Whatever Happened To:
People we used to care about...
She was off to a good start, appearing on "Star Search" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (1990). But after the release of her not-very-much-anticipated CD, Kiss the Sky in 1998, Tatyana Ali stepped away from the spotlight, or rather, was shoved out. Turns in Kiss the Girls (1997) and Jawbreaker (1999) did little to enhance her career or shed her good-girl persona. Her website hasn't been updated since the release of Kiss the Sky, which should tell you something. Lately, she's appeared in The Brothers (2001) and graduated from Harvard University in 2002 with a degree in Government Studies. That's something to fall back on.
Update: Tatyana has kept herself busy and less broke by starring in straight-to-video fares like the sex romp National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze (2003) with another M.I.A. child star, Danielle Fishel (who, you might remember, played Topanga on "Boy Meets World"); Nora's Hair Salon (2004) - a straight rip-off of Barbershop and Soul Food (it says so right in its tag line), which one irate viewer called "the worst movie ever"; and a thriller called Domino One (2005) with Steve Guttenberg. Her star also rose when she starred in Back In the Day (2005) as Alicia, Ja Rule's love interest in this gangsta-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks-trying-to-be-a-better-person film. "It's astounding that this film ever got made," one disgruntled viewer wrote in the film's forum. Tell me about it - Ja Rule? Upcoming projects like the comedy I'm Perfect (2005), with Wayne Brady and Margaret Cho, and the biopic Glory Road (2006) about the 1966 Western Texas college basketball team, are both listed as being in post-production. Her domain is currently for sale (although her album's site is still intact), and fan sites haven't updated since 1997. In fact, some fan sites have turned into porn sites, much to my surfing chagrin. Fear not, rumours dated March 2005 say Tatyana is back in the studio, working on a new album.
The star of "Blossom" had few roles since the show left the air in 1995. She appeared in Woody Allen's Don't Drink the Water (1994), then dropped off the face of the earth. The Internet Movie Database was only able to tell me that she pierced her eyebrow and was accepted to both Harvard and Yale, but turned them down to attend UCLA. She's currently studying for her Ph.D. in neuroscience.
Update: In 2004, Mayim graduated with a Ph.D. in neuroscience, and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Michael Stone, and pet birds and cats. Her acting has been sporadic - she had a role on "7th Heaven" in a 2003 episode, as well as "Fat Actress" in 2005. She also starred in Kalamazoo? (2005), about a high school reunion where three friends, disappointed that their future plans didn't quite pan out, seek to search and destroy the time capsule they buried ten years ago. Pictures from the film lead me to believe that Mayim plays the knocked-up girl. In the forum for the film, a poster claimed to work as an associate producer for the E! Network, and was looking for Mayim's #1 fan for an upcoming, untitled show (as it happens, no one has yet come forward). She's also doing voice work on the cartoon "Katbot," which apparently airs on the Disney channel. A couple of years back, rumours started circulating on the net that Mayim died, but she's very alive and well.
What happened to D.J. Tanner of "Full House" (1987)? She's all grown up now and married to hockey player Valeri Bure. After a string of made-for-TV movies in the 90's, her last acting gig, sadly, was a celebrity profile on Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (2001), where she appeared as herself. She still keeps in touch with co-stars Andrea Barber (Kimmy) and Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie), who both married in 1992 (I must have missed that in my issue of Entertainment Weekly). She's currently residing in L.A. with her very blonde family.
Update: Candace, much like her brother Kirk, has thrown herself into religion and has been a devout Christian since ending her time on "Full House." She is still happily married to Valeri Bure and splits her time between Florida (where her husband played for the Florida Panthers) and Los Angeles, with her blonde kids in tow (Natasha, 7; Lev, 5; Maksim, 3). She executive produced and starred in The Krew (2001), a half-hour educational video series where she nags kids about talking to strangers and doing drugs. When she's not interviewed for an E! True Hollywood Story about "Full House," she's attending premieres of New York Minute with Bob Saget, Dave Coulier, Jodie Sweetin, Scott Weinger, and Lori Loughlin (coincidentally, the only one to have a steady gig is the only one who was conspicuously absent - John Stamos), or throwing first pitches at the Spokane Indians Ball Park. Candace works very closely with the Starlight Foundation and Camp Firefly.
Kirk, who played Mike Seaver on "Growing Pains" (1985) and is the older brother of Candace, is a devout Christian who starred in Left Behind (2000), Left Behind II (2002), and Left Behind IV (2004), a series of straight-to-video movies about the second coming of Christ. He adopted a whole bunch of children with his wife, Chelsea Noble (who played Kate on Growing Pains), and started The Firefly Foundation, which sponsors camping trips for terminally ill children. He's currently working for Living Waters, a fundamentalist Christian church.
