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#TBT: Child Stars — Where Are They Now?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

Let’s flashback to the 2000s. This was a time when we would watch our favorite TV show and sit by the TV at 8 p.m. waiting for the new episode to play. Fangirling over characters, we were invested in our favorite TV show, and we related to the characters as if they were our own friends.

Child stars tend to have a bad reputation. For some, life after the airing of their TV show is rough. They may have trouble landing acting roles that live up to their past role when they were a child, or they go down the wrong path after their show ends. Other child stars are successful in their careers or life in general. Let’s reflect on five stars from your childhood and what they’re up to now.

Dylan Sprouse

We all know that Dylan Sprouse starred in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Big Daddy, alongside his brother Cole Sprouse. Cole is currently starring as Jughead Jones in The CW’s Riverdale, as we also already know, but what is Dylan Sprouse up to since his Suite Life days? Well Dylan and Cole both graduated with honors from New York University in 2015. Dylan received a degree from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study in video game design. Dylan also recently opened up his own meadery in Brooklyn where he uses organic and locally sourced ingredients.

Dylan has also returned to acting. He’s currently working on a low-key acting role in the indie film Carte Blanche. His role was recently announced, so there aren’t many details regarding the film yet, but I’m glad Dylan’s acting again! Now both Sprouse brothers will be back in acting roles.

Miranda Cosgrove

Miranda is best known for playing Megan Parker in Drake & Josh and Carly Shay in iCarly. Her first big role was playing Summer in School of Rock. She was a big star in the 2000s, but what is she up to now? Miranda enrolled in college at the University of Southern California where she’s studying film, with a possible minor in psychology. On top of her studies, Miranda continues to pursue acting roles like her role as Margo in the Despicable Me series. She also went on tour a few years ago promoting her music, and she hopes to turn her leisure writing into a script one day. There’s no doubt that this child star is keeping herself busy and reaching for every goal she sets for herself.

Emily Osment

Emily Osment is best known for playing Lilly Truscott, Miley Stewart’s best friend, on Hannah Montana. She was also in Spy Kids 2 and Spy Kids 3 as Gerti Giggles. What has Emily Osment done since her Disney Channel days, you may ask? She got her start on Freeform (then ABC Family) in the TV movie Cyberbully, which eventually lead to her current role on the network. She’s currently starring in Freeform’s Young & Hungry alongside current Disney voice actress Aimee Carrero, the voice of Princess Elena in Elena of Avalor. She also has a few small one-time roles on Family Guy, and one recurring small role as Ruth.

On top of her acting career, Emily also recently visited Guatemala with the volunteer organization Operation Walk. They provide free knee and hip replacements for people in developing countries. Emily accompanied a large team of surgeons, nurses, fellow volunteers and more on this mission trip, who successfully completed 47 surgeries in one week. She assisted patients after surgery and cleaned up after patients, among many other services she provided for the doctors and patients in Guatemala. Not only is Emily Osment a great actress, but she’s also a selfless human being. If you’d like to learn more about Emily’s mission trip to Guatemala you can read her Facebook post here.

Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer is most famous for her roles in the Disney Channel original movie Jump In! and Akeelah and the Bee. She’s an actress and singer who has been active in the entertainment industry since she was just 11 years old. What has Keke been up to since her jump roping and spelling bee champ days? Keke has been very involved in many productions since she was a child. She starred in the Nickelodeon show True Jackson, VP and the Nickelodeon TV movie Rags, meaning she was a star on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon (pretty impressive in my opinion!). She also starred in the drama movie Brotherly Love in 2015.

Keke also landed the role of Marty in Fox’s adaptation of Grease Live!, alongside former Disney star Vanessa Hudgens who played Rizzo. She also played Zayday Williams in Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens, but the show didn’t last long. It started in 2015 and was canceled in 2016. Keke will be playing Kym in Scream: The TV Series next year. Keke’s been very busy since her childhood days of acting. She’s still making moves in the entertainment industry, and I’m all here for it.

Hilary Duff

You can’t talk about celebrities from your childhood without at least mentioning Hilary Duff. Most of us know and love her from the Lizzie McGuire series, but what else has she accomplished in her career, and what is she up to now? Hilary is also known for her roles in A Cinderella Story and Cheaper by the Dozen. She’s also famous for her music like the songs “Come Clean” and “So Yesterday” during her time on Disney Channel. She made a comeback in 2015, releasing a new album Breathe In. Breathe Out. with the singles “Sparks” and “All About You.”

Hilary Duff is currently playing Kelsey Peters on TV Land’s Younger. The show has been a big success for TV Land, airing since 2015. They’re currently in their fourth season, and they’re looking toward a fifth season. Her role in Younger is considered her return to acting after the birth of her son Luca with ex-husband Mike Comrie. Hilary and her son look just like twins! See for yourself here. Hilary’s mainly known for her accomplishments in the early 2000s, but she’s still successful in her life and her career.

All these stars from our childhood have grown as people and have moved on since their early days in acting. They’ve all accomplished so much in their lives and careers, and for that, I applaud them. They’re attending college, continuing their acting careers, expanding their career options and just living life. Who says child stars have a bad rep? These stars have debunked that myth.

Cady Casellas is a sophomore journalism student at the University of Florida. She enjoys listening to music, spending time with her big Cuban family, fangirling over bands and playing with her dogs. She also plays euphonium and is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity.