Some child stars we watch forever. Actors like Daniel Radcliffe, Drew Barrymore, and Neil Patrick Harris began their careers as children, and we’ve followed the continued success into adulthood. However, some child actors don’t build on their childhood success with adult careers in Hollywood. Sometimes, they elect to live a quiet life instead of one filled with fame and fortune. Other times, they just can’t follow that breakthrough role. Whatever the reason, child stars often fall into obscurity. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the biggest forgotten child stars of the ’80s and ’90s…and found out what happened to them!
Even saying Aliens was one of the biggest movies of the ’80s is a bit of an understatement. James Cameron directed Aliens, a sequel to Alien, directly after his first hit, Terminator. Aliens earned $131 million at the box-office (roughly $303 million today), spent 48 weeks at number one, and received seven Academy Awards nominations. But, without a doubt, the breakout star of the film was Carrie Henn. Henn played Rebecca “Newt” Jorden, a young survivor of a devastating alien attack. Despite having no previous acting experience, the young actress wowed audiences and critics alike with her deep and emotional portrayal.
However, despite winning a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor, Henn elected not to pursue acting. The reason? While she enjoyed the role, she didn’t feel acting was for her. Furthermore, she didn’t ever want to spend that much time away from her family ever again. These days, Henn is an elementary school teacher at Shaffer Elementary School in Atwater, California.
Noah Hathaway began his career at the age of seven with an impressive 22-episode run on the original Battlestar Galactica. But his most significant role came in 1984, with Wolfgang Peterson’s The Neverending Story. The fantasy film tells the story of a young boy who finds a magical book that brings a teenage warrior, Hathway’s Atreyu, to life. As Atreyu, Hathaway impressed audiences with his emotional dexterity and his devotion to the character. The film would only make a modest sum at the box-office but subsequently became a cult classic.
While the film made him a teenage celebrity in Europe, Hathaway found it challenging to follow his performance in Neverending Story. He starred in the horror comedy Troll in 1986, but virtually stopped acting after that. Until recently, that is! Between 2012 and 2014 he appeared in four films, including Sushi Girl and Blue Dream. We’ve got to say, we love these forgotten child stars coming back! Hathaway also spends time at the Willow Springs Raceway in Rosamond, California racing and designing motorcycles.
Without a doubt, Macaulay Culkin is the most-remembered child actors from Home Alone. However, if you ask people who they remember next, they probably say Devin Ratray. In Home Alone, Ratray perfectly portrayed every mean, big brother ever as Buzz McCallister. We’re sure more than a few people lived out their sibling revenge fantasies when Culkin’s Kevin tore apart Buzz’s room. But whatever happened to Ratray?
Well, after Home Alone and its sequel, Ratray, unfortunately, joined the rest of the film’s young cast in becoming forgotten child stars. However, that doesn’t mean he stopped working! After taking a break from 1993 to 2004 to finish school, Ratray returned to the Hollywood scene. Since then, he’s appeared in some major films, including Nebraska, R.I.P.D., and Masterminds. He’s also appeared on hit shows like Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and The Good Wife.
You may not remember the name Amber Scott, but like most forgotten child stars, you’ll remember her performance. As Maggie Banning in Steven Speilberg’s Hook, Scott portrayed the daughter of adult Peter Pan (played by the late, great Robin Williams). In particular, her rendition of the film’s original song “When You’re Alone” wowed audiences and critics alike. Scott even performed the song live, at the 64th Oscars! However, despite rave reviews, Maggie remains Scott’s only acting role to date.
So what did the actress do after Hook? Well, she finished school, earning a degree from Trinity College. But no one knows why she didn’t pursue a career in Hollywood. However, a few years ago Scott released a new headshot (above, right)! So, who knows, maybe some acting gigs are coming for the talented performer.
Wondering what happened to more of your favorite forgotten child stars? Find out right here!