We seem to go through teenage superstars as we go through a bag of M&Ms. Some of them keep shining, some of them fade, some of them just disappear for a while and make us think 10 years later “hey, what happened to that girl who used to play in that show I used to watch instead of doing my homework? I never see her anymore…”
This article is all about the third kind. If you liked our previous article about Nickelodeon stars of the 90s, you are in for a treat. Who kept acting, who switched to modeling, and who started an organic clothing line? Keep reading to see where life has landed your favorite childhood stars.
Gage Golightly Then
Looking at Gage Golightly will make you think that everything in life as gone smoothly for her. The truth is, she was diagnosed with a motor skills problem and wasn't able to speak for the first few years of her life. Despite all of that, she worked hard and powered through in order to follow her dream of becoming an actress.
Golightly scored her first big role as Hayley in Nickelodeons's The Troop, where her character fought monsters. Not bad at all.
After The Troop, Golightly went on to get cast in different shows such as True Jackson VP, Teen Wolf, and Red Oaks.
Her most recent role is that of Grace Durkin, one of the main characters in the TV series 68 Whiskey.
Jodie Resther Then
Born in Canada in 1978, Jodie Resther started acting at 11 years old, doing small parts for film and TV. Her big break happened as one of the original cast members of Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Resther played the part of Kiki, a part that she also got to voice as part of the shows' video game. Lending her voice to animated characters will turn out as a major part of her career later on.
In 1996, the Nickelodeon show was over, which left Resther with some time on her hands. She kept acting and was cast as a regular on shows like Mental Block or Vampire High.
As a musician, she released two also chose to focus a little more on her music and released two albums, one in English and one in French. She also used her voice as a voice actress on shows such as Arthur (as Francine Frensky) and Winx Club (as Tecna).
Angelique Bates Then
Angelique Bates has been on camera ever since she was cast for her first commercial as a baby. At 14 years old, she became a part of the original cast of All That after a tedious casting process that included no less than four auditions. She was known for her hysterical Steve Urkel impression.
Bates was also the first regular cast member to leave the show, which happened after two seasons. Apparently, her leaving the show was on good terms as she came back for a reunion for the 100th episode.
After her All That period, Bates took a four-year-long break from acting and only came back to the screen in 2000. She has been acting in small roles, mainly on TV, ever since.
Other than that, Bates also hosts The Evening Showdown, her very own podcast that features talks about different topics with people from the entertainment industry.
Alisa Reyes Then
Alisa Reyes first stepped into the spotlight as a child model when she was eight years old. Her passion for performance art was properly fed as an art school student, which led her to appear in Maria Carey's 1992 music video for the song Make It Happen. You might know her as a regular cast member in Nickelodeon's All That.
Reyes played the role of Kiki the island girl for three seasons, from 1994 to 1997.
After All That, Reyes kept acting and even scored some recurring roles in shows like One World, Spyder Games, The Bold and the Beautiful and Passions.
Reyes has also lent her voice to cartoon characters as LaCienega Boulevardez in The Proud Family and Momo in Da Jamies. Her voice was also heard when she was working as DJ on Sirius XM for Playboy.
Moira Quirk Then
English actress Moira Quirk went through all the right touchpoints in order to become a professional actress, including earning a B.A. in drama from the University of London. However, she became famous in the United States as the referee in Nickelodeon's extreme sports game show, Nickelodeon GUTS.
The game involved children athletes competing against one another in extreme sports. The final round of the competition would be climbing the Aggro Crag, which was a tall fabricated mountain.
Quirk has worked as the GUTS referee for four seasons, after which she hasn't done much live-action acting.
She has put most of her focus on voice acting, lending her voice to many animated films (Happy Feet Two, to name one of them) as well as video games.
Summer Sanders Then
Most of the actresses on this list were stars of a scripted show. Summer Sanders, however, did something a little different. She used to host a quiz show called Figure It Out on Nickelodeon, where kids could display their unique or interesting talents.
As it turns out, hosting game shows was Sander's second career. She began working on TV after making a name for herself as a world-class swimmer with four Olympic medals (all from the Olympic Games of 1992 in Barcelona)!
Other than hosting quiz shows for children, Sanders has been doing more on TV. She has often appeared as a sports commentator on NBC, MSNBC, and CBS.
Sanders doesn't swim competitively anymore, but she still has a competitive side, which she used when competing in Celebrity Apprentice.
Ashley Argota Then
Ashley Argota's first acting gig was in an independent film in 2007. The following year was when things really kicked into action for her and she was cast to play Lulu on True Jackson VP. That wasn't her only role on Nickelodeon, as she also played the part of Kelly Peckinpaugh on Bucket & Skinner's Epic Adventures.
As Lulu, Argota got to play alongside Keke Palmer and portray her best friend and assistant. On the show, her character was often loud and crazy, which is nothing like Argota in real life.
After putting her Lulu duties behind, Argota kept playing different small roles on other TV shows.
While she has never quit acting altogether, she does pursue other interests as well. She has released two studio albums and attended NYU to get a nursing degree.
Soleil Moon Frye Then
Unlike many other actors on our list, Soleil Moon Frye got her big break before landing a regular role on Nickelodeon. Some of you, or some of your parents at least, might remember her as the name character from Punky Brewster. Frye played her in 1984, when she was just seven years old.
On Nickelodeon, when Frye got older, she played the part of Roxie King in Sabrina the Teenage Which. Roxie was Sabrina's college roommate and friend.
