Former child star Mara Wilson has urged troubled actress Lindsay Lohan to bow out of Hollywood and get into botany in a bid to get her life back on track.

The Mean Girls star checked into the Betty Ford rehab clinic in California on 3 May (13) as part of a plea deal to avoid jail after she confessed to lying to police officers about a traffic accident last year (12), thus violating her probation on a jewellery theft charge.

Over the past few months Lohan has garnered much negative publicity due to problems in her personal life, and Wilson, who starred in Matilda, Mrs. Doubtfire and Miracle on 34th Street before earning a degree from New York University, is convinced the embattled beauty could benefit from a career change.

In a column for website, titled 7 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy (An Insider's Perspective), she writes, "People who meet me as an adult are often surprised that I'm alive and have never been in prison or rehab. (But) child stars who are best off as adults usually do one or two projects, then get the hell out of Hollywood, at least for the next few years. They go to (prestigious colleges) Harvard or Yale... and learn to do something besides act....

"If I were to talk to Lindsay Lohan, I'd encourage her to get the hell out of acting and into something soothing. Take up botany or something. But she wouldn't be likely to listen to me - and not only because I'm younger and way less hot than her. It's because she's been acting all her life, she has little education, and in her mind, there's nothing else she could do.

"She's likely to keep doing it even if she's making herself - and maybe also the people she works with - miserable."