The Suite Life sure doesn't have to end once you leave the Disney Channel.

It's no secret that some young, childhood stars have found it difficult balancing fame, fortune and growing up in the Hollywood spotlight.

While being a young actor or actress can bring about plenty of fun, positive experiences, it has also proven to be a bit too much for a few famous stars. Not the case for Dylan Sprouse and Cole Sprouse.

The birthday boys found huge success thanks to Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. And while some would argue that the two kept a low profile in recent years, the pair is busier than ever with separate projects.

Cole continues his role as "Jughead" Jones in CW's addictive series Riverdale. As for Dylan, he recently announced a return to acting where he will star in the upcoming movie, Carte Blanche.

Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

"I'm interested in roles that are human, that have some sort of empathic quality," Dylan previously shared with the New York Daily News. "A role I would not do: cool jock. That's not something I'd be interested in doing."

So how did these two get through their adolescent years without receiving front-page headlines for all the wrong reasons? While there is no secret to success or magic path, the brothers have provided some theories based on their own experiences.

For Cole, he's thankful that he was able to enroll in college and have a normal experience with peers across the country.

"Part of the reason I went to college was that I wanted to fade out peacefully, show everybody I had gone through something that was quite challenging and difficult, but did so with grace and poise and got an education," he explained to Vanity Fair. "By the end of it what I hadn't interpreted was the rise of social media, which kind of kept my brother and I alive in strange, underground subcircles."

Cole Sprouse, Dylan Sprouse

Tiffany Rose/Getty Images

In a separate interview with Elle, Cole reinforced the importance of getting an education and staying on a healthy path.

"I think regardless of success, all those kids were dealing with a similar dilemma when it came to their maturity and their publicity and fame, and how they were viewed in the public eye. Some people choose sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll to come to terms with it. Some people find religion," Cole explained to the publication. "[College] seemed like the most productive way to prove to people we were coming into ourselves. I was finding out my identity and growing by going to an institution where I could evolve and become more adept at understanding why I was thinking certain things, and how society viewed me."

And when Dylan and Cole weren't in front of the camera, fans were always asking about their next project. While some questions were more constant than others, Dylan once wrote on social media that he was living his life on his own terms.

"'I'm enjoying myself by relaxing, traveling, consuming media, and continuing to learn,' but the truth is that unless I'm doing something bigger and better than what I've previously done, people deem it regressive," he once wrote.

As Dylan and Cole celebrate their birthday today, the young men have much to be proud of. In fact, they join a long list of childhood stars who turned out a-okay when they became older.

Hilary Duff, Then and now

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/John Sciulli/WireImage

The former Disney Channel star got her first big role at age 11 in Casper Meets Wendy. Today, the proud mom to son Luca has a huge hit on her hands with the series Younger

Ryan Gosling, Then and now

Disney; Jamie McCarthy/WireImage

The heartthrob actor got his big break at age 12 on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. Since then, he's been wooing us onscreen in romantic tear jerkers like The Notebook and heartfelt rom-coms like Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Christina Aguilera, Then and now

Bob Berg/Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

As another former castmember of The Mickey Mouse Club, the award-winning singer is still making hits and was most recently seen as a judge on NBC's The Voice.

Justin Timberlake, Then and now

Steve Granitz/Wire Image/Chris Pizzello/AP Photo

The singer turned actor got his start on The Mickey Mouse Club and later with boy band 'N Sync. Since then, he's had tremendous success in both his music and acting career, with musical hits such as "Suit & Tie" and big-screen successes like The Social Network.

Jodie Foster, Then and now

Columbia Pictures; Sara De Boer/startraksphoto.com

The actress started her career before age 7 and was nominated for her first Academy Award at age 14. Since then, she's graduated from Yale, won two Oscars, and had two kids. No biggie.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Then and now

Darlene Hammond/Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

The Great Gatsby actor started in commercials and the small screen, but has made his way to mainstream stardom with hits such as Titanic and Django Unchained.

Emma Watson, Then and now

Justin Goff/Getty Images/Dominique Charriau/Wire Image

We watched her grow up onscreen as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise, and now the English actress is continuing her successful career in hits like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Bling Ring.

Neil Patrick Harris, Then and now

Miachael Ochs/Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

The How I Met Your Mother star began his career as a child actor but has also had success as a singer, producer, director, and even a magician. Recently, he served as the host of the Tony Awards for the fourth time.

Natalie Portman, Then and now

Gaumont; Michael Caulfield/WireImage

The Black Swan star made her big-screen debut at age 12 and has went on to become an award-winning actress, Harvard graduate and mother.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Then and now

Buena Vista Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com/Michael Buckner/Getty Images

You may know him from big-screen hits The Dark Knight Rises and Inception, but do you remember him as the adorable little boy from Angels in the Outfield and the awkward teenager in 10 Things I Hate About You? The actor, director, writer and producer even attended the prestigious Columbia University.

Jennifer Connelly, Then and now

Ron Galella/Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

This Yale and Stanford attendee got her career started in modeling and television commercials.

Raven Symone, Then and now

Ron Galella/Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images

The That's So Raven star has had much success as both an actress and singer. She must have foreeseen it from the moment she started her career on The Cosby Show!



Elijah Wood, Then and now

Castle Rock Entertainment; Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Before he received all the fame for the high-profile Lord of the Rings trilogy, the actor had a successful childhood career in modeling, commercials and television.

Melissa Joan Hart, Then and now

Jeff Kravitz/Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Sabrina the Teenage Witch got through her teenage years with much success. This actress is also a writer, director, producer, singer and businesswoman and has three kids with husband Mark Wilkerson.



Fred Savage, Then and now

ABC/Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Savage started as a child actor in The Wonder Years and The Princess Bride, but is now a successful director and producer (credits include Boy Meets World, That's So Raven, and Hannah Montana).

Danica McKellar, Then and now

Ron Galella/Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

Known for being on the hit TV show The Wonder Years, this child star went on to study at UCLA and become a best-selling author.

Mara Wilson, Then and now

COLUMBIA TRI STAR/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com/ariscott.com

The Matilda star had to convince her parents to let her get into acting, and she's proved that they made the right decision. The actress recently even wrote an essay titled "7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy" to share her insider perspective.

Ron Howard, Then and now

Silver Screen Collection; Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Andy Griffith Show star had a successful childhood acting career, married his high school sweetheart in 1975 (how non-scandalous is that?), and grew up to become one of Hollywood's top directors.

PHOTOS: Amanda Bynes—Then & Now

Happy birthday, Dylan and Cole! Here's to another year of great success. 

Don't miss E! News every Tuesday to Saturday at 6pm.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.