Child actors who made it big

Whether it is the early pressure of fame or loosing cuteness with age, but the general rule is that child actors in most cases don’t grow up into adult stars. However, there are some who have kept their star power and made great careers. Check out some of the most successful child actors who are still on top of their game.

Natalie Portman








Spotted in a Long Island pizza parlor at age 11 by a modeling rep, Portman landed the role in 1994’s The Professional one year later. She took a break from acting — to study psychology at Harvard. She says her parents keep her grounded. ”I value my private life and security way more than getting parts by flashing my boobs on some magazine or being a love symbol in films,” she told EW in 2000. In 2011 she won a Best Actress Oscar.

Kristen Stewart








Stewart’s first major gig was at 12 years old as Jodie Foster’s daughter in Panic Room. She also played a small part in Sean Penn’s film Into the Wild before she was catapulted into mega-stardom with her role as Bella Swan in the 2008 film Twilight.

Leonardo DiCaprio








Acting since he was a teenager, DiCaprio made his mark in the ’90s when he starred in This Boy’s Life and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape before gaining household fame for his role as Jack Dawson in Titanic. Since then, he’s become a favorite actor for many famous directors and has been in a number of notable movies. DiCaprio is also a well-known advocate for various environmental organizations.

Drew Barrymore








Barrymore became a star in 1982, at age 7, for her role in E.T. A run-in with drugs and alcohol abuse during her early teens nearly turned her into another child star tragedy, but after sobering up, Barrymore moved on to star in several well-received flicks. In 2000 she became an industry power player thanks to her role in the Charlie’s Angels remakes, which she also produced. Then, in 2009, the now 35-year-old Barrymore made her directorial debut with Whip It.

Jessica Biel








Biel’s breakout role was also one of her first, as the eldest Camden daughter on 7th Heaven, which ran for 11 seasons. Mrs. Justin Timberlake has continued her career on the big screen with recent roles in Hitchcock, Total Recall and celeb-packed ensemble hits Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve.

Ryan Gosling








Gosling got his first big break at age 12 on The Mickey Mouse Club. Now he is one of Hollywood’s best young actors, beloved by both the mainstream and the indie establishment. And ladies are crazy about him.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt








Gordon-Levitt, who’d popped up with guest turns on TV series from the time he was 7, really hit it big at the awkward age of 15 on the hit show Third Rock from the Sun. While co-starring in blockbusters including Inception and The Dark Knight Rises, he’s also maintained his indie roots with his creative cooperative hit record and even made his feature film directorial debut with Don Jon.

Claire Danes








At just 14, My So-Called Life made Danes a household name, a role model for angsty teen girls everywhere and an Emmy nominee and a Golden Globe winner. Danes has since added two more Golden Globes and two more Emmys to her awards collection — one each for portraying Temple Grandin in HBO’s movie of the same name, and the latest for her current role on hit drama Homeland.

Reese Witherspoon








In 1991, at the age of 15, Reese Witherspoon scored her first feature role in The Man in the Moon. But her late ’90s parts in Pleasantville and Cruel Intentions became gateways to her adult career. In 2006 Witherspoon won an Academy Award for her role as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line.

Johnny Galecki








Galecki started off his acting career with several TV movies and a few short-lived series, but it was his roles in 1989’s Christmas Vacation and the latter seasons of Roseanne that really put him on the map. His starring role as Leonard Hofstadter on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory has taken his career to the next level.

Mila Kunis








After several TV guest spots and a guest arc on 7th Heaven, Kunis landed a lead role on That ’70s Show, which ran for eight seasons. Mila is now a major movie star, playing everything from the romantic comedy female lead to more dramatic roles.

Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster Golden Globes







Foster’s first big role came in 1976, when she was only 14 years old. In the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver, she played a preteen prostitute, for which she received an Oscar nomination. Foster later won Academy Awards for her roles in both The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs.

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One response to “Child actors who made it big”

  1. Samanta says:

    It was interesting to learn who have survived the early famed and remain purposeful and goal-oriented to prolong the acting career! It was interesting to learn these names, thanks for that. Most of the actors on this list I like and cannot see the Hollywood cinematography without them. Keep it up, guys!