They were cast in roles because of their youth and utter cuteness – but, unfortunately, Father Time (or Father Surgeon) wasn’t too kind to them. It’s hard enough growing up in the spotlight when you’re a child actor, but it’s way worse when you hit puberty and that particular brand of cuteness that got you into Hollywood has faded in a major way. Sometimes it’s adolescence that beats the crap out of them, other times it’s becoming horribly addicted to getting work done. Even worse is when the super adorable actors fall victim to a horrible addiction and end up losing their looks to that method. Either way, these 15 actors didn’t do that well of a job growing up. Hopefully, most of them have their killer personalities to fall back on and/or reality TV shows.
15. Amanda Bynes
This one was a real drag considering the fact that not only did actress Amanda Bynes have perfect comedic timing, but she was also a stunner as well. Growing up, Bynes starred in the Nickelodeon series All That and The Amanda Show before moving on to star in the hit WB series What I Like About You. After she starred with Emma Stone in the popular movie Easy A, Bynes suddenly announced that she was retiring from the business and sort of fell into an obscure world of her own making. She received a crap load of DUIs (which she denied) and even was involved in a hit and run accident (which she too denied). In 2013, she was arrested at her place in Manhattan for criminal possession of an illegal substance and even threw her bong out of her 36th floor apartment window and was charged with tampering with evidence. Her mental health was deteriorating rapidly and it showed all over her demeanor when she started donning bizarre outfits and wigs to hide her face. Poor thing.
14. Lark Voorhies
Remember rushing home from your own awful reality of middle or high school in order to catch up with Zach Morris and the rest of the Bayside High gang on Saved by the Bell? Their world seemed so much more chill than our own, and you used to day-dream about hooking up with either Zach or Slater or Kelly or Lisa (it was always a give-or-take when it came to Jessie – she was way too whiny). Actress Lark Voorhies played snooty-rich girl with a heart of gold Lisa. She was always wearing the latest trends, which seemed to match her sassy personality. However, if you were to see Voorhies in real life today, you’d end up doing a double-take. Voorhies looks like a corpse who escaped from their coffin during their own viewing. I’m not even sure how her looks could get this far away from her, but I’m guessing some doctor told her she would look 20-times better if she snipped a little here, throw a little something there. Yikes.
13. Macaulay Culkin
Audiences were left Home Alone with him on multiple occasions (seriously, how dense were those parents? That crap would never fly these days when every kid six-years old and up has a freaking iPhone). We all thought Macaulay Culkin was super cute as he outsmarted buglers who were totally attempting to kill him (actually… we may want to switch that around cause he really screwed those guys up). We even endured watching him the second time when he got on the wrong plane to New York City (seriously – could not even happen today). As Culkin got older, he grew a little more awkward each year. He managed to snag Mila Kunis for a while there, but even she moved on to bigger and better things after he grew too scraggly. Someone please hand the guy a bar of soap and point him toward the nearest shower, at least.
12. Corey Feldman
Corey Feldman was one of the “It” Coreys of the 1980’s. He made us laugh in The Goonies, Stand By Me, and The ‘Burbs. Freaked us out with The Lost Boys, and even made us endure his ridiculous singing voice. He was paired up with other famous 80’s Corey (Haim) which would set into motion the eventual reality show he’d do with the latter Corey later down the line. Feldman was the ultimate “Dude” type of guy, but it didn’t hold over well when he became an adult. Drugs entered the mix in the early 90’s. He attempted on multiple occasions to re-boot his career, but would always end up falling flat on his face with each and every attempt. In 2007, both Feldman and Haim starred in a scripted reality show on the A&M Network titled The Two Coreys (how original), which lasted only two seasons. Now he’s busy attempting to push his newfound music career on the unwilling ears of audiences everywhere. So if you see blood coming out of your neighbor’s ears, know he just probably heard Feldman’s newest album.
