[[quoteright:296:[[Film/WhatEverHappenedToBabyJane http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/babyjane_7479.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:296:Apparently, ''this'' is what happened to Baby Jane. Not a pretty sight.]]

->''"He's a former child star?! Oh, just lock him up and throw away the jail!"''
-->-- '''Bosco''', ''[[VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Sam and Max]]: Culture Shock''

''Former Child Star = Current Life Mess.''

Probably one of Hollywood's biggest AcceptableTargets, the Former Child Star is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin just what it sounds like]]: a star of TV or film whose career was at its peak in their formative years. Alas, such an unorthodox childhood can leave its mark on anyone (especially if they were NotAllowedToGrowUp), and it always does in fictional depictions of the Former Child Star. In adulthood, they may be a struggling actor who finds it hard to be taken seriously when everyone remembers them as "[[IAmNotSpock that one kid from that one show]]", if they're remembered at all.

It doesn't help that puberty is a fickle beast and there is no guarantee that a cute and adorable kid will grow into an attractive adult. Creator/EmmaWatson and Creator/DanielRadcliffe may have matured nicely since their ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' days, but there are countless others whose adolescent years weren't nearly as kind, making it that much harder to find acting work as adults.[[note]]This particularly hits men worse than women; the facial features of a cherubic little boy ''rarely'' translate into a handsome adult man.[[/note]]

As for those who left showbiz, many wind up mourning their glory days in a dead-end job, caught up in SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll, or (dis)gracing the covers of tabloids after a run-in with the law. Sadly, a case of TruthInTelevision, as the troubled biographies of some real-life Former Child Stars will show. On the other hand, there are other child actors who grew up well, like Creator/JodieFoster and [[Series/LostInSpace Bill Mumy]], because their parents took care to raise them up right under the circumstances.

While some kids idolize these stars and want to be like -- or be -- them because of how "glamorous" their lives are, what they don't see behind the scenes is that their careers pretty much rob them of a normal childhood, and a disturbingly high number of Former Child Stars have [[StageMom unscrupulous]], financially exploitative parents. Can you say BlessedWithSuck?

No doubt GrowingUpSucks for them... especially if they're [[ContractualPurity treated as though they never did]].

Compare WhiteDwarfStarlet, an older version of this trope. For other grown-up kids, see SchoolYardBullyAllGrownUp and KidHeroAllGrownUp.

This trope applies not only to theatre and motion picture, but also to several sports, such as gymnastics, and arts, such as ballet, where the athletes rise to the top very young and the career is likely to be short.

!!Fictional examples:


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'':
** Onpu Segawa was a wildly popular preteen IdolSinger whose successful career is constantly shown throughout the series. The LightNovel that takes place when the characters are in high school reveal that she now has trouble securing acting roles because she can't break away from her child star image.
** Onpu's mother and manager Mio was this close to become a child star, but [[StaircaseTumble suffered an accident]] in an audition [[CareerEndingInjury and couldn't go further]]. That led her to become Onpu's StageMom.
* In ''LightNovel/AmagiBrilliantPark'', Seiya Kanie used to be a child star with the stage name Seiya Kodama. Now that he's a teenager, he's not proud of it and goes ThatManIsDead whenever anybody recognizes him and tries to talk to him about it.

* George Tirebiter from Creator/TheFiresignTheatre's album ''Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers''.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' features a group of former teen superheroes called Excelsior. Most of its members have essentially become the superhero equivalent of this trope, but special mention goes to Julie Power, who tried -- and utterly failed -- to parlay her status as a former member of ComicBook/PowerPack into an acting career. Happily, she later came out as bisexual, got her act together, became a teaching assistant at ComicBook/AvengersAcademy, and is now dating Karolina Dean. The rest of Excelsior has faded into even further obscurity.
* One of the members of ComicBook/TheOrder, California's Initiative team, was a former child country star, with much of the attendant mental baggage.

* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLI0BD064VY This]] is a {{Creepypasta}} that features a former "child star" who isn't quite what she seems.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* "Baby" Brent in ''WesternAnimation/CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs''. As a baby he was the mascot of the town sardine cannery and has spent his entire life trading on his fame, down to wearing a diaper underneath his clothes.
* The antagonist in ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe3'', Balthazar Bratt, grew up to be obsessed with the character he played on TV in the '80s. As such, he moves and dresses like Creator/MichaelJackson, and his weapons mostly consist of modified '80s items, like exploding Rubik's cubes and wads of bubblegum that can trap whoever steps on them.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Pictured above is "Baby Jane" Hudson, the title character of the 1962 film ''Film/WhatEverHappenedToBabyJane''. She was a child star of vaudeville in the 1910s. Decades later, she's a bitter, mentally disturbed alcoholic old woman, who still dresses like a little girl and is unable to accept that nobody even remembers her anymore.
* The Creator/DavidSpade film ''Film/DickieRobertsFormerChildStar'' is about one of these characters trying to learn about "normal" family life from a typical suburban family in preparation for a role.
* Jaleel "[[Series/FamilyMatters Steve Urkel]]" White played himself in the film ''Film/BigFatLiar'', briefly showcasing his struggles as an adult actor when everyone remembers him as "that Urkel kid".
* ''Film/HaroldAndKumarGoToWhiteCastle'' had RealLife Former Child Star Creator/NeilPatrickHarris, although playing a far more dysfunctional version of himself than actually exists. This ironically led to a revival in Harris' career.
* Donnie in ''Film/{{Magnolia}}'', a former ChildProdigy on a TV quiz show who fell on hard times.
* ''Life With Mikey'' starred Creator/MichaelJFox as a former child star turned talent agent. However, in his case, it's even weirder as most of his fame came from him playing a child while he was an adult. These weren't roles he had played since he was a child; his entire career was simply NotAllowedToGrowUp.
* Creator/PhilipSeymourHoffman's character in ''Film/AlongCamePolly'' plays with this trope, even featuring a movie poster in the style of ''Film/TheBreakfastClub'', and a character meltdown when he tries to direct and play every role in a community theater production.
* The title character in ''Film/StandIn'' (1937) is a former child star who's now struggling to pay the bills as a stand-in for an aging starlet.

* The ''Gemma'' books by Noel Streatfeild are about a teenage former child star who is sent to [[TheGoodOldBritishComp comprehensive school]]. She changes her surname so as to be inconspicuous, but finds she doesn't like being a nobody, and ends up becoming (locally) famous again.
* Subverted in the ''Literature/XWingSeries'', part of the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse. Garik "Face" Loran was a child star who appeared in Imperial propagandist [[CallARabbitASmeerp "holodramas"]] until he realized the levels of cruelty TheEmpire was capable of. Now he's one part TheAtoner, one part MasterOfDisguise (he's still a fantastic actor), and one part TheAce (though this is mostly an act, he ''can'' be a truly competent pilot when he needs to be). This definition of "child" is a bit flexible and seems to extend to "teen", since a number of women in his squadron had crushes on him when he was starring in holofilms. His old contemporary and rival Tetran Cowall, on the other hand, stayed Imperial. And also became a fighter pilot, just for a chance to beat Loran.
* Pearl Bright of Jane Lindskold's ''Literature/BreakingTheWall'' trilogy is a contemporary of no less than Shirley Temple herself. However Pearl herself subverts the usual description of this trope by being moderately wealthy thanks to her mother's careful investing of her childhood earnings, maintaining connections throughout Hollywood, and being an octogenarian badass.
* The heroine of ''Tribute'' by Creator/NoraRoberts starred in a ''Series/FullHouse'' clone when she was a little girl. After struggling with maintaining her fading acting career and doing poorly in college as she grew up, she started a successful business in restoring and selling old houses. Her grandmother was also one, going from a Shirley Temple {{Expy}} to one for Marilyn Monroe, complete with a deeply troubled personal life and mysterious untimely death.
* Kenneth Valentine of Creator/JohnVarley's ''Literature/TheGoldenGlobe'' is a seriously messed-up example, although, unlike the classic version, he's trying to hide from his past rather than wishing he could relive his glory days. He's actually a first-rate actor, but he avoids taking major roles because he doesn't want people to make the connection between him and "Sparky" (the role that made him famous as a kid).
* Nicky Bradshaw in Creator/TimPowers' ''Literature/ExpirationDate'', who as a teenager starred as a boy ghost in a sitcom called Ghost of a Chance.
* The lawyer Metzger in ''Literature/TheCryingOfLot49'' has a hidden past as a child actor, although he's fairly well-adjusted.
* During the InfoDump section of ''Literature/TheShining'', a former child star named Little Marjorie is mentioned. Derwent bought a struggling movie studio after its biggest star OD'd on heroin at the age of 14. Marjorie's cause of death was reported to be a "wasting disease."
* The novel ''Literature/StarIsland'' centers around Cheryl Buntermann, AKA Cherry Pye, a twenty-something child actor turned pop star whose career is self-destructing due to her own AlcoholInducedIdiocy, and her studio's efforts to keep her from doing anything that would cause her marketability to completely collapse until after they've released her latest album.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* An ''Series/{{SCTV}}'' segment parodies the trope with the show ''Oh That Rusty!'', which has been running for over 20 years with the same lead actor. He's clearly an adult, and off screen he basically runs the show now, but his character Rusty has never aged. Since Rusty is ''eight years old'', the show recasts the other characters and redesigns the sets to try and hide this.
* Robin from ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' was one (in Canada). The rest of the group mock her mercilessly for it.
* Creator/WilWheaton [[AdamWesting plays a version of himself]] like this in ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', initially playing the {{Jerkass}} version of this trope, but developed into a [[JadedWashout washed-up and chronically depressed]] has-been taking bit parts in low budget B-movies.
* In the ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'' episode "You Better Shop Around", Jerry Mathers (known for ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver'') guest stars, [[AdamWesting playing himself]] as a washed-up former child star, who has resorted to judging shopping contests in supermarkets. Bud and Kelly mercilessly mock him for this until he points out his father never sold women's shoes for a living.
* Marcus Little of ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOnDeck'' was formerly the OneHitWonder kid rapper Lil' Little. His record label dropped him once he hit puberty but he later makes a CareerResurrection by creating a "hip-hopera" that gets a Broadway deal.
* ''Series/MrShow''[='=]s finale has Josh Fenderman, a parody of Corey Feldman and his Music/MichaelJackson-esque phase.
* Liv from ''Series/LivAndMaddie''. Although since Liv went on to star in a hit movie ''and'' get another TV series, and is basically pretty happy, the trope is less harmful to her than other examples.
* ''Series/JessicaJones2015'': Trish Walker currently is the radio host of ''Trish Talk'' on WNEX. She used to be the star of the TV show ''It's Patsy!'' which she was pushed into by her abusive mother. A RunningGag in the show is random characters singing a few bars of the theme song when they recognize Trish.

