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.
list ordered by

1
3,300 698
Drew Barrymore is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Drew Barrymore b. 1975 - E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

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2
2,548 702
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jodie Foster b. 1962 - Tom Sawyer (1973), Freaky Friday (1976), Taxi Driver (1976)

3
2,540 797
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Leonardo DiCaprio b. 1974 - "Growing Pains" (1991-92)

4
2,280 744
Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Ron Howard b. 1954 - "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-68), The Music Man (1962)

5
2,143 681
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Reese Witherspoon b. 1976 - The Man in the Moon (1991), A Far Off Place (1993), Jack the Bear (1993), Return to Lonesome Dove (1993)

6
2,121 660
Christina Ricci is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Christina Ricci b. 1980 - Mermaids (1990), The Addams Family (1991), Addams Family Values (1993), Casper (1995), Now and Then (1995)

7
3,174 751
Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jessica Biel b. 1982 - "7th Heaven" (1996-2006), I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998)

8
2,083 724
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Neil Patrick Harris b. 1973 - "Doogie Howser, M.D." (1989-1993)

9
1,722 622
Kurt Russell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Kurt Russell b. 1951 - "The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit" (1968), "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" (1969)

10
2,274 723
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Joseph Gordon-Levitt b. 1981 - A River Runs Through It (1992), Angels in the Outfield (1994), "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996-2001)

11
3,125 2,524
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Natalie Portman b. 1981 - The Professional (1994), Heat (1995), Beautiful Girls (1996),

12
1,547 719
Kirsten Dunst is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Kirsten Dunst b. 1982 - Little Women (1994), Interview with the Vampire (1994), Jumanji (1995) The Virgin Suicides (1999)

13
2,774 1,060
Dakota Fanning is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 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)

14
1,567 694
Christina Applegate is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Christina Applegate b. 1971 - "Married... with Children" (1987-97)

15
1,417 603
Elijah Wood is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 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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16
1,153 707
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jennifer Connelly b. 1970 - Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Labyrinth (1986)

17
1,418 815
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Winona Ryder b. 1971 - Lucas (1986), Beetlejuice (1988), Heathers (1989)

18
1,911 1,420
Alyssa Milano is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Alyssa Milano b. 1972 - "Who's the Boss?" (1984-1992)

19
1,405 861
Natalie Wood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Natalie Wood b. 1938 - Tomorrow Is Forever (1946), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

20
830 470
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
MikeHumphrey added Christian Bale b. 1974 - Empire of the Sun (1987), Newsies (1992)

21
1,591 821
Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Elizabeth Taylor b. 1922 - Lassie Come Home (1943), The White Cliffs of Dover (1943), National Velvet (1944), Little Women (1949)

22
806 428
Hilary Duff is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
moosiclvr added Hilary Duff

23
1,014 672
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jeff Bridges b. 1949 - "Sea Hunt" (1958-60), "The Lloyd Bridges Show" (1962-63), The Loner (1965)

24
1,263 745
Jennifer Love Hewitt is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jennifer Love Hewitt b. 1979 - "Kids Incorporated" (1989-91), Sister Act 2 (1993), "Party of Five" (1995-99), House Arrest (1996)

25
1,054 617
Sarah Michelle Gellar is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Sarah Michelle Gellar b. 1977 - "All My Children" (1993-1995), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003)

26
927 714
Tiffani Thiessen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Tiffani Thiessen b. 1974 - Saved By The Bell (1989-1993)

27
1,421 828
Brooke Shields is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Brooke Shields b. 1965 - Pretty Baby (1978), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Endless Love (1981)

28
926 642
Joaquin Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Joaquin Phoenix b. 1974 - Russkies (1987), Parenthood (1989)

29
963 584
Sean Astin is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Sean Astin b. 1971 - The Goonies (1985), Like Father Like Son (1987)

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30
1,076 649
Fred Savage is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Fred Savage b. 1976 - The Princess Bride (1987), "The Wonder Years" (1988-1993), Little Monsters (1989)

31
981 570
Milla Jovovich is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Milla Jovovich b. 1975 - Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), Chaplin (1992), Dazed and Confused (1993)

32
543 217
Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
RandallIkeKing added Emma Watson

33
1,238 824
Jason Bateman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jason Bateman b. 1969 - "Little House on the Prairie" (1981-82), "Silver Spoons" (1982-84)

34
981 745
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Claire Danes b. 1979 - "My So-Called Life" (1994-95), Little Women (1994), Romeo + Juliet (1996)

35
1,337 867
Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Scarlett Johansson b. 1984 - North (1994), Just Cause (1995), Manny & Lo (1996), Ghost World (2001)

36
818 626
Michelle Trachtenberg is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Michelle Trachtenberg b. 1985 - "The Adventures of Pete & Pete" (1994-96), Harriet the Spy (1996), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (2000-2003)

37
1,387 1,078
Mila Kunis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Mila Kunis b. 1983 - "That '70s Show" (1998)

38
766 566
Alyson Hannigan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Alyson Hannigan b. 1974 - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003), American Pie (1999)

39
815 527
Seth Green is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Seth Green b. 1974 - Can't Buy Me Love (1988), My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988), It (1990)

40
1,057 662
Hayden Panettiere is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 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)

41
1,227 878
Jessica Alba is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jessica Alba b. 1981 - Camp Nowhere (1991), "Flipper" (1995-96)

42
898 662
Anna Paquin is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Anna Paquin b. 1982 - The Piano (1993), Fly Away Home (1996), Amistad (!997), She's All That (1999)

43
988 547
Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Helen Hunt b. 1963 - "Amy Prentiss" (1974-75), "The Swiss Family Robinson" (1975-76)

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44
891 821
Macaulay Culkin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Macaulay Culkin b. 1980 - Uncle Buck (1989), Home Alone (1990), My Girl (1991), The Good Son (1993)

45
644 534
Juliette Lewis is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Juliette Lewis b. 1973 - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Cape Fear (1991)

46
610 404
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Diane Lane b. 1965 - A Little Romance (1979), The Outsiders (1983), Rumble Fish (1983)

47
662 603
Josh Brolin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Josh Brolin b. 1968 - The Goonies (1985)

48
681 520
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

49
630 265
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

50
486 236
Mickey Rooney is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars