Most Successful Child Actors Still Working in Show Business
10.05.12 by BJSprecher
Yesterdays child actors, today's superstars!
We're all too familiar with the supposed "curse" of being a child actor. A darling child with a precocious knack for acting grows up with too much fame and fortune and too little (or the wrong kind of) parental supervision and they grow up to become a tabloid headline and late night talk show punchline. Or, worse yet, they don't make it to adulthood at all. Lindsay, Amanda, Corey, Macaulay, Demi, Miley...the list goes on and on. Just as we can't look away as we slowly pass by a terrible accident on the freeway, we often find ourselves compelled to stare at the wreckage so many child stars make of their adulthood.
Though the stories of tragic former child stars may make for juicier reading while standing in line at the check-out stand, the great majority of child actors grow up to become well-adjusted adults. Most leave acting behind and move on to "normal" careers as teachers, bankers or software engineers, but many remain in show business, finding even greater success as an adult. Hit the link below to find out the Most Successful Child Actors Still Working in Show Business today.
THEN: At 13, starred in Empire of the Sun, Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the novel by J.G. Ballard about a young boy from a wealthy British family living in China in 1941 who winds up in a prisoner of war camp after the Japanese invade.
NOW: Winner of numerous accolades including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Dicky Eklund in the biopic The Fighter. Star of Christopher Nolan's acclaimed Batman trilogy, which has earned over $2.4 billion worldwide.
UPCOMING: Starring role in Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups.
Empire image courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures
THEN: Commercial actor who made several appearances on TV shows before landing a recurring role on the final two seasons of Growing Pains as Luke Brower, a homeless boy taken in by the Seaver family.
NOW:Three Academy Award nominations for his work in What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, The Aviator and Blood Diamond. Star of Titanic, which held the title of highest-grossing movie for 12 years. One of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood.
UPCOMING: Starring role in Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Villain in Quentin Tarantino's "Southern" revenge movie, Django Unchained.
Growing Pains image courtesy Warner Bros. Television
THEN: Appeared in first movie at 18 months. Eight years as Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, followed by six years as Richie Cunningham on Happy Days.
NOW: Director of over 20 movies, including the Academy Award-winning A Beautiful Mind. National Medal of Arts winner.
UPCOMING: Director of Rush, biopic starring Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers) as celebrated British Formula One racer James Hunt
Happy Days image courtesy of Paramount Television
THEN: Periodically starred alongside his father, Lloyd Bridges, on the TV shows Sea Hunt and The Lloyd Bridges Show.
NOW: Five Academy Award nominations, his first at 22 for his work in The Last Picture Show. Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Crazy Heart.
UPCOMING:Co-starring with Ryan Reynolds in director Robert Schwentke's (RED) supernatural action-comedy R.I.P.D.
Sea Hunt image courtesy of MGM Television
THEN: Commercial actor from the age of 2. At 13, starred in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, earning her an Academy Award nomination.
NOW: Two-time Academy Award-winner for her roles in The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs.
UPCOMING: Starring role in writer-director Neill Blomkamp's new sci-fi movie, Elysium, with Matt Damon.
Taxi Driver image courtesy of Columbia Pictures
THEN: Breakout performance as Mathilda in Luc Besson's Léon: The Professional at the age of 13.
NOW: Best Actress Academy Award for her role in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. Starring roles in George Lucas's Star Wars prequels and Kenneth Branagh's Thor.
UPCOMING: Reprising the role of Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) love interest in Thor: The Dark World. Starring role in Terrence Malick' Knight of Cups.
Léon: The Professional image courtesy Columbia Pictures
THEN: A string of roles in TV shows and movies before landing the part of Tommy Solomon on 3rd Rock from the Sun at 15, which he played for five seasons, with periodic appearances in season six.
NOW: Breakout performance as an adult as the lead in Rian Johnson's Brick. Starring roles in Christopher Nolan's Inception and The Dark Knight Rises, and in Rian Johnson's Looper.
UPCOMING: Starring role opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln. Directorial debut with Don Jon's Addiction.
3rd Rock image courtesy The Carsey-Warner Company
THEN: Movie debut in Altered States at the age of 5. Breakout performance as Gertie in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at 7.
NOW: Perennially favorite actress with over 30 features on her resume. Producer of popular Charlie’s Angels movies, the cult classic Donnie Darko and Whip It!, which she also directed.
UPCOMING: Taking a break following the birth of her daughter last week.
E.T. image courtesy Universal Pictures
THEN: Movie debut in Back to the Future II at the age of 8. Nominated for several Young Artist Awards.
NOW: Lead actor in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Voice of Mumble in Happy Feet animated movies. Star of Wilfred TV show.
UPCOMING: Reprising the role of Frodo Baggins in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy.