I think I sort of explained on what I think was my only post on this thread, but I will say again that the reason I have not been so active in this thread is because I used to be into film in the same way I am with the music now. Up until 2004 or so, I kept up with and knew alot. I have seen hundreds of films featuring child actors. Now that I am concentrating on singers, I do not want to go back to that. Not enough time.
I did however think about doing something on this thread that no one has really done and it may be helpful or interesting to some because many do not think to keep track of this. This is the subject of adult actors in t.v. or film that did acting as a child. It used to be in the earlier years of film, such as the late 20s through the 60s, most child actors were just that only. In other words, they did acting as a child, but the acting jobs as they became older teens or adults did not come often or even at all sometimes. This was true for my favorite child actress of all time in classic Hollywood, Margaret O´Brien. She was an immensely talented child actor, but did only one movie as an older teen and only a few bit parts every once in a while as an adult. I think this negative aspect for child actors started to change somewhat in the 1970s. Even though I still think that the majority of child actors we see in movies do not have a major career as adult actors, I think the number of child actors who go on to a decent career as adult actors has increased dramatically.
I will list all I can think of now but I may think of a few more later. Even though I have seen many, many child performances in foreign language films (for Americans, that means anything not in English), I am only good at knowing something of them now for English speaking actors.
I could list some of the actors from many years ago, such as Natalie Wood and Elizabeth Taylor, but I think most on this forum will be more interested in the not so older stuff, so I will stick to the 70s and later I think. There may be a few here that are still teens, but I am noting that they started very young.
Here is the list. I will return when I have more time to list some adult film or t.v. work along with child parts.
I will put in bold the One
movie they did as a child that you should see if you can only see one. Drew Barrymore
You may know her recently in Charlie's Angels, or Fifty First Dates, or possibly her best adult performance in Gray Gardens. Her grandfather and great uncle and great aunt, John, Lionel and Ethel were famous actors in Hollywood in the 30s, 40s and 50s. The movies I enjoyed of her when she was a child actress were E.T.
, which is the best movie she was in as a child, or bigger part in Firestarter
, Irreconsilable Differences and The Cat's Eye.Scarlett Johansson
Recently you may know her from Iron Man2, He' Just Not That Into You, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Lost In Translation and The Prestige. Her movie as a child actress Manny and Lo
is one of my favorite for a child actress. I first became aware of her when she was in Just Cause. She was also excellent at 13 in The Horse Whisperer. Anna Paquin
You may know her from the XMen movies. She is the one who is dangerous to touch. Or if you watch t.v.s True Blood, she has been in several episodes. I also know as an adult in Almost Famous.
She is the second youngest Oscar winner ever for her performance in The Piano
. Ten years old. I also enjoyed her in the remake of Jane Eyre and Fly Away Home. Tatum O´Neal
I guess since I mentioned that Anna Paquin was the second youngest to win an acting oscar, I will list the youngest here. Tatum was about a year younger than Anna when she won for Supporting Actress for Paper Moon
in which she starred with her father, Ryan O´Neal. Her older teen and adult career has not been so full and distinguished, but she has done a fair amount of work. For those that know tennis from years ago, she may be better known as the former wife of John McEnroe, with whom she had three children. She was the highest paid child star in history when she made The Bad News Bears. I also liked her in Nidelodeon. Her imdb page says she is working on four movies right now, so it seems she is busy now. She appeared in several episodes of t.v.s Resue Me, and plays the mom of Cherie Currie in the movie about the Runaways, who were the first all girl rock band in the 70s. Thora Birch
I remember her well as an older teen in American Beauty. I am not real familiar with her movies as an adult, but she has done several. She was the star of Winter of Frozen Dreams and is making three different movies right now.
I remember her so well as a child star. There was Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, playing Harrison Fords' daughter. I also saw All I Want For Christmas, Hocus Pocus, Monkey Trouble, and Parenthood on t.v. but I think my favorite of her when she was a kid was Paradise
, which was an American remake of La Grande Chemin, even though La Grande Chemin is better. Michelle Trachtenberg
Nurse Chloe Payne on t.v. Mercy. and Georgina Sparks on Gossip Girl. Dawn Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Several movies as an adult which I don't really know.
