What The Hell Ever Happened To… Semi-Obscure 80s Child Stars

Posted by: Coco Buchanan

Have you ever randomly been thinking of some semi-obscure TV or movie from your childhood and wonder whatever happened to certain actors that seem to have dropped off the face of the earth? Well, I clearly have. Thus, begins What The Hell Ever Happened To… I internet-stalk them so you don’t have to put in the energy into feeling like a weirdo!

small_wonder1.  Harriet from Small Wonder, aka Emily Hope Webster, nee Shulman.
Harriet Brindle was the quintessential annoying freckle-faced redhead next door, if there ever was one.  She was proto-Urkel, with a big ‘ol splash of sass.  I think the last time I saw her in anything was either in a guest spot on Mr. Belvedere or in the legendary Troop Beverly Hills as Tiffany (also co-starring Tori Spelling, Carla Gugino and Jenny Lewis).  I also remember her starring in a show I remember liking a lot called Caddie Woodlawn-a show about a rambunctious tomboy who lived during frontier times.  I guess I have a thing for redheaded American heroines (hello, Anne of Green Gables!) pre-1920.

According to IMDB, Emily’s last appearance in front of the cameras was in 1995 on some show I vaguely remember called Christy, starring the ever-bland Kellie Martin (also a co-star on Troop Beverly Hills) .  Apparently, since then, as per Wikipedia, Emily has become well respected in the talent agent industry.  She married osme guy in 2002 and has 2 (readheaded!) kids.  She’s 31 now.   She looks pretty much the same.  Somehow I expected her future to be filled with much more sass.  Oh well.  She seems fairly well-adjusted from the incredibly limited information I’ve nosed around for.


punky-brewster2. Cherie from Punky Brewster, aka Cherie Johnson.
We all know what became of Soleil Moon Frye aka Punky Brewster….nothing interesting.  I think she was on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch for a while, and then got married and had kids or something, occasionally making appearances on D-list reality shows.  But what the hell ever happened to Cherie?  And why was her character in PB named after her?  Apparently, the part was modeled after her, as her Uncle is a TV producer.  I just remember thinking I liked her style a hell of a lot better than Punky’s and Margot’s…though I did have a soft spot for Margot.

You might remember her from Family Matters as Laura’s best friend, Maxine.  According to Wikipedia, she wants to write children’s books and produce her own show.  Pretty weird for a girl who appears in flyers like this (see below).  IMDB shows she’s still acting nowadays, though, in mostly slasher flicks and something called Mailbooty!


hobie3.  Hobie from Baywatch aka Jeremy Jackson.
Yes, I will admit that I actually watched Baywatch.  I really cannot explain why, but I think it might have had something to do with my Dad perving out over Pamela Anderson.  Anywho,  I remember sort of thinking Hobie was a cute non-threatening boy around the age I watched the show (elementary school I think).  Boy, did he ever turn into a grade A tool.

Not only does this guy promote Ed Hardy clothing, but for really, for having almost no career since Baywatch, he sure has lots of websites & bullshit dedicated to him.  Also, this allegedly ex-methhead has claimed that part the reason for said drug addiction was his “decision” to leave Baywatch.  Ummmm…ok.  Also, he was in some sex tape with some porn actress.  Who the hell would ever want to see such a thing?  Anwyay, overall, he seems like a creepazoid d-bag.


cockroach-cosby4.   Cockroach on the Cosby Show aka Carl Anthony Payne II.
I always wondered why the hell they wrote Cockroach, Theo’s more mischievous BFF, off the Cosby Show.  The only explanation I can find is that allegedly, he refused to cut his hair at the request of Bill Cosby.  Somehow, I don’t think that claim is wholly unfounded.  Cosby is pretty nuts.  Anyway, I just hate when they write someone off the show and either give a lame explanation or NO explanation at all.  Cockroach’s was, sadly and unjustly, the latter case.

For some reason, I was completely oblivious to the fact that he went on to play Martin Lawrence’s friend on Martin for a super long time (he even sings the theme song!)-a show which I only casually watched, because my mom refused to let me actually watch it for real.  I can only assume from this that she hates black people.  Kidding.  But she really does think that they have the innate ability to sing better than any other ethnic group.  Ugh.  Anyway…


Old Cockroach seems to be doing petty well for himself, relatively speaking.  I mean, at least compared to Cherie or Jeremy, acting job-wise.  Fun fact: he’s the stepfather to one of Bobby Brown’s sons!  That must be a total pain in the ass!


1 Comment

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One response to “What The Hell Ever Happened To… Semi-Obscure 80s Child Stars

  1. stellaglass

    I think it was the episode where Cockroach went on the Dance TV show with the host that Theo liked, without Theo that was the beginning of the end…

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