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Aussie Child Stars: Where are they now?

Some have faded into obscurity whilst others have shone brighter than they ever did as children.
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They were once shining young faces that Australians watched grow up through their screens.

From drama to comedy, to feature films and international fame, these Australian child stars grew up in the public eye.

But in the years since the childhood acting debuts, where have these bright young things landed?

Kate Richie

Kate starred on Home and Away for over 20 years.

(IMAGE: Seven/Getty)

After shooting to fame at the tender age of eight in Home and Away, Kate Richie has gone from strength to strength, working in radio on Nova FM’s nation drive show Kate, Tim & Joel and in a number of other acting roles, most recently in the drama The Claremont Murders.

For her role as Sally Fletcher on the soap Kate won two Gold Logie awards, playing the character for an impressive 20 years from the pilot in 1988 until 2008.

As of 2023, Kate is single and raising her nine year old daughter Mae which she shares with ex husband Stuart Webb.

Ryan Corr

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Ryan…

(IMAGE: ABC/Getty)

After shooting to fame in iconic kids’ shows such as Sleepover Club, Silversun and Blue Water High in the early 2000s, Ryan found himself wrapped up in a heroin scandal that almost derailed his acting career for good.

Putting the scandal behind him, the actor learned from his mistakes and scored roles on Love Child, Wanted and Hoges: The Paul Hogan Story.

And for his spectacular performance in Banished, he was even nominated for a Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Supporting Actor in 2016.

He’s also starred in Packed to the Rafters, Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Wolf Creek 2 and The Water Diviner.

Nicole Kidman

Nicole has had a career spanning over 40 years.

(IMAGE: Getty)

This actress needs no introductions and has gone on to become one of the biggest names in Hollywood.

Arguably Australia’s biggest known export, she’s now an Emmy, BAFTA, Oscar AND Golden Globe Award winner (is there anything she can’t do?).

She first got her start in the likes of BMX Bandits and anthology series Winners in 1985 before jet setting off to Hollywood, and the rest is history…

Nowadays she splits her time in the US and in her Sydney residence in Milson’s Point with country music superstar (and fellow Australian export) Keith Urban. They share Faith, 12, and Sunday, 14 together.

Kidman also shares two adopted children Isabella and Connor with ex husband Tom Cruise.

Her next role will be in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom which is due for release in December 2023.

Ryan Clark

Ryan now works as a lifeguard on Bondi Rescue.

(IMAGE: Seven/Ten)

From soap to the surf, Ryan Clark has moved on from scripted drama to real life as a lifeguard on reality show Bondi Rescue.

Now known as ”Whippet”, Ryan has moved well and truly on from his time as Sam Marshall on Home and Away, a role he portrayed from the tender age of seven in 1991 across a whopping 614 episodes until 2005.

Growing up before Australia’s eyes, Ryan acted alongside the likes of Isla Fisher, Kate Richie and even shared a memorable romance with Hayley (Rebecca Hewitt) as a teenager.

Dannii Minogue

Dannii has been famous since day dot!

(IMAGE: National Film and Sound Archive/Getty)

Believe it or not, Dannii was the first sister to shoot to stardom, gaining international recognition for her role on Young Talent Time from 1982 – 1988.

She then went on to play Emma Jackson on Home and Away for a year before releasing albums Love and Kisses, Get into You, Girl and Neon Nights.

In the years since, she has served as a judge on multiple television talent shows like the X Factor, Next Top Model, Got Talent and more.

She also has her own fashion line in Target (Dannii Minogue petites) and has one son – Ethan, 12 – who she welcomed with her ex partner, former rugby league player Kris Smith.

Jordan Rodriguez

You can catch Jordan in Disney+ series National Treasure: Edge of History.

(IMAGE: ABC/Getty)

This teen heartthrob shot to fame on Dance Academy as Christian Reed but did you know he actually got his start as young Simba in The Lion King’s Australian tour in 2003 at the the age of just nine?

He also had a gig on Home and Away (let’s face it, what Aussie child star hasn’t spent time on this soap) as Jai Fernandez before he put on his dancing shoes….

From 2014 – 2018, Jordan has a recurring role on US series The Fosters, critically acclaimed film Lady Bird and has most recently starred in Disney+ series National Treasure: Edge of History.

He is currently dating longtime girlfriend Jacinta Gulisano.

Angourie Rice

Angourie got her big break at the age of just 12.

(IMAGE: Getty)

Despite being the tender age of 22, Angourie has an impressive career behind her.

After making her debut as a pre teen in apocalyptic thriller film These Final Hours in 2013, Angourie went on to star opposite Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in The Nice Guys, in Jasper Jones, Marvel blockbuster Spider-Man:Homecoming (and it’s sequel No Way Home), opposite Miley Cyrus in Black Mirror and is currently filming the film adaption of the Broadway musical Mean Girls.

And if you aren’t impressed yet, Angourie also hosts the podcast The Community Library with an aim to democratise critical reading skills.

Angus McLaren

Angus was the actor that ever teen girl had a crush on….

(IMAGE: Getty)

Making his professional debut when he was just 12 years old on ABC series Something in the Air, Angus went on to star in a number of other popular children’s shows including Worst Best Friends, The Saddle Club, H20: Just Add Water and Silversun.

From 2008 he started acting on Packed to the Rafters, appearing in 102 episodes over the show’s six seasons.

Since then he starred in Home and Away for a year, went back to school and studied a Bachelor of Acting at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and in 2021 returned to the beloved role of Nathan Rafter in Back to the Rafters.

Marny Kennedy

Mortified launched the career of many notable Australin actors.

(IMAGE: Nine/Instagram)

For the millennials reading this, Marny Kennedy was who you wanted to be as a kid. Getting her start as Taylor Fry, a schoolgirl with a wild imagination, on children’s show Mortified, Marny was the ‘IT Girl’ of the noughties.

Nowadays she has landed more acting jobs in television series such as Janet King, Bite Club and Wentworth.

She also does some influencer work on the side.

Mathew Waters

Mathew was the third child actor to play the role of Bronson Twist.

(IMAGE: ABC/Supplied)

Have you ever, ever felt like this? Strange things happen when you’re going round the twist!

Well Mathew Waters certainly did! Starring in 26 crazy episodes of the final two seasons of Round the Twist from 2000 – 2001, Mathew went on to act in Blue Water High, Peter Pan and more as a child.

In recent years he has had starring roles in Doctor Doctor and The Pacific.

Nowadays, Mathew lives in the UK, where he works in film and musical theatre.

Caitlin Stasey

Caitlin’s most recent film appearance was horror hit Smile.

(IMAGE: Getty)

Shooting to fame as Rachel Kinski on Neighbours, Caitlin went on the act in The Sleepover Club before her breakthrough film role in 2010’s Tomorrow, When the War Began. From 2013 – 2015 she acted in American series Reign, ABC2 comedy Please Like Me and most recently in horror film Smile.

Speaking on her sexuality, Stasey describes herself as ”fluid” and prefers not to be labeled.

She is currently dating girlfriend Erin Murphy-Muscatelliy.

Phoebe Tonkin

At the Sydney premiere of Transfusion in January 2023.

(IMAGE: Getty)

With an impressive 8.4m followers on Instagram, Phoebe is universally beloved.

From her time in the always iconic H20: Just Add Water (oh naaaaur cleoooor), to starring roles in smash hit franchises The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, this star hasn’t slowed down.

In fact, her schedule is jam packed with appearances, her latest being Stan Original Series Transfusion and in Hollywood juggernaut Babylon starring opposite Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.

As of 2023 Phoebe is dating Bloom star and Phantom Planet frontman Alex Greenwald.

Jason Donovan

Jason performed at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

(IMAGE: Getty)

Shooting to fame as Scott Robinson in Neighbours, Jason went on to sell millions of records across the world, his debut album Ten Good Reasons becoming the highest selling album in the UK for 1989.

From there he has had a number of number one singles, roles in musical theatre, and has won a slew of awards (including Logies).

Over the years, Jason has battled drug addiction but overcame this when he became dad to his daughter Jemma born in March 2000. He has two other children – Zac and Molly – with wife Angela Malloch.

His most recent television appearance was when he returned as Scott to Neighbours for a one-off cameo appearance (alongside Kylie Minogue as Charlene) for the show’s final ever episode.

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