For seven seasons from 1985 to 1992, Jeremy Miller charmed television audiences as Ben Seaver, the youngest son on the hit family sitcom Growing Pains.
With his wholesome looks and natural comedic timing, Miller quickly became a fan favorite as the mischievous but good-hearted Ben.
However, like many child stars, Miller struggled to find the same level of success once the show ended its run. So what exactly happened to Jeremy Miller after Growing Pains?
Background Information and Early Roles
Born Jeremy James Miller on October 21, 1976, in Covina, California, Miller began his acting career at a young age.
Before landing his breakthrough role on “Growing Pains,” Miller was cast in several commercials and even had a guest role in the 1984 TV show “Punky Brewster.”
Additionally, he lent his voice to the character Linus van Pelt in “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!”
Jeremy Miller’s claim to fame came when he was cast as Ben Seaver, the younger son on the beloved family sitcom “Growing Pains.”
“Growing Pains” is a beloved family sitcom that graced television screens during the 1980s and early 1990s.
Jeremy Miller played the role of Ben Seaver, the mischievous and endearing younger son of the Seaver clan. Over the years, viewers watched Ben grow from a cheeky young boy into a mature teenager, with Jeremy’s portrayal evolving to reflect the character’s growth and development.
Throughout its run, “Growing Pains” aired for seven seasons, comprising a total of 166 episodes.
Jeremy says his audition for “Growing Pains” was anything but conventional. Instead of the usual script reading, he won over the producers with his charm, humor, and a unique talent for mimicking dolphin calls. This quirky skill became an inside joke on the set.
Miller often reminisced about the close-knit dynamic he shared with Kirk Cameron and Tracey Gold. The trio, inseparable during shoots and off-duty hours, frequently indulged in playful pranks, with Jeremy embracing his role as the mischievous “rotten little brother,” ever eager to tease his on-screen siblings.
Equally touching was Jeremy’s relationship with the late Alan Thicke, who played his on-screen father, Dr. Jason Seaver. Alan was more than just a co-star to Jeremy; he was a guiding paternal figure.
Their bond, rooted in mutual respect and affection, was enriched by Alan’s spontaneous and creative spirit, often evident in his ad-libbing during rehearsals.
Jeremy Miller faced unexpected financial challenges during his transition from childhood stardom to adulthood.
A significant issue arose from the mismanagement of his earnings from “Growing Pains.” Due to an accountant’s oversight, Jeremy found himself burdened with a substantial tax debt.
The gravity of the situation was such that, by the age of 15, Jeremy felt compelled to take the drastic step of becoming legally emancipated.
This move was not driven by a desire for independence or a rift with his family, but rather a necessity to access his trust fund to settle the looming tax debt.
By the time Jeremy reached the age of 18, a significant portion of his earnings from “Growing Pains” had been depleted to address this financial obligation.
This situation was particularly disheartening for Jeremy, who had worked tirelessly during his formative years and had expected to have a financial cushion as he transitioned into adulthood.
Instead, he found himself grappling with financial challenges that were the result of mismanagement and oversight by those entrusted with safeguarding his earnings.
Career After “Growing Pains”
After Growing Pains ended, Miller had guest roles on shows like Hope & Gloria, The Wonderful World of Disney (reprising his role as Ben Seaver), and Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.
He starred in the TV movie Growing Pains: Return of the Seavers in 2004, again as Ben Seaver.
In the 2000s and 2010s, Miller has worked steadily in smaller indie films and TV shows, often in minor or supporting roles. Some projects include Milk and Fashion, Star-ving, Never Have I Ever, and The Comeback Kids.
Jeremy has been open about his struggles with alcohol. He revealed that he began drinking at a very young age and, over the years, his relationship with alcohol became increasingly problematic.
This dependency reached a point where it began to affect his personal relationships and professional commitments. A particularly poignant moment was when Jeremy recounted a significant altercation with his partner, Joanie.
The incident, which involved Jeremy physically hurting Joni during an argument, served as a wake-up call for him. Recognizing the gravity of his actions and the potential consequences of continuing down this path, Jeremy decided that he needed to make a change.
His journey to sobriety, however, was not straightforward. Jeremy tried various recovery modalities over the years, but none seemed to work for him.
It was only when he discovered a medically assisted recovery program that he began to see a way out. This program involved the use of an implant that released a drug called Naltrexone, which helped curb his alcohol cravings. This medical intervention, combined with the support of his loved ones, played a crucial role in Jeremy’s recovery.
What is Jeremy Miller Doing Now?
Today, Jeremy Miller is deeply invested in sharing his personal journey to inspire and support others. He has taken his experiences, both the highs and the lows, and channeled them into meaningful endeavors that aim to make a positive impact.
One of the most significant projects Jeremy has undertaken is co-authoring a book titled “When I Wished Upon a Star.”
This book, written alongside Dr. Brandon Phillips, chronicles their intertwined lives. Interestingly, their connection dates back to when Dr. Phillips visited the set of “Growing Pains” as a “wish kid.”
Their paths crossed again later in life, leading to a deep bond and collaboration on this book. The narrative delves into their individual challenges and the lessons they’ve learned, offering readers a unique blend of Hollywood tales and personal growth stories.
In addition to his literary pursuits, Jeremy is committed to raising awareness about alcoholism and the paths to recovery.
Having battled alcohol dependency himself, he is open about his struggles and the steps he took towards sobriety.
By sharing his story, Jeremy hopes to reach out to those facing similar challenges, emphasizing the importance of seeking help and the possibility of a brighter future.