Watchworthy

The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting 

carlybobarly
Originally by
Updated May 2, 2020 428.9k votes 18.7k voters 542.8k views 227 items

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.

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list ordered by
1
Drew Barrymore is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1975-02-22

Age: 44

Birthplace: Los Angeles, Culver City, California, United States of America

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

2
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1974-11-11

Age: 41

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

"Growing Pains" (1991-92)

3
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1976-03-22

Age: 42

Birthplace: New 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
Christina Ricci is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1980-02-12

Age: 39

Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States of America

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

5
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1962-11-19

Age: 56

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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

6
Dakota Fanning is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1994-02-23

Age: 24

Birthplace: Conyers, Georgia, United States of America

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

7
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1973-06-15

Age: 45

Birthplace: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America

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

8
Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1954-03-01

Age: 64

Birthplace: Duncan, Oklahoma, United States of America

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

9
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1981-02-17

Age: 38

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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

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

Age: 67

Birthplace: Springfield, Massachusetts

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

11
Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
RandallIkeKing added 1990-04-15

Age: 28

Birthplace: Paris, France

Harry Potter series (2001-11)

12
Kirsten Dunst is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1982-04-30

Age: 36

Birthplace: Point Pleasant, New Jersey, USA

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

13
Elijah Wood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1981-01-28

Age: 38

Birthplace: Cedar 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
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1971-10-29

Age: 47

Birthplace: USA, Minnesota

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

15
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1981-06-09

Age: 37

Birthplace: Jerusalem, Israel

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

16
Christina Applegate is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1971-11-25

Age: 47

Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, Hollywood, California

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

17
Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1932-02-27

Age: Dec. at 79 (1932-2011)

Birthplace: Hampstead Garden Suburb, United Kingdom

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

18
Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1984-11-22

Age: 34

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

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

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

Age: 47

Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States of America

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

20
Jason Bateman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1969-01-14

Age: 50

Birthplace: Rye, New York, United States of America

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

21
Brooke Shields is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1965-05-31

Age: 53

Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

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

22
Jennifer Love Hewitt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1979-02-21

Age: 40

Birthplace: Waco, Texas, United States of America

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

23
Hayden Panettiere is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1989-08-21

Age: 29

Birthplace: Palisades, New York, USA

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

24
Mila Kunis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1983-08-14

Age: 35

Birthplace: Ukraine, Chernivtsi

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

25
Alyssa Milano is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Child Stars Who Are Still Acting
carlybobarly added 1972-12-19

Age: 46

Birthplace: Bensonhurst, New York City, New York, United States of America

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