In the '80s and '90s, American family sitcoms ruled the airwaves, and ABC was famous for cranking out the wholesome family fun. Of course, everyone remembers the Tanners from ABC's Full House, but I'm here to talk about their predecessors, the Seavers from Growing Pains.
Even people who weren't fans of the show will likely be able to recognize its awesome theme song:
So what did the Seavers do after Growing Pains, well, other than the 2000 and 2004 Growing Pains reunion movie? Let's find out!
Jason Seaver - Alan Thicke
Alan Thicke played the patriarch of the whole Growing Pains family, Dr. Jason Seaver. Thicke played the stay-at-home dad who practiced psychology professionally in his home office while also juggling a busy family.
Other than being the father of singer Robin Thicke, Alan Thick has been busy since the conclusion of Growing Pains. He's been a theme song composer, TV writer, producer, and a Canadian game show host. Most importantly - at least in my book - he was a recurring guest star on the sitcom How I Met Your Mother as a close personal friend of Robin Scherbatsky!
Maggie Seaver - Joanna Kerns
Maggie Seaver was the hard-working mother who balanced her professional life as a journalist with being a loving mother to her children.
Since Growing Pains, Joanna Kerns has established a long list of roles in TV, but also decided to turn her attention towards her true calling, directing! She currently has nearly 50 directing credits to her name, including well-known shows like: Ally McBeal, Felicity, Dawson's Creek, One Tree Hill, ER, Scrubs, Psych, Grey's Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, and most recently, Jane the Virgin.
Mike Seaver - Kirk Cameron
Mike Seaver, the oldest of the Seaver children, was a wise-cracking ladies man who, despite enjoying poking fun at his siblings, truly had a heart of gold. Not to mention, he was a total hunk! Plus, fun '90s fact: Kirk Cameron is also the brother of star Candace Cameron, who famously played D.J. Tanner in Full House.
Immediately following the success of Growing Pains, Kirk Cameron had his own sitcom on The WB, Kirk, which only lasted two seasons. Since then, Cameron has become an evangelical and largely strayed from the mainstream. Today, Cameron focuses more on his evangelistic ministry work, including co-founding the Firefly Foundation and Camp Firefly, which gives a weeklong vacation to terminally ill children and their families.
As great as that is, he's not been all sunshine and roses since playing Mike Seaver. In 2012, Cameron appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight, where he stated "homosexuality is unnatural, detrimental and ultimately destructive to foundations of civilization." This harsh statement received backlash from gay rights activists and even some of his Growing Pains co-stars.
Carol Seaver - Tracey Gold
Mike's younger sister was the bookish, but adorable, honor student, Carol Seaver. Compared to Mike's sometimes careless actions, Carol was usually the more thorough and pragmatic sibling that balanced him out.
After playing Carol Seaver, the beautiful Tracey Gold has kept pretty busy with a long list of TV and TV movie credits to her name. One of the most publicized outcomes of Gold's role on the show was her struggle with anorexia. After Carol's weight was the butt of one too many jokes in around 1988, Gold began restricting her eating and inducing vomiting to shed pounds. When it became clear that she was unwell, around 1991, Gold was kept from appearing on the show due to her thin frame. She did not reprise her role of Carol until the final two episodes of Growing Pains in 1992.
Today, Tracey Gold appears to be happy and healthy. She holds speaking engagements regularly to talk about the dangers of eating disorders, and in 2003 she co-wrote the book Room to Grow: An Appetite for Life. Gold is currently married to Roby Marshall and the pair have four children.
Ben Seaver - Jeremy Miller
For the first five years of the show, Ben Seaver was the youngest of the Seaver children. In typical younger brother style, Ben was oftentimes portrayed as annoying, but he was always some good comic relief.
In the years following Growing Pains, Miller pretty much left the spotlight, but he did appear alongside David Spade in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star as one of Dickie's fellow "former child stars." In 2011, Miller became the spokesperson for Start Fresh Recovery, the rehabilitation company that administered his treatment in his battle against alcoholism. By all accounts, Miller is happy and healthy again thanks to counseling and treatment.
Chrissy Seaver - Ashley Johnson
In 1988 Chrissy Seaver was born and by 1990 she magically turned into the six-year-old Ashley Johnson for plotting purposes. She only appeared in two seasons, but who didn't love those cute curls?
After Growing Pains, Ashley Johnson has been in a number of films including: What Women Want, The Brothers Solomon, The Help, and playing the waitress Captain America saves in [The Avengers](movie:9040). She also voiced Gretchen in the animated series Recess and Gwen Tennyson in Ben 10: Alien Force.
Luke Brower - Leonardo DiCaprio
For the young Leonardo DiCaprio, playing the foster child of the Seavers, Luke Brower, was one of his biggest roles at the time. Check out this interview of him being utterly adorable:
Following Growing Pains Leonardo DiCaprio found little success in entertainment and was never heard from again. Just kidding! But really, do I even need to tell you what Leo has been in since? Probably everything but the official list of Oscar winners.