They don’t make family movies like they used to. Case in point is the film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. All these decades later, the film not only broke ground in the visual effects department, but had us all wish Rick Moranis was our dad.
For teenage actor Amy O’Neill, playing Moranis’s daughter in the film is something she’ll never forget. The way we all wanted to befriend ants and take down giant scorpions is something we’ll never forget. Let’s see what Amy‘s been up to since she helped lead the shrunken kids to safety.
In Pacific Palisades, California, on July 8th, 1971, Amy E. O’Neill was born to parents Virginia and Thomas O’Neill. Her mother was an Art School Director, and her father owned a construction company in Los Angeles. She is the middle child of five siblings, having one sister and three brothers.
You can thank her older siblings, sister Katie and brother Casey, for Amy getting into acting. She was only 10 when she started going with them to auditions, and by 13 she had her first acting credit in an episode of the comedy series Mama’s Family in 1984, where she played the young version of Betty White’s character.
Amy spent the next few years appearing in an episode here and there on shows like Night Court, Highway to Heaven, The Twilight Zone, and Family Ties.
In 1986, teenage O’Neill landed a role on the hit soap opera The Young and the Restless. For 30 episodes, Amy portrayed Molly Shark on the soap during the first season.
But Amy would make 1989 her year to shine, starting with an appearance in one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The best part about that year is O’Neill made her move over to films. She first had a supporting role as Cindy in the TV film Desperate for Love starring Christian Slater. Her next time on screen was a small part in the miniseries I Know My First Name Is Steven, which was based on the real kidnapping of a seven-year-old child. Her last film (and first true feature) is the one we will always love her for.
Honey, I Shrunk The Kids
In 1989, Rick Moranis, Matt Frewer, Marcia Strassman, Kristine Sutherland, and a group of talented young actors starred in one of the most perfect comedic sci-fi films ever made. Amy portrayed Amy Szalinski, the oldest child and only daughter of Wayne Szalinski (Moranis) and Diane Szalinski (Strassman) in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
The movie follows Wayne’s scientific invention of a ray gun that will shrink or grow objects – if he can get it working. An accidental baseball through a window fires up the ray gun to proper working order, which eventually shrinks the Szalinski and neighbor kids down so small, they could ride an ant like a horse.
The film went on to be nominated for multiple awards, won a BAFTA, and Amy was nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.
Amy quickly reprised the role for the sequel in 1992, titled Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. Her character wasn’t really written into the sequel, and she was shipped off to college at the start of the movie and never returned in the film.
What did she do after Honey, I Shrunk the Kids?
Amy did a little more acting after braving the backyard the size of an insect. She appeared in a few more TV shows like Room for Romance, The Young Riders, and Gabriel’s Fire. Her last time on a TV show was an episode of Murder, She Wrote in 1991.
She went on to star in the 1993 adventure movie White Wolves: A Cry in the Wild II with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, where she played main character Pandra, and the 1994 parody TV film about the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan fiasco, titled National Lampoon’s Attack of the 5Ft. 2 In. Women.
What is Amy O’Neil doing now?
Amy took a break from acting for some time but came back for a part in the short biographical comedic film The Japanese Sandman in 2008, and in 2016 she had an uncredited role in an episode of Baskets. Her last time on screen was as the mom in the short thriller The Follower.
You can see what Amy is up to on social media, as she posts on her Facebook occasionally.
With a reboot of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids looking to be more certain, Amy thinks the project would be an amazing way to bring back the original gang, as long as Rick Moranis is leading the way.
Before we see if that happens, Amy is producing a movie about Jim Morrison before he was the leading man of The Doors.
So far, Amy hasn’t married and doesn’t have children, though she’s still open to the possibility of whatever life may bring.
Whether Amy sticks with producing or gets asked to come back for the reboot, her fans will always find comfort in seeing her save her little brother and crush on the neighbor boy every time we rewatch Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.