Stardom can be hard for many of those who achieve it. Sure, movie stars, athletes, and other celebrities appear to have it all but it doesn’t usually come easy. Long hours, hard work, and being in the public eye can take its toll on anyone. This is especially true of those who are thrust into the spotlight after years of living like an average schmuck. Suddenly they have access to pretty much anything they want. Big houses, fast cars, flashy jewelry, and any other luxury that they can have on a whim. Let’s not forget about all of those fashionable drugs and the endless nights of partying which are so tempting and easily available. It’s a lot to handle and those who do not know how to handle it properly can easily end up ruined. You don’t need to search too hard to find endless examples of this.
If you think that adults have a difficult enough time dealing with fame, then you can only imagine how hard it is for child stars. One of the toughest aspects of being a child star is when they reach the age at which they are no longer children. They can’t play the roles that once made them famous. Like anyone else, they grow up and their looks change. Puberty is definitely tougher on some than others. Let’s take a look at some child stars that really changed for the worse. Some of these child stars managed to keep their acting careers alive while others weren’t as lucky. Here are 15 cute childhood munchkins who are not so cute anymore.
15. Raven Symoné
Raven Symoné was only 3 years old when she auditioned for a part in the Bill Cosby movie, Ghost Dad. Cosby thought she was too young for that role, but he was impressed enough to cast her as his cute little step-granddaughter in The Cosby Show. This kicked off what would be a pretty successful child acting career. She would go on to appear in several television shows and eventually starred in her own show, That’s So Raven. She also dabbled in music and released a few studio albums. She is currently keeping busy doing voice work, starring in a That’s So Raven spin-off called Raven’s Home on the Disney Channel, and publicly embarrassing herself with the occasional controversial statement. She recently referred to herself as a lesbian despite previously claiming that she doesn’t identify with any sexual orientation. She ain’t so cute no more!!
14. Lindsay Lohan
Yes. She was cute. She was once a sparkly-eyed and freckle-faced young lady with red hair and a very bright future. She was just 3 years old when she began modeling and only 10 when she appeared on her soap opera, Another World. Things only got better as she was cast in a couple of very successful Disney movies. Film critic Roger Ebert even compared the young Lohan to Jodie Foster. Lindsay was one of the hottest commodities in Hollywood through the early 2000s, but she began to get a well-earned bad reputation. She partied too much, drank too much, and was abusing drugs. She was no longer reliable as an actress, and her life was an out of control mess. The cute red-headed kid has turned into a haggard looking and worn out fallen star despite being just 31.
13. Aaron Carter
Remember Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys? Well, we’re talking about his younger brother Aaron. Aaron rode Nick’s coattails to become somewhat of a celebrity several years ago. He was a relatively cute kid who appealed to tween girls with his brand of bubblegum pop. He released a few albums and did his share of touring which made him a healthy sum of money. He had a pretty good run but his star inevitably fizzled out along with his looks. Unfortunately for Aaron, he went through puberty. He also began to indulge in various drugs which definitely didn’t help things. After amassing about $3.5 million in unpaid debts, Aaron filed for bankruptcy in 2013. He recently further alienated himself from whatever was left of his tween fan base by coming out as a bisexual. Oh well, at least he has reality television.
12. Clint Howard
For those who don’t know Clint Howard, he is the younger and less talented brother of famous actor and filmmaker Ron Howard. He’s also a heck of a lot more awkward looking than Ron which is really saying something because Ron’s not exactly the most comely fellow. Clint was a cute kid and, like his older brother, started his television career on The Andy Griffith Show way back in the early 1960s. He would go on to appear in several shows throughout the ’60s and he also began to land roles in movies. While Ron proceeded to become very famous, Clint’s fame never reached the same level although he has still had a successful acting career. He rarely plays a lead role but he’s had his fair share of memorable scenes in the bit parts that he has had and continues to get.
11. Haley Joel Osment
While Haley Joel Osment has been acting in television and movies for many years, he is perhaps best known for his ability to see dead people in the 1999 movie The Sixth Sense in which he helps Bruce Willis discover the mind-blowing truth. He also made appearances in Forrest Gump, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Pay It Forward. The cute childhood munchkin was in high demand back in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Then, as with a lot of child actors, Osment hit puberty and went through a physical transformation which turned him into a bloated and cartoonish young adult. He’s now just 29 years old and still enjoying a good career on television and in movies. He still bears a resemblance to the younger Haley Joel Osment, but he likely wouldn’t be referred to as cute anymore.
10. Danny Bonaduce
For those that are old enough to remember The Partridge Family, you will certainly remember the young and befreckled red-headed bass player, Danny. The often bratty and trouble-making munchkin was played by Danny Bonaduce. As it turned out, Danny Bonaduce turned into a bratty and trouble-making adult. While he continued to work in the industry after The Partridge Family ended, he was never able to recapture the fame and glory that he once had. Well, actually, he did capture his share of fame but it was for all the wrong reasons. Danny lived hard and his reckless lifestyle got him into a lot of trouble. Drug abuse, homelessness, multiple arrests, and being caught up in a few embarrassing situations plagued the now 58-year-old. He’s definitely not what you would call cute these days, but he has managed to get his life back on track.
