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Source: Disney, DreamWorks, United Artists

What Happened to Thora Birch? Why the Critical Darling Fell Off the Radar

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As a child in the '90s, Thora Birch had a highly successful film acting career, starring in Hocus Pocus, and alongside Harrison Ford in Patriot Games and A Clear and Present Danger. She seemed to be poised to turn into a successful adult career in the sorts of films critics love, like 1999 Best Picture winner American Beauty and 2001's Ghost World. And then, fairly abruptly, she seemed to disappear. 

So what happened to stall Thora Birch's career?

While Thora has continued to act steadily since her heyday, the projects have certainly had a lower profile, and several factors have contributed to this. 

After portraying Jane Burnham in American Beauty, for which she won a SAG Award and several critics' awards, Thora's film resume took a bit of a left turn with the box office bomb Dungeons and Dragons. However, she seemed to bounce back and find just the right role for her as Enid in 2001's Ghost World. The film, based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes, helped launch Scarlett Johansson's career and was a big hit with film buffs.