After Sabrina went off the air, Frye didn't act much apart from voice acting gigs. Instead, she opted for a totally different direction.
Now she has a special online organic child clothing shop called The Little Seed. She also has a website where she deals with parenting and women's issues.
Lindsay Sloan Then
If you've ever looked at Lindsay Sloan's face and tried to remember why it looked familiar, it should be safe to assume that you used to watch her on Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Sloan played the role of Valerie Birkhead, Sabrina's friend, from 1997 until 1999.
Sloan's acting career, however, starts way before that, as a child actor who signed with an agent when she was no more than eight years old. That would explain how she's had a cameo in nearly every successful TV show in the past three decades.
After her time as Valerie was done, Sloane got cast in one of her most memorable performances ever as Big Red in Bring It On. Among numerous cheerleaders in cinematic history, Big Red was definitely the best.
After that, she went on to play smaller roles, usually as a supporting character to the main star. She was most recently seen playing the character of Billie in Endings, Beginnings, alongside Shailene Woodley and Sebastian Stan.
Chelsea Tavares Then
Tavares was born in 1991 in Los Angeles as Chelsea Royce Tavares and became passionate about acting at 10 years old. She had played in two small roles in the TV shows The Practice and The District prior to being cast as Cranberry St. Claire in Unfabulous.
Cranberry's character was friends with Maris, the designated mean girl of the show. Tavares played that ditsy role from 2004 until 2007.
After Unfabulous, Taveres went on to maintain a prolific acting career which includes major roles in TV shows such as Just Jordan, Make it or Break it, and All American.
She has also voiced two video games and released three singles. However, she has never released a full album.
Emma Degerstedt Then
Emma Degerstedt was born in Los Angeles in 1992, which means she is one of the few people who didn't need to move there in order to pursue an acting career. Unlike many other people on this list, Degerstedt's first role on TV was also her breakthrough one as Maris in Unfabulous.
It is almost as if high school shows throughout the years have taught us that the 'mean girl' trope is not going anywhere.
Unfabulous ended in 2007, taking the role of Maris with it, but that doesn't mean Degerstedt stopped acting. She has guest-starred in a few TV shows, but her main focus in the last few years has been theater.
She has performed in Broadway touring productions as Ariel in The Little Mermaid and as Elle Woods in the Legally Blonde Musical.
Allison Scagliotti Then
Allison Scagliotti (the G is silent, thank you for asking) went to a regular school until the age of 11. At that age, she started taking acting lessons and switch from a regular school to home-schooling.
Before landing the role of Mindy Crenshaw in Drake & Josh in 2014, she played a score of small roles in TV movies and TV shows.
After putting the role of Mindy Crenshaw behind, Scagliotti kept booking small acting jobs, until landing recurring characters in different shows such as Warehouse 13, The Vampire Diaries, and Stitchers.
Scagliotti is also a trained ballerina and a musician. In fact, she was even in a band called Nice Enough People with a fellow Nickelodeon actor Jerry Trainor.
Abby Wilde Then
If you were an avid watcher of Zoey 101, you might recognize Abby Wilde's face as Stacey Dillsen, the somewhat odd girl with a signature speech impediment. As a teenager, she was involved in a small number of theater productions before being cast as Stacey.
Before Zoey 101 came along, Wilde didn't really have any on-screen experience, but her portrayal of Stacey was so good it got several cameos in other shows such as Drake & Josh and Sam & Cat.
Abby hasn't been acting much in film or TV since she finished playing Stacey. Instead, she has been focusing more on local theater.
Abby makes sure to pass her knowledge on to the younger generation through coaching sessions and acting classes.
Erin Sanders Then
Zoey 101 alumna Erin Sanders also had to be included on this list. Known for playing the role of Quinn Pensky, the science enthusiast, Erin has had pretty small acting jobs until then. Her character on Zoey 101 was actually made specifically for her. Quite impressive when you learn she was only 14 at the time.
She originally auditioned to play Nicole (eventually portrayed by Alexa Nikolas), but she made such an impression, that the creator wrote Quinn just for her.
After her Zoey days were over, Erin didn't show any signs of slowing down. She went on to star or guest-star in other productions such as Mad Men, Big Time Rush, Melissa & Joey, and CSI Miami. She most recently starred in the miniseries Six Degrees of Separation.
Other than acting, Erin is also passionate about yoga, rock climbing, and posting swimsuit pictures of herself on Instagram.
Kristin Herrera Then
Kristin Herrera is no stranger to a camera. Her acting career started when she was only six years old and acting in commercials. She has perform in an array of small roles on TV before getting her first recurring role as Lourdes Del Torro in General Hospital.
In 2005, Kristin scored another recurring role, this time it was that of Dana Cruz in Zoey 101, which landed her on this list. Her character starred on the show for one season.
After leaving Zoey 101, Kristin participated in a very small number of productions, and in 2008 she announced that she is quitting acting altogether.
In 2016, Kristin announced her engagement to Daniel Novak. The two broke off their engagement not long after it was announced, but have since managed to get engaged once again.
Daniella Monet Zuvic
Daniella Monet Zuvic was born in 1989 in Los Angeles. She started acting in commercials when she was seven years old. Daniella is a Nickelodeon veteran. While her acting career includes many productions, her most memorable parts are from various Nickelodeon productions, including Zoey 101 and Victorious.
