Published On: Dec 22 2011 05:48:11 PM CSTUpdated On: Aug 08 2016 01:00:00 AM CDT
Soleil Moon Frye of "Punky Brewster" fame celebrated her 40th birthday on over the weekend. Join us for a look at where she and other child stars from the 1980s are today.
Frye has continued to act over the years, including a recurring role in "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch," and keeps busy with voice work, including "Bratz," "Robot Chicken" and "Planet Sheen." In 2011, she released her first book "Happy Chaos: From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Imperfect Adventures in Between." She also hosted the show "Home Made Simple" on the Oprah Winfrey Network from 2013 to 2014.
Melissa Gilbert became famous for playing Laura Ingalls on "Little House on the Prairie," landing the role at age 9 in the early-1970s and growing up on the show before it ended in 1983.
As an adult, Gilbert has continued her career mainly in television films and has also had cameos in TV series such as "Babylon 5," "Touched by an Angel," "7th Heaven" and "Nip/Tuck." She also served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 2001 to 2005 and was a contestant in 2012 on season 14 of "Dancing with the Stars," finishing in fifth place. Most recently she has been appearing as a recurring character on the ABC series "Secrets and Lies."
Emmanuel Lewis starred in the sitcom "Webster" as little Webster Long, an orphaned boy who is adopted by his retired NFL player godfather and his new socialite wife.
Lewis' career slowed after "Webster." He appeared as himself in "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" and in 2007 he was in "Kickin It Old Skool" and the reality TV series "The Surreal Life: Fame Games." He most recently had a cameo in a 2013 episode of the web series "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis." He's seen here attending the 2015 Georgia Music Hall Of Fame Awards in September 2015.
We first got to know Corey Feldman in the movies "Stand By Me" (pictured), "The Lost Boys," "Gremlins" and "License To Drive."
Despite a very public battle with drug addiction that stalled his career in the 1990s, Feldman has continued to find steady acting work as an adult and has appeared in more than 80 films in his career. He's also found a second career as a singer, heading up the band he calls Corey Feldman's Truth Movement. He released his fifth studio album, the double album "Angelic 2 the Core," in June 2016.
Feldman's seemingly constant co-star throughout the 1980s -- so much so that they earned the nickname "The Two Coreys" -- was Corey Haim. The two starred together in "License to Drive," "The Lost Boys," "Dream a Little Dream" and several more. Haim also starred in movies like "Silver Bullet" and "Lucas."
His career derailed by drug problems, Haim made a slight comeback in the mid-2000s, including a reality show with Feldman called "The Two Coreys." He also starred alongside Jason Statham, Amy Smart and Dwight Yoakam in 2009's "Crank: High Voltage," but continued to battle an addiction to prescription pain killers. He ended up dying at age 38 on March 10, 2010, due to pneumonia.
One of Feldman's co-stars in "Stand By Me" was Wil Wheaton, who went on to star in the series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" starting in 1987.
After leaving "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Wheaton he took some time off to work in personal video production and took acting classes before re-entering the world of acting. He's since made numerous appearances on TV shows, including a recurring role playing himself on "The Big Bang Theory," as well as roles on "Numb3rs," "Criminal Minds," "Leverage," "Eureka" and the web series "The Guild." He also runs his own weblog, Wil Wheaton Dot Net, contributes to several other blogs and has published several books.
Tracey Gold became a popular teen star in the 1980s playing Carol Seaver (at left) on the hit sitcom "Growing Pains."
Through much of that time, Gold battled anorexia, which she has since conquered. She starred in a 1994 TV movie about the subject, "For The Love Of Nancy." More recently, she appeared on a January 2012 episode of the reality TV show "Celebrity Wife Swap," trading places with singer Carnie Wilson for a week. She also returned to sitcoms with an appearance on the show "Melissa & Joey" in a July 2013 episode titled "Something Happened." Most recently, she appeared as herself on former "Growing Pains" co-star Alan Thicke's reality show "Unusually Thicke" and starred in the TV movie "I Know Where Lizzie Is."
Kirk Cameron also starred in the sitcom "Growing Pains" as teen heartthrob Mike Seaver (second from right).
Cameron became an active Christian evangelist and portrayed Cameron "Buck" Williams in the "Left Behind" film series. He also hosted the evangelical-themed documentary "Unstoppable," which was made in partnership with Liberty University and released for a one-night-only screening in theaters on Sept. 24, 2013, and followed that up with the 2014 faith-based comedy "Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas." He "won" two Razzies for her performance in "Saving Christmas," receiving Worst Actor and Worst Screen Combo for himself and his ego. The movie also received Razzies for Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay.
