If you grew up watching Disney Channel, you have fond memories of your favorite stars. It was so easy to ignore homework and turn on the TV for the latest episode of the most popular Disney show at the time. Everyone at school would be talking about it.
From Lizzie McGuire to Suite Life on Deck, it seemed as if these shows would last forever. Whether it’s a teen crush or a fictional BFF, kids are obsessed with Disney shows. It’s hard to imagine the fame that comes with being a child star ever disappearing.
While on Disney, these actors thrived in the spotlight. However, all good things must come to an end. Child actors eventually grow up. While some go on to star in Hollywood blockbusters or make hit albums, others slowly fade away. Once a show is over, it’s easy to forget it ever existed, but fading from stardom is never easy.
Whether they willingly walked away from the spotlight or simply couldn’t get any more jobs, these are the 15 Disney Stars Who Disappeared Once Their Show Ended.
15. Adam Lamberg
Every fan of Lizzie McGuire adored Gordo. He was the lovable dork and sweet best friend that everyone hoped Lizzie would finally fall for. After starring as a main character in the series and the Lizzie McGurie Movie, Adam Lamberg decided to quit acting. He starred in two essentially unknown films– When Do We Eat? and Beautiful Loser– before calling it quits and switching to college life.
Much like Gordo, Lamberg likes to keep away from the spotlight and do his own thing. He studied Geography at UC Berkley, then attended Baruch College where he received his MPA. Rather than rejoin the acting career, he chose to work as a developmental associate at at the Irish Arts Center in New York.
14. Ricky Ullman
Raviv Ullman, or “Ricky” as he was called from 1997-2996, was on one of the more forgettable Disney shows. Phil of the Future was only on for two seasons.
After starring in the original movie Pixel Perfect and a small appearance on Kim Possible: So The Drama, he moved on to a minor ABC Family role in Searching for David’s Heart. His last film role was a television movie on Cartoon Network called Contest.
Ullman then began to go by his birth name and decided to swap out cameras for the stage. He’s appeared in multiple off-broadway plays including Russian Transport and The Bad Guys.
Many people don’t realize that he’s also musically talented, and is a part of a band called Reputante. You can see what his band is up to on Twitter.
13. Cody Linley
Every girl that watched Hannah Montana remembers teen heart-throb Jake Ryan. Played by Cody Linley, we crushed on his character along with Miley for years. Fans were sad to see him leave the show in 2010. What has he been up to since then? Not quite what you’d expect.
Linley scored a role in the popular Syfy film Sharknado 4 six years after his time on Hannah Montana. One random place where fans may recognize him from is on season seven of Dancing With The Stars, which he performed on during his time on Hannah Montana. He and dance partner Julianne Hough scored fourth place.
He’s not ashamed of his time on Disney and sometimes posts throwback pictures of his time on the show on his Instagram. He’s no longer stealing hearts on Hannah Montana, but he’s happy spending his time battling shark-tornadoes instead.
12. Ashlie Brillault
Fans of Lizzie McGuire will always remember classic mean-girl Kate Sanders played by Ashlie Brillault. Whether admiring her outfit or loving her spiteful actions, Kate was a popular Disney channel nemesis. However, Lizzie’s blonde frenemy has dropped off the map since her Disney days.
Believe it or not, Brillault is now a lawyer. She attended California State University where she received her B.A. She moved to Colorado where she met her husband and she received her J.D. from the University of Denver.
She has a daughter and is currently focusing on being a mother. After that, she intends to work on issues related to criminal justice reform. In her spare time she gives to numerous charities. It looks like her mean-girl days are over.
11. Steven Anthony Lawrence
Beans from Even Stevens was the goofy, annoying, and adorable guy next door who everyone loved. Well, after the show ended, Steven Anthony Lawrence dropped off the radar.
He’s living life away from the glamour of Hollywood. He’s been doing a little bit of acting, though mostly only for commercials. He’s also teaching college kids. He’s led seminars at various California colleges.
What else is he up to? He’s also helping Santa Claus at Sunvalley Shopping Center in California. That seems fitting considering that he also played an elf character in a T-Mobile commercial. Apparently the Christmas thing is going to stick, because he has a role in an upcoming film entitled Holly, Jingles, and Clyde 3D after his hiatus.
10. Dan Benson
Remember Justin Russo’s geeky, awkward best friend Zeke on Wizards of Waverly Place? Since his time of the show, actor Dan Benson has spent a lot of his free time in the gym and encourages others to better their health, including former cast-mate Gregg Sulkin.
Fans are often surprised to see that Benson has evolved into a good-looking guy compared to the nerdy character he played on the show.
He was a voice actor in a couple episodes of the popular animated show Rick and Morty and has starred one or two movies. He has a supporting role in the film Killing Diaz which will come out later this year, but that’s pretty much it. He’s certainly laid low since his Disney days.
9. Doug Brochu
Sonny with a Chance was a short-lived but successful show on Disney from 2009-2011. The show ended after star Demi Lovato chose to leave for personal reasons. Doug Brochu played Sonny’s goofy and lovable friend Grady. Fans can’t forget the antics that Grady and his friend Nico used to get up to in each episode.
