Child Stars: Then and Now

Some make it in the industry as adults... and some don't. See whose careers are thriving and whose could use a boost.

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Lindsay Lohan split
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Buena Vista Pictures
Lindsay Lohan began her career as a child model before making her movie debut in Disney's 1998 remake of "The Parent Trap" at the age of 11. She's continued to make headlines ever since...
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Buena Vista Pictures, Getty Imag
Lohan was a big hit in "Mean Girls," but since then, her career has kind of fizzled — as has her personal life. Her latest work was the movie "Machete," but she's garnered more attention for her court appearances and rehab stays. Click to see more child stars both then and now.
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Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection
Some child stars make it in the industry as adults... and some don't. Anna Chlumsky charmed the nation in the 1991 coming-of-age drama "My Girl," which also starred Dan Aykroyd, Macaulay Culkin and Jamie Lee Curtis. What's Anna up to now?
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Anna Chlumsky, now 31, stars in the HBO comedy "Veep" alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and she was recently spotted at the show's premier. She was just 11 years old when she played Vada Sultenfuss in the movie. How do you think she look now?
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Columbia Pictures
Natalie Portman's career took off after she received critical acclaim as a child assassin in 1994's "The Professional."
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Columbia Pictures, Getty Images
Now, she's an Oscar-winning actress, a Harvard grad and a Hollywood favorite. In 2011, she received an Academy Award for best actress in a leading role for her portrayal of a ballerina in "Black Swan."
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Buena Vista Pictures
Scarlett Johansson got her start acting in "North" at the age of nine, but first earned recognition at 14 as Grace MacLean in 1998's "The Horse Whisperer."
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Getty
Now, Johansson is a true leading-lady, starring in the recent blockbuster "The Avengers," as well as the hotly-anticipated "Hitchcock," which tells the story behind the making of the thriller "Psycho," currently in production.
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Michael Ochs Archives
Wayne Newton began his career early, singing in local Ohio clubs, theaters, and fairs with his older brother, Jerry, pictured at right. Since then he has become one of the most prolific entertainers in Las Vegas.
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AP
Newton has performed over 30,000 solo shows in Las Vegas over a period of over 40 years, earning him the nickname "Mr. Las Vegas." His well known songs include 1972's "Daddy, Don't You Walk So Fast" and his vocal version of "Red Roses for a Blue Lady." He is best known for his signature song, "Danke Schoen" recorded in 1963.
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Getty Images
Anna Paquin was 11 years old when she won the best supporting actress Oscar for her performance in <i>The Piano</i> in 1994.
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Getty Images, HBO
Later on, she played Rogue in the <i>X-Men</i> movies and currently plays Sookie Stackhouse on HBO's <i>True Blood</i>, for which she won a Golden Globe.
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Selena Gomez began acting at age 7 on "Barney and Friends," with a minor role in "Spy Kids 3-D." She rose to fame on Disney Channel's "Wizards of Waverly Place" as Alex Russo.
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Now, Gomez, 19, gets as much publicity for her movies and music career (she recently released a single, "Love You Like a Love Song") as she does for her high-profile relationship with teen heartthrob Justin Bieber.
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WireImage
Kristen Stewart first became recognizable to audiences after playing the diabetic daughter of a divorced mother (Jodi Foster) in "The Panic Room" in 2002 at age 12.
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Now a mega star, Stewart went on the have roles in movies such as "In the Land of Women," "Adventureland" and "The Messengers" but is best recognized for playing Bella Swan in "Twilight" and "New Moon."
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MGM
When she was just 14, Reese Witherspoon auditioned for "The Man in the Moon." Instead, of the small bit part she was originally hoping for, she landed the lead role.
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MGM, Getty Images
Reese became a mainstay on the big screen with "Cruel Intentions," "American Psycho" and a slew of romantic comedies. She won an Oscar for her turn as June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line" in 2005.
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Nicholas Hoult gained fame opposite Hugh Grant in the 2002 comedy "About a Boy." Hoult, then 13, played a lovestruck boy who taught Grant how to act like an adult.
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In only a few years, Hoult went from fresh-faced boy to hunky bad boy. He starred as Tony in the controversial BBC series "Skins," about a group of teenagers growing up in Bristol, England. He's starring in the upcoming "X-Men" film.
