If you grew up in the '90s, you probably devoured Disney Channel original movies. You may have thought most (if not all) were classics, but in reality, Disney Channel original movie stars have gone on to varying degrees of success since the release of their films. What happened to DCOM stars? Some went on to big screen careers, like Shia LaBeouf and Zac Efron. Others faded away, and seemingly haven't appeared in anything since their time at the House of Mouse.
You're probably already familiar with the current careers of onetime Disney stars like LaBeouf, Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Raven-Symoné. They've successfully moved past the point where they can be considered simply DCOM actors. Instead, it's time to delve into the lives and careers of lesser-known actors and supporting stars.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the Cheetah Girls, or Christy Carlson Romano, or the stars of Brink! and Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and The Luck of the Irish? Where are the other actors in High School Musical now? The answers might surprise you.
Kirsten Storms (Then)Photo: Disney Channel
Kirsten Storms starred in the smash hits Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and its sequels, Zenon: The Zequel and Zenon: Z3. The actress portrayed the titular character, a girl living on an orbiting space station who gets "grounded" to Earth.
The sequels center on Zenon saving a group of homeless aliens and competing to win a teen contest.
- Photo: uploaded by Dave_7672
Despite the success of Zenon as a Disney Channel franchise, Kirsten Storms did not go on to star in any feature films. She instead focused on television, voicing Bonnie Rockwaller in Kim Possible for five years. She joined the soap opera General Hospital in 2005 as Maxie Jones, a role that netted her a Daytime Emmy Award nomination in 2009.
She had to leave the series for a time in 2011 after being diagnosed with endometriosis, but returned a year later. Storms has one child, a daughter named Harper.
Brandon Baker (Then)Photo: Disney Channel
Brandon Baker played Johnny Kapahala in the Disney Channel movie Johnny Tsunami, released in 1999. It follows the Hawaiian-born, surfing-loving Johnny as he moves to Vermont, where he must adapt to his new surroundings. The film also stars DCOM favorite Kirsten Storms.
Baker reprised his role in the film's 2007 sequel, Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board.
- Photo: brandonbegood / via Instagram
Brandon Baker also starred in the NBC comedy One World when Johnny Tsunami was first released, and he appeared in other Disney properties like Even Stevens and The Proud Family. But Baker kept pretty quiet after that.
He explained his reasons for stepping back to Paste in 2012:
"I worked a lot behind the camera on short films and was still working on sets, among other things, but just taking a break from acting to see just whether or not I missed it and also just to give myself a chance to mature and grow up and approach it as an adult."