child actors The Greatest Former Child Stars  

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List Rules 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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Drew Barrymore is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Drew Barrymore b. 1975 - E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

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Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jodie Foster b. 1962 - Tom Sawyer (1973), Freaky Friday (1976), Taxi Driver (1976)

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Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Ron Howard b. 1954 - "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-68), The Music Man (1962)

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Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Leonardo DiCaprio b. 1974 - "Growing Pains" (1991-92)

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Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Reese Witherspoon 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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Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Neil Patrick Harris b. 1973 - "Doogie Howser, M.D." (1989-1993)

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Shirley Temple is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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Christina Ricci is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Christina Ricci b. 1980 - Mermaids (1990), The Addams Family (1991), Addams Family Values (1993), Casper (1995), Now and Then (1995)

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Joseph Gordon-Levitt b. 1981 - A River Runs Through It (1992), Angels in the Outfield (1994), "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996-2001)

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Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jessica Biel b. 1982 - "7th Heaven" (1996-2006), I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998)

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Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Natalie Portman b. 1981 - The Professional (1994), Heat (1995), Beautiful Girls (1996),

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Kurt Russell is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Kurt Russell b. 1951 - "The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit" (1968), "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" (1969)

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Kirsten Dunst is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Kirsten Dunst b. 1982 - Little Women (1994), Interview with the Vampire (1994), Jumanji (1995) The Virgin Suicides (1999)

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Dakota Fanning is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Dakota Fanning 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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Elijah Wood is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
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)

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Alyssa Milano is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Alyssa Milano b. 1972 - "Who's the Boss?" (1984-1992)

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Christina Applegate is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Christina Applegate b. 1971 - "Married... with Children" (1987-97)

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Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Winona Ryder b. 1971 - Lucas (1986), Beetlejuice (1988), Heathers (1989)

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Natalie Wood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Natalie Wood b. 1938 - Tomorrow Is Forever (1946), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

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Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jennifer Connelly b. 1970 - Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Labyrinth (1986)

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Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Elizabeth Taylor b. 1922 - Lassie Come Home (1943), The White Cliffs of Dover (1943), National Velvet (1944), Little Women (1949)

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Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Christian Bale b. 1974 - Empire of the Sun (1987), Newsies (1992)

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Jennifer Love Hewitt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jennifer Love Hewitt b. 1979 - "Kids Incorporated" (1989-91), Sister Act 2 (1993), "Party of Five" (1995-99), House Arrest (1996)

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Brooke Shields is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Brooke Shields b. 1965 - Pretty Baby (1978), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Endless Love (1981)

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Sarah Michelle Gellar is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Sarah Michelle Gellar b. 1977 - "All My Children" (1993-1995), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003)

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Fred Savage is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Fred Savage b. 1976 - The Princess Bride (1987), "The Wonder Years" (1988-1993), Little Monsters (1989)

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Tiffani Thiessen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Tiffani Thiessen b. 1974 - Saved By The Bell (1989-1993)

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Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jeff Bridges b. 1949 - "Sea Hunt" (1958-60), "The Lloyd Bridges Show" (1962-63), The Loner (1965)

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Jason Bateman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jason Bateman b. 1969 - "Little House on the Prairie" (1981-82), "Silver Spoons" (1982-84)

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Joaquin Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Joaquin Phoenix b. 1974 - Russkies (1987), Parenthood (1989)

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Hilary Duff is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Scarlett Johansson b. 1984 - North (1994), Just Cause (1995), Manny & Lo (1996), Ghost World (2001)

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Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Claire Danes b. 1979 - "My So-Called Life" (1994-95), Little Women (1994), Romeo + Juliet (1996)

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Mila Kunis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Mila Kunis b. 1983 - "That '70s Show" (1998)

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Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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Sean Astin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Sean Astin b. 1971 - The Goonies (1985), Like Father Like Son (1987)

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Milla Jovovich is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Milla Jovovich b. 1975 - Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), Chaplin (1992), Dazed and Confused (1993)

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Jessica Alba is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jessica Alba b. 1981 - Camp Nowhere (1991), "Flipper" (1995-96)

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Michelle Trachtenberg is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Michelle Trachtenberg b. 1985 - "The Adventures of Pete & Pete" (1994-96), Harriet the Spy (1996), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (2000-2003)

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Hayden Panettiere is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
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)

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Alyson Hannigan is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Alyson Hannigan b. 1974 - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003), American Pie (1999)

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Seth Green is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Seth Green b. 1974 - Can't Buy Me Love (1988), My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988), It (1990)

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Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Helen Hunt b. 1963 - "Amy Prentiss" (1974-75), "The Swiss Family Robinson" (1975-76)

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Anna Paquin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Anna Paquin b. 1982 - The Piano (1993), Fly Away Home (1996), Amistad (!997), She's All That (1999)

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Macaulay Culkin is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Macaulay Culkin b. 1980 - Uncle Buck (1989), Home Alone (1990), My Girl (1991), The Good Son (1993)

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Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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Mickey Rooney is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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Valerie Bertinelli is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

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Juliette Lewis is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Juliette Lewis b. 1973 - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Cape Fear (1991)