Child stars...many of them flame out or go on reality shows, like Danny Bonaduce. The list of those who didn't make it out is long, too: Gary Coleman, Dana Plato, etc. Here are the ones from the 1980s and 1990s that survived and thrived:
1. Leonardo DiCaprio
He was capturing people's hearts on Growing Pains LONG before Titanic. DiCaprio's had a pretty good run too, being in Blood Diamond, The Departed and Inception of late. Yeah. I'd say he's doing pretty well.
2. Mila Kunis
Before she hit the '70s and Black Swan, Kunis was on shows like Seventh Heaven. She's also great at voiceover work, doing a long stint on Family Guy. Her love life has been well-chronicled too, but she seems to have kept her head on her shoulders quite well.
3. The Olsen Twins
They might not be doing as much now, but they made a mint post Full House. During a certain period in the 2000s, they were EVERYWHERE, having their own line of clothes, direct-to-DVD movies, you name it. Oh yeah, there was that whole creepy "Wait-until-they-turn-18" countdown. That was a bummer.
4. Alyssa Milano
Who's The Boss? She's the boss now on shows like Mistresses. She's also got a huge following on Twitter and she's a die-hard baseball fan. She's certainly got a Charmed life.
5. Neil Patrick Harris
Before Barney Stinson, he was legen - wait for it... - dary as Doogie Howser, MD. Of course, there were those hilarious appearances in the Harold & Kumar movies. He's also been a great role model for the LGBT crowd.
6. Jason Bateman
His life's in Arrested Development now, but he had a Silver Spoon in his mouth in the '80s. Bateman's always been someone who realizes he has an awesome job as an actor and is glad to be making a living doing that. Heck, he's even appeared on Yo Gabba Gabba.
7. Sarah Jessica Parker
Carrie Bradshaw sure was a Square Peg in the '80s. She's also married to an icon of the decade: Matthew Broderick. I wonder if he keeps giving her Ferris Bueller advice...
8. Michael J. Fox
He hasn't severed his Family Ties with NBC; he's got his own show coming up in the fall. It's a miracle that he's doing that, since he's been fighting Parkinson's for a very, very long time. I hope his good run continues.
9. Drew Barrymore
As a kid, she met with an extraterrestrial: that might explain the weird people she subsequently dated. Since then, she's become a Angel and a rom-com queen, and she's been the face of beauty commercials for a long time.
10. Justin Timberlake
This ex-Mouseketeer is doing much better than another one, his ex Britney Spears. He recently briefly re-united with his former boy band N'Sync and had one of the most anticipated album releases in 2013 with The 20/20 Experience. He's also been in some movies, and he's a staple on both Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Yeah, I think he's doing okay.
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R&B singer-songwriter Robin Thicke was arrested for marijuana possession this afternoon in New York City. According to the New York Daily News, the patrol officers spotted Thicke smoking a joint while sitting in a Cadillac Escalade close to Gramercy Park.
A police source stated that Thicke "wasn’t driving,” and was arrested when "a small amount of marijuana was recovered on him." Another insider commented that the singer was co-operative throughout the entire process, saying, “He was taking pictures with the cops. They were coming over to him and getting autographs.” His publicist had no comment on the matter.
Though you may not recognize Thicke by name alone, he's written and produced songs for Michael Jackson, Christina Aguilera, and many others. He also began recording songs himself, including his 2009 hit "Sex Therapy." His fifth album, Love After War, was released this past December.
Additionally, Thicke’s father is actor Alan Thicke, who's best known for playing Jason Seaver in the TV sitcom Growing Pains. Thicke is also married to actress Paula Patton.
Actress Tracey Gold booked for DUI after car accident
Actress Tracey Gold Marshall, best known for playing Carol Seaver on the hit sitcom Growing Pains, was booked for investigation of felony drunken earlier this month after her sport utility vehicle flipped on a highway in Los Angeles, injuring her husband and two of their three children, The Associated Press reports. Gold Marshall wasn't hurt, but her husband, Roby Marshall, 39, suffered neck injuries, the officer said. The couple's 7-year-old son suffered a broken collarbone and a 5-year-old son was cut, but their 4-month-old son wasn't hurt, California Highway Patrol officer Steve Reid told AP. The actress, 35, spent five hours in jail and was released on $50,000 bail the following day. A court date wasn't immediately available, the highway patrol said.