In Victorious, Daniella played the part of Trina Vega, Tori's less-talented sister who refuses to acknowledge her lack of talent and keeps insisting on acting and singing as a career.
Daniella has done all but fading into the background after her Victorious days. She must feel completely at home with Nickelodeon as she kept participating in many other Nickelodeon productions.
Next time we see her on-screen will be in the film Aloha Surf Hotel, where she will play a character named Babymooner. She has a child named Gio with her long time partner Andrew Gardner.
Elizabeth Gillies Then
Elizabeth Gillies was born in 1993 in Hawthorn, New Jersey. She has been acting since she was 21 years old. Much like many familiar faces on TV, Gillies's first gigs were in commercials. She made the decision to become a full-time actress at 15 years old — she quit regular high school for an online high school program that wouldn't interfere with her career.
Gillies's breakthrough role was in the Nickelodeon series Victorious, where she played the somewhat sociopathic Jade West. That role is when she showed the world she can sing as well as act and gave her the opportunity to work with Victoria Justice and Ariana Grande.
Unlike other people on this list, Gillies never went off the grid after wrapping up the set of her breakthrough role. She was involved in many other acting and music projects as well as musical collaboration with former castmate Ariana Grande.
Gillies most recently starred in the TV show Dynasty as Fallon Carrington. Her next big goal in life is to win an Oscar, and something tells us it won't take long until she does.
Jordan Todosey Then
Jordan Todosey started her career as a child actor. First, she has two small roles in the films The Pacifier and The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. Her breakthrough role was that of Lizzie McDonald. It happened in 2005 when she was 10 years old, but that is not the only role she's known for.
In 2010, Todosey played the role of Adam Torres throughout three seasons of Degrassi. Her performance there won her a Gemini Award.
Jordan's acting career has encompassed film, TV and voice acting, and she is highly appreciated in her field. Today, she keeps on acting, although none of her other roles has been as impactful as the ones previously mentioned.
She was most recently seen playing the small role of Sally in the film The Marijuana Conspiracy. In 2021, she will play the lead in the action film Vienna.
Ashley Leggat Then
You might remember Ashley's face from the TV show Life With Derek, where she played the annoying-yet-loving Casey McDonald. That breakthrough role on TV came on when she was 19 years old, but she has been enjoying a prolific acting career even before that.
Leggat's other great passion is dance. She is a professionally trained dancer who has danced competitively for many years. Her dancing background was often used in Life With Derek.
In 2011, Leggat married Hokey player Jeremy Williams, and the two now have two children together. At 33 years old, Leggat is a well established Canadian actor with an impressive record and a family of her own.
Her latest acting role was Emma in the short One in Two People. Leggat will star in Day Players, a TV comedy series scheduled to be released in 2021.
Allie DiMeco Then
Allie DiMeco made her Nickelodeon debut as Rosalina in the musical comedy TV show The Naked Brothers Band. Yes, that same Rosalina Nat Wolff was in love with. That all happened when she was 15 but the truth is that she took her first steps in show business at just five years old as an actress and model.
Other than acting, DiMeco is a trained musician and she can play numerous instruments such as cello, violin, bass guitar, and drums.
After The Naked Brothers Band was finished, Allie hasn't been involved in many acting projects. Instead, she went to college, after which she focused more on modeling.
In the last few years, she has appeared in a Jordan Fernandez music video as well as in two reality TV shows, including Ex on the Beach: Peak of Love.
Irene Ng was first discovered after she won a Pennsylvania beauty contest in her home state. She was 16 at the time and was immediately picked up by television agents. A big break came when she won the starring role in Nick’s, The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo.
As the title-role actress, the Chinese American teen was endlessly entertaining. She also appeared on Nick’s Figure It Out game show.
As an adult actress, she landed roles in the soap opera All My Children and the drama series Law & Order. Movies like The Joy Luck Club and Heaven & Earth are featured on her resume. But she left her acting career behind to graduate from Harvard University and get a real job.
Formerly a banker for Merrill Lynch, today she is a preschool teacher in Connecticut.
Jenna Leigh Green Then
California-born Jenna Leigh Green is beloved as Libby on Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She started acting at 12 in community theater and appeared in many commercials before making it on the ABC kids program. On Nickelodeon, she appeared on The Big Help and the game show Figure It Out.
Before she made it to TV, Jenna starred in many LA theater productions like The Wizard of Oz, West Side Story, and Romeo and Juliet.
Transitioning to adult roles, Jenna landed a part in the musical Wicked. She also appeared in ER and Dharma & Greg. She guest-starred on Ghost Whisperer, Bones, and Cold Case.
Her latest project is a part was on the television miniseries The Loudest Voice, a story about the rise of Fox News.
Raine Pare-Coull Then
Are You Afraid of the Dark? star Raine Pare-Coull is known for dishing some of the scariest stories on the horror story Nick series as Betty Ann.
As a kid actress, she also had small roles on Flash Forward, Blood of the Hunter, and Tales of the Wild.
Raine Pare-Coull went off the radar after a 2006 appearance in The Morgan Waters Show. Popcrush.com says she may have worked in scheduling at Canadian news channel CBC.
Perhaps showbiz wasn’t her thing.
Emily Ratajkowski Then
This American model was born in London, but she was raised in San Diego. Her first gig was a role on Nickelodeon’s hit show iCarly from 2009 to 2010 playing Tasha.
In 2009, she moved into modeling full-time.
