ByKeisha Swafford, writer at
I am a beautiful black queen and a child of God. I love writing stories and poems. Enjoy reading and watching movies!
Keisha Swafford

Former child stars get a bad reputation for being wild and crazy. Most of them end up doing drugs, becoming alcoholics, going to jail, or just doing some things that make you think, what the heezy? I’m here to shed some light on the actors and actresses who have actually been successful in being decent human beings.

1. 'Sister, Sister' Was Double the Success!

Tia and Tamera Mowry are famous for the '90s sitcom, Sister, Sister! It was such a success because it represented good wholesome TV in the '90s. They were so beautiful, funny, and relatable. They also reminded me of the relationship between my sister Brandi and me, except we weren’t twins. The idea behind it was unique: twins separated at birth and then finding each other as teenagers.

It’s not so unique now since many shows have used that idea, but it was back then. I considered myself to be Tia, who was the studious goody two shoes who always did the right thing. My sister was Tamera, the rebellious, cool, and popular fashionista who loved to have fun! But in reality, the twins are polar opposites.

Tia is the fun, crazy one and Tamera is the cautious and reserved twin. I also admired the strong bond they shared and it was so refreshing to see two sisters who truly loved each other shown on TV. No matter what, they had each other’s backs and that’s how my sister and I are! I discovered that twins have a special power to understand one another's thoughts and feelings. If you have never watched Sister, Sister, you didn’t have a childhood.

Amazing Career Women!

After the Disney channel movies as twin witches in Twitches and Twitches Two, they took a break from acting as twins and pursued independent projects. In 2006, Tia was known for playing Melanie Barrett in the BET show, The Game where she was the girlfriend of a rookie football player (Pooch Hall) from 2006 to 2012.

After leaving The Game, Tia starred in the 2013 Nickelodeon sitcom, Instant Mom, which is cool because she showed the world how she has come full circle since Sister, Sister and is now playing a warm and caring mom. Tamera was on the medical drama, Strong Medicine from 2004 to 2006, has starred in made for TV movies, and even played in Family Guy as Esther. In 2013, Tamera became the host of the reality talk show called The Real, which is funny and entertaining to watch!

Willing To Welcome Us Into Their Homes

Tamera (left) and Tia
Tamera (left) and Tia

I was so happy when the sisters made their own reality show called Tia & Tamera because I missed seeing the twins and it was cool to see them interact with each other in real life! The show documented when Tamera was planning her wedding and Tia was expecting her first child. I learned from that show that the successful twins are sweet, caring, and down to Earth women.

It is so incredibly impressive that both of them have been able to balance having a family and a career. Before getting married, they took a break from acting to attend Pepperdine University and study abroad. Tia has been happily married to actor Cory Hardrict since 2008 and they have a son named Cree. Tamera has been happily married to journalist Adam Housley since 2011 and they share a son named Aden and just recently welcomed a beautiful baby girl named Ariah.

2. Success Runs In The Mowry Family!

Tahj Mowry is the little brother of Tia and Tamera who first started his career on Full House as Michelle’s best friend, Teddy. I thought he was just too adorable and he was a good friend to Michelle. He played T.J., a 10-year-old genius who tried to fit in at high school in the sitcom, Smart Guy. It was hilarious but it was short-lived. Since then, he has grown to be a handsome young man who has made a name for himself as Tucker in the hit show, Baby Daddy. I am obsessed with the show! He plays the cute and hilarious aspiring television producer/singer and best friend of Ben Wheeler, who finds a baby on his doorstep after a one-night stand.

3. Leonardo DiCaprio Is An Amazing Actor!

Leonardo DiCaprio as Arnie
Leonardo DiCaprio as Arnie

He is an incredible actor who has been acting since 1989! He has made many films but I’m going to focus on one in particular. His ability to accurately and realistically play a wide range of characters astounds me. The one I enjoyed the most by him is the 1993 movie, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? The movie is about a teenage boy who has to take care of his overweight mother and his mentally challenged brother, Arnie.

It was one of my mom’s favorite films and she was amazed by how well Leonardo acted like a mentally challenged boy. I felt sorry for him, but I really connected with Arnie because he was an awesome kid who, in his mind, was like everyone else. I was impressed by how thorough his performance was. He spent a few days at a home studying the mannerisms of mentally challenged teens and to get into the mind of the character. Leo expressed so much emotion through his face and his eyes as Arnie.

Leo Says No To Drugs

He claims he has never done drugs because of the neighborhood he grew up in on the corner of Hollywood and Western, which was full of heroin addicts. He remembers one addict cornering him at the age of 5, which would scare anyone straight especially a kid! Another incident that kept him from doing drugs is the first and only time he saw the late River Phoenix, who was his hero. He said,

“I always wanted to meet him. One night, I was at this Halloween party, and he passed me. He was beyond pale - he looked white. Before I got a chance to say hello, he was gone, driving off to the Viper Room, where he fell over and died.”

That's when he witnessed first hand how drugs changed people and he vowed he would never want to lose himself to something so evil.

