It’s always incredible to find talent in young actors who fill our screens with their precocious roles.
While most of us spend that time of our lives figuring out all the basics, the young stars below proved they were blessed with natural gifts as we watched their successful stints on television and in movies.
I’m always left wondering what happens to classic kid stars once they’ve grown out of their pip-squeak roles. Sure, some of them continue to act and have incredible careers, like Natalie Portman and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Of course, a few of the folks below continued acting as well, but you might not have been able to place your finger on just where you recognized them from, while others simply decided to step out of the limelight.
Take a look to see how they’ve grown up over the years, and let us know in the comments which star from the past was your favorite back in the day.
Please be sure to SHARE the classic kiddos with your friends!
1. Butch Patrick From The Munsters
Butch continued acting in small roles on shows like Gunsmoke, The Monkees, and eventually starred in Sid and Marty Krofft’s Lidsville as a teen.
These days he can be found making the rounds at various fan conventions across the country.
2. Keith Thibodeaux From I Love Lucy
Known as “Richard Keith” while playing Little Ricky Ricardo, Keith now runs a Christian-oriented ballet company in Mississippi called Ballet Magnificat! with his wife Kathy, a former ballet dancer.
He can also still be found behind a drum kit playing with his bandmates in “David and The Giants.”
3. Erin Murphy From Bewitched
Erin originally performed the role with her twin sister, Diane, but eventually took sole responsibility for Tabitha when they began to grow up and look different.
Ironically, she is married to a man named Darren! She has done a lot of work in reality television and also sells eco-friendly knitwear through her company, Erin Murphy Knits.
4. Jerry Mathers From Leave It To Beaver
Though there were rumors spread about Jerry dying in the Vietnam War following his stint as the Beav, he actually spent his time in the United States Air Force Reserve stationed stateside.
Jerry continued acting in small roles and eventually made his Broadway debut in 2007 as Wilbur Turnblad in the Tony-winning play, Hairspray. He also advocates for diabetes research after being diagnosed with Type 2 in 1996.
5. Erin Moran From Happy Days
After her spin-off with co-star Scott Baio, Joanie Loves Chachi, failed to pick up any steam, Erin returned for the last season of Happy Days and has made a handful of appearances in film and TV roles over the years.
6. Susan Olsen From The Brady Bunch
Following her stint as the youngest Brady kid, Susan left TV behind to work as a radio host and also found success as a graphic designer, notably marketing a type of glow-in-the-dark Converse sneakers during the late ’90s.
7. Peter Ostrum From Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
As far as child actors who left their screen careers behind, Peter went pretty much as far in the opposite direction as a person can by giving up on the acting world entirely. He rejected a three-picture deal following Wonka and eventually became a veterinarian in upstate New York, where he works mostly with horses and cows.
8. Richard Thomas From The Waltons
After saying his final goodnight to John-Boy in 1981, Richard continued making small and starring appearances in several TV and movie roles throughout the decades.
He can currently be found on the Cold War drama The Americans, which airs on FX.
9. Alison Arngrim From Little House On The Prairie
10. Jeff Cohen From The Goonies
Jeff’s memorable appearance as Chunk in the adventure flick remains his most well-known role, though he did take a few guest roles on hit television shows like Webster and All in the Family throughout the rest of the ’80s.
He left his acting career behind when he entered the University of California, Berkeley, earning a law degree and now occasionally writes about legal and political matters for media outlets.
Let us know which of these classic child stars was your favorite to watch back in the day, and be sure to SHARE what they’re up to today with your friends!