Inspired by a Los Angeles Times article that told the real-life story of a married couple taking legal action against an adoption agency, the 1990 film Problem Child transformed the issue of unruly children into an entertaining black comedy.
Despite predictions that it would bomb at the box office, and despite a negative reception from critics upon its release, Problem Child was popular with cinema audiences, making a healthy £72 million that opened the door for a sequel to be released just a year later.
Problem Child 2 continued to follow the exploits of young Junior, again played by Michael Oliver, although this time he was introduced to another problem child by the name of Trixie Young.
The sequel also performed admirably at the box office, but it was kept off the number one spot in the US by Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which was released on exactly the same day.
Believe it or not, Problem Child 2 was released nearly three decades ago, meaning that if you saw Junior and Trixie walking down the street today then you’d be highly unlikely to recognise them.
Thankfully we’re here to let you know what actors Michael Oliver and Ivyann Schwan are up to these days, and most importantly, what they even look like. And for some fun facts about the first Problem Child film, make sure that you also check out 12 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Film Problem Child.
Michael Oliver (Junior Healy)
Beating a then-unknown Macaulay Culkin to the role of Junior Healy, the red-headed Michael Oliver made the film his own, delighting us with his dastardly antics and gap-toothed grin.
Born Michael Ponce Oliverius, the star did catalogue modelling from the age of two and started acting in TV commercials when he was six, before a casting agent noticed him and helped him to land his role in Problem Child.
After filming on Problem Child 2 had wrapped, Universal Pictures sued Oliver’s mother Dianne Ponce, claiming that she had threatened to remove her son from the film unless he was paid half a million dollars, rather than the $80,000 that had originally been agreed upon.
A court ruled in the film studio’s favour and Ponce was ordered to pay back £170,000, which was the difference between the originally agreed $80,000 and the $250,000 she and her son had already been paid.
Michael Oliver only starred in one other film after Problem Child 2, that being the 1995 crime drama crime Dillinger and Capone, which also starred Martin Sheen and F. Murray Abraham.
Now 38 years of age, Oliver has been quoted as saying that he is happy living “a nice quiet existence,” but also revealed that he has no regrets about his time in the Hollywood spotlight as a child star.
Ivyann Schwan (Trixie Young)
Ivyann Schwan’s only other big role was in the 1989 film Parenthood, the Steve Martin comedy in which she played the precocious Patty Huffner, but she did also appear in a handful of TV shows.
Schwan has also starred in a number of stage productions, including Miracle on 34th street and The Sound of Music, and is a talented singer who even released an album called Daisies in 2000.
Schwan was in the running to play Claudia in the 1994 film Interview with the Vampire, but her religious mother Donna was strongly against her taking the role that eventually went to Kirsten Dunst.
She is now 36 years of age and has largely left behind her acting career to focus on raising a family.
Oliver and Schwan recently met up in Los Angeles to take part in a special charity photo-shoot in support of The John Ritter Foundation, which raises awareness of and provides support to people suffering from Thoracic Aortic Disease.
The photos recreated some of Problem Child 2’s classic posters and scenes, giving us a really good look at how much the pair have changed over the last 30 years.