Christmas child star actors now – rockstar, drug spiral and child suicide

Christmas films often make a mark when they're released, with the likes of The Grinch, Elf, Love Actually and It's A Wonderful Life becoming traditions as well as box office success stories.

But after such success, what happened to the child actors of the most famous films? Some faced a harrowing future, while others sparkled and created a successful career off the back of it.

From the likes of Taylor Momsen to Macaulay Culkin, what happened to the most famous child actors from the festive favourites?

As we hit the festive season, Daily Star digs deeper into what happened next after their childhood years was filled with the glitz and the glamour of showbiz.

Macaulay Culkin

Macaulay Culkin shot to fame in 1990 following the release of Home Alone and Home Alone 2 two years later.

He was just 10-years-old when he appeared in the film and after an incredible acting stint in the '90s, as he got older his acting jobs were not coming in as often and he turned his back on Hollywood.

At age 15, Macaulay emancipated himself by legally removing his parents as his legal guardians, leaving the child star in complete control of his whopping £13million fortune.

The 41-year-old has also opened up on his previous drug spiral, which he admitted to Esquire that at the time he "played with fire" when it came to his drug use.

He said that he no longer touches drugs, but added: "I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't had drugs in my life at some point or another."

Macaulay has been dating Brenda Song – famed for playing London Tipton on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody – since 2017. The pair welcomed their first child, Dakota Song Culkin, earlier this year.

Taylor Momsen

For many people, the name Taylor Momsen immediately sparks the reaction of one of two things – Jenny Humphrey in Gossip Girl, or the lead singer of The Pretty Reckless.

In fact, for most people, the fact that Taylor Momsen and Cindy Lou Who are the same person absolutely boggles the minds of her fans every year.

Taylor, who was seven when she played the character of Cindy Lou Who, did a handful of films and TV shows, landed her long-running job on Gossip Girl as Jenny Humphrey at 14-years-old.

Over the years fans saw Jenny's appearance change in line with Taylor's, and by the time season four rolled around, Tim Gunn – who guest starred in the series – told E! Online that Taylor was a "diva" and "couldn't remember her lines".

Soon after, Momsen went on "indefinite hiatus" and only returned again for the finale – but widely focused on her singing career instead.

Taylor hasn't appeared on screen since the Gossip Girl finale, but her band The Pretty Reckless remains strong as she focuses on her rock career.

Daniel Tay

Daniel Tay is best known for his role in Elf, which launched in 2003.

He took part in the show at just 12-years-old but after the hit success on the famous Christmas film, he hasn't landed many roles, with his last credit in 2007 with movie Brooklyn Rules.

Years later, Daniel has stepped back from acting and out of the spotlight, keeping his private life private and focusing on education instead.

Hello! Magazine reports that Daniel is currently working as an SAT instructor after graduating from Yale University where he studying economics while serving as a peer tutor and teaching assistant.

It's definitely a far cry from his time on set with Will Ferrell who played the human elf trying to find his dad and live a new life in New York City.

Olivia Olson

Olivia Olson stole the hearts of viewers all over the world when she performed All I Want for Christmas Is You on Love Actually.

The LA-based actress was one of the youngest members of the cast when it was filmed and instantly recognisable when viewers see her take the stage when the festive film is placed on repeat.

She continued acting, voicing the character Vanessa Doofenshmirtz in Phineas and Ferb while also enhancing her career as a writer.

However one thing she really didn't want to give up on was the same dream as her character – singing.

Not only does Olivia have her own string of fans through social media, but the star also appeared on X Factor: Celebrity in 2019.

Sadly, she was voted out in the first week, but it hasn't stopped her coming back with a bang and she has continued to pursue her dream.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster

And where Olivia was… Thomas Brodie-Sangster would follow! His character was madly in love with her in the film with many viewers rooting for them to pursue their childhood romance.

After Love Actually, Thomas managed to embark on a successful acting career, with Nanny McPhee and The Maze Runner also becoming big titles under his belt.

One thing that didn't quite go his way however, was a stint in Harry Potter, which he was turned down for.

He originally auditioned for Ron Weasley and was passed for the role, confessing to Radio Times that it was his "first experience of rejection" which hit him hard.

He said he had feelings of anger and frustration at the time and put a guard up for future roles – which seemed to work in his favour as just two years later he landed his role in Love Actually.

Most recently, Thomas appeared in Netflix hit The Queen's Gambit as Benny Watts.

Karolyn Grimes

Karolyn Grimes was just six years old when she appeared in the classic Frank Capra film It's a Wonderful Life, but she faced tragedy and sorrow over the years which followed.

Speaking at the annual It's a Wonderful Life festival, Grimes opened up on her personal life as she revealed she was orphaned at the age of 15.

She said that her mother had died of early-onset Alzheimer's disease when she was 12 and three years later her father had died in a car accident.

After going to college and marrying young, before divorcing after having two daughters, her husband died in a hunting accident.

In 1989, Grimes faced further tragedy when her 18-year-old son died by suicide.

35 years after she appeared in the film, her co-star Jimmy Stewart tracked her down and after a harrowing life experience, she has said that the film remains incredibly important to her, she told the Washington Post.

She remains ever proud of the role she had and the part she was able to play in the 1946 classic.

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