Top 10 Child Stars Who Saw their Careers Fade

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Many child stars are doing well even today and boast about how they started off young. However, the following were not too lucky and were phased out pretty quickly.


1. Lindsay Lohan

We first saw Lindsay Lohan in the movie, “Parent Trap”, when she was not even 10 years old. The role proved to be difficult as she played two people at the same time. She played twin sisters, Haillie and Annie, who were separated at birth, and tried to bring their parents back together. Lohan’s movie career went on a sky high throughout the years, when she starred in movies such as “Freaky Friday” and “Mean Girls”. She also tried out a music career, as well as debuted her own fashion line, 6126, which mainly focuses on women’s clothing.

Things went downhill for Lohan once she began filming “Herbie: Fully Loaded” and “Georgia Rule”. She was hospitalized twice during filming of “Herbie” due to stress, and even got a letter from the production team of “Georgia Rule”, stating to her of her unprofessionalism. In 2007, Lohan began her treatment at a rehab after being convicted of DUI twice. She also completed community service for ten days and spent one day in jail. She then spent 90 days in jail in 2010 for violating her probation period in the DUI case from 2007, and then was sentenced to serve 120 days in jail for stealing a necklace worth $250,000 in 2011. After a 5 years hiatus, we saw Lindsay Lohan come back to the top in 2012, when she hosted “Saturday Night Live”, as well as landed a gust starring role in the hit television show, “Glee”.


2. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson is the most successful artist of all time. But he proved that success comes at a very high price. Jackson began his career at age 5, when he began performing with his brothers. Their act was known as “Jackson 5”. His career began evolving even more when he began his solo career. His 1984 album, “Thriller”, is considered to be the most successful album of all time to this very day.

Behind closed doors, however, things were not as colorful. In a 1993 interview with Oprah, Jackson admitted that his father beat him as a child, though his father denied the claims. Jackson also talked about his childhood, and said it was far from normal. That same year, Jackson was accused of molesting a young boy. The case was resolved with a money deal. In 2003, after a documentary about Michael Jackson showed him holding the hand of a young boy, he again was accused of having sexual relations with a minor. This time, Jackson was arrested, but was found not guilty to all charges in 2005.

In 2001, Jackson released his last album, “Invincible”. Though not as successful as his previous ones, it still managed to sell 3 million copies worldwide. Jackson saw this as a failure. In 2009, Jackson planned a comeback tour, “This Is It”, which would mark his last hit in the industry. But before he could even begin performing, Jackson died on June 25, 2009, due to the large amount of medications provided by his doctor, Conrad Murray.


3. Britney Spears

Britney Spears began performing when she was part of The Mickey Mouse Club, along with Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling. She then re-emerged when she released her hit single, “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. Spears became very popular with the young tweens and teens age groups. She released her debut album of the same name in 1998, as well as several others throughout the years.

Spears’ troubles began when she started dating backup dancer, Kevin Federline. She started dating him in 2004, married him the same year, had two children with him, Sean Preston and Jayden James, and divorced him in 2006. They also had a reality show, which lasted only 5 episodes. In 2007-2008, the world saw Britney Spears go through a meltdown. We saw her do things such as shave her head and hit the car of a paparazzi with an umbrella.

Things started to look up again once Spears’ father took control of her financials. Her music career went back on track as well Her album “Femme Fatale” is her most successful album as of yet. She is also now engaged to be married to her longtime boyfriend, Jason Trawick.


4. Dana Plato

Dana Plato was a particularly well known actress for her role in the hit series, “Diff’rent Strokes”. Plato played Kimberly, the teenage daughter of Phillip Drummond, a widower who adopts two African American boys after their parents died. The series aired from 1978 to 1986. Plato was cast at the beginning of its run, but her appearances ended in 1984, when she became pregnant. The producers of the show felt that a pregnancy would not fit the concept of the show. She appeared again between 1985 and 1986.

The end of “Diff’rent Strokes” marked the beginning of the end for Plato. She became overshadowed by her long running teenage role. After the birth of her son, Plato decided to get breast implants and appeared in Playboy, as well as movies such as “Bikini Beach Race” and “Lethal Cowboy”, B- movies. But all that did not help boost her career.

Plato was a heavy drug and alcohol user, and admitted that she was using drugs and alcohol while being a part of “Diff’rent Strokes”. After her divorce, she lost custody of her son. She then ended up in Las Vegas with no acting work, rather work in a dry cleaning store.

Dana Plato’s life came to an end on May 8, 1999, on Mother’s Day, due to a drug overdose. Her son shot himself in the head in 2010, at age 25, as he was not able to cope with his mother’s death.


5. Gary Coleman

Another “Diff’rent Strokes” alum bites the dust. Gary Coleman played Allan Jackson on the show, one of the African American boys who were adopted. His trademark quote on the show was, “What’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?” While being on the show, Coleman earned an estimated amount of $100,000. Coleman sued his parents and advisor for misusing the money. Despite winning the case in 1993, Coleman went bankrupt a decade later. He also faced legal troubles, such as being charged with assault after punching a fan at a mall.

Gary Coleman was short, 4 feet, 8 inches or 1.42 meters. But it was not because he was a midget, but a kidney condition and the treatments he had to go through. Coleman went through several kidney transplants, as well as frequent dialysis. He had stated in interviews that he tried, unsuccessfully, to commit suicide multiple times.

On May 26, 2010, Gary Coleman was hospitalized after falling down the stairs, after a possible seizure attack. He was in critical condition. On May 27, he was conscious, but his condition worsened. Coleman died on May 28, 2010.


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