7 Disney Stars Who Disappeared
The Disney Channel has been a launchpad for a lot of 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? We’ve done some digging to find out who kept acting, who made a complete career change and who disappeared. Here are eight Disney Channel TV show and original movie stars who sorta fell off the face of the earth:
7. Ricky Ullman (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. You can also keep up with Ricky/Raviv on Twitter, where he’s vocal about everything from Phish concerts to the Republican Presidential debates.
6. Christy Romano (Even Stevens)
Remember Ren? While Christy Romano’s co-star Shia LaBeouf became a big time movie star-turned-performance art weirdo, 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!
5. Will Friedle (Boy Meets World)
Will Friedle, who played hilarious and ditzy older brother Eric Matthews in Boy Meets World, has maintained quite an acting career. But if you spend most of your time watching sit-coms, you might have forgotten about him because he’s become a go-to actor in superhero fare and kids’ programming. 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 reprising 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!
4. Erik Von Detten (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. Adorable, right?
3. Cole and Dylan Sprouse (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody)
Here’s the big question: are the adorable twins from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody still living the sweet life? They both graduated from New York University this year; during that time, Dylan worked as a host at a restaurant in New York City, explaining that he was “working somewhat below the means I’m used to, as well as a way to socialize and get out of the house.” Dylan also worked as a commentator at some Super Smash Bros. tournaments. Meanwhile, Cole is never afraid to share his opinions on Twitter; when people criticized the way Carrie Fisher looked in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the 23 year-old wrote to his 1.9 million followers, “How dare you say ‘what happened’ to an aging actor while your fat a– is covered in butter and sour patch kids in a reclining theater seat.”
2. Alana Austin (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.
1. Brandon Baker (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, which is about something called “dirt boarding.” 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.” More recently, he was in web series #Instacurity and family movie Up On the Woof Top.