Update: On an old E! Star Board, Kirk writes that he still keeps in touch with his "Growing Pains" co-stars, and imparts great advice on how to keep a marriage strong: "God does [keep his marriage alive]. Chelsea and I just trust and obey." (O-kay. Just like I'm sure God is the one that tells men when it's the time to cheat on their wives. "But honey, God told me to. So I trusted and obeyed.") He appeared on the "Tony Danza Show" in October 2004, and is #19 in TV Guide's "TV's Greatest Teen Idols" (published January 23, 2005). He's just wrapped up another apocalyptic Left Behind: World At War (2005) with Louis Gossett Jr., which will be distributed by Sony at your local Wal-Mart. Chelsea gave birth to second child, James Thomas, in 2003, so that ups their family count to six children (two biological, four adopted). Kirk's still heavily involved with the Way of the Master and writes updates on the site frequently, most of which have to do with him trying to coerce people into joining his church.
After her turn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) as Linda Barrett, people took notice of Phoebe Cates. Especially boys everywhere, and especially when she emerged from the pool in a big pile of nakedness. Phoebe's exotic looks garnered her roles, and her acting skills kept her from slipping into a downward spiral of drugs. In 1984 she starred in "Lace," a trashy made-for-TV movie that became one of my guilty pleasures. She married Kevin Kline in 1989 and had two children; shortly after that she semi-retired from acting to raise her family. In the 90's she made a comeback of sorts with Bodies, Rest & Motion (1993) and The Anniversary Party (2001).
Update: Sadly, Phoebe's still not acting, and she's no longer registered with the Actor's Guild, nor does she have an agent. She splits her time between New York and Manhattan, raising Greta (11) and Owen (14), and is expecting a third child later on this year. Occasionally, she appears at the Tony Awards or the Golden Globes to support Kevin, and supervises Owen on sets (Owen is set to appear in The Squid and the Whale). She likes to throw dinner parties and gossip with her famous friends.
Remember when she was an "innocent" teen on "Charles in Charge" (1984)? Yeah, me neither. The fact that she dated Charles (Scott Baio), nine years her senior, didn't help. A couple of years and breast implants later, she joined "Baywatch" (1989) as Roberta "Summer" Quinn, and gave Pamela Anderson a run for her naïve but slutty, busty blonde status. Most recently, Nicole grazed the pages of FHM and Stuff Magazine, and starred in this year's "Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding." You can also catch her at the grand opening of the Playstation 2 Hotel, partying it up with Mario Lopez, Simon Rex, Cypress Hill, and Paris Hilton. Don't miss her latest movie, Mob Dot Com, slated for (a probably straight-to-video) release later this year.
Update: Nicole is now 33, and she still looks good. Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily mean that she's getting jobs. After her stint on "Baywatch," she had a breast reduction, but not before appearing on the cover of Sugar Ray's Lemonade & Brownies in 1995. (Remember when Sugar Ray was actually a rock band? Now Mark McGrath is doing duets with Shania Twain and co-hosting "Extra." For shame!) She married Justin Herwick in 2000, and has a daughter, Dilyn, who is now 7. She showed up on TBS's "The Real Gilligan's Island" as Ginger on season one (she didn't win), and on "Gilmore Girls" in 2001. Films Decoys (2004) and Snowman's Pass (2004) were her latest acting gigs, which I'm almost positive were straight-to-video fares. Ah, but here's an interesting tidbit: during "Baywatch," Nicole had a clause on her contract which stipulated that she had to stay within five pounds of 105 pounds at all times. Which sort of makes Summer's eating disorder storyline that much more poignant.
Corey Feldman was the epitome of child star - tortured, misunderstood, and burdened by fame. In the 90's, if a liquor store was held up, chances are that it was Corey at his best. But let's not gloss over his contributions in the 80's. He starred in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), The Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985), Stand By Me (1986), and The Lost Boys (1987). He'd never win an Oscar, but for the caliber of those movies, Corey was a pretty decent actor. Then drugs took over his life and fried his brain. How else would you explain Meatballs 4 (1992) and South Beach Academy (1994)? He was last seen in the WB's "The Surreal Life," which was very much "The Real World" of has-been celebrities. Corey showed his true colours when he talked incessantly about his evil parents dwindling his hard-earned money away, and as a ratings boost proposed to his girlfriend on the air (she accepted, but later regretted it very, very much). Corey, take note: When you annoy Webster, there's something wrong with you.
Update: Who would have ever thought bad-boy Feldman would be working with the Disney Toon Channel? But here he is, doing voice-over work on "Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!" as the voice of "Sprx." He's still married to Susie Sprague and has one child, Zen Scott. As with all flailing actors, his latest endeavours have included low-budget horror films like Serial Killing 4 Dummies (2004, and sadly, only a cameo), The Birthday (2004), and Sci-Fi's Puppet Masters vs. Demonic Toys (2004), which took me a while to figure out was a hybrid of two separate horror movie franchises. This year, he did a stint on the stage as "Michael Douglas" in the parody Fatal Attraction: A Greek Tragedy (really, his name was "Michael Douglas," rather than the character's name in the original Fatal Attraction). Reviews have been mixed.