She did one of my favorite child actress movies. Harriet the Spy. Kirsten Dunst
You probably know her from the Spider Man movies as the love interest of Spider Man. I also know her from Mona Lisa Smile and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. First came Bonfire of the Vanities and Greedy. My favorite though is of course Interview With a Vampire
as Claudia. I also liked her in Little Women and Jumanji. Mischa Barton
Her most famous recent work was as Marissa Cooper in t.v.s The O.C. but she has been quite busy as a teen and adult actress. She did one of my very favorite child actress performances in Lawn Dogs.
I also remember her in The Sixth Sense, but I did not like her other movie about that same time called Pups. I also remember her quite well as a teen in several episodes of one of my favorite t.v. dramas, Once and Again, with fellow former child actress, Even Rachel Wood. Evan Rachel Wood
Since I just mentioned her, I will put Evan next. Another of my very favorite child actress movies was Digging to China
, with Evan starring as the main character. Then I saw her in Practical Magic. She soon went on to one of my all-time favorite t.v. dramas, Once and Again. She was 12 when this show started and along with Meredith Deane (9) and Julia Whelan (14), and later Mischa Barton, made up possibly the best young cast ever in a t.v. drama. The movies I have seen her in recently are The Wrestler and the Beatles music movie Across the Universe, in which she also sings pretty decently. Eliza Dushku
Known now as the main character in t.v.s The Dollhouse, she also did one of my favorite child actress movies, That Night
when she was 12. This was Katherine Heigl´s first movie also, but she was about 14. A year later, Eliza was in This Boy´s Life with Leonardo DiCaprio. As Michelle Trachtenberg did, Eliza was also in several episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Eliza has kept pretty busy as a teen and adult actress, but I have not seen any of her adult role movies. Hayden Panettiere
Recently known as Claire Bennet in t.v.s Heroes, but also well known as a child actress in two Soap Operas, One Life to Live and then Guiding Light. Hayden is still only 20, but soon 21. Since I don´t watch soap operas, I probably first ´heard´Hayden as the voice of Dot in the animation A Bug´s Life. I remember seeing her first in the movie If You Believe. My Favorite of her as a child actress was Remember the Titans
. Christina Ricci
I first saw Christina in the movie she did with Cher and Winona Ryder, Mermaids.
Then came The Hard Way and later, The Cementary Club. However, it was probably playing Wednesday twice in the two Adams Family movies that got her to be better known or recognized. She played that perfectly. Since then she seems to be determined to have a more distinguished career in quirky or independent films, or what she thinks are good parts for her as an actress. My guess on her is that she is not so much concerned with being a big star as being thought of as a good actress doing interesting parts. She was opposite Charlize Theron in her oscar winning performance in Monster. Also saw her in The Ice Storm, Bastard Out of Carolina when she was a teen, and later in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. She has been quite busy the last few years and has three movies in post production right now. Fairuza Balk
I first saw Fairuza in Return to Oz
, a sequal of sorts for the Wizard of Oz. Also saw her in a t.v. movie, The Worst Witch. I think I first saw her as an adult actress in Gas, Food, and Lodging and later in Imaginary Crimes. She has been busy as an adult actress, but seems similar to me as Christina Ricci, picking odd, or independent films she thinks are good for her career retrospective. Natalie Portman
Even though Natalie has been busy as an adult actress, I just don´t think she can beat out the first two films I saw her in. The Professional
or sometimes called Léon and in Beautiful Girls. I don´t think she has ever been better in later films. I saw her in one other movie as a true child actress, in Heat, but that was a smaller part. I saw her in the Star Wars films, and maybe a couple other things as an adult, but I have not kept up with her work so much. Milla Jovovich
First saw her in the movie Night Train to Kathmandu
and then in Two Moon Junction. As a teen, I remember her in Return to the Blue Lagoon. Later, she has been Joan of Arc in The Messenger and is the zombie killer in the Resident Evil movies. Also Dazed and Confused and The Fifth Element. She has several movies in pre-production and post production. Milla started with a huge child modeling success, being on the cover of many magazines as as preteen. Macaulay Culkin
Probably everyone remembers Macaulay from the Home Alone
movies, especially the first one, which made him a very high priced child star for a few years. He also starred with another child actor on this list, Elijah Wood in The Good Son, in which he is not so loveable. I also remember him as a child in Uncle Buck, The Nutcracker, Richie Rich and of course in one of my favorite Girl actor movies, My Girl. I then saw him later as a young adult in Saved! and then a crazy, intense main character part in Party Monster. Jena Malone
I first saw Jena in a heartbreaking performance in Bastard Out of Carolina