By 2012, Emily Ratajkowski posed for and made the cover of "Treats!", fine art and erotica magazine. Soon after, she scored high profile music video roles in hit songs like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” This led to being named “Woman of the Year” by Esquire in their October 2013 edition, followed by Rolling Stone naming her as one of 20 hottest sex symbols.
Emily became a DKNY intimates lead model in 2017. She continues to model as the brand ambassador for Kérastase and Paco Rabanne, amongst other brands.
Lily Collins Then
Daughter of British rock musician Phil Collins, Lily Collins moved to LA from Surrey when she was eight to act and model. In 2008, she hosted Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President series and she won a Young Hollywood Award for Newest Red Carpet Correspondent.
She did, however, begin acting much earlier than that at the age of two when she appeared in the BBC series Growing Pains.
Now, she’s a published author. At USC, she earned a degree in broadcast journalism. Her first book Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me was released in 2017 to critical acclaim. As a teen, she began writing columns for the British magazine Elle Girl, as well as Teen Vogue, and Seventeen.
Spain’s Glamour chose Lily for Model of the Year in 2008. Collins co-starred on the drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile as Ted Bundy’s long time girlfriend. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
Keke Palmer Then
Keke Palmer was 15 when she starred on the Nick show True Jackson, VP. The show proved to get her foot in the door with her music career. She wrote and performed the show’s theme song, “How I Do.”
She first started her acting career at nine when she auditioned for The Lion King. Starring as Queen Latifah’s niece in Barbershop 2: Back in Business was her breakout film.
The actress shifted to music in 2003 with a performance on American Idol’s spin-off, American Juniors. In 2005, she kicked off her recording ambitions with an Atlantic Records contract releasing the single “All My Girlz.” She released her first studio album in 2015.
Shifting back to acting, Keke starred in Hustlers (2019). Also in 2019, she co-hosted Strahan and Sara on ABC. Her latest album is Twerk N Flirt, released in August 2019.
Joanna Garcia Then
Joanna Garcia Swisher was 10 years old when she took her first lead role in community theater. She hit the big-time landing Samantha on Are You Afraid of the Dark? on Nickelodeon. She commuted to Montreal, Canada where the show was taped from Florida to join the cast.
She was 14 years old and played the part for all three seasons. The show was canceled in 1996. She moved on to Freaks and Geeks as Vicky and joined the cast of the CW sitcom Reba.
Joanna Garcia Swisher was Bree on Gossip Girl. She guest-starred on How I Met Your Mother and The Penguins of Madagascar. She also starred in Better with You, the ABC sitcom until 2011. Now she’s 40 and a mother of two and married to MLB husband Nick Swisher.
What she loves best is entertaining and remodeling the backyard of her home, which includes a movie theater and a wood-fired pizza oven. Joanna told People, “It’s endless inspiration for me.” She keeps a blog called “The Happy Place” to share her latest incarnations.
Malese Jow Then
Malese Jow was a child actress on all the major kids’ networks. She played Geena on Unfabulous. Also on Nick, she was Lucy Stone in the musical sitcom Big Time Rush. On the popular CW series, The Vampire Diaries, Malese starred as Anna.
When she was just six, she appeared on Barney. After Unfabulous, she took a role in Bratz: The Movie. More kids' programming includes appearances on iCarly, Wizards of Wavery Place, and Hannah Montana.
Today Malese is all grown up at 29. When she left child acting behind, she starred in The Social Network. She was picked up by MTV for The Shannara Chronicles in 2017.
Her latest project is voicing Kate on the upcoming superhero adult animated web drama series, Invincible.
Vanessa Baden Then
Vanessa Baden was a Nickelodeon staple starring on both Gullah Gullah Island and Kenan & Kel.
Her career as a child actress spanned from 1994 to 2000.
Since her child acting days, she has become a writer, director, and producer. She starred, co-wrote, and co-produced Giants, a web series on Issa Rae’s YouTube. She won a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for her role on Giants in 2018.
She graduated from Florida State University in Sociology and Media Productions and is a well-known community organizer staffing Brave New Films as well as other organizations. She’s worked on Ozark, the Netflix original series. And, she’s a wife and a mother, they have one son, Ryder.
Lindsey Shaw Then
This cutie is best known on Nick as “Moze” on Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. She appeared on the Nick fan-favorite show in 2004. It ran for three seasons.
She got her first break doing commercials and was picked up by ABC Family for the series reboot 10 Things I Hate About You in 2009.
In February of 2020, the kids from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide co-stars, Devon Werkheiser and Daniel Curtis Lee for a reunion show. At 30, Lindsey was thrilled to be with her Nick middle school pals.
She gushed over her old friends on Instagram saying, “Really excited at the possibility of creating with you all again.” In 2015, Lindsey joined the cast of MTV’s rom-com, Faking It.
Lori Beth Denberg
Young Lori Beth Denberg got her start in showbiz doing community theater and studying comedians on TV. She scored big when Nickelodeon awarded her a starring role on the millennial-fave All That. Her hilarious performances still leave that generation in stitches.
She got the part when she was 18 and moved herself to Florida where the show was taped.
Lori Beth is 43 now. At 25, she decided it was time to leave the kid show circuit. She’s on the Nostalgia Personified tour with All That co-stars performing live shows. She told Vice, “It’s really exciting for the Nickelodeon fans to be hanging out with us and drinking beer, you know, very grown-up.”