* Creator/PeterSellers' 1958 comedy album ''The Best of Sellers'' has a song, "I'm So Ashamed", where a pop singer laments his falling out of favor, having not had a hit song in three weeks. It's revealed that the poor guy's almost 9 years old now...
* Music/BarenakedLadies' song "New Kid On The Block" has a line about this: "I'm a New Kid on the Block/I'm 23 and they won't let me grow up."
* "Child Star" by The Unicorns deals with a former child star meeting with a disillusioned former fan.

* The Broadway musical ''Theatre/AvenueQ'' features Gary Coleman as a superintendent. And in the Mexico City production, the character was turned into a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed version of Carlos Espejel, a Mexican comedian who was a child actor in eighties' Mexican TV. Imagine a kid dressed up as Dracula, trying awfully hard to be scary and [[HilarityEnsues failing miserably, time after time...]]
* Baby Rose, from the original version of ''Theatre/BabesInArms'', moved to New York after she got older and "became passé". Now a gorgeous teenager, she's followed everywhere by a barbershop quartet who sing backup for her, but she has so little money left from her Hollywood days that, when the rest of the cast gets sent to a work farm, she and the quartet get sent there, too.
* ''Theatre/ForbiddenBroadway'' once did a parody of ''Theatre/{{Annie}}'' about actresses who can't get work as adults after having played the title role.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The Soda Poppers from Telltale Games' episodic ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'' adventure games, who were reoccurring characters throughout the first two seasons before [[spoiler: revealing themselves to be evil in Episode 205, ''What's New Beelzebub?'']].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Segagaga}}'', VideoGame/AlexKidd tells the sad tale of how he used to be a video game star when he was younger, but fell by the wayside. He now works behind the counter at one of Sega's shops.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* WebVideo/FunnyOrDie's ''[[http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/c8ad4aa802/wax-on-f-ck-off-with-ralph-macchio Wax On, Fuck Off]]'' is about [[Film/TheKarateKid Ralph Macchio]] trying to ''become'' a Hollywood trainwreck (or at least look like one) in order to gain more roles.
* Donnie Dupre of ''WebVideo/DemoReel'' is revealed to be this. Now a lackluster filmmaker, Dupre was formerly known as Jimmy Boyd (an expy of Jake Lloyd), whose mother, a washed-up starlet, committed suicide during the filming of a Christmas movie Dupre was in. Young Dupre attempted to press on with the performance, but the suicide caused him to be unable to give it his all. As a result of the bad performance, Dupre's Hollywood reputation tanked, causing him to develop a grudge against the Hollywood system for the unfairness of the entire ordeal.
* Amanda Simmons of ''Hotwives of Orlando'' was the "Florida Prune Juice" girl as a child. She never had any other success as a child actor, but has never recovered from her brush with fame and spends most of her time drunk, high, and engaged in petty crime.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' had minor baddie "Baby" Dahl, a former starlet who wasn't able to find work as a serious actress after her show was cancelled because she's [[OlderThanTheyLook stuck in the body of a little girl]].
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Bonkers}}'' has a former child star called Babyface trying to pass himself off as MickeyMouse. Apparently, he was [[SmallNameBigEgo so obnoxious]], people have gone on record to say that they [[WouldRatherSuffer would rather dance barefoot on the surface of the Sun]] than work with him again.
* ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock'' had a one-shot villain named Replay who was a former child star with [[MesACrowd self-duplication]]. And was also voiced by former child star Creator/NeilPatrickHarris.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** The episode "Last Tap Dance In Springfield" has this with Lisa's tap teacher, who was a Shirley Temple-style star and is now a nasty old harridan who hides behind TastesLikeDiabetes mannerisms most of the time. She admits to tapping coded messages for the Allies in WWII and destroying Buddy Ebsen's credit rating, so this two-faced nature was probably always there.
** An adult Butch Patrick is a guest star in the episode "Eight Misbehavin'", where he cheerfully comments that ''he'' turned out OK! .. while still wearing his very ill-fitting [[Series/TheMunsters Eddie Munster]] costume.
** Moe was one of the original ''Little Rascals'' until he kills the original Alfalfa in a fit of rage when he stole his bit. Fortunately for Moe, Alfalfa was an orphan owned by the studio.
* One of the recurring themes in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' is that this ends up happening to ''all'' "Boy Adventurers" when they grow up. WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest himself, for example, is now a paranoid junkie. Rusty also attends a therapy session that features a Comicbook/{{Robin}} like former sidekick with an eating disorder, an Manga/AstroBoy looking robot with anger management problems, and two ''Literature/TheHardyBoys''-like former boy detectives who almost certainly killed their father. The whole experience actually leads Rusty to realize that by the standards of his peers he made out pretty good.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', open auditions are held for the part of Calculon's son on the series' SoapWithinAShow ''All My Circuits''. Among the hopefuls are "that robot child actor who grew up and robbed a convenience store." He buys a lottery ticket from a robot child actor who grew up and ''became'' a convenience store -- or, more accurately, a huge walking vending machine.
* ''WesternAnimation/BojackHorseman'':
** This happened to Sarah Lynn, the actress who played the youngest daughter on the title character's old show ''Horsin' Around'' (a ''Full House'' clone in its own right). More specifically, a mixture of a pushy mother, bad advice from Bojack (basically, "attention equals love"), and her attempts to establish her own career (by creating a HotterAndSexier image) made her a LoveHungry AttentionWhore. It's not too long before she devolves into the [[DescentIntoAddiction drug addicted]] trainwreck tabloid fodder type. And the worst part is that, in her mind, [[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity any attention (even the negative type) is better than none at all]].
** Goober, the annoying house guest in ''Horsin' Around'' didn't turn out too well in adulthood either. The actor who played him (as [=BoJack=] so helpfully pointed out to Todd in one episode) ended up molesting some Laker Girls, and in the third season, it's revealed that he's become a sleazy nightclub owner and a drug dealer. Ironically, he's voiced by Fred Savage, a former child star who's had a well-adjusted adulthood despite not being as popular as he was in ''Series/TheWonderYears''.
** Averted with the actors who played the other two children on the show: Joelle Clarke, the oldest, moved to England and became a stage actress, and Bradley Hitler-Smith, the middle child, went on to own a hardware store.
* Parodied on ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' where its shown that Elroy from ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons'' is a barfly and Bam Bam from ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'' drives a cab.
-->'''Elroy:''' Take me to Astro's grave!

