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Star kids: Natanya Ross

Natanya Ross has been acting since she was 2-1/2 years old, but her last four years as the star of “The Secret World of Alex Mack” on Nickelodeon has already given her a track record she’s proud of.

“We went from a little cable show that nobody knew about to this phenomenal success, and we all hold that special in our hearts,” Ross, now 15, says. ” ‘Alex Mack’ has been such a huge part of my life and has done more for me than any other job I’ve had. It made me into a role model for younger children. I’m walking away from this experience with a heartwarming feeling.”

The show will air its fifth and final season this year, a decision, Ross says, that came about because several cast members wanted to take their careers in different directions. Even at her busiest, Ross still finds time for her favorite extra-biz activities, including writing music and hanging out with her friends. She does plan to attend college, but says she will take a year or two off from studies after her projected graduation from high school next year at 16.

Beyond that, she has no firm professional plans after “Alex Mack.” But the veteran of such films as “The Babysitters Club,” Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and Penny Marshall’s “Awakenings,” and more than a dozen TV series, including “Baywatch” and “ER,” says she can’t imagine doing anything professionally other than acting.

“This will carry me through the years,” she says. “Basically, acting pulls me. I can’t get away from it. I’m very motivated and I get inspired easily. Acting is what I love.”

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