She’s also shown up on Nickelodeon’s All That reboot and has paired with All That co-star Danny Tamberelli for the digital series Tonopah Five.
Amber Montana Then
Born Amber Dawn Frank, this Nickelodeon actress known as Amber Montana was born in Tampa, Florida, and starred in The Haunted Hathaways as Taylor. The well-loved Nick series launched her child acting career in 2012 when she was 14, but she started acting at seven.
When she was eight, she starred in She Could Be You. Her adorable look comes from Spanish and Cuban descent.
Amber is a big girl now at age 21. She’s the leading voice for Spirit Riding Free, a Netflix series. Her work earned her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2019.
She’s also been starring in Party Mom on Lifetime TV. She loves jazz music and singing.
Aww! Look at this sweetie. Bailee Madison starred in the Nickelodeon shows The Last Day of Summer and the TV Christmas special Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh. She’s been in front of the camera since she was an infant.
Fans also adored her on the Disney Channel as Maxine in Wizards of Waverly Place and in Bridge to Terabithia, another Disney production.
As a young actress moving into the rest of Hollywood, starring in Lonely Hearts kicked things off. She was in Letters to God and Just Go with It. She won accolades and a Critics Choice Movie Award nomination for her performance on Brothers, the 2009 action-thriller film. In Guillermo del Toro’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, she starred as Sally.
She’s tried her hand at writing and producing. Bailee has her own fashion line at Macy’s and hosts a podcast. She also keeps busy with her philanthropic work to fight childhood cancer.
Brec Bassinger Then
This Nickelodeon sweetie starred as Bella in Bella and the Bulldogs and in The Haunted Hathaways, both on Nick. She was 15 when she landed Bella in 2014.
Brec got her start as a model doing beauty pageants and cheerleading.
Brec Bassinger is 21 this year and is still acting. She got the lead in Stargirl, a DC Universe series on CW. She plays Courtney Whitmore who is Stargirl in the 2020 production. She also played Maxie in Status Update (2018).
In the Hulu show All Night, she got the role of Roni. After being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Brec has supported JDRF as a national ambassador.
Kira Kosarin Then
As a 12-year-old, Kira Kosarin set herself on a path to stardom taking acting classes and performing community theater. Just two years later, her determination paid off; she scored the lead in The Thundermans at Nickelodeon.
Her beloved Phoebe character continues to awe audiences. She was nominated for two Kids’ Choice Awards, and Thundermans won for Favorite TV Show in 2016.
The self-proclaimed musician, actress, and yoga chick is all grown up. She’s 22 and focusing on her music career. Transitioning from child acting, she appeared in the second season of Light as a Feather, a horror series from Hulu.
According to her Instagram bio, she’s “trying to be a good human while floating on this doomed space rock.” To keep up on Kosarin’s music efforts, she has a YouTube channel where she posts covers and original songs. Most recently, she released her debut album, Off Brand. “Love Me Like You Hate Me” was her first single.
Jamie Lynn Spears Then
Jamie Lynn Spears, Britney Spears little sis, was Zoey on the Nick hit Zoey 101. That’s where she spent her childhood. On Instagram, she shared, “I grew up on this show, so it was pretty much my childhood also.”
The show ended in 2008 when Jamie Lynn was pregnant with her daughter Maddie because, she said, her contract with Nickelodeon had expired. She faced lots of flak for ‘irresponsible behavior.’
Jamie Lynn Now
She married Jamie Watson in 2014, they have one daughter together whom she loves showing off on social media. Spears was briefly engaged to her boyfriend, her first daughter’s father, but it fell apart. Netflix cast Spears as a regular on Sweet Magnolias in 2019.
She’s also joining a reunion cast from Nickelodeon’s All That and Zoey 101 as Thelma Stump. Her music career has continued. She hosted and performed at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards.
Tara Strong Then
Tara Strong’s career in acting started when she was 13. The Toronto-born actress landed the lead in the Hello Kitty animated series as one of her first jobs. Moving to LA brought her many new projects such as Party of Five, National Lampoon’s Senior Trip, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Tara Strong voiced Timmy Turner from The Fairly OddParents, as well as many other animated characters. At Nickelodeon she was Miss Collins in Big Time Rush.
As a child actor, Tara won a Daytime Emmy nomination and an Annie Award. She snagged an Interactive Achievement Award for Rikku in Final Fantasy X-2. In 2000, she met her husband and they have two sons and live in LA.
She and her husband are running VoiceStarz, an internet-based company that teaches voice acting.
Olivia Holt Then
This little girl started out in theater and commercials and got her big break on Disney Channel’s Kickin’ It when she was 14. She landed the made-for-TV Disney movie Girl vs. Monster and the series I Didn’t Do It. More work with Disney included playing Tandy Bowen in Cloak & Dagger.
She voiced Gnome Alone and Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast.
Transitioning to adult acting, Olivia Holt joined the cast of the Same Kind of Different as Me with Renee Zellweger and Greg Kinnear. She was cast for the lead in Class Rank, an independent comedy, and she was set to star in Status Update in 2016.
She has also been pursuing a music career. Her last album was released in 2017. Olivia is a brand ambassador for Neutrogena.
Miranda Cosgrove Then
The other half of iCarly is Miranda Cosgrove. She played opposite Jennette’s Sam as Carly in the delightful duo. But it was not her first Nickelodeon show.
She was seven when she started acting and she starred on Drake & Josh before she got the lead in iCarly. In 2012, she was paid more than any kid actor ever.