Corey Haim was a staple of teen magazines in the 80's. With his turn in Silver Bullet (1985) and The Lost Boys (1987), he made girls' hearts pitter-patter everywhere. But after The Dream Machine (1989), he seemed to disappear into oblivion. So whatever happened to Corey? The twenty-nine year old fell into the evils of drugs, most notably cocaine, and is reportedly too broke to pay for medical insurance or rehab. Even the tabloids won't touch him with a five-foot pole. Rest assured, he's still hard at work, although you might be hard pressed to find a copy of Fever Lake (1996) or The Backlot Murders (2001) at your local Blockbuster.
Update: A kind reader wrote in about a year ago and notified me that Corey Haim has been living in Toronto for a while, and this reader is very much correct. Now 34, Corey has lived through what some don't even accomplish in their lifetime: he's filed for bankruptcy (1997), gone through rehab (2001), and gained an insane amount of weight (date unknown). Really, if you've seen his interview on Toronto's Cable Pulse 24 earlier this year, you'll see the difference (and it helps that the author of the piece on their website kindly pointed out Corey's drastic change of appearance at least three times). His domain name is for sale, probably because he couldn't afford to renew it. One fan site claims he starred in a film called Groove Society in 2000, which centres around a writer who gets caught up with the subculture of an after-hours club called "Groove," although for the life of me, I couldn't verify this. He also had a cameo in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003). Fun tidbit: Corey's been quoted as saying that his personal ambition is to "win an Academy Award" and that there's "no point in making bad movies. That is not my desire." I am betting that he said all these things while under the influence of drugs.
Further Update: There is a Groove Society, but now it's called Universal Groove, and its release date has been listed as 2004.
After the release of their debut LP, Totally Krossed Out, in 1991, Chris Kelly and Chris Smith got everyone to wear their clothes backwards. But only for a little while. Then they made their comeback with Young, Rich and Dangerous (1996), although they were neither young, rich, nor dangerous. Whatever happened to them remains a mystery, but be comforted that their producer, Jermaine Dupri, is not doing much either nowadays, and that a fanatic fan has started his own Kris Kross Day, wherein everyone wears their clothes backwards. The last Kris Kross Day managed to turn out a whopping 20 participants, up fourteen people from three years ago. Where's the love? Oh, there it is.
Update: There is simply no update for Kris Kross, so we can safely assume that they have gone on with their lives for good. Sony Music still keeps their site very much alive, although it's very ugly and hasn't been changed in about ten years. Supposedly, they have been listed somewhere in the top 100 in VH1's "Greatest Kid Stars," although I couldn't corroborate this claim as VH1's website only lists the top 20 (and they're not in there).
Further Update: Kris Kross is listed on the Internet Movie Database as having a role in the 1993 comedy Who's The Man?, directed by Ted Demme and starring Ed Lover and Dr. Dre. However, under "Kris Kross filmography," both are listed as playing "Karim" in the film, which remains a mystery since there are two of them, and purportedly only one Karim. Unless they're both named Karim. Then it totally makes sense.
He burned his oversized pants and is now a minister. His most recent appearance was on the WB's The Surreal Life, where he redeemed himself by hating Corey Feldman as much as the rest of us.
Update: M.C. Hammer, née Stanley Kirk Burrrell, is now 43, and lives in northern California with wife Stephanie and their five children. He's officiated at Corey Feldman's wedding to Susie Sprague, as well as Vince Neil's wedding to Lia Gerardini in 2005. His website doesn't work, but at least it hasn't been turned into a porn site yet. The Richard De La Font Agency still keeps Hammer on the roster, and urges us to book him for an event - for the obvious good times that will surely result. There is an "M.C. Hammer Day" in Los Angeles and Fremont, but I'm guessing no one really observes it anymore. He's appeared on "The Howard Stern Show" (2003) and was a guest judge on the syndicated show, "Dance Fever," along with Eric Nies, Carmen Electra, Jaime King, and Ann Inaba (who was last seen judging on "Dancing With the Stars"). Internet rumours abound that Hammer is planning a comeback with a studio album called Full Blast, and an anonymous surfer claims that he unknowingly attended the album's wrap party in 2004. Unfortunately, the first single, "Full Blast," purportedly criticizes other rap artists like Busta Rhymes and Eminem, which is definitely not a good idea in any universe. It's like Vanilla Ice penning a song that says Jay-Z picks his nose - it's just not done. Hammer also claims that he has a VH1 show in the works, as well as talks for a WB sitcom. None of these things have panned out so far.
