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
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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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2
+ - 2,487 686
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
+ - 2,472 780
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Leonardo DiCaprio b. 1974 - "Growing Pains" (1991-92)

4
+ - 2,235 723
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
+ - 2,099 663
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
+ - 3,123 727
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
+ - 2,069 646
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
+ - 2,033 708
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
+ - 1,689 604
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
+ - 2,225 708
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
+ - 1,510 696
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
+ - 3,079 2,500
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
+ - 2,723 1,044
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
+ - 1,536 677
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
+ - 1,384 590
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
+ - 1,877 1,392
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
+ - 1,384 798
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
+ - 1,131 689
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
+ - 1,377 842
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
+ - 806 451
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
+ - 1,560 805
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
+ - 780 404
Hilary Duff is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

23
+ - 1,236 732
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
+ - 1,033 601
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
+ - 907 695
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
+ - 988 659
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
+ - 1,394 814
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
+ - 938 570
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
+ - 959 553
Milla Jovovich is listed (or ranked) 29 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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30
+ - 1,044 636
Fred Savage is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Fred Savage b. 1976 - The Princess Bride (1987), "The Wonder Years" (1988-1993), Little Monsters (1989)

31
+ - 1,212 807
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
+ - 903 626
Joaquin Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Joaquin Phoenix b. 1974 - Russkies (1987), Parenthood (1989)

33
+ - 1,307 846
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
+ - 791 608
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
+ - 960 729
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
+ - 495 201
Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

37
+ - 1,363 1,056
Mila Kunis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Mila Kunis b. 1983 - "That '70s Show" (1998)

38
+ - 744 550
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
+ - 791 515
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
+ - 1,033 642
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
+ - 1,207 859
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
+ - 877 643
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
+ - 967 533
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
+ - 868 801
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
+ - 595 391
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
+ - 630 518
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
+ - 647 587
Josh Brolin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Josh Brolin b. 1968 - The Goonies (1985)

48
+ - 659 498
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

49
+ - 606 255
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

50
+ - 471 221
Mickey Rooney is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars