When you show up out of nowhere and amuse people with your talents for a while, and suddenly disappear into the wormwood, a search party will trail you. Know that for sure. Mike Vitar did just that. And the where-is-he-now? searches won’t stop rolling in. If you’re one of those concerned fans, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This article walks you through the on-screen days of the former child actor, Mike Vitar, why he suddenly strode off the scene and what he’s doing at the moment.
Who is Mike Vitar?
Mike Vitar was born and named Michael Anthony Vitar in Los Angeles, California, US, on December 21, 1978; to parents of Cuban descent. He was raised in Los Angeles alongside his two older siblings, Pablo and Elizabeth. Sadly, Pablo passed away in January 2008 due to colon cancer. Pablo, like his younger brother, was also a child actor who portrayed the older version of Mike’s character, Benny, in The Sandlot. He later joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1996, where he worked for some time. As of this writing, there are no details about their distant relatives, parents or what they did for a living. However, we know a bit about his career as an actor and the years after that.
Growing up, Mike attended St. Francis High School in La Cañada, California, where he graduated in 1997. Years before that, in 1990, 11-year-old Mike Vitar was spotted by a casting manager on a queue he’d joined for a ride at a school carnival. In 1991, Viotar made his first screen appearance in the role of Arturo in Peter Maris’ action-thriller Diplomatic Immunity. That same year, he also debuted on TV after taking up the role, Anthony Gambuzza, in the episode Boys of Summer of the widely-watched CBS family drama series Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn Bridge portrays the life of a Jewish-American family based in Brooklyn in a 1950 setting.
Following the success of Brooklyn Bridge Vitar began working with Peter Weller on the 1993 neo-noir mystery film Sunset Grill. In the same year, he appeared in what would be his big break, The Sandlot. In The Sandlot (1993), Vitar played the role of the endearing and talented character of Benjamin Franklin “Benny the Jet” Rodriguez. The Sandlot became an overnight sensation and even got a cult-like following; grossing over $33 million at the box-office.
His success with The Sandlot got him a slot on the Mighty Duck (1992). Mike was cast as Luis Mendoza, jersey #22; a role he reprised in the third release of the Mighty Ducks trilogy; D3: The Mighty Ducks (1996). Mighty Duck managed to earn $45.6 million at the box-office, amidst poor reviews. Perhaps one thing that’s kept fans restless on Mike Vitar’s whereabouts is the cult-like following these movies have maintained over the last two decades. He also guest-appeared in ABC’s NYPD Blue (1996) and CBS’ Chicago Hope (1997) before he officially announced his retirement from acting in 1997.
What Has Mike Vitar Been Doing Since The Sandlot
In 1996, a year before he left acting, Mike Vitar began working for the Gerber Ambulance in Torrance. The job offered him an opportunity to transition into a firefighter he later became. According to sources, Mike has been been a firefighter working for the Los Angeles Fire Department since June 2002.
Where is He Now?
Mike Vitar has been married to Kym since 2006. Together, they have three lovely children; Elias, Wesley and their sister Norah (b. December 2013). Together, the family resides in Los Angeles, California.
While he may be out of the screen, he hasn’t been entirely out of the news. In November 2015, Mike Vitar got famous again, albeit for the wrong reasons this time. He was remanded in custody and charged with misdemeanor battery when he and fellow firefighters Eric Carpenter, Thomas Molnar, Eugene Elbert, and Michael Cirlin violently assaulted Samuel Chang, a college student, for handing out candy to kids in the neighborhood. Chang suffered from liver failure, brain damage, and other injuries. Mike Vitar himself has had to undergo reconstructive surgery on one knee owing to extreme jogging and exercise.
How Much is Mike Vitar Worth Now?
As of 2019, sources put Mike Vitar’s net worth at over $300,000. Although it’s unclear how much he earns annually, we know a firefighter in the US earns between $30,000 to $80,000 annually.