Tia and Tamara Mowry
Most notably known for their role as Tia Landry and Tamara Campbell, twins separated at birth, in the moderate hit "Sister, Sister" (1994), the two are literally inseparable. They have both starred in Seventeen Again (2000), Hollywood Horror (2000), and The Hot Chick (2002) since then. They are currently at Pepperdine University studying Psychology. It remains to be seen whether they will have a joint wedding, a joint career, and a joint retirement plan as well.
Update: I might have to remove Tamara from this list, as she now earns a steady paycheck on Lifetime's "Strong Medicine," alongside Rick Schroeder, Patricia Richardson, and Janine Turner. Tia does not star (although I bet a cameo is in the works - she could play Tamara's long lost twin!), but she is doing voice-over work for the upcoming "Bratz" on FOX's Saturday morning cartoon line-up. (Bratz, as you might recall, are those little dolls that like fashion and boys and kind of dress like hoochies.) Hollywood Horror, which I had previously listed as being released in 2000, has yet to be released. In fact, it seems to be in production limbo, and no one is writing anything about it. Both girls graduated with a Psychology degree, and now live in Los Angeles with their dog.
After Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), Pretty in Pink (1986), and The Pick-Up Artist (1987), Molly Ringwald became the quintessential actress of the 80's. But a string of bad choices (she turned down roles in Pretty Woman and Blue Velvet), and movies like Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999) and Not Another Teen Movie (2001) caused her career to fizzle and pop. Her turn in the television mini-series "The Stand" (1994) helped resurrect her career, if only for a moment. She's currently on Broadway starring in Matthew Barber's Enchanted April, and recently split from her husband of three years.
Update: If you watched last year's "MTV Movie Awards," you might have noted that Molly is alive and well. She's currently living with her much-younger boyfriend, writer Panio Gianopoulous, and has a child from their union, Mathilda Ereni, who is now two. At the "MTV Movie Awards," she spoke about a sequel to Sixteen Candles, but she looked kind of drunk so we'll assume that she was kidding. She appeared on the "Tony Danza Show" in November 2004 (geez, what do you have to do to get on "Oprah"?), and is still doing stage work, her latest foray being Modern Orthodox, playing opposite Jason Biggs. (Of her co-star, Molly says they share some freaky karmic connection, both being staples of influential teen movies and all.) Her moonlighting gigs include reviewing books for the Hartford Courant and penning celebrity profiles for the Westchester Journal News, although both newspaper websites do not include any of her columns. She plans to write a book someday.
Okay, there are probably three people out there who care about this guy, but I used to watch "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987), so bear with me. Wil got his start in Stand By Me (1986) and Toy Soldiers (1991), but it was his role as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek that did him in. Reduced to convention appearances and bit roles after Star Trek wrapped, Wil is most currently maintaining his own website and performing with an improv group, whose skits are based largely on Star Trek. His role on Star Trek: Nemesis was completely cut. By the way, I kid you not. Oh, and he hates William Shatner and loves Dungeons & Dragons.
Update: Since I looked him up, Wil has been working hard, which forces me to write more about him. He's published two books, Dancing Barefoot (2003) and Just a Geek (2004); the former is an extended memoir compiled from his blog, while the latter is an autobiography about growing up as a child star. He founded Monolith Press, an independent publishing company, which has since been bought out by O'Reilly & Associates. Coincidentally, O'Reilly is funding his next book, Wil Wheaton's Web Design. Other projects have included a made-for-television film, Book of Days (2003), and low-budget comedy Neverland (2003), which is an updated parody of Peter Pan. Since Wil loves video games, he can be heard on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Everquest II. And since Wil is a self-proclaimed technology geek at heart, he's a regular contributor to the Slash Dot website, which is a Mecca for any self-respecting programmer, and writes about computer and video games for the Onion A.V. Club. In July, Wil went down to the Las Vegas "World Series of World Poker" to get his ass kicked in a Texas Hold'Em tournament. He currently resides in Los Angeles with wife Anne and their two children.
Further Update: Thanks to eagle-eyed David W., we can now add a "CSI" guest-star-of-the-week to Wheaton's resume. His appearance in an episode that aired on March 5, 2005, is described by David thusly: " [Wheaton is] a mentally-ill homeless man whose vagrancy is interrupted by the investigation of a child's brutal death. A good scapegoat role, he disappears after two scenes. The lesson learned for his character is to pick up sweaters wihout so much blood on them." And while we're on the subject, Wheaton is also filming Americanizing Shelley, and will play the role of director Alan Smithee. An an aside which we hope will have nothing to do with the film's fate, the name "Alan Smithee" is usually assigned to projects where directors have opted to omit their names. ¤ C.Ho.