Your Favorite Christmas Movie Child Stars: Where Are They Now?
'Tis the season to wonder what ever happened to these adorable kids
MARA WILSON, MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET
Wilson was only 7 years old when she brought wise-beyond-her-years charm to the 1994 remake. She went on to score starring roles in Matilda and A Simple Wish before stepping away from the Hollywood life and earning a degree from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Her memoir, Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame, hit shelves in 2016. In November 2017, she spoke out against the sexualization of young Hollywood stars in a powerful essay for Elle.
MACAULAY CULKIN, HOME ALONE
Roles in the beloved holiday classic, Uncle Buck and Richie Rich helped shape Culkin into an iconic '90s child star. After a near decade-long hiatus from acting, he took on film roles in Party Monster and Saved!. These days, he keeps busy playing with his band, The Pizza Underground, hanging with goddaughter Paris Jackson. "I don't just turn my back [on the spotlight], I actively don't want it," he told The Guardian of fame in 2016. However, he did reprise his famous Home Alone role at Christmas 2018 for a Google holiday ad.
PETER BILLINGSLEY, A CHRISTMAS STORY
Billingsley's portrayal of aspiring-BB gun owner Ralphie — a performance he delivered at 12 years old — was so endearing that it's now played on TV for 24 hours straight every Christmas. He's stuck with acting over the years, but has been even more active behind the camera. His resume includes executive producer credits on Iron Man, F Is For Family and The Break-Up, and his directorial debut, Couples Retreat. Billingsley also served as a producer on the Broadway musical adaptation of A Christmas Story.
THOMAS BRODIE-SANGSTER, LOVE ACTUALLY
The angel-faced actor has continued to work steadily into adulthood. He's appeared in Game of Thrones, Nowhere Boy, Nanny McPhee, The Maze Runner franchise and even had a small part in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Last year, Brodie-Sangster reprised his Love Actually role for the charity mini-sequel Red Nose Day Actually. Now, he's back on-screen in the fall hit The Queen's Gambit.
TAYLOR MOMSEN, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
In 2000, Momsen taught us all about the real meaning of Christmas as Cindy Lou Who. Seven years later, she scored the role of ambitious teen Jenny Humphrey on Gossip Girl. The star now focuses her energies on her rock band, The Pretty Reckless. "It's less frustrating if someone recognizes me for it; it's more frustrating that I still get asked about it," she told PEOPLE in 2016 about being asked to talk about her CW days. "It feels like someone asking you about junior high. It literally was my junior high, so that's what it feels like to me. It's such a past life that it's a strange question to continue to get asked."
JOHNNY GALECKI, NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION
Galecki joined the Chevy Chase-led Vacation series as son Rusty Griswold in 1989. He became a permanent cast member on Roseanne in 1992, and returned as David Healy in its revival. Recently done with his long-running role on The Big Bang Theory, the actor is bringing a Christmas Vacation spinoff to HBO Max.
ERIC LLOYD, THE SANTA CLAUSE
In The Santa Clause trilogy, Lloyd starred alongside Tim Allen as Charlie, the son of a divorced dad who becomes the actual St. Nick. He continued acting in the 8-year gap between the first and second films in the series before enrolling at Chapman University to study film production. Lloyd now plays in a band, runs a production studio and occasionally acts. "It's funny that people still recognize me," he shared in a 2014 Reddit AMA. "I don't think I look the same. But people will come from across the room and say 'OH MY GOD, CHARLIE!'"
KAROLYN GRIMES, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
Grimes was a mere 6 years old when she warmed hearts as Zuzu Bailey in 1946. She only acted up until the early 1950s, but the classic Christmas movie remains an important part of her life. She still travels to speak at screenings of the film during the holiday season, and published Zuzu Bailey's It's a Wonderful Life Cookbook in 2000.