ByShawn Allard, writer at
Batman Fanatic, Movie lover/Maker, and I like food.
Shawn Allard

Throughout the years there have been many Child stars. Huge names like Miley Cyrus, The Jonas Brothers, Amanda Bynes, Lindsay Lohan, and more. But, have you noticed that their are patterns as to what happens to a Disney star once they leave. Many people go down many different paths, but it can be boiled down to the most basic four things: The Downfall, The Musician, The Keeper, and The Exception. There isn't an official name for this, so I will take it upon myself to do so. I have decided to dub this as "The Child Star Curse"! or, "The Curse Of The Child Star"! I can't decide. This will focus more on the TV Child stars; so stars like Henry Thomas (E.T) and Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense) most likely wont come up. Let's get started!

The Downfall

Don't know what I mean when I said "The Downfall"? Well here are some examples that will help you; Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Shia LaBeouf. Got it? Good. These are the stars that really fell hard. They either got addicted to drugs and alcohol, or wasted all there money. They are the ones who people makes memes of.

They really are used as the punchline in a joke. It is sad to see people who we grew up watching, like Amanda Bynes on The Amanda Show, and seeing what they have become. It's not just those two. Here is a quick list of just a few that really fell hard:

  • Orlando Brown
  • Britney Spears
  • Shia LaBeouf
  • And more!

But there is this one star, who really went off the deep end, yet somehow stayed on top. She changed everything! Hair style and color, clothes, personality, everything! She is something special because she fits into both this group and "The Musician" group. If you haven't guessed yet, we are talking about the one, the only, Miley Cyrus!

The Musician

Miley is a prime example of "The Musician". Alongside her are people like, Selena Gomez, Demi Lavato, and others. Even though some still do acting (like Selena), their main interest and used talent, is music. This is the route that the majority of at least Disney stars go. Ariana Grande, Demi Lavato, Nick Jonas, Zendaya, and even Miranda Cosgrove dabbled with it in 2010! This is probably due to the fact that if you work with Disney, you have to know how to sing, and when you don't act with them anymore, you don't know what to do but sing. Though this isn't as bad as "The Downfall" it defiantly isn't easy. It's hard for some people to get out of being typecast as their Disney star. Like when Selena was starting out with music, people looked at her as Alex from "Wizards of Waverly Place" but now she is Selena Gomez, musician. She is also a great example of being in both "The Musician" group and "The Keeper" group.

The Keeper

I am assuming a lot of people don't know what I mean by "The Keeper" so let me explain. What I mean by "The Keeper" is, the people who kept acting. The acting business "kept" them, so that's why it's called "The Keeper". A example for this, as previously mentioned, is Selena Gomez. She is still acting. One recent film she did was Spring Breakers, and coming soon is, Neighbors 2. These people stayed in the business for whatever their reason was. This one isn't super common like "The Musician" is, but it isn't unheard of. A lot of times we will see old child stars who are under "The Keeper" umbrella, do something a little racy once they are legal. For example, both Selena Gomez and Jenessa Hudgens did Spring Breakers. A few other examples of stars who followed this path would be, Debby Ryan, Jason Earls, and Ron Howard.

The Exception

Fairly self explanatory. This means anyone who doesn't fit under the other three titles. But when I thought of this, the main characteristic I was looking at was people who had quit the biz. Sure there are people who are like Raven Symone who left Hollywood but are still famous, but they are the exception to "The Exception". An example of "The Exception" would be Jamie Lynn Spears. After Zoey 101 ended, she did one other acting gig, then quit to become a full time mother. We haven't seen her in a long time but I think soon she might come back. She has been dabbling in music and has recently released an EP. Now, given she has been away for so long, and she just released only an EP, this does not qualify her to be labeled as "The Musician" yet. Here is photo of her in the studio:

Other examples include:

  • Mara Wilson
  • Jeff Cohen
  • Peter Billingsley
  • And more!

These ones are hard to find because well, they go away. And when the go away, they don't make anything that gets reported, so they are hard to find! But anyway, those are the four most broad things that can happen to child actors. There are definitely more smaller distinctions that can be brought into play, but this was just the get the idea out there and get the "Child Star Curse" known.

What Do you think? Is there a "Child Star Curse"? Who was your favorite child star? Let us know in the comments below!


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