Child Stars Famous Actors

29+ Famous Child Stars All Grown Up


| LAST UPDATE 10/17/2021

By Scarlett Adler

These accomplished stars first entered the spotlight as young kids. Since then, they've been on a climb through Hollywood fame! Read on to see what some of our favorite child stars are up to now.

Daniel Radcliffe

When Daniel Radcliffe landed the role of Harry Potter in 2001's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling herself endorsed the selection. She admitted, "I don't think Chris Columbus could have found a better Harry."

Daniel Radcliffe Child StarDaniel Radcliffe Child Star
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Ever since he left his wand and spells behind, the 31-year-old actor has gone on to star in comedies like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend. In the film, he plays none other than Prince Frederick. Although the talented star hasn't yet announced any upcoming roles, we're sure keeping an eye out. 

Miranda Cosgrove

In 2003, Miranda Cosgrove took on the role of Summer Hathaway in School of Rock alongside Jack Black. After the world fell in love with her sassy self, she went on to star in Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh and iCarly. In 2008, Miranda even tapped into her musical side when she made a four-song album for the iCarly series.

Miranda Cosgrove Child ActressMiranda Cosgrove Child Actress
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Recently, Cosgrove appeared in 2020's North Hollywood. But that's not all the actress has been up to. In December, it was revealed that Miranda would be returning for her role as Carly Shay in an iCarly reboot. We're sure we haven't seen the best of her yet!

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Fred Savage

The world first learned Fred Savage's name back in 1986 when he played 'Alan Bishop' in the series Morning Star/Evening Star. He soon skyrocketed to fame as a child actor. But unbeknownst to Savage, it was only the beginning of his successful career. 

Fred Savage Child ActorFred Savage Child Actor
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Over the years, Savage has gone on to tick off many accomplishments. And back in 2018, he even stepped into the director's chair. Not only did he play the role of Dr. Harding in the series, The Conner's, but he also served as director up until 2021. 

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Christina Applegate

Christina Applegate's breakthrough role came in 1987 when she starred in the series Married...With Children. The show ran until 1997, during which Applegate caught the eyes of many faces in Hollywood. Her fate was written in the stars; she quickly took on more roles, leading her to the success she has acquired today.

Christina Applegate Child ActressChristina Applegate Child Actress
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From 2019-2020, Applegate starred in Dead To Me, a series full of many twists and turns. While the talented actress became known for her character, Jen Harding, Christina herself continued to shine in 2021. In fact, she was even nominated for the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series at the Satellite Awards! 

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Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman got his start as James Cooper Ingalls in the 1981-1982 series Little House on the Prairie. After his breakout role, he went on to star in many titles. But in 2013, he expanded his portfolio and entered the world of directing too! In fact, he both starred in and directed 2013's Bad Words

Jason Bateman Child StarJason Bateman Child Star
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As for today? Bateman is expected to star in Thunder Force, a movie set to release in 2021. He'll be starring alongside actresses Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer. The anticipated flick is due to be a hilarious comedy. And if it's anything like we've seen before, we're in for a real treat! 

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Drew Barrymore

The world first learned Drew Barrymore's name thanks to her family of famous actors and actresses. But she further put her name on the map with her breakout role in 1982's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Since then, Drew has gained massive fame for endless roles in both movies and television.

Child Star Drew BarrymoreChild Star Drew Barrymore
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In 2020, Drew graced the screen in The Stand In. What some may not know is that she's also taken on other jobs in Hollywood. She's added producer, director, and talk show host to her resume! In fact, she even launched a daytime talk show called The Drew Barrymore Show. We can't wait to see what else she has in store for us!

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Lukas Haas

Child actor Lukas Haas first entered the spotlight in Testament in 1983. After his famous role, he explored more of what the entertainment world had to offer. In fact, in later years, he became the drummer and pianist for The Rogues band. And, he is still a practicing musician to this day! 

Child Star Lukas HaasChild Star Lukas Haas
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In 2020, Haas played the role of Joseph in The Violent Heart. Since then, he has been quite busy with productions that are currently in the works! Most recently, he's landed the role as Peter in Midnight in the Switchgrass, which is currently filming in Puerto Rico. 

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Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano played the role of Diane in 1984's Old Enough. And after entering the spotlight, she hasn't slowed down one bit. Since her breakout role, she went on to star in many titles. Some of which have even won her awards, including three Kid's Choice Awards for Favorite TV actress.

Alyssa Milano Child ActressAlyssa Milano Child Actress
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In 2021, Milano was cast to star in the Netflix film adaptation of Nora Roberts' novel Brazen Virtue. While fans of the child star wait patiently to see what Milano will bring to the table next, expectations are growing high. But we have a strong feeling that, as usual, Alyssa won't disappoint.

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Emma Watson

Many remember Emma Watson in 2001's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, where she starred alongside Daniel Radcliffe. But Hermione Granger has been exploring many things since her days at Hogwarts. In 2020, she announced that she wanted to attend more conference meetings and fewer red carpets. 

Emma Watson Actress StarEmma Watson Actress Star
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After receiving her Bachelor's Degree from Brown University, Watson's agent described Emma's career as "dormant." Emma was "not taking on new commitments" at the time, as she put it. Nonetheless, we're sure that the actress will continue to wow us, no matter where life takes her!

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Jodie Sweetin

You might recognize her face as Stephanie Tanner from the 1987-1995 series Full House. Today, the child actor is still in the spotlight, though she typically stays away from the big screen. In 2019, Sweetin and best friend Celia Behar started their own podcast focused on parenting called Never Thought I'd Say This.  

Jodie Sweetin Child StarJodie Sweetin Child Star
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Jodie hasn't announced her next project yet. But the actress told The Fix back in February 2019 that she'd love to "move into some more dramatic work" in the future. While Sweetin's fans wait patiently, we're sure her next title will be well worth the wait!

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Keshia Knight-Pulliam

Keshia Knight-Pulliam rose to fame as the adorable Rudy Huxtable on The Cosby Show from 1984-1992. Her acting was so notable that in 1986, she became one of the youngest stars to be nominated for an Emmy Award at the age of six! Since then, she has been hard at work both in Hollywood films and in her personal life. 

Actress Keshia Knight PulliamActress Keshia Knight Pulliam
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The famous actress had an eventful 2020, after getting engaged to fellow actor Brad James! All of that excitement certainly has not overshadowed the news of her upcoming projects: A podcast called Kandidly Keshia and her upcoming role in Redeemed, where she'll play a character named Angela.

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Christian Bale

Before Christian Bale slayed the role of Batman in The Dark Knight trilogy, he was actually a child actor! In 1987, Bale stared as Jum-Jum and Benke in Mio in the Land of Faraway. The adorable kid you see below has undoubtedly grown up to be one of the most adored superheroes on the big screen.

Child Actor Christian BaleChild Actor Christian Bale
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But his stellar roles don't end there. In 2019, he got to drive faster than the speed of light in Ford v Ferrari. Now, he's swapping fast cars for superpowers! Bale is currently filming Thor: Love and Thunder, scheduled for release in May 2022. In it, he'll portray Gorr, the God Butcher. We can't wait!

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Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke first entered the spotlight in 1985's Explorers as Ben Crandall. The child star went on to land many more roles that have helped put his name on the map. In recent years, though, he stepped aside from the camera. Instead, he directed three feature films, three off-Broadway plays, and a documentary! 

Ethan Hawke Child ActorEthan Hawke Child Actor
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This year, Hawke has been busy at work on upcoming projects. He was cast as the primary villain in the Disney+ series, Moon Knight. And he'll also appear in The Northman alongside Nicole Kidman. While we wait for his upcoming adventures, we'll be sure to brush up on our superhero films. 

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Natalie Portman

In 1994, Natalie Portman entered the spotlight as Mathilda, a child prodigy in Leon: The Professional. Since then, she has taken on many roles, gaining more fame as the years go by. Portman even showed off her endless talents after taking over the director's chair for two films in 2008 and 2015. 

Leon Actress Natalie PortmanLeon Actress Natalie Portman
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In 2019, the actress starred as Lucy Cola in Lucy in the Sky. As for today? Portman is working on something major with another star on our list, Christian Bale. She will be coming back to the big screen as Jane Foster in Thor: Love and Thunder. While we have to wait until 2022 for its release, we're sure it'll be amazing!

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt

You might remember this face from the 1988 series Family Ties. That's right, Joseph Gordon-Levitt played the role of Dougie! Ever since he made it big, he has taken on endless successful roles. Recently, Gordon-Levitt became a voice actor for two video games, Treasure Planet and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Actor Joseph Gordon LevittActor Joseph Gordon Levitt
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The A-list actor will also star as Josh Corman in the upcoming series Mr. Corman. Per IMDb, the six-episode series features "A deep cut into the days and nights of a public school teacher in the San Fernando Valley." He's no stranger to being the star of the show, and we can't wait to see what he brings to the big screen next!

