Nickelodeon television shows hold a special place in the hearts of millennials and some older Gen Zers. The catchy theme songs of ‘Victorious,’ ‘iCarly,’ and ‘Zoey 101’ still resonate, and the memories of love triangles and drama between beloved characters are cherished. As time has passed, the once-young celebrities who entertained us have grown into adults. Some are now in their 30s with children of their own. While some have chosen to step away from the limelight, others continue to thrive in the entertainment industry, leaving lasting impressions on their fans.
Let’s look at the journeys of a few Nickelodeon celebrities from then to now
Emma Roberts: From ‘Unfabulous’ to Scream Queens
Emma Roberts captured hearts as a tween in ‘Unfabulous,’ while starring in movies such as ‘Aquamarine’ (2006) and ‘Nancy Drew’ (2007). Later, she gained recognition in the hit series ‘Scream Queens’ alongside Lea Michele and Abigail Breslin. Emma has also appeared in several seasons of ‘American Horror Story.’ In 2020, she welcomed her first child, a son named Rhodes, with then-boyfriend Garrett Hedlund.
Elizabeth Gillies: Jade West and Beyond
Elizabeth Gillies portrayed the edgy Jade West in ‘Victorious’ and later succeeded in ‘Dynasty.’ She is married to musician Michael Corcoran.
Ariana Grande: From Cat Valentine to Pop Icon
Ariana Grande is one of the most prominent success stories to emerge from Nickelodeon celebrities. Starting with her role as the sweet and sometimes oblivious Cat Valentine on ‘Victorious’ and ‘Sam and Cat,’ Ariana quickly rose to pop stardom with her 2013 hit, ‘The Way,’ featuring the late Mac Miller. Today, she is a Grammy Award-winning artist with multiple successful albums and sold-out arena tours. In 2021, Ariana was announced as Glinda in the highly anticipated film adaptation of ‘Wicked,’ currently in production.
Avan Jogia: Beck Oliver’s Journey
Avan Jogia starred as Beck Oliver in ‘Victorious’ and went on to have a successful career in television, appearing in various series such as ‘Twisted,’ ‘Ghost Wars,’ and ‘The Stranger.’
Amanda Bynes: A Rollercoaster Ride
Amanda Bynes gained recognition on Nickelodeon’s sketch comedy show, ‘All That,’ in 1996. Her talent shone through, leading to her comedy show, ‘The Amanda Show,’ in 1999. She became one of the biggest child celebrities of the late ’90s. Transitioning into adulthood, Amanda starred in successful movies such as ‘What a Girl Wants’ (2003), ‘She’s the Man’ (2006), and ‘Hairspray’ (2007).
Unfortunately, Amanda faced severe mental health issues and substance abuse struggles, leading to legal troubles in 2012 and 2013. Despite these difficulties, Amanda remains a symbol of resilience and the ongoing battle with mental health.
Drake Bell: Transitioning and Troubles
Drake Bell, known for his roles alongside Amanda Bynes on ‘All That’ and ‘The Amanda Show,’ found immense success with ‘Drake & Josh’ from 2004 to 2007. Bell continued his acting career, starring as Timmy Turner in live-action movies based on ‘The Fairly OddParents.’
In 2019, Drake made headlines when he changed his name to Drake Campana and established a music career in Mexico.
Michelle Trachtenberg: A Diverse Career
Michelle Trachtenberg made her mark on ‘Harriet the Spy’ (1996), ‘ Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ and ‘Gossip Girl.’ She continues to thrive in the entertainment world and recently reprised her ‘Gossip Girl’ character.
Kel Mitchell: Still Making Us Laugh
Kel Mitchell rose to fame on ‘All That’ and had his show with Kenan Thompson, ‘Kenan & Kel.’ He starred in the family comedy movie ‘Good Burger’ (1997) and appeared in other popular shows like ‘Sister, Sister’ and ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch.’ Kel continues to make people laugh, starring in ‘Game Shakers’ and reprising his role in the ‘All That’ reboot. He is also a voice actor and a proud father of four.