!!RealLife examples:
* Music example: Music/BritneySpears fell on this ''hard''. Though her musical career has rebounded (though not quite up to its former heights), her personal life around the mid-late 00's was such a trainwreck and her reputation in utter tatters, that she was eventually placed under the conservatorship of her father. She got therapy and pulled her life around and is a loving and supportive mom to her sons, such as indulging in their interests (like ''Anime/DragonBallZ'') or when they were younger allowing them to leave the cameras if it was too much. In fact, one of the reasons she took up a Las Vegas residency was the ability to raise her children in a stable environment.
* Creator/LindsayLohan... Oh dear. It was a mix of [[ThePrimaDonna her personality]] (even as a child), [[StageMom her parents]], a self-admitted [[DescentIntoAddiction drug problem]] (which ''really'' hasn't done favors for her looks), numerous run-ins with the law, and poor choices of roles that eventually demolished anything she had left resembling a professional career.
* The famous child acting duo Corey Feldman and Creator/CoreyHaim both had meltdowns for adult lives. Eventually, it claimed Corey Haim's life. Corey Feldman has survived without crashing and burning, but as his 2016 Today Show appearance has shown, the man is in that unfortunate position of having enough money to basically do whatever he wants without having friends who can talk him out of some of his ill-reasoned whims and help preserve his dignity.
* Brian Bonsall, who played baby brother Andy Keaton on ''Series/FamilyTies'', the kid from ''Film/BlankCheck'' and Worf's son Alexander on ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' has been arrested several times for assault and drug possession.
* Macaulay Culkin became a star after ''Film/HomeAlone''. Unfortunately, he had a [[StageMom Stage Dad]] who forced him into role after role without taking a break, wanting to maximize on his son's bankability and ultimately ruining it (because no one wanted to cast Macaulay if it meant having to deal with his dad). Culkin understandably got burned out on his desire to act after that and retired at the age of 15. Nowadays, he spends most of his time either playing music with his band [[note]]They play Music/VelvetUnderground covers... except all the songs are re-written to be about pizza. [[http://pitchfork.com/news/53269-listen-macaulay-culkin-has-a-pizza-themed-velvet-underground-cover-band-the-pizza-underground/ We're serious]].[[/note]], [[http://www.eonline.com/news/596321/macaulay-culkin-is-not-dead-responds-to-death-hoax-with-parody-of-80s-movie-see-the-pic making the best response ever]] to [[ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated a death hoax about him]], and generally going out of his way to live as normal a life as possible. It didn't stop him from AdamWesting [[http://digg.com/video/macaulay-culkin-dryvrs-home-alone a little bit]] though.
* Creator/EdwardFurlong, despite solid performances in ''Film/AmericanHistoryX'' and a couple of other movies, is still remembered as [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay the young John Connor]]. And for being involved in an animal rights group where he tried to release the live lobsters out of their tanks in a store.
* Speaking of John Connor... There's also the so-called [[http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/18/the-john-connor-curse-nick-stahl-edward-furlong-and-christian-bale.html "John Connor Curse."]] Creator/EdwardFurlong, Nick Stahl, Thomas Dekker, and Creator/ChristianBale all seemed to have personal and career problems after playing the role, and all were former child stars. More specifically, Furlong had trouble with drug abuse; Stahl was missing for several days and dropped off the acting radar due to his drug use; Dekker was arrested for DUI after running over a cyclist; Bale went ballistic and his rant on the set of ''Film/TerminatorSalvation'' became a MemeticMutation, as well as his domestic assault charge around the same time (he bounced back, though, with his later films).
* For some time, Creator/JakeLloyd seemed to be very bitter and cynical about his role as Anakin Skywalker in ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'', but since he went through high school and college with [[FanDumb people]] [[NeverLiveItDown constantly]] [[{{Misblamed}} accusing]] him of ruining ''Franchise/StarWars'', it's kinda hard to blame him for feeling so disillusioned. However, a later interview between him and a ''Star Wars'' fansite (as well as a [[https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=697006523681359&set=a.108672092514808.4720.100001160524846&type=1 photo on his own Facebook page]]) has shown that he's mellowed out since then and confirms that - contrary to popular belief - he does not hate the franchise after all the harassment. However, his [[http://gawker.com/star-wars-child-star-jake-lloyd-arrested-after-high-spe-1712955486?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_facebook&utm_source=gawker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow arrest as of June 2015]] after a high speed chase seems to invoke the trope perfectly.
* Music/MichaelJackson was ultimately a bigger star as an adult solo act, but he didn't completely subvert this trope. The abuse he suffered under [[StageMom his dad's]] thumb as a child star warped him so badly that once he was able to stand on his own, he became obsessed with finally giving himself the happy childhood he never had growing up. Thus, most of his adult pursuits and interests were juvenile in nature and a way for him to "live as a kid" (i.e., building an amusement park on his property and holding slumber parties), and were a big reason he became saddled with accusations of pedophilia that ruined his career.
* Music/WolfgangAmadeusMozart was very much like Michael. [[StageMom His parents, particularly his father Leopold, made him and his sister Maria Anna child prodigies]], but more of his popular works date from his later years.
* Creator/JudyGarland had some success into her twenties, still usually playing teenage roles, but she could never really transition into serious adult roles, and once her teenage stardom days were over, it was the beginning of the end for the "little girl with a great big voice." She developed a drug addiction, which stemmed from being given barbiturates by MGM to keep her active and working longer during her child star years. Her increasing difficulty to work with and nervous breakdowns certainly didn't help, as well as her greedy and jealous StageMom. Two failed comeback attempts, five marriages, a few suicide attempts, and many health problems (including heavy smoking and drinking) later, she passed away from a barbiturate overdose at the very untimely age of 47 in 1969 (although because of her health problems, she arguably looked at least ten years older).
* Brad Renfro was 12 when he made his film debut in the critically-acclaimed film ''Film/TheClient'', co-starring with Creator/SusanSarandon and Creator/TommyLeeJones. He won ''The Hollywood Reporter'''s Young Star Award in 1995 went on to appear in the 1998 film ''Film/AptPupil'' and ''ComicBook/GhostWorld''. Sadly, he spiraled into drug and alcohol abuse and died from a heroin overdose at the age of 25.
* The three lead kid actors on ''Series/DiffrentStrokes'' -- Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, and Dana Plato -- became infamous for brushes with the law as adults. Plato ultimately died at 34 of a drug overdose which was ruled a suicide. Gary Coleman, meanwhile, [[FunnyAneurysmMoment struggled to recover before tragically dying at 42 from head trauma]]. Bridges, meanwhile, is a regular on [=TruTV=]'s ''The Smoking Gun Presents'', along with former ''Partridge Family'' cast member Danny Bonaduce, another example of a former child star who fell into serious problems as an adult (both Bridges and Bonaduce appear to be getting their lives on track at this point). Danny Cooksey, who played [[CousinOliver Sam]] in the final season, seems to have escaped the woes of his older cast mates, probably from a mix of good parenting, becoming a successful voice actor (and a failed music career), and a fairly normal adult life and marriage.
* Two of the Phoenix brothers provide a straight example and an aversion.
** Creator/RiverPhoenix had a skill for acting far beyond anyone else in his generation, but couldn't cope with the pressures of fame and hated that he was part of a system he despised. He turned to drugs and wound up dying of an overdose.
** Creator/JoaquinPhoenix, however, transitioned successfully into a critically-acclaimed adult acting career in such films as ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'', ''Film/WalkTheLine'', ''Film/TheMaster'', and ''Film/{{Her}}''. Although he played up to the trope with his extended breakdown in the fake-autobiographical ''I'm Still Here''.
* Bobby Driscoll, who was Disney's golden boy during the 1940s, is a very sad case. He was in several Disney movies, and particularly famous for his roles in ''Film/SongOfTheSouth'' and ''Disney/PeterPan'', but was abruptly let go in the middle of the 1950s (allegedly at least partly because he developed terrible acne as he entered puberty, requiring heavy makeup to hide it). He was ridiculed in school for being a child star and lapsed into obscurity through drugs. He was found dead and the body wasn't identified until a year later.
* Creator/AnissaJones, notable for playing Buffy in ''Series/FamilyAffair'', was another sad case. When the show ended its run in 1971, she tried to find work in films, but no roles were coming. Brian Keith, who played her uncle on ''Family Affair'', wanted to give her a part in his new TV project, but she no longer wanted to work in TV. Jones later fell into drug addiction, and died in 1976 of an overdose at age 18. One contributing factor to her problems may have been that the producers and writers literally [[Analysis/NotAllowedToGrowUp didn't let her grow up]]—even though she had hit puberty by the time the series ended, she was still forced to act and appear as a preteen.
* Other than the [[Creator/MaryKateAndAshleyOlsen Olsen Twins]], just about all of the child/teenage actors who starred in ''Series/FullHouse'' have fallen out of the limelight.
** Jodie Sweetin in particular stands out as an example of this trope played straight. Facing an inability to find further work and a traumatic social life due to being typecast as Stephanie Tanner, she became an alcoholic and a habitual user of marijuana, cocaine, LSD and most famously, meth. However, she seems to have gotten her life back on track, has published a memoir about her drug addiction, and is now seeking a CareerResurrection.
** Candace Cameron has since bounced back a bit, now appearing on ''Series/MakeItOrBreakIt''. Not as well-known or massive as ''Full House'' was in its time, but still a noteworthy performance. A devout Christian like her brother Kirk Cameron (see corresponding entry), the worst she did was marry young (but it's a pretty stable one).
* Creator/LeifGarrett is an example of this, a child pop star who got embroiled with drugs and scandals. Currently a commentator on [=TruTV's=] ''WorldsDumbest'' alongside fellow former child stars Danny Bonaduce and Todd Bridges.
* There is an interesting contrast between the two stars of ''Series/GuestFromTheFuture''. Creator/NataliaGuseva acted in a few more movies, but decided to become a scientist instead. Now, she not only works as a biochemist, but also is still involved with the fan community, and is raising a daughter. Meanwhile, Creator/AlexeiFomkin had a few more roles, but got into drug problems, which caused him to lose roles and spiral further downward. He quit acting and moved to a village, which seemed to be straightening him out. Sadly, he died in 1996 when his apartment burned.