11. Haley Joel Osment
We cried along with the young Haley Joel Osment when he saw dead people and helped actor Bruce Willis revive his career with The Sixth Sense. Osment was so damn good in that movie, you’d assume he’d move on to have an incredibly satisfying career in Hollywood. Hell, I thought there were so many Oscars in his future – little did I know he would grow up to look the pudgy rat in a low budget Mob movie. After Sense, Osment kept up his “adorable precocious child” routine with A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Second Hand Lions, and Pay It Forward with Kevin Spacey, but after that he sort of fell off the planet… at least that’s what it seemed like since he kept taking smaller roles in nothing movies and nothing TV shows. These days he’s starring on low budget television shows and eating his way through New York.
10. Angus T. Jones
I’m ashamed to say that, yeah, I’ve sat through more than a few episodes of the IQ stealing Two and a Half Men – it’s not something I’m proud of or ever will be proud of. Actor Angus T. Jones played Jake Harper, the dimwitted son of Jon Cryer’s character Alan Harper, the cheapskate brother of Charlie Sheen’s character. All three of those idiots lived together in a Malibu beach house and lived season-to-season running off of moronic fart jokes and easy toilet humor. Sure, Jones wasn’t really cute when the show first started and was often the butt of Sheen’s stale jokes due to his pudginess and clueless gazes. But growing up didn’t serve him any better. He was still portrayed as the idiot, immature dummy on the show even as he grew up. Finally, he had enough and bailed just like Sheen did. These days he looks like he belongs in a tiny cabin in the woods, angrily writing hate letters to the government.
9. Dustin Diamond
Honestly, did anyone really think that Dustin Diamond would age gracefully? Hell, I left out his name out of that Saved By the Bell list for a reason. Diamond gained semi-fame by playing the dumb geek (that’s an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one) Screech Powers on the comedy. He was always trailing after bestie Zach Morris or wagging his tongue at Lisa, who he followed around like a little puppy. But the years were not too kind to our favorite neighborhood nerd: Diamond grew up to be a star in the “other” industry of all things. Something we all could have gone three lifetimes without knowing. Back in 2006, Diamond directed and released his very own tape titled Screeched – Saved by the Smell. After making hundreds of people go blind thanks to that tape, he moved on to reality TV with Celebrity Fit Club and Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling. He then wrote a “tell-all” book about what went on behind the scenes of Bell, and of course pissed off all his former actor friends.
8. Zachery Ty Bryan
Be honest – if you were a young middle school girl in the 90’s, you didn’t tune in to watch Home Improvement for either the older brother Brad Taylor, played by Zachery Ty Bryan. You turned on the show to crush after Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who played the sarcastic middle son Randy. Poor Zachery, always overshadowed by his little brother. Later in his career, Bryan went on to have minor, tiny parts in series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Veronica Mars, Angel, and Smallville. He moved behind the camera and began producing back in 2008 and went on to raise his own family – which probably works out great for him thanks to his new “dad bod”. It’s hard to think that Brad Taylor would let his body go so much since that Improvement character was so stinking vain.
7. Jeremy Miller
Wait, THAT’S Ben Seaver from Growing Pains? Talk about going through a major growing pain yourself there, buddy. Actor Jeremy Miller rode that child cuteness train for as long as he could in the late 80’s, but it was clear he was thrown headfirst off it into oncoming traffic a long time ago. After Pains, Miller went on to star in an episode of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and Family Guy. After that, much like Zachery Ty Bryan, Miller went on to do pretty much nothing shows and movies. He instead focused on raising his own family . He did reveal that he started drinking alcohol by the delicate age of four and suffered from alcohol abuse for years following (which sort of explains his dumpy looks for a period there). Luckily, he was able to obtain help and became a spokesperson for Fresh Start Private Management Inc, which is a rehabilitation center that helped him kick his habit.
6. Clint Howard
Poor Clint Howard – always having to live in the shadow of your older, more successful brother. Much like his brother Ron Howard, young Clint Howard started his career the exact same way big bro did: by starring on The Andy Griffith Show. While Ron was the main child actor on the show, Clint appeared in five episodes as a toddler. After that stint on Griffith, the younger Howard would go on to be “that one guy” you see in literally everything, but never can remember his name (you know those types of actors. Hell, even Kevin Spacey was one before he finally broke out of the Supporting Actor mold). Howard not only did TV, he jumped into some pretty big budget films as well – but always as a bridesmaid, never a bride. MTV recognized him and his screen achievements and awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award back in 1998.
