Saturday, 14 May 2011

Where are They Now?

During the week I happened to come across the new Blu-ray release for "A Simple Wish", starring Mara Wilson. Remember her? She was a big deal in the nineties, and seemed to have a long prosperous career ahead of her. But aside from one role in 2000 she hasn't been in anything after the nineties. This got me thinking about other young actors and actresses that seem to have fallen off the face of the earth after a promising start, or never quite reached the heights of fame that some expected. Here are some that I remember well:

Mara Wilson

Starting off in commercials Mara's first film was "Mrs Doubtfire", a film that I still love even though it's incredibly cheesy. She played the daughter of the cross dressing Robin Williams with the odd Scottish accent (or at least odd to anyone who has actually ever spoken with Scottish people) and was suitably sweet and wide eyed throughout. But it was later that her star talent shone through, when she starred in "Miracle on 34th Street" and "Matilda". I never took to "Miracle on 34th Street", as I've always felt it's a bit too sickly sweet for my tastes but Mara was very good in it. It was Matilda that I predominantly remember her from as it is one of my favourite films, even to this day. Based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name, it came very close to the original tale and had some amazing performances in it besides Mara, with Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman and the truly magnificent Pam Ferris as the hideous head teacher Miss Trunchball. Mara's performance is all the more impressive when you consider that her mother was gravely ill and died during filming. After this her career slowed down, with many of the same types of roles going to her, as in "A Simple Wish" and "Balloon Farm". Then once the decade came to a close she was no longer seen in any films. Rumour is she attended University and studied the craft of acting so only time will tell if she returns to the silver screen.

Omri Katz

Now I must confess as a teenager I had something of a crush on Omri. Not so much now if recent photos are anything to go by but he was a very cute teenager. I mainly remember him from "Eerie Indiana" and "Hocus Pocus", but before this he was a long term character in "Dallas". In fact as I write this I have Eerie Indiana on in the background. For those not familiar with it, the show was based on the premise of a young boy called Marshall and his family moving to the quiet suburb of Eerie in the state of Indiana. But Marshall sees that the town is anything but normal and is actually a focal point for the supernatural and the generally weird. It's well worth watching if you get a chance. Omri disappeared off the scene as the nineties ended and according to IMDB is currently living in Israel, and taking a break from acting.

Corey Haim

Sadly Corey is no longer with us, but he will always be remembered for his roles in the eighties, particularly in "The Lost Boys". He was a big deal then, tipped to be a big star for the future. But it never seemed to happen, and though he kept working right up to his death in March 2010 he never quite achieved the level of fame that other eighties stars did, like his co-star Keifer Sutherland from Lost Boys. I have to be honest and say I can't recall seeing him in much else, and maybe that was part of the problem. I do remember Corey Feldman though, and I regularly get the two confused...

Corey Feldman

But not today! Corey Feldman is, to me, the epitome of cool. He was not only in "The Lost Boys" but was also the voice of Donatello in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and was in "The Burbs" - one of my favourite films of all time. In that he plays a local kid, very cool, who says dude a lot and takes joy in watching the mess his neighbours make in their obsession to snoop into the new residents' lives. Think "Monster House" but with adults. Sort of. Nevertheless Corey F was and still is a watchable actor - he may be a one trick pony ("dude!") but he's good at it.

Will Wheaton

I loved "Star Trek - The Next Generation", and watched it religiously when it was on after school. One of the more ridiculous plot choices (there was lots to choose from) was when Dr. Crusher's son Wesley was brought on board and was before long allowed to pilot the ship. It's good to know the Federation was open to employing teenagers to work for them. Or maybe that was just Picard. Will also starred in the brilliant film "Stand By Me" by Steven Spielberg, and was definitely an actor to watch at the time. He never quite got into the A-List but judging by the work he is doing he seems to simply be doing what he enjoys, which mainly involves voice over work for cartoons, and games, as well as cameos in "The Big Bang Theory". If you haven't caught his episodes find them, watch them - they are hilarious. "WHEATON!!"

Fred Savage

Finally, but in no way least is Fred Savage, the kid wonder from "The Wonder Years". Sadly he was so good in it that no one seems to have been able to see him as much else. Even I have a hard time seeing pictures of him as an adult as I can't forget him as the kid in "The Princess Bride". Yep, that was him too. But hopefully now that he's moved into directing we can hope to see some more good stuff from him in the future. Even if it is behind the camera.

These are just the ones I recall off the top of my head so feel free to mention any child actors that you catch yourself wondering "Where are they now?"

1 comment:

  1. You forgot Rider Strong. WHO TOTALLY FOLLOWS ME ON TWITTER. Once we had a conversation about Will Smith. It was awesome.