Celebri-spiral™: Enough Already

Our culture is in a celebri-spiral. We're conflicted over our ridiculous, growing celebrity culture consumption via magazines, websites, and TV shows. In 2007, my love/hate conflict made me take to the blog-o-sphere. All writing on this site © Dave Singleton 2009.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

April 21, 2007: Child Stars. Whatever Happened To...?

This morning I went on an Internet hunt ISO Michael Schoeffling, Eve Plumb, and Kristy McNichol. Do you know who they are?

Answer: Jake Ryan, Jan Brady, and the girl from "Family" and "Little Darlings," a teen movie that only Matt Dillon survived with career intact.

I can't say why I woke up nostalgic, wanting to revisit some of those actors who I related to when I was a teenager. But there I was, drinking coffee and remembering how much I:

  • Liked Jake Ryan's characters in Sixteen Candles and Mermaids; he was the ideal teenage guy of my teenage era. No one else came close. It was James Dean, then teen idols like Keith Partridge, then him.
  • Loved all the older kids in The Brady Bunch, but Eve is the only one who never shows her face now so I am most curious about her. I also liked her in the Dawn, Portrait of a Teenage Runaway movies with Leigh McCloskey. I used to imagine running away with both of them and living on the streets of Venice Beach as they did, with a bunch (pun intended) of other misunderstood teens.
  • Related to Kristy, the daughter on Family, my 70's favorite show for a couple of formative years. I used to watch their so-called dramas and think this is nothing compared to real life, but still it was the only show that attempted to show a darker side of family life. I could tell that Kristy, who is about my age, agreed with me, and that drew me into the weekly story. Plus, big surprise, she played a tomboy named "Buddy" who might as well have worn rainbow beads and played the Indigo Girls. The first really obvious teenage gay character on TV? Maybe.

I spent fifteen minutes finding three former actors, who had a white hot fifteen minutes of fame at least two decades ago, via this site. It updates you on their lives since their entertainment heyday. I am curious the child stars who made an impression on me when I was a teen, and where life has taken them. Were they done when they left, ready to move on? Or, did the offers dry up, and if so, were they bitter about that?

Unlike the child stars who OD (Dana Plato), move to Lifetime movies and industry slots at SAG (Melissa Gilbert), or simply refuse to leave until the last, exhausted-15- minutes -of-fame-breath is sucked out in his presence (Danny Bonaduce), these three keep a mighty low profile.

Want to know what happened to them? Here's the update on Michael, Eve, and Kristy.

Which child stars are you curious about, and why?

11 Comments:

Anonymous ivan said...

Sadly, due to my own curiosity during the past 10 months or so, I knew what two of these people are already currently doing.

Monday, April 23, 2007 8:23:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Singleton said...

Which two?

Monday, April 23, 2007 10:10:00 AM  
Anonymous ABT said...

Kristy had her issues (who doesn't?), but she was fantastic. Somebody must know what she's up to?

Monday, April 23, 2007 2:18:00 PM  
Anonymous MarlaHJ said...

What happened to the Eight is Enough kids?

Monday, April 23, 2007 5:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleria said...

Did you see the TV lands awards? There was Sissy and Jody, looking HUGE. So there are two more to cross off your list.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous ivan said...

Do I really have to admit to this? Okay, it was Kristy and Mr. Jake Ryan.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 8:24:00 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Leigh effin' McCloskey...I loved him! He was like Central Casting's answer to sunkissed 70's stud. I am pretty sure I saw him playing the older version of his stock character pretty recently on network TV...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 3:32:00 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

BTW--I have always wondered what happened to Matthew Laborteaux (Albert Ingalls). C'mon...I'm not alone on this one, am I?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 3:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't imagine expressing so much while knowing so little... You really flaunt your ignorance in your commentaries...

Sunday, April 29, 2007 11:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Us too--LOVED Buddy!
Loving your stuff, as usual.

Monday, April 30, 2007 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Singleton said...

Um, Anonymous, not sure who you are or why you took a bitter pill, but I think you landed on the wrong blog.

Since I don't know who you are or what spurred your ire, I can only guess that you, in fact, CAN imagine expressing so much while knowing so little, and not very clearly either.

Monday, April 30, 2007 12:30:00 PM  

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