The Terrifying Girl From The Ring Grew Up To Be Gorgeous

The following article includes references to drug use.

Can you believe it's been more than 20 years since "The Ring" first hit theaters? The haunting image of Samara, the girl in the well seeking her revenge on everyone who somehow still owns a VCR (though that wasn't so crazy in 2002, when the horror movie debuted), still hasn't left our heads. It wasn't just her creepy, jerky moves that terrified us. It was what she looked like, too. (She even scared herself!) 

Daveigh Chase was the horror movie kid who starred as that gruesome gal at the age of 12, but as you may have guessed, this former child star never actually looked like her best known and very creepy big-screen counterpart in real life. As a kid, Chase was super cute — it was just hard to tell when she was hiding behind the soaking wet, matted black hair and makeup designed to make her look like a reanimated corpse. In fact, at the premiere of "The Ring," she looked vibrant and healthy ... and blonde! Since then, she's grown up to be gorgeous.

Find out where you've heard her voice — yes, she speaks — where she lives (hint: not in the bottom of a well), and details about a dark scenario that occurred in her real life below. Let's get to know former child star Daveigh Chase and what she's been doing since she first scared the pants off of us.

You've probably heard Daveigh Chase's voice

In 2002, Daveigh Chase not only starred in "The Ring," but also voiced Lilo Pelekai in Disney's popular animated film "Lilo & Stitch." As co-writer and co-director Dean DeBlois recounted in Vulture's 2022 oral history of the movie, the eccentric and precocious protagonist was not an easy role to cast. "It wasn't until Daveigh Chase walked in with this haunted quality and this really dry demeanor. But then she would explode on-camera when she would do the lines," he explained. "She could alternate between sort of haunted and glum and over-the-top excited about things."

Chase — who previously provided the English dub for Chihiro in the 2001 Oscar-winning Japanese anime film "Spirited Away" — would go on to reprise this voice role for two "Lilo & Stitch" video games, as well as in the "Lilo & Stitch" cartoon series from 2003 to 2006, and in the direct-to-video franchise films "Stitch! The Movie" and "Leroy & Stitch" during this same period. Yup, the terrifying girl from "The Ring" became a bona fide star for the House of Mouse. 

It turns out Chase has a real knack for voice work, as she also voiced Kiwako Seto in the 2016 "Let It Die" video game and previously portrayed the titular Betsy on PBS' "Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures" from 2007 to 2010.

She worked pretty consistently on screen too

Daveigh Chase may be best known as "The Ring's" very own Samara, having briefly appeared in the 2005 sequel via archival footage, and even winning the best villain category at the 2003 MTV Movie Awards. The charismatic youngster hilariously channeled the character when she whispered out, "Everyone will suffer," to the delight of the audience while accepting her Golden Popcorn statue.

But Chase actually had well over a dozen onscreen credits by the time she creeped everyone out in "The Ring." While she later showed off her comedic chops as Joyce in the 2003 Fox sitcom "Oliver Beene," she got her start appearing on a slew of TV shows like "Sabrina the Teenage Witch," "ER," and "Charmed," and would later land guest roles on "CSI," "Cold Case," and "Without a Trace." Chase's acting prospects took on a dramatic turn with a memorable arc as Rhonda Volmer, the troublemaking teen bride of Harry Dean Stanton's alleged Mormon prophet, on HBO's "Big Love" from 2006 to 2011.

On the big screen, Chase reprised the part of Samantha from 2001's "Donnie Darko" in the 2009 "S. Darko" sequel. She also landed some independent films, like the 2016 thrillers "American Romance" and "Jack Goes Home." In more recent years, it's been argued that Chase, a white actor, wouldn't have been chosen to voice Lilo Pelekai these days. It's worth noting that she wasn't cast in the Disney+ live-action remake of "Lilo & Stitch." As announced in March 2023, that the coveted gig went to the adorable Hawaiian-born child star Maia Kealoha.

Daveigh Chase's Instagram feed has gone dark

Though she grew up in Albany, Oregon, Daveigh Chase's now-defunct Instagram feed could very well double as a tourism guide for Los Angeles, where she was still living when it was last updated in November 2017. Her views of the skyline alone (like here above Mulholland Drive) could be used for a brochure or 10. It did appear that she ventured from the West Coast from time to time, but she always returned. In addition to various cool shots that could rival snaps shared by Instagram models, the bulk of Chase's Instagram account was dedicated to her quality time spent with really cute pooches (and it looks like they loved her back). 

It also seems like she didn't take herself — or her famous role — too seriously. In 2016, Chase posted a since-removed composite photo of herself at the time next to a pic of herself playing Samara in "The Ring," asking her Instagram followers, "Should I be a slutty Samara for Halloween?" We'll let you guess what kind of responses she got.

Chase's X, formerly Twitter, account similarly went dark all the way back in 2014. While she's more low-key and private these days, she gave fans a glimpse at where she was in life in a late 2016 Insta post. "I'm on the hunt for who I've not yet become," the sunglasses-clad then-26-year-old simply wrote, captioning a pic of herself smoking a cigarette. In fact, if her Instagram feed's anything to go by, Chase has enjoyed hookah and smoking cigarettes — sometimes hand-rolled ones.

The girl from The Ring's faced some legal trouble

Daveigh Chase has unfortunately faced quite a bit of legal trouble in more recent years, beginning from around the time she stopped updating her social media. The former child star was first arrested in February 2017 on a warrant following a traffic-related violation and released after posting $1,805 bail, per Fox News. She was also questioned about an unidentified man she dropped off at a hospital that same month before fleeing. The man later died of what was reported to be a fatal overdose, but she was not charged nor considered a suspect in connection with that death.

That November, Chase was arrested on a felony charge of driving in a car without the owner's consent (though she wasn't the driver in this incident, the car she was riding in had allegedly been stolen). As reported by The Blast, "The Ring" star faced misdemeanor charges stemming from an arrest for possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia in late 2018. Early 2019 would see her booked again on a warrant for her arrest linked to these charges. She was released the following day after paying $6,000 bail.

Unfortunately, Chase's run-ins with the law continued in 2022, when she was arrested for alleged drug possession and burglary. Per the Los Angeles Superior Court, Chase's bail was set at $50,000 when she was booked again on a warrant the following July. As of this writing, her next court date is set for December 11, 2023.

Daveigh Chase is taking a break from acting

It's no secret that Daveigh Chase grew up into a gorgeous young woman, and she's had no problems flaunting it. (It also looks like all the water scenes from "The Ring" haven't scarred her, either.) But amid her legal woes as an adult, and in light of her social media going dark, it's perhaps not too surprising that this former child star has also taken a break from acting in more recent years, despite successfully cultivating a varied onscreen career.

While Chase had projects in 2016, her filming schedule for 2017 was empty, and her only credit from 2018 was a voice-acting role on one episode of a TV series called "King of the Golden Sun." As of this writing, that's remained Chase's last onscreen gig. From the looks of her Instagram, she spent parts of 2016 and 2017 on a road trip in an RV. Also ever-present on her feed were Chase's cats.

While it's unclear what Daveigh Chase is up to these days in her work and her personal life, she certainly had big plans for the future as a youngster, so perhaps a Hollywood comeback will one day be in order. "I just want to make something that I love and people will respect," she told Interview magazine back in 2009. "I want to do things that will change someone's life, not something they'll forget about tomorrow."