Saturday, July 12, 2008

Book Review: People - Child Stars Then & Now

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the mini review. Today we take a look People's Child Stars Then & Now. Ever wonderered what the actors who starred on Blossom, Saved by the Bell, Roseanne, Boy Meets World, The Wonder Years, The Cosby Show or Family Matters are doing today? Find out what happened to over 125 child actors after they outgrew their first burst of fame.

People - Child Stars Then & Now

People - Child Stars Then & Now (Hardcover) (People, $29.95)

They starred in TV's The Brady Bunch, The Cosby Show, Boy Meets World and The Wonder Years and in movies like Stand By Me, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and more. Many got famous, and rich, before they got driver's licenses. What happened after that first -- and often fleeting -- burst of fame? Who got married? Who went to rehab? Who built a career behind the camera? Who's hawking hair products on infomercials? Who's delivering pizza? Find out what became of all of the kids who came of age in Hollywood in the '70s, '80s and '90s.

This book comes in two formats. The softcover version is available on newstands now until September 22. A more expensive hardcover version will be available on August 5. The front cover features 7 then photos and there are 7 now photos on the back cover. There are 144 pages and tons of photos from the past and present. A few of them get some pretty extensive updates spanning a few pages while others get only a short update. At the end of the book, there is a gone too soon section with some tributes to a few child stars that have passed away and an "I'm not a kid, but I played one on tv" section that provides no current updates.

Here is a list of who is featured (in alphabetical order):

