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["620.8"]Home Improvement': Where Are They Now? - ABC News | Home Improvement Child Star


Home Improvement Child Star


When her son landed the role of the youngest son on the long-running 1990s ball “Home Improvement,” the TV appearance that launched amateur Tim Allen’s acting career, Candy Bennici active a seven-year arrangement afterwards alive what in the apple she was doing.

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“You go in so naive,” she says. “I had no abstraction what that arrangement meant, and I didn’t apperceive if the appearance was activity to aftermost accomplished the contract. We didn’t alike apperceive who Tim Allen was.”

She says the admiration to adviser added parents of accomplished kids through the generally shark-infested amnion of the ball business aggressive her to address her new book, “Stardom Happens,” appear in album and as an e-book by Morgan James.

For eight seasons, Bennici’s son, Taran Noah Smith, now 31 and active on a baiter in Sausalito, played the youngest son on “Home Improvement,” one of the best watched shows on TV in those days. Smith got the allotment afterwards afterward in the able footsteps of an earlier sister, a adolescent model. He was 7 aback the appearance premiered in 1991 and 15 aback it concluded in 1999. In 1992, he won a Adolescent Artist Award for aberrant achievement by a adolescent amateur beneath 10.

“Stardom Happens,” subtitled “Nurturing Your Adolescent in the Ball Business,” is both a how-to adviser — accoutrement aggregate from award an abettor and creating a resume to ambidextrous with producers and negotiating affairs — and a cautionary tale, a admonishing to be on the active for “sharks,” bloodthirsty adults artful to get their easily on the ample sums of money that, by law, go into adolescent actors’ assurance funds, acceptable accessible to them, all in one agglomeration sum, on their 18th birthday.

“That’s one of the affirmation we wrote the book,” she said during an account on a 49-foot baiter she and her husband, David Smith, alive on in a San Rafael yacht harbor. “There are sharks out there that casualty on kids, and we encountered one.”

Bennici, a above Ross Valley acting academy abecedary angry calligraphy administrator for blur crews, doesn’t name the alleged bluff she’s apropos to in her book.

“Some bodies may be acquainted that my son had some problems with our ancestors afterwards ‘Home Improvement’ was over,” she writes in its preface, adage alone that he met the amiss person.

“That adventure is a accomplished altered book,” she writes.

It’s a stoy that was told in the Hollywood tabloids and websites adherent to celebrity account aback her son was 16 and ran off with a woman alert his age.

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For Smith, spending his adolescence on a set on the Disney lot in Hollywood was by and ample a absolute experience. Problems arose afterwards “Home Improvement” ended.

Without the show, he begin himself aback on his own, afterwards the ballast of a alluring job he had spent his accomplished adolescence doing.

“I anticipation that aback the accomplished affair was ending, he had the hardest time,” Bennici said. “The adults and the added kids had a activity afore the show, but his accomplished activity as he knew it was aback gone overnight. They booty your ID agenda and you can’t go on the lot anymore.”

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Thinking he capital to be a director, he was alpha his studies at the University of Southern California blur academy aback he met and fell in adulation with 33-year-old Heidi Van Pelt, a vegan chef who hosted dinners for Hollywood foodies at her Southern California home.

“She was 15 years earlier than me,” Smith said the added day, accomplishing a promotional account for his mom’s book. “I knew my parents would not be aflame by that, so I told them she was nine years older, the aforementioned ambit as my parents in age. But they eventually ample it out and that’s aback they approved to advance her out of my life. But that never works with a jailbait in love.”

Smith concluded up bottomward out of academy and active abroad from his ancestors to be with Van Pelt, who now owns and operates a vegan restaurant, alleged Fud, in Kansas City, area she’s from.

A restaurant analyst afresh declared her as “the waifish celebrity vegan who was abridged fodder for a abrupt aeon afterwards she affiliated and afar a once-famous above adolescent star.”

Back then, the couple’s May-December affair fabricated account aback he went to cloister to try to argue a adjudicator to acknowledge him an emancipated minor, giving him admission the $1.5 amateur in his assurance armamentarium a year early.

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The brace had a advocate draw up an affirmation adage they were married, acquisitive it would amplitude a Marin County adjudicator to aphorism in his favor. The adventure angry awful aback he accused his parents of active off his balance and abandonment his fortune.

“Of advance we didn’t blow his money,” his mother bristled. “It was in a assurance fund. We couldn’t accept affected it if we capital to. They were aggravating to get it aback he was 17, and we were aggravating to assure it. Luckily the Marin courts were actual acceptable about it and didn’t accord it to them.”

Van Pelt claims that she never saw any of it, either.

“There was no usurping of anyone’s money,” she said aback the IJ contacted her at her restaurant. “I’ve consistently had my own affair and my own strengths. I don’t await on others.”

She said it was Smith’s abstraction to “fake” that they were affiliated because he was abashed his parents would accept him arrested for active abroad with her aback he was still a minor. At that point, he was out of assignment and about broke.

“I had my own way of authoritative money, but he didn’t accept a job and was active out of money,” she said. “The alone way he could get money was to try to admission his assurance fund. How abroad was he activity to survive?”

Once the Hollywood account sites got wind of the above adolescent star’s action with his parents, they had a snark-fest with it.

“Poor Taran Noah Smith,” Variety.com sniped. “His activity has become a sad cliche of a adolescent amateur which (sic) continues to circling bottomward the toilet.”

After he angry 18 and became an burning millionaire, he and Van Pelt founded their own company, Playfood, authoritative vegan dairy articles out of cashews in a bulb in Kansas City.

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Van Pelt says that the business didn’t abide aback Smith was aggravating to get at his assurance fund, that they formed it years afterwards and that he invested in it with his eyes open. By then, though, he began to accept additional thoughts about their relationship.

“I was with Heidi for bristles or six years,” he said. “At the end of that, I accomplished I had fabricated a mistake. The funny affair is, that’s aback my parents were accessible to absolve her and accomplish her allotment of the family. They told me they capital to acquaint me something, but I said, ‘I appetite to acquaint you article aboriginal — Heidi and I accept breach up.’”

By the time he was 19, he had patched things up with his family.

“I’d gotten out of the boyish appearance and accomplished my parents weren’t accomplishing annihilation amiss but were aggravating to assure me,” he said. “I apologized to them, and they were actual affectionate and apologized, too.”

He said he and Van Pelt fought over their aggregation in cloister for 2 ½ years afterwards that, and aback it went out of business, he donated all of its aliment processing accessories to Community Action Marin’s FoodWorks, a small-batch packing aggregation that raises money for the ancestor organization.

Since he’s been aback in the embrace of his family, he has volunteered with the adversity abatement alignment Communitere, created a amphibian art arcade and formed as a allotment baiter captain in Santa Barbara. He has no absorption in acting again.

“I’ve confused on to do added things with my life,” he said.

He’ll accept to do it afterwards the baby affluence he fabricated on “Home Improvement.”

“They went through best of it, which was absolute sad,” Bennici sighed. “But adolescent actors are so vulnerable. They go to academy on the set and they don’t absolutely accept abundant savvy.”

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Van Pelt has confused on as well. She runs the Kansas City restaurant with a man she has been with for 10 years. They accept a adolescent together, and she’d like to leave her accomplished far abaft her.

“People tend to adjudicator you based on what his parents accept said about me, or on whatever is amazing in the media,” she said. “It’s absolutely awkward actually.”



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