If you grew up through the latter years of the 1980s, then chances are you were a fan of ABC’s sitcom, ‘Growing Pains’. The show ran from 1985 to 1992 for 7 seasons and 166 episodes. It followed the ups and downs of the lives of the Seaver family, and viewers were gripped for years. All of the characters were totally lovable, but what are the actors and actresses up to now? It’s been 27 years, so a lot has changed!
Leonardo DiCaprio, then
Let’s start with the actor you’re all here for – the one and only Leonardo DiCaprio. In the show, Leo played Luke Brower, a friend of Mike’s at school.
Although he only appeared in the last season, Luke stood out as a fan-favorite from the very beginning.
Leonardo DiCaprio, now
Boy, has Leo come a long way! ‘Growing Pains’ was one of his very first TV appearances, being only 17/18 at the time. Since then, he’s become one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors of all time, nabbing his first Academy Award in 2015 for his starring role in the epic drama ‘The Revenant’.
His Oscar was certainly a long time coming, having previously wowed audiences and critics with performances in 2013’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, 2002’s ‘Gangs of New York’, and 1997’s ‘Titanic’.
Alan Thicke, then
Where would the Seaver family be without the father of the house, Jason Seaver? Alan Thicke played the psychiatrist who decided to bring his work home with him by setting up his office in the family home.
He turned into a stay-at-home dad, and this totally suited him because he’s a loving, supportive, and caring man to his wife and his children. Everyone wants a dad like Jason! Although we loved him, he definitely gave us some embarrassing dad moments.
Alan Thicke, now
Sadly, Alan Thicke passed away in 2016 at the tender age of 69 while playing ice hockey with his son. It was due to heart complications. After ‘Growing Pains’ ended, and up until his untimely passing, Thicke continued to entertain us in a whole host of TV appearances such as 2008’s comedy ‘JPod’ and 2012’s drama ‘The L.A Complex’.
He also starred in numerous hit films such as 2004’s comedy-drama ‘Raising Helen’, and 2006’s crime-drama ‘Alpha Dog’.
Joanna Kerns, then
Starring alongside her on-screen husband was Joanna Kerns, who played the mother of the house – Maggie Seaver. Like her hubby Jason, Maggie was also going through a career change in the form of leaving the nest and working as a journalist while Jason stayed at home more.
Her bread-winning is certainly an excellent example of the girl-power we see nowadays! She was strong, hard-working, and would do absolutely anything for her children.
Joanna Kerns, now
Not only was her character hard-working, but Joanna has proved to be a hard-worker in her real-life career, too! Over the years, she’s starred in plenty of different TV movies including 1996’s ‘Terror in the Family’, 1995’s ‘Whose Daughter is She?’, and 1998’s ‘Emma’s Wish’.
She’s also had roles in successful Hollywood films like 2007’s comedy ‘Knocked Up’, and 1999’s drama ‘Girl Interrupted’. Most recently, Joanna has taken a seat in the director’s chair by directing one episode in the new 2019 hit thriller ‘What/If’.
Kirk Cameron, then
Kirk Cameron played the oldest son of the Seaver family, Mike Seaver. We always thought he was ultra-cool, but that didn’t mean his heart wasn’t in the right place. Although his focus was on chasing girls rather than chasing good grades, Mike was always there for his family, especially his younger siblings.
We’re glad he got his happy ending by season 7 after proposing to the love of his life, Kate MacDonald.
Kirk Cameron, now
Kirk Cameron has continued acting, too. After being nominated for two Golden Globes for his performance in ‘Growing Pains’, there was no way he wasn’t going to make it big. Most notably, Kirk starred in 2000’s’ Left Behind’ TV series and 2002’s drama series ‘Family Law’.
He also starred in 2014’s comedy ‘Saving Christmas’. He has become a real family man after marrying his co-star Chelsea Noble. Speaking of which…
Chelsea Noble, then
You often hear about on-screen romances turning into a real-life love affair, and the romance between Chelsea Noble and Kirk Cameron proves that this definitely happens. After joining the cast in season 5 as Kate MacDonald, Mike’s love interest, the character became an instant favorite.
After 3 seasons of a roller-coaster romance, the two finally made it official by getting engaged in the last ever episode of season 7. It was certainly a lovey-dovey moment we all loved.
Chelsea Noble, now
Chelsea and Kirk still remain happily married after tying the knot in 1991. The two of them have six children together, Jack, Isabella, Anna, Luke, Olivia, and James. But like her on-screen mother-in-law Maggie Seaver, Chelsea has been no stay-at-home mum.
She has also continued acting, with a string of credits in hit TV shows such as ‘Kirk’ in 1996, and ‘Seinfield’ in 1997. Her film credits also include 2008’s ‘Fireproof’ and 1998’s ‘You Lucky Dog’.
Tracey Gold, then
We all had a little soft spot for Carol Seaver, mostly because she was continuously wound up by her fellow goofier family members. She could be considered the ‘brains of the family’, always achieving good grades at school and always showing up to her less brainy brothers.
Although in the first few seasons Carol felt a bit lost amongst the high-school cliques, as the years went on, she really came into her own as a bright, beautiful, and sweet young woman.
Tracey Gold, now
After basically growing up on TV, Tracey went on to have an incredible career on screen, with an endless list of credits on the big screen and on TV. Her most notable TV appearances include 1998’s ‘Touched by an Angel’, 2003’s ‘Stephen King Dead Zone’, and 2013’s ‘Melissa & Joey’.
Her film credits also include 2001’s ‘She’s No Angel’, 2007’s ‘Final Approach’, and 2016’s ‘All Hallows’ Eve’. Her most recent appearance was competing on ABC’s ‘Battle of the Network Stars’.
Jeremy Miller, then
The second-youngest Seaver child was Ben Seaver, and he always lit up the screen with his infectious smile and laugh. We watched the character grow up through the 7 seasons, and by the end of the show’s run Ben had turned into a young man.
Although at first he was often tormented by his older siblings, he soon found his own step in life, mostly from idolizing his lothario older brother, Mike. We all loved Ben!
Jeremy Miller, now
After receiving numerous award nominations for ‘Best Young Artist’ throughout his run on the show, Jeremy has since continued his career in the entertainment industry. He now mostly works as a voice artist, with credits in film and TV franchises including animations such as ‘Charlie Brown’, ‘Snoopy’, and ‘Scooby-Doo’.
He is also married to his wife, Joanie Miller, with whom he has three stepchildren. Happy days for Jeremy!
Andrew Koenig, then
Andrew Koenig’s character of ‘Boner’ was also a fan-favorite, mostly for his stupid and goofy humor that viewers fell in love with. He was a friend of Mike’s at school, and he remained in the show from season one right up until season four.
He was always considered Mike’s best friend, and they often had their ups and downs, too. Nonetheless, they were always best-buds at heart. He was played by the actor Andrew Koenig.
Andrew Koenig, now
Unfortunately, Andrew passed away in 2010 after taking his own life. Nevertheless, his legacy lives on through the fantastic characters he played, the films he produced, and the inspirational human rights activism for which he advocated.
Up until his untimely passing, he traveled the world campaigning for a whole host of international human rights movements, including combatting civil violence and the use of military weapons in China. His ashes were scattered at Hollywood’s Forever Cemetery.
Sam Anderson, then
The character of Mr. Dewitt was perhaps the most recurring teacher in the series, as he starred in the show from the start to the very end. In the first season, he was Mike’s history teacher, but by season 7, he had become the principal of the entire school.
We all loved Principal Dewitt some way or another. The character was played by the hugely successful Sam Anderson, who has had a remarkable career in both TV and film.
Sam Anderson, now
After ‘Growing Pains’ finished in 1992, Sam Anderson went on to have a wonderful career. He had small cameo roles in ‘Friends’, ‘ER’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, and tons of other beloved sitcoms and TV shows.
Perhaps his most notable roles include sitcom ‘Perfect Strangers’, in which he played Sam Gorpley, and ‘Angel’, the fantasy spin-off to ‘Buffy’, in which he played Holland Manners. His film credits include 2014’s horror ‘Devil’s Due’, and 2011’s romance ‘Water for Elephants’.
Betty McGuire, then
Everyone loves their grandmother, don’t they? Well, Maggie Seaver’s mother Kate Malone was no exception. Although she was stern, she was also very loving and caring, making us want to see more of her as the TV show progressed.
She ended up starring in all seven seasons as a recurring character, right up until the show’s end in 1992. Kate Malone was played by actress Betty McGuire, who had a fantastic career in the industry.
Betty McGuire, now
Betty McGuire is now retired, but she has a huge repertoire of TV and film credits, including notable roles before ‘Growing Pains’ such as 1977’s ‘Charlie’s Angels’, and 1978’s ‘Up in Smoke’. After ‘Growing Pains’, Betty starred in a whole host of TV shows including ‘CSI: Miami’, ‘Star Trek’, ‘ER’, and ‘Murder One’.
One thing for sure is that Betty certainly made her mark in the entertainment business. She showed everyone how it’s meant to be done.
Ashley Johnson, then
Chrissy Seaver only came to the forefront of the show in the later seasons. Nonetheless, her adorableness completely stole the show as the youngest family member of the Seavers. She’s cute, loveable, and very inquisitive, often seeking advice from her older siblings she idolized.
The character was played by child prodigy Ashley Johnson, who has since gone on to have an amazing career in both film and TV.
Ashley Johnson, now
Ashley continued acting as soon as ‘Growing Pains’ ended when she was still just 9 years old. Since then, she’s added a whole variety of TV and film appearances to her name. Her most notable TV credits include ‘Recess’ (the voice of Gretchen Grundler), 2007’s ‘Heartland’, 2015’s ‘Blindspot’, and 2015’s ‘Infinity Train’.
She’s also starred in plenty of films, including 2011’s drama ‘The Help’, 2012’s Marvel film ‘The Avengers’, and 2016’s comedy drama ‘Punching Henry’.
Julie McCullough, then
The loveable character of Julie Costello was also a fan-favorite throughout the show, starring in both season 5 and 6. Her character was first introduced as Chrissy’s nanny, but she soon saw herself falling for Mike, too.
By the end of season 6, their romance proved it wasn’t meant to be after Mike realized how much he loved his one true love, Kate. Still, it was onwards and upwards for her character as she started a career in journalism.
Julie McCullough, now
Julie has become a chameleon of the showbiz world, working as a model, actress, and also a comedian. Her film credits include 1997’s thriller ‘Top of the World’, 2008’s ‘Jack Rio’, and also the cult TV movie ‘Sharknado’ in 2013.
Her film credits include hit tv show ‘90210 Beverly Hills’, sitcom ‘Drexell’s Class’, and drama series ‘Robin’s Hoods’. She’s now a stand-up comedian who often performs at Hollywood’s biggest and best comedy clubs. Congratulations, Julie!