See the Kids From "A Little Princess" 25 Years Later
Some have continued acting, but others have wandered down new paths in life.
It's been 26 years since A Little Princess, Alfonso Cuarón's U.S. directorial debut, hit theaters. The Oscar-nominated 1995 film told the story of several young girls at a New York boarding school, who were all princesses in their own way. While the child actors of the movie brought the magic of A Little Princess to life, many of the young stars didn't go on to have huge Hollywood careers. While some of the child actors have stuck around the industry, many of them, now in their 30s, have carved out new paths for themselves. Read on to find out where the kids from A Little Princess are now, nearly three decades after the film's release.
Liesel Simmons (Sara) is now a leading figure in the world of impact investing.
Liesel Pritzker Simmons, whose stage name was Liesel Matthews, won over audiences as Sara Crewe, the kind and courageous title character in A Little Princess. Simmons went on to star in two other movies, 1997's Air Force One with Harrison Ford and Blast in 2000, but she is no longer acting, which was never her goal anyway.
"I don't think I want to become a huge actress or anything," she told Entertainment Tonight in 1995. "And I wouldn't make it a career. It would still be a hobby."
Instead, Simmons is now one of the leading figures in the world of impact investing. She co-founded the Blue Haven Initiative with her husband Ian Simmons in 2012, which is one of the world's largest investment funds dedicated solely to impact investing. She also co-founded The ImPact in 2016, a nonprofit organization that helps wealthy families make impact investments that align with their social and environmental values.
Simmons is also a literal heiress.
Simmons' move into investing isn't all that surprising seeing as she was born into the ninth wealthiest family in the U.S., per Forbes. The Chicago-based Pritzker family has a fortune of $32.5 billion, which includes the Hyatt Hotel chain.
But much like the story of A Little Princess, coming from a wealthy family didn't mean life was always easy for Simmons. Simmons and her brother, Matthew Pritzker, sued their famous family in 2002, claiming that their father, Robert Pritzker, had denied them their inheritance after his divorce from their mother in the mid-'90s, The New York Times reported. After a years-long battle, Simmons and her brother were both awarded $900 million in 2005.
Vanessa Chester (Becky) is still acting, but also has a degree in economics.
Vanessa Chester's first major movie role was that of Becky in A Little Princess, and Chester has been acting ever since. She had parts in The Lost World: Jurassic Park and the Harriet the Spy movie in the mid-'90s. The actor has also appeared on some of the most beloved shows of the past couple of decades, from Once and Again to How I Met Your Mother.
More recently, Chester starred in an AT&T commercial, which she posted to her Instagram page, and in a COVID-related romance called Six Feet Apart. But she's also done more than acting over the last few decades. In a 2015 interview with Refinery29, she revealed that she had also gotten her economics degree. "Since my Little Princess days, I graduated with a degree in economics at USC," Chester said at the time. "I'm still very active in the entertainment industry, whether it's in front of or behind the camera."
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Heather DeLoach Grenier (Ermengarde) is now focusing on being a mom and a wife.
Ermengarde was a shy, insecure girl in A Little Princess, but actor Heather DeLoach Greiner has seemingly blossomed since taking on the role. According to Greiner's Instagram, she now is the mom of two children, two-year-old Olivia and Weston, who was just born on March 11, according to an exclusive interview with People magazine.
Greiner also recently returned to the bright lights of Hollywood on a 2020 episode of the reality singing show I Can See Your Voice, where she dressed in a bee costume as a nod to her iconic role as the dancing "Bee Girl" in Blind Melon's 1992 "No Rain" music video.
Camilla Belle (Jane) just wrote and directed her first movie.
Camilla Belle is now the most famous of the child actors from A Little Princess. She's taken on some big roles since then, starring in movies like When a Stranger Calls and Push. But playing Jane in A Little Princess was the young actor's first-ever movie role.
Belle's most recent acting credit was in 2019, when she starred in Dollface, but she's still working in the industry. She just scored her first writing and directing credits with the movie Phobias, which was released on March 19.