Entertainment
19.2k voters

The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting

Updated May 2, 2020 343.6k votes 19.2k voters 549.5k 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
    6,007
    1,427

    Drew Barrymore

    1975-02-22

    Age45

    BirthplaceCulver City, California, USA

    GenderFemale

    E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

  • 2
    5,440
    1,305

    Age45

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California

    GenderMale

    "Growing Pains" (1991-92)

  • 3
    4,532
    1,260

    Age44

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA

    GenderFemale

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

  • 4
    4,195
    1,321

    Christina Ricci

    1980-02-12

    Age40

    BirthplaceSanta Monica, California, USA

    GenderFemale

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

  • 5
    4,376
    1,356

    Dakota Fanning

    1994-02-23

    Age26

    BirthplaceConyers, Georgia, USA

    GenderFemale

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

  • 6
    3,395
    724

    Emma Watson

    1990-04-15

    Age30

    BirthplaceParis, France

    GenderFemale

    Harry Potter series (2001-11)

  • 7
    3,990
    1,351

    Age47

    BirthplaceAlbuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America

    GenderMale

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

  • 8
    4,262
    1,657

    Jodie Foster

    1962-11-19

    Age57

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA

    GenderFemale

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

  • 9
    3,567
    1,354

    Age39

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA

    GenderMale

    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
    2,888
    1,264

    Kurt Russell

    1951-03-17

    Age69

    BirthplaceSpringfield, Massachusetts, United States of America

    GenderMale

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

  • 11
    3,204
    1,443

    Kirsten Dunst

    1982-04-30

    Age38

    BirthplacePoint Pleasant, New Jersey, USA

    GenderFemale

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

  • 12
    3,585
    1,726

    Ron Howard

    1954-03-01

    Age66

    BirthplaceDuncan, Oklahoma, USA

    GenderMale

    Alternative NameRon Howard^! Ronny Howard

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

  • 13
    2,714
    1,178

    Elijah Wood

    1981-01-28

    Age39

    BirthplaceCedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

    GenderMale

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

  • 14
    2,872
    1,327

    Winona Ryder

    1971-10-29

    Age48

    BirthplaceWinona, Minnesota, USA

    GenderFemale

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

  • 15
    4,578
    2,376

    Natalie Portman

    1981-06-09

    Age34

    BirthplaceJerusalem, Mandatory Palestine

    GenderFemale

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

  • 16
    2,499
    1,183

    Age35

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    GenderFemale

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

  • 17
    2,404
    1,160

    AgeDec. at 79 (1932-2011)

    BirthplaceHampstead, London, England, UK

    GenderFemale

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

  • 18
    1,553
    503

    Age31

    BirthplaceFulham, London, England

    GenderMale

    Alternative NameDaniel Radcliffe, Dan Radcliffe

  • 19
    2,498
    1,165

    Mila Kunis

    1983-08-14

    Age37

    BirthplaceKiev, Ukraine, Soviet Union

    GenderFemale

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

  • 20
    2,043
    1,079

    Sean Astin

    1971-02-25

    Age49

    BirthplaceSanta Monica, California, United States of America

    GenderMale

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

  • 21
    2,494
    1,500

    Age48

    BirthplaceHollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

    GenderFemale

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

  • 22
    1,985
    1,135

    Jason Bateman

    1969-01-14

    Age51

    BirthplaceRye, New York, USA

    GenderMale

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

  • 23
    2,028
    1,174

    Brooke Shields

    1965-05-31

    Age55

    BirthplaceManhattan, New York, USA

    GenderFemale

    Alternative NameBrooke Shields

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

  • 24
    1,939
    1,157

    Age41

    BirthplaceWaco, Texas, USA

    GenderFemale

    Alternative NameLove Hewitt^! Jennifer Love Hewitt^! Jennifer Hewitt

    "Kids Incorporated" (1989-91)
    Sister Act 2 (1993)
    "Party of Five" (1995-99)
    House Arrest (1996)

  • 25
    1,779
    961

    Age31

    BirthplacePalisades, New York, USA

    GenderFemale

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