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20 Former Child Actors Who Had Sense Enough to Quit the Business

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | July 5, 2015 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | July 5, 2015 |

Josh Saviano — After “Wonder Years,” Saviano ended up at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and he’s now Senior Counsel with the New York law firm, Morrison Cohen LLP. Also looks like he could use some sleep.


Crystal McKellar — McKellar, Danica’s real-life sister, also ended up going to law school. She went to Harvard, and now she’s a lawyer with Morrison & Foerster in San Diego.


Troy W. Slaten — Here’s the first of many deep cuts on this list, but some of you may remember Slaten as Jerry Steiner on “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.” He was awesome. He, too, is now a lawyer. He went to Pepperdine law, and he practices at Floyd, Skeren, & Kelly, LLP.


Ariana Richards — You may remember Richards from Jurassic Park, altough some of you may remember her from Ben Folds Five “Brick” video. Last we heard, she earned fine arts degrees with several colleges, including Skidmore.



Charlie Korsmo — Familiar to you from What About Bob?, Hook and especially Can’t Hardly Wait (“I can’t feel my legs!”), Korsmo is another who chose a very popular profession of former actors: Lawyer. He got a physics degree at MIT, then went to Yale Law School, and now he’s a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.



Heather Langenkamp — The Nightmare on Elm Street and “Just the Ten of Us” star now owns a special effects and make-up studio in Los Angeles with her husband, although she does very occasionally make take a tiny acting role.



Michael Fishman — Known best as D.J. O’Conner from “Roseanne,” Fishman hasn’t officially quit, but he hasn’t had any acting work in over a decade. He’s been doing set building, set design, camera operating, assistant directing and props, and attending acting classes with an eye toward writing his own material.



Brandon Call — Best known as J.T. Lambert on the TGIF sitcom, “Step by Step,” for starring opposite Andrew Dice Clay in The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, and as the actor who got shot in both arms in a traffic disupte, Call hasn’t returned to acting since 2001. Word is now he works at his Dad’s gas station in San Diego.


Leanna Creel — The former Tori Scott from “Saved by the Bell,” lives with her partner in California and is currently employed as a wedding photographer.


Ilan Mitchell-Smith — My all-time favorite where are they now, Mitchell-Smith — who co-starred with Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science — is now an English professor at Cal State University, Long Beach.

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Andrea Elson — Best known as Lynn Tanner, the sister in “Alf” and Alice Tyler in “Whiz Kids,” Elson is now a full-time mother, and I bet she’s fantastic at it.



Mara Wilson — The Mrs. Doubtfire and Matilda star, Wilson is now an aspiring young-adult novelist.



Jonathan Taylor Thomas — The former “Home Improvement” star no longer acts (although he is reuniting with Tim Allen for a guest stint on “Las Man Standing.” He attended Harvard, and St. Andrews in Scotland, and graduated from Columbia in 2010.

Sal Jenco — Here’s another really deep cut: Jenco played “Blowfish” on “21 Jump Street,” and co-owned The Viper Room with Johnny Depp. I had to track him down on Twitter, where I learned that he’s an event planner and that Peter Deluise thinks he should cameo in a sequel to the 21 Jump Street movie.


Karyn Parsons — She who played Hilary Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” Parsons is married to director Alexandre Rockwell and appears to hanging out, being a mom.

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Lisa Jakub — A very active actress for six years, between 1985 and 1991, Jakub is probably best known for her roles in Mrs. Doubtfire and Independence Day, Jakub quit acting, and she’s a “writer, a traveler, a devoted yogi, wife and dog-mom.” In fact, you can check out her website.



Omri Katz — If you remember this guy, congratulations! He was the lead in the short-lived Eerie, Indiana and played the son of J.R. Ewing in “Dallas.” Now he’s a hairdresser, and about seven years ago, he released this weird, psuedo porn short-film on Youtube.


Jason Zimbler — Zimbler was the bratty little brother in “Clarissa Explains it All,” and now he’s a software engineer for HBO.



Phoebe Cates — Cates, who you may known from THE 1980s, retired from acting to devote herself to her husband, Kevin Kline, and their children.



Michael Schoeffling — Finally, like the Cates entry, everyone knows this but 1) it’s always cool to be reminded, and 2) I needed a 19th and 20th to round out the list. Anyway, the former Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles now lives his wife and two children in Pennsylvania, where he produced handcrafted furniture as the owner of a woodworking shop. He’s 52. There are no recent pictures of him on the Internet.


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