. She is the main character in that. Then she was also good in Hidden in America and I also really liked her in Ellen Foster. She had a small part in Contact, which I thought was not a good choice, but only because she played the younger version of the Jodie Foster character and they do not even remotely resemble each other. As an older teen, I saw her in Donnie Darko. As an adult, she was in Saved! along with Macaulay Culkin. She has been very busy as an adult actress, but I do not so many movies now, so I have not seen any of those. She has one movie out already this year and four more coming soon. Jodie Foster
Jodie was very busy as a child actor, appearing in many Disney t.v. projects and a few Disney movies, as well as many other guest parts on several other t.v. shows. I am talking about dozens of episodes. She was very busy and very good little actress also. I think the earliest regular movie I have seen her in is Napolean and Samantha and then Tom Sawyer. She had a small but memorable part I remember her for in Alice Doesn´t Live Here Anymore. She became a big star with her performance in Taxi Driver
as a child prostitute. She was nominated for an academy award for that. She was probably 13 when she started filming that film and also Bugsy Malone, which I really enjoyed also. As an older teen, I saw her in Carny and Foxes. Jodie was going to college and trying to just get her education and be a regular person when a man who was obsessed with her and the movie Taxi Driver, tried to assassinate President Reagan. I have seen several movies of her as an adult also, but the best known is probably Silence of the Lambs. Alyssa Milano
Alyssa became well known for her part in the t.v. sitcom, Who´s The Boss. That show was actually not that good, including the acting, but it did pretty well in popularity. That happens sometimes, such as the show Full House is another good example. About the same time she was starting that show, I saw her in two movies. As Arnold Schwarzenegger´s daughter he has to rescue in Commando, and a real good movie about childhood travails called Old Enough
. She was the little sister of one of the two main characters. Maybe not known as a great actress as either a child or adult, she has remained pretty busy and is maybe known better for her sexiness and beauty as an adult actress, than her acting career. She was in several episodes of t.v.s Charmed. I did see her as an adult in Dickie Roberts:Former Child Star and Kiss the Bride. Melissa Gilbert
Melissa became a very well known child star when she was 10 in the very popular t.v. series drama, Little House on the Prairie.
She has maintained a steady, but not real busy career as an adult, but the only one I remember is her very good part in Switched at Birth. Lukas Haas
I first saw Lukas in the holocaust movie Testament, but his performance in Witness
was really good and gained him a lot of attention as a child actor for awhile. I also saw him in Lady in White and the Wizard of Loneliness and I liked the movie he did as a teen, Alan and Naomi. As a young adult, I have seen him in Mars Attacks and Everyone Says I Love You. He has remained fairly busy, but I myself have not seen him in anything for a few years. I do plan on seeing the new movie Inception and he is in that. Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer has appeared in the forum before because she was a child singer in t.v.s Kids Incorporated.(See thread) She probably started filming her first movie I saw her in when she was 13, called Little Miss Millions
. She did do a few other t.v. acting things as a child besides Kids Incorporated. She has done a fair amount of both acting and singing as an adult. She was very good in a t.v. drama I enjoyed in the 1990s, Party of Five. Recently she is best known for Ghost Whisperer on t.v.Gabby Hoffmann
I put Gabby here even though she has not been so busy as an adult actress. She did a fair amount of acting into her teen years but then stopped to concentrate on college. After that she started doing some stage work and has just lately been returning to film. I remember her as one of the best and most talented child actresses of the last 20 years or so. I saw her first five movies and she was very good in all of them. Field of Dreams, Uncle Buck with Macaulay Culkin, Sleepless in Seattle, and The Man Without a Face. Her biggest part though as a preteen actrss was in This Is My Life
. As a teen I saw her with other former child actresses, Christina Ricci and Thora Birch in Now and Then. She has done maybe only 7 or 8 movies since then as an adult, but she is in the new movie 13, which I have heard is good. Brook Shields
Brooke has kept quite active as an adult actress, appearing in many t.v. episodes of various shows and in several movies, but best known for the series she was the star of, Suddenly Susan. She is also known as the former wife of tennis great Andre Agassi and was a close friend of Michael Jackson, supporting him througout his troubles and appearing and speaking at his funeral.
Brook´s best known part as a child actress was in Pretty Baby
, but I also remember her in King of the Gypsies, Tilt, The Prince of Central Park, as well as a teen in Wanda Nevada, Just You and Me Kid and The Blue Lagoon.
