BySam Plank, writer at
"You have to be what you are. Whatever you are, you gotta be it." -Johnny Cash. Tweet a tweeter at my twitty twitter, @tw1tterintw1t
Sam Plank

Have you ever sat down to eat at a restaurant, booked a vacation, or watch a car race on TV and thought to yourself, "Gosh, that waiter/travel agent/race car driver sure did look like *insert name of random onetime celebrity*. I wonder..."

Chances are they're just an average Joe/Josephine who happens to be a famous 's doppelgänger. And no, you shouldn't go up to them and exclaim how much they look like whoever. Unless you want the stink eye or something gross in your cheeseburger.

Once in a great while, however, those look-alikes turn out to be an actual celebrity. Here are 13 actors and actresses from days gone by, whose faces you'll know, and who have or have had halfway normal jobs outside their Hollywood careers.

1. Patrick Dempsey

  • Where you know him from: Grey's Anatomy (2005–2015), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) and Enchanted (2007).
  • Where else you might have seen him: When Dempsey's not making movies like last year's Bridget Jones's Baby, he's racing cars and owning his very own racing team, Dempsey Racing. So if you see McDreamy on TV and he's racing around a track instead of racing to bed fictional hospital staff, your eyes aren't deceiving you.

2. Frankie Muniz

  • Where you may have seen him: Malcolm in the Middle (2000–2006).
  • Where you might also have see him: The former child star juggles the occasional acting gig with his racing career, much like Patrick Dempsey (the racing thing, not the child star thing), and a fledgling career as a band manager.
  • Two interesting factoids about Muniz and his racing: He witnessed the crash that killed racing legend Dale Earnhardt in 2001, and he starred in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!. OK, that's one interesting racing factoid.

3. Christopher Masterson

  • Where you may have seen him: Malcolm in the Middle (2000–2006).
  • What he's doing now: The second star of Malcolm in the Middle to make this list, when not appearing in his sporadic one or two films a year, Masterson is busy as DJ Chris Kennedy. According to his Facebook page, he is “a highly sought-after DJ and nightlife personality in LA's club scene.” So next time you hit up the Hollywood clubs, be on the lookout for Francis.

In case you were wondering about the other Malcolm in the Middle brothers Reese and Dewey, go here to read a little bit about them.

4. & 5. Dylan And Cole Sprouse

'The Suite Life on Deck' [Credit: Disney-ABC], Cole Sprouse [Instagram], Riverdale [Credit: The CW].
'The Suite Life on Deck' [Credit: Disney-ABC], Cole Sprouse [Instagram], Riverdale [Credit: The CW].
  • Where you know them from: Big Daddy (1999), The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (2005–2008) and The Suite Life on Deck (2008–2011).
  • What Dylan's up to now: Not only does he have a new film titled Dismissed coming out this year, Dylan is also the Master Brewer at All-Wise Meadery in Brooklyn, New York. On top of that, he's commentated a few Super Smash Bros. tournaments, so if you've ever attended one of those, you may have seen or heard him there.
  • And as for Cole: Dylan's twin brother, who took a six-year break from acting to attend New York University along with his bro, ended his Zack and Cody days in 2011 and is now playing Jughead Jones on The CW hit . He's also an accomplished photographer, judging by his Instagram page. So if you see a guy that looks like Archie Andrews' best friend out snapping photos, strike a pose.

6. Taran Noah Smith

  • Where you've seen him: Home Improvement (1991–1999).
  • His life after Hollywood: We'll skip over the part of Smith's life where he went from his Home Improvement gig to marrying a woman twice his age when he was just 17, running a vegan food company out of their house, suing his parents for his trust fund, and eventually getting divorced, and fast forward to a year ago, when he and his reconciled mom took part in an eye-opening interview with HNGN. At that time, he lived on a sailboat in Sausalito, California and had done some work as an installation artist at art festivals and museums. He spent part of 2014 in the Philippines with disaster relief organization Communitere. A happy ending is always nice, ain't it?

7. Freddie Prinze Jr.

  • Where you've seen him: I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) and She's All That (1999).
  • Where you might have seen him lately: He published a cookbook and memoir of sorts in 2016, featuring 75 recipes and true stories from his life. And the dude doesn't age. Just throwing that out there.

8. Chris Owen

  • Where you know him from: Appeared alongside Freddie Prinze Jr. in She's All That (1999) and as Chuck "the Sherminator" Sherman in four of the eight American Pie movies.
  • Where you might have seen him: In 2013 he was working as a waiter at Sushi Roku restaurant in Santa Monica, California. He has three new movies coming out this year, but if you were enjoying sushi four years ago, I hope you snapped a selfie with the "sophisticated sex robot" who served you sashimi.

9. Danny Lloyd

  • Where you've seen him: 's The Shining (1980) and Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy (1982). Seriously, that's it.
  • Where you might have seen him lately: Danny, now going by Dan, or more specifically, Mr. Lloyd, is a biology professor at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College in Kentucky. If you attend school there and he should give you a failing F, try not to wag your finger at him and growl “Redrum!”

10. Jeff Cohen

'The Goonies' [Credit: Warner Bros] and Jeff B. Cohen, Esq. [Credit:]
'The Goonies' [Credit: Warner Bros] and Jeff B. Cohen, Esq. [Credit:]
  • Where you know him from: Chunk in Steven Spielberg's The Goonies (1985).
  • Where you might have seen him lately, but let's hope for your sake not: According to his website, "Jeff co-founded Cohen Gardner LLP in 2002 and focuses on transactional representation for clients in the entertainment, media and technology verticals." So if you saw him post-, it may have meant you needed a lawyer. Might be best to stick to watching him look for pirate treasure and doing the truffle shuffle.

11. Josh Saviano

'The Wonder Years' [Credit: ABC] and Josh Saviano Twitter.
'The Wonder Years' [Credit: ABC] and Josh Saviano Twitter.
  • Where you know him from: He's best remembered for appearing in The Wonder Years (1988–1993) and last appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2014–2016) as Counselor Dan Taft, which leads us to...
  • Where you might have seen him: Like Jeff Cohen, if you've seen Josh Saviano up close and personal, it may have been because you needed legal representation. Because he's now a lawyer. Which is bad for you, even if you're talking to the one and only Marilyn Man — er, Paul Pfeiffer. Saviano founded the companies JDS Legal and Act 3 Advisors, both located in New York.

12. Peter Ostrum

  • Where you know him from: His one and only acting gig, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971).
  • Where you might have seen him lately: Alas, if you run across a grown-up Charlie, there's a good chance that you have — or are — a sick dairy cow. After graduating from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984, Ostrum followed his heart and is now a senior partner at Countryside Veterinary Clinic in Lowville, New York.

13. Ariana Richards

  • Where you know her from: Definitely? As Lex from (1993) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). Maybe? Her first ever appearance was in The Golden Girls in 1987, and she was also Mindy in the first and third Tremors movies in 1990 and 2001. Get off the pogo stick!
  • Where you might have seen her: There's one surefire way of seeing her; if you have a few grand laying around and want a painting of your kids, then call her up! She's an incredible artist who specializes in portraits. And unlike some of her fellow former child stars, she doesn't shy away from her acting past, as seen on the main page of her website, Gallery Ariana.

That's a wrap! Got some intel on a former child star turned vet/artist/lawyer/race car driver? Sound off in the comments below.


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