Peter Ostrum, Veterinarian

It didn't take long for Charlie Bucket to lose his taste for acting (and, presumably, blueberry gum) after Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory was released in 1971. He's now a veterinarian specializing in horses and cattle.

Michael Schoeffling, Carpenter

( Candles)

Molly Ringwald's human birthday present in Sixteen Candles has withdrawn from the public eye to work as a carpenter in Pennsylvania, producing what are no doubt that the hunkiest hand-carved chair legs of all time.

Kirk Cameron, Evangelist

Cameron ascended to full-blown heartthob status on Growing Pains, but became a born-again Christian at 17. Today he runs an evangelical ministry that's been known to reflect on bananas. Cameron hasn't entirely given up on acting, taking a lead role in 2000's Left Behind, the apocalyptic orgy of terror and mediocre writing based on the best-selling religious novels.

See also: Willie Aames, the Eight Is Enough alum who later resurfaced as the Christian-themed superhero Bibleman.

Jeff Cohen, Entertainment Lawyer

Chunk cheekily acknowledges his Truffle Shuffling past in a biography on his firm's website: "[Cohen] also has the dubious distinction of being a former child actor, appearing most notably in the Richard Donner/Steven Spielberg film The Goonies, but please don't hold that against him."

Josh Saviano, Intellectual Property Lawyer

No, Paul from The Wonder Years did not grow up to be Marilyn Manson.

Charlie Korsmo, Law Professor

After studying physics at MIT, Korsmo — whom you might recognize from Hook, Can't Hardly Wait, Dick Tracy and What About Bob? — went on to Yale Law and a professorship at Case Western.

Arianna Richards, Painter

( Park)

Best known as the Jello-eating big sister from Jurassic Park, Richards also appeared in Tremors and the music video for "Brick." Check out her portraiture on her personal website.

Eve Plumb, Painter

Jan Brady has been a working artist for more than 20 years.

Susan Olsen, Graphic Designer

Not unlike her TV big sister, Cindy Brady pursued design, finding success as both a graphic artist and an art director.

Ilan Mitchell-Smith, English Professor

( Science)

Anthony Michael Hall's Weird Science co-star teaches medieval literature at Cal State Long Beach, and according to Rate My Professor, he's killing it.

Jason Zimbler, Software Engineer


Annoying little brother to Melissa Joan Hart on Clarissa Explains It All, Ferguson still works in TV, sort of — he's a software designer for HBO.

Michael Connor Humphreys, U.S. Army

( Gump)

The 8-year-old actor who played young Forrest Gump — and whose thick real-life accent inspired Tom Hanks' own performance — went on to serve his country in Iraq (and elsewhere) from 2005 to 2008.

Dan Lloyd, Biology Professor

( Shining)

After permanently scarring our collective psyche as Jack Nicholson's telepathic son Danny in The Shining, Lloyd made just one more movie before retiring from acting as a teenager. Today he teaches biology at Elizabethtown Community College in Kentucky.

Louise Burns, Microbiologist

( Twins)

One of the unforgettably creepy twins (Louise, on the right) who invited Danny to come play is now a microbiologist. Her sister Lisa (on the left) studied literature. They never made another film, although they do tweet under the handle @Shining_twins.

Carrie Henn, School Teacher

The adorable little girl that Ripley protected in Aliens now wrangles terrifying terrestrial lifeforms as a teacher in her hometown of Atwater, California.

Barret Oliver, Printer, Eccentric Dude

( Neverending Story)

In case you haven't been paying close attention over the last 30 years, Bastian from The NeverEnding Story grew up, cultivated some unique facial hair and wrote a historical account of an obscure photographic process. As one does.

This story was originally published on The unlikely post-Hollywood careers of retired child actors

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