Brooke was also a pretty famous child model, so I will put more than one child photo here. Lindsay Lohan
It is too bad that Lindsay is now better known for her troubled life outside of acting and her tabloid headlines grabbing lifestyle. I first saw her at 12 years in the Parent Trap
, with lots of freckles. I can´t say for sure her best known part as an adult, but possible Mean Girls?Tina Majorino
Tina was a very good little actress, always making whatever movie she was in better. The first film I ever saw her in was also the first time I saw Mae Whitman, the next one in this list. It was When a Man Loves a Woman. Really good job by both her and Mae. This was a supporting part and serious drama, so I am having trouble picking the one film to bold as her best, because she was the main character in Corrina, Corrina and Andre, so I guess it would be a tie between those three films. She was also in New York Crossing with Mischa Barton(see entry above) and Waterworld. I mostly lost track of her and have not seen her adult roles except as an older teen in Napoleon Dynamite. She has done a lot of t.v. stuff the last several years, including Veronica Mars, The Deep End and Big Love. Mae Whitman
Mae Whitman´s debut was in When a Man Loves a Woman. What a great beginning! She was so good even though she may have been only 5 when filming started. Because she and Tina Majorino are both in that, I pick that along with Hope Floats
as the movies to see her in. She has some really good scenes in Hope Floats. I also saw her in Independence Day, Bye Bye Love, and Love Can Build a Bridge. Interesting note on Love Can Build a Bridge. She plays actress Naomi Judd as a child. Love Can Build a Bridge is a movie about the Judd family. Naomi is a well known actress, and her mom and sister have been big country music stars. Mae is Naomi as a child in a movie about real life people. Henry Thomas
Henry was in such a hugely popular movie as a kid, E.T
., that people always think of him for that only, even though he has done many other films. I also saw him as a kid in Raggedy Man, which came before E.T. and Cloak and Dagger and as a teen in The Quest. The movie I know him best for as an adult is Legends of the Fall. I also saw him in Gangs of New York. I am not sure I have seen any other of his as an adult. Elijah Wood
Elijah was in the movie I picked to see for Thora Birch(see entry above). Elijah and Thora were the main characters in Paradise
. He was also in The Good Son with Macaulay Culkin(see entry above). I also saw him as a kid in Avalon, Radio Flyer and Forever Young. As an adult, Elijah is best known for being Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings movies. I have also seen him in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with Kirsten Dunst and The Ice Storm with Christina Ricci. He has been very busy as an adult actor, but I have not seen so many. Christian Bale
I can sum up Christian Bale for myself simply. Empire of the Sun
as a kid, and the Batman movies as an adult along with the The Prestige. Empire of the Sun was released when he was 13, but I am guessing he was 12 when filming started. I have seen him in a few other things and he did do a couple things before Empire, but I have not see them. Sarah Polley
I can´t believe I almost forgot about Sarah Polley. She was a favorite for me for sure and she has remained busy as an adult not only as an actress, but a director, writer, producer at times, and a singer also. Sarah for awhile was maybe one of the most famous and well-known child actresses. This was due to being the star of two very popular series. The Ramona series and Avonlea series. For some reason, my favorite memory of her was in the t.v. movie Lantern Hill
. She was not the star of that, but young teen Mairon Bennett was. I just really liked Sarah´s character in that movie. I also remember her in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Also One Magic Christmas with fellow child actress Elisabeth Harnois, who is also an active adult actress. Probably the role that gained her the most recognition as an adult was in the film The Sweet Hereafter, in which she did very well doing her own singing. She also was critically acclaimed in the movies My Life Without Me and The Secret Life of Words. Elisabeth Moss
Elisabeth has probably gained the most fame from her part in two t.v. series. The West Wing and Mad Men. As as a child actress, I remember her from some episodes of the t.v. series Picket Fences, which I really liked. The movie I probably liked best for her as a child actrss was Imaginary Crimes.
I mentioned that Mae Whitman played actress Ashley Judd in a t.v. movie about the Judd family. Elisabeth played the teen Ashley in that same movie. I also saw her as an adult in Girl, Interrupted
Haley Joel Osment
Since about the 1970s, movie production has taken longer and often when you see a release date for a film, the actors probably started on it a year or a little less before. So if a film was released, say 1992 and the actress/actor was born in 1980, then he/she was probably 11 when they started filming.
Keeping this in mind, these still working actresses were probably 13 when they did their first movie.