He played Cody Griffin in The Thirteenth Year. See Chez Starbuck now at 40

The Thirteenth Year. Image courtesy The Walt Disney Studios
The Thirteenth Year. Image courtesy The Walt Disney Studios /

If you’re a kid of the 80s or 90s, chances are you have plenty of fond memories of watching Disney Channel Original Movies growing up. Ask anyone who grew up in this era their favorite DCOM and chances are they’ll struggle to pick just one because there are just so many amazing DCOMs from over the years that defined the generations who watched them.

These movies often spun up amazing and creative stories centering around tweens and teens, making it easy for the movies’ target demo to relate to the characters on the screen — no matter the crazy circumstances they found themselves in. Take for example 1999’s The Thirteenth Year, which is a favorite for many of the era with its unique spin on the mermaid story.

What was The Thirteenth Year about?

The Thirteenth Year is a 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie that follows the story of a young boy named Cody Griffin who discovers he is turning into a mermaid on his thirteenth birthday. As he tries to navigate through his new abilities, he also deals with typical teenage issues such as friendship, first love, and finding his place in the world.

The movie takes a unique spin on the classic mermaid story, portraying the transformation as a biological process rather than a magical one. The special effects used to bring Cody’s transformation to life are impressive, considering the movie’s release date. The underwater scenes are also well-done, immersing viewers in a believable underwater world.

Chez Starbuck roles after The Thirteenth Year

Following his acting debut in 1999’s The Thirteenth Year, Chez Starbuck went on to appear in a handful of projects in the years that followed with smaller roles in the TV series Undressed, You’re Invited to Mary-Kate & Ashley’s School Dance Party, and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. He also appeared in a number of TV movies including Time Share and Recipe for Disaster. His last credited role came in 2016 in the short The Long and The Short.

Where is Chez Starbuck from The Thirteenth Year now?

Like many child actors, Chez Starbuck eventually left behind his career in acting as he got older to pursue other ventures. Today, Starbuck is the owner of The Shelf King, a family-owned and operated business located in Austin, Texas. The business, first owned by his parents and formerly known as Custom Living of Austin, was created in 2012 with the goal of helping clients gain easy access and better utilization of their storage spaces.

The family’s business mission is one that is inspired by Starbuck’s parents. According to the brand’s about page, The Shelf King’s mission was inspired by seeing the hardships faced by parents who had MS and Parkinsons.

"“We wanted to design home storage solutions that eliminate those everyday frustrations we’ve seen our parents express, such as the inability to reach what’s in the back of the cabinet or unused shelf space because they can’t get down on the floor. Everyone deserves to function in their own home,” the brand’s mission statement reads. “It’s our goal to help homeowners function with ease, and show how home storage solutions can add value to your home. From one family to another, we just want to help make your life easier.”"

In addition to being a business owner, Starbuck is also a proud father of two and has developed a love and appreciation for fitness. Across his social media accounts, you can find workout and inspiration videos shared by Starbuck who is open about his personal fitness journey and goals within his posts.

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