Baywatch actor charged with DUI
Former Baywatch actor Michael Bergin, who wrote a book about the affair he had with late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Jr.'s wife, less than a year after she was married, was charged Tuesday with a felony for driving under the influence, AP reports. Bergin was charged in connection with a July 16 incident in Los Angeles in which a professional inline skater, Jennifer Armstrong, was allegedly struck by Bergin's sport utility vehicle and seriously injured. The actor/model was charged with one felony count of DUI causing injury and one misdemeanor count of driving with a blood alcohol level of more than the legal limit of .08 percent. Both counts alleged great bodily injury to the victim, AP reports.
DreamWorks defends Shark Tale
DreamWorks SKG on Tuesday found themselves on the defensive after their upcoming animated film Shark Tale was criticized for ethnic slurs against Italian-Americans, Reuters reports, who say the movie's gangster-like shark characters foster ethnic stereotypes. The New York-based Columbus Citizens Foundation joined an outcry from Italian-American groups condemning the film. "The movie introduces young minds to the idea that people with Italian names--like millions of Americans across the country--are gangsters," Columbus Citizens president Lawrence Auriana said in a statement. Studio spokesman Andy Spahn, however, said the emphasis of the film's humor was on pop culture and Hollywood parodies, similar to DreamWorks' hit storybook satires Shrek and Shrek 2. "It's a family comedy that pokes fun at a number of film genres," Spahn told Reuters. "It doesn't demean anyone, there are no negative stereotypes. There is nothing mean-spirited in the film."
Speaking of Italian-Americans…
Martin Scorsese is being sued for breach of contract by a production company, Hollywood Gang Prods., who claim the director reneged on a promise to undergo a medical checkup as required to obtain insurance coverage during work on an upcoming film, Reuters reports. The lawsuit said Scorsese had agreed in February to "submit to such physical examination" before working on the period drama Silence but had ignored repeated requests to fulfill that commitment. "All we want to do is stick a thermometer in him," Richard Golub, the lawyer for Hollywood Gang, told Reuters on Tuesday.
ABC airs Trump segment alongside The Apprentice
ABC News' newsmagazine show Primetime Live launches its new season with a segment on Donald Trump Thursday at 10 p.m.--smack dab in the middle of the real estate mogul's hit NBC reality show The Apprentice, which will air its supersized episode from 9:20-11 p.m. "I'm a ratings machine," Trump told Reuters Tuesday. "So they figured, hey, we'll do a story on Trump. I do get big ratings, as you know." But Trump is worried the Primetime Live segment could be biased because reporter Chris Cuomo might have an ax to grind. Trump has often criticized Cuomo's father, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. "I've openly said to anyone who wants to listen that he's the worst governor in the history of New York," Trump said. ABC, meanwhile, said the segment is fair.
Chubby B-listers take Body Challenge
Former Brady Bunch stars Christopher Knight and Susan Olsen, who portrayed Peter and Cindy Brady respectively, will join Erik Estrada (ChiPS' Ponch) and Charlene Tilton (Dallas' Lucy) in Discovery Health Channel's Body Challenge: Hollywood, a 12-week health and fitness competition. The participants were given personal trainers and nutritionists to help in their transformation. Reuters reports the 47-year-old Knight lost 50 percent of his fat mass during the competition, and is now considering working in the entertainment industry again. The four-episode Body Challenge: Hollywood, which was filmed last December, premieres Sept. 14.
NYC renames street for Law & Order
New York City yesterday renamed a short road that heads to Pier 62 on Manhattan's West Side "Law & Order Way," in honor of the NBC show's 15th anniversary, AP reports. The location is where the show's offices are located and many of its episodes shot. "New York City is as much a part of every Law & Order ensemble as the actors," series creator Dick Wolf said. Veteran actor Dennis Farina, a former police officer, is joining the show's cast this season as actor Jesse L. Martin's detective partner, replacing Jerry Orbach. Orbach is heading to the drama's new spinoff Law & Order: Trial By Jury, which is scheduled to begin shooting next month for a possible January premiere.
Snoop Dogg hosts VGAs
Hip-hop star Snoop Dogg will host Spike TV's second annual Video Game Awards on Dec. 14. Snoop has appeared as himself in several video games, including True Crime: Streets of L.A. and NBA Live 2003, and will appear in the Def Jam: Fight for NY, which hits stores Sept. 20. The rapper and other celebs will pass out awards that include the categories Best Games Based on Movie, Best Music, Best Performance by a Human, Most Anticipated and Most Addictive.
