20 Child Actors of the 90s: Where Are They Now?
Enter the nostalgic world of the 1990s, a decade that provided us with not only great music and fashion trends but also introduced us to a fantastic group of young actors and actresses who excelled on the big screen. With their adorable smiles, undeniable talent, and magnetic excitement, these young actors from the 1990s won us over.
They transported us to wonderful worlds and encouraged us to believe in the power of our imaginations. They varied from pranksters to daring explorers and charming misfits. These erstwhile child prodigies have grown into intriguing individuals, each carving out their own niche in life.
So let us begin on an exciting journey through time to discover where these incredible young performers from the 1990s have gone since then.
1. Macaulay Culkin
McAuliffe McAuliffe Culkin Culkin is an American actor who was born on August 26, 1980, as Macaulay Carson Culkin. He came in second place on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Kid-Stars” and is widely regarded as one of the most successful juvenile performers of the 1990s.
Culkin rose to prominence as a young actor in the first two parts of the Home Alone film series (1990 and 1992), playing Kevin McCallister. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for these roles.
He was also in the films Richie Rich (1994), The Pagemaster (1994), Getting Even with Dad (1994), The Good Son (1993), The Nutcracker (1993), My Girl (1991), The Good Son (1993), and The Nutcracker (1993).
In 1994, Culkin took a hiatus from acting. He made a comeback in 2003 with a role in the movie Party Monster and a cameo on the television program Will & Grace. Junior, an autobiography he penned, was released in 2006. He appeared in the American Horror Story: Double Feature anthology’s tenth season, which aired in 2021.
2. Mara Wilson
Mara Elizabeth Wilson is an American writer and actor. She rose to prominence as a child for her role as Natalie Hillard in Mrs Doubtfire (1993), and she went on to play Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street (1994), Matilda (1996), Annabel Greening in A Simple Wish (1997), and Lily Stone in Thomas and the Magic Railroad (2000).
Wilson took a 12-year vacation after the last film to focus on writing. She returned to acting in 2012, focusing primarily on web projects.
Wilson has lived in New York City’s Queens Borough since 2013. She came out as bisexual in a September 2017 interview with Medium.
Wilson made an appearance in a Project UROK film in 2015, when she discussed her struggles with anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. She discussed her prior experiences with mental illness on Paul Gilmartin’s podcast The Mental Illness Happy Hour.
3. Jonathan Lipnicki
Jonathan William Lipnicki was born on October 22, 1990, and is best recognized for his work as a child actor. He has appeared in films such as Jerry Maguire (1996), Stuart Little (1999) and Stuart Little 2 (2002 release), The Little Vampire (2000), Like Mike (2002), and Broil (2020). He has starred in the television shows Dawson’s Creek on The WB and Meego on CBS.
4. Haley Joel Osment
American actor and voice artist Haley Joel Osment. Osment began acting as a child and received a Young Artist Award for his work in the comedy-drama Forrest Gump (1994). His breakthrough came with the 1999 psychological thriller The Sixth Sense, for which he received nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award in addition to winning a Saturn Award.
With the drama movie Pay It Forward (2000), the science fiction movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), which brought him another Saturn Award, and the comedy movie Secondhand Lions (2003), which brought him a Critics Choice Award, he continued to enjoy success.
Osment has played both the series’ hero Sora (2002-present) and one of its adversaries, Vanitas (2010-2020) in the English-language versions of the games.
Osment is a guitarist and pianist. He has been playing golf since he was seven years old. In the 2005 All-Star Cup, he represented the United States alongside team captain Mark O’Meara. He has also taken part in the annual Michael Douglas & Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament.
In a car accident in 2006, Osment injured a rib and shattered a shoulder blade. He was given a three-year probationary period, 60 hours of alcohol education and rehabilitation, a $1,500 fine, and attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous after entering a no-contest plea to driving while intoxicated and misdemeanour drug possession. He was a resident of New York City as of 2007.
5. Jodie Sweetin
American actress and television personality Jodie Lee Ann Sweetin. In the ABC comedy series Full House and its Netflix prequel series Fuller House, she played the character Stephanie Tanner, for which she is best known.
