Where Are The Mickey Mouse Club Stars Now?
If you grew up in the 90’s, you might be familiar with the old Disney Channel show called The All New Mickey Mouse Club (MMC), but back then, we had no idea some of these stars would become big in Hollywood! Walt Disney actually started this show in the 50’s and then later revived it, hence the “All New” part of the title.
We all know that Disney shows are basically the breeding ground for successful actors/actresses/singers and MMC was the one show that put them all together. A lot has happened since those innocent days so let’s take a look back to where these Mouseketeers are now!
Born in Lakeland, Florida, Lindsey Alley’s career started when she was cast as the role of Patsy in the 1988 movie Ernest Saves Christmas. The next year, when the Mickey Mouse Club was revived, Lindsey became one of their members and stayed on the show until it was canceled. But that was then, what is she up to these days?
Not every Mouseketeer becomes super successful after they leave the show and Alley chose to go to the University of Missouri to earn a B.A. in theater. As a graduate, she went on play the one and the only character in her play, Look Ma…No Ears, which was about a woman and the voices she heard in her head.
Since then, Alley has starred in many Broadway plays, such as Having It All, and even appeared in a couple of TV shows like How I Met Your Mother! Guess her degree paid off!
I wonder if the 40-year-old actress/singer/model looks back at that time when she was a member of the Mickey Mouse Club when she was 15-years-old. I guess you have to start somewhere and Rhona Bennett’s career began when she was cast as a Mouseketeer for the last 4 seasons. She also acted in another Disney Channel show called Emerald Cove, which was a spin-off dramedy. You know you’re old if you remember that show!
After her Disney stint, Rhona moved to California to further her acting career and she was successful, playing characters on shows like Living Single and Martin. She is most known now for her recurring role on the Jamie Foxx Show, playing the main character’s co-worker Nicole. She then pursued a career in the music industry and signed with the producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins.
In 2001, Miss &B, as she became known as, released her first album and later, she joined the R&B/Pop vocal group En Vogue. Remember Free your mind? That was her!
Did you know that 2/5ths of NSYNC started out as Mouseketeers? That’s right, one of the cuties on MMC was actually the future vocalist JC Chasez. His mother was the one that encouraged him to try out for Disney’s show but little did she know that she would be sending him on the path to becoming a successful singer/songwriter! JC even received his nickname on the show since there was another performer named Joshua.
It was meant to be for JC and Justin Timberlake to meet on MMC, as we know that their friendship led to them becoming bandmates together on NSYNC. Although the boy band was successful, after the singer tried to go on a solo career, it didn’t work out so great.
Nowadays, Chasez works as a songwriter and has written songs for many singers such as David Archuleta and even his former band’s rivals, The Backstreet Boys. He sure did come a long way!
Before she became the leader of the Mickey Mouse Club, she was in many pageants and appeared in many print advertisements as a model. Then Nikki DeLoach got a calling for acting and joined the MMC cast in 1993, where she would meet her future boyfriend JC.
Even after the show ended, JC and Nikki continued dating and in NSYNC’s first American album, she was mentioned by her nickname “Peaches.” She was part of the girl group Innocense for a while, which was managed by Justin Timberlake’s mom but broke up after 6 years.
With her singing career over, Nikki went back to acting, appearing in a couple of TV shows and movies here and there. You might recognize her from Days of Our Lives, Sandra Bullock’s thriller The Net 2.0 and The House Bunny. She starred in two Tv shows, North Shore, which aired on Fox and NBC’s Windfall, both of which only lasted one season.
Nikki is still acting and is also the mother to 2-year-old William Hudson Goodell with former Take 5 member Ryan Goodell.
The Texan born actor began his acting career as a performer on the MMC show in 1991 and stayed until the final season in 1995. After that, he received guest roles on UPN’s sitcom Moesha and then had a recurring role on the same network’s show Goode Behavior, although it only lasted one season.
At the end of the 90’s, Dale Godboldo debuted in the movie Dirt Merchant with Jenna Jameson and Danny Masterson. The actor is now 40-years-old, but his looks haven’t changed that much!
Godboldo has had roles on the hit TV shows ER, Promised Land, and NBC’s Kristin. For the two seasons that it lasted, Godboldo starred as Keith Townsend in Fox’s Wanda at Large and has appeared in many other shows as guests. Now, you probably recognize him from the hit The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, playing the lawyer Carl E. Douglas.
I don’t know how this happened but when Tony Lucca auditioned for the Mickey Mouse Club, he actually thought it was for Disney’s Newsies. Oh well, it was meant to be and the actor ended up being a member for 4 seasons. JC and Nikki weren’t the only couple on the show as Tony dated his fellow castmate, Keri Russel.
After the show ended, the aspiring actor moved in with Russel in LA and both were cast as leads for the show Malibu Shores.
In 1997, Tony put his acting career aside to focus on music and even worked with his old pal JC for a bit. That same year, he released his first album called So Satisfied and made his own website to sell it.Now, you probably remember him for appearing on the second season of The Voice, which was kind of awkward considering one of the judges was his old castmate, Christina Aguilera. There was some tension when the coach criticized him for singing Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” but they eventually made up.
What about his former girlfriend, though?
When she was 15-years-old, the curly-cued beauty joined the famous cast of the MMC, where of course she met her then-boyfriend, Tony Lucca. After the Disney hit show, Keri Russel went on to play bigger roles, most notably playing Felicity Porter on the series Felicity starting in 1998 and went on to win a Golden Globe for it.
Throughout the 90’s, she appeared in TV shows, movies, and even a Bon Jovi music video for Always.
In 2003, Felicity ended and Keri decided to have a try at broadway in NYC and acted with Andrew McCarthy in Neil LaBute’s play, Fat Pig. When she returned to the big screen in 2005, she was cast in the blockbuster Mission: Impossible III and a popular indie-flick, Waitress. Now, she stars in FX’s The Americans, playing one of the badass soviet KGB officers!
Coming up next, some of the best-known stars of our time back in their embarrassing teenage years!
Ah, these were the days. Back when Christina Aguilera was just a teenager acting alongside Britney Spears before the two singers would become rivals. I bet the “Genie in a Bottle” singer wouldn’t be caught dead in floral denim now!
MMC wasn’t actually Aguilera’s first TV debut as the New York native sang on Star Search before being eliminated in the semi-finals. After that, she auditioned for MMC in 1991 but wasn’t actually allowed onto the show for 2 years because she was too young at the time. Wonder what she looks like these days?
Growing up, everyone knew Christina would be successful because of her big voice and she certainly proved them right! 4 years after MMC ended, she recorded the hit theme song Reflection for Disney’s Mulan, which was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for best original song. After she signed with RCA Records her career took off and Christina topped the billboards with her hit singles from her self-titled album, such as Genie in a Bottle and What a Girl Wants.
Now, she has 7 albums out, was awarded 5 Grammys and is a coach on the show The Voice. She definitely grew up well!
The next singer with a big voice went on a different path!
Of all the things you know about Britney Spears, did you know that when she was 8-years-old she auditioned for the Mickey Mouse Club when it was first revived? At the time, though, she was too young but the casting director Matt Casella sent her to the talent agent Nancy Carson! After spending some time at the Professional Performing Arts School in NYC and getting some small roles, she was finally allowed to be an MMC member, where she stayed until it was canceled.
It is hard not to know about Britney Spears life considering she was one of those child stars that got messed up at one point. I mean, remember the 2007 head shaving, mental breakdown episode?
The thing is, though, she had been through a lot and she survived and people still love her. She has 8 albums out (the most recent one is from 2013), a Grammy, several MTV awards, an MTV lifetime award, Billboard awards and a whole lot of other accomplishments! Way to go, Britney!
But what about her then-boyfriend, JT?
I can’t believe JT was so adorable back then as a kid on the Mickey Mouse Club! He probably won our the producers solely with his cute face! He was on the show for two seasons and that is where he met his future girlfriend Britney Spears, as we know. He was really good at making friends on MMC, though! I mean, besides the girlfriend, he formed a friendship with JC Chavez, who will be his future bandmate, he would tour later with Christina Aguilar, and do movies with Ryan Gosling and Keri Russell.
