Whatever Happened to Lalaine From ‘Lizzie McGuire’?
Is there any show from the golden age of Disney Channel that makes millennials more nostalgic than Lizzie McGuire? We submit there is not. And even though the planned revival was sadly scrapped due to Disney’s bizarre refusal to let Hilary Duff's Lizzie live like an actual 30-year-old, it got us wondering what some of our favorite forgotten Disney Channel alums are up to today — namely, Lalaine.
Lalaine was best known as Lizzie’s BFF Miranda Sanchez throughout (most of) the show’s 65-episode run in the early 2000s. If you’re a true Lizzie McGuire fan, you’ll likely remember there was plenty of mystery about where Lalaine disappeared to towards the end of the beloved series, as well as why she never appeared in the perhaps even more beloved The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
Below, PopCrush rounded up everything we could find about what happened to Lalaine during and since the height of her Disney Channel fame, and what she’s been up to in recent years!
Leaving Lizzie McGuire Behind
Lalaine started stepping away from Lizzie McGuire before the show’s second (and final) season had even wrapped. She was absent for six of the series’ final episodes, as well as The Lizzie McGuire Movie in 2003.
At the time, this didn’t make much sense considering the tight-knit characters were about to graduate from middle school, but Lalaine’s glaring absence — particularly from the film — was explained away as her character, Miranda, opting out of graduation to visit her family off screen in Mexico City.
In reality, the young actress was being double-booked by the network. She was busy filming the Disney Channel Original Movie You Wish! in Auckland, New Zealand opposite Even Stevens’ A.J. Trauth and The Santa Clause 2’s Spencer Breslin. Much like her Lizzie McGuire character, Lalaine was also attempting to launch a music career at the time, and was roped into a series of concert tours with Radio Disney, which kept her from filming The Lizzie McGuire Movie with her castmates in Rome.
A Brief Foray Into Pop-Rock
Speaking of her music career, Lalaine released her debut album, Inside Story, in 2003. And even though she had the backing of Radio Disney and a deal with Warner Bros. Records, the LP — which contained songs like “Life is Good” and “Save Myself” — is not available these days on streaming. The album was followed by the 2004 EP Haunted.
While Lalaine wasn’t a part of Disney Channel’s Circle of Stars like some of her co-stars (including Duff and Trauth), she was included on various projects from the House of Mouse in the mid-2000s, including contributing the song “If You Wanna Rock” for the soundtrack to the 2004 DCOM Pixel Perfect, and covering “Cruella De Vil” on 2005’s fondly-remembered DisneyMania 3.
That same year, the aspiring musician released the original song that’s probably best remembered in her brief discography: bratty pop-rock banger “I’m Not Your Girl.” To promote the track, she even crossed over to Nickelodeon to perform on the final episode of All That. (Though how that idea ever got cleared by the execs at Disney Channel will remain a mystery...)
An Arrest and Stint in Rehab
A few years after parting ways with Disney, Lalaine succumbed to the classic trope of the squeaky-clean child star-gone-bad. She was arrested in July 2007 for felony possession of methamphetamine. While she pleaded guilty to the charge, the then-20-year-old failed to appear for a court hearing, resulting in a $50,000 bench warrant being issued.
As part of her sentencing, Lalaine was required to attend a court-ordered rehabilitation program, which she successfully completed at an in-patient program in Long Beach, Calif. After fulfilling the rehab stint, the felony charge was wiped from her record.
Minor Roles and Continued Acting
Throughout the rest of the 2000s and early 2010s, Lalaine continued acting, graduating to film work with roles in movies such as 2009’s Royal Kill with Eric Roberts and Pat Morita.
In 2010, she made a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo as a gossiping girl in Easy A who rather excitedly breaks the news to Emma Stone’s Olive Penderghast that Dan Byrd’s Brandon has come out to his parents and run away from home with “some big hulking Black guy,” a la The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. (“My apologies to Mark Twain…”)
For much of the remainder of the decade, Lalaine kept a fairly low profile, popping up in the 2015 YouTube series Raymond and Lane alongside All That’s Lori Beth Denberg and and again in the 2018 movie One Night Alone.
The best update we got from the star, though, came in 2019 via fellow Disney alum Christy Carlson Romano, who hosted her for an episode of Christy’s Kitchen Throwback on her popular YouTube channel. The two former Disney Channel stars made spaghetti and meatballs in honor of a memorable Lizzie McGuire episode, with Lalaine even wearing the classic plaid pageboy hat from Miranda’s colorful wardrobe on the show.
During the 10-minute clip, Lalaine reminisced about filming Lizzie McGuire — including a particularly iconic scene involving Hilary Duff dissecting a squid in science class, as well as the episode in which Miranda struggles with body consciousness and an eating disorder.