5. Austin St. John
If you were like me back in the 90’s, you’d never admit to actually watching that dang Power Rangers show. I never got the point of it. I mean, their uniforms were hideous and cheaply made, and they switched up actors every other year! I never even understood the premise – were they aliens, did they get their super powers from aliens, wait, did they even HAVE any superpowers besides looking like escaped inmates from a loony bin? Anyway, actor Austin St. John was apparently the Red Ranger for a couple seasons. I’m sure he looked all great doing high kicks in the air to some people, but apparently not to the producers of the show itself. He was eventually replaced by Steve Cardenas. St. John did return to the franchise and played the Gold Ranger in Power Rangers: Zeo and a retired Ranger in the Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie film with old cast mate Amy Jo Johnson. These days he’s starring in short films and hiding from the public. I would too if I had to star on that show.
4. Sean Astin
Ahhh, Sean Astin, the actor from The Goonies you crushed on if you weren’t that into the actor who played his older brother (Josh Brolin). Astin played the lovable, dorky Mikey Walsh who ran around with his inhaler and braces. Astin was one of the go-to boys of the 90’s who starred in pretty much everything under the sun since he was basically considered Hollywood royalty (his mother was the late actress Patty Duke). He played the title character in Rudy and starred in way more films than I can count. In the early 2000’s, the actor seemed to cement his legacy by starring in the Lord of the Rings trilogy as Samwise Gamgee, the hobbit who follows the main hobbit around as he tries to destroy a ring. Even though he is still considered Hollywood royalty, Astin does NOT look the same way he did in his youth. But that’s okay, he’s still a damn good actor.
3. Frankie Muniz
Actor Frankie Muniz played the precocious, smart-a$$ kid on the school that sparked Walter White’s career – Malcolm in the Middle. Muniz played the title character who would mouth off to his folks and turn every once in a while to break the fourth wall and talk to the camera. He was nominated for both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award, but that was about it. In 2003, he was considered “one of Hollywood’s most bankable teens”, but then he decided to put his acting on hold while he focused on open wheel racing. While he randomly stars in movies and shows here or there, he grew up to be somewhat bug-eyed. Even though he still races and acts, Muniz is also in a band named “You Hang Up” as the drummer, which is odd, but hey, whatever works I suppose.
2. Danny Bonaduce
While some child actors grow up to be less than attractive, Danny Bonaduce managed to be downright scary when he entered adulthood. The actor played Danny Partridge on The Partridge Family, which shot him headfirst into fame. Even though the show only lasted four seasons, Bonaduce was given a “Lifetime Achievement” award for his role in the show (okay… sure). He went on to star in the television series CHiPs, Married With Children, and even CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and The Drew Carey Show. Since Bonaduce was pretty much born with a face made for radio, that’s exactly what he went on to do: Radio. He has hosted his own show in Chicago called The Danny Bonaduce Show on The Loop WLUP from 1994 to 1996 and recently did a radio stint in Philadelphia. Bonaduce also happens to be an ordained minster as well (to be frank, who the hell isn’t these days?).
1. Taran Noah Smith
Growing up we watched Zachery Ty Bryan and Jonathan Taylor Thomas pick on their younger, on-air brother Taran Noah Smith on Home Improvement (I’m assuming they only cast kids with three names, which is not odd at all). Much like Bryan, the young girls didn’t tune in to watch the doe-eyed Smith run around with his nasally voice. Smith claimed he was forced into acting by his parents at the age of seven and never was given the option not to do the show itself. By the time the show ended when he was 16-years old, Smith decided he didn’t want to act any longer and got out of the game. He took control of his $1.5 million dollar trust fund when he became an adult and said adios to his parents. He ended up starting up his own non-dairy cheese restaurant and manufacturing company called Playfood.
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