As we know, after MMC, the performer, along with his other 4 bandmates, formed the boy band NSYNC and that is just the start of his long successful career ahead. Not everyone can make it as a solo artist but he sure did! And by successful, I mean Justin Timberlake is a multiple Grammy winner (9), 4 Emmys awards, among a whole lot of other awards and managed to juggle an acting and music career.
Be sure to watch (and listen) to his latest project, Dreamworks’ Trolls, where his newest top single will be played!
Now it is time to talk about two of Hollywood’s hottest A-listers!
Can you just picture Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake being roommates because they were on the MMC show! He wasn’t even a “hey girl” meme yet and he still was a ladies man! Ryan Gosling was only on the show for two years and didn’t appear as much as the other Mouseketeers because, ironically, the producers didn’t see a lot of talent in him. Guess they were wrong about that!
When you think of Ryan Gosling, the first movie that pops into your head is the Romance film, The Notebook that had every girl wishing they could be Allie Hamilton. You know, though, that he was famous before that right? The actor actually built his reputation by starring in a bunch of independent films such as Murder by Numbers (2002) and The United States of Leland (2003). He took a 3-year acting hiatus in 2008 to tour with his band Dead Man’s Bones but since then has focused on his acting career.
We talked about the stars from the revival show but what about the original gang from the 50’s?
It was Sharon Baird’s tap dancing talent that led to her family moving to LA when she was 5, as her mom fell in love with California when she took Baird there for a national competition. Soon enough, the little dancer was cast in her first film, Bloodhounds of Broadway, in 1950 and then went on to act in TV series before joining the Mickey Mouse Club. Disney did this thing where they pretended like the people they cast didn’t have professional on-screen experience and Sharon was the most experienced Mouseketeer on the show!
She stayed for all three seasons of the show, mainly tap dancing with the “Red Team” (first-string unit) but she also did some singing and acting. After the show ended, she finished up high school and went on to college, where she graduated in 1963 with degrees in mathematics and secretarial science.
In the 70’s, she worked as a live puppet, doing kids shows and later did some rotoscoping work on The Lord of the Rings. Sharon retired from her on-screen work in 1995 and nowadays, only appears when she is reuniting herself with her MMC gang.
Now you have to see how her BFF on the show’s life turned out!
The producers didn’t see her real potential until after the first season when she became a fan favorite and would receive thousands of fan mail a month! I bet they were glad they selected her, even though she was the last pick and what was even cooler is that Annette Funicello was personally picked by the man himself, Walt Disney! She went on to be the most memorable (and recognizable) MMC member!
The actress launched her singing career after she got such positive responses after singing “How Will I Know My Love” in an MMC serial and went on to have pop record hits in the 50’s and 60’s. such as “Tall Paul,” and “Pineapple Princess.” She stayed with Disney for awhile, doing TV roles and starring in movies such as Babes in Toyland but eventually, the teen idol moved away from the company started doing a series of “Beach Party” movies.
In 2013, we said goodbye to the former Mouseketeer, as she passed away after battling Multiple Sclerosis for years.
Who were the original MMC boys? Read on to find out!
It seems as though Disney was really good at finding talented youngsters! Bobby Burgess was ready to be TV by the age of five, as he loved dancing, acting and playing the accordion! Like Sharon Baird, he was part of the “Red Team” and was on the show for all 3 seasons. If you watched the original show, you probably remember him as that goofy tall boy with the big smile doing crazy stuff like jumping off a high wall wearing a Humpty-Dumpty costume!
After his Disney days were over, the Bobby went back to his old dance partner from Call’s Fine Arts Center and the duo did contests and performances together. After winning a contest sponsored by Lawrence Welk, the partners got the chance to perform on The Lawrence Welk Show in April 1961 and ended up becoming a regular performer for many seasons! Now, he has his own dance studio in Long Beach and lives with his wife, whom he had four kids with!
Now let’s see what the other best male performer has been up to!
