Normally, when I write a “Where Are They Now?” post, I take a look at what’s happened to the major cast members of movies I’ve grown up with. For this post, though, I decided instead to take a look at the child actors that starred in classic horror films. You might think that many of them go on to become screwed up, but you could probably say that about child actors in general. Fortunately, many child actors from horror films – no matter how ridiculous or traumatizing for a child their roles may have been – have gone on to enjoy successful careers both in acting and through the pursuit of other interests. Below, check out what happened to eight of the most memorable child actors from classic horror movies.
Danny Lloyd as Danny Torrance in The Shining
Amazingly, Kubrick kept the fact that he was filming a horror movie a secret from Danny Lloyd. Still, Danny did hardly any acting following his role in The Shining, appearing only in a made-for-TV movie in 1982 called Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy and a documentary on the making of The Shining. Instead, Danny became a teacher, and in 2007, was a professor of biology at a community college in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Danny is also a teacher of the “hard sciences” in Missouri.
Harvey Stephens as Damien Thorn in The Omen
Like Danny Lloyd, Harvey Stephens didn’t do a lot of acting following his incredibly creepy role in The Omen. In 1980, he played Young Emil in the made-for-TV movie, Gauguin the Savage, and later appeared as a tabloid reporter in the 2006 remake of The Omen. His imdb.com page indicates that Harvey worked as a trader and property developer, but a recent appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show in 2008 revealed that Harvey was working on a new film. Currently, Harvey is married with one child.
Linda Blair as Regan in The Exorcist
Linda appeared in the sequel to The Exorcist and hasn’t looked back since. She’s had consistent work up to the present time, including roles in “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “MacGyver,” and even “Married with Children.” More recently, she’s appeared on the show “Supernatural.” Her personal life is probably more interesting than her professional life, however. Linda has been known to have dated Rick James (yes, THE Rick James), as well as Rick Springfield. Her battles with drugs and alcohol are well-documented, but she’s been able to overcome her problems and has started her own charity, the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation in order to help abused and neglected animals.
Alex Vincent as Andy Barclay in Child’s Play
Alex’s acting career didn’t last too long after Child’s Play, as he’s had just four films to his credit since then (including the first Child’s Play sequel), his most recent coming in 1993. Alex graduated from Hackensack High School in New Jersey in 1999. He currently plays the keyboard and sings for his band, Perception, and has been known to attend horror conventions over the years. Additionally, he’s published a book of poetry – if you’re interested, you can order a copy from his myspace page.
Daveigh Chase as Samara in The Ring
Daveigh Chase has gotten a ton of work since her role as Samara in The Ring. She’s appeared as Joyce on “Oliver Beene,” and has voiced Lilo for the cartoon series “Lilo & Stitch.” She also played Samantha in the movie (I believe it was straight to DVD) S. Darko, the sequel to Donnie Darko. Perhaps most notably, Daveigh currently plays Rhonda Volmer on the show “Big Love.” She is currently set to star in the psychological thriller Prettyface.
Daveigh is also a singer, having opened for Reba McEntire in the past as well as having sang for a holiday compilation album. Her solo album is currently on hold, however.
Miko Hughes as Gage Creed in Pet Semetary
After Pet Semetary, Miko went on to play the kid in Kindergarten Cop who tells Arnie all about anatomy, and Aaron Bailey on “Full House.” Miko’s also had roles in Apollo 13, Mercury Rising, and Spawn. He’s still acting today, and has an upcoming role as an Italian sculptor in City of Shoulders and Noses.
Miko currently lives in Apple Valley, California, and has around 30,000 bees in his backyard beehive. He’s had two musical albums released, both in 1995 when he was just 9 years old.
Heather O’Rourke as Carol Anne in Poltergeist
The adorable Heather O’Rourke continued her role as Carol Anne in the two Poltergeist sequels, with many television appearances in between, but she sadly died in February 1988 at just 12 years old. A lawsuit against Kaiser Foundation Hospital followed her death, as her parents claimed that but for a misdiagnosis, Heather would still be alive. The case was ultimately settled out of court.
Haley Joel Osment as Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense
Following his Academy Award-nominated performance as the kid who can see dead people, Haley Joel Osmet went on to star in films such as Secondhand Lions, Pay it Forward, and A.I. It’s not just the big screen where Haley Joel has made his mark, though; he’s done terrific voice acting as Sora for the Kingdom Hearts video game series, and debuted on Broadway in 2008 as a young heroin addict in a revival of David Mamet’s American Buffalo. He currently attends New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Haley Joel is an outstanding golfer, playing for the U.S. team in the All-Star Cup 2005. He’s also played in Michael Douglas’ celebrity golf tournament.
Haley Joel has had a small taste of legal trouble, pleading no contest to driving under the influence and drug possession back in 2006.