* Robert Blake starred in ''Film/OurGang'' comedies (originally under his given name Mickey Gubitosi), then later starred in ''Film/InColdBlood'' and had the title role on the TV series ''Series/{{Baretta}}'', and years later was acquitted of his wife's murder, but lost a civil wrongful death lawsuit filed by his children.
* For a while, it looked as though [[Series/TheAmandaShow Amanda Bynes]] was shaping up to be an aversion; she had stated that she didn't like drinking or going to clubs and instead preferred to hang out at home with family and friends. That changed in 2012, however, when she was involved in several hit-and-run and reckless driving incidents, and continued into a series of increasingly erratic Twitter posts, including asking Music/{{Drake}} to "murder her vagina". She was eventually [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanda_Bynes#Legal_issues diagnosed with schizophrenia]], which explains the behavior, and was on involuntary psychiatric hold for several months in 2013.
* Former IdolSinger Ai Kago joined Morning Musume, one of the most popular {{Girl Group}}s in Japan, at age 12, and her popularity flourished when she was selected to join other units under the Music/HelloProject name. However, as she grew older, she became dissatisfied with her image and started smoking to feel "older", though she was underage at that time. As a result of that (and entering a relationship with a man 10 years her senior), she was kicked out of Hello Project. While she did try to make a comeback, her career has continued to spiral downwards with numerous scandals including having an affair with a married man and dating a man rumored to have ties with the yakuza.
* Much of the cast of ''Film/TheLittleRascals'' (the original short films, also known as ''Our Gang''), giving rise to the so-called "Our Gang Curse."
** Norman Chaney (Chubby) died at the age of either 18 or 22 (depending on the report), after a massive weight loss following surgery.
** Donald Haines and Bobby Hutchins (Wheezer) were WWII-related fatalities. Haines was killed in action at the age of 23 at the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia, while Hutchins (a member of the Army Air Corps) was killed just a few days shy of his 20th birthday when his plane crashed on landing during a training exercise.
** William Laughlin (Froggy) died in a scooter accident at the age of 16.
** Clifton Young (Bonedust) fell asleep while smoking and died in his hotel room from smoke inhalation at the age of 33.
** Carl Switzer (Alfalfa) was murdered over a gambling debt at the age of 31. Years later, his 42 year-old brother Harold Switzer (Slim/Deadpan) killed himself after killing his girlfriend.
** Scotty Beckett died of an overdose at the age of 38.
** Richard Daniels (Mickey) died alone in a hotel room of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 55.
** Kendall [=McCormas=] (Breezy Brisbane) committed suicide at age 64.
** Matthew Beard (Stymie) led a life of crime and drugs. Although he successfully cleaned up in the 1960s, he ultimately succumbed to a stroke at the age of 56.
** Darwood Kaye (Waldo) was killed by a hit-and-run driver at the age of 72.
** Jay R. Smith (Jay) was stabbed to death in Las Vegas at age 87 by a homeless man whom he had befriended.
** Creator/DorothyDandridge was arguably the most successful former Rascal, even getting an Oscar nomination, but still fell on hard times and died of an overdose at 42.
** Several cast members died prematurely of cancer either in their late 50s or early 60s. These include:
*** Mary Kornman at age 57.
*** Allen Hoskins (Farina) at age 59.
*** Jackie Condon at age 59.
*** Janet Burston at age 63.
*** Sherwood Bailey (Spud) at age 64.
** There were even some cast members who, despite leading normal lives, died relatively young nonetheless. They include:
*** George [=McFarland=] (Spanky) aged 64 from a heart attack or an aneurysm.
*** John Collum (Uh-huh) at the age of 36 from a heart attack.
*** Elmo Billings at the age of 51 from a stroke.
*** Darla Hood (Darla) at the age of 47 of acute hepatitis from a blood transfusion given during an appendectomy.
*** William Thomas (Buckwheat) at age 49 of a heart attack.
*** Alvin Buckelew (aged 40); Carlena Beard[[note]]sister of Matthew "Stymie" Beard[[/note]](aged 42); George "Chuck" Nokes (aged 49); Tommy [=McFarland=] (aged 51); Shirley "Muggsy" Coates (aged 51); and Gary "Junior" Jasgur (aged 58) - all of unspecified causes.
** Those who did not die either tragically and/or prematurely mainly worked in menial or low-key jobs, making this a straight version of the trope.
* Sawyer Sweeten, between the ages of sixteen months and ten years old, played Geoffrey Barone on ''Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond'' alongside his twin brother and older sister, who played his siblings. [[http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/apr/24/everybody-loves-raymond-actor-sawyer-sweeten-dies-aged-19 Sadly]], he was DrivenToSuicide at the tender age of 19, for reasons that are not quite clear.
* Tatum O'Neal, the youngest person to ever win a competitive Oscar, never came close to recapturing the success she had with ''Film/PaperMoon''. She continued to stay in the spotlight for the rest of the decade, but never achieved much success in adulthood.
** Averted with her ''Film/LittleDarlings'' co-star Kristy [=McNichol=], who transitioned from child and teenage roles to adult comedies, particularly her role as Barbara Weston in ''Series/EmptyNest.'' She retired from acting after her last role in 1998 and has lived a quiet life.
* Butch Patrick, best known for playing Eddie Munster on ''Series/TheMunsters'' had a few more roles after the show was canceled, but then disappeared from the limelight. Since then, he mostly went onto having a normal life, and making appearances at conventions, though he did seek rehab treatment for drug addiction in 2010.
* Peter Robbins, the child actor who voiced [[{{ComicStrip/Peanuts}} Charlie Brown]] in the early specials (including ''WesternAnimation/ACharlieBrownChristmas''), is having troubles these days, getting arrested for threatening his girlfriend and stalking her plastic surgeon. The judge even sentenced him for mental examination after he went on a foul-mouthed tirade against the judge in court. Robbins was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. In 2015, he was sentenced to 4 years and 8 months for criminal threats.
* Carl Steven, the actor that played young Spock in ''Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock'', and was the voice of Fred Jones in ''WesternAnimation/APupNamedScoobyDoo'' retired from acting in the mid-90s and seemed to be an aversion of this trope until around 2009 when he became addicted to heroin after being given it following a tonsillectomy. He later began stealing to support his addiction and was charged in 2010 of armed-robbing several pharmacies. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison where he died in July 2011 of a heroin overdose.
* Jason Davis, best known for voicing [[GentleGiant Mikey Blumberg]] on {{WesternAnimation/Recess}} was arrested in 2011 for possession of controlled substance.
* ''Series/WhosTheBoss'': While Creator/AlyssaMilano has done all right in her transition from child to adult roles, Danny Pintauro disappeared for the limelight for a long time. He has since revealed a history of meth addiction and is now HIV-positive.
* Filipino actor Jiro Manio was a child prodigy whose career peaked at the age of 10-11, when he appeared in the film ''Magnifico''. Unfortunately, he became a drug addict as he hit his teens, and as the acting roles dried up, he was largely considered as a has-been before he reached the age of 20. He had recently made headlines after being found in a disheveled state, wandering around in Manila's airport after running away from home about four days prior. He went to rehab and exited in June 2017.
* Much has been said about Skylar Deleon being a "former ''[[Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers Power Rangers]]'' star convicted of double-murder," but the truth is he had only appeared as an extra in one episode. Nonetheless, he did act a bit as a child and teenager, before getting involved in crime as an adult.
* As far as child actresses go, Margaret O'Brien ''ruled'' the 1940s and early 1950s, boasting a impressive resume by the time she turned 12. As an adult her film roles were few and far between, and she was only marginally more successful after transitioning to television.
* Jonathan Brandis was another sad case. He played young Bill in the original 1990 miniseries for Creator/StephenKing's ''[[Film/{{It1990}} It]]'', and later Lucas in ''Series/SeaQuestDSV''. However, his career fell on progressively hard times after that, something his friends say contributed to his heavy drinking and depression. He passed away on November 12, 2003 at the age of 27, after hanging himself.
* Blake Heron, best known as Marty in ''Film/{{Shiloh}}'', didn't go onto much else, and tragically passed away on September 7, 2017 at the age of 35. He had struggled with a drug addiction since the age of 12, and had recently completed rehab for a heroin addiction.
* Tuesday Weld, a popular child/teen actress of the 1950s and early 1960s struggled with this hard, largely due to her StageMom putting pressure on her as the breadwinner of her family. She had a nervous breakdown at age 9, struggled with alcoholism by age 12, and attempted suicide at least once. She emancipated herself at 16, and kept acting through her 20s, but eventually started turning down high-profile roles, and was completely out of the spotlight by the 70s, largely by choice. She's now a ReclusiveArtist.
* While he wasn't exactly a star, Mark Salling was 14 when he acted in ''Film/ChildrenOfTheCorn IV''. After his appearance on ''Series/{{Glee}}'' Salling faced legal troubles after being accused of sexual battery by an ex-girlfriend, and later charged with possession of child pornography. He committed suicide on January 30, 2017, invoking the trope.
* Tommy Kirk was best known for playing Travis Coates in ''Film/OldYeller'', Joe Hardy in ''Literature/TheHardyBoys'' television serial, and Wilby in ''Film/TheShaggyDog'', among other appearances for Disney (including the original version of ''Series/TheMickeyMouseClub'') in the late 50s/early 60s, but was fired by Creator/WaltDisney himself in 1963, after he was caught in a relationship with a 15-year-old boy (Kirk was 22 at the time). As his career spiraled down, he turned to marijuana, alcohol, and prescription drug abuse, almost dying of an overdose at one point. He claims to being so high on a regular basis, he remembers very little about his later films. He lost out on a role in the Creator/JohnWayne film ''The Sons of Katie Elder'' after being arrested for marijuana possession, and he eventually went broke after spending his money on drugs. He career continued to dry up so badly, he took a couple non-union jobs in the early-70s, almost losing his SAG card. He then finally gave up acting and sobered up, while officially coming out as gay. He was later inducted as a "Disney Legend" in 2006 (along with other original Mouseketeers), continues to make occasional appearances at fan conventions, and largely takes the blame for his own career downfall.

* Creator/ElizabethTaylor, going from a child star in movies like ''Film/LassieComeHome'' to one of the most famous film actresses '''ever'''. Her private life, however, was notably less successful: she was notorious for her large number of weddings and divorces (eight, including two to Creator/RichardBurton), and was treated for alcoholism and prescription drug addiction.
* Creator/JodieFoster. First major role was in ''Film/TaxiDriver'' as a twelve-year-old child prostitute. Even after the scandal over [[StalkerWithACrush John Hinckley]], she went on to have a very successful career which includes ''two'' acting Oscars.
* Creator/ShirleyTemple, after an ill-fated marriage at age 17 to a man who stole all her money, went on to be happily married for 50 years until her husband's death, and was an Ambassador for the United States to Czechoslovakia during the Velvet Revolution. During the 1968 Soviet Crackdown on Czechoslovakia, she led over 700 people to the border and got them through because the guards were fans of her.
* Jackie Cooper starred in some ''Film/OurGang'' comedies and was still a successful actor, director, and producer, most famous on screen as Perry White in the ''Film/{{Superman}}'' film series starring Creator/ChristopherReeve.
* Bill Mumy of ''Series/LostInSpace''. His parents took care that he grew up properly during his career as a child, and carefully invested his pay so he'd remain financially secure as an adult. He became a successful musician (his comedy pop band Barnes & Barnes is responsible for that "Fish Heads" song) and continued acting in TV and film, even getting another juicy sci-fi TV role as Lennier in ''Series/BabylonFive''. His daughter Liliana is also making it well as a cartoon voice actress (most notably as the voice of Leni in ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse''), and even played alongside her dad in the sequel to "It's a Good Life", "It's Still a Good Life", on the second revival of ''Series/TheTwilightZone''.
* Dean Stockwell averts this big time, starting as a child star in the 1940s, and continuing to work steadily for the next '''sixty-five''' years, being best known as Al on ''Series/QuantumLeap'' and Cavil on the rebooted ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''.
* The child cast of ''Series/TheWonderYears'' have all managed to do well as adults: Fred Savage is a director and producer along with occasional acting, Danica [=McKellar=] is an author and mathematician when not acting, and Josh Saviano (Paul) is an attorney. Although Saviano has been the subject of the famous myth that he became Marilyn Manson when he grew up which he has found very amusing.
* Creator/ChristianBale rose to fame as a child actor in films like ''Film/EmpireOfTheSun'' and his OldShame ''Film/{{Newsies}}'', but truly came into his own in ''Film/AmericanPsycho'' and is now best known as Franchise/{{Batman}} from ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'', and won a [[UsefulNotes/AcademyAward Best Supporting Actor Oscar]] for his work in ''Film/TheFighter''.
* Creator/NatalieWood starred in ''Film/MiracleOnThirtyFourthStreet'' aged 8, but successfully adapted to 'grown-up' parts in her teens with ''Film/RebelWithoutACause'' and ''Film/TheSearchers'' and is barely remembered as a child star at all. The only significant scandal to happen to her stems from her death (she drowned off the coast of Santa Catalina Island while on a yacht with her husband, Robert Wagner, and friend Creator/ChristopherWalken), the exact circumstances remaining unknown to this day).
* Creator/NataliePortman. Her first big role was at the age of 11/12 in ''Film/TheProfessional'', and she has been ''far'' more successful as an adult, starring in the Franchise/StarWars prequel films, ''Film/VForVendetta'', ''Film/BlackSwan'' (which won her an Oscar) and ''Film/{{Thor}}''. Like Emma Watson below, Portman taking a career break to go to college (and [[UsefulNotes/IvyLeague Harvard]], [[TeenGenius no less]]) may have had something to do with it.
* Creator/KirstenDunst's first big role was in ''Film/InterviewWithTheVampire'' at 12 then ''Film/{{Jumanji}}'' when she was 14, but she went on to a string of critically acclaimed and commercially successful roles in the ''{{Spiderman}}'' films, ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'', ''Film/MarieAntoinette'', and ''Film/{{Melancholia}}'', which won her the Best Actress award at the CannesFilmFestival in 2011.
* Peter Billingsley from ''Film/AChristmasStory'' grew up to be a successful director and producer. [[{{Bishounen}} And he's quite handsome,]] [[http://images.buddytv.com/articles/movies/profiles/peter-billingsley.jpg too.]]
* Creator/RonHoward started out as Opie on ''Series/TheAndyGriffithShow'' and Richie Cunningham on ''Series/HappyDays'', he went on to direct films like ''Film/{{Apollo 13}}'', ''Film/ABeautifulMind'' and ''Film/FrostNixon'' (not to mention his involvement in ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment''), and now has two Oscars and two Emmys to his name. Howard is, however, still an AcceptableTarget in comedy for how his ''appearance'' has aged horribly (most notably in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'').
* Creator/ClintHoward, like his older brother Ron, has averted the label, as he's been working fairly consistently. Although the early [[TheEighties Eighties]] were a lean period, he's managed at least one film or television appearance a year since 1962, when he was ''three years old''.
* Creator/NeilPatrickHarris is a notable aversion: after spending his teens on ''Series/DoogieHowserMD'', he worked steadily as a guest star on TV and on Broadway. But his career ''really'' took off after he did a cameo in ''Film/HaroldAndKumarGoToWhiteCastle'' -- ironically enough, playing a lecherous, drug-addled version of himself. He's now best known to present-day audiences as the womanizing Barney Stinson on ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', as well as Dr. Horrible from ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog''.
* The main cast of the ''Film/HarryPotter'' movies seem to have avoided the worst aspects of child acting. Having begun acting between the ages of nine and eleven, they've shown steady development for over a decade and a total of eight films without any major misbehaviors or prima donna-ism. By all reports, all seem genuinely well-adjusted and mature.
** Creator/DanielRadcliffe, apart from his role as the title character, has starred in the stage play ''Theatre/{{Equus}}'' and was critically acclaimed for his performance. He has since begun slowly branching out into other film and stage productions, and has even done a spot of TV (appearing alongside Creator/JonHamm in ''Series/AYoungDoctorsNotebook''). By his own admission he had become an [[TheAlcoholic alcoholic]] around the time of the later films and did most of the ''Deathly Hallows'' production drunk, but he now abstains from alcohol.
** Creator/RupertGrint's major claim to eccentricity is owning an ice cream truck, saying that if his career after the ''Harry Potter'' movies are finished falls through, he can always fall back on a career as an ice cream man. A fairly mild indulgence for a multimillionaire, all things considered.
** As for Creator/EmmaWatson... much like her character, she has done very well in school work and has since decided that, after her work with the movie series is done, she'll take a career break to finish her college degree like Creator/NataliePortman did. As of 2014, Watson graduated from [[UsefulNotes/IvyLeague Brown University]] with a degree in English Literature. Film critic Leonard Maltin famously said that Watson was in "the early stages of babehood". Now that she's most certainly an adult and effectively an adult actress (and a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador to boot!), she is considered to have reached that milepost.
** As a side note, Creator/ChrisColumbus, who directed the first two ''Potter'' films, previously directed ''Home Alone''. As he has discussed in interviews, Columbus is unhappy with how Macaulay Culkin turned out and considers this partly his fault. When casting the ''Potter'' kids, he was determined to avoid the same mistakes and tried to cast children with stable home lives.
* Music/PhilCollins was a child model/actor who played TheArtfulDodger in a West End production of ''Theatre/{{Oliver}}'' and had teeny tiny blink-and-you'll-miss-him roles in ''Film/AHardDaysNight'' and ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang'', but his musical success as an adult (both in Music/{{Genesis}} and as a solo act) far eclipsed his success as a child actor/model.
* Early productions of ''Oliver!'' featured Steve Marriott in the title role. Marriott infuriated his family by choosing music over acting, given that he'd already established success, but went on to be the extremely popular frontman for Small Faces and Humble Pie. However, his death in a house fire, probably from falling asleep with a lit cigarette, invokes the trope.
* Whit Hertford was a fairly popular child actor and voice actor appearing in works like ''Film/JurassicPark'', ''Series/FullHouse'', and ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'', he came back into show business having a successful career as an actor, writer, and director.
* Creator/AnnaPaquin won an Oscar for her role in ''Film/ThePiano,'' becoming the second youngest (regular) Oscar winner in history behind the aforementioned Tatum O'Neal. She had a moderately successful career as a child actress when she was cast in ''Film/XMen1'' and successfully transitioned to adult superstardom. Nowadays she's best known for starring on ''Series/TrueBlood.''
* Creator/SarahJessicaParker, started her career as Theatre/{{Annie}} on Broadway and ''Series/SquarePegs'', then made the transition to adult star with plenty of movie roles... and then she starred in ''Series/SexAndTheCity''...
* Creator/SeanAstin transitioned fairly well from [[Film/TheGoonies child actor]] to [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings adult actor]].
* Creator/JenniferConnelly went a long way from being a young girl in ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'' to being the respectable Oscar-winning actress she is today.
* Thomas Sangster, from such films as ''Film/LoveActually'' and ''Film/NannyMcPhee'', has had success beyond his cute little boy image, in hit shows like ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' and ''Series/GameOfThrones'' and films as diverse as ''Series/HitlerTheRiseOfEvil'' and ''Film/TristanAndIsolde''. Sangster also played young Music/PaulMcCartney in ''Film/NowhereBoy''.
* The same goes for Creator/FreddieHighmore, who went from {{Film/Charlie|AndTheChocolateFactory}} Bucket and WesternAnimation/AstroBoy to [[Series/BatesMotel Norman Bates]] and [[Series/TheGoodDoctor Shaun Murphy]].
* Back in the 1910s, at the Vitagraph film studio, there was a local kid from Brooklyn named Harry Horowitz who enjoyed hanging out there. Harry was charming and [[LargeHam a natural ham]], and the Vitagraph people began putting him in films, making him a child star. Young Harry would grow up to be one of the most violent and abusive men in the world: [[spoiler: Moe Howard of Film/TheThreeStooges. [[MeanCharacterNiceActor But it's an aversion too.]]]]
* Stefan Brogren has come as close as anyone to being a RealLife version of SCTV's Rusty by playing the role of Archie "Snake" Simpson in every incarnation of the ''Franchise/{{Degrassi}}'' franchise since 1987 while taking on an ever larger role behind the camera. His character, however, has aged and progressed from student to teacher to principal of the titular HighSchool, while the show's hiatus coincides with the period the character would've been getting his degree.
* Music/JustinTimberlake started off early, as a performer on The New Mickey Mouse Club (other cast members included his fellow Music/{{NSYNC}} bandmate JC Chasez, Ryan Gosling, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera). After departing from *NSYNC, he's gone on to have a successful solo music career, and has appeared in films like ''Film/TheSocialNetwork''.
* Creator/ElijahWood started off as a successful child actor, starring in such films as ''Film/TheGoodSon'' and ''Film/{{North}}''. He transitioned fairly smoothly to adult roles, with his starring role as Frodo in Creator/PeterJackson's ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' first hitting theatres when he was 19.
* Blake Foster has been doing alright since his time as [[Series/PowerRangersTurbo Justin Stewart]], and while Justin was decried by many back then, there are plenty who wouldn't mind having him return.
