Growing out of child stardom seems to be a near impossible task. With a test sample of Disney channel actors, it is easy to see how many have ended up with glitches on their paths to becoming the perfect role models.
Think about it. It is hard to search a Disney star's name online without finding reports of drug abuse, rehab, promiscuity, and nude photo scandals. However, an impressive few have made it into adulthood relatively unscathed, and as bold representations of the morals taught through Disney's programming.
Here are the eight former Disney stars who have managed to not go wild, and be a bit productive in the process.
Raven won over the hearts of many as a young girl in "The Cosby Show" but was able to exhibit her real talent when she starred in Disney's "That's So Raven." The actress gained popularity in the Disney movie and music franchise "The Cheetah Girls" and a handful of other Disney channel shows and original movies. Since then, she has tried her hand at Broadway, performing in "Sister Act,"
and has contemplated a further career in music. In the last couple years, Raven has opened up about being a lesbian
and supporting equal rights for all.
Starring in "Even Stevens" and "Kim Possible" had to have kept Romano busy as a young actress. Her career has quieted down, but the actress has seen her fair share of success. Romano starred as Belle in "Beauty and the Beast" on Broadway in 2004, and later as Kate Monster in "Avenue Q." Outside of acting, the star has written a novel and was recently married
to boyfriend Brendan Rooney.
Kyle Massey first gained Disney fame as Corey Baxter in "That's So Raven" and continued his legacy in his own spinoff show, "Corey In The House." Years later, in 2010, Massey did what has become common among fading stars — he competed on "Dancing With The Stars." The actor and his partner were runners–up on the popular dance show
and Massey gained a new demographic of fans. In 2013, Massey wowed the media with his maturity as he responded to false rumors
that he was dying of cancer, telling ET, "… any illnesses that a person has no control over getting is not something to joke about or make light of …"
This sister duo gained Disney stardom when they appeared in the channel's original movie "Cow Belles" together. Aly Michalka had previously gained attention from her role in Disney's "Phil of The Future." In 2010, the two acted in the CW show "Hellcats" about competitive cheerleaders. Beyond acting, the sisters have recorded studio albums under the name "Aly & AJ" and "78violet." They found a hit with their "Potential Breakup Song
" which reached the American Top 20. The Michalka girls are planning another album
for release in early 2014.
Mowry is best known for his role as smart alec T.J. Henderson on the WB's "Smart Guy," but the actor gained Disney fame on the animated series "Kim Possible" as the voice of Wade. Since his childhood, Mowry has played high school and college football, graduated from Pepperdine University, and now stars in ABC Family's "Baby Daddy." How'd he survive young stardom? "Whenever I wasn’t working, I had my butt back in normal school
. I went from the [TV] set to football practice, from the set to track practice. My parents separated it and that let me know that TV life wasn’t my normal life; that was my job and my hobby. [The key is] being around normal kids! [Laughs] Some child actors grow up crazy and it’s not their fault," he told Ebony magazine in 2012. Oh, and he's a pretty dreamy singer
While Miley Cyrus
has been showing skin, twerking, and dropping drug references, her "Hannah Montana" co-star, Emily Osment, has managed to maintain a good–girl image. Osment played Miley's best friend Lilly in the popular Disney show. Though she has kept quiet in comparison to the show's leading lady, Osment's career is still in full swing. The actress won awards for her performance in TV movie "Cyberbully"
and has been pursuing a music career.
Brenda Song made a big splash when she starred as London Tipton in "The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody." The actress found huge Disney success as she went on to appear in the show's spinoff, "The Suite Life On Deck" and the channel's original movie, "Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior." During the peak of her Disney fame, Song spoke openly about her responsibilities as a role model. "Besides Hollywood grand-openings and award shows, I try to stay away from the parties. It’s so easy to be swept away from that whole scene because it’s expected of you," she explained in an interview
with Hmong Today. She has been known to host charity events, spent time as the face of Disney's Friends For Change campaign, and continues to act. Most notably, Song appeared in the Golden Globe–winning film, "The Social Network."