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Whatever Happened To The Cast Of Growing Pains?

"Growing Pains" captured the highs and lows of raising a family with warmth and charm. Running for seven seasons from 1985 to 1992, the show approached tough topics such as bullying, drugs, and gambling with thoughtfulness, but it was never afraid to be brutally honest. Series creator Neal Marlens built a complex and complicated family dynamic that was well worth tuning in every single week. The Seaver family — starring Alan Thicke (Dr. Jason Seaver), Joanna Kerns (Maggie Seaver), Kirk Cameron (Mike Seaver), Tracey Gold (Carol Seaver), Jeremy Miller (Ben Seaver), and eventually a frizzy-haired Ashley Johnson (Chrissy Seaver) — absolutely lit up the screen.

It has been 30 years since the beloved sitcom went off the air, and the cast has gone on to varying degrees of success, both onscreen and off. Many continued to takeover television and film, while others slid away from the spotlight for a quieter, more normal life. The main cast reunited for two films, "The Growing Pains Movie" in 2000 and "Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers" in 2004. Here, we check in with the cast and see what they've been up to since their wide-eyed and innocent "Growing Pains" days.

Jeremy Miller

Before playing the adorably-sweet Ben Seaver, Jeremy Miller landed guest roles on "Pryor's Place" and "Punky Brewster." Even while filming the first few seasons of "Growing Pains," he continued to snag smaller roles on "Charles in Charge" and "Diff'rent Strokes." He also voiced Linus in 1986's "Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!" as well as in "Snoopy: The Musical" two years later.

His goofy grin and charisma served him well during the run of the hit TV series. As the youngest child, Ben got into his fair share of shenanigans. Unfortunately, that spilled over into his real life. "There were times when I was so filled with self-loathing and self-hatred," he previously shared, noting he first got drunk when he was only 12.

After the show, he starred in one 1993 made-for-TV movie, "Based on an Untrue Story," alongside Morgan Fairchild, Robert Goulet, Ricki Lake, and Victoria Jackson. Miller took a year off from acting to study drama at the University of Southern California. He then turned his attention to cooking and attended the Culinary Arts program at Le Cordon Bleu but left before graduating. He later started his own catering company, "No Small Affair," and freelanced around Los Angeles, as well as began teaching private cooking classes and group cooking parties. In 2007, he went to Shanghai to co-star in "Milk and Fashion" before returning to the states and starring in numerous smaller films. As recently as 2021, he starred in "MariGuana" and "True to the Game 3."

Leonardo DiCaprio

If you grew up in the '90s, Leonardo DiCaprio defined your childhood. Ahead of his Season 7 stint as homeless teen Luke Brower on "Growing Pains," he starred in a TV adaption of the 1989 film "Parenthood" and low-budget horror flick "Critters 3" — which was his film debut — as well as guest spots on "The Outsiders," "Santa Barbara," and "Roseanne." It wasn't long before his popularity absolutely exploded.

His role as Arnie Grape in 1993's "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" solidified his superstardom. Throughout the 1990s, he became the hunky teen lead, starring in "Romeo + Juliet" and, of course, "Titanic," where he appeared alongside Kate Winslet. His talent was and has been a marvel. His other notable credits from the '90s include "The Basketball Diaries," "The Quick and the Dead," and "The Man in the Iron Mask."

With his star burning brighter than ever, DiCaprio has become one of the most sought-after names in Hollywood. In the decades following his first film role, he has delivered standout performances in "The Departed," "Shutter Island," "Django Unchained," "The Great Gatsby," "The Wolf of Wall Street," and "The Revenant." More recently, DiCaprio starred in the Quentin Tarantino film "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" and 2021's "Don't Look Up" with Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, and Ron Perlman. It's safe to say that he's officially reached legend status.

Joanna Kerns

Joanna Kerns had already been working for 10 years when she landed the role of Maggie Seaver, the family matriarch, on "Growing Pains." She started with a series of bit parts in the '70s in several shows, including shows "Starsky and Hutch," "Rhoda," "The Love Boat," "Quincy M.E.," and "Charlie's Angels" and the TV movie "It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman!"

Her credits don't stop there. She also appeared in "I'm a Big Girl Now," "Chips," "Magnum, P.I.," "Laverne & Shirley," "The A-Team," "The Four Seasons," and "Three's Company." She had well-earned her pedigree by the time "Growing Pains" premiered in 1985. She brought a sense of elegance and warmth to the role of Maggie Seaver, counterbalancing Alan Thicke's Dr. Jason Seaver, a more stern father figure.

