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  • vigilante

    thought natalie portman would be in top ten

    • Yes, she would have been a great addition.

    • Chris

      Just so EVERYONE knows. The guy that Bale screamed at should not be “that poor guy”. None of you have ever worked with Shane Hurlbut. I have seen Shane rip into people, never threatening them, but being a complete ass.

  • Camilla belle

    Camilla belle?

  • Kyle McAfee

    Why isn’t Jodie Foster on this list? She should be #1.

    • joana maia

      Agree. I was searching for a comment that would say that 🙂

  • Seems like someone has a hard time counting backward… 8 between 4 and 2? lol

  • Jason

    No Jodi Foster? really

  • teendetectivekc

    where is raven symone?

    • Stephen

      Everyone’s been asking that for years.

  • Catrina

    Slightly shocked that none of the Harry Potter stars are on this. Emma Watson went to Brown for a while, Daniel Radcliffe is doing a broadway musical and is known for his kindness and work ethic, and Rupert Grint isn’t a druggie or wasting away his life either.

    • stephwoo286

      I guess it’s just too early to say with the Harry Potter stars. Even with his stage work, I would have thought that Daniel Radcliffe is going to have a tough time finding film roles a decade from now… hope I’m wrong.

      Good theme for a top ten article though. The world needs a bit of positivity about its child stars. We seem preoccupied with seeing how many mouseketeers we can destroy.

      • Jen

        Too early??!! And it’s not for Dakota Fanning? I might be slightly biased because I think Dakota Fanning is a stuck up, precoscious prick, but I think the HP guys should defnately be here.

        • kristi

          ur soooo right jen n u have respect 4 saying tht :}

  • Bryan

    Neil Patrick Harris? He is the first person I think of when someone says “Child actor who didnt screw things up”.

    • Dyllan

      Agreed. Also, another three name child actor I don’t want to punch.

    • c

      Thinking the same thing. Also, Christina Ricci (I believe) had some trouble with an eating disorder, and Kirsten Dunst with substance abuse…while neither crashed and burned and are doing okay now, I wouldn’t call those seamless transitions.

      • Rayne

        Yeah I probably would have taken Christina Ricci off the list. And put Neil Patrick Harris on the list instead.
        Even though she’s doing well now, there were a few years where Christina battled an eating disorder as well as trouble with self injury (mainly cutting I believe).

  • ballsack

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Drew Barrymore cam to mind

    • coolie

      Drew Barrymore? Really?

      • Ted

        Absolutely Drew Barrymore !!!
        She flamed out a little bit after ET – but her roles w/ Adam Sandler really put her back on top. It’s a crime to not include her on this list.

        • Rayne

          She didn’t flame out, she crashed and burned. She’s one of the people that first comes to mind when I think of fame screwing up children. Though she has turned around now.

  • DJ Maniak

    Why isn’t Robbie Rist (Cousin Oliver from the last season of The Brady Bunch) on this list?

  • So Racist

    You claim that Shirley Temple is “Black” but that’s just because she could dance and you are racists. She is pure white.

    • Softpaw

      Black is her married name.

    • kristi

      lol wooow too funny 😛

    • wutmaster

      You’ve got to be trolling because nobody’s THIS stupid.

  • evolutionairy

    Anna Paquin won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at 11 for the Piano at 11 – where’s she??

    • Curious

      Really? How old was she though?

      • Michael

        How old is she now and what is she doing? Perhaps she should be here like Jodie Foster, Leonardo DiCaprio, and I would perhaps add Hayden Pannetierre?

        • evolutionairy

          She’s ~30 and currently stars in True Blood (HBO). She was in the X-men movies (Rogue) and will be in Scream 4. (Granted, not following up with Oscar quality movies, but *I* find the series entertaining.)

          Yeah… hehe, sorry about that, Curious, I guess I didn’t have to say that she was eleven years old twice.

          • polly

            i was definitely looking for anna paquin on the list.
            i think they should crash out either christina ricci or kirsten dunst.. coz weren’t they rumored anorexic once before?

    • Jen

      Good one, definately Anna Paquin!

  • Shiny Things

    No Elijah Wood? Are you serious? This whole list is therefore invalid.

    • polly

      i think elijah wood screwed up some time?

  • MJ

    Paul Petersen should be on this list. He not only survived child stardom and flourished, he has reached out to help child stars who came after him.

  • DW

    Some of these people are barely not children anymore.
    This list should seriously be restricted by age.

    • Michael

      It’s not about those who are still children. It’s about those who were child stars and made it to a “successful” adulthood.

    • Michael

      Never mind. I understand your statement better on the third read.

  • jason stone

    the only one i don’t get is kirsten dunst..she was in the clinic for depression..that should disqualify her from the list of child actors who didn’t let fame ruin them..granted..she bounced back…but she DID get there in the first place because of mental illness….my vote is for Leo Dicaprio..he was an amazingly successful child actor..and even though some of his movies weren’t very good…his personal life was never in peril…intresting list..and someone had mentioned natalie portman..idk what movies she’s done as a child..and someone else mentioned drew barrymore??..really?..she was just as messed up for a while as dana plato. drew was lucky to have stopped when she did.

    • Rayne

      Natalie Portman was received an Oscar for her role in The Piano when she was 11. She also Played in “Leon” (also known as “The professional”) and was phenomenal.