* Creator/MaraWilson had a pretty peaceful life despite going out of the spotlight. Nowadays she works as a stage actress, writes a humorous blog, [[Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale guest stars on a weird podcast]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnkKmpgl0uk calls out]] [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic internet reviewers]]. And is a good enough sport to [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6i_IBUNAphM costar in a review]] of ''Film/{{Matilda}}'' with WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick. And later on, [[http://www.cracked.com/blog/7-reasons-child-stars-go-crazy-an-insiders-perspective/ wrote an article about why real life examples of this trope occur.]]
* Creator/FrankieMuniz was financially set for life after starring in the series ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' as well as in films such as ''Film/AgentCodyBanks'', and so he voluntarily semi-retired from Hollywood after the series ended. Since then he's become a [[AwesomeDearBoy professional racecar driver]] and a musician.
* Creator/RoddyMcDowall started as a child actor, but also had a long career as a character actor, most famously as the regular player in the ''Film/{{Planet of the Apes|1968}}'' series and was a successful photographer too.
* Creator/HaydenPanettiere was successful as a child actress (''Series/GuidingLight'', ''Series/OneLifeToLive'', ''Film/RememberTheTitans''), and hasn't exactly become the next Creator/LindsayLohan since (''Series/{{Heroes}}'', ''Series/{{Nashville}}'' and ''VideoGame/UntilDawn'').
* Creator/JennyAgutter had her first film role in ''East of Sudan'' at twelve and went on to star as Bobbie in ''Literature/TheRailwayChildren'' both on film and television, as well as roles in ''Walkabout'' and ''The Snow Goose''. She has worked consistently and without trouble ever since, transitioning to adult roles in ''Film/LogansRun'' and ''Film/AnAmericanWerewolfInLondon'' and going on to play lead and supporting roles all over film, television, theatre, and radio. She's been married to Johan Tham, a Swedish hotelier, since 1990 and stars as Sister Julienne on ''Series/CallTheMidwife''.
* Alisan Porter took a break from acting after playing ''Film/CurlySue'', [[http://www.movmnt.com/alisan-porter_001823.html briefly struggled with addiction]], made a comeback in the mid-2000s with performing on Broadway and with her own band, and has been (so far) HappilyMarried with a child since 2012. She cemented her comeback in 2016 by winning Season 10 of the U.S. version of ''Series/TheVoice''.
* Creator/KurtRussell started acting during the late '50s (before he was even 10 years old), doing various parts in TV and movies for the next decade. By the '70s, he was an adult and still going strong, even having a 10-year contract with Disney. [[Creator/TurnerClassicMovies Robert Osborne]] once noted that Russell was the biggest star the studio had at this time. Afterwards, Russell would later successfully transition to more adult fare and has been working ever since.
* The parents of Jill Whelan, who had a small part in ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' and a starring role on ''Series/TheLoveBoat'', made sure to avert this. In one episode of ''Podcast/TheBrianAndJillShow'' she relates a story in which a producer on the set of a film she was in told her that if she didn't like anyone they could be fired. Her mother responded by telling the producer that if he ''ever'' put that much power in a child's hands again they would walk.
* Jeff Cohen, who played Chunk in ''Film/TheGoonies'', left the acting side of the movie business after puberty, but reemerged on its business side. ''Goonies'' director Creator/RichardDonner helped Cohen get summer jobs at movie studios while he was attending Berkeley, which led him to pursue a law degree at UCLA. He's now a name partner in a Beverly Hills entertainment law boutique.[[note]]In legal circles, "boutique" refers to a firm, usually small to medium-sized, specializing in a relatively narrow area of law.[[/note]]
* Music/StevieWonder started as "Little Stevie Wonder" and had some hits in his teens, but then went on to become one of the biggest singers of the 1970s.
* Creator/SethGreen has worked steadily as an actor, writer, producer, and director, who seamlessly transitioned from childhood roles to adult roles.
* All of the young women from ''Series/TheFactsOfLife'' are aversions to the trope, whether they continued acting or moved out of it as adults.
* Creator/AlexanderSkarsgard was a famous child actor in his native Sweden, after being discovered by a friend of his father Creator/StellanSkarsgard. As he entered his teens, he became less and less comfortable with being a public figure, and decided to drop acting. After finishing high school and going through a stint in the Swedish Armed Forces and a semester of college, he rediscovered his passion for acting, went to acting school and began picking up work again. After doing some stage work, a few films in Sweden and a bit part in ''{{Film/Zoolander}}'' he was cast as Brad Colbert in ''Series/GenerationKill'' and Eric Northman in ''Series/TrueBlood'', and the rest is history.
* Music/{{Shakira}} started her career very young, released two albums (now OldShame and CanonDiscontinuity) and did several apparitions in TV and concerts. However her mother never let her expand her career until she was 18, so she rarely performed outside Colombia and avoided events or appointments that could interfere with school. When she became an adult, the little exposure she had as a child let her become an international star as many people outside Colombia didn't even know about her and saw her as a new artist. While she definitely sexyfied her appearance, she did it after turning huge, and with much more modesty than other female pop artists of her generation.
* Music/LeAnnRimes managed to survive from her early teens (she was 14 when she released her debut single "Blue") and into adulthood with a string of hits.
* Joseph Mazzello, who portrayed Tim Murphy in ''Film/JurassicPark'', received steady work as a child actor before he decided to take a break from acting so he could have a normal high school experience. After majoring in film at USC, he's gone on to have a pretty good adult career, including a starring role in ''Series/ThePacific'' and minor roles in ''Film/TheSocialNetwork'' and ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation''.
* Music/AlanisMorissette went from being a cast member on ''Series/YouCantDoThatOnTelevision'' to a teen pop punchline to one of the biggest singers of TheNineties.
* Creator/JamesMadio began his career as a child actor, notably as a Lost Boy in ''{{Film/Hook}}''. He enjoyed more success in adulthood with ''Series/BandOfBrothers'', the sitcom ''Series/USAHigh'' and various self-directed projects.
* Creator/RossMcCall started off as the little kid playing Music/FreddieMercury in the Music/{{Queen}} video for "Miracle" and did numerous productions as a child actor. But he's far more recognizable for his adult roles such as Matthew Keller in ''Series/WhiteCollar'', Liebgott in ''Series/BandOfBrothers'' or Ron Clarke in ''24: Live Another Day''. He alluded to this trope in an interview, saying that he thankfully got any rebellion out of his system at a young age.
* As far as voice actors go, Creator/TaraStrong began her career at age thirteen. She alternated between voice overs and live action roles, but has found far more success in adulthood - carving a niche as herself for the go-to actress to voice a GenkiGirl or {{Keet}} boy. In her late thirties she was chosen as the voice actress for Twilight Sparkle in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', which catapulted her to new heights.
* Creator/DaisukeNamikawa transitioned pretty darn well from child voice actor to [[Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle adult voice actor]].
* Music/{{Hanson}} gained fame for their SignatureSong "[=MMMBop=]" before being overshadowed by the Music/BackstreetBoys and Music/NSync. However, they plugged along, playing and releasing albums to a dedicated audience and avoiding the traps many child stars fall into by being well-adjusted guys with wives and children.
* Creator/AaronDismuke is still mostly famous for his voice role of Alphonse Elric in the original ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', which he did at the age of 12 alongside some other smaller anime roles at the time. He's since grown up, but continues to do voices for Creator/FUNimation, most notably You Takami in ''Manga/DeadmanWonderland'', and has also begun voice directing as well.
* Lesley Gore began her career at age 16 with the Quincy Jones-produced number one "It's My Party", and went on to have several more hits during TheSixties. She graduated from college as her career slowed down, re-emerging as a singer-songwriter and summer stock actress; she was nominated for an Oscar for a song she cowrote for the movie ''Film/{{Fame}}'' ("Out here on my own"), losing to the film's title track. She attempted occasional comebacks and maintained a strong career in the oldies/nightclub circuit before her death from cancer in 2015.
* Spanish singer Maria Isobel was 9 when she won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2004. As an adult she remained well-adjusted and is now one of Spain's biggest rising stars, even participating in the Spanish preselection for the 2016 adult Eurovision.
* Jack Garratt started performing as a kid (he participated in the UK's 2005 preselection for Junior Eurovision), and successfully avoided the trappings most former child stars face as he won BBC's "Sound of 2016" poll and found himself performing many music festivals in adulthood.
* Bindi Irwin wasn't even 10 when Discovery Channel gave her her own edutainment series, ''Bindi the Jungle Girl'', priming her to follow in the footsteps of her late father [[Series/TheCrocodileHunter Steve Irwin]]. After the show ended she fell into (relative) obscurity for a while, concentrating on wildlife work at Australia Zoo, until she won ''Series/DancingWithTheStars'' at 17, and as of this writing she has quite a career ahead of her. She is also by all accounts an extremely sane and well-adjusted young woman.
* Felicity Jones has come a long way from Ethel Hallow on ''Literature/TheWorstWitch'' to becoming the respected actress she is as an adult. She earned an Oscar nomination for her work in ''Film/TheTheoryOfEverything'' and headlines the ''Franchise/StarWars'' spin-off ''Film/RogueOne''.
* Creator/RoseMarie started her career in old-time radio as a very young child, then went on to ''Series/TheDickVanDykeShow'' among other things. Her career has spanned decades and [[Film/WaitForYourLaugh a documentary about her life]] was successfully funded by Website/{{Kickstarter}}.
* Filipina actress, Vilma Santos, came into the limelight a child actress during the 60's and was praised for her performance in ''Trudis Liit'' (''Little Trudis'') which earned awards in the Philippines film industry. Throughout her career, she is known as "The Star for All Seasons" and most of her movies earned a lot in the local box office. Her first marriage with fellow actor Edu Manzano failed but her second marriage with Senator Ralph Recto [[HappilyMarried remained contented]] and her son from her first marriage also became a respected actor. She also has a successful political career after being a mayor of her hometown and a governor in her home province. Currently, she's a congresswoman representing her province and despite not doing movies anymore, she's still regarded as one of the best actresses today.
* Zach Callison so far is an aversion. The voice actor for Steven in ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', at 19 he's also a recurring character on ''LiveActionTV/JustAddMagic'' and is working on developing a variety show for his [=YouTube=] channel. He is also a NiceGuy that happily meets with fans of the show.
* Creator/JuneForay (not unlike Rose Marie) started in radio at the age of twelve, and was already a [[ManOfAThousandVoices seasoned veteran]] by her late teens. She eventually transitioned to voice acting, and, well, let's say [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes she's]] [[WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle come]] [[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGummiBears a long]] [[WesternAnimation/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas way]] [[Disney/{{Mulan}} since]] [[WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987 then]].

