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
+ - 3,230 675
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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2
+ - 2,496 689
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)

3
+ - 2,480 782
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Leonardo DiCaprio b. 1974 - "Growing Pains" (1991-92)

4
+ - 2,242 724
Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Ron Howard b. 1954 - "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-68), The Music Man (1962)

5
+ - 2,103 665
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)

6
+ - 3,126 729
Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jessica Biel b. 1982 - "7th Heaven" (1996-2006), I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998)

7
+ - 2,074 648
Christina Ricci is listed (or ranked) 7 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)

8
+ - 2,036 713
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Neil Patrick Harris b. 1973 - "Doogie Howser, M.D." (1989-1993)

9
+ - 1,692 607
Kurt Russell is listed (or ranked) 9 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)

10
+ - 2,233 710
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is listed (or ranked) 10 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)

11
+ - 1,515 699
Kirsten Dunst is listed (or ranked) 11 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)

12
+ - 3,087 2,501
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Natalie Portman b. 1981 - The Professional (1994), Heat (1995), Beautiful Girls (1996),

13
+ - 2,729 1,047
Dakota Fanning is listed (or ranked) 13 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)

14
+ - 1,541 678
Christina Applegate is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Christina Applegate b. 1971 - "Married... with Children" (1987-97)

15
+ - 1,388 592
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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16
+ - 1,881 1,395
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)

17
+ - 1,390 801
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Winona Ryder b. 1971 - Lucas (1986), Beetlejuice (1988), Heathers (1989)

18
+ - 1,135 692
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jennifer Connelly b. 1970 - Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Labyrinth (1986)

19
+ - 1,381 844
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)

20
+ - 809 453
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Christian Bale b. 1974 - Empire of the Sun (1987), Newsies (1992)

21
+ - 1,563 807
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)

22
+ - 781 409
Hilary Duff is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

23
+ - 1,239 735
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)

24
+ - 1,035 604
Sarah Michelle Gellar is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Sarah Michelle Gellar b. 1977 - "All My Children" (1993-1995), "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003)

25
+ - 910 698
Tiffani Thiessen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Tiffani Thiessen b. 1974 - Saved By The Bell (1989-1993)

26
+ - 993 661
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 26 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)

27
+ - 1,399 816
Brooke Shields is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Brooke Shields b. 1965 - Pretty Baby (1978), The Blue Lagoon (1980), Endless Love (1981)

28
+ - 942 573
Sean Astin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Sean Astin b. 1971 - The Goonies (1985), Like Father Like Son (1987)

29
+ - 1,051 639
Fred Savage is listed (or ranked) 29 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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30
+ - 960 557
Milla Jovovich is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Milla Jovovich b. 1975 - Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), Chaplin (1992), Dazed and Confused (1993)

31
+ - 1,213 811
Jason Bateman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jason Bateman b. 1969 - "Little House on the Prairie" (1981-82), "Silver Spoons" (1982-84)

32
+ - 911 627
Joaquin Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Joaquin Phoenix b. 1974 - Russkies (1987), Parenthood (1989)

33
+ - 1,313 848
Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Scarlett Johansson b. 1984 - North (1994), Just Cause (1995), Manny & Lo (1996), Ghost World (2001)

34
+ - 795 612
Michelle Trachtenberg is listed (or ranked) 34 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)

35
+ - 964 731
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Claire Danes b. 1979 - "My So-Called Life" (1994-95), Little Women (1994), Romeo + Juliet (1996)

36
+ - 501 204
Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

37
+ - 1,368 1,058
Mila Kunis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Mila Kunis b. 1983 - "That '70s Show" (1998)

38
+ - 746 554
Alyson Hannigan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Alyson Hannigan b. 1974 - "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003), American Pie (1999)

39
+ - 795 518
Seth Green is listed (or ranked) 39 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)

40
+ - 1,035 646
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)

41
+ - 1,212 861
Jessica Alba is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jessica Alba b. 1981 - Camp Nowhere (1991), "Flipper" (1995-96)

42
+ - 879 646
Anna Paquin is listed (or ranked) 42 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)

43
+ - 971 535
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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44
+ - 869 805
Macaulay Culkin is listed (or ranked) 44 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)

45
+ - 596 394
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Diane Lane b. 1965 - A Little Romance (1979), The Outsiders (1983), Rumble Fish (1983)

46
+ - 630 521
Juliette Lewis is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Juliette Lewis b. 1973 - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Cape Fear (1991)

47
+ - 648 590
Josh Brolin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Josh Brolin b. 1968 - The Goonies (1985)

48
+ - 660 503
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

49
+ - 608 258
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

50
+ - 472 224
Mickey Rooney is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars