Child Stars: Where Are They Now?

Awww here it goes! It was just announced that Kel Mitchell, one half of the beloved Kenan & Kel duo, will be returning to his home network of Nickelodeon to star in an new show. Flip through our gallery to see how he—and some of our other favorite child stars—have transformed through the years. 

ESSENCE.COM Jul, 09, 2015

1 of 42 The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

It seems like just yesterday that Kel was playing the lovable yet dopey best friend of Kenan Thompson on Nickelodeon's Kenan & Kel

2 of 42 David Livingston/Getty Images

Kel is all grown up! Nickelodeon just announced that Kel would be starring on the upcoming Game Shakers, where he would be playing a rapper who befriends a group of preteens who have created an app. All that we ask is that he works in a "Who looooves orange soda?" every now and then.

3 of 42

We fell in love with a pint-size Keke when she stole the show in 2006's Akeelah and the Bee.

4 of 42 Instagram/Keke Palmer

Now all grown up and romantically linked to men like Cavaliers player J.R. Smith and R&B singer August Alsina, Keke is unapologetic about her newfound grown woman status. Keke also recently finished up her run as Broadway's first Black Cinderella, and in September, she's slated to star in Fox's newest series, Scream Queens

5 of 42

How adorable is Raven Symoné? She first made her first acting appearance as Olivia Kendall in The Cosby Show.

6 of 42 Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Raven raised eyebrows late last year when she made a comment that she doesn't identify as an African-American; she is simply an American. Since then, she has secured a permanent gig as co-host of The View

7 of 42

Brandy took the music world by storm with her self-titled debut album in 1994. She went on to star in Thea in 1993 and Moesha three years later.

8 of 42 Instagram

Looking flawless earlier this year at ESSENCE Black Women in Music event, Brandy showed audiences everywhere that she's still got it. She's currently starring as Roxie Hart in Chicago on Broadway, and last October, she celebrated her 20 year anniversary in the entertainment biz. Here's to 20 more!

9 of 42

Jaleel White stole the show with his nerdy character Steve Urkel in Family Matters.

10 of 42

White is far past his nerdy days. He’s since appeared in several TV shows and films, and in 2012, he made a splash on Dancing with the Stars.

11 of 42

Cherub-faced Voorhies played Lisa Turtle, a spoiled Valley girl in Saved by the Bell.

12 of 42 Yahoo

Now 38, Voorhies recently had the Internet abuzz with her drastic new look during an appearance on Yahoo!’s The Yo Show, where she spoke about a possible Saved by the Bell reunion. Voorhies also heads up her own production company, Yo Soy Productions.

13 of 42

Though her acting career began when she was 16, Maia Campbell’s most popular role was Tiffany Warren on In the House opposite LL Cool J and Alfonso Ribeiro.

14 of 42

Campbell’s bouts with drug abuse are well documented online. The actress seems to be back on track and appeared in an interview announcing that she’s been sober for years.

15 of 42

Campbell was 14 when he burst onto the music scene with the chart topping song “Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)” in 1990.

16 of 42

Now 39, Campbell has extended his love of music to Broadway (he starred in an Australian run of Hairspray). He also made a special appearance at the 2014 ESSENCE fest!

17 of 42

Playing Laura Winslow on the hit TV show Family Matter, Williams won America’s heart as Steve Urkel’s dream girl.

18 of 42

Since her role on Family Matters, Williams has kept a low profile, making few appearances on television and film. She's now married and the proud mom of two children.

19 of 42

The adorable Mowry twins made a splash on television with their show Sister, Sister in 1994.

20 of 42

Tia and Tamera Mowry have come a long way since their first sitcom. They've both maintained successful careers on television and are both proud mamas.

21 of 42

Keisha Knight Pulliam played Rudy, the adorable kid sister in the The Cosby Show from 1984 to 1992.

22 of 42

Pulliam, who graduated from Spelman College in 2001, is a proud member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority and continues to work as an actress, having recently starred in the now-defunct Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. She recently addressed Bill Cosby sexual allegation rumors, saying that there are two sides to every story.

23 of 42

Monica burst onto the music scene in 1995 with her debut album Miss Thang. Years later she would team up with Brandy for one of the most successful duets of all time, “The Boys is Mine.”

24 of 42

Years later, this Georgia peach is still stealing the spotlight. With a budding music career, a husband and three adorable children, her life and career is blossoming before our eyes.

25 of 42

Ali played Ashley Banks, Will Smith’s adorable cousin on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

26 of 42

Ali has continued acting in Hollywood and is a proud owner, along with her sisters, of HazraH Entertainment, a production company.

27 of 42

Master P’s son Lil’ Romeo started his career off in 2001 with a self-titled debut album. From there, he leaped into television and released two more albums.

28 of 42

Romeo dropped the “Lil” and became a full fledged man, winning over the ladies on both the small and big screen. In 2011, he played Tasha Smith’s young love interest in Jumping the Broom. He’s also appeared in Madea’s Witness Protection. His most recent project? He's slated to star in the upcoming reality show, Growing Up Hip-Hop, which follows the lives of hip-hop stars' children. 

29 of 42

Regina King starred as Brenda Jenkins in 227.

30 of 42

The real question is what hasn’t Regina King done since 227? The actress has continually worked on the big and small screen and currently stars on the hit TV show Southland. We were thrilled to honor her at ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood earlier this year! 

31 of 42

As Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show, Lisa Bonet continues to be an icon for fashion lovers.

32 of 42

A mom of two (her daughter is actress Zoe Kravitz), Bonet has kept a low-profile. However, our hearts did melt when her ex, Lenny Kravitz, shared this pic of he, Lisa and Zoe from this year's Met Gala! 

33 of 42

Before he was Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Alfonso Ribeiro (pictured with a young Keisha Knight Pulliam) starred in the ’80s classic as Silver Spoons. He even starred in a
Pepsi commercial with Michael Jackson.

34 of 42

Now 40 years old, Ribeiro recently directed the TV series, Things We Do for Love. Much to our delight, he won Dancing with the Stars last season. We had a sneaking suspicion that that "Carlton dance" would take him far. A few weeks ago, he was named as the new host of America's Funniest Videos. 

35 of 42

Kim Fields may be all grown up but we still can’t forget her as Tootie on The Facts of Life.

36 of 42

Fields has never left our screens. In the ‘90s, she starred in yet another beloved sitcom, Living Single. She also starred in the movie, What To Expect When You’re Expecting.

37 of 42

Who could forget Lil Bow Wow when he splashed on the scene as the smallest and youngest rapper around? His debut album Beware of Dog launched him into stardom. The following year he landed a role in the hit kid film Like Mike.

38 of 42

Nowadays, this father splits his time between music and film. He played Byron, a troubled teen in Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family, and he's still dropping hits. He's also engaged to his long-time girlfriend, former Love & Hip-Hop star, Erica Mena. 

39 of 42

Malcolm Jamal Warner made his television debut in 1982, but it wasn’t until he landed the role of Theo Huxtable, Bill Cosby’s TV son, in 1984, that his acting career took off.

40 of 42

Since his Cosby Show days Warner has appeared in countless films and television shows including his very own comedy Malcolm & Eddie opposite Eddie Griffin in 1996. Warner landed a sporadic role on NBC's now-defunct Community, and he just signed on to star in American Crime Story.

41 of 42

With all her success as a singer it’s often easy to forget that Janet Jackson got her start playing Penny on Good Times when she was 10.

42 of 42

After being MIA for months, Ms. Jackson popped up shopping in Milan earlier this year. Since then, she has dropped a new single and announced an upcoming world tour. Welcome back, Miss Jackson!