There is somewhat of a stigma when child actors are mentioned. Unfortunately, due to the stresses of Hollywood and other factors, not all survive the throes of acting as children. But there are quite a few child actors who turned out to be normal, with thriving careers.
Not many know that Jason Bateman started his acting career at the age of 11 on “Little House on the Prairie,” and then followed up as a supporting actor for 21 episodes of “Silver Spoons.” Avid fans of Bateman followed his career through the ’80s and ’90s, but it wasn’t until he starred in FOX’s “Arrested Development” in 2003 that he became a household name again. He then made the switch to more film roles, starring in hits like “Dodgeball,” “Juno,” “Horrible Bosses” and “Office Christmas Party.” In his down time, Bateman spends time with his wife Amanda and their two daughters.
The hit ’90s show “Boy Meets World” focused on the life of Cory Matthews and his antics from middle school up through college and beyond. But one star that everyone loved was Danielle Fishel and her portrayal of the incredibly intelligent and beautiful Topanga Lawrence. Once the show ended in early 2000, Fishel continued to act in a few movies here and there, and attended Cal State Fullerton, graduating in 2013. Danielle returned to her role as Topanga when Disney surprised “Boy Meets World” fans with a sequel to the show, “Girl Meets World,” which focuses on the life of Cory and Topanga’s daughter, Riley Matthews.
The classic family sitcom “Full House” followed patriarch Danny Tanner as he enlisted his best friend and brother-in-law to help raise his three daughters. The eldest daughter, DJ Tanner, was first portrayed by Candace Cameron at the tender age of 11. Following the end of “Full House” in 1995, Candace bounced from different guest roles on many television shows but didn’t find her niche until she was cast as one of the hosts of “The View” in 2015. Just one year later, “Fuller House,” a sequel to the original show, premiered as a Netflix original series and has garnered much positive attention from nostalgic adults that grew up with the show.
Heartthrob Ryan Gosling may be famous for his romantic roles now, but the Canadian actor got his start at the age of 13 on the Disney Channel’s “Mickey Mouse Club.” He appeared in a few other family shows as a kid but then moved to films in 2000, first appearing in a supporting role in “Remember the Titans.” From there, Gosling earned what most would call his breakout role in the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ “The Notebook.” Since then, he has become a staple of mega blockbuster hits, including appearances in the Oscar-winning “The Big Short” and the romantic musical comedy “La La Land.”
Danica McKellar was the crush of many in the late ’80s and early ’90s for her portrayal of Winnie Cooper on the show “The Wonder Years.” The series ran for five years on ABC; following the end of the show, McKellar took an extended break from acting to pursue her education at UCLA, earning a B.S. in Mathematics, summa cum laude, in 1998. As an adult, Danica returned to the spotlight, putting a strong emphasis on highlighting education and, specifically, girls in science and mathematics. She’s done some voice acting as well, and she is currently starring in the Netflix original series “Project Mc2.”
As you can see, some child actors do survive Hollywood and maintain their sanity as they travel to adulthood. It’s all about making the right decisions and staying focused.
This article is presented by Colonial Honda of Dartmouth in N. Dartmouth, Massachusetts.