9 ‘80s Child Stars Who Are Still Acting TodayPublished on February 3, 2016. Updated February 21, 2018
There are so many ‘80s child stars who have more or less dropped off the map. So many of them just don’t continue to act. We have a list of 9 child stars from the ‘80s who beat the odds and went on to have acting careers post child stardom.
9. Keshia Knight Pulliam
Keshia Knight Pulliam rose to fame thanks her role as Rudy Huxtable, Cliff and Clair Huxtable’s youngest child on The Cosby Show. She has continued to find success on television. From 2007 to 2012, she had a starring role on Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and her most recent role was in the movie, Will To Love.
8. Jodie Sweetin
Jodie Sweetin is best known for portraying Stephanie Tanner on Full House. When the show ended in 1995, so did her career. She had roles here and there, but she was largely unemployed. She finished high school and went to college, but she got involved in drugs. She has since gotten sober and wrote a book about her experiences. It wasn’t until the Full House was revived on Netflix that she finally got another full time acting job.
7. Fairuza Balk
Fairuza Balk made her film debut in Disney’s Return to Oz, the unofficial sequel to The Wizard of Oz. Throughout the ‘90s, she continued to act in movies like The Craft, The Island of Dr Moreau and American History X. In 2015, she appeared in Battle Scars and August Falls, as well as on the television series Ray Donovan.
6. Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Milano began her career as a child star, appearing on Who’s the Boss? as Samantha Micelli. Throughout the ‘90s, she tried to shed her nice girl image, appearing in Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story as Amy Fisher and Poison Ivy II: Lily. Her most recent role was on the television series Mistresses, but she left the show because filming moved to Vancouver, Canada.
5. Lukas Haas
Lukas Haas rose to fame during the ‘80s with roles in Testament, Witness, and Solarbabies. He received an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Ryan White, an American teenager who contracts AIDS through contaminated blood treatments in The Ryan White Story. In recent years, he has appeared in Inception, Jobs, Transcendence and The Revenant.
4. Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore is easily one of the most recognizable child stars from the ‘80s. She first shot to fame when she landed the role of Gertie in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, but becoming successful at such a young wasn’t easy for Drew. She struggled with drugs and alcohol and it was only after a couple of stints in rehab and a break from acting that she was able to make a comeback with parts in Boys on the Side, The Wedding Singer and Ever After. Her most recent roles were in the movies Blended and Miss You Already, and the show Santa Clarita Diet.
3. Jason Bateman
Jason Bateman became a teen heartthrob when she landed the role of David Hogan on The Hogan Family. The ‘90s were a low point in his career; however, thanks to the show Arrested Development, he experienced a professional renaissance. Jason’s film career has since taken off as well. He’s had roles in Juno, Up in the Air, Horrible Bosses and its sequel, as well as the movie Bad Words.
2. Christina Applegate
Christina Applegate became a bona fide star in the ‘80s when she landed the role of Kelly Bundy on the Fox series Married with Children. Throughout the ‘90s, she continued to act, but it was during the early 2000s that she really broke into movies. She had roles in The Sweetest Thing, A View from the Top and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. She most recently had a role in the comedy, Bad Moms and its sequel, A Bad Moms Christmas.
1. Fred Savage
Fred Savage will always be best known for playing Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years. Since The Wonder Years went off the air, he has continued to act and has also done some directing. In 2015, he returned to the small screen with a role on the Fox series The Grinder.