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
+ - 3,266 692
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
+ - 2,526 699
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
+ - 2,511 793
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Leonardo DiCaprio b. 1974 - "Growing Pains" (1991-92)

4
+ - 2,265 738
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
+ - 2,122 678
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
+ - 2,101 656
Christina Ricci is listed (or ranked) 6 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)

7
+ - 3,148 747
Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jessica Biel b. 1982 - "7th Heaven" (1996-2006), I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998)

8
+ - 2,062 723
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
+ - 1,709 621
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
+ - 2,258 720
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
+ - 3,112 2,515
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),

12
+ - 1,528 718
Kirsten Dunst is listed (or ranked) 12 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)

13
+ - 2,754 1,059
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
+ - 1,554 692
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
+ - 1,403 602
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
+ - 1,146 705
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jennifer Connelly b. 1970 - Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Labyrinth (1986)

17
+ - 1,897 1,411
Alyssa Milano is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Alyssa Milano b. 1972 - "Who's the Boss?" (1984-1992)

18
+ - 1,405 813
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)

19
+ - 1,392 860
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
+ - 818 467
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
+ - 1,578 820
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
+ - 793 424
Hilary Duff is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

23
+ - 1,004 671
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 23 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)

24
+ - 1,254 743
Jennifer Love Hewitt is listed (or ranked) 24 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)

25
+ - 1,046 614
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)

26
+ - 921 710
Tiffani Thiessen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Tiffani Thiessen b. 1974 - Saved By The Bell (1989-1993)

27
+ - 1,410 826
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
+ - 919 640
Joaquin Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Joaquin Phoenix b. 1974 - Russkies (1987), Parenthood (1989)

29
+ - 952 584
Sean Astin is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Sean Astin b. 1971 - The Goonies (1985), Like Father Like Son (1987)

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30
+ - 1,064 649
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
+ - 970 568
Milla Jovovich is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Milla Jovovich b. 1975 - Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991), Chaplin (1992), Dazed and Confused (1993)

32
+ - 526 210
Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

33
+ - 1,222 824
Jason Bateman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Jason Bateman b. 1969 - "Little House on the Prairie" (1981-82), "Silver Spoons" (1982-84)

34
+ - 975 744
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Claire Danes b. 1979 - "My So-Called Life" (1994-95), Little Women (1994), Romeo + Juliet (1996)

35
+ - 1,324 860
Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Scarlett Johansson b. 1984 - North (1994), Just Cause (1995), Manny & Lo (1996), Ghost World (2001)

36
+ - 805 625
Michelle Trachtenberg is listed (or ranked) 36 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)

37
+ - 1,378 1,073
Mila Kunis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Mila Kunis b. 1983 - "That '70s Show" (1998)

38
+ - 755 566
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
+ - 805 527
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
+ - 1,047 657
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
+ - 1,219 873
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
+ - 886 660
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
+ - 978 547
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
+ - 881 816
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
+ - 638 533
Juliette Lewis is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Juliette Lewis b. 1973 - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), Cape Fear (1991)

46
+ - 603 404
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Diane Lane b. 1965 - A Little Romance (1979), The Outsiders (1983), Rumble Fish (1983)

47
+ - 656 602
Josh Brolin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Josh Brolin b. 1968 - The Goonies (1985)

48
+ - 673 512
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

49
+ - 621 265
Sally Field is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars

50
+ - 481 236
Mickey Rooney is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars