For many of us, it’s hard to believe that the ’90s was such a long time ago, but the minute you see a child actor from one of your favorite shows that run, during the decade, you’ll quickly understand how much time has really passed.
Sadly, more than a few child actors led tragic lives and ultimately died far too young, often from suicide and overdoses, but there are also many that have managed to stand the test of time, making frequent appearances onscreen screen today, while others seem to just fade away.
Michael Fishman played D.J. on “Roseanne” for nearly a decade, from 1988 to 1997, and after that long run he returned to a somewhat normal life, attending Orange County High School of the Arts. Eventually, he reunited with his famous family, appearing in the new “Roseanne” followed by the spin-off “The Conners.” He also had a role in Steven Spielberg’s 2001 film “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.” In between acting, he’s raising his two kids with ex-wife Jennifer Briner.
Nickelodeon’s “All That” star, Amanda Bynes, was only 10 in 1996 when she made her debut as the newest cast member of the classic sketch-comedy show. Her career blossomed heading into the next decade as she scored a starring role in the sitcom “What I Like About You” and had roles in several movies like “Big Fat Liar” and “Hairspray.” Sadly, she’s been one of Hollywood’s tragic child actor stories, having been arrested for DUI multiple times as well as battling ongoing mental health issues. She took a hiatus from acting in 2010, and while she announced her intention to return to acting in 2018, that intention seems to have fizzled.
The former “Wonder Years” star who played Paul Pfeiffer, Kevin Arnold’s best friend on the show, seems to have followed in his character’s footsteps. Soon after Paul started attending Harvard, Saviano enrolled in Yale, another Ivy League school. He disappeared from Hollywood, but his name didn’t, with rumors circulating that he was rocker Marilyn Manson. That was easily shot down, however, as he majored in political science and became a New York lawyer, although he has made a few appearances in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
Haley Joel Osment
Most of us saw Haley Joel Osment for the first time in 1994 when he had a small role as Tom Hanks’ son in “Forrest Gump.” After that, he was a regular on several series including, “Thunder Alley” and “The Jeff Foxworthy Show,” in addition to playing Candice Bergen’s son on “Murphy Brown.” It was the 1999 movie “The Sixth Sense” that made him a big star in which he famously said, “I see dead people.” That scored him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In between playing golf, he’s had numerous roles, most recently in the Netflix movie “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” with Lily Collins and Zac Efron.
Zachery Ty Bryan
Zachery Ty Bryan is best known for his long-running role as the Taylors’ oldest son on “Home Improvement,” playing Brad from 1991 to 1999. After the series ended, he appeared as a guest star on “Veronica Mars” and “Boston Public” along with some not-so-great projects such as the Syfy flick “Hammer of the Gods.” After that, he founded his own production company and seemed to be doing well; however, in the fall of 2020, he was arrested and charged with felony domestic violence after allegedly beating his girlfriend.