Leo Makes A Difference In The World

He won a 2010 Do Something Award for his Haiti relief efforts. He is also an environmental conservationist. He developed the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation where he contributes millions of dollars to protect the oceans, advocates animal welfare, and stops global warming.

4. Hilary Duff: She Will Always Be Lizzie McGuire To Me!

Lizzie and Gordo (
Lizzie and Gordo (

I first saw Hilary Duff in Lizzie McGuire and ever since then, I've been in love with her. I bought her CDs, watched all of her movies, and still follow her to this day. I'm grateful to her because much of her music got me through my teenage years. I was kind of disappointed when she went skinny-minny on me, but she still looked beautiful. I’m just relieved that she has maintained her 'good girl image' as an adult and still found a way to be sexy at the same time. She has always stayed grounded and out of trouble. Lizzie and Gordo should have ended up together, but all they did was share a kiss. That's the best you can get out of Disney.

The Duff Gives Back!


She has contributed to all kinds of charity organizations, but the ones that stood out to me were 'Kids with a Cause, Johnson’s Baby Cares' campaign, and 'Blessings in a Backpack' Campaign. 'Kids with a Cause' is an organization that help the less unfortunate youth who suffer from poverty, lack of education or health-related issues. 'Johnson's Baby Cares' campaign sends care kits and cards to new mothers across the U.S. as motivation and raises funds for children and poor families together with Save the Children. I also loved the fact that she gave $250,000 to the Hurricane Katrina victims and donated over 2.5 million meals to them. The following year, she traveled to a New Orleans elementary school and worked with USA Harvest to distribute meals.

Youth Ambassador In Bogota

Hilary Duff in Bogota (
Hilary Duff in Bogota (

She is a Youth Ambassador in Bogota, Colombia where she is involved in the 'Blessings in a Backpack Campaign'. In this campaign, she participated in vaccinations and distributed 3,000 backpacks to poor children there. It is awesome that she just doesn’t donate money to charities. She actually goes out there, gets her hands dirty, and helps distribute food and supplies to those who need it.

She Takes Care Of Herself And Her Baby!

On March 20, 2012, her son Luca was born. It took a year for Hilary Duff to lose her baby weight through a healthy diet and boxing with a personal trainer. I admire her for taking the time to take care of herself despite the criticism she received by how she looked. Even Tia Mowry looked up to her for taking a healthier approach.

5. Josh Hutcherson: From 'Little Manhattan' To Big Man On Campus

Josh Hutcherson is known for the role as Peeta on The Hunger Games movies. When I first saw him, he was a cute and sweet boy in Little Manhattan where he played Gabe, who was hopelessly in love with this girl named Rosemary. He panicked when he found out that she was going away to camp. He desperately tried to make her stay which backfires, causing them to break up.

It was so touching to see the poor boy cry like a baby. I cried because I felt his pain as his heart broke into pieces. The next time I saw him, he was in The Hunger Games where he had grown up substantially and was tougher. It was awesome that sad little boy became a warrior with a kind heart.

He Stands Up for the Little Man!

Josh is a highly outspoken supporter in the fight for gay equal rights. I agree that all people should be treated with kindness and love no matter what. He works closely with the group 'Straight But Not Narrow', which educates straight young men about gay rights and encourages them to become more understanding and potentially supportive about gay rights.

6. Rudy Will Forever Be In My Heart!

At age 6, Keshia Knight Pulliam was the youngest actor to ever be nominated for an Emmy for the role of Rudy in The Cosby Show! Fortunately, the fame of The Cosby Show did not go to little Keshia’s head. In the episode, she lip-synced the words to the Ray Charles song, 'Night Time is the Right Time' with the family and it was just too darn cute! I was actually named after the actress but my mom didn’t know how her name was spelled until after I was born. So obviously, Rudy was my favorite character because of that but I also adored her for her smart and sassy ways. She had incredible comedic timing and she could keep up with the old man in every scene she was in. She stole the hearts of millions with her adorable smile and those cute pigtails!

Keshia Is More Than Rudy Huxtable!

Rudy all grown up (
Rudy all grown up (

Keshia graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Spellman College in 2001. Growing up, she maintained a normal life because her family didn’t treat her like a superstar. She was the oldest of four and had to be responsible and do everything she was supposed to. She has grown into a beautiful actress who has expanded her acting into more adult roles by playing a drugged out prostitute in Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail, a hairstylist in Beauty Shop, and the deceitful and manipulative Miranda Payne in the TV show, House of Payne.

Keshia Enjoys The Simple Things In Life!

In 2016, she married Ed Hartnell, a former Baltimore Ravens football linebacker. Surrounded by fresh flowers, she enjoyed a private wedding with her family in her living room on New Year’s. That is so romantic and I am overjoyed that Keshia had a fairy tale ending.

Child actors can be amazing people, be active contributors to society, and have prosperous adult careers. They can also have happy marriages, be good role models, and become loving parents. I am just happy I was able to let the world know that not all former child stars spiral down a destructive path.


Who is your favorite child star and why?


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