Jennette McCurdy: Beyond Sam Puckett
Jennette McCurdy portrayed Sam Puckett in ‘iCarly’ from 2007 to 2012 and starred as the same character in ‘Sam & Cat.’ She ventured into country music, releasing a single titled ‘Not That Far Away’ in 2010 and a self-titled debut album in 2012.
In 2018, Jennette decided to step away from acting and, in 2022, released a book highlighting her experiences of abuse within the entertainment industry and her relationship with her late mother.
Josh Peck: From Nickelodeon to Hulu
Josh Peck played the caring brother on ‘Drake and Josh’ and also starred in ‘All That’ and ‘The Amanda Show.’ He found success in Hulu’s ‘How I Met Your Father reboot and in the revival of ‘iCarly,’ where he reunited with Miranda Cosgrove. Peck married Paige O’Brien in 2017, and the couple has two children.
Jamie Lynn Spears: Stepping Back into the Limelight
Jamie Lynn Spears starred in ‘Zoey 101’ and later returned to acting with Netflix’s ‘Sweet Magnolias’ in 2020. She is set to reprise her role in a ‘Zoey 101’ movie, exciting fans for the beloved show’s revival.
Nick Cannon: From Child Star to Multifaceted Talent
Nick Cannon started his career on ‘All That’ as a writer and later starred on ‘The Nick Cannon Show.’ He made his big-screen debut in ‘Drumline’ (2002) and went on to host shows like ‘America’s Got Talent’ and ‘The Masked Singer.’ Nick remains a multi-talented entertainer, constantly evolving in the entertainment world.
Miranda Cosgrove: An Unforgettable Carly Shay
Miranda Cosgrove captured hearts as Drake and Josh’s younger sister and later as Carly Shay in ‘iCarly.’ She ventured into music, releasing her debut album ‘Sparks Fly’ in 2010. She also voiced Margo in the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise.
Nathan Kress: Forever Freddie Benson
Nathan Kress played Freddie Benson on ‘iCarly’ and reprised his role in the ‘iCarly’ reboot. Alongside his acting career, Nathan married London Elise Moore in 2015, and they have two children together.
Victoria Justice: Singing Her Way to Success
Victoria Justice portrayed Lola Martinez in ‘Zoey 101’ and later starred as Tori Vega in ‘Victorious.’ Alongside her acting career, Victoria released singles such as ‘Last Man Standing’ (2023) and ‘Treat Myself’ (2020). She continues appearing on red carpets and in interviews, showcasing her versatile talents.
Kenan Thompson: A Journey from Child Star to ‘SNL’
Kenan Thompson gained fame on ‘All That’ alongside several other child celebrities. His success continued with ‘Kenan & Kel,’ eventually leading him to ‘Saturday Night Live.’ Kenan has remained a mainstay on ‘SNL,’ providing laughter to audiences for years.
Keke Palmer: A Multifaceted Star
Keke Palmer’s breakout role was in ‘Akeelah and the Bee’ (2006), followed by ‘Jump In!’ (2007). She gained further recognition with ‘True Jackson, VP’ on Nickelodeon. Keke explored music, hosted her talk show, and co-hosted ‘Good Morning America.’
Melissa Joan Hart: A Journey Through Reboots
Melissa Joan Hart made her mark on Nickelodeon with ‘Clarissa Explains It All’ in the ’90s. While a reboot of the show was in the works, it ultimately fell through due to changes in the network’s leadership. Melissa continued acting, starring in Netflix’s ‘No Good Nick’ and various Christmas television movies. She has been married to Mark Wilkerson since 2003 and is a proud mother of three.
The Bottom line:
These Nickelodeon celebrities have come a long way since childhood, leaving an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. Their journeys have been diverse, filled with triumphs and challenges, showcasing their resilience and talent. As fans, we eagerly await their future endeavors, grateful for the joy and memories they have provided us.