* Creator/PattyDuke was a preteen when she became the youngest ever actress at the time to receive a competitive Oscar (as UsefulNotes/HelenKeller in ''Film/TheMiracleWorker'' in 1962), then gained new fame with her [[UncannyFamilyResemblance dual role]] on ''Series/ThePattyDukeShow''. As she grew up, Duke went through many personal struggles, starting with a dysfunctional childhood and worsening thanks to her junkie handlers/managers who sheltered, manipulated and ostracized[[note]]largely as her managers were afraid of her leaving them[[/note]] her, fed her prescription pills and alcohol and molested her. After finding out her handlers spent most of her money she earned from her show, she finally broke free in 1967 by marrying a middle-aged camera operator she met and fell in love with on the set of the sitcom. She had also dealt with undiagnosed bipolar disorder, alcoholism (likely used as a form of self-medication) and marital/financial difficulties, before finally being diagnosed and treated for her bipolar disorder in 1982; she released two memoirs chronicling her struggles and became a mental health advocate. She maintained an acting career right until sepsis - caused by a ruptured intestine - claimed her life in 2016, [[EarnYourHappyEnding reconciling with her family, forgiving her childhood handlers, and settling down with her third husband on a ranch in Idaho]].
* Creator/DannyBonaduce has [[AdamWesting made an entire career]] out of being a washed-up ex-child-star. He makes a point of stating that he would have turned into a drug-addicted JerkAss with or without his role on ''Series/ThePartridgeFamily'', so he can be seen as a subversion of sorts.
* Creator/JackieEarleHaley was once the embodiment of this trope, having starred in '70s hits ''Film/TheBadNewsBears'' and ''Film/BreakingAway'', but then failing to make the transition to adult roles and quit acting for 13 years. However, in 2006 he returned to Hollywood and after playing supporting roles in the remake of ''Film/AllTheKingsMen'' and ''Film/LittleChildren'' (and getting an Oscar nomination in the latter), he starred in ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' as Rorschach, signed a multi-picture deal to star as Freddy Krueger in the rebooted ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet2010'', and co-starred on ''Series/HumanTarget''. He's been keeping busy with roles in the film version of ''Film/DarkShadows'' and Steven Spielberg's ''Film/{{Lincoln}}''.
* At one point, Creator/DrewBarrymore was the epitome of the bad end of this trope; at the age of 15, she already went through smoking cigarettes and pot, drinking, doing cocaine, attempting suicide, and staying in rehab twice. However, she eventually sobered up and became a successful adult actress.
* Creator/JosephGordonLevitt took a breather from acting after playing Tommy on ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun''. He struggled with IAmNotSpock for several years, disliking his teen heartthrob status. So he turned to independent films and won critical acclaim for his work in ''{{Film/Brick}}'', ''Film/StopLoss'' and ''The Lookout''. ''Film/FiveHundredDaysOfSummer'' proved a CareerResurrection that helped establish him as one of the finest actors working today.
* Something similar can be said of Creator/WilWheaton and his role as Wesley on ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. But he grew up pretty well of it.
* Music/JennyLewis and Blake Sennett are subversions as well. In TheEighties and early [[TheNineties Nineties]], they were moderately famous for their roles in kids' movies and TV (Lewis for her parts in ''Film/TheWizard'' and ''Film/TroopBeverlyHills'', Sennet for his turn as Pinsky in ''Series/SaluteYourShorts''). In the late 90s, they formed an indie-rock band that (after some changes) ended up called Music/RiloKiley. They've been better known as musicians ever since, with Lewis finding particular success both with the band and as a solo artist after Rilo Kiley's (amicable) 2011 breakup.
* Jackie Coogan starred with Creator/CharlieChaplin as ''[[Film/TheKid1921 The Kid]]'', sued his parents for squandering his film earnings before he became an adult ([[ThereShouldBeALaw which led to]] the California Child Actor's Bill, AKA the Coogan Act), and much later became known as TV's [[Series/TheAddamsFamily Uncle Fester]].
* Mayim Bialik of ''Series/{{Blossom}}'' famously went to school and got a [=PhD=] in neuroscience, becoming Dr. Mayim Bialik. She had quit acting for some time and decided to ease back into the business by auditioning for some random roles. One of those roles happened to be for a show that celebrated higher education and she got the part of [[MetaCasting neurobiologist Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler]] in ''Series/TheBigBangTheory''.
* Anna Chlumsky of ''Film/MyGirl'' fame took a break in 1998 to concentrate on her studies. Seven years later, she returned to acting, eventually getting a role on ''Series/{{Veep}}'' in 2012.
* Music/DemiLovato was, around 2010, one of the defining examples of the stereotypical image of the Creator/DisneyChannel's {{teen idol}}s, particularly in terms of them having messed-up private lives underneath their squeaky-clean images; in Lovato's case, it was eating disorders, self-harm, alcohol, and cocaine. However, she checked into rehab and stuck with it, going on to become a fairly successful adult pop singer and [[http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2013/12/demi-lovato-smuggled-cocaine-onto-airplanes-admits-drug-abuse/ coming clean]] about her past problems.
* Creator/MickeyRooney began acting appearing in films at the ripe young age of 17 months and even as a teenager continued his career as the "hyperactive, girl-crazy" Film/AndyHardy, often together with Creator/JudyGarland. Rooney's enlistment in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII saw his career decline, making a few TV and film appearances after that (most notably in ''Film/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld''), but eventually making a Broadway comeback in 1979 at 59 years old with ''Sugar Babies'', to rave reviews. After that, he worked regularly on both screen and stage until shortly before his death in April 2014 at the age of 93.
* The child actors on ''Series/GimmeABreak'' did well. Creator/JoeyLawrence continued to act through his teens and adulthood, including a main role on ''Series/{{Blossom}}'' and several guest roles as an adult. Currently, Lawrence stars in ''Series/MelissaAndJoey''. His younger brother Matthew Lawrence has had a long career and transition to adult roles. Kari Michaelsen (Katie) became a motivational speaker after retiring from acting. Lauri Hendler faded from the limelight after TheEighties. Creator/LaraJillMiller (Samantha) studied law and passed the bar in three states while on a break from acting, and continues to do voice work, most notably for ''Anime/DigimonAdventure''.
* NatashaLyonne started out as a child actor and continued working steadily through her teens and twenties, most notably in the Film/AmericanPie series. She seemed to be an aversion until numerous convictions for impaired driving, a stay in rehab, and some health problems defined this trope for her. She cleaned up, however, and has transitioned to adult roles, including ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack''.
* CountryMusic star Music/TanyaTucker stared her career in her teens, and despite a rocky middle period in the late 70s-early 80s, including a controversial relationship with the much older Glen Campbell and a suicide attempt, Tucker bounced back and had a second string of hits in the late 80s to early-mid 90s, and she continues to record to this day.
* After ''Series/TheHoganFamily'' finished its run on TV, 21-year-old Creator/JasonBateman vanished from public consciousness for over a decade... and then bounced back with his starring role on ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment.''
* Creator/AndreaLibman began as a child actress, doing both voice over and live action work. In her teens she found herself doing more voice overs, as she became camera shy and directors didn't like her braces. She has said she didn't intend to continue voice acting, convinced her distinctive high pitched voice would one day change. She studied to be a civil engineer but has kept up the voice acting. She was a ReclusiveArtist until voicing [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy]] brought her to the limelight.
* Music/JustinBieber started out as a sweet little boy singing songs on Website/YouTube. Then, he blew up and became a superstar. His ego soon followed and he became more known for his drinking, partying and love of strippers/prostitutes than singing. He made a [[CareerResurrection comeback]] in 2015 with the album ''Music/{{Purpose}}'' (with three straight #1 hits), and only time will tell if he'll stay there for long.
* Linda Blair played this trope straight for a while, but then subverted it. She's still best known for her role as Regan [=MacNeil=] in ''Film/TheExorcist'', which scored her an Oscar nomination, and while filming [[Film/ExorcistIITheHeretic the sequel]], she was busted for possessing and selling cocaine. She found it very difficult to book roles after that, but cleaned up her act, and went onto making some more film and television appearances, mostly in trashy b-movies though. Today, she's living pretty well, and makes appearances at horror conventions. She's also known for being a major animal rights activist, with her own charity called the [[http://www.lindablairworldheart.org/ Linda Blair World Heart Foundation]].
* Creator/AlyssaMilano began her career as a child star on ''Series/WhosTheBoss'' and had a brief stint as an IdolSinger in Japan. Roles dried up as she grew up, and she looked as if she was disappearing from entertainment altogether. CareerResurrection came in the form of ''Series/MelrosePlace'' and ''{{Series/Charmed}}'', making her more famous than she ever was as a child actress.

