In the 1980s, actor Chad Allen became a teen idol thanks to his TV roles. Now, he plans to help today's young people in his second career. After getting his start as a child star, Allen became famous playing David on Our House, Tommy on St. Elsewhere, and Zach on My Two Dads. As an adult, he starred in the series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman as Matthew Cooper. But, after a long career that continued into the early 2010s, Allen decided to officially retire from acting to take on a new, very different pursuit. Read on to find out about Allen's life today at 48.
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He had a lengthy acting career.
Allen was very busy during his child and teen acting days. In addition to Our House, St. Elsewhere, and My Two Dads, he also appeared on episodes of Webster, Punky Brewster, The Wonder Years, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and more.
As an adult, he starred on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman for all six of its seasons. He went on to act in episodes of NYPD Blue, Cold Case, Charmed, Criminal Minds, General Hospital: Night Shift, and Dexter, among other TV, stage, and movie roles. His last onscreen role was in the 2011 movie Fright Flick.
He reunited with one of his casts.
In 2012, the cast of St. Elsewhere reunited for Entertainment Weekly and Good Morning America. In the interview with EW, Allen and his co-stars spoke about the show's controversial ending, in which the entire series was implied to have been imagined by his character.
"I remember the script arrived, I read it, got to the end, and I was stumped," Allen explained. "I thought I knew what it meant, but it was so weird, especially for my younger mind, so I went running down the hallway and grabbed my mom and I was like, 'You have to read this. Tell me if you think it means what I think it means!' My mom read it, and she looked at me sort of puzzled too and said, 'I think it means it's all in your head?' I said, 'That's what I thought it think it means!' So I knew that it was really cool, and I loved that. From the mind of a young person whose fantasies were coming to life before him, it was neat."
Allen added, "At one point I was the answer for a Trivial Pursuit question. That's really cool for a teenager."
He officially retired from acting in 2015.
Allen made his retirement from acting official in 2015. He posted a video to YouTube explaining his decision to step away from the profession in order to focus on becoming a psychologist.
"After 30-plus years as an actor, I made the decision a couple years ago to begin letting that side of my life go," he said. "I've been focusing on my education and working as a clinical psychologist, which is something that I'm super excited about. I do feel like it will give me an opportunity to take my life experiences and passion for wellbeing and human growth and particularly my passion for helping young gay people grow in a healthy and confident way."
He studied psychology.
Allen—who now goes by his full name, Chad Allen Lazzari—studied psychology as an undergrad student at UCLA and graduated in 2015. Then, he attended Antioch University New England where he received his doctor of psychology degree in 2020. In April 2022, Allen posted on Instagram about passing a licensing exam for becoming a psychologist.
"This was the last big hurdle in 7 years of incredibly hard work," he wrote. "Passing the licensing exam pretty much took over my life the past 6 months but I'm SO grateful to my family and friends ( especially you Mikey ) for putting up with me as I got over this hump. It's a strange feeling… a long journey on a trail that was truly awful at times, glorious at others. My life looks NOTHING like it did when I started. For now I'll just say thank you. All is well."