Kerns continued to work quite extensively on television in the '90s. "Mortal Fear," "The Man with Three Wives," "The Closer," and "Chicago Hope" were just a handful of her many small-screen roles. She also appeared in 1999's "Girl, Interrupted" and in Judd Apatow's 2007 comedy "Knocked Up." Meanwhile, she flexed her directing muscles and helmed episodes of "Dawson's Creek," "Scrubs," "Grey's Anatomy," "Pretty Little Liars," "The Goldbergs," and "This is Us." Her more recent directing credits include "High School Musical: The Musical – The Series" and "A Million Little Things."

Andrew Koenig

Andrew Koenig, born to "Star Trek" star Walter Koenig, had only a very small role in the '70s cop drama "Adam-12" before appearing on "Growing Pains." As Mike Seaver's best friend, Richard "Boner" Stabone supplied plenty of comedic relief on the show when topics were difficult to talk about. He appeared in 25 total episodes spanning the first four seasons. His role in "Growing Pains" remains his most identifiable.

During the show, Koenig also had guest roles on "My Sister Sam," "21 Jump Street," and "My Two Dads." Fresh off "Growing Pains," he jumped into a gig for the "G.I. Joe" television series. He made only one more appearance onscreen in the 1990s, and that was a bit part on the TV show "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." He then took a 10-year hiatus and reemerged as the Joker in a fan-made short film "Batman: Dead End" in 2003. His final two film appearances were "InAlienable" in 2007 and "DaZe: Vol. Too (sic) – NonSeNse," which was in post-production at the time of his death.

CNN reported that Koenig died by suicide in 2010 during a trip to Vancouver. His other career achievements include 2007's "The Boomerang Kid," working as a video producer for the podcast "Never Not Funny," as well as writing and directing several short films. In the early aughts, he also was active in various protests including a march during the 2008 Rose Bowl that opposed the Chinese government's support of a repressive government in Myanmar. His admirable life brought both laughs and a desire for change in the world.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Kirk Cameron

Kirk Cameron began as all child stars do appearing in several commercials before catching the attention of Hollywood. He scooped up small parts in numerous TV-made movies, including "Goliath Awaits" and "Herbie, the Love Bug," and the short-lived series "Two Marriages."

When he played Mike Seaver on "Growing Pains" in 1985, all eyes were on him. He was an instant teen heartthrob with his endearing nitwit personality and rebellious streak. Cameron's first feature film arrived a year later, taking on the role of Teddy in "The Best of Times" alongside Robin Williams and Kurt Russell. He followed it up with 1987's "Like Father Like Son" with Dudley Moore and the much-maligned college-set drama "Listen to Me" in  1989.

The '90s saw a downturn in his acting career, as he starred in only a handful of projects, including the TV series "Kirk." His life and career took a sharp right turn with the release of a video short called "The Birth of Jesus" in 1998 and the end-times religious film "Left Behind: The Movie" in 2000. He starred in two more "Left Behind" films, as well as "The Miracle of the Cards" and "Fireproof" and an episode of "Touched by an Angel." Cameron released his autobiography "Still Growing: An Autobiography" in 2008 and has made headlines for his extremist religious views and stance on public schools. He married his "Growing Pains" co-star Chelsea Noble in 1991, and they have six children together.

Alan Thicke

Early in his career, Alan Thicke pursued numerous opportunities as a game show host in the '70s and '80s. Those included Canadian series such as "Face the Music," "First Impressions," and ABC's "Animal Crack-Ups." He took on several talk show hosting positions, as well, from guest hosting "The Alan Hamel Show" (before it became the short-lived "The Alan Thicke Show") to a late-night venture "Thicke of the Night," which was positioned to compete with "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." 

Soon enough, he was cast as Dr. Jason Seaver on "Growing Pains," cementing his status as one of the most beloved dads in sitcom history. He was then flooded with guest spots on countless other shows, including "The Love Boat," "The Hitchhiker," and "Scene of the Crime." Throughout the '90s and '00s, his popularity waned, but he continued television work with series like "Murder, She Wrote," "Hope & Gloria," "Married... with Children," "Just Shoot Me!," and "How I Met Your Mother." All the while, he worked extensively behind the scenes as a theme song composer, notching such notable credits as "Diff'rent Strokes," "The Facts of Life," and the game show "Celebrity Sweepstakes."

Thicke died in late 2016 after collapsing from a heart attack while playing hockey with his son Carter.

Tracey Gold

Tracey Gold began her career as an actress in print ads and several TV commercials. In 1977, she starred as Missy Anne Reynolds in the acclaimed TV mini-series "Roots" and then "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home" a year later. Several made-for-TV movies followed, including 1980's "Marilyn: The Untold Story" and guest spots on "Eight is Enough" and "Chips."

The late '70s and early '80s brought promising TV roles in "Shirley," alongside Shirley Jones and "Goodnight Beantown" starring Bill Bixby, although both series were quickly canceled after airing their first seasons. Another potential break came with the 1981 TV show "Gimme a Break!" but Gold was recast with Lara Jill Miller. Even though she was not originally cast as Carol Seaver — Elizabeth Ward played the character in an unaired pilot, but Gold eventually scored the part.

Gold carved out a successful career for herself in the years to follow. Her TV movie credits include  "Face of Evil," in addition to guest appearances on "Touched by an Angel" and "Promised Land." She later competed on "Celebrity Mole: Yucatán" in 2004 and appeared on "Celebrity Wife Swap" in 2012. In 2003, Gold released a book called "Room to Grow: An Appetite for Life" with Julie McCarron, which detailed her struggle with anorexia. She also competed on the Food Network show "Worst Cooks in America" in 2022 and won. Gold's last acting role was 2016's "All Hallows' Eve."

Ashley Johnson

Ashley Johnson was born into "Growing Pains." She was only six years old when she starred as Chrissy Seaver in the show's last two seasons from 1991 to 1992. She took over the role from Kelsey and Kirsten Dohring, twins who played the infant version of the character for Season 5. Chrissy was most known as the spunky, quick-tongued youngest child in the family, with Johnson delivering some of the show's most epic one-liners.

Johnson's career exploded after appearing on "Growing Pains." She went on to appear in dozens of TV series throughout the '90s, including "All-American Girl," "Phenom," and "Jumanji," just to name a few. She also voiced Gretchen Grundler in the popular animated series "Recess." 

In the two decades since, she has continued to work extensively in the TV world, appearing in such animated shows as "Teen Titans," "Ben 10: Alien Force," "King of the Hill," "Naruto: Shippuden," and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." From 2015 to 2022, Johnson has voiced several characters in the ongoing web series "Critical Role." Johnson executive produced and starred in the animated series "The Legend of Vox Machina," an Amazon Prime original.

Chelsea Noble

Chelsea Noble made her first onscreen appearances in episodes of "Full House." While filming, she met Kirk Cameron, who she married in 1991. The two were introduced because Cameron's sister, Candance Cameron Bure, had a regular role as D.J. Tanner, per Entertainment Tonight. Noble went on to portray Cameron's girlfriend Kate MacDonald on "Growing Pains" and appeared in 22 episodes.

She also enjoyed a small arc on the popular soap opera "Days of Our Lives" as Kristina Andropolis in 1988 as well as guest spots on "Cheers," "Who's the Boss?," and "Doogie Howser, M.D." In the mid-'90s, she appeared alongside Cameron in "Kirk" before taking on the role of Hattie Durham in "Left Behind: The Movie" in 2000, "Left Behind II: Tribulation Force" in 2004, and again in 2005's "Left Behind III: World at War" for her last film role.

Noble and Cameron founded The Firefly Foundation and Firefly Camp, a week-long camp for terminally ill children and their families, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Jamie Abbott

Throughout the '80s, Jamie Abbott appeared in several TV shows and movies in guest-starring roles. He first played a minor character in "Cagney & Lacey" in 1982. He went on to "Simon & Simon," "Testament," and "Micki + Maude." In 1985's "Back to the Future," he took on the role of Scooter Kid #2 and then Brett in "Webster," Kane's People in "Poltergeist II: The Other Side," and Sponge in "The Magical World of Disney."

Appearing in 19 episodes, Abbott was cast as Stinky Sullivan, Ben Seaver's best childhood friend. Together, they two got into quite a few antics over the years, including the time they lied to their parents about a sleepover so they could sneak into a place called "Blackies" to gamble with real money.

"Growing Pains" was Abbott's last role. By all accounts, he is alive and well but no longer works in film or television.