1990s: These child movie stars went off the rails

From Jake Lloyd to Ariana Richards to Heather Langenkamp and Phoebe Cates, focus on eight ’90s child stars who have (or almost) disappeared from the radar.

They were successful at a very young age and then disappeared from circulation, voluntarily or simply because fate did not choose to accompany them further on the way to the sets. From Jake Lloyd, the Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars – The Phantom Menace, to Ariana Richards, the little girl from Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, to Heather Langenkamp and Phoebe Cates, who each fight with Freddy and the Gremlins, eight children – stars of the 90’s on their careers in front of the camera quickly came to an end.

Mara Wilson as Madame Doubtfire


20th Century Fox France

Revealed in 1993 with the comedy Madame Doubtfire, in which she plays Natalie Hillard, daughter of the character played by Robin Williams, American Mara Wilson has had a fine career as a child star. We see her in the credits of the family productions Miracle on 34th Street, The Fairy Wars and Matilda. With this last film we imagine that her career has taken off and yet Mara Wilson decides to drop everything in the early 2000s because she doesn’t feel creatively free enough. She became a writer and published the autobiographical work Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame in 2016.

Ariana Richards (Jurassic Park)


Universal Pictures International France

Ariana Richards Her career as a child star got off to a great start, with the little girl starring in front of the camera Steven Spielberg in Jurassic Park and The Lost World, cult blockbusters in which she plays Lex Murphy, granddaughter of John Hammond. But the young American will be completely phased out after the film Tremors 3, which hit theaters in 2001. After a stint as a singer with the release of an album entitled First Love, Ariana Richards became a convert in impressionist painting.

Heather Langenkamp (Claws of the Night)


Warner Bros. France

Horror movie fans will inevitably remember her terrified face as she found herself fighting the terrifying Freddy Krueger The claws of the night. If she hasn’t given up her acting career altogether (we saw her again in Freddy’s Night Out and Star Trek Into Darkness), Heide Langenkamp the trays still largely left aside. But Hollywood has never been far away for the American since she opened AFX Studiosa company specializing in special effects and makeup.

Jimmy Workman (The Addams Family)


shine movies

Revealed in the early ’90s with the comedy The Addams Family, in which he plays son Pugsley, American Jimmy Workman didn’t see his career take off. He found his hilariously macabre role in Addams Family Values, appeared in For bad and for better, and that was about it… Jimmy Workman retired from the sets in the early 1990s in 2000 and became a technician for the little one and big screen.

Jake Lloyd (Star Wars)


20th Century Fox France

As 1999 Jake Lloydafter providing the answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Toy Race, Anakin impersonates Skywalker in Star Wars – The Phantom Menace, there is little doubt that the little boy has what it takes to become a star. However, the young American lives very badly with a celebrity who makes his life hell and quickly disappears from the sets. In 2020, his mother reports that Jake, now 33, has paranoid schizophrenia.

Phoebe CatesGremlins


Warner Bros. France

Those nostalgic for the 80s will definitely remember Phoebe Catesrevealed with It’s heating up at Ridgemont High School and above all the fantastic comedy gremlins. She will resume her role as Kate Beringer in Gremlins 2 will then be seen very episodically on screen until 2001 and The Anniversary Party. Nothing since then… The American, who has been married to actor Kevin Kline since 1989, said “stop” to her job and opened in New York Blue Tree Shopspecializing in the sale of jewelry and clothing.

Charlie Korsmo (Hook)


TriStar images

In 1991, the path to success seemed to be mapped out for young Charlie Korsmo. He is indeed chosen to give him the answer Robin Williams in the hook of Steven Spielberg, family production in which he is captured by the terrible Captain Hook. However, the artistic career of the young American will not go beyond 1998 with a role in the feature film Big Party. Charlie Korsmo will completely change his environment and become a lawyer.

Lisa Jakub (Independence Day)


20th century studios

With his roles in the comedy Madame Doubtfire (whereas Mara WilsonAlso in this list she plays one of the daughters of Robin Williams) and the fantasy blockbuster Independence Day (in which she plays Randy Quaid’s daughter), many would have bet that young Lisa Jakub was on her way to a successful big screen career. It won’t, the young American disappeared completely from the radar from 2000 onwards. Lisa Jakub lost interest in comedy and became a blogger, author and yoga teacher.

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