After the show ended, Brochu moved on to a few other Disney roles, including a spinoff called So Random! and Pair of Kings. He hasn’t done much acting since then. He was in a few short films. He starred in Obituaries alongside James Franco, but he has taken a break from acting since then.
8. Tiffany Thornton
Another adored star on Sonny with a Chance was Tawni, who was played by Tiffany Thornton. Tawni was a girl who loved to hog the spotlight but ultimately had a good heart. She also starred in the spinoff So Random! After that, she voiced a character named Lupita on Muertoons.
She’s currently auditioning for other acting roles but hasn’t had much luck landing any. She is, however, a proud mother of two children. Tragically, she lost her husband in a car accident in 2015.
She went on to become a radio personality for KLAZ 105.9 based in Arkansas for two years. As of now, she works as a recruitment advisor for Champion Christian College. However, being a mother is still the most important part of her life.
7. Kay Panabaker
After playing Debbie Berwick, the annoyingly chipper friend of Pim’s on Phil of the Future, Kay Panabaker took a few movie roles before she decided to ditch the acting gig altogether.
Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3 and Cyberbully just didn’t do it for her. While her sister Danielle Panabaker found a role on the CW’s The Flash as Caitlin Snow, Kay found a new career alongside animals as a zoologist. After her time on the Disney Channel she attended UCLA and landed a full-time job at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
6. Orlando Brown
Orlando Brown played Raven’s best friend Eddie on That’s So Raven. Fans probably remember the few intensely stressful times when the two characters kissed before deciding that they were better as friends. After the show ended, Brown appeared in a few other Disney shows and voiced Sticky on The Proud Family. Since then, he hasn’t been in much.
After his time on Disney, Brown became most well-known for being arrested for a domestic dispute involving his girlfriend and drug possession. He also had a small role in Straight Out of Compton, but the controversial arrest overshadowed it.
5. Jake Thomas
Every kid that watched Lizzie McGuire was annoyed by her little brother Matt at some point. Jake Thomas played the conniving, mischievous younger sibling that made Lizzie’s middle school life even harder than it already was.
Maybe fans didn’t notice because they never got over the loss Lizzie McGuire (can we blame them?), but Thomas did go on to star in another Disney channel show: Cory in the House. He played Jason Stickler, the rival of Cory Baxter.
After his time on Disney ended, he appeared in a few television roles here and there, including an episode of Criminal Minds. He worked on a web series called Storytellers as well. However, he’s never done anything else quite as popular as Lizzie McGuire.
4. Amy Bruckner
Remember Pim Diffy from Phil of the Future? She was Phil’s mischievous but hilarious little sister who loved to get into trouble. Amy Bruckner was only thirteen while on the show, and a lot has changed for her since then.
Bruckner took a break from acting to study feminist theory and human rights at NYU. She also traveled throughout Europe. However, she had an epiphany while traveling and, after a six year break, Bruckner is ready to try her hand at acting again. She appeared in the Lifetime movie Assault and is actively seeking out more roles.
3. Jennifer Stone
While Selena Gomez was the breakout star of Wizards of Waverly Place, her character Alex Russo wouldn’t have been anything without her quirky best friend Harper. Played by Jennifer Stone, Harper was the sweet, awkward, and crafty BFF that every girl wanted in her life.
After the show ended, Stone moved away from Disney. Weirdly enough, she ended up on Nickelodeon. She starred in television series Deadtime Stories before moving on to a television short Nasty Habits. Stone also appeared in the TV movie High School Possession.
It seems fitting that Stone went from starring on a show about magic and wizards to small horror roles, though she hasn’t had many roles since. She’s really active on social media, regularly posting on Twitter and Instagram.
2. Matthew Timmons
Admittedly, Matthew Timmons isn’t the first star you think of when you hear The Suite Life on Deck, since twins Dylan and Cole Sprouse overshadowed all the other stars on the show. Timmons played goofy but lovable Woody Fink. After his time on the show, he appeared in an episode of the series Jessie.
He hasn’t acted in anything new since his Disney days, but he’s still making fans laugh on his social media. On the show, he wasn’t exactly known for being cool or good-looking, but he has changed a lot since then. From the looks of him now, he seems more like an indie rock-star than an ex-Disney actor.
1. Christy Carlson Romano
Of course when fans hear the words Even Stevens, the first star they think of is Shia LaBeouf. He went on to make quite the name for himself, but do you know where actress Christy Carlson Romano is now?
She played Ren Stevens, the brilliant older sister in the Stevens family, and later voiced the popular cartoon character Kim Possible, which could be considered an equally as popular role.
Romano was one of Disney’s biggest stars, but what happened to her after her Disney days ended? She appeared in several ABC Family films. She also starred on Broadway as Belle in Beauty and the Beast before taking a long break to go to college. Romano attended Barnard College where she studied political science. Apparently she missed the stage, because soon after she returned to it in Avenue Q.
Romano has also taken a step behind the camera in recent years, producing or directing a few short films. In 2016, she starred in the movie Bear With Us and worked on the film House Rules. While she disappeared from Disney fan’s radars, she’s clearly still working hard.
Can you think of any other Disney Channel stars who disappeared or went on to do completely unrelated things after their shows were over? Let us know!
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