When Sweetin was 14 years old, just after Full House finished, she began drinking. She admitted to abusing crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and ecstasy throughout the course of the following 13 years, among other drugs, and said that she started using narcotics because she was “bored”. UnSweetined, a memoir that Sweetin penned in 2009, details her descent into drug and alcohol misuse following the conclusion of Full House.
Sweetin is currently married and happy. She declared her engagement to Mescal Wasilewski on January 17, 2022. They exchanged vows on July 30, 2022.
6. Elijah Wood
Elijah Jordan Wood is an American actor and producer who was born on January 28, 1981. His most notable performances were Frodo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003).
With a small role in Back to the Future Part II (1989), Wood made his film debut. With performances in Avalon (1990), Paradise (1991), Radio Flyer (1992), Forever Young (1992), The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993), and The Good Son (1993), he went on to become a well-known child actor. He acted in movies including North (1994), The War (1994), Flipper (1996), The Ice Storm (1997), Deep Impact (1998), and The Faculty (1998) while still a teen.
Wood and Danish film producer Mette-Marie Kongsved are parents to a son (born in 2019) and a daughter (born in 2022).
In an act of kindness, Wood travelled to Curepto, Chile, on April 23, 2010, one of the towns severely hit by the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that occurred on February 27, 2010. Along with Chile’s First Lady, Cecilia Morel, he personally visited several of the victims. Bernie Sanders enjoyed the enthusiastic backing of Wood during the 2016 presidential contest.
7. Christina Ricci
Christina Ricci is an American actress and producer. Ricci is most known for playing eccentric characters with a dark edge in small films, although she has also appeared in a handful of big-budget films. She has received two Primetime Emmy nominations, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Golden Globe nomination.
After making her film debut at the age of nine in Mermaids (1990), Ricci made her breakthrough as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family (1991) and its sequel, Addams Family Values (1993).
Her subsequent roles in Casper and Now and Then (both in 1995) cemented her image as a teen idol. She made the shift into adult roles at the age of 17 with The Ice Storm (1997), which led to performances in a variety of independent films, including Buffalo ’66, The Opposite of Sex, Pecker (all 1998), Prozac Nation (2001), Pumpkin (2002), and Monster (2003). She also appeared in the movie 200 Cigarettes, Sleepy Hollow, Anything Else, Cursed, Penelope, and Speed Racer, both of which were released in 1999.
She played a supporting part in The Matrix Resurrections in 2021. Ricci has been candid about her issues with anxiety and anorexia in the past.
8. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Actor, writer, and director Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt is from the United States. He has won numerous awards and has been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his major roles in 50/50 (2011) and 500 Days of Summer (2009). He is the creator of the online media platform HitRecord, and two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Interactive Program went to him for his work on HitRecord on TV (2014–15) and Create Together (2020).
Gordon-Levitt declared himself a feminist in October 2013 and credited his mother with bringing him up to be one: “My mum brought me up to be a feminist. In the 1960s and 1970s, she took part in the movement actively. Since its early days, the Hollywood film business has advanced significantly. It undoubtedly has a troubling history of misogyny, but it’s not completely there yet.
Gordon-Levitt wed Tasha McCauley in December 2014; the couple has two sons. The CEO and founder of the technology company Fellow Robots is Tasha. He and McCauley do not want to give the public any information about their kids. Since October 2020, when he relocated his new TV production to New Zealand in response to COVID-19, he has been residing in Wellington with his family.
9. Anna Chlumsky
Anna Maria Chlumsky, an American actress, is one of them. She rose to prominence as a young kid for her part as Vada Sultenfuss in the 1991 film My Girl and its sequel, My Girl 2. From 1999 until 2005, she took a hiatus from acting after her early jobs to attend college.
Chlumsky resurfaced as an actor in a number of independent films, including Blood Car (2007) and In the Loop (2009). She was nominated for six Primetime Emmys, including one for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, for her role as Amy Brookheimer in the HBO television series Veep (2012–2019).
10. Tatyana Ali
The American actress and singer Tatyana Marisol Ali is best known for playing Ashley Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from 1990 to 1996.
She played the lead character Tyana Jones in the TV One original series Love That Girl! from 2007 to 2013, she appeared frequently as Roxanne on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless. She will star in Lifetime’s 2023 film Giving Hope: The Ni’Cola Mitchell Story.
11. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
American actor and filmmaker Jonathan Taylor Thomas. He is well-known for his roles as Randy Taylor on Home Improvement, as well as for playing young Simba in The Lion King (1994) and Pinocchio in The Adventures of Pinocchio (1996; New Line Cinema).
Thomas reconnected with his TV father from Home Improvement, Tim Allen, in the fourth episode of the third season on October 11, 2013, and again in the guest appearance in the second-season finale of his third ABC sitcom, Last Man Standing, on March 22, 2013.
He appeared as Randy in the twelfth episode of Last Man Standing’s fourth season on January 10, 2015, making a comeback with Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson, his TV parents from the Home Improvement series. So, Thomas is currently an actor as well as a filmmaker.
12. Lindsay Lohan
An American actress, singer, and composer by the name of Lindsay Dee Lohan. Lohan, who was raised on Long Island after being born in New York City, joined Ford Models when she was just three years old.
Her big break came in the Walt Disney Pictures movie The Parent Trap (1998) after she made regular appearances on the television soap opera Another World at the age of 10. The movie’s success led to cameos in the big-screen blockbusters Freaky Friday (2003) and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004) as well as the television movies Life-Size (2000) and Get a Clue (2002).
The teen comedy sleeper smash Mean Girls (2004) confirmed Lohan’s image as a teen idol and established her as a significant actor in Hollywood. Lohan’s early work gave her childhood celebrity.
Since she was a teenager, Lohan’s personal life has received a lot of media attention, especially after a string of legal issues and arrests that persisted until 2013, the first time she had been probation-free in more than eight years. Lohan has been a Dubai resident since 2014.
13. Alexa PenaVega
An American actress and singer by the name of Alexa Ellesse PenaVega. She is well-known for her performances as Julie Corky in the 2004 movie Sleepover and Carmen Cortez in the four Spy Kids movies. She played Ruby Gallagher, the show’s titular character, in the ABC Family sitcom Ruby & the Rockits in 2009.
After meeting him at a Bible study in late 2012, Vega began dating American actor and singer Carlos Pena Jr., star of the Nickelodeon sitcom Big Time Rush and a member of the boy band of the same name. She made a cameo appearance in the Big Time Rush series finale episode, which aired in July 2013, and she portrayed Carlos Garcia’s new girlfriend there.
August 2013 saw the couple’s engagement, and on January 4, 2014, they wed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, adopting the last name PenaVega for both of them. La Vida PenaVega, the couple’s YouTube channel, is shared. The couple has three kids: a daughter (born in May 2021) and two sons (born in December 2016 and June 2019).
14. Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Christine Trachtenberg is an American actress. Trachtenberg began her acting career at the age of three, appearing in a variety of television series, movies, and advertising.
Her first credit was for her role as Nona Mecklenberg in the Nickelodeon television series The Adventures of Pete & Pete (1994-1996). She got Young Artist Awards for her roles in the Nickelodeon Movies comedy Harriet the Spy (1996) and Maggie in the CBS sitcom Meego (1997).
In a guest role on Love Bites on June 9, 2011, Trachtenberg played Jodie, a woman who accepts her ex’s invitation to “be friends” after being cruelly rejected. On June 16 and July 21, 2011, respectively, she performed the part again. Trachtenberg was given a role in the Gabriel Cowan-directed movie The Scribbler in June 2012.
Trachtenberg portrayed Diane Turner, the violent stalker of Spencer Reid’s girlfriend Maeve Donovan, in the Criminal Minds episode “Zugzwang”. She was the cover girl for Maxim in March 2011.
Late in 2015, Trachtenberg played Anna, the guidance counsellor at the high school, in the online series Guidance.
