Wednesday, July 14, 2021

You’d think that the life of a child actor is all glitz and glamour. It is a lot of hard work, especially on the child’s part. Between work and all their other responsibilities as a normal growing child, it can be too much even for a grown-up to take on. 

On top of their work, these kids need to make sure they’re performing well in school (most of them either have private tutors or are home schooled). They also need to make sure they take good care of their health and appearance. Many of them developed their careers into adulthood, which meant a life full of trainers, teachers and frequent visits to a doctor. Most of these regular trips are mainly for maintenance and checkups, such as checking in with a dentist in their area to ensure they would still have a smile worthy of a Hollywood star when they grow up.

And growing up in the limelight is tough! But this is what makes these kids all the more adorable and lovable because you realize they are extraordinary people that come in small packages. Here are some of child actors who succeeded despite living in the limelight.

1. Shirley Temple
Famous for: The Little Princess; Bright Eyes

America’s biggest little star, the dimpled pretty little girl, Shirley Temple, started her career in 1932 at the very young age of three. She starred in a slew of box office hits between 1934 and 1938 as America’s most popular and most famous child star.

She was a legitimate triple threat who can act, sing, and dance really well. This endeared her to American audiences and won their hearts over and over as she took on different roles throughout her career as a child star.

2. Dakota Fanning
Famous for: I am Sam

Hannah Dakota Fanning is an American actress and model whose performance in the movie I am Sam earned her recognition as one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars of her time. She was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her part, and being only eight years old at that time, it was no mean feat. This makes her the youngest nominee for the award to date.

3. Macaulay Culkin
Famous for: Home Alone 1 and 2

Perhaps one of the most unexpected child stars to break out in the 80s was Macaulay Culkin, who was famous for his uncannily natural and endearingly hilarious portrayal of Kevin McCallister in the first two Home Alone movies. He went on to do a few more movies but none come close to the success of his initial outing.

4. Emma Watson
Famous for: Harry Potter movie series

Paris-born British actress Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson stole our hearts as Hermione Granger in the hit Harry Potter movie series. She has proven to be an exceptional actress who can hold her own as a female lead, most notably in Disney’s live adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

5. Daniel Radcliffe
Famous for: Harry Potter movie series

Just like Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe broke into the scene as the titular character in the Harry Potter series of movies. He owned and became Harry Potter that he became one of those actors who will forever be irreplaceable in the eyes and hearts of fans worldwide.

6. Drew Barrymore
Famous for: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

Way before she became the queen of romantic comedies, Drew Barrymore made us giggle with delight in one of her biggest roles ever as Gertie in 1982’s sci-fi movie E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. She has since made a stellar Hollywood career and carved a name for herself as a legitimate movie star.

7. Gary Coleman
Famous for: Different Strokes

From the ‘70s to the mid-’80s, perhaps no other child star was as big as little Gary Coleman. The late actor gave us some pretty good laughs in the hit sitcom and left us in stitches. The memory of Arnold Jackson will forever be etched in our memories.

8. Haley Joel Osment
Famous for: The Sixth Sense; Pay It Forward
“I see dead people.”

This line became one of the most famous one-liners ever in Hollywood history. And it made Haley Joel Osment famous. Osment may have made his film debut in Forrest Gump and appeared in several other movies but his role as Cole Sear in the M. Night Shyamalan classic The Sixth Sense is what he will be fondly remembered for always.

9. Fred Savage
Famous for: The Wonder Years

Young Fred Savage took on the role of Kevin Arnold in The Wonder Years and showed us what it was like as a young boy growing up in the ‘60s and ‘70s. When the show ended in 1993, Savage took on several other roles in Hollywood and kept himself busy with projects here and there until today.

There are tons more highly-talented and adorable child stars that deserve to be on this list. Who are some of your all-time favorite child stars?


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