child actors The Greatest Former Child Stars  

carlybobarly
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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
3,992 925
Drew Barrymore is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Drew Barrymore 1975-02-22

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

2
3,036 915
Jodie Foster is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jodie Foster 1962-11-19

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

3
3,192 975
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Leonardo DiCaprio 1974-11-11

"Growing Pains" (1991-92)

4
2,695 948
Ron Howard is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Ron Howard 1954-03-01

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

5
2,664 839
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Reese Witherspoon 1976-03-22

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

6
2,646 829
Christina Ricci is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Christina Ricci 1980-02-12

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

7
3,592 1,047
Jessica Biel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jessica Biel 1982-03-03

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

8
2,572 891
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Neil Patrick Harris 1973-06-15

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

9
1,944 869
Kirsten Dunst is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Kirsten Dunst 1982-04-30

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

10
1,989 777
Kurt Russell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Kurt Russell 1951-03-17

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

11
2,628 874
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Joseph Gordon-Levitt 1981-02-17

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

12
3,597 2,693
Natalie Portman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Natalie Portman 1981-06-09

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

Dead Actors and Actresses of 2014

13
1,838 877
Christina Applegate is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Christina Applegate 1971-11-25

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

14
3,218 1,196
Dakota Fanning is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Dakota Fanning 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)

15
1,734 733
Elijah Wood is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Elijah Wood 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)

16
1,787 942
Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Winona Ryder 1971-10-29

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

17
1,351 874
Jennifer Connelly is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jennifer Connelly 1970-12-12

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

15 Sexiest Monsters in Horror Movie History

18
2,191 1,594
Alyssa Milano is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Alyssa Milano 1972-12-19

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

19
1,675 976
Natalie Wood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Natalie Wood 1938-07-20

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

20
1,068 343
Emma Watson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
RandallIkeKing added Emma Watson 1990-04-15

Harry Potter series (2001-11)

21
1,066 610
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
MikeHumphrey added Christian Bale 1974-01-30

Empire of the Sun (1987)
Newsies (1992)

22
1,835 938
Elizabeth Taylor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Elizabeth Taylor 1932-02-27

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

The Greatest Kid Characters in Film

23
1,053 619
Hilary Duff is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
moosiclvr added Hilary Duff 1987-09-28

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

24
1,294 773
Fred Savage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Fred Savage 1976-07-09

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

25
1,202 690
Sean Astin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Sean Astin 1971-02-25

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

26
1,249 758
Sarah Michelle Gellar is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Sarah Michelle Gellar 1977-04-14

"All My Children" (1993-1995)
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997-2003)

27
1,164 704
Milla Jovovich is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Milla Jovovich 1975-12-17

Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)
Chaplin (1992)
Dazed and Confused (1993)

The Most Beautiful Women of All Time

28
1,635 936
Brooke Shields is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Brooke Shields 1965-05-31

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

29
1,171 783
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jeff Bridges 1949-12-04

"Sea Hunt" (1958-60)
"The Lloyd Bridges Show" (1962-63)
The Loner (1965)

30
1,453 875
Jennifer Love Hewitt is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jennifer Love Hewitt 1979-02-21

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

31
1,091 876
Tiffani Thiessen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Tiffani Thiessen 1974-01-23

Saved By The Bell (1989-1993)

32
1,437 919
Jason Bateman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jason Bateman 1969-01-14

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

Rules You Had No Idea Amish Women Are Supposed To Follow

33
1,613 988
Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Scarlett Johansson 1984-11-22

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

34
1,092 757
Joaquin Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Joaquin Phoenix 1974-10-28

Russkies (1987)
Parenthood (1989)

35
1,128 855
Claire Danes is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Claire Danes 1979-04-12

"My So-Called Life" (1994-95)
Little Women (1994)
Romeo + Juliet (1996)

36
1,641 1,189
Mila Kunis is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Mila Kunis 1983-08-14

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

37
950 759
Michelle Trachtenberg is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Michelle Trachtenberg 1985-10-11

"The Adventures of Pete & Pete" (1994-96)
Harriet the Spy (1996)
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (2000-2003)

Celebrities Who Have Aged the Worst

38
939 642
Seth Green is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Seth Green 1974-02-08

Can't Buy Me Love (1988)
My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988)
It (1990)

39
1,135 646
Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Helen Hunt

"Amy Prentiss" (1974-75)
"The Swiss Family Robinson" (1975-76)

40
1,060 756
Anna Paquin is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Anna Paquin 1982-07-24

The Piano (1993)
Fly Away Home (1996)
Amistad (1997)
She's All That (1999)

41
1,411 1,010
Jessica Alba is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Jessica Alba 1981-04-28

Camp Nowhere (1991)
"Flipper" (1995-96)

42
1,217 786
Hayden Panettiere is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Hayden Panettiere 1989-08-21

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

The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

43
1,119 961
Macaulay Culkin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Macaulay Culkin 1980-08-26

Uncle Buck (1989)
Home Alone (1990)
My Girl (1991)
The Good Son (1993)

44
751 509
Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Diane Lane 1965-01-22

A Little Romance (1979)
The Outsiders (1983)
Rumble Fish (1983)

45
759 648
Juliette Lewis is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Juliette Lewis 1973-06-21

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
Cape Fear (1991)

46
800 711
Josh Brolin is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Josh Brolin 1968-02-12

The Goonies (1985)

47
564 425
Christian Slater is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Christian Slater 1969-08-18

The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)
"Ryan's Hope" (1985)

48
655 604
Michelle Williams is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
carlybobarly added Michelle Williams 1980-09-09

Lassie (1994)
Species (1995)
Killing Mr. Griffin (1997)
"Dawson's Creek (1998-2003)

49
1,014 619
Melissa Gilbert is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Melissa Gilbert 1964-05-08

"Little House on the Prairie" (1974-83)

50
832 537
Valerie Bertinelli is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Former Child Stars
Valerie Bertinelli 1960-04-23

"One Day at a Time" (1975-84)