15. Devon Sawa
Actor Devon Edward Sawa is from Canada. In the 1990s, Sawa, who started acting as a youngster, acted in a number of movies, including Little Giants, Casper, Now and Then, Wild America, Idle Hands, and Final Destination.
Dawni Sahanovitch, a producer from Canada, is Sawa’s wife. 2013 saw their wedding. A son and a daughter were born to them in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
In a lengthy interview with The Independent in June 2022, Sawa stated that he looked for roles where the protagonist smoked marijuana in order to escape his youthful heartthrob fame, which started with Casper.
16. Bug Hall
Actor Brandon “Bug” Hall is American. He is best recognized for his portrayals of young children in The Little Rascals (1994), The Big Green (1995), and The Stupids (1996) as Alfalfa Switzer, Newt Shaw, and Buster Stupid.
Hall left Hollywood in 2020 after converting to Traditionalist Catholicism in 2013. Hall claimed that his family had relocated to a farm in the Midwest in 2021 so that he could adopt a vow of poverty.
Hall received a permanent Twitter ban in December 2022 as a result of tweets he sent endorsing marital debt and the use of corporal punishment on children. He responded to the restriction on Instagram by writing: “The truth will always be unpopular. The truth will always be persecuted. But eternity will always be sweet”
17. Ross Bagley
Ross Bagley is a former comedian and actor from the United States. He is most known for playing Dylan Dubrow in Independence Day and Nicky Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In The Little Rascals, he also portrayed Buckwheat.
Bagley was most well-known as a young actor in the middle of the 1990s, and from 1994 to 1996, he played Nicholas “Nicky” Banks on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Bagley also played Buckwheat in the 1994 feature film adaption of The Little Rascals, and he co-starred in the 1996 movie Independence Day with Will Smith from The Fresh Prince. Ross is no longer an actor or a comedian.
18. Miko Hughes
Miko American actor John Hughes is most known for his child acting roles in films including Gage Creed in Pet Sematary (1989), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Apollo 13 (1995), Spawn (1997), Mercury Rising (1998), and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994). He is also recognized for his recurrent role as Aaron on Full House from 1990 to 1995.
After taking a break from acting, Hughes made a comeback in the science fiction series Roswell as a teenager. He portrayed a villain who belonged to an outlaw extraterrestrial gang.
At the age of nine, Hughes made his musical debut with the 1995 publication of two albums. The other is titled Halloween Haunts, while the first is self-titled. He composed the music for both albums.
They were recorded and published by Little Chief Inc., his own business. Chilling Visions: 5 Senses of Fear, a 2013 horror anthology movie, featured Hughes’ “See” as its director. This is the last piece of information about Hughes and no other known projects or whereabouts about him are known.
19. Michael Fishman
American actor, writer, and producer Michael Aaron Fishman is best known for his role as D.J. Conner on the enduring television sitcom Roseanne and its spin-off, The Conners.
On October 22, 1999, Fishman and Jennifer Briner got married. According to a formal application for legal separation Briner submitted on December 27, 2018, they were divorced as of June 16, 2017. Briner officially filed for divorce on April 22, 2019. The couple’s two kids are a son named Aaron and a daughter named Isabelle.
American businesswoman, fashion designer, equestrian, and former actress Mary-Kate Olsen. In the television series Full House (1987–1995), where she co-starred with her twin sister Ashley Olsen as Michelle Tanner, she made her acting debut nine months after giving birth. Additionally, they co-starred in a lot of movies.
Mary-Kate announced her intention to stop acting in March 2012 so she could concentrate on her profession in fashion. She stated that she believed acting was not where her future lay and that one of her future fashion-related goals was to create a store.
Although the innocence of the child performers of the 1990s has faded, their imprint on our hearts and the entertainment industry has endured. They have demonstrated their intellect and tenacity through passionate comebacks and a variety of career paths.
As we say goodbye to this interesting voyage, let us reflect on their incredible performances and look forward to seeing how these once-young stars blossom and mature in the future. Because of their lasting contributions, the 1990s are still relevant today.