Whether it's the the too-much-too-fast lifestyle, the partying and the drugs, or the parents obsessed with fame, the curse of child stardom is the stuff of Hollywood nightmares. They enter the world of celebrity and fortune as young stars, burn bright, and then usually flame out in a meteoric fall from the heavens.
But that's not to say that they disappear into obscurity. Unfortunately, some of these fallen stars have hung around long past their fifteen minutes of fame. These train wrecks are so disastrous, we can't help but look away.
Checkout these ten child stars who haven't figured out they aren't famous anymore...
10. Lindsay Lohan Drinks Her Way Out of a Career
Lindsay Lohan was, by far, the hottest mess of the early 2000s. Since her early successes in
The Parent Trap and Mean Girls, it's been one wild ride for the former actress.
Now known more for her public drunkenness, bizarre social media meltdowns, and stints in jail, the one-time A-lister has made a second career of teasing "her big comeback."
First, there was her press conference during the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in which she announced she would be producing and starring in a film called
Inconceivable. That ironically-titled gem, of course, was never made.
Then, in 2016, we were told by Lohan's father that her wealthy Russian boyfriend had "strong connections in Russia" and was "very supportive of her career." They broke up after Lindsay accused him of cheating and allegedly threw his phone in the ocean.
She's also campaigned hard for a
Mean Girls sequel as well as the lead part in Disney's live-action The Little Mermaid reboot, despite the fact that she's now 32 and Ariel was a teenager in the original.
According to reports, Lindsay's now splitting her time between the Middle East and London. An anonymous "friend" recently told
People Magazine that Lindsay is now "like Paris Hilton" in Dubai.
We wish her all the best! Up next, we've got a former child singer that, so far, has had a pretty hellish 2018...
9. Aaron Carter Is Starving For Attention
Aaron Carter became famous when was only nine years old, opening for his big brother Nick's mega-group, The Backstreet Boys. His one big hit was a song called "I Want Candy," and it was pretty cute, because he was a little blonde kid singing about candy.
Well, Carter didn't subsequently release any new material for 14 years, meaning he clearly moved on with his life and changed career paths, right?
Unfortunately, that's not the case at all.
Carter recently released a new five-song album, called LØVË, which he spelled that way because he's apparently a viking now.
Anyway, according to an interview with Fox News, the album is electronic dance music that Carter recorded in his home studio. Translation: he cobbled it together using Garageband and his Macbook.
On top of his lackluster musical endeavors, this past year has been nothing but a nightmare for Carter's personal life. According to
People, he had an embarrassingly public break-up and meltdown that culminated in a bust for DUI and drug possession, which ultimately landed him in rehab.
And next, we've got a child actor that actually begged people to not watch his hugely-successful television show...
8. Angus T. Jones Becomes a Religious Fanatic
The kid who played Charlie Sheen's nephew on
Two and a Half Men took his morality crisis to the craziest heights imaginable when he publicly urged people not to watch his show.
Jones appeared in a video for a religious organization called Forerunner Chronicles, in which he said, "I'm on
Two and Half Men, and I don't want to be on it. Please stop watching it, please stop filling your head with filth."
He even quit the show in 2013 to attend college in Colorado and work in ministry.
Jones's only acting credit since
Two and a Half Men is a one-off role in Louis C.K.'s 2016 web series, Horace and Pete. We're pretty sure that this isn't going to be the gig that reopens doors all over Hollywood for him.
And next, we've got the proprietor of the worst musical debacle in the history of
Saturday Night Live...
7. Ashlee Simpson's Epic Meltdown on SNL
Ashlee Simpson definitely road to her limited stardom on the coattails of her bigger sister Jessica, but she had some luck in the early days of her singing career. But what little momentum she once enjoyed came screeching to a halt when she epically failed in 2004.
Ashlee was busted lip syncing on
Saturday Night Live and things pretty much tanked after that. Her faux pas was even recognized as far up as The Washington Post.
Since then, she’s done some magazine covers and has talked about being okay with the gifts you’ve been given, but the fact that she got a nose job didn’t jive well with her fans or "self love" schtick she was peddling.
After she got married in 2014, Ashlee tried to sell photos of her wedding and no one wanted to buy them.
She can currently be seen on her ratings disaster of a reality show,
Ashlee + Evan.
And next we've got a child star that, as an adult, has cursed every project he's been associated with...
6. Frankie Muniz Wants to Be a Race Car Driver?
Frankie Muniz had a very promising career ahead of him as the star of
Malcolm in the Middle, but after the show ended, he bizarrely pivoted to race car driving.
An injury, however, forced him out of that endeavor and he turned to music through the band “Kingfoil,” which eventually split up due to "scheduling conflicts."
Today, he has trouble landing steady work, including a reboot of
Malcolm in the Middle, which stalled out after poor public reception.
And that's okay with Frankie because he says he can't remember that part of his life anyway due to a stroke in 2012.
Instead of acting much, he’s been in the news trying to sell his $3 million Arizona home as well as his famous Volkswagen, which appeared in the first
Fast and Furious film. He also competed on the 25th season of Dancing With the Stars and came in third place.
And next, this former Nickelodeon princess has brought new meaning the phrase "Wild and Crazy Kids..."
5. Amanda Bynes Literally Goes Insane
Amanda Bynes was a wildly successful child star who began her career on Nickelodeon's
All That at age 10. She also had The Amanda Show and a number of family movies that did relatively well.
However, in 2010, she left Hollywood and started acting very strangely.
She got arrested for a DUI and famously threw a bong out of a New York City apartment window.
She subsequently went to rehab and admitted to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Bynes told interviewers at the time that she "just doesn't love acting anymore," which is never a good sign when that's, um, your job.
Bynes has also recently made a lot of controversial social media posts that have gotten her into hot water as well.
Although she hasn’t acted in years, persistent rumors have her returning to Nickelodeon, though the company has repeatedly denied that possibility.
And speaking of hot messes, the next one on our list is the certifiable queen of public career suicides...
4. What Is Wrong With Tara Reid?
Although people think Tara Reid got her start in
American Pie, she'd actually been acting for years before that. In fact, her first television gig was on a 1982 game show called Child's Play, where she actually predicted becoming famous.
But somewhere between her accidental boob flash at Diddy's birthday party, and her string of questionable projects in between the second and third
American Pie sequels, her career went on life support.
Then it took a left turn into into the strange lane of campy sci-fi with the ridiculous
Reid actually showed an unusual clarity about the ridiculous direction her career has taken in an interview with
"I was doing that movie and Sharknado at the same time and I was like, "What am I doing anymore? What's happening? Where did my career go?" she said.
Reid also walked out of an interview on Jenny McCarthy's Sirius XM radio show after being asked about her plastic surgeries and her disastrous appearance on
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars.
The tense exchange ended with Reid and McCarthy taking digs at each other's marriages and bodies, with McCarthy getting the last zinger, saying, "Love you, Tara. Good luck with Sharknado 18."
And next we've got 1999's biggest child star... can you guess who it is?
3. Haley Joel Osment Is Unrecognizable Today
Haley Joel Osment's career began at age 4 when he was reportedly spotted by a talent scout shopping at IKEA.
Osment eventually answered a casting call for M. Night Shyamalan's
The Sixth Sense, and after impressing the director with his ability to cry on cue, was offered the part of Cole Sear.
The film was a box office smash, and Osment received an Oscar nomination for his convincing work.
He went on to star in Steven Spielberg's sci-fi epic
A.I. Artificial Intelligence in 2001 and then fell off the face of the Earth.
In the years that followed, Osment steadily worked doing voiceover gigs in television and video games.
Unbeknownst to many, Osment has actually been appearing more and more frequently in film recently, looking completely unrecognizable.
He popped up in
Entourage in 2015, appeared in Kevin Smith's Yoga Hosers in 2016, and guest-starred as wealthy tech mogul Keenan Feldspar in Season 4 of the HBO comedy Silicon Valley.
And we aren't even going to tease this one out: the next washed-up actor on our list is none other than "Screech" from
Saved By the Bell...
2. Dustin Diamond Makes a 'Fake Porno'
Dustin Diamond's biggest accomplishments since his days as "Screech" on
Saved By the Bell have been a sex tape and going to jail for stabbing a guy in a bar fight. And in reality, both of those ridiculous messes were not what they seemed.
Diamond eventually came clean to Oprah that it wasn't even him in the sex tape. And in another interview with
Extra, he said that entire bar fight story was blown way out of proportion. But even sleazier than his attempt to cash in on a fake sex tape — "I had to take a chance. What if that thing had made $3 or 4 million?" — was his "tell-all" book, in which he trashed his former cast mates.
In that same cringe-worthy
Extra interview, Diamond told Mario Lopez that his ghostwriter had "gone rogue" and made pretty much the whole thing up.
Diamond also took his apology tour that no one cared about on
The Dr. Oz Show where he again took the bare minimum of responsibility possible.
With his bad boy image an admitted ruse, Diamond would now like to reinvent himself, telling
Extra that he wants to continue acting. Uh, good luck with that.
And speaking of 1990s wack-jobs; this next one has a penchant for turning up on Fox News and saying nonsensical things...
1. Zachery Ty Bryan Tries to Sound Intelligent on Fox News
Zachery Ty Bryan found success early in his career, landing the role of Brad Taylor on
Home Improvement almost right off the bat. But like a lot of child stars who spent the better part of a decade on a hugely popular sitcom, that success did not lead to career longevity.