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Dakota Fanning became the "it girl" of the silver screen in 2001 after her breakthrough performance in "I Am Sam" at age seven, and moved on to the high-profile films "Man on Fire" and "War of the Worlds."
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Dakota now acts in the "Twilight" saga, attends NYU and models for Marc Jacobs campaigns.
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TriStar Pictures
Elijah Wood appeared in Paula Abdul's "Forever Your Girl" video and moved on to 1990's "Avalon" and 1994's "The War."
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TriStar Pictures, Getty Images
Elijah's turn as Frodo in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy jump-started his career again. He's since appeared in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Sin City."
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Paramount Pictures
Christina Ricci was a huge child star in the early '90s before she hit age 15. She played Wednesday in the re-make of "The Addams Family" and its sequel, appeared in "Mermaids," and starred in 1995's "Now and Then."
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Paramount Pictures, Getty Images
Christina's still a popular leading lady today. She starred in "Black Snake Moan," and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in "The Opposite of Sex,"and played a sexy stewardess on ABC's throwback show "PanAm" before it got cancelled in mid-2012.
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WireImage
Britney Spears was 12 when she was on "The New Mickey Mouse Club," and 17 (seen here) when she released her debut album "...Baby One More Time."
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WireImage, Getty Images
Somewhere between "...Baby One More Time" and her listless performance at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards, Britney lost her magic. She shaved her head and spent time in an L.A. psych ward. But Brit made her way back to the top: her latest album "Circus" hit #1 on the Billboard chart, and she's a judge on TV reality show "X-Factor."
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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are America's favorite twins. They first came on the scene in 1987 on T.G.I.F.'s "Full House." They went on to merchandise their image and started a billion-dollar company called Dualstar.
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Getty Images
Today the young women have their own fashion label named The Row and named one of the lines "Elizabeth & James" after two of their siblings. Mary-Kate (right), after attending rehab to deal with an eating disorder, has continued her acting career in "The Wackness" and in a recurring role on the Showtime series "Weeds."
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Michelle Trachtenberg starred in the Nickolodeon movie "Harriet the Spy" in 1996. Previously, she played little Pete's best friend Nona Mecklenberg on "The Adventures of Pete & Pete."
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Michelle moved on to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" from 2000 to 2003. She played Georgina Sparks during a story arc on "Gossip Girl" and had stint in the Showtime series "Weeds."
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TriStar Pictures
Edward Furlong starred as John Connor in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" when he was 14.
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TriStar Pictures, Getty Images
Edward fought drug addiction and was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in 2001. He's recently faced troubles with his ex-wife, who filed for a restraining order but has since asked for it to be dismissed. Recently, he appeared in "The Green Hornet" with Seth Rogen.
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Warner Brothers
Kirsten Dunst caught everyone's attention when she kissed Brad Pitt at 10 years old in 1994's "Interview With The Vampire."
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Warner Brothers, Getty Images
Kirsten's career has been steady since her childhood fame. She appeared in the critically acclaimed "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and stars as Mary Jane Watson opposite Tobey Maguire in the "Spiderman" series.
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ABC
Raven Simone started playing Olivia on "The Cosby Show" when she was 4 years old.
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ABC, Getty Images
Today, Raven is known for her Disney Channel show "That's So Raven!" which ran from 2003 to 2007.
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ABC
Danielle Fishel stole many pre-pubescent hearts as Topanga Lawrence on T.G.I.F.'s "Boy Meets World."
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ABC, Getty Images
Until March 2011, Danielle hosted "The Dish" on the Style Network, where she reported on best and worst of fashion and celebrity news.
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WireImage
Jessica Biel was 14 when she first appeared as Mary Camden on the CW show "7th Heaven." The series lasted 11 seasons and the actress continued to appear on the show on and off after season 5.
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After her on-again-off-again relationship with "Seventh Heaven," Jessica played a sexy starlet in films like "Total Recall," "The A-Team" and "New Year's Eve." She's married to Justin Timberlake.
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Macaulay Culkin's celebrity swept the nation in the early '90s. He was everywhere: "Uncle Buck," "Home Alone," "My Girl" and "The Good Son," just to name a few.
