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11/25/2013 09:59 am ET Updated Nov 25, 2013

How Teen Heartthrob Ricky Schroder Escaped Child Star Drama (VIDEO)

Ricky Schroder was 12 years old when he landed the lead role on the '80s TV sitcom "Silver Spoons." The show turned him into a full-blown teen heartthrob, a path that many child actors have difficulty navigating. On "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" Schroder let cameras into his home in California to give viewers a look into his life today, at age 43.

"The whole thing with the screaming girls and stuff, I didn't understand," Schroder says in the above video. "I don't know how anyone's comfortable with that. I wasn't comfortable with it. I joke with my kids, 'You know, Dad wasn't as big as Justin Bieber, but Dad was pretty big when he was 15!'"

"It is a challenge transitioning from a child star, because if your ego is totally tied up in your work and if you don't work for a while, it can be scary," Schroder says. "It's very hard to have been famous and try to live a normal life -- like Gary Coleman did, for example. I knew Gary and he was a good guy. And he had some challenges in life and he overcame them, and I admired him for that. But he just didn't transition. And I always felt sympathy for Gary, what it felt like to be Gary as a security guard. It's almost cruel."

Schroder continued acting as an adult, starring in the successful mini-series "Lonesome Dove" and TV crime drama "NYPD Blue." "I just had that kind of tenacious attitude to not quit," he says. "And also there were opportunities for me when I needed them."

Getting married and starting a family at a young age also helped keep him grounded. "Having kids when I was 21 doesn't leave a lot of room for going out on Friday nights," he says.

He and his wife, Andrea Bernard, have four children together. In the video, Bernard shows off the "dream board" she made at 8 years old, which included her goal to meet and marry Schroder. Her wish came true -- Schroder and Bernard have been married for 21 years. Today, they run their own production company and recently developed a reality series called "Starting Strong."

We have challenges like every family," Schroder says. "Ups and downs, dreams that are hard to attain and successes that we all share and celebrate together -- it's a family."

"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on OWN.

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