Entertainment
19.2k voters

The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting

Updated May 2, 2020 326.4k votes 19.2k voters 551k views191 items

List RulesActors 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.

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  • 1
    5,686
    1,373

    Drew Barrymore

    1975-02-22

    Age46

    BirthplaceCulver City, California, USA

    E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

  • 2
    5,149
    1,263

    Age46

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California

    "Growing Pains" (1991-92)

  • 3
    4,265
    1,220

    Age45

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

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

  • 4
    3,941
    1,276

    Christina Ricci

    1980-02-12

    Age41

    BirthplaceSanta Monica, California, United States of America

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

  • 5
    4,155
    1,305

    Dakota Fanning

    1994-02-23

    Age27

    BirthplaceConyers, 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)

  • 6
    3,205
    696

    Emma Watson

    1990-04-15

    Age31

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Harry Potter series (2001-11)

  • 7
    3,763
    1,297

    Age48

    BirthplaceAlbuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America

    "Doogie Howser, M.D." (1989-1993)

  • 8
    4,035
    1,581

    Jodie Foster

    1962-11-19

    Age58

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Tom Sawyer (1973)
    Freaky Friday (1976)
    Taxi Driver (1976)

  • 9
    3,376
    1,299

    Age40

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA

    Alternative NameJoseph Gordon Levitt, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

    A River Runs Through It (1992)
    Angels in the Outfield (1994)
    "3rd Rock from the Sun" (1996-2001)

  • 10
    2,745
    1,202

    Kurt Russell

    1951-03-17

    Age70

    BirthplaceSpringfield, Massachusetts, United States of America

    The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit (1968)
    The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969)

  • 11
    3,012
    1,383

    Kirsten Dunst

    1982-04-30

    Age39

    BirthplacePoint Pleasant, New Jersey, United States of America

    Little Women (1994)
    Interview with the Vampire (1994)
    Jumanji (1995)
    The Virgin Suicides (1999)

  • 12
    3,406
    1,629

    Ron Howard

    1954-03-01

    Age67

    BirthplaceDuncan, Oklahoma, United States of America

    Alternative NameRon Howard, Ronny Howard

    "The Andy Griffith Show" (1960-68)
    The Music Man (1962)

  • 13
    2,565
    1,125

    Elijah Wood

    1981-01-28

    Age40

    BirthplaceCedar Rapids, Iowa, United States of America

    Radio Flyer (1992)
    Forever Young (1992)
    The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993)
    The Good Son (1993)
    North (1994)
    The War (1994)
    Flipper (1996)

  • 14
    2,713
    1,270

    Winona Ryder

    1971-10-29

    Age49

    BirthplaceMinnesota, United States of America

    Lucas (1986)
    Beetlejuice (1988)
    Heathers (1989)

  • 15
    4,354
    2,302

    Natalie Portman

    1981-06-09

    Age40

    BirthplaceJerusalem, Mandatory Palestine

    The Professional (1994)
    Heat (1995)
    Beautiful Girls (1996)

  • 16
    2,300
    1,111

    AgeDec. at 79 (1932-2011)

    BirthplaceHampstead Garden Suburb, United Kingdom

    Lassie Come Home (1943)
    The White Cliffs of Dover (1943)
    National Velvet (1944)
    Little Women (1949)

  • 17
    2,385
    1,137

    Age36

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    North (1994)
    Just Cause (1995)
    Manny & Lo (1996)
    Ghost World (2001)

  • 18
    1,456
    500

    Age32

    BirthplaceFulham, London, England

    Alternative NameDaniel Radcliffe, Dan Radcliffe

  • 19
    1,942
    1,030

    Sean Astin

    1971-02-25

    Age50

    BirthplaceSanta Monica, California, United States of America

    The Goonies (1985)
    Like Father Like Son (1987)

  • 20
    2,358
    1,418

    Age49

    BirthplaceHollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

    "Married... with Children" (1987-97)

  • 21
    1,935
    1,121

    Brooke Shields

    1965-05-31

    Age56

    BirthplaceManhattan, New York, USA

    Alternative NameBrooke Shields

    Pretty Baby (1978)
    The Blue Lagoon (1980)
    Endless Love (1981)

  • 22
    2,361
    1,135

    Mila Kunis

    1983-08-14

    Age38

    BirthplaceChernivtsi, Ukraine

    "That '70s Show" (1998-2006)

  • 23
    1,880
    1,092

    Jason Bateman

    1969-01-14

    Age52

    BirthplaceRye, New York, United States of America

    "Little House on the Prairie" (1981-82)
    "Silver Spoons" (1982-84)

  • 24
    1,684
    924

    Age32

    BirthplacePalisades, New York, USA

    "One Life to Live" (1994-97)
    Guiding Light (1997-2000)
    Remember the Titans (2000)
    "Ally McBeal" (2001-02)
    "Heroes" (2006-2010)

  • 25
    2,088
    1,256

    Natalie Wood

    1938-07-20

    AgeDec. at 43 (1938-1981)

    BirthplaceCalifornia, United States of America

    Alternative NameNatalie, Natasha Gurdin

    Tomorrow Is Forever (1946)
    Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
    Rebel Without a Cause (1955)