Where Are They Now? Child Stars
Child stars become TV celebrities overnight after the success of a particular show. They may enjoy a few years of glory before their fandom dies out and we start to wonder — “Where are they now?” Though some child stars continue in the business, many seem to fall off the face of the earth altogether.
Here’s four child stars who led very different celebrity lives and who have all moved on to bigger (if not always better) things.
Danny Bonaduce’s story has more ups and downs than any on our child star’s list. Once the very popular Danny Partridge from TV’s The Partridge Family in which he played the smart mouthed redheaded son. Once The Partridge Family was cancelled, Danny was a washed up kid actor well into his teens who developed plenty of drug and alcohol problems. Bonaduce has started a kind of come back as a radio host, working in major markets like LA and Philadelphia, though his battles with drugs and alcohol are well known.
Most famous for his role in the popular kid’s movie Monster Squad, Gower’s “Where are they now?” story is one of the least interesting. Having turned down the role of “Bud” Bundy on the mega popular Fox television series “Married . . . With Children”, Gower was stuck doing bit parts in little-remembered sitcoms, like Mr. Belvedere, The Hogan Family, and Mr. President. He still works as an actor, performing in what can best be described as “C-list” direct to video movies and making the occasional appearance at Monster Squad showings and fan club meetings. Who knows — Monster Squad 2?
Jeff Cohen (best known as Chunk from The Goonies)
If you were a child of the 80s, you know Jeff Cohen. The Truffle Shuffle — all of it. Well there’s great news about Jeff “Chunk” Cohen — he’s shed his chunky exterior and got himself a good job as an entertainment lawyer. Cohen was voted class president at UC Berkeleyeven doing his famous Truffle Shuffle on the sidelines at their football games. Berkeley plays football? Cohen is an example of a child star who used his early success to catapult him into a successful career near to the field he loves, the entertainment industry. Cohen is a complete success story.
Soleil Moon Frye
Ahh Soleil Moon Frye — my Punky Brewster fantasies were endless and rather embarassing. Famously, Soleil had a condition that made her breasts gigantic, embarassingly so. After her success with the show Punky Brewster, she was able to have surgery to correct her problem and does voice and acting work for kid’s shows and movies, most notably Sabrina The Teenage Witch. She has had continued success, thanks to a much needed surgical procedure.
Child stars come and child stars go — some go on to better careers, some to normal lives, and some have tragic endings. Celebrity is difficult for anyone, much less a young person. The fact that so many child stars go on to have normal lives is something of a miracle.