Like Bobby, Lonnie Burr was a skilled performer and part of the “Red Team” so he was seen on the MMC a lot during his 3 seasons. Interesting to note, he didn’t take part in the filming of the 3rd season’s Roll Call and Alma Mater because he suffered a facial injury during a rehearsal. After the show ended, he was one of the Mouseketeers that wasn’t invited to go on tour in Australia in 1959.
Instead, Lonnie got his high school diploma when he was 14-years-old from the Hollywood Professional School then went on to get his Masters in Theater Arts from UCLA. He kept up with the show business, working with stage and television productions, along with coming up with some writings himself. The cute thing, though, is all these years later and he can still recite the MMC Alma Mater by heart!
But not every MMC character was a dancer!
Since dancing is a big part of MMC performances, it was kind of shocking that Tommy Cole lasted more than one season! He started off on the “Blue Team” (second string unit) but his natural grace and good voice eventually bumped him up to first string! He was the only one that could sing as well as Darlene Gillespie and after the two got over each other’s rivalries, they recorded a couple of songs together.
Like the other Mouseketeers, Tommy went back to high school after the show ended and did some tours with the cast including the Australia one. In the 60’s, though, the performer decided to change positions and work behind the camera instead. Now, he is a renowned Hollywood makeup artist and in 1979, he won an Emmy for his work (the only MMC member with an award)!
His MMC singing partner wasn’t as accomplished… read on to see what happened to her!
She was one of the lead performers on the show, performing with the “Red Team” and definitely a fan favorite! Darlene Gillespie didn’t have as much professional experience as the other kids on the show did but she was able to master being on camera with her dancing/singing. Her braided hair, freckles, and wide smile was what made her loveable but that only lasted for the first season. Before season 2, Darlene suffered a setback after being bedridden with pneumonia for six weeks and lost her role on the movie Westward Ho, the Wagons! to Doreen Tracey.
After MMC, she stayed did some recordings with Disney, such as some songs for Sleeping Beauty, but her acting career was pretty much over. Unlike her other cast members, Darlene pretty much hung up her mouse ears and never did any of the later reunions or tours. In the 1990’s, she spent 3 months in prison for check fraud and then again, several years later but the charges were dropped.
Let’s see how the woman who “stole” her role did later in life!
She was immediately accepted as a Mouseketeer after auditioning when she was 12-years-old and, like the others, stayed with the show for all three seasons. Doreen Tracey was one of the few that could act, sing and dance well in all three categories! She was known for her funny exaggerated facial responses and overall, appealing personality.
Doreen stayed with Disney after MMC ended, doing public appearances and going on tours with them. At age 18, she married Robert Washburn and had a son with him a year later but would also get a divorce that same year. She kept up with her singing but surprising didn’t record anything. Rather, she did live performances on the teen nightclub circuit and became a member of the ‘Teen Magazine variety troupe. Now she pretty much stays out of the spotlight except for the occasional interview about her past.
2. Cubby O’Brien
He comes from a musical family and his dad was the drummer/musician Haskell “Hack” O’Brien so it really was all that surprising that he picked up the same talent as well! Cubby O’Brien joined the Mickey Mouse club gang after Walt Disney asked him to audition after seeing him perform on the Ray Bolger Show. He then became the only musician that was allowed to play on the show and people loved his amazing drum skills!
He had a chance to continue working for Disney after the 3 seasons were up but ended up not doing it because it was only valid if Karen Pendleton also accepted, which she didn’t. Cubby then went on to play for the Lawrence Welk Show and then eventually did some tours with the musician Spike Jones. He met his future wife on that tour, Marilyn Miller and the two got married in 1996 and had a daughter but divorced in 1976.
Now, the former Musketeer solely focuses on his drumming, doing work for broadway but still does the occasional public appearance!
She wasn’t really that experienced when she became a Mouseketeer but Disney gave her adorable self a chance anyway and she proved herself for 3 seasons! Karen Pendleton received so much fan mail that the producers decided to give her her own mini-series called Karen in Kartoonland. Since her talent wasn’t all that appealing, she started to get less and less screen time over the years but still managed to stay on the Red Team.
Don’t forget to SHARE this article if you were a Mickey Mouse Club fan growing up!
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