Actors

The Greatest Former Child Stars  

carlybobarly
Originally by
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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
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1974-11-11

"Growing Pains" (1991-92)

2
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1976-03-22

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

3
Drew Barrymore is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1975-02-22

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

4
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1962-11-19

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

5
Kirsten Dunst is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1982-04-30

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

6
Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1954-03-01

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

7
Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
RandallIkeKing added 1990-04-15

Harry Potter series (2001-11)

8
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1981-02-17

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

9
Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1982-03-03

"7th Heaven" (1996-2006)
I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998)

10
Kurt Russell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1951-03-17

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

11
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1973-06-15

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

12
Christina Ricci is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1980-02-12

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

13
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1981-06-09

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

14
Christina Applegate is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1971-11-25

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

15
Dakota Fanning is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1994-02-23

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

16
Elijah Wood is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1981-01-28

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

17
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1971-10-29

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

18
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
MikeHumphrey added 1974-01-30

Empire of the Sun (1987)
Newsies (1992)

19
Sean Astin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1971-02-25

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

20
Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1984-11-22

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

21
Hilary Duff is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
moosiclvr added 1987-09-28

"Lizzie McGuire" (2001-04)
Agent Cody Banks (2003)
A Cinderella Story (2004)
Material Girls (2006)

22
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1970-12-12

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Labyrinth (1986)

23
Alyssa Milano is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1972-12-19

"Who's the Boss?" (1984-1992)

24
Fred Savage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1976-07-09

The Princess Bride (1987)
"The Wonder Years" (1988-1993)
Little Monsters (1989)

25
Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added 1932-02-27

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