In 1985, ABC aired Growing Pains, introducing the Seaver family of Long Island, New York, to primetime television. For seven seasons, fans were thrown into the family’s hysterical drama. But after 166 episodes, the beloved sitcom came to an end.
Now, it’s time to learn where the Seaver family and their friends wound up after the final episode aired. From marriages, children, and other projects, here’s where the actors are now.
Then: Kirk Cameron
Kirk Cameron might have been acting in little projects before Growing Pains, but the sitcom shot the child actor to stardom. In the series, Cameron played Mike Seaver, the troublemaker of the family.
During this time, Cameron became a typical teenage heartthrob, appearing in various commercials, on the covers of magazines, and even on cereal boxes. But, as it turned out, Cameron only had eyes for Chelsea Noble, his Growing Pains girlfriend, and future wife.
Now: Kirk Cameron
Actor Kirk Cameron went on to work on many projects after his time as the eldest Seaver son on Growing Pains. He’s worked as the narrator for the documentary Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure, host of the documentary Unstoppable. In 2019, he appeared on an episode of Fuller House, reprising his role as the Tanner girls’ cousin.
Most notable, though, is his marriage to Growing Pains co-star Chelsea Noble. The two married in 1991 and have six children!
Then: Joanna Kerns
Actress Joanna Kerns auditioned for Growing Pains after the cancelation of her CBS show The Four Seasons. She auditioned alongside Alan Thicke and, because of their chemistry and an accidental kiss on the nose, won the part of the Seaver family matriarch, Maggie Seaver.
She played the beloved all-American mother for all seven seasons of the sitcom. During her time on the show, Kerns was able to break away to work on television movies, including Blind Faith, Those She Left Behind, and Shameful Secrets.
Now: Joanna Kerns
After the final episode of Growing Pains came and went, actress Joanna Kerns turned her attention towards a different avenue in the entertainment business: directing. She was hooked after taking her turn directing an episode of the sitcom.
She went on to direct a few episodes of Fuller House, This Is Us, Pretty Little Liars, and even the Lifetime movie Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story. Most recently, in 2021, Kerns directed the FBI episode “Short Squeeze”.
Then: Chelsea Noble
From season five through season seven of the hit ABC sitcom Growing Pains, actress Chelsea Noble portrayed Mike Seaver’s girlfriend, Kate McDonnell. For 22 episodes, fans got to see the intense onscreen chemistry between Noble and actor Kirk Cameron.
Little did everyone know, but the two would end up marrying each other in 1991, a few years after she started as a cast member! But marriage and Growing Pains aren’t the only activities Noble’s been up to.
Now: Chelsea Noble Cameron
From 1989–1992, Chelsea Noble Cameron found herself on the ABC series Growing Pains. After her time playing Kate McDonnell, Cameron pursued other avenues in the entertainment industry. In 1997, she appeared in an episode of Seinfeld, as Hattie Durham in the Left Behind trilogy, with her most recent film credit being the 2016 film Mercy Rule.
Aside from acting, Cameron is busy raising her and her husband Kirk Cameron’s six children and running The Firefly Foundation.
Then: Tracey Gold
Interestingly, when Tracey Gold first auditioned for the lovable book nerd Carol Seaver on Growing Pains, she lost out. For the pilot episode, Elizabeth Ward took on the part. But after unfavorable reviews, she was replaced with Gold and the rest, as they say, is history.
Gold wound up playing Carol for the majority of the ABC sitcom, taking a break here and there to take care of personal health issues.
Now: Tracey Gold
After her time on Growing Pains, Tracey Gold found herself taking on small projects here and there but nothing nearly as big or popular as the ’80s sitcom. Some of her more notable roles include appearances in the series Melissa & Joey, Battle of the Network Stars, and the TV movie Final Approach.
Her most recent television credit is for the 2017 talk show Daily Blast Live. Gold is credited as the host of the show.
Then: Leonardo DiCaprio
In 1991, Growing Pains producers cast Leonardo DiCaprio to appeal to the series teenage audience, primarily the females. In the seventh season of the series, DiCaprio played the role of Luke Brower; a homeless teenager brought into the Seaver family.
Co-stars remember DiCaprio as a bit mischievous on set, but Joanna Kerns has gone on record saying that the young actor was “especially intelligent and disarming for his age.” He was even nominated for a Best Young Actor Award for his performance.
Now: Leonardo DiCaprio
To say Leonardo DiCaprio’s career took off after his one season on Growing Pains would be a vast understatement. He went on to be one of the most popular actors of all time, starring in some of the most beloved films in recent cinematic history, including Titanic, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Gang’s of New York, The Departed, Shutter Island, and his Academy Award-winning film The Revenant.
Most recently, DiCaprio has been working on the Netflix original comedy Don’t Look Up.
Then: Jeremy Miller
Before landing the role as the youngest Seaver child, actor Jeremy Miller found himself on an episode of the popular sitcom Punky Brewster. But the guest role had nothing on his part in Growing Pains.
Miller’s character, Benjamin Hubert Horatio Humphrey “Ben” Seaver, looked up to his older, troublemaker older brother, Mike, turning into a mini-Mike as the series went on, much to his parent’s disapproval. The role was the biggest of his short career.
