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Whatever Happened To The Actor Behind Aang From Avatar: The Last Airbender?

As the protagonist of "Avatar: The Last Airbender," Aang is one of the most iconic characters that Nickelodeon has ever produced. Even now, over a decade after the beloved animated series stopped airing circa 2008, that scrappy monk boy with no hair and wicked arrow tattoos remains recognizable. This is true not just for the adults who grew up watching the series but also for the kids (or adults) who have seen it through cable reruns or streaming services.

But for all Aang's popularity, there is a great deal of mystery surrounding the actor behind him. In fact, Zach Tyler Eisen has remained something of a recluse. Eisen, who was only 11 when "Avatar: The Last Airbender" first aired, has maintained a relatively dry list of credits since 2008. He doesn't have a heavy presence on social media (his Instagram is private), and he rarely speaks publicly about the role. So whatever happened to the actor behind Aang?

Zach Tyler Eisen stopped acting at a young age

There aren't many things that "Avatar: The Last Airbender" could be criticized for. The show managed a certain level of competency in almost every aspect of production, voice acting included. Zach Tyler Eisen was certainly talented enough as a child star, and with previous roles as the lead in "The Ant Bully," Pablo in "The Backyardigans," and Andrew Mulligan in "Little Bill," he definitely had the résumé to back up an adult acting career. However, according to Eisen himself, he made a conscious decision to avoid acting as a long-term career.

"I'd never really had that desire," Eisen said in a 2020 interview on the podcast Ted Jones World. "And that's part of the reason that I've been out of the spotlight for so long. ... It was something else that I did in my life. It was a great thing, and I'm still thankful for it, but I never really saw myself as someone who wanted to live that lifestyle."

Nevertheless, Eisen also said that he would never completely rule out acting in the future. For the time being, however, he is satisfied with his current behind-the-camera job in the entertainment industry. Eisen may have valued his time on the series, but it seems that he'd rather be a regular Joe Schmoe.