The Greatest Former Child Stars

Originally By 155k votes 8.2k voters 379k views 236 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Actors who became stars before they were 18 and remain successful and famous as adults

List of Hollywood kids: actors who grew up on the big screen and child stars you recognize working today. While there are many child stars, it takes someone special to make it from kid to adult in the entertainment industry. There are lots of pitfalls a former child star can succumb to, like drug use, gambling, and other addictions. It's also hard to overcome the fact that, in many cases, you simply cannot just 'get by' on your cute kid looks.

Who are the most successful former child stars? Some young actors actually do make the crossover into adulthood. These former child stars are some of the few that have made it over the hurdle of adolescence and into adulthood in tact - people like Jason Bateman, Natalie Portman, Neil Patrick Harris and even Ron Howard. They not only made it out of the former child star pit unscathed, but have florished as adult working actors, writers and directors.
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  • 56 ReRanks
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  2. 49
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  3. 48
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    often listed & added by carlybobarly
    b. 1968 - The Goonies (1985)

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  4. 47
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    b. 1973 - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Cape Fear (1991)

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  5. 46
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  6. 45
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1974 - Can't Buy Me Love (1988), My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988), It (1990)

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  7. 44
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    b. 1975 - Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), Chaplin (1992), Dazed and Confused (1993)

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  8. 43
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1980 - Uncle Buck (1989), Home Alone (1990), My Girl (1991), The Good Son (1993)

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  9. 42
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    b. 1974 - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003), American Pie (1999)

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  10. 41
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    b. 1963 - "Amy Prentiss" (1974-75), "The Swiss Family Robinson" (1975-76)

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  11. 40
    + 781
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    often listed & added by carlybobarly
    b. 1982 - The Piano (1993), Fly Away Home (1996), Amistad (!997), She's All That (1999)

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  12. 39
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    ranked low on reranks & added by moosiclvr

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  13. 38
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1974 - Saved By The Bell (1989-1993)

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  14. 37
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    b. 1985 - "The Adventures of Pete & Pete" (1994-96), Harriet the Spy (1996), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (2000-2003)

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  15. 36
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1989 - "One LIfe to Live" (1994-97), Guiding Light (1997-2000), Remember the Titans (2000), "Ally McBeal" (2001-02), "Heroes" (2006-2010)

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  16. 35
    + 854
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1979 - "My So-Called Life" (1994-95), Little Women (1994), Romeo + Juliet (1996)

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  17. 34
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    added by RandallIkeKing

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  18. 33
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    b. 1970 - Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Labyrinth (1986)

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  19. 32
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1981 - Camp Nowhere (1991), "Flipper" (1995-96)

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  20. 31
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1976 - The Princess Bride (1987), "The Wonder Years" (1988-1993), Little Monsters (1989)

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  21. 30
    + 806
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1971 - The Goonies (1985), Like Father Like Son (1987)

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  22. 29
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1949 - "Sea Hunt" (1958-60), "The Lloyd Bridges Show" (1962-63), The Loner (1965)

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  23. 28
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1974 - Russkies (1987), Parenthood (1989)

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  24. 27
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1983 - "That '70s Show" (1998)

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  25. 26
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    b. 1977 - "All My Children" (1993-1995), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003)

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  26. 25
    + 1,074
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1969 - "Little House on the Prairie" (1981-82), "Silver Spoons" (1982-84)

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  27. 24
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    b. 1984 - North (1994), Just Cause (1995), Manny & Lo (1996), Ghost World (2001)

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  28. 23
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1965 - Pretty Baby (1978), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Endless Love (1981)

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  29. 22
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    b. 1922 - Lassie Come Home (1943), The White Cliffs of Dover (1943), National Velvet (1944), Little Women (1949)

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  30. 21
    + 1,096
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1979 - "Kids Incorporated" (1989-91), Sister Act 2 (1993), "Party of Five" (1995-99), House Arrest (1996)

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  31. 20
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    b. 1971 - "Married... with Children" (1987-97)

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  32. 19
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    added by MikeHumphrey
    b. 1974 - Empire of the Sun (1987), Newsies (1992)

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  33. 18
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    b. 1938 - Tomorrow Is Forever (1946), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

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  34. 17
    + 1,173
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1971 - Lucas (1986), Beetlejuice (1988), Heathers (1989)

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  35. 16
    + 1,684
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1972 - "Who's the Boss?" (1984-1992)

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  36. 15
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    b. 1982 - "7th Heaven" (1996-2006), I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998)

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  37. 14
    + 1,497
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1951 - "The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit" (1968), "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" (1969)

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  38. 13
    + 1,315
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1982 - Little Women (1994), Interview with the Vampire (1994), Jumanji (1995) The Virgin Suicides (1999)

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  39. 12
    + 1,203
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1981 - Radio Flyer (1992), Forever Young (1992), Forever Young (1992), The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993), The Good Son (1993), North (1994), The War (1994), Flipper (1996)

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  40. 11
    + 2,469
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1994 - I Am Sam (2001), Uptown Girls (2003), Man on Fire (2004), War of the Worlds (2005), Charlotte's Web (2006), The Runaways (2010)

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  41. 10
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    added by krazykids1011

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  42. 9
    + 1,779
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1980 - Mermaids (1990), The Addams Family (1991), Addams Family Values (1993), Casper (1995), Now and Then (1995)

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  43. 8
    + 1,788
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1973 - "Doogie Howser, M.D." (1989-1993)

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  44. 7
    + 2,774
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    b. 1981 - The Professional (1994), Heat (1995), Beautiful Girls (1996),

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  45. 6
    + 1,997
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    b. 1981 - A River Runs Through It (1992), Angels in the Outfield (1994), "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996-2001)

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    b. 1976 - The Man in the Moon (1991), A Far Off Place (1993), Jack the Bear (1993), Return to Lonesome Dove (1993)

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    b. 1954 - "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-68), The Music Man (1962)

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  48. 3
    + 2,235
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    b. 1962 - Tom Sawyer (1973), Freaky Friday (1976), Taxi Driver (1976)

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  49. 2
    + 2,172
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    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1974 - "Growing Pains" (1991-92)

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    the people's #1 & added by carlybobarly
    b. 1975 - E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

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