The Greatest Former Child Stars

Originally By 153k votes 8k voters 375k views 240 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.
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 56 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 50
    + 444
    - 367
    Shia LaBeouf is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    often listed & added by carlybobarly
    Shia LaBeouf b.1986 - "Even Stevens" (1999-2003), "The Battle of Shaker Heights" (2003)

  2. 49
    + 775
    - 444
    Melissa Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    ranked low on reranks
    Melissa Gilbert

  3. 48
    + 567
    - 510

    often listed & added by carlybobarly
    b. 1968 - The Goonies (1985)

    ;
  4. 47
    + 538
    - 441
    Juliette Lewis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Juliette Lewis b. 1973 - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Cape Fear (1991)

  5. 46
    + 532
    - 385
    ;
  6. 45
    + 682
    - 443
    Seth Green is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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

  7. 44
    + 830
    - 470
    Milla Jovovich is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Milla Jovovich b. 1975 - Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), Chaplin (1992), Dazed and Confused (1993)

  8. 43
    + 640
    - 480
    Alyson Hannigan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Alyson Hannigan b. 1974 - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003), American Pie (1999)

    ;
  9. 42
    + 749
    - 681

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

    ;
  10. 41
    + 870
    - 456

    ranked low on reranks & added by carlybobarly
    b. 1963 - "Amy Prentiss" (1974-75), "The Swiss Family Robinson" (1975-76)

    ;
  11. 40
    + 775
    - 562

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

    ;
  12. 39
    + 638
    - 290
    Hilary Duff is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    ranked low on reranks & added by moosiclvr
    Hilary Duff

  13. 38
    + 188
    - 47
    Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by RandallIkeKing
    Emma Watson

  14. 37
    + 676
    - 517
    Michelle Trachtenberg is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    often listed & added by carlybobarly
    Michelle Trachtenberg b. 1985 - "The Adventures of Pete & Pete" (1994-96), Harriet the Spy (1996), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (2000-2003)

    ;
  15. 36
    + 799
    - 588
    Tiffani Thiessen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Tiffani Thiessen b. 1974 - Saved By The Bell (1989-1993)

  16. 35
    + 889
    - 479
    Hayden Panettiere is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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

    ;
  17. 34
    + 845
    - 644
    Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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

  18. 33
    + 919
    - 596
    Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Jennifer Connelly b. 1970 - Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Labyrinth (1986)

    ;
  19. 32
    + 1,071
    - 653
    Jessica Alba is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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

  20. 31
    + 903
    - 537

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

    ;
  21. 30
    + 792
    - 481
    Sean Astin is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Sean Astin b. 1971 - The Goonies (1985), Like Father Like Son (1987)

  22. 29
    + 874
    - 568

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

    ;
  23. 28
    + 785
    - 516
    Joaquin Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Joaquin Phoenix b. 1974 - Russkies (1987), Parenthood (1989)

  24. 27
    + 1,156
    - 847
    Mila Kunis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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

  25. 26
    + 1,059
    - 715

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

    ;
  26. 25
    + 905
    - 490
    Sarah Michelle Gellar is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Sarah Michelle Gellar b. 1977 - "All My Children" (1993-1995), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003)

  27. 24
    + 1,226
    - 709
    Brooke Shields is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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

  28. 23
    + 1,090
    - 633
    Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Scarlett Johansson b. 1984 - North (1994), Just Cause (1995), Manny & Lo (1996), Ghost World (2001)

  29. 22
    + 1,384
    - 709

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

    ;
  30. 21
    + 1,086
    - 621
    Jennifer Love Hewitt is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Jennifer Love Hewitt b. 1979 - "Kids Incorporated" (1989-91), Sister Act 2 (1993), "Party of Five" (1995-99), House Arrest (1996)

  31. 20
    + 1,348
    - 556
    Christina Applegate is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    ranked low on reranks & added by carlybobarly
    Christina Applegate b. 1971 - "Married... with Children" (1987-97)

  32. 19
    + 645
    - 336
    Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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

  33. 18
    + 1,212
    - 729
    Natalie Wood is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Natalie Wood b. 1938 - Tomorrow Is Forever (1946), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

  34. 17
    + 1,158
    - 696
    Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Winona Ryder b. 1971 - Lucas (1986), Beetlejuice (1988), Heathers (1989)

  35. 16
    + 1,668
    - 1,082
    Alyssa Milano is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Alyssa Milano b. 1972 - "Who's the Boss?" (1984-1992)

  36. 15
    + 2,679
    - 564
    Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    ranked low on reranks & added by carlybobarly
    Jessica Biel b. 1982 - "7th Heaven" (1996-2006), I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998)

  37. 14
    + 1,482
    - 508
    Kurt Russell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Kurt Russell b. 1951 - "The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit" (1968), "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" (1969)

  38. 13
    + 1,294
    - 568
    Kirsten Dunst is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Kirsten Dunst b. 1982 - Little Women (1994), Interview with the Vampire (1994), Jumanji (1995) The Virgin Suicides (1999)

  39. 12
    + 1,184
    - 470
    Elijah Wood is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Elijah Wood 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)

    ;
  40. 11
    + 2,451
    - 701

    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)

    ;
  41. 10
    + 1,172
    - 284

    added by krazykids1011

    ;
  42. 9
    + 1,760
    - 535
    Christina Ricci is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Christina Ricci b. 1980 - Mermaids (1990), The Addams Family (1991), Addams Family Values (1993), Casper (1995), Now and Then (1995)

    ;
  43. 8
    + 1,771
    - 559
    Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Neil Patrick Harris b. 1973 - "Doogie Howser, M.D." (1989-1993)

  44. 7
    + 2,749
    - 2,090
    Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    often listed & added by carlybobarly
    Natalie Portman b. 1981 - The Professional (1994), Heat (1995), Beautiful Girls (1996),

  45. 6
    + 1,976
    - 548
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

    added by carlybobarly
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt b. 1981 - A River Runs Through It (1992), Angels in the Outfield (1994), "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996-2001)

  46. 5
    + 1,841
    - 514
    Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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

    ;
  47. 4
    + 1,974
    - 591

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

    ;
  48. 3
    + 2,216
    - 537

    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1962 - Tom Sawyer (1973), Freaky Friday (1976), Taxi Driver (1976)

    ;
  49. 2
    + 2,140
    - 617

    added by carlybobarly
    b. 1974 - "Growing Pains" (1991-92)

    ;
  50. 1
    + 2,882
    - 505

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

    ;
241 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >