Popular Disney Stars Who Disappeared
The Disney Channel has been a launchpad for many famous stars, from Mickey Mouse Club regulars Ryan Gosling and Britney Spears to Lizzie McGuire‘s Hilary Duff. But what about all the TV and movie stars who didn’t stay famous? What happened to them? Follow along for 30 Disney Channel TV show and original movie stars who disappeared from Hollywood:
30. Kirsten Storms as Zenon Kar from Zenon
One of the most popular early original Disney films was the space-themed movie Zenon which starred Kirsten Storms. The intergalactic film was so popular it even spawned two sequels. While we may not recognize Kirsten Storms from the Disney channel anymore, many may have seen her in various soap operas! She went on to play regular characters on both Days of Our Lives and General Hospital.
29. Sabrina Bryan as Dorinda Thomas from The Cheetah Girls
Former Cheetah Girl and Disney star Sabrina Bryan hasn’t been in the Hollywood spotlight much since her time on Dancing with the Stars in 2012. She did, however, appear on an episode of Say Yes to the Dress to prepare for her 2018 wedding in Las Vegas.
28. Kimberly J. Brown as Marnie Piper from Halloweentown
Halloweentown is a staple Halloween film, but what happened to Kimberly J. Brown aka Marnie after the film? You’ll be happy to know that she’s currently dating her Halloweentown costar Daniel Kountz who played Kal in the second film of the series. Brown is also running her own Etsy shop where she sells super cute T-shirts!
27. Tamara & Tia Mowry as Camryn & Alex from Twitches
Tia and Tamara Mowry from the Twitches have actually had really successful careers since their Disney days. Tia is running her own YouTube cooking show while Tamara is an Emmy-award winning talk show host on The Real. Both twins are also married with children!
26. Mia Talerico as Charlie Duncan from Good Luck Charlie
You likely remember Mia Talerico as the adorable baby in Good Luck Charlie, but what is the actress up to nowadays? At 11-years old, she’s mostly living a standard childhood attending school with a few acting roles here and there. After Good Luck Charlie, she landed a job on the children’s show Mani and also posts “unboxing videos” on her own YouTube channel.
25. Aly Michalka as Keely Teslow from Phil of the Future
Aly Michalka starred as Phil’s sidekick and best friend Keely on Phil of the Future, but where is she now? The star went on to form a band with her sister AJ and actually found quite a bit of success. She also continued to act and starred alongside Emma Stone in Easy A and starred in the CW show iZombie.
24. Jason Earles as Jackson Stewart From Hannah Montana
Jason Earles played Miley’s older brother Jackson Stewart on Disney’s Hannah Montana but we haven’t heard much from him since. Many questioned the age gap between Earles and his character since he was 29 playing a 16-year old. After his time on the show, he continued to act and appeared in Kickin It’ and Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja.
23. Jennifer Stone as Harper Finkle from Wizards of Waverly Place
No one could forget the quirky but loveable Harper Finkle played by Jennifer Stone in Wizards of Waverly Place! After the show ended, costar Selena Gomez rose to mega-stardom, but what happened to Jennifer Stone? After the show’s conclusion in 2012, Stone went the education route and attended Glendale Community College where she earned an associate’s degree in nursing.
22. Orlando Brown as Eddie Thomas from That’s So Raven
No one could forget Eddie Thomas from Disney’s That’s So Raven! He was one of the show’s key characters and certainly brought an element of humor to the series. Unfortunately, the star went on to have quite a rough life after the show’s end. He was arrested in California and charged with a number of crimes in 2016.
21. Moises Arias as Ricco from Hannah Montana
One of the most epic characters from Hannah Montana has to be the trouble-making Ricco who was played by Moises Arias. You may be surprised to learn that Moises actually continued to act after his role on Hannah Montana! He appeared in The Middle, Ender’s Game and The Stanford Prison Experiment and got rave reviews for his 2012 performance in Kings of Summer.
20. Steven Anthony Lawrence as Beans from Even Stevens
One of the most iconic television Disney characters has to be Beans from Even Stevens, who was played by Steven Anthony Lawrence! The star seemingly retreated from the spotlight after his role on the hit Disney show and aside from a few commercials here and there, he mostly pursued a career teaching students and leading seminars at various California colleges.
19. Dan Benson as Zeke on Wizards Of Waverly Place
Dan Benson definitely brought the laughs with his role as Zeke on Wizards of Waverly Place. Benson has seemingly laid low since his Disney channel days aside from a few minor roles. He was the voice actor for the popular animated show Rick and Morty and had a supporting role in the film Killing Diaz.
18. Tiffany Thornton as Tawni Hart from Sonny with a Chance
You may remember Tiffany Thornton from her role as diva Tawni Hart on the Disney series Sonny with a Chance. The show only lasted for two seasons but spawned a spin-off with Tawni as the lead character. The show ended entirely a year after that, and we rarely heard about Thornton afterward. She took a turn from her Disney days and decided to focus on her family and two children rather than continue to pursue acting.
17. Ashlie Brillault as Kate Sanders from Lizzie McGuire
Ashlie Brillault played one of the most iconic mean girls on television of all time — Kate Sanders from Lizzie McGuire! Since her role in the 2000s hit Disney show, we haven’t seen much of Brillault on the big screen. After her Disney days, she pursued a career as a lawyer and studied at California State University where she received her B.A. She’s a mother now and focusses much of her energy on justice issues, which is certainly a far cry from the character she played on television. Hopefully, Brillault will return to Disney as the Lizzie McGuire sequel comes to fruition.
16. Anneliese van der Pol as Chelsea Daniels in That’s So Raven
You likely recognize Anneliese van der Pol as redheaded Chelsea from That’s So Raven. Since the show’s end in 2007, the star switched gears and made her Broadway debut as the main role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She’s starred in a few films since That’s So Raven including Vampires Suck, Friends with Benefits and Shake It Up!, but most of her acting has been in Broadway productions.
15. Kiely Williams as Aqua from Cheetah Girls
Kiely Williams played Aqua, one of the iconic Cheetah Girls on Disney channel. Since then, she’s largely stepped out of the spotlight and acting altogether aside from an appearance on Celebrity Family Feud in 2017. She is married with the most adorable baby now though!
14. Brenda Song as London Tipton from Suite Life of Zach and Cody
Brenda Song was a staple actress in the Disney channel world for many years! Some of her most iconic roles were as London Tipton on The Suite Life of Zach and Cody as well as Wendy in Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior. Brenda isn’t one of the Disney stars who completely fell off the radar, but she definitely hasn’t found the level of success that she did since her Disney days. She appeared on the hit drama series Scandal and also did a few episodes of New Girl.
13. Bridgit Mendler as Teddy Duncan from Good Luck Charlie
Bridgit Mendler starred as big sister Teddy on Good Luck Charlie, but where did she end up after the show’s run? Mendler is actually a musician now and ended up recently getting married to her long term boyfriend, Griffin Cleverly in a secret ceremony. She still pursues acting, however, and starred in a Netflix holiday series Merry Happy Whatever alongside another former Disney star, Ashley Tisdale.
12. Ricky Ullman from Phil of the Future
Whatever happened to Phil, as in Phil of the Future? Well, he’s still acting and being creative. Ricky Ullman, whose given name is Raviv, has appeared in Rita Rocks, in addition to off-Broadway productions such as Russian Transport and The Bad Guys. He also plays music in two different bands, Goodbye Ian and His Orchestra.
11. David Henrie as Justin Russo from Wizards of Waverly Place
Many recognize David Henrie as Selena Gomez’s older brother Justin on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place! Since the show’s conclusion, David has continued to act in smaller roles such as an appearance in Grown Ups 2 and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, but he’s focussed a lot of his work on directing. Henrie has directed two small movies, Boo! and Catch, the second of which he also starred in.
10. Kay Panabaker as Debbie Berwick from Phil of the Future
You likely recognize Kay Panaker as the chipper Debbie Berwick from Phil of the Future, but where did she end up? After the show’s conclusion, Panabaker took on a few smaller roles in films like Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 and Cyberbully before ditching acting altogether. She ended up attending UCLA to study zoology and landed a full-time job at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
9. Christy Romano as Ren from Even Stevens
Remember Ren from Even Stevens? While Christy Romano’s co-star Shia LaBeouf became a big-time movie star, she took a slightly different path that includes many interests. Christy sang on Broadway as Belle in Beauty and the Beast and also worked as a puppeteer on Avenue Q. She also wrote a teen novel, Grace’s Turn, and got a degree at Columbia University, where she met Brendan Rooney, whom she married in a castle in Canada on New Year’s Eve 2014. Nothing is out of grasp for Kim Possible!
8. Will Friedle as Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World
Will Friedle, who played hilarious and ditzy older brother Eric Matthews in Boy Meets World, has maintained quite an acting career. Will has appeared or done voice work in Batman Beyond, Justice League, Thunder Cats, Green Arrow, Transformers, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. He’s also reprised his role as Eric in the Boy Meets World spinoff Girl Meets World. “He has a great heart,” Will told Entertainment Weekly about the character of Eric. “He’s an awesome guy. He can be a little nuts and I’m not sure I would leave him with expensive things, but I certainly enjoy playing him.” Friedle will always be Eric to us!
7. Erik Von Detten as Andy Brinker on Brink
Remember skateboard heartthrob Erik Von Detten from the Disney Channel movie Brink? He’s also done small parts on Malcolm in the Middle, Bones and Family Guy, and lent his voice to the character of Sid in Toy Story 3. The 33-year-old also has a daughter, whom he brought to the premiere of Toy Story 3.
6. Cody Linley as Jake Ryan from Hannah Montana
If you watched Hannah Montana as a child, you’ll certainly remember Cody Linley who played heartthrob Jake Ryan. After leaving the show in 2010, Linley landed himself a role in the popular Syfy film Sharknado 4 and 5, but he’s yet to find the major stardom that his costar Miley found.
5. Amy Bruckner as Pim Diffy from Phil Of The Future
No one could forget Phil’s mischevious sister Pim Diffy from Phil of the Future, but where is she now? She was only 13-years old when she appeared on the show and decided to pursue a college degree after its conclusion. Bruckner took a break from acting to study feminist theory and human rights at NYU. After a six-year break, Bruckner returned to acting when she appeared in the Lifetime movie Assault and is actively seeking out more roles.
4. Alana Austin as Abby Logan from Motocrossed
One of our favorite Disney Channel original movies was Motocrossed about a young woman who hid her gender so that she could compete in a male-dominated sport. Its star, Alana Austin (now 33), did some more acting including a guest spot on Cold Case in 2005 and some direct-to-DVD movies but decided to shift her focus and study medicine at the University of Southern California.
3. Brandon Baker as Johnny Tsunami
Who could forget Johnny Tsunami? Brandon Baker, who played the 1999 movie’s awesome surfer, continued acting in projects such as Even Stevens, the ABC Family movie Campus Confidential and the Johnny Tsunami sequel Johnny Kapahala: Back On Board. Afterward, he studied film at the University of Santa Barbara in Southern California. He told Paste magazine, “I took a brief life-examining sabbatical to kind of explore, travel and just figure out what really drives me. I worked a lot behind the camera on short films and was still working on sets, among other things, but just taking a break from acting to see just whether or not I missed it and also just to give myself a chance to mature and grow up and approach it as an adult.”
2. Mitchel Musso as Oliver Oken from Hannah Montana
Mitchel Musso played the role of Oliver on Hannah Montana and was a key character in the success of the series. After the show’s conclusion, he moved over to Disney XD to star in Pair of Kings but was written off the show after being arrested for a DUI. He’s attempted to pursue a music career since then but hasn’t seemed to found the success that other Disney actors have had with the transition from acting to music.
1. Lalaine as Miranda from Lizzie McGuire
Lalaine is best known for her role as Miranda in the iconic Disney series, Lizzie McGuire. With a reboot in the works, many have wondered where Lalaine ended up and whether she will be a part of the reboot. The star has been quiet in the past few years and took a definite step out of the spotlight after being arrested on drug possession charges. She shared, “My life used to consist of craziness and nonstop everything, and, when I was a kid, not really knowing what a kid’s life was. It was just go, go, go. Now it’s just a completely different perspective on my go, go, go. I’m just more like trying to walk over there. I’m not trying to jog or run anymore.”