Where Are They Now? The Child Actors Of ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’

It’s been over 25 years since Mrs Doubtfire graced our screens. The 90s film – which featured the amazing Robin Williams as the lead role, and Sally Field as his estranged wife – was an instant hit with adults and children alike, thanks to its positive message about family values and relationships. It was also very, very funny. Based on the book Alias Madame Doutbfire and directed by Chris Columbus, the film leaned into Williams’ renowned skills as improviser and comedian to tell the tale of Daniel Hillard, a man who disguises himself as a Scottish housekeeper in order to stay close to his kids after his divorce.  The three children in the film will be part of our own childhood memories forever, thanks to strong performances from the three young actors: Lisa JakubMatthew Lawrence and Mara Wilson. But whatever happened to the kids of Mrs Doubtfire?

Lisa Jakub

Lisa Jakub played the headstrong, protective eldest child in Mrs Doubtfire, Lydia Hillard. Lisa was 15 years old when the film was released and we’ve been told that her school actually expelled her for such bad attendance during the time this film was shooting. In fact, she revealed: “I was upset and Robin asked me about it. The next day he showed up at my trailer with a letter he’d written to the principal asking him to reconsider and let me come back to high school.” She added: “The school framed the letter, hung it in the main office and did not ask me to come back.” Jakub made her film debut in 1985’s Eleni and continued to work regularly on television before portraying Robin Williams and Sally Field’s eldest daughter Lydia in Mrs. Doubtfire.

Lisa continued to act onscreen for a few more years until age 22, appearing in films such as Independence Day and the TV series Jack & Jill. In 2018, she succinctly explained what she’s been up to ever since, tweeting:: “Acted for 8 more years, retired from acting, moved across the country, worked for non profits, married my best friend, went to college, wrote and published two books, became a yoga teacher and public speaker, raised four amazing dogs, and now I’m about to make a burrito.” 

Matthew Lawrence

Matthew Lawrence was 13 years old when he played cheeky but troubled son Chris Hillard in Mrs Doubtfire. However, it wasn’t his first time in front of the screen – he made his debut on the infamous soap Dynasty during the 80s.Lawrence has been an actor since he was four years old, appearing on shows like Dynasty, Gimme a Break!, and Drexell’s Class before his role as Williams and Field’s only son Chris in Mrs. Doubtfire. He is the middle child of the acting Lawrence brothers, with whom he appeared in the sitcom Brotherly Love. He is perhaps best known for his role as Sean Hunter’s older brother Jack on the last few seasons of Boy Meets World, a character he reprised in 2015 on Disney Channel’s reboot Girl Meets World.

Matthew formed a band with his brothers in 2017 called Still Three. He has been dating professional dancer Cheryl Burke since February 2017 and they announced their engagement on 3 May the following year. Speaking about Robin’s tragic death in 2014, Matthew said: “Robin I think had this way, he is just so special that it was hard not to be completely affected by him and his work. As a person too, because he really, really cared about everybody.”

Mara Wilson

She played the youngest child, Natalie ‘Nattie’ Hillard, and appeared in some seriously sweet father-daughter scenes alongside Robin Williams. She was just six years old when the film was released.  Wilson made her film debut as the Hillards’ youngest daughter Natalie in Mrs. Doubtfire, but she quickly skyrocketed to even greater fame. The actress endeared herself to a generation with her portrayal of the title character in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, and took on the Natalie Wood role of too-practical-for-a-child Susan Walker in a remake of Miracle on 34th Street. She also appeared opposite Martin Short in A Simple Wish. As a child, she had a recurring role on Melrose Place.

The now 31-year-old has stepped out of the acting limelight and is now a writer and author. Speaking to Lorraine while promoting her book Where Am I Now? in 2016, Mara reflected on her Hollywood upbringing, saying: “I never meant to become famous. I grew up in Los Angeles and as a child was acting, it was almost like a hobby.” Mara has also opened up about her struggles with anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In 2015, she teamed up with Project UROK, a nonprofit organisation whose mission is to aid teens with mental illness.

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

Written By: Neill Frazer

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