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 fucked up as every other 13-year-old across the
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,