Popular Former Disney Stars: Where Are They Now?
You might be surprised to learn where some of your most beloved Disney stars ended up in life! While they may have been hugely successful as teens, that’s not always to say their success carried over into their adulthood. From the stars of That’s So Raven to The Suite Life of Zach and Cody, follow along as we reveal where all the most popular former Disney stars ended up after their time on the network:
40. 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 and 2018. He also opened up on Dr. Phil about his drug addiction and path to sobriety.
39. Anneliese van der Pol as Chelsea Daniels from 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 by taking on the main role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She’s starred in a few film and TV roles 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.
38. Kyle Massey as Cory in That’s So Raven
Kyle Massey played Raven’s mischevious and hilarious little brother Cory on That’s So Raven from 2003 to 2007. He also reprised his role as Cory in a spinoff show called Cory in the House from 2007 to 2008. Since then, he’s since competed on Dancing With the Stars and has appeared on Gotham and Being Mary Jane.
37. Raven Symone as Raven from That’s So Raven
After she made a name for herself on The Cosby Show, Raven-Symoné played Raven Baxter on That’s So Raven from 2003 to 2007. She’s since worked as a host on The View and played Dre’s sister on the ABC sitcom Black-ish.
36. 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.
35. 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.
34. 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.
33. Selena Gomez as Alex Russo on Wizards of Waverly Place
Selena Gomez first rose to fame in her role as Alex Russo on Wizards of Waverly Place and her career has just continued to skyrocket since. She holds the title one of the most-followed people on Instagram and recently released new music referencing her tumultuous relationship with Justin Bieber.
32. 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.
31. 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.
30. 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.
29. Emily Osment as Lily Truscott from Hannah Montana
No one knew the epic success that Hannah Montana was going to be and it acted as a launchpad for many of its stars, including Emily Osment who played Lily Truscott. The actress went on to star in short films and TV movies like Cyberbully, but Osment’s biggest role since her Disney days is her starring role in Young & Hungry from 2014 to 2018.
28. 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.
27. Miley Cyrus as Miley Stewart from Hannah Montana
Miley Cyrus has had a career that’s far surpassed her days on Disney Channel! Miley starred in Hannah Montana from 2006 to 2011 but shed her good-girl image in 2013 with the release of her album Bangerz. This past year she had a messy divorce from Liam Hemsworth and also starred in an episode of Black Mirror. She’s earned extensive credits in both her acting and music career with more to come in the future!
26. 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.
25. 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.
24. Shia LaBeouf as Louis on Even Stevens
Shia LaBeouf played troublemaker Louis on Even Stevens from 2000 to 2003. The series launched LaBeouf’s acting career and the star went on to play leading roles in I, Robot, Disturbia, Transformers, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. LaBeouf’s successful career hasn’t come without controversy though. He was arrested in 2017 and had a stint in rehab, where he wrote a loose autobiography film called Honey Boy which was released in 2019.
23. Demi Lovato as Sonny on Sonny with a Chance
Demi Lovato began her Disney career as a youngster on Barney & Friends. In 2009 she starred in the Disney Channel movie Princess Protection Program and also got her big break as Sonny on Disney’s Sonny With a Chance. Once she earned the role of Mitchie on Camp Rock, she became a bona fide household name. Following her Disney days, Lovato launched a full-blown music career with six studio albums under her belt. Nowadays, however, Lovato is laying quite low after an overdose scare in July 2018.
22. 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. Aly and AJ still continue to sing together and released new music in 2019, which has been Aly’s career focus in recent years.
21. 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.
20. Zendaya as Rocky Blue on Shake It Up!
Zendaya is another Disney star whose time on the network acted as a launchpad for her career. She began her acting career as Rocky Blue on Disney’s Shake It Up! then went on to play the titular character in K.C. Undercover which ended in early 2018. She also began starring in films during this time and took on roles in Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Greatest Showman in 2017. This past year she took on an edgier role as the leading character in HBO’s Euphoria.
19. 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.
18. 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.
17. Kiely Williams as Aqua from The 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!
16. Brenda Song as London Tipton from Suite Life of Zach and Cody
Brenda Song was a staple actress on 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.
15. Dylan & Cole Sprouse as Zack & Cody from The Suite Life of Zach and Cody
Dylan and Cole Sprouse were Disney superstars with their roles on The Suite Life of Zach and Cody and The Suite Life on Deck. After their time on the network, the twins went on to study at NYU. Cole now stars as Jughead in the hit CW show, Riverdale, while Dylan opened a meadery in Brooklyn.
14. Debby Ryan as Bailey Pickett from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
Debby Ryan had multiple roles within the Disney channel in the 2000s! She appeared on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Austin & Ally then went on to have her own show called Jessie from 2011 to 2015. Nowadays, she’s the star of Netflix’s buzz-worthy show Insatiable.
13. 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.
12. 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.
11. 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.
10. Jason Dolley as PJ Duncan on Good Luck Charlie
Jason Dolley played PJ Duncan on Disney’s Good Luck Charlie from 2010 to 2014. The actor completely stepped away from his former Disney image when he took on a role in Staged Killer, in which he plays a murderer. Jason is also working on a movie called Secret Agent Dingledorf and His Trusty Dog Splat which is set to premiere in 2020.
9. 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 reboot comes to fruition.
8. Vanessa Hudgens as Gabriella Montez from High School Musical
Vanessa Hudgens rose to instant fame when she took on the leading role of Gabriella Montez on High School Musical. Following the film’s conclusion, she went on to continue to act in films such as the 2012 thriller Spring Breakers and the 2013 indie film Gimme Shelter. In more recent years, she’s taken on roles in the Netflix royal rom-com The Princess Switch and another Christmas film, The Knight Before Christmas.
7. Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay from High School Musical
You likely remember Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay Evans from High School Musical or Maddie Fitzpatrick from The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. While she’s no longer a Disney star, that’s not to say she isn’t still in the spotlight. Tisdale has worked as an executive producer, has a notable music career and even bought her own cosmetic line, Illuminate Cosmetics. She also got married in 2014 to musician Christopher French.
6. Zac Efron as Troy Bolton from High School Musical
If you grew up in the ’00s you likely had a major crush on Zac Efron after seeing him play leading man Troy Bolton in High School Musical! Zac went on to have quite a successful career in the acting world following the role. He took on starring roles in multiple rom-coms including 17 Again, Charlie St. Cloud, New Year’s Eve and The Lucky One along with a few comedies including That Awkward Moment, Neighbors and Dirty Grandpa. Most recently, his career took a turn when he took the big screen as serial killer Ted Bundy in Netflix’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.
5. Corbin Bleu as Chad Danforth from High School Musical
Corbin Bleu made a name for himself playing Chad Danforth in High School Musical, but where did he end up now? The star went on to take on roles in the soap One Life to Live, Drop Dead Diva, and The Middle. Bleu also found great success on Broadway and has even won awards for his dance performances in Kiss Me, Kate and Holiday Inn, The New Irving Berlin Musical. He also got married in 2016 to actress Sasha Clements.
4. 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.”
3. Hilary Duff as Lizzie on Lizzie McGuire
Hilary Duff was the it-girl of the early 2000s through her starring role on Lizzie McGuire, and her career hasn’t slowed down even though she’s now in her 30s! After her role on Lizzie McGuire, she starred in Cheaper by the Dozen and A Cinderella Story in 2003 and Raise Your Voice in 2004. The following year in 2005, she landed a lead role in The Perfect Man and another in 2006 in Cheaper by the Dozen 2. During this busy time, the megastar also released three studio albums. Nowadays, she’s wrapping up her successful role as Kelsey Peters on Younger and is reprising her role as Lizzie on the Disney reboot.
2. 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!
1. 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!