The Greatest Child Stars Who Kept Acting As Grown-Ups

Over 20.2K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Greatest Child Stars Who Kept Acting As Grown-Ups
Voting Rules

Actors who became stars before they were 18 then remained 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 actors 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 flourished as adult working actors, writers and directors.

Who are the best child stars ever? Vote up the best child actors of all time and vote down and kid actors who aren't your favorites.

Most divisive: Kristen Stewart
Ranked by
  • Drew Barrymore
    9,490 votes
    • Age: 48
    • Birthplace: Culver City, California, USA

    E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

  • Leonardo DiCaprio
    8,697 votes
    • Age: 48
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

    Growing Pains (1991-92)

  • Reese Witherspoon
    7,455 votes
    • Age: 47
    • Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

    The Man in the Moon (1991)
    A Far Off Place (1993)
    Jack the Bear (1993)
    Return to Lonesome Dove (1993)

  • Emma Watson
    5,049 votes
    • Age: 33
    • Birthplace: France, Paris

    Harry Potter series (2001-11)

  • Dakota Fanning
    7,486 votes
    • Age: 29
    • Birthplace: Conyers, Georgia, USA

    I Am Sam (2001)
    Uptown Girls (2003)
    Man on Fire (2004)
    War of the Worlds (2005)
    Charlotte's Web (2006)
    The Runaways (2010)

  • Christina Ricci
    7,099 votes
    • Age: 43
    • Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, USA

    Mermaids (1990)
    The Addams Family (1991)
    Addams Family Values (1993)
    Casper (1995)
    Now and Then (1995)