Tatyana Ali - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Chad Allen - My Two Dads, Our House
Sean Astin - The Goonies
Christopher Atkins - The Blue Lagoon
Christian Bale - Empire of the Sun
Drew Barrymore - E.T.
Jason Bateman - Little House on the Prairie, Silver Spoons, The Hogan Family
Brice Beckham - Mr. Belvedere
Elizabeth Berkley - Saved by the Bell
Valerie Bertinelli - One Day at a Time
Mayim Bialik - Blossom
Peter Billingsley - A Christmas Story
Thora Birch - Monkey Trouble
Tempestt Bledsoe - The Cosby Show
Lisa Bonet (aka Lilakoi Moon) - The Cosby Show
Brian Bonsall - Family Ties
Jonathan Brandis - seaQuest DSV
Josh Brolin - The Goonies
Chris Burke - Life Goes On
Kirk Cameron - Growing Pains
Gabrielle Carteris - Beverly Hills, 90210
Max Casella - Doogie Howser, M.D.
Keisha Castle-Hughes - Whale Rider
Lacey Chabert - Party of Five
Anna Chlumsky - My Girl
Jeff Cohen - The Goonies
Jennifer Connelly - Labyrinth
Macaulay Culkin - Home Alone, Home Alone 2
Claire Danes - My So-Called Life
Stacey Dash - Clueless
Josie Davis - Charles in Charge
Dustin Diamond - Saved by the Bell
Leonard DiCaprio - Growing Pains, This Boy's Life
Elisa Donovan - Clueless
Hilary Duff - Lizzie McGuire
Kirsten Dunst - Interview with the Vampire
Nicole Eggert - Charles in Charge
Halie Kate Eisenberg - Pepsi commercials, Paulie
David Faustino - Married... with Children
Fergie - Kids Incorporated
Corey Feldman - The Lost Boys
Danielle Fishel - Boy Meets World
Michael Fishman - Roseanne
Jodie Foster - Taxi Driver
Jaimee Foxworth - Family Matters
Will Friedle - Boy Meets World
Soleil Moon Frye - Punky Brewster
Edward Furlong - Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Sara Gilbert - Roseanne
Alicia (Lecy) Goranson - Roseanne
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - 3rd Rock from the Sun
Mark-Paul Gosselaar - Saved by the Bell
Corey Haim - The Lost Boys
Jackie Earle Haley - The Bad News Bears
Anthony Michael Hall - Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science
Neil Patrick Harris - Doogie Howser, M.D.
Melissa Joan Hart - Clarissa Explains It All, Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Noah Hathaway - The Neverending Story
Justin Henry - Kramer vs. Kramer, Sixteen Candles
Jason Hervey - The Wonder Years
Jennifer Love Hewitt - Kids Incorporated, Party of Five
Gaby Hoffman - Field of Dreams
Ron Howard - The Music Man, The Andy Griffith Show
Scarlett Johansson - The Horse Whisperer
Stacy Keanan - My Two Dads, Steby by Step
Christopher Knight - The Brady Bunch
Charlie Korsmo - Dick Tracy, Can't Hardly Wait
A.J. Langer - My So-Called Life
Diane Lane - The Outsiders
Joey Lawrence - Gimme A Break!
Jared Leto - My So-Called Life
Emmanuel Lewis - Webster
Jenny Lewis - The Wizard
Jonathan Lipnicki - Jerry Maguire
Lindsay Lohan - The Parent Trap
Mario Lopez - Saved by the Bell
Ralph Macchio - The Karate Kid
Tobey Maguire - This Boy's Life, Deconstructing Harry
Tina Majorino - Andre
Kellie Martin - Life Goes On
Maureen McCormick - The Brady Bunch
Danica McKellar - The Wonder Years
Jeremy Miller - Growing Pains
Illan Mitchell-Smith - Weird Science
Tahj Mowry - Smart Guy
Tamera Mowry - Sister, Sister
Tia Mowry - Sister, Sister
Jerry O'Connell - Stand By Me
Olsen Twins - Full House
Amy O'Neill - Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Heather O'Rourke - Poltergeist
Haley Joel Osment - The Sixth Sense
Peter Ostrum - Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Sarah Jessica Parker - Square Pegs
Luke Perry - Beverly Hills, 90210
River Phoenix - Standy By Me
Corky Pigeon - Silver Spoons
Danny Pintauro - Who's the Boss?
Dana Plato - Diff'rent Strokes
Eve Plumb - The Brady Bunch
Alexander Polinsky - Charles in Charge
Natalie Portman - The Professional
Jason Priestley - Beverly Hills 90210
Keshia Knight Pulliam - The Cosby Show
Aileen Quinn - Annie
Raven-Symoné - The Cosby Show
Brad Renfro - Sleepers, The Client
Alfonso Ribeiro - Silver Spoons, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Christina Ricci - The Addams Family
Ariana Richards - Tremors, Jurassic Park
Molly Ringwald - The Facts of Life Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club
Brian Robbins - Head of the Class
Ben Savage - Boy Meets World
Fred Savage - The Wonder Years
Scott Schwartz - The Toy, A Christmas Story
Brooke Shields - Pretty Baby, The Blue Lagoon
Taran Noah Smith - Home Improvement
Rider Strong - Boy Meets World
Tiffani Thiessen - Saved by the Bell
Henry Thomas - E.T.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas - Home Improvement
Jenna von Oy - Blossom
Lark Voorhies - Saved by the Bell
Malcolm-Jamal Warner - The Cosby Show
Gedde Watanabe - Sixteen Candles
Wil Wheaton - Stand By Me, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Jaleel White - Family Matters
Kellie Williams - Family Matters
Elijah Wood - Avalon
Tina Yothers - Family Ties

Final Comments: This book had a lot of promise, but ultimately there are simply too many updates on people that are well-known to everybody. Who doesn't know what Christian Bale, Drew Barrymore, Josh Brolin, Jennifer Connelly, Leonard DiCaprio, Fergie, Jodie Foster, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ron Howard, Jared Leto, Lindsay Lohan, Tobey Maguire, Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman, Christina Ricci, Brooke Shields or Elijah Wood are doing today? Also, they included no updates for the people in the actors who were not really child stars section. The photos included in the book are very nice and the updates do seem to be researched well, so if you are a fan of a number of the people profiled it would still probably be worth it to check it out. The softcover version that is out now is considerably cheaper than the hardcover version that will be released next month

This book simply needed more updates like they had for Corky Pigeon from Silver Spoons and Alexander Polinsky from Charles in Charge. It would have been nice to see updates for more people that are not as well-known and no longer in the public eye. I would love to see a book devoted to more child stars from the '70s-'90s that was a bit more in depth. I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to see updates on the actors from shows like Diff'rent Strokes, Gimme A Break!, The Hogan Family, Charles in Charge (first season cast), The Facts of Life, What's Happening!!, Head of the Class and Kate & Allie.

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
(3/5 stars)

To purchase this book, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
Sneak Peek! Child Stars: Then & Now
Former Child Star Central


New on DVD/Blu-ray (April/May)

Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season Father Knows Best - Season Five The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season ALF - The Complete DVD Collection The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series

04/04 - Diff'rent Strokes - The Complete Fifth Season
04/11 - Father Knows Best - Season Five
04/11 - Schitt's Creek - The Complete Third Season
04/11 - Silicon Valley - The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
04/11 - Veep - The Complete Fifth Season
05/02 - Red, White and Blue Collar Sitcoms - Make TV Great Again
05/09 - ALF - The Complete DVD Collection
05/09 - Divorce - The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
05/09 - The Wayans Bros. - The Complete Second Season
05/16 - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - The Complete Series
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, May 29

Kevin Can Wait - "Pilot" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Kevin James stars as a newly retired police officer looking forward to spending carefree, quality time with his wife and three kids, only to find he faces tougher challenges at home than he ever did on the streets.

Man with a Plan - "Adam Steps Up" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Adam’s oldest daughter experiences a momentous occasion while Andi is unavailable, he tries to keep his cool and gingerly guide her through it. Also, Andi takes Emme and Teddy to the zoo, but instead gets stuck in traffic along with Emme’s annoying talking toy.

Superior Donuts - "Crime Time" (CBS, 9:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Franco encourages Arthur to increase his security when Fawz’s dry-cleaning store is robbed, but becomes concerned when Arthur buys a gun. Also, Tush offers Maya his personal approach to protecting herself.

2 Broke Girls - "And the Himmicane" (CBS, 9:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When a hurricane approaches the area, Caroline fears that a big divorce party she’s planning for a wealthy couple will get broken up when the unhappy pair get stranded in close quarters at the dessert bar. Also, Max worries that Randy really did break up with her when she suspects he’s blocking her calls, and Oleg is jealous when Sophie is stuck at home during the storm with their handsome new “manny.”

American Dad - "Bazooka Steve" (TBS, 10:00PM ET/PT)
Steve becomes the town pariah after he convinces the star quarterback of the arena football team to stop playing; Roger forces Hayley to become a cab driver to pay him back for her gambling debts.

Angie Tribeca - "If You See Something, Solve Something" (TBS, 10:30PM ET/PT)
A naked woman crawls out of a child's backpack and doesn't remember a thing; Geils and Tanner track down a murderer on the run from prison.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of May 29)

Monday, May 29

  • Bryan Cranston (Malcolm in the Middle) - Watch Bryan on a repeat of Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Patton Oswalt (The Goldbergs/The King of Queens) - Patton is a guest on a repeat of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC.
  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory/Blossom) - Mayim appears on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America is a guest on a repeat of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project) - Ike appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Jenna Elfman (Imaginary Mary/Courting Alex/Accidentally on Purpose/Dharma & Greg) - Jenna is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Ricky Gervais (The Office) - Ricky visits LIVE! with Kelly and Ryan, so check your listings.
  • Keesha Sharp (Are We There Yet?/Girlfriends) - Keesha appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • The Love Boat Cast - The cast of The Love Boat reunites on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Mike Epps (Uncle Buck/Survivor's Remorse) - Mike is a guest a repeat of Steve Harvey, so check your local listings.