Childhood Stars: Where Are They Now?

Amanda Bynes dyes her hair in 2007. Photo: Flickr

Looking back on your favorite TV shows and stars is always fun, but do you ever wonder where they are now? Childhood stars including Raven Symone and Demi Lovato have bloomed from their initial success, yet some like Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan have had many setbacks.

Raven Symone is best known for starring on the Disney show “That’s So Raven,” which premiered Jan. 13, 2003 when Raven Symone was 16. The show continued to be popular until its end date in November 2007. Ms. Symone is also credited for her star role in the movie series “The Cheetah Girls.”

From her Disney career, she joined the cast of “Empire” in 2015. This hit drama then gained her the guest hosting spot on “The View” until she permanently joined the ABC panel. She left the panel a year later in 2016. Disney has recently announced the new “That’s So Raven” spinoff “Raven’s Home,” to premier later this year. Raven Symone will be the executive producer as well as acting on set. The show will follow the two teenaged children of divorced mom, Raven.

Amanda Bynes rose to fame in 1999 with her Nickelodeon series, “The Amanda Show.” She also starred in the sitcom “What I Like About You” from 2002-2006. Movie favorites of Bynes include “She’s the Man” and “Hairspray.” Although a promising child star, Ms. Bynes had drinking problems as she grew older. After many legal issues beginning in 2012 with her DUI, she continued getting in trouble. She was arrested for criminal possession of marijuana, and she was hospitalized on and off in various cities in California, including Pasadena and Thousand Oaks, for medical help. Perez Hilton recently reported a web article about Amanda: “Brace Yourselves For Amanda Bynes’ Comeback–Because She’s Officially Off Probation!” All there is to do now is wait for this comeback to occur.

Another troubled childhood star is Lindsay Lohan. We all know her for the remake of “The Parent Trap” and “Mean Girls,” but today we know her as a misguided 30-year-old. After two DUI incidents in 2007, she was forced into probation and never quite bounced back.

We know her as Mitchy from “Camp Rock,” but Demi Lovato has definitely changed since her Disney days.  After the second season of “Sonny With a Chance,” Demi was having issues with substance addiction, self harm and an eating disorder. She was put into a treatment center in 2010 and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Demi is currently promoting confidence to her fans and gender equality as her singing career advances. Her top songs, “Confident” and “Heart Attack,” first caught her fans’ attention and now she continues to create even more hits as her fan base grows.

Many other childhood stars including Mary Kate and Ashley, the Jonas Brothers and the Sprouse Twins have grown up before our eyes. As they have moved on from their childhood acting days, they have become major successes inside as well as outside of the acting business. Even though Cole And Dylan Sprouse have grown out their hair, we will always see them as the short-haired blonde boys on “Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”