The 15 Child Actors Who Keep Making Money In Other, Really Weird Ways

1. Fred Savage

He was a star in The Wonder Years and The Princess Bride, but subsequently has become a highly successful director. He’s been behind the camera on episodes Modern Family, 2 Broke Girls, Phil of the Future, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Boy Meets World. These are only a few of the many things the busy Savage has going on. He also produces many of the shows that he directs.


2. Jonathan Ke Quan

In the 1980s, the actor made his name as Short Round in Indiana Jones and Data in The Goonies. He got deep into his stuntman work, becoming the stunt coordinator for X-Men  and The One, as well as getting involved with editing and cinematography.

3. Mara Wilson

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You’ll remember her as playing Matilda in the film of the same name, and as Nattie in Mrs. Doubtfire. Since then, she’s become an acclaimed author! She’s wrote an off-Broadway show called Sheeple, and clearly her talents impressed the right people as she signed a deal with Penguin Books. She has her first book, (K) for Kid due for release in 2016.

4. Mayim Bialik

She was the quirky title character in Blossom, and today plays neuroscientist Amy on The Big Bang Theory. The crazy part? She’s actually got a PhD in neuroscience!  She clearly hit the books between acting jobs and achieved her doctorate in 2007.

5. Josh Saviano

Guess what?! Paul from The Wonder Years became a….lawyer! He’s a partner in the firm Morrison Cohen LLP. Multi-talented, huh?!


6. Shirley Temple

She was America’s sweetheart of the 1930s, being the number one box office star at ages e 7-10. Her hits  including the film Bright Eyes featuring her signature song “On the Good Ship Lollipop.” When she hit her mid teens, her acting roles weren’t coming in so hot and fast. So, naturally, she turned to…politics. And she was hardly a slouch! She was appointed as representative to the UN by President Nixon, an ambassador to Ghana by President Ford and an ambassador to Czechoslovakia by President Bush Sr. What the…?!

7. Ron Howard

How did this happen?! He went from being Opie on The Andy Griffith Show and Richie on Happy Days, to being a Hollywood kingpin. He narrated Arrested Development, of course, But that’s not all. Oh no. Nope, he’s directed just a few good films, including… SplashA Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code. The man just doesn’t seem to make a wrong move!


8. The Olsen Twins.

They started acting at just 9 months old (although it’s hard to know how aware they were of it!). They then went on to helm a billion dollar entertainment brand. And then they forged their way into the fashion world. They were recently awarded the CFDA (American) Womenswear prize of the year (for the second time)! They’ve gained the proper respect of such a difficult industry.


9. Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis starred alongside Fred Savage in The Wizard and Shelly Long in Troop Beverly Hills, as well as being on the much-loved sitcom Brooklyn Bridge. As she got older, however, Lewis turned her creativity toward music. She became the singer of successful  indie-rock band Rilo Kiley, and today tours and records as a solo artist.

10. Peter Billingsley

He broke out into our consciousness in A Christmas Story, but since then he’s made good in Hollywood as a director and a producer. He was a producer on hilarious films such as Elf, The Break Up, Four Christmases. AND, he directed Couples Retreat.


11. Peter Ostrum

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His story is unusual and brilliant. Of course, at 12 years of age he was Charlie Bucket in the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. His success resulted in him being offered a three film deal. The young man turned it down, however, and instead turned his time to caring for the horse his family had just bought. This would become his lifelong passion. He became a vet. Amazing.


12. Drake

It’s hard to believe, considering his current street cred, that Drake was a Hollywood kid. Back then he was going by his proper name: Aubrey Drake Graham, playing Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi: The Next Generation. Then, as you do, he became one of the most successful and respected rappers in the game. Rahspect.

13. Jeff Cohen

Today, Chunk from The Goonies is…an entertainment lawyer! He’s got his own firm, Cohen & Gardner LLP.


14. Jason Zimbler

A young Zimbler would play Ferguson on Clarissa Explains It All, but somewhere along the way he picked up a knack for computers. Today he’s a software designer for HBO.

15. Danica McKellar

She was initially famous as Winnie from The Wonder Years, but she’s combined her love of performing with her passion for….MATH?! She’s especially well known for her books, which encourage teenaged girls to have confidence and find the fun in mathematics. Her book Math Doesn’t Suck became a New York Times bestseller.