Chad Allen

Biography: Born June 5, 1974 in Cerritos, California, Chad Allen, whose full name is Chad Allen Lazzari, grew up in Long Beach, CA. He's the youngest of four boys, and his parents were hoping for a girl. They got one, in the shape of Chad's twin sister, Charity. Chad was the "extra change", as he puts it. Chad got his start in show business when his mother started entering him and his twin sister Charity in "twin contests" at fairs, and they won quite a few times. People kept telling his mother how cute the twins looked together, and that she should try to get the them into acting. Charity didn't much like show business at all, but Chad was bitten by the acting bug. It was decided that Chad Lazzari sounded like a name for a dark-haired Italian, not a blond, blue-eyed boy, and he started out on his acting career as Chad Allen instead. His first job was in a McDonalds television commercial, at age four. His first dramatic work came at age six, in a pilot for a television series that never went into production, Cutter to Houston. His first big break in a television series happened when he was eight and joined the cast of St. Elsewhere as Tommy Westphall, an autistic boy. He played that character literally until the very end, when he was the last actor on-screen in the final scene of the final episode of St. Elsewhere in 1988. During that period, he worked continuously (and sometimes simultaneously) on a succession of other successful TV shows: Webster (1985-1986), Our House (1986-1988) and My Two Dads (1989-1990). Chad filled his "spare time" by guest-starring in a whole host of other television shows, such as Airwolf, Hunter, The Wonder Years, Star Trek, The Next Generation, In the Heat of the Night, Highway to Heaven, Simon and Simon, and appeared in ten television movies. He also appeared in several stage productions, as a guest on TV game shows and in a series of public service anti-drug programs. During these years, he became one of the biggest and most popular teen idols of the day, thanks to, as he later said, "a mega publicist, who put out an image of me that seemed ideal." He couldn't go anywhere in public without being pursued by his numerous fans. As Chad later put it, "It was difficult going to the malls, or trying to do the things I wanted to do. I felt bad in that the teen magazines portrayed me as a perfect teenager." Elsewhere he commented, "I was in teen magazines all the time and in reality, what was I? A 13-year-old who's as f***ed up as every other 13-year-old across the country." By the time My Two Dads ended in 1990, Chad was unsure about whether he wanted to go on with acting. He was 16 years old, and even though he had gone to a normal primary school, he hadn't been to a regular school since age 12, instead being taught by private tutors on the set. He felt he was missing out on a lot of normal life. "I left the business, went back to high school, joined the swim team, became vice-president of my class, did everything. I tried to be a normal teenager." He now describes it as "probably one of the best decisions I ever made", even though his fame initially made life difficult for him in school. "In high school I was sneered at a lot. I was the teen magazine guy, half the kids followed me around like disciples and the other half were going to kick my ass". After high school, Chad was accepted as a student at New York University, however he decided to put off college when he was offered the part of Matthew Cooper on Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman. With this new role he became one of the few former child stars to successfully make the transition to a career as an adult. When Dr. Quinn was canceled after its sixth season, Chad said, "When we shut down I wasn't so sure that we were going to come back, I wasn't so sure I was wanting to come back. In six years, we had done ten months out of every year -- which is a lot of work -- in a remote location with a lot of dirt. But over the course of our hiatus everybody had been planning on it. They'd been writing scripts and stuff. So it was just a surprise. I'll miss the people. It was a fun part for me. I had a great damn time. We put so much into it for so long, and to not have the opportunity, as actors, to say good-bye to each other has been really gut wrenching. And to not be able to say good-bye to the fans has been hard, too." Despite being busy on Dr. Quinn, Chad was one of the co-founders of The Creative Outlet theater company in 1995, and has appeared in several theater productions during the summer breaks. He considers theater to be "my first love, without a doubt." Chad has continued focusing his career on the theater since the end of Dr. Quinn, appearing in well received theatrical productions of Change at Babylon, in Los Angeles, Temporary Help, in Seattle and Westport, Connecticut and Sons of Lincoln, in L.A. Courageously, in the October 9, 2001 issue of The Advocate, Chad came out as a gay man. He also acknowledged past problems with drugs and alcohol. He also has spoken to a number of groups and at events about gay rights issues including taking part in a forum on Larry King Live on the issue of gay marriage. He has also lent his support to a large number of charities over the years, including The American Diabetes Association, The March of Dimes, Project Angel Food, the Autistic Children's Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, AIDS Project Arizona, and AIDS Project Los Angeles. Expand

Chad Allen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average career score: 51
Highest Metascore: 56 Save Me
Lowest Metascore: 44 Downtown: A Street Tale
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
6 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
tbd Hollywood to Dollywood Sep 7, 2012 Co-Producer / Himself tbd
54 Spork May 27, 2011 Producer / Loogie tbd
54 Battle for Terra May 1, 2009 Terrian Scientist 7.1
56 Save Me Sep 5, 2008 Producer / Mark 6.9
44 Downtown: A Street Tale Apr 20, 2007 Hunter 10
54 Shock to the System Aug 4, 2006 Donald Strachey 4.5
45 End of the Spear Jan 20, 2006 Nate Saint/Steve Saint 7.9