Now: Jeremy Miller
After his time playing Ben, actor Jeremy Miller stayed in the entertainment industry, finding work almost instantly. In 1992, the year Growing Pains ended, Miller landed a four-episode deal on the kid mystery series Ghostwriter.
With a few other credits under his belt, in 2020, Miller played himself in the mini-series The Quarantine Bunch. The series followed a group of has-been child actors discussing their lives over Zoom during the 2020 quarantine and lockdown.
Then: Alan Thicke
Alan Thicke played the patriarch on the ABC sitcom Growing Pains, Dr. Jason Seaver. A psychiatrist who finds himself moving his practice to his home for his wife to pursue a reporting career, Dr. Seaver was thrown into the role of stay-at-home-yet-still-working dad.
Thicke wound up reprising the beloved role twice during his career. Once in 2000 for the television movie The Growing Pains Movie and again in 2002 for Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers.
RIP Alan Thicke
After his time on Growing Pains, actor Alan Thicke stayed in the entertainment industry, working on various other projects. Some of his more notable contributions include hosting the Celebrity Cooking Showdown, a cameo in How I Met Your Mother, and even a brief appearance in the pilot of the critically acclaimed NBC series This Is Us.
Thicke is especially revered in his native country of Canada and his three children include musical artist Robin Thicke. Sadly, Thicke passed away in 2016 at the age of 69 due to aortic dissection.
Then: Ashley Johnson
Actress Ashley Johnson landed the role of Chrissy Seaver on Growing Pains when she was six years old. It was her first television credit. Johnson went on to play the role of the youngest Seaver child from 1990-1992.
She later reprised her role in two television movie specials, The Growing Pains Movie, and Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers. While the role in Growing Pains was very popular, it’s nothing compared to the projects she worked on later in her career.
Now: Ashley Johnson
Ashley Johnson went on to bigger roles after her time as Chrissy on Growing Pains. She found herself being saved by Captain America in the 2012 film The Avengers, voicing the role of Gretchen Grundler on the hit series Recess and even portraying FBI forensic specialist Patterson in the NBC series Blindspot from 2015-2020.
Most recently, Johnson can be seen in the first episode of the Disney+ series Loki, the voice of Lisa in Family Guy, and the voice of Kristen in Close Enough.
Then: Sam Anderson
By the time he got around to portraying Principal Willis DeWitt in 13 episodes of Growing Pains, actor Sam Anderson was a seasoned Hollywood veteran. Prior to being Mike’s archnemesis, Anderson appeared on various episodes of popular television series, including The Golden Girls, Dallas, Magnum P.I., and even the film Airplane II: The Sequel.
He landed the role of Principal DeWitt in 1986 and portrayed the older character until season seven in1992.
Now: Sam Anderson
Since his time on Growing Pains, Sam Anderson has been all over the entertainment industry, appearing in many different films and television shows. Some of his more recent credits include Holland Manners in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off Angel, Dr. Jack Kayson in 20 episodes of ER, Bernard Nadler in 21 episodes of Lost, and Judge Walter Crowder in the critically acclaimed series The Is Us.
He recently worked on the thriller Echoes of Violence, a film set to release in August 2021.
Then: Julie McCullough
In 1988, actress Julie McCullough joined the cast of Growing Pains as Mike Seaver’s love interest Julie Costello. Their on-screen romance blossomed, and by the end of that season, Mike had proposed to Julie. The following season was going to open with their wedding.
But then Kirk Cameron learned that McCullough had been in a 1986 Playboy centerfold and demanded that she be fired from the show. Instead of a wedding, season five began with an episode where Julie abruptly broke up with Mike, with little explanation of what happened to the character.
Now: Julie McCullough
After her time on Growing Pains, Julie McCullough initially had a hard time finding work. “[W]hen the show was done, it was kind of a catch-22 for me because everyone knew me so well as that character, people didn’t want to book me on other sitcoms,.” she told the Las Vegas Sun.
Fortunately, she got a chance to appear on several other TV shows, including Beverly Hills, 90210, and Jake and the Fatman. In 2004, McCullough voiced herself in the video game Playboy: The Mansion. And today, she’s a stand-up comedian who performs at large venues across the country.
Then: Evan Arnold
Evan Arnold appeared in a few series before his stint on Growing Pains, but nothing really stands out in the crowd. His start really came when he landed the role of Richie Flanscopper for six episodes of the sitcom, one of Carol Seaver’s classmates who has a crush on her.
He only portrayed the young character for the first three seasons of the series, from 1985 until 1987. But it didn’t take long for him to land another role.
Now: Evan Arnold
Directly after his time on Growing Pains, actor Evan Arnold landed the role of Gavin Doosler in 18 episodes of Just the Ten of Us. From there, he appeared in various television shows and films, including Leonard in Mad Men, a doctor in the 2002 film Spider-Man, and Chef Alan in ten episodes of the series Suburgatory.
One of his most recent projects was from 2020-2021, portraying Elliot Pasquale in the television series 9-1-1 Lone Star.