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Getty Images, NBC
Macaulay struggled to be cast in more films after "Richie Rich," but his career has yet to have the sheen it did when he was a child. In 2004 he was arrested for possession of marijuana, Xanax and sleeping pills (both of which he did not have prescriptions). He's since appeared in "Saved!"and NBC's short-lived series "Kings."
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Twentieth Century-Fox
Neil Patrick Harris started playing "Doogie Howser, M.D." when he was 16. The show, about a teen genius who's a licensed doctor, ran for four seasons between 1989 and 1993.
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Twentieth Century-Fox, Getty Ima
At first it appeared that "Doogie" might have killed Neil Patrick Harris' career. He didn't have another truly notable role until his hilarious cameo in 2004's "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle." Today he's back on top starring in the hit sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" and the internet comedy "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog."
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Universal Pictures
Seven-year-old Drew Barrymore won America's hearts as Gertie in "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" in 1982.
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Universal, Getty Images
Nearly 30 years later, Drew is a rom-com queen, including "The Wedding Singer," "Ever After," and "He's Just Not That Into You." She made her directorial debut with the roller girl flick "Whip It."
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WireImage
Jason Bateman started his career as a teen heartthrob, playing roles on the '80s sitcoms "Silver Spoons" and "The Hogan Family."
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WireImage, Getty Images
After those early successes, Jason disappeared into the TV-movie abyss. But in 2003 he re-emerged as Michael Bluth on "Arrested Development," won a Golden Globe and is landing leading man roles on the big screen.
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MTV Networks
Melissa Joan Hart first won over audiences as Clarissa Darling on Nickelodeon's "Clarissa Explains It All" starting when she was 15.
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MTV Networks, Getty Images
After "Clarissa" ended, Melissa started the show "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" when she was 20 and played the role for 7 seasons. She's most recently known for her lead role alongside Joseph Lawrence in sitcom series "Melissa and Joey."
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Jonathan Lipnicki played the adorable son of Renee Zellweger's character in "Jerry Maguire" in 1996.
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Now, Lipnicki has a few films coming up, like "For the Love of Money" and "Tag."
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MGM
Jessica Alba started her career as Maya Graham on the children's TV show "The New Adventures of Flipper" in 1995.
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MGM, Getty Images
Jessica's career truly kicked off when she starred in "Dark Angel" as Max Guevara. She has since appeared in "Sin City" and the "Fantastic Four" series.
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Columbia Pictures
Jerry O'Connell first hit the scene as Vern in the 1986 classic "Stand by Me."
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Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures
In the two decades since, Jerry's lost his baby weight, starred in several TV shows including "Crossing Jordan" and married model/actress Rebecca Romijn. He even attended Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.
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ABC
"Did I do that?" Jaleel White played uber-nerd Steve Urkel on the T.G.I.F. sitcom "Family Matters" from 1989 to 1998.
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ABC, Getty Images
Since "Family Matters" wrapped, Jaleel's been playing bit parts in movie and TV, most recently on an episode of "Psych."
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NBC Universal
The hair. The ability to time-out real-life. The giant cell phone. Zack Morris is a cultural icon to anyone who grew up in the late '80s and early '90s. Mark-Paul Gosselaar was 15 when "Saved by the Bell" began in 1989.
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NBC, TNT
For a while it looked like Gosselaar might be a one-hit wonder, but he made a comeback on "NYPD Blue" and is currently starring in the TNT series "Raising the Bar."
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Tiffani Amber Thiessen was 16 when she started playing Kelly Kapowski on "Saved by the Bell" - a character she played from 1989 to 1994.
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NBC, USA Network
Tiffani dropped the Amber and played Valerie Malone on "90210" from 1994-2000, a completely different character than Kelly. She's currently on the USA series "White Collar."
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Speaking of Saved by the Bell," Dustin Diamond started playing Screech when he was 12 years old. He continued in the role in various incarnations of the show until 2000.
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NBC, Getty Images
Dustin has yet to escape Screech. He appeared on a variety of reality shows, including "Celebrity Fit Club," where he was known for antagonizing his costars, one of his sex tapes was leaked, and he wrote a tell-all book, <i>Behind the Bell</i>, about his years on "Saved by the Bell."
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Prince George's County Police
Mario Lopez started his career as A.C. Slater on "Saved by the Bell" when he was 16.