9. Lark Voorhies
Saved by the Bell was a television show that aired between 1989 and 1993. It was a comedy that focused on a group of students that attended Bayside High School. The show tackled all sorts of issues from drug use and drunk driving to women’s rights and environmental issues. The show was a springboard for actors such as Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley, and Dustin Diamond. It also got the now 43-year-old Lark Voorhies’ career off the ground. If you recall, she played the cute and spunky Lisa Turtle. She went on to appear in several other television shows as well as a few movies, but she never found the same success as many of her SBTB cast mates. Her appearance has also become much less camera friendly. She looks closer to Jason Voorhees than the Lark Voorhies that we once knew.
8. Macaulay Culkin
If there were a poster child for cute childhood munchkins who are not so cute anymore, it would have to be Macaulay Culkin. Remember that little imp from Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and Richie Rich? Okay, you may not have seen Richie Rich which is understandable but you’re surely familiar with the Home Alone films. Anyway, he was perhaps the hottest rising star in Hollywood in the early ’90s, but he completely disappeared from the radar in 1994 after supposedly retiring at the ripe old age of 14. There is a lot of speculation about what he did between then and 2003 when he returned to acting with his macabre role in the movie Party Monster but one thing’s for sure: Culkin went from rascal cute to heroin-chic creepy.
7. Mackenzie Phillips
It was all the way back in 1973 that Mackenzie Phillips made a name for herself when she played the role of Alice in the hit movie American Graffiti. Two years later, she was co-starring in the television sitcom One Day at a Time and she was a household name. Oh, she was cute. Dark hair, big brown eyes, and a smile that could light up a room. She was also raking in oodles of cash which enabled her to indulge in her favorite hobbies which happened to include doing copious amounts of cocaine and heavy drinking. To be fair, she came from a pretty messed up family, but she didn’t do herself any favors. We should also remember that she is pushing 60, but those years of substance abuse have certainly taken their toll on her looks.
6. Brian Bonsall
One of the key components to most successful family sitcoms is the token cute kid. In this case, the show was the hugely successful Family Ties and the token cute kid was 5-year-old Andy Keaton who was played by Brian Bonsall. 4 years and 78 episodes later, Michael J. Fox’s character, Alex P. Keaton, had accepted a job on Wall Street and the show ended its run. After all, viewers tuned in to see Alex and not Mallory, Jennifer, or that cute kid. Brian continued to land bit parts in television shows and made for TV movies, but his cuteness had worn off by 1995 so he quit acting and got into the music scene. Who would have guessed that little Andy Keaton would eventually get a neck tattoo and get busted for assault and drug possession?
5. Rupert Grint
There are different types of cute and Rupert Grint was definitely a different kind of cute when he portrayed Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movie franchise alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Stone who also happened to be relatively cute kids. Well, there hasn’t been a Harry Potter movie in several years, and Rupert’s appearances in films has drastically dwindled. He has managed to keep pretty busy in television though. Aside from a few small parts, Rupert has acted in a few series. 2016 and 2017 were quite busy for the actor. Who knows if we’ll see him get any bigger roles, as he is far from being the awkwardly cute Rupert Grint of 10 years ago. He’d be a pretty convincing Jeffrey Dahmer if they ever put his story on the big screen.
4. Mara Wilson
Mara Wilson started her acting career doing television commercials when she was very young. This led to her being invited to audition for the role of Natalie Hillard in the 1993 movie Mrs. Doubtfire with Robin Williams. She would then make appearances on Melrose Place and a few other television shows before landing her breakout role in the 1996 movie Matilda. She was kind of cute in a Punky Brewster sort of way, but she stopped acting in 2000 after being in Thomas and the Magic Railroad. It wasn’t until 2012 that Mara returned to acting when she appeared on a few Internet shows. She returned to television in 2016 when she played a waitress in Broad City and then did some voice work on BoJack Horseman. Not to be mean but let’s just say that voice work suits her.
3. Danny Tamberelli
This guy is far from the biggest name on the list of 15 cute child star munchkins who are not so cute anymore, but a lot of people will recognize him. Well, they might remember him if they see an older picture of him but they can be forgiven if they don’t recognize him today. Danny began his acting career at the age of 4 when he was cast in Ryan’s Hope in 1986-87 and again in 1988. He would then play Jackie Rodowsky in The Babysitter’s Club before being cast in Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete in which he played Little Pete Wrigley. His career took a dive after that, and he wound up doing television commercials to pay the rent. One sure thing is that Danny will never be able to play the role of a cute character ever again.
2. Edward Furlong
Okay, cute might not be the perfect word to use when describing a young Edward Furlong, but it is somewhat accurate. You absolutely would never use that word to describe him today. If you recall, Edward was somewhat of a teen idol back in the early ’90s after he played John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. He would also appear in American Heart, Brainscan, and the depressing American History X. Sadly, his love of heroin, cocaine, and anything else that you can smoke, snort or shoot into your veins was greater than his love for acting and his career took a severe hit. So did his looks. He still lands the occasional role, but he makes more headlines for his bloated and haggard appearance and battles with addiction than he does for his onscreen achievements.
1. Angus T. Jones
Angus T. Jones began acting in films at the age of 5, but it wasn’t until he was cast as Jake Harper in the hugely successful sitcom Three and a Half Men that he found stardom. Thanks to the show’s popularity, Angus became the highest paid child actor on television. He was hauling in an estimated $300,000 per episode. He grew unhappy with his character’s storylines which were becoming much more adult oriented. He then found religion, referred to the show as “filth”, and called himself “a paid hypocrite”. Wow!! What an exit!! Of course, he was outdone by Charlie Sheen’s departure. Jones went on to attend university and he is now on the management team of a multimedia and event production company. He also looks like a leprechaun with a ponytail. Cute no more.
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