* The prognosis on former (child) stars on sports depend a lot on the sports in question, and especially on if it is a spectator sport if not. Many athletes who are involved in non-spectator sports, where a professional career is not an option, must plan their exit strategy already when they are on the top. Even career athletes do come one day to the point where they have to think of their exit strategy.
** Individual competition sports (track and field, swimming, weightlifting, archery, etc.) athletes usually avert this trope completely, usually picking an academic or professional career after their active sports career. They usually plan their exit strategy well already on the prime of their career, or exit while on the top.
*** Golf takes this aversion UpToEleven. Elite golfers regularly remain competitive well into their forties, and occasionally even into their fifties—and that's when they're pitted against younger players. The U.S. has a very lucrative tour for men's golfers 50 and older, and several other such tours operate (most notably in Europe and Japan); players tend to stay competitive on those tours until their early sixties. (Women's golf has only recently started to launch senior tours.) On top of that, elite golfers of either sex can continue to rake in money from the sport even in retirement, thanks to endorsements and golf-related business opportunities, especially in course design.
** Individual match-up sports (martial arts, tennis, boxing, etc.) may either avert or play this trope straight, depending on their exit strategy.
** Team competition sports (sailing, sledding, rowing, skydiving) usually avert this trope.
** Team match-up sports (football, ice hockey, basketball, baseball, etc.) usually (and sadly) play this trope straight, unless they are forced to exit their career prematurely [and have an exit strategy].
* Ironically played with in the life of Micky Dolenz. He was the child star of ''Circus Boy'' for several years, after which his parents took him out of show business entirely to avert this trope. By all accounts, it worked... far better than when he gained and lost fame AGAIN as one of Music/TheMonkees.
* Tero Niva, a very promising Finnish young actor, instead chose to become a software engineer rather than a professional actor.
* Peter Ostrum, who played Charlie in ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory'', never acted in movies again (by choice) and graduated from [[UsefulNotes/IvyLeague Cornell]] and become a veterinarian instead.
* Canadian child star Joey Cramer only appeared in three films, one of which was ''Film/FlightOfTheNavigator'' in which he starred as the titular navigator. After those three roles, he seemingly disappeared. Some fans of those three movies found he now makes a comfortable living working at a sporting-goods store in British Columbia.
* Intentionally played with by Music/MileyCyrus, most famous as a Disney Channel star playing the squeaky-clean ''Series/HannahMontana''. By age 18 she had semi-nude pictures of her posted on the internet, danced on a pole at the Teen Choice Awards, and became known for her taste for drugs when a video of her trying [[GRatedDrug salvia]] spread online. She was expected to slide further into substance abuse and obscurity... before ''Bangerz'', an album with a heavy hip-hop influence and references to all the drugs she was doing, was released, for which she did a famously {{Squick}}tastic SoBadItsGood FanDisservice performance at the 2013 Video Music Awards - an attempt to invoke this trope as a conscious artist image. However, Miley, by all accounts, is quite well-adjusted out of {{kayfabe}} - she says the drug-addled trainwreck persona is, while closer to the truth than her child star personality, just something she does on stage; she has stated her interest in feminism, made fun of the moral panic about her, and even mentions she sticks to [[TheStoner social, non-addictive drugs]] (ecstasy and weed) rather than the cocaine, booze and heroin that has ruined the lives of so many child stars. Dolly Parton, her father Billy Ray Cyrus, Snoop Dogg and her frequent collaborator [[Music/FlamingLips Wayne Coyne]], amongst loads of journalists and interviewers, all say that she's actually a very normal, intelligent girl.
* Downplayed with Kathryn Beaumont. When she gave up acting she became a teacher, but it's harder not to think of her as [[Disney/AliceInWonderland Alice]] and [[Disney/PeterPan Wendy]].
* Kirk Cameron, after a long run on ''Series/GrowingPains'', several teen films in TheEighties, and gracing the cover of many a teen pinup magazine, became a born-again Christian. This led to much-publicized friction on the ''Growing Pains'' set.[[note]]During a ''Growing Pains'' reunion special, he apologized on-screen for his behavior at that time, indicating that he had trouble reconciling his new faith with his work. Cameron's former cast mates accepted it.[[/note]] He faded from the limelight but continued to act in Christian-themed productions and devote his life to ministry work, until he made controversial anti-gay marriage remarks. This led to a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1exVZ3hg08 video]] by former child stars, poking fun at the comments and supporting gay marriage.
* German actress Romy Schneider (most well-known for her Sissi movies, which were a HistoricalResearchFailure romanticized biopic on the otherwise tragic life of the Austrian Empress Elisabeth) got into acting when 15 years old, under the tutelage of her mother. In a bit of an version of this trope, she decided for herself to act, despite her parents (both rather famous film and stage actors of their time) being against it. Eventually she got tired of being typecast as squeaky-clean (potentially royal) teenagers (roles handpicked by her stepfather who wanted to capitalize on her as much as possible and her mother who wanted her to keep a wholesome virginal image) and left Germany/Austria as soon as the last movie of the "Sissi" trilogy was finished because all the prospect roles she was being offered were pale imitations of her Sissi character. Later she'd take up the role of Empress Elisabeth again as a personal favor for her friend director Luchino Visconti in his film ''Ludwig II''; where she now played Elisabeth as a mature, serious, and cynical woman. Radically different compared to the cute teenage (and historically inaccurate) "Empress Sissi" she hated portraying in her youth. Romy worked continuously in France, Italy, and sometimes the US because the filmmakers there offered her more serious roles than in her native Germany and Austria, and achieved much acclaim there on both the screen and on stage; and boy did the Germans hate her for this perceived "betrayal" and "corruption" of her youthful virginal image. Romy's life was beset with failed marriages, the death of her only son (in an eerie coincidence with the life of the actual Empress Elisabeth), and a huge debt incurred by her stepfather who invested her money into his own chain of restaurants. She died at age 43 from heart failure and is still well-known today both for her youthful roles as virginal naive aristocratic heroines and her later, more mature and darker works.
* Devin Stanfield appeared in the children's television series ''Series/TheBoxOfDelights'' and ''Chocky'' in the 1980s. Afterwards he moved into behind the scenes work in theatre and from all accounts is happy and successful.
* Creator/ThoraBirch began acting at the age of six, and went from successful roles in ''Film/AmericanBeauty'' and ''Film/GhostWorld'' to smaller and smaller roles, allegedly because of poor management by her [[http://www.cracked.com/article_20500_6-insane-reasons-formerly-famous-people-dropped-off-map.html father]].
* Charlie Korsmo, who most notably appeared in ''Film/DickTracy'', ''Film/WhatAboutBob'', and ''Film/{{Hook}}'', only had one film role after that (''Film/CantHardlyWait'', shot when he was 19) and then left entertainment for good. He got a physics degree at MIT and worked at the EPA and on Capitol Hill before going to law school at [[UsefulNotes/IvyLeague Yale]]. Now professionally known as Charles Korsmo, he's a law professor at Case Western Reserve University in UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}.
* The original six Dead End Kids, who played a gang of street urchins in the 1935 play ''Dead End'' and [[Film/DeadEnd1937 its 1937 film adaptation]] and then similar groups of delinquents in several further films (such as ''Film/AngelsWithDirtyFaces''), provide several straight examples and several aversions.
** Straight examples:
*** Billy Halop found his film work drying up after he returned from military service in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII; having left the Dead End Kids in 1940, he missed out on their later work in the Bowery Boys series, having to settle for the knockoff Gas House Kids series. He struggled with alcoholism and a string of failed marriages before getting his life back on track in the late 1960s by qualifying as a registered nurse[[note]] He was inspired to pursue this career after caring for his third wife, who had multiple sclerosis; he had previously had some success as a dryer salesman for the Leonard Appliance Company of Los Angeles, at one point being named "Most Creative Salesman in the US" by the National Association of Manufacturers.[[/note]] and getting a recurring role as cabbie Bert Munson on ''Series/AllInTheFamily'' until dying of a heart attack at 56.
*** Bobby Jordan made the transition to the Bowery Boys series, but grew frustrated with his dwindling screen presence in the films, eventually quitting the series and finding increasing solace in the bottle (helped in this endeavour by a later job as a bartender) before dying of cirrhosis of the liver at 42.
*** Leo Gorcey was one of the most prominent actors in the Bowery Boys series until, following his father's death in a car accident, he descended into alcoholism and trashed a movie set in a drunken haze, leading the studio to refuse his request for a pay rise, which in turn led him to quit the series. He had been married five times at his death from liver failure aged 51, at the end of a decade of only sporadic film work.[[note]] During this time, he gained a certain amount of notoriety for being the only person depicted on the cover of Music/TheBeatles' ''Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand'' to request a fee; EMI refused the fee and simply painted him out of the cover photo.[[/note]]
** Aversions:
*** Huntz Hall stayed with the Bowery Boys series until the very end, and though he had the odd career hiatus, he continued to find acting jobs until the early 1990s. Not that he needed the money, as he had become wealthy through investment in offshore oil and gas drilling.
*** Gabriel Dell transitioned to adult roles in the Bowery Boys films before leaving the series in 1950. He spent three years at the Actors' Studio, and had perhaps the most successful solo acting career of the Dead End Kids, finding steady work on Broadway and in films and television (he was a regular supporting player on ''The Steve Allen Show'' in the late 1950s) until the early 1980s.
*** Bernard Punsly[[note]] Not "Punsley" as it was often misspelled[[/note]] retired from acting in 1943 at the age of 20 and became a doctor (even as an actor, he would read medical textbooks between takes), maintaining a private practice and being a hospital chief of staff in the greater Los Angeles area. He was also married just once, for over fifty years (ending with his death aged 80), and had two children.[[note]] Though Punsly claimed never to watch his old films, feeling he had grown out of them, he did join Huntz Hall, the only other living former Dead End Kid, for the unveiling of the group's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.[[/note]]
* Kimberly J Brown was a very successful television child actress in [[TheNineties the late 90s]], famous for her work as Marnie in the original three ''Film/{{Halloweentown}}'' films, ''Quints'' (all on Disney Channel), and a long-running stint on ''Series/GuidingLight''. In 2006, Disney controversially replaced her as Marnie for ''Film/ReturnToHalloweentown'' for unknown reasons, and Kimberly didn't have another notable role until 2013, when she was a regular on the short-lived ''Series/LowWinterSun'' on AMC. However, despite her faded career, she's maintained a very normal personal life, and is very accessible to her fans on social media.
* After ''Series/TheSopranos'' finished its run, Robert Iler (A.J. Soprano) did a few bit roles on television but largely retired from acting to become a professional poker player.
* Dylan and Cole Sprouse had very successful child acting careers that included roles ''Film/BigDaddy'', ''Series/GraceUnderFire'' and ''Series/{{Friends}}'' that were capped off with a six year run on Creator/DisneyChannel with ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'' and its spin-off ''Suite Life on Deck''. After ''On Deck'' finished, the two took a break from acting to attend New York University. Once they graduated, Cole returned to Hollywood and landed the role of Jughead on the hit series ''Series/{{Riverdale}}''. Meanwhile, Dylan is still in retirement while he runs [[http://www.allwisemeadery.com/about his own meadery]].