To degree or not degree…. That is the question!

Remarkable children that starred in some amazing films decided that acting wasn’t for them and went down the University route to pursue a career of a different sector and be successful.

Charlie Korsmo

Charlie Korsmo had childhood roles in Hook and What About Bob? and is easily recognizable among ’90s kid actors. Despite putting out six movies between 1990 and 1991, the North Dakota-born child actor quit making movies in 1998. Instead, he went to college in 2000 and earned a degree in physics before going on to work for the Environmental Protection Agency.

He received his Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 2006. In July 2007, Korsmo passed the New York State Bar exam. Formerly an associate in the New York office of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and a visiting professor at Brooklyn Law School. He is currently a professor of corporate law & corporate finance at the at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland.

Peter Ostrum

No one who came across Peter Ostrum today would likely realize that he was once Charlie from the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. After completing the movie, he decided against doing any more acting work and settled back into a quiet life.

His family acquired a horse in his teenage years, this caught his interest within veterinary medicine. He earned a doctorate of veterinary medicine from Cornell university college of veterinary medicine in 1984. So he became a qualified vet specializing in serving large animals such as cows and horses.

Jeff Cohen

Most people would not recognize Jeff Cohen if they saw him today, but cult film enthusiasts will know him as Chunk from The Goonies. Following this appearance, he had various roles in smaller television and film productions before leaving the business.

Cohen attended the University of California, Berkeley where he received a B.S. in Business. Cohen asked Goonies director Richard Donner for a recommendation for his college admissions application. Upon reading Cohen’s notes detailing some of his early life struggles, Donner and his wife offered to pay for Cohen’s college education

Jeff chose to pursue a legal career upon finding out that many of the most important figures on the business side of Hollywood had law degrees.  After his time at Berkeley, Jess earned a J.D. degree from the UCLA School of Law in 2000. Later becoming an entertainment lawyer in Los Angeles. In 2002, he co-founded the Cohen & Gardner firm in Beverly Hills


Acting from the age of 7 and appearing in television advertisements for Buncha Crunch candies. Had many on stage performances as well as working with Nickelodeon from 1996-2000. Amanda appeared in a handful of movies and achieved Kids choice awards along with nominations for young artist award in 2013. Amanda pivoted from acting to fashion when enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Irvine for 2014. In 2018, she received her Associate’s of Art degree in Merchandise Product Development, then she announced her intentions to start a bachelor’s degree program. In 2019, Amanda graduated from FIDM.

Ariana Richards

Ariana took on a few small acting jobs throughout her childhood. She shot to fame playing Lex Murphy in 1993’s Jurassic Park – a role she filmed when she was just 12 years old.

She briefly reprised the role for The Lost World: Jurassic Park four years later, but then took a step back from acting to focus on her art career.

Ariana graduated in 2001 with a degree in fine art and drama. She went on to become a successful painter. Ariana has become a successful artist. Her paintings, usually of landscapes and figures, tend to be in the style of the impressionists.

In October 2005, she won first place in the National Professional Oil Painting Competition (sponsored by American Artist magazine) for the painting Lady of the Dahlias.

But, in 2011, she said: “Being interested in acting never changes. Acting is in your blood, and of course I’ll always be interested in it.”

This explains why she was briefly tempted back in 2013 for a role in TV movie Battledogs.

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