After fronting one of the most popular Nick shows, it would seem a slew of adult roles would be coming her way. But since her child acting days, Miranda Cosgrove has worked on relatively few projects. She voiced Margo in the Despicable Me films and put out a new album.
She starred in The Intruders as Rose and was cast on Crowded, an NBC series that flopped after one season. Most recently she was cast in 3022 (2019). Meanwhile, she attended USC and graduated with a psychology degree.
Christina Vidal Then
We know Christina Vidal from Taina on Nickelodeon where she brought the title character to life in 2001. Taina was an aspiring singer hoping to top the charts. The series ran for two seasons.
Christina also tried her hand at music in real life as a member of the all-girl band Gemstone.
All grown up, Christina is 38 now and has acted in See No Evil, Girlfriends, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She scored big roles in Code Black as Lucy Church and Training Day playing Det. Valeria Chavez. She has continued to pursue a music career, but despite signing with MCA briefly, nothing significant has panned out.
She has contributed vocals to projects like the Men in Black II soundtrack, as well as songs for two other films, but has focused on her acting. Her most recent role was in Magic Man (2009). Keeping up on Instagram, Christina is married and loves her dog.
Jennette McCurdy Then
Lots of Nick kids will remember the clever and hilarious Sam from iCarly. Jennette McCurdy played the part from 2007 to 2012. She got into a child acting when she was eight.
She was on MADtv, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Malcolm in the Middle, Zoey 101, The Penguins of Madagascar, among other projects. After iCarly, Jennette reprised her role as Sam and played opposite Ariana Grande in Sam & Cat. She tried a music career in 2009, releasing an album on Capitol Records.
Jennette McCurdy segued into adult roles with teen comedy Little Bitches and a Netflix drama series Between. In 2016, she starred as Claire in the thriller movie Pet. Today, she is more interested in writing and directing and has directed three short films.
She’s been very open about her struggles with eating disorders, writing on the topic for Huffington Post. She also writes for the Wall Street Journal, as a series writer and has been a columnist for Seventeen.
Alexa Nikolas Then
This Nickelodeon starlet debuted on Zoey 101 as a 12-year-old. Alexa Nikolas starred on the kid-favorite Nick show for two seasons. She played Nicole Bristow and won two honors for her work. As a child actress, she guest-starred on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Judging Amy, and That’s Life.
A small role in P.U.N.K.S. got her started in the business. She got picked up by Zoolander and also Charmed. She nabbed the role of young Carrie in King of Queens. Her transition to adult roles was seamless, but it all petered out in the 2010s.
Alexa Nikolas proved her chops as an adult actress joining the cast of Ghost Whisperer. She appeared in CW’s Supernatural. In 2009, she appeared in Drop Dead Diva, Children of the Corn, Criminal Minds, and Heroes.
In the twenty-teens, she joined the cast of The Walking Dead and played Wendy on Mad Men. In 2012, she married Canadian musician Mike Milosh and in 2013 she retired from acting. Her marriage ended after four years. According to her Instagram page, she has been working on her own film project called Metanoia.
Ariana Grande Then
Ariana Grande was a huge hit on the kids show Victorious as Cat Valentine. She showed off her lungs on the Nickelodeon TV show and it turned into a singing career. The teen idol was born in Florida in 1993 and by 2008 she kickstarted her showbiz ambitions with a Broadway musical.
She was 13. After Victorious she starred in the spinoff Sam & Cat until 2014.
Ariana Grande’s music gig premiered in 2011 with the Victorious soundtrack. She released Yours Truly, her first solo album in 2013 and it climbed the charts. Her third album Dangerous Woman came out in 2016, and an international tour followed.
Her music videos have been viewed nine billion times on YouTube and other video channels. A slew of music awards and a massive social media following is hers. All three of her albums are certified platinum.
Alanis Morissette Then
It probably comes as a surprise that Alanis Morissette was a child actor. It was her first gig when she got a part on the Nickelodeon TV series You Can’t Do That On Television.
The young Canadian was in middle school when she made an appearance on five episodes of the show.
Her true calling turned out to be music. As an adult, Alanis Morissette broke into the music industry with her first album, Alanis, featuring her distinctive mezzo-soprano. It’s a rare feat for women to make in the male-dominated rock business. And in 1995, with Jagged Little Pill she went platinum, twelve times over. “You Oughta Know” playing on KROQ in LA started things out.
Hits “Hand in My Pocket,” “Ironic,” and “All I Really Want” continued the trend. International success and sold out tours catapulted her fame. She’s not done and is working on a new album and a tour. Such Pretty Forks in the Road drops May 1, 2020.
Shannon Woodward Then
Sweet, young Shannon Woodward made it to TV playing Missy, a little girl who lost a kitten in the Nick hit Clarissa Explains It All when she was seven. That was in 1991.
Next, she appeared in two TV movies, Family Reunion: A Relative Nightmare (1995) and Tornado! (1996) and made guest appearances on several TV shows.
Today, Shannon is 35 years old and best known for the FOX sitcom Raising Hope. It ran for four seasons until 2014. She’s also famous for playing programming whiz Elsie Hughes on HBO’s sci-fi thriller Westworld.
She appeared in Katy Perry’s music video “Hot n Cold.” Katy Perry guest-starred in two episodes of Raising Hope. You guessed it, the two are BFFs.