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NBC, Getty Images
Mario came back into the spotlight when he was a contestant on the third season of "Dancing with the Stars," and he's now the host of the entertainment show "Extra."
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Buena Vista Pictures
Jodie Foster was a Coppertone girl at age 3 and started getting TV roles by the time she was ten. In 1976, she starred as Annabel Andrews in the original "Freaky Friday."
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Buena Vista Pictures, Getty Images
Jodie's a two-time Oscar winner, for "The Accused" and "The Silence of the Lambs." Her recent work, "The Beaver," is the third feature film she's directed.
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Haley Joel Osment was an adorable little kid in "Forrest Gump" and "Murphy Brown," and was nominated for an Oscar for his role in "The Sixth Sense."
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Haley's struggled since his childhood fame. In 2006, when he was 18, Haley was sentenced to 60 hours of alcohol rehab and education and six months of AA meetings after he flipped his car with a blood-alcohol level double the legal limit.
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MGM
Thanks to TBS, every year we get to re-watch Peter Billingsley play the BB gun-yearning Ralphie on a 24-hour marathon of "A Christmas Story."
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MGM, Getty Images
Peter has a successful movie producing career. He was an executive producer of "Iron Man," as well as both "The Break-Up" and "Four Christmases," both starring his good friend Vince Vaughn.
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Getty Images
Tatum O'Neal won an Oscar at age ten for her role in 1973's "Paper Moon." She's the youngest Academy Award winner in history.
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Tatum has since struggled with drug addiction, which she attributed in her autobiography to emotional and physical abuse from her father Ryan O'Neal (a claim he denies). In 2008 she was arrested for alleged crack cocaine possession. She currently co-stars in FX's "Rescue Me" with Denis Leary.
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ABC
Jodie Sweetin co-starred with the Olsen twins on ABC's "Full House" as Stephanie Tanner.
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ABC, Getty Images
Several years after the end of "Full House," Sweetin became addicted to crystal meth, she told People magazine. In 2005 she was hospitalized and went into treatment. She has since had a baby girl.
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ABC
From 1988 to 1993, Fred Savage played the lovable Kevin Arnold on the '60s-based show "The Wonder Years."
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ABC, Getty Images
Savage had a brief comedic comeback as Number Three in "Austin Powers in Goldmember," but he's since switched to working behind the camera. He's directed more than a dozen episodes of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and was nominated for two Director's Guild awards for Disney shows.
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ABC
Danica McKellar played every teenage boy's dream as Winnie Cooper on "The Wonder Years."
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ABC, Getty Images
Danica graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She's written two New York Times Bestsellers aimed at middle-school-aged girls, "Math Doesn't Suck" and "Kiss My Math." She occasionally still makes cameos on TV, most recently on "How I Met Your Mother."
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Ricky Schroder starred as Ricky Stratton on "Silver Spoons" from 1982 to 1987 and won a Golden Globe for his role in 1979's "The Champ."
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Now billed as Rick Schroder, the actor made a comeback as Det. Danny Sorenson on "NYPD Blue." He's since had recurring roles on "Scrubs" and "24."
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Warner Brothers
Christian Bale was 13 when he starred in Stephen Spielberg's WWII drama "Empire of the Sun" in 1987.
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Warner Brothers
Christian is best known for his dark roles in "American Psycho" and Christopher Nolan's newest incarnations of Batman.
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ABC
Candace Cameron played D.J. Tanner on "Full House" from 1987 to 1995.
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ABC, Getty Images
After marrying former hockey player Valeri Bure and having three kids, Candace took a break from acting. She now acts in TV movies.
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Getty Images
Zac Hanson is the youngest brother in the pop group responsible for "MMMBop." He was 12 when the song came out.
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The group released their last album, “Shout It Out," in 2010. Zac has been married since 2006, and guest starred on "Glee" when the show featured "MMMBop."
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Kurt Russell starred in "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" as Dexter Reilly in 1969. He got his start in 1963 in "It Happened at the World’s Fair."
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Buena Vista Pictures, Getty Imag
Kurt's lived with Goldie Hawn since 1983 and is Kate Hudson's step-dad. He earned an Emmy nomination for his role in the TV movie "Elvis," and is a Hollywood constant, including his 2007 role in "Grindhouse."
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