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Elijah Wood

Frodo Baggins, we mean Elijah Wood, blessed our screen in the Lord of the Rings trilogy from 2001-2003. The blue-eyed star captured many hearts and even convinced cast members from to get matching tattoos! The c0-stars now have the number nine inked, referencing the Lord of the Rings series's first book. 

Child Actor Elijah WoodChild Actor Elijah Wood
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From 2018-2020, Wood went on to appear as Jace Ricklin in the series Star Wars Resistance. Although we have yet to hear about Wood's next on-screen endeavor, we're sure he's not slowing down anytime soon. In fact, something tells us he has some more tricks up his sleeve.

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Neil Patrick Harris

In 1988, Neil Patrick Harris appeared in Clara's Heart. But that was just the beginning for the talented star. Since his breakout role, Harris's fame has skyrocketed. In fact, he even hosted the Tony Awards four times and won four special class Emmy Awards!

Neil Patrick Harris ActorNeil Patrick Harris Actor
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Neil kept himself busy throughout 2020 by releasing a single-player board game named Box One. It was produced by Theory11, a luxury playing card company. As for what's next? Patrick-Harris recently returned to the screen as Henry Coltrane in It's A Sin, a mini TV series. 

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Wil Wheaton

Actor Wil Wheaton first entered Hollywood in the 1981 movie, A Long Way Home. But, it wasn't until 1986 that he gained widespread attention for his role in Stand By Me. While racking up fame throughout the years, Wheaton has explored endless opportunities in Hollywood.

Wil Wheaton Child ActorWil Wheaton Child Actor
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In 2020, Wil became the host of the tv show Rival Speak. IMDb described the nine-episode series as "filled with the usual reality show staples of romance, betrayal, schemes, and friendships." But make no mistake, it also called for something "far beyond the realm of normal."

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Sean Astin

Sean Astin made his film debut at the young age of thirteen. Four years later, he appeared on our screens as Mikey in the classic 1985 movie, The Goonies. About a decade later, Astin directed and co-produced the short film Kangaroo Court, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short Film. 

Sean Astin Famous ActorSean Astin Famous Actor
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Austin has stayed busy throughout the years. As of 2021, we can expect to catch him as Jimmy in the upcoming movie Hero Mode. But that's not all! The busy actor is currently amid production for the movie Man & Witch, where he will play "Dog." Meanwhile, we'll be eating popcorn while re-watching The Goonies

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Kiera Knightley

After landing an agent at the age of six, Kiera Knightly got her start working on commercials and small TV roles. Her first on-screen appearance was in 1993's tv series Screen One. But it wasn't until she was eighteen that she achieved global stardom as Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirates Child Kiera Knightley Pirates Child Kiera Knightley
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In 2020, Knightly began production for the upcoming movie Silent Night. Currently in post-production, we're hoping the movie hits the big screen soon. According to IMDb, the new flick follows "an extended family [that] comes together for a Christmas dinner in the country." We're sure it'll be one for the books!

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Scarlett Johansson

ScarJo's first leading role was as Amanda in 1996's Manny & Lo, for which she was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female! Since then, Johansson has taken on many roles, both big and small. But no matter the size, she continues to wow us time after time. 

Scarlett Johansson Black WidowScarlett Johansson Black Widow
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Since her breakout role, Scarlett has starred in endless blockbusters that have cemented her name in Hollywood. Her future role in 2021's Black Widow is expected to be no different! But that's not all. The busy actress is also currently filming for the role of 'Ash' for Sing 2

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Jurnee Smollett

There's a good chance you recognize this contagious smile as Denise Foster's from the series Full House. As a child star, Jurnee Smollett starred in twelve episodes between 1992-1994. Since then, the actress has become even more well-known. In fact, she doesn't seem to be slowing down one bit!

Jurnee Smollett Full HouseJurnee Smollett Full House
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In 2021, Smollett won Best Actress in a Horror Series at the Critics' Choice Awards for her role in Lovecraft Country. But that's not all she's been up to! While her character has not yet been announced, Jurnee will bless our screens again in the upcoming sci-fi film Escape from Spiderhead

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Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst gained recognition for her portrayal of a child vampire in 1994's horror film Interview with the Vampire. This earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Since then, Dunst has added many flicks and awards to her resume.  

Child Actress Kirsten DunstChild Actress Kirsten Dunst
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Dunst is also set to star in The Power of the Dog, which will be released in 2021. According to IMDb, the movie follows "a pair of brothers who own a large ranch in Montana are pitted against each other when one of them gets married." The flick itself sounds great, and we can't wait to tune in! 

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Fairuza Balk

Fairuza Balk appeared on the screen for the first time in 1983 in the movie, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. According to IMDb, the film follows "A teacher [who] puts on a Christmas pageant and puts the worst children in school as the stars." Since then, Balk has been hard at work on many roles.

Fairuza Balk Paradise CityFairuza Balk Paradise City
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In 2021, Balk starred alongside Bella Thorne in the upcoming TV series Paradise City. According to IMDb, the show follows, "The lives of a rock star who seems to have it all and a young rookie kid who idolizes him." Luckily, we can expect to catch Fairuza in six of the episodes!

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Matt Dillon

Matt Dillon first appeared on screen in 1979's Over the Edge. But he soon established himself as a teen idol after he starred in My Bodyguard. On top of his many accomplishments, Dillon's since made a directorial debut in 2002's City of Ghosts! Impressive, huh?

Matt Dillon My BodyguardMatt Dillon My Bodyguard
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In 2021, Dillon starred in Land of Dreams, currently in post-production. According to IMDb, the movie is "A political satire set in the near future where America has closed its borders and become more insular than ever." The story follows a "journey to discover the core of what it means to be a free American."

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Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields initially entered the spotlight as a child model. She quickly gained critical acclaim at twelve years old for her leading role in 1978's Pretty Baby. Since then, she has appeared in many TV shows, movies, and more. But this year, she's bringing something big to the table. 

Child Star Brooke ShieldsChild Star Brooke Shields
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Shields plays a caring mom in 2021's new movie All Underdogs Go to Heaven. According to IMDb, the film features "the ultimate underdog team: A team so bad at Ball, they HAVE to win." We don't know about you, but we've been the underdog before. And we're excited to see how this one plays out!

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Selena Gomez

Before Selena Gomez became a pop sensation, she got her start on Barney & Friends. In her teens, she rose to fame as Alex Russo in the Disney Channel show, Wizards of Waverly Place from 2007-2012. Since then, Gomez has released music, appeared on the big screen, and even started her own makeup line!

Child Actress Selena GomezChild Actress Selena Gomez
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In 2021, Gomez will star alongside the hilarious Steve Martin in series Only Murders in the Building. According to IMDb, the show follows "three strangers who share an obsession with true crime [and] suddenly find themselves caught up in one." This intriguing title has certainly caught our attention!

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Vanessa Hudgens

Vanessa Hudgens entered Hollywood with 2003's film Thirteen. But perhaps her most noteworthy rise to fame came a few years later. In 2006-2008, she starred as Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical. Since then, the starlet has been a busy woman. 

HSM Actress Vanessa HudgensHSM Actress Vanessa Hudgens
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Hudgen's latest role is in post-production as of 2021. Tick, Tick...Boom! follows, "The story of Jon, an aspiring theater composer who is waiting tables in New York City while writing Superbia - which he hopes will be the next great American musical." Vanessa stars as Karessa, and we can't wait!

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Dakota Fanning

The talented Dakota Fanning entered the spotlight in 2001 as Lucy in I am Sam. For her work, the eight-year-old received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. This amazing achievement made her the youngest nominee in SAG history! From then on, she's continued to amaze us with her endless talent.

Dakota Fanning Child NightingaleDakota Fanning Child Nightingale
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In 2021, Fanning took on another major role. In The Nightingale, the actress stars as one of two sisters. But her co-star isn't any random girl. As it turns out, Dakota's very own sister, Elle, will join her on stage as they play sisters Vianne and Isabelle! 

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Chloë Grace Moretz

Chloë Grace Moretz landed her first role in 2005's The Amityville Horror. But, her breakthrough role came five years later with her performance in Kick-*ss. It seems not even horror movies can scare the star away from the spotlight! In fact, she's just getting started.

Chloë Grace Moretz ActressChloë Grace Moretz Actress
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In 2021, Chloë will appear in the live-action/animated film Tom and Jerry. Per IMDb, the movie "reveals how Tom and Jerry first meet and form their rivalry." Like many of our other child-stars, it seems that not much can keep Chloe from outshining title after title.

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