Brenda Song Then
At 10 years old, Brenda Song made it to TV landing the zany Nickelodeon sitcom 101 Deeds for Eddie McDowd. The adorable actress was courted by Disney and starred in The Ultimate Christmas Present television movie on Disney Channel.
Get a Clue was next as she made her way through the kids' TV circuit. One of her last Disney shows as a child actress was Suite Life on Deck.
All grown up, Brenda Song played Christy on The Social Network, portraying the girlfriend of Facebook CFO Andrew Garfield. Acting in the adult world brought parts in Scandal and New Girl. She really hoped to get screened for Crazy Rich Asians, but she wasn’t even able to get an audition.
Her managers approached the film’s producers, but they told them Song did not look Asian enough. It was a big disappointment, but, since, she’s been a busy little bee taking the lead in both the Netflix film Secret Obsession and the Hulu series Dollface.
Jessica Alba Then
Jessica Alba played Jessica on The Secret World of Alex Mack when she was just 13. The Nickelodeon show got her foot in the door for some serious Hollywood action in Dark Angel as Max. Her depiction of modern female empowerment was loved by all.
She also made appearances in Beverly Hills 90210 and Never Been Kissed.
Jessica scored the lead in Sin City in 2005. The MTV Movie Awards honored her for the role. She landed a part in Marvel’s film empire playing The Invisible Woman in Fantastic Four. That was also released in 2005. She continued with Marvel in Rise of the Silver Surfer, but that’s when she first became disenchanted with Hollywood.
The director told her to look prettier while she is crying, and she wasn’t having it. She moved on from Marvel to do a 2007 comedy, Good Luck Chuck. Now she’s a family girl with her husband and children and runs The Honest Company selling a toxin-free lifestyle. She is involved with many charities and is a Baby2Baby ambassador.
Lisa Folies Then
Lisa Folies grew up as a kid watching the original All That Nickelodeon smash hit. Imagine her excitement when she was cast for the program in 1994! The cast at All That became like her family, especially since she was homeschooled and missed out on the high school teenage thing.
She made the big time with Malcolm in the Middle and was well on her way to becoming an actress in the grown-up world of showbiz.
Now, Lisa is an actress, video game journalist, model and YouTuber. She hooked up with GameSpot and began hosting gaming events. Her work in the gaming industry has made her a frequent face at L.A. Comic-Con. She is married to producer Shawn Cloninger.
The couple have a daughter and a son, and they call Las Vegas home.
Nathalia Ramos Then
Born in Spain in 1992, Nathalia Ramos moved to the U.S. when she was four. She starred in Nickelodeon’s first kid soap and the network’s first international production, House of Anubis.
She played the lead, Nina Martin, a girl sent to boarding school in England, but pulled out of the series to attend college after the third season. She took with her the best actress Kids Choice Award.
Nathalia, who has triple citizenship, Spanish, Australian, and American, graduated from USC with a political science degree in 2018. She continues to act and was in The Damned as Jill in 2013 and Wildflower in 2016.
She’s also appeared in Arrested Development, Bratz: The Movie, Dean Slater: Resident Advisor, and Seoul Searching.
Elisha Cuthbert Then
If you’re a 90s kid, you’re a Nick kid, so you must remember Elisha Cuthbert from Are You Afraid of the Dark? a ghost story show that featured many up and coming stars.
Elisha was 14 years old at the time, and it launched the Canadian actress’s career. Her debut film was Dancing on the Moon.
International recognition came to Elisha with her role as Kim Bauer in the 2001 series 24. She was adored as Danielle in The Girl Next Door. Her success made her a bombshell, and widely known as one of the world’s most beautiful people.
She married star hockey player Dion Phaneuf. They have one daughter. Her career has slowed down some, but in 2015 she joined the cast of Netflix’s The Ranch.
Christine Taylor Then
Christine Joan Taylor was born in 1971. As an old school Nickelodeon kid star, she starred in the 1989 comedy series Hey Dude playing a lifeguard.
As a child actress, she played Marcia in The Brady Bunch Movie and made appearances on Ellen.
Next, Christine Taylor was on Seinfeld and Friends which led to a starring role in the TV series Party Girl. She played Drew Barrymore’s cousin Holly in The Wedding Singer. Taylor married comedian and actor Ben Stiller.
The stars appeared in films such as Arrested Development and Zoolander. Together they have a daughter and a son, but their marriage fell apart in 2017 after 17 years.
Michelle Trachtenberg Then
Born in 1985, Michelle Trachtenberg debuted on Nickelodeon with a part on just one episode of Clarissa Explains It All. Soon, she won the role of Nona Mecklenberg in Nick’s The Adventures of Pete & Pete which ran until 1996. She was nine when she scored that gig. Next, she starred as Harriet in the very first Nickelodeon TV movie, Harriet the Spy.
Trachtenberg was a Nick star for years until she moved on up to adult showbiz. Playing Buffy’s sister in the fifth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the role responsible for transitioning her career.
Michelle Trachtenberg is a Gossip Girl star. She’s in Weeds and The Scribbler. She's also been a few with relationships with some high profile men including Josh Groban and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy.
Reflecting on her career, she said, “I don’t necessarily believe that I will act and be a lead forever, but I want to continue to act for a long time. I love to do what I do.”
