Ilan Mitchell-Smith (born June 29, 1969) is an American academic and former actor best known as the co-star of the film Weird Science (1985).
Mitchell-Smith's very first passion was ballet. He studied as a child and even won a scholarship to dance with the School of American Ballet. While there on his scholarship, he was discovered by a casting Director and his film career began in 1982 at age 12 when he played a younger version of the title character in Sidney Lumet's Daniel. After a starring role in the 1984 film The Wild Life, he was cast as Wyatt Donnelly in the 1985 teen classic Weird Science by writer/director John Hughes. The film focuses on two nerdy teenage boys who create a woman of their own (played by Kelly Le Brock), as they are unable to find girlfriends.
Mitchell-Smith starred in several other films and TV series, most notably The Chocolate War and Superboy; none of these brought him the same degree of recognition. He decided to leave acting entirely in 1991, his final role being a guest appearance on Silk Stalkings. Recently Mitchell-Smith has done select voice over work (recording for two episodes -- "Moon Warriors" and "Heads Will Roll"—of Fox ADHD's "Axe Cop").
Mitchell-Smith received his BA in Medieval Studies from UC Davis and his MA in Medieval Studies from Fordham University. He received a doctoral degree from Texas A&M University in 2005, and he is currently an associate professor in the English department at California State University, Long Beach. For several years prior to his appointment at Cal State, he was a professor at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. Mitchell-Smith publishes on chivalry in the later Middle Ages, and he also publishes on cinematic, television, and video game versions of medieval culture.