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What distinction is shared by ex-child stars Charlie Korsmo and Ilan Mitchel Smith?
Both actors made a name for themselves in film and TV as children and teenagers. But rather than choose to stay in the entertainment industry as adults (or go the sad, seedy route of many former child stars), both left Hollywood behind for academia.
- Charlie Korsmo had a big run in the early ‘90s. He had a leading role in the drama Men Don’t Leave, co-starred in the comedy What About Bob?, played The Kid in the big-screen adaptation of Dick Tracy, and was one of the grown Peter Pan’s kids in Steven Speilberg’s Hook. He took seven years off to attend high school and college, and his last film appearance was in 1998’s Can’t Hardly Wait. He earned a degree from MIT in physics, and a law degree from Yale. After working for the EPA and several law firms, he’s currently a law professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
- Ilan Mitchell-Smith initially trained to be a ballet dancer, but switched to acting at age 12 with a role in the 1983 film Daniel. He appeared in films such as The Chocolate War and Identity Crisis, but he’s best known for his role as a nerd who helps create a beautiful woman with a computer in Weird Science. His only role after 1991 is a voiceover on the Fox cartoon Axe Cop. Since then he earned a degree in Medieval Studies from UC Davis, a masters from Fordham University, and a doctorate from Texas A&M. He currently works as a professor of English at California State University, Long Beach.
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