Mackenzie Phillips starred as boy-crazy teenager Julie Cooper Horvath on "One Day at a Time."
However, she was eventually fired from the show in 1980 because of drug and alcohol abuse. In her 2009 autobiography "High on Arrival," she claimed she had a decade-long incestuous relationship with her father, John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, who had also got her addicted to cocaine. She appeared on the third season of "Celebrity Rehab" in 2010. She was a regular on the 1999-2001 Disney Channel sci-fi series "So Weird" and has had cameo roles in TV shows like "Cold Case," "Criminal Minds" and "Hot in Cleveland."
Gary Coleman starred as one of the most memorable TV kids ever -- Arnold Jackson on "Diff'rent Strokes." His "Whatcha talking about, Willis?" catchphrase became a part of American culture.
But Coleman had financial troubles later in life. In a TV interview, he said he had attempted suicide twice. He also had numerous health issues and died of an epidural hematoma in 2010.
Keshia Knight Pulliam played Rudy Huxtable on the sitcom "The Cosby Show" from 1984 to 1992. In 2008, she joined the cast of the TBS sitcom "Tyler Perry's House of Payne," which earned her three NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series out of four straight nominations between 2009 and 2012. In 2013, she made a cameo opposite her former "Cosby" co-star Tempestt Bledsoe in the sitcom "Guys with Kids" and also appeared in the TV movie "The Love Letter." In January 2015, she appeared as a contestant on the season premiere of "The Celebrity Apprentice," but was the first fired after refusing to call Cosby to ask for money in a charity challenge.
Ricky Schroder was everybody's favorite rich kid on the 1982-87 sitcom "Silver Spoons."
Schroder has since shed his childhood image, thanks to roles on "NYPD Blue, "Lonesome Dove," "Scrubs" and "24." In 2010, he guest-starred in an episode of ABC's "No Ordinary Family" and played himself in the comedy "Get Him to the Greek." He most recently appeared in the 2015 TV movie "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors," playing Dolly Parton's father in the story inspired by the country singer's upbringing.
But Schroder wasn't the only child star who appeared on "Silver Spoons." Jason Bateman also appeared on the show and had previously appeared on "Little House on the Prairie" as a 12-year-old.
Today, Bateman, is well known for roles on "Arrested Development" and in movies like "Horrible Bosses," "Up in the Air," "Juno" and "Identity Thief." In 2014, he made his directorial debut with the comedy "Bad Words," in which he also starred.
"The Wonder Years" introduced us to Fred Savage from 1988 to 1993. He also played the grandson in "The Princess Bride."
Savage has found more success behind the camera than in front of it as an adult. He now directs and produces TV series, including episodes of "Ugly Betty," "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia," "2 Broke Girls," "Modern Family," "Garfunkel and Oates" and "Casual." He also made his feature film directing debut with the 2007 film "Daddy Day Camp." However, he made his return to TV acting in 2015 by starring alongside Rob Lowe in the short-lived sitcom "The Grinder."
The show also featured Danica McKellar as "Winnie Cooper," everybody's favorite girl next door.
McKellar went on to graduate with honors from UCLA with a math degree and has written several books on mathematics. She's also returned to acting, including bit parts on TV and doing voice work for animated shows.
Dustin Diamond starred as lovable geek Screech on "Saved By The Bell" from 1989 to 1993 and in several follow-up movies.
He's since found work as a standup comedian. He also was known for selling T-shirts in 2006 in an effort to save his house from foreclosure. He made news again recently following his Dec. 26, 2014, arrest in Port Washington, Wisconsin, after a bar altercation in which a man was stabbed. Diamond, seen here in court on Dec. 29, 2014, with his fiancée Amanda Schutz, who was also arrested in the incident, was eventually convicted of two misdemeanors in connection with the fight and sentenced to 120 days in jail.
Few people have spent more of their lives in front of cameras than Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen. They started their career playing the same character, Michelle Tanner, on "Full House," which ran for eight seasons starting in 1987.
After the show, Mary-Kate (left) and Ashley (right) began merchandising their image and are now among the richest women in the entertainment industry.
Stacy Ferguson wowed children with her voice from 1984 to 1989 on the Disney Channel series "Kids Incorporated."
But you may know her better now as Fergie, the singer, songwriter, rapper, fashion designer, actress and member of The Black Eyed Peas.