Et tu, Sarah Michelle Gellar?
Sarah Michelle Gellar Isn't it bad enough that the ages have wreaked havoc on the sitcom statures of Mallory Keaton and Carol Seaver? Isn't it bad enough that TBS relegates "Family Ties" reruns to the freakin' crack of dawn? Isn't it bad enough that there are children out there who know "Growing Pains" only as "That Sitcom Leonardo DiCaprio Used to Do Before He Was Famous?" Do you, Miss Entertainment-Weekly-Thinks-I'm-Cool, have to go and plunge your vampire-slaying knife into their backs?
In the Feb. 19 edition of TV Guide, Gellar goes Jennifer Lopez on Mallory (the dear, innocent Keaton as played by Justine Bateman on "Family Ties") and Carol (the dear, bookish Seaver as played by Tracey Gold on "Growing Pains'"). With the same sort of venom in which the aforementioned Lopez went after Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow in an infamous 1998 Movieline interview, Gellar calls Mallory "an idiot"; Carol, an anti-role model.
Read it and weep: "[Young women] respond to Buffy because for years we didn't have a character young girls could look up to," Gellar tells the magazine, by way of explaining her status as the esteemed star of WB's "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer." "Mallory on 'Family Ties' was an idiot. Carol on 'Growing Pains' wasn't happy being smart; she wanted to be popular. Those were not role models."
If Gellar figured Mallory and Carol would not respond to her unkind words because, well, they're not real people and therefore can't really speak, she was sorely mistaken. Mallory and Carol have friends who will speak for them.
Justine Bateman as Mallory Keaton Yeah.
"Mallory's character certainly had an innocent charm to her, but she was not an idiot," counters Shawn McNulty, designer of the "Family Ties" Page (http://members.tripod.com/~blwagener/). "Sitcom writing was different 15 years ago. These days sitcoms are trying a little too hard to be witty, and it just turns to cynicism."
And besides, says McNulty, Gellar's comments are "fairly 'idiotic'" -- as is her series. (Meow!)
"... [By contrast,] 'Family Ties' was easily one of the best-written sitcoms of all time," McNulty says. "The cast was brilliant, and they knew how to act. Mallory was part of the well-rounded group of characters. Her interests lied in areas that the show never really pursued."
Lisa R. Johnson of The '80s Server (www.80s.com) -- the online bible for all things Reagan Era -- agrees that Mallory Keaton was, too, not dumb. "Mallory was very knowledgeable about fashion, music, social activities and men -- the things that make life worth living," Johnson says.
But what of Carol Seaver? Was she really the sad, pathetic figure that Ms. Gellar would have us believe? No, says Johnson. "Both women [Mallory and Carol] were iconic representations of women in the '80s -- falling at opposite ends of the female spectrum but nevertheless bringing into our homes what the rest of the media was portraying worthwhile women to be," she says.
In Johnson's book, Mallory symbolized the 1980s obsession with the supermodel while Carol was the decade's Sandra Day O'Connor -- the smart girl who could grow up to be a U.S. Supreme Court Judge. (Yes, apparently, even "Growing Pains" had subtext.)
"Both women were following their true nature and their true calling but found their roles hard to live with because the people around them always wanted 'more,'" Johnson says.
In Mallory's case, McNulty argues that the character, perhaps, only appeared stupid compared with Alex P. Keaton, her Young Republican of an elder brother portrayed by Michael J. Fox on the 1982-89 series.
There was no word on what Gellar thinks of Alex.
In fact, after trashing Mallory and Carol, the 22-year-old Daytime Emmy winner held fire on other 1980s icons, training her guns instead on the likes of ex-"Baywatch" lifeguard Nicole Eggert (one of those "actresses ... who are so physically perfect you can never be like them), Keri Russell (TV Guide says Gellar rolled her eyes when asked about the "Felicity" star's virginity confessions to a national mag), anorexia rumors ("It's like McCarthyism all over again!") and her father ("He is not a person who exists in my life.").
But if Gellar is out of barbs, the Mallory/Carol defenders are not. Says McNulty: "I think Ms. Gellar should invest in a Roth IRA because there is no talent there."