fame and success had also become a curse. The talented actress, model, and singer has become a frequent focus of the paparazzi and tabloids, and she has been entangled in legal problems as well as drug and alcohol addiction. She went into rehab thrice. Despite the time in rehab, she somehow managed to maintain her profession. Among her most well-known recent appearances was her portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor in the TV movie Liz & Dick in 2012, which received mixed reviews.

Starting her career as a child model at age two, Madeline Zima eventually became more known to television audiences as Grace Sheffield in the hit sitcom The Nanny. Zima played the role from 1993 to 1999. Her other notable role was Mia Lewis, a sexually precocious and scheming teen in the series Californication, during its first two series. Zima has worked steadily both in films and television since.

Matthew Lawrence began his acting career in the mid-1980s in the hit drama series Dynasty. Soon he began to receive more substantial projects, among them the box-office film Mrs. Doubtfire and ABC sitcom Boy Meets World, which he was part of the regular cast from 1997 to 2000.

Among his more notable film and TV credits as an adult include Cheats, Hot Chick, CSI Miami, and Workaholics, among many others. Matthew Lawrence is the brother of Joey and Andrew, who are also both actors.

Actor Orlando Brown is known for his role as one of Raven’s friends, Eddie in the hit original Disney Channel sitcom That’s So Raven.  The show ran for four seasons from 2003 to 2007.

However, like other child stars in Hollywood gone wrong, Brown’s life and career was marred by several arrests, including one for possession of marijuana and another for drunk driving. He is also a rapper, having released one studio album so far.

Actress Tatyana Ali is best known for her role as Ashley Banks, Will Smith’s younger cousin in the hit NBC sitcom The Prince from Bel-Air. She started her career at the age of six, and was also part of Sesame Street as one of the regular child performers.

Ali has also made a name as an R&B singer. Her debut album Kiss the Sky went gold in early 1999, spawning the single “Daydream” which became a Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit. Ali continued her studies, eventually graduating from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in African-American studies and government. She actively supported Barack Obama’s successful presidential campaign in 2008.

English actor Tom Felton may be known for his work as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter film franchise, but he has been in the acting business since he was a kid. He began appearing in commercials, and eventually went on to bigger projects. He provided the voice of James in the long-running British series Bugs and had his debut film role in 1997’s The Borrowers. He also appeared in other projects such as Anna and the King (starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat) before appearing in the Harry Potter films.

Felton is still active as an actor, and as of this writing he is working on a film titled Risen, which is slated for release in 2016.

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