The 1990s were full of child actors that helped shape the popular culture of the decade with mushroom cuts, neon colors, and hair spray. While some child stars continued acting and are even more popular today, others fell off the radar and opted for a different path following their rise to fame at a young age. If you’re wondering where some of your favorite childhood icons ended up, this list takes a nostalgic walk down memory lane to revisit our favorite ‘90s kids and what they’ve been up to all these years.
12. Mara Wilson
Mara Wilson was a ’90s icon and starred in quite a few memorable films including 1996’s Matilda, the classic Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street and alongside Robin Williams in 1993’s Mrs. Doubtfire. Following her career as a child actress, Mara shifted gears and stepped away from the Hollywood scene. She is now in her mid-30s and works as a writer for various publications and shows. If you’re curious for more information about Wilson’s whereabouts, she published a memoir in 2016 entitled ‘Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame. The memoir opens up about her experience as a child actor in the industry.
11. Ariana Richards
Ariana Richards was just 12 years old when she played the role of Lex Murphy in the 1993 film, Jurassic Park. Following this role, she went on to make a cameo appearance in the 1997 sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park. She also guest-starred in an episode of Boy Meets World in 1996. Her last film role was in the 2013 movie Battledogs. Rather than pursuing acting full-time, Richards opted for a different path and is now a successful artist living in Salem, Oregon.
10. Rider Strong
We all remember Rider Strong as the bad-boy friend of Cory Matthews on Boy Meets World that ran until the turn of the millennium. Since then he’s been a busy boy with roles on television series’ Starship Troopers: The Series, Kim Possible, and Pepper Dennis. He’s also starred in films like Cabin Fever and Erica, Kieran, and Lexi. Recently he’s revisited his role as Shawn Hunter in the spin-off series Girl Meets World, which focuses on the life of Corey and Topanga’s daughter Riley and her days at school with her friends and history-teaching dad!
9. Anna Chlumsky
There wasn’t a dry-eye back in the ‘90s when viewers watched this young starlet lose her best friend in My Girl. Since the 2000s, Anna has been involved in several television projects including Cupid and Hannibal, and Veep. Her performance as Amy Brookheimer in the HBO comedy has earned her three consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Most recently, Anna starred in the Netflix series Inventing Anna. In terms of her personal life, Anna has married Army Reserve member Shaun So, and the couple now have a daughter together.
8. Jonathan Lipnicki
Jonathan Lipnicki played the most adorable little guy in Jerry Maguire and the television series Meego. He also provided the voice of George Little in the animated hit Stewart Little. These days, Lipnicki has appeared in TV shows including Interns of F.I.E.L.D. and Mr. Student Body President, as well as films Circus Kane and 2nd Chance for Christmas. He also had a stint on reality TVIn in 2018 when he appeared on UK dating show Celebs Go Dating. Most recently, he appeared in the 2020 horror film Broil.
7. Tia and Tamera Mowry
Most people remember these twins from their television series’ Sister Sister and Detention, but they were a staple part of ‘90s television programming, appearing in both Full House and Are You Afraid of the Dark? After the turn of the millennium, their careers verged down different paths. Tia has been heavily involved in the Bratz franchise, with voicing both television and video games. She also published a book about pregnancy in 2012 and a cookbook in 2017. Recently, she launched a digital lifestyle series “Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix,” where she uploads videos offering advice in the categories of cooking, exercising, and parenting. As for Tamera, she’s worked on the TV series’ Strong Medicine, Roommates, and Things We Do For Love. She was also in the film Redemption of a Dog, about a man with an endless supply of women, who finds one that stands out above the rest. The twins did reunite for roles in The Hot Chick in 2002 with Rob Schneider and for three seasons of their own reality series Tia & Tamera in 2011.
6. Haley Joel Osment
It’s fair to say that Haley Joel Osment’s beginnings were hard to surpass. He traces his roots back to a minor part in the Academy Award winning film Forrest Gump and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, for which he received a nomination for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He was also subsequently in A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Sex Ed and the television series Comedy Bang! Bang! He is well known in the gaming world for lending his voice to Sora in the Kingdom of Hearts game series. Some of his most recent movies in the last few years include Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, The Devil Has a Name, Bad Therapy, and Have a Good Trip.
5. Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Culkin may be the most famous child star of the ‘90s with his lineup of movies, Home Alone, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, My Girl, and Richie Rich. He’s rated #2 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Kid-Stars” and on E!’s list of “50 Greatest Child Stars.” Following his success as a child star, Culkin went relatively off the radar. He did play Andrew Cross in Kings and played himself in the series The Jim Gaffigan Show, but a lot of his time has been spent making music with his comedy/parody pizza-themed band the Pizza Underground. Recently, Culkin re-created some of his famous Home Alone scenes in a Google Assistant commercial.
4. Jenna Von Oy
Jenna Von Oy played Six LeMeure on the television series Blossom, and since that time she has had bit parts on television series including Unhappily Ever After and Moesha. She has also been in Pepper Ann, The Parkers, and What’s With Andy? In 2000, she recorded a demo in an attempt to launch a country music career. Her debut album, Breathing Room, was released in 2007, with Coffee & Men (An EP for Childish Adults) released in 2009. Von Oy married Brad Bratcher in October 2010, and the couple are parents of daughters Gray and Marlowe.
3. Christina Ricci
Christina Ricci was a precocious and outspoken young star in the ‘90s and was in everything from The Addams Family flicks, Casper, and Now and Then, but she has fallen off the A-list over the years. After starring in films like Sleepy Hallow and Monster, Ricci moved more into television. She had a recurring role on Ally McBeal and was nominated for an Emmy for her work on Grey’s Anatomy. She played the lead role in the short-lived series Pan Am, and played the titular character on The Lizzie Bourn Chronicles in 2017. She starred on the hit Showtime series Yellowjackets in 2021, and the Netflix comedy series Wednesday, a dark reimagining of The Addams Family.
2. Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Jonathan Taylor Thomas hasn’t been in a feature film since 1999, but boy do we remember that cute little face from his Home Improvement days! And the child star had seemingly made it huge when he was a part of the Disney film The Lion King as the voice of young Simba. But the life of celebrity wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be for JTT and most of his work in the biz has been in voice over or in TV movies. Jonathan Taylor Thomas did reunite with his Home Improvement co-star, Tim Allen, in a few episodes of Last Man Standing, but most of his focus has been on his studies. He attended both Harvard and Columbia.
1. David Faustino
David Faustino has a long history in the biz, making his acting debut at the ripe old age of 3 months old on the Lilly-Tomlin-Special. And it wasn’t long before some sweet gigs on Family Ties and The Love Boat landed him the role of Bud on Married with Children—a character he’d play for the next decade. Within the past decade, Faustino has been involved with voicing many television series including characters on Winx Club: Beyond Believix, Dragons: Riders of Berk, The Legend of Korra, and Dragons: Race to the Edge. In 2015, he was also in the film The Night Before, which finished fourth at the box office during its opening weekend.