Melissa Joan Hart Then
Melissa Joan Hart was a Nickelodeon sweetheart starring on the network’s popular show Clarissa Explains It All. She was one of the first Nick kid stars. She played Clarissa Darling for the entire run, 1991 to 1994. Out of six nominations, she won favorite actress at the Kids’ Choice Awards once.
Moving on to television movies, Hart starred in ABC’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the network’s series Melissa & Joey.
Currently, Melissa Joan Hart is playing a conservative mom who has a splash of Clarissa’s sassiness in the Netflix original series No Good Nick.
She's also come along way as director and producer. She tried her hand at fashion in 2015 opening up a line called King of Harts with her husband.
She grew up and hit sex symbol status playing leading lady roles in Biker Boyz and Deliver Us from Eva. 2003 was a good year for her. She also played Vanessa on the TV series My Wife and Kids.
Meagan Good has been featured in several hip hop music videos by 50 Cent and Will Smith, among others. She starred in Venom, You Got Served, and Brick. She launched a production company, Freedom Bridge Entertainment with fellow actors Tamara Bass and Ty Hodges.
Meagan Good Then
Meagan Good was just four years old when she started acting. Born in 1981, she says she grew up, “super nerdy, super skinny, buckteeth, big ol’ afro and yet I had a sense of confidence about myself, like, ‘they just don’t get it yet.’” Getting into television, she appeared on Doogie Howser M.D.
Things were going well when she landed a spot on Nick’s Cousin Skeeter which ran from 1998 to 2001. She says the show was a big part of her childhood. As a child actress, she landed many roles, but her career really took off as an adult.
Meagan Good’s Photo Scandal
We know Meagan Good was Nina on Cousin Skeeter and grew up to play heartthrob roles in Biker Boyz and Deliver Us from Eva but when she was 34, she was the victim of an internet hack scheme. Someone had released private photos of herself on the internet in attempt to shame her. It was discovered that the images had been taken by her husband and were never intended to be shared outside their marriage.
“For everyone who’s reposting the leaked nudes? You should be ashamed of yourself… You have a blessed day now.” That’s a lot of poise for such a mortifying experience.
Emma Roberts Then
Emma Roberts’ childhood dream came true when she landed her own show on Nickelodeon. Hanging out with her auntie Julia Roberts on movie sets as a child sparked that dream. She was 12 when Unfabulous became all the rage for tweens everywhere.
The show about life at junior high school ran three years until it was canceled in 2007. Her role as Addie Singer catapulted Emma into a film career with lead roles in Aquamarine and Nancy Drew.
All grown up, Ms. Roberts is now 29 and still pursuing an acting career. She played Jess in Who We Are Now in 2017 and starred in Paradise Hills in 2019.
She has also spent a lot of time on the set of American Horror Story. Most recently, she starred in the ninth season, American Horror Story: 1984.
Victoria Justice Then
Victoria Justice was only 8 years old when she decided to start a career in Hollywood. Her family moved out to Hollywood, California from Florida. Immediately she started modeling and doing commercials. The half-Puerto Rican beauty got her foot in the door starring on Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101 in 2005 when she was just 12.
That led to her biggest gig as Tori Vega on the Nick sitcom Victorious. Starring alongside Ariana Grande, Victoria tried her hand as a musical act. Three of the songs from the Victorious soundtrack hit the charts. A solo career seemed inevitable, but her first solo single tanked.
Victoria Justice’s showbiz career as a teen idol and actress fizzled after Victorious was canceled and her solo venture flopped. During her superstardom height, in the two years before Victorious was canceled, she starred in three films, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, Fun Size, and The First Time.
Since then, she hasn’t found much work as an adult actress besides starring in Eye Candy, an MTV thriller, and a handful of small appearances in TV shows. Most recently, in 2019, she starred in Summer Night. She is 27 now.
Amanda Bynes Then
Child actress Amanda Bynes hosted her very own comedy show, The Amanda Show, on Nickelodeon when she was just 13 years old. She starred in All That when she was 10. Starting with commercials and stage work, the adorable actress became an influential teen star in the 90s, raking in Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards right and left.
In the 2000s, she starred in Big Fat Liar and She’s The Man. But in 2010, she abruptly ended her showbiz career with a Tweet. Bynes said, “Being an actress isn’t as fun as it may seem.” After retirement, her life went from bad to worse. The usual suspects, depression and substance abuse, took over.
Ten years after her untimely retirement, Amanda Bynes is looking to get back into acting. Once, she was on the way up and considered such a gifted comedian that she was called “a young Lucille Ball.”
Struggling through the 2010s, in 2018, she announced to Paper Magazine her intention to start a designer clothing label and get back into acting. She also announced her engagement on Instagram in February 2020. No word yet on who the mystery man is.
Larisa Oleynik Then
Nickelodeon star Larisa Oleynik captured kids’ imaginations as a girl named Alex with superpowers on The Secret World of Alex Mack. As a teen idol, American youngsters all over wondered how awesome it would be to be a famous TV star.
But Larisa wanted to know how it would be to be a regular teen at high school. She left the show after four seasons and went back to high school. Guess what? She got bored. Most kids could have told her that!
Larisa Oleynik is now all grown up. She is a beautiful woman with a busy career. After high school, she went back to acting and got a part in 3rd Rock from the Sun. But she wasn’t done with school. Oleynik finished college at Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New, York. She said it was “the best decision she ever made.”
She landed a role on Mad Men that made her feel like she truly made it. Most recently, news came out in 2019 that she will be starring in The Healing Powers of Dude, a new Netflix production.