      I think she just didn’t really reach high fame until she was an adult, so I assume that’s why she was left off the list.

      • polly

        The actress in The Piano was not natalie portman. It was Anna Pacquin.
        but yes, Natalie’s firstbreakthrough

        • polly

          ..Natalie’s first breakthrough performance was The Professional.
          and i agree w/ jason – kirsten dunst shouldnt be on this list.

        • Rayne

          Haha oops you’re correct.
          I don’t know why I ALWAYS do that. I get Anna and Natalie mixed up pretty frequently when it comes to their younger roles. By that I mean I tend to think Natalie works in more movies that she did. I tend to think movies with Anna Paquin in them when she was younger were Natalie Portman.

          Thanks for correcting me. I hate to give out wrong information. 🙂

  • Michael

    I would assume that Drew did not make it to this list because she did have such a long bout with drugs and bad marriages before getting straightened out again.

    And Kirsten’s getting help for depression is not the same as what has happened to the likes of Lindsay Lohan, who went off the deep end with her “friends” Paris and Nicole, or even the extended period that Drew went through.

    Perhaps Hayden Panetierre could be here along with some other names mentioned (Jodie Foster). What about Alyssa Milano? She’s not nearly as big a name was she was in the 80s, but she’s still getting regular work and never seemed to go nuts like Lindsay and others.

  • Get the facts straight

    Actually, Joseph Gordon Levitt got his start on Roseanne, playing DJ’s friend. Do your research TopTenz!

    • Moonrunner

      He did have guest shots on Roseanne, but he got his start on the 1990 version of Dark Shadows playing David Collins

      • Steve

        He was also in angels in the ourfield!!

  • Vapor Eyes

    How on Earth did Neill Patrick Harris not make this list?

    • Bill

      not sure. sorry.

  • Paul

    What about Ann Hathaway?

  • coolie

    Jason Bateman people!

  • Moonrunner

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt actually got his start playing David Collins in the 1990 prime-time remake of Dark Shadows

  • Jen

    Are you kidding? No Jodi Foster, Natalie Portman, Emma Watson, Dan Radcliffe (or any of the other Harry Potter stars!) I know it’s a top ten list, but clump them together as 1 because none of them have F-ed up yet, nor is likely to, and Foster and Portman hae no excuse for not being on here either.

  • timmy the dying boy

    Gary Coleman? No. . . wait. . .

  • dean

    where is Ryan Gosling

  • Jersey Dave

    Another one who comes to mind is Bill Mumy, who is a remarkably well adjusted quiet guy who still acts and writes music, several decades after he started acting in the early 60s as the kid on “Lost In Space” as well as in stuff like “The Twilight Zone” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”

  • Vander Konig

    you forgot Jodie Foster.. shes the best example there is..

  • bo

    If you have Kurt Russell then you must have Jeff Bridges.

  • george

    i don’t get how dakota fanning is on this list isn’t she still a child… if thats the case shouldnt the kid from 2 1/2 men be on here… he hasn’t messed up yet and he was working with ole whats-his-name (rhetorical: i hope by pretending hes not there he’ll stay away)

  • Liza

    I don’t know if he was already mentioned but David Krumholtz is a child actor who seems very level headed , stable, and happy. He’s probably best known for being on Numb3rs playing Charles Eppes.

  • polly

    Dakota Fanning is too young to be in this list. and Kirsten Dunst had mental illness.
    I just think their spots should be given to someone else more worthy and qualified, like Natalie Portman and Anna Pacquin.

  • polly

    and also, where’s Anna Chlumsky (from the movie My Girl) ??

  • Gabbie

    Jackie Earle Haley. Yet another three named child star you do not want to punch in the face! He got his start in the horror film ‘Day of the Locust’ in 1975 but his breakout role was the next year when he starred as the tough kid who was always smoking, Kelly Leak, in ‘The Bad News Bears’. He went on to act in other movies like ‘Breaking Away’ and ‘Losin It’, and guest starred in some TV shows like ‘McGayver’ and ‘Murder, She Wrote’. But somewhere in the early to mid 1990s, his acting career slowed down and he stopped to pursue other interests, got married and had a family. Then, in the middle of the 2000s, he gave acting another shot and came back in the films, ‘All The Kings Men’ and ‘Little Children’ to which he was nominated for an Oscar. Then, a few years later, people were really all over him when he was Rorschach in ‘Watchmen’ and people were enthralled by him. What amazes some people is that when they see him in interviews, he comes across as nice, soft spoken, and gentle as opposed to his dark and disturbing characters. That right there show that he is an amazing actor and hasn’t let fame & the pressure get to him. 🙂

    Also, notice that in most of his movies and some of the television shows he’s guest starred in, his roles are supporting, and rarely the lead. Ironically, though, he outshines most of the other actors’ performances. Just about all of the films and even in the ‘Human Target’ show on the dreadful Fox channel, people kept mentioning how impressed they are by him and his acting.
    But anyway, he’s the one that I thought about who is a child star that ended up not being a victim to fame, greed, ego, etc.

    Btw, for those who are interested in seeing what’s next for Mr. Haley, he’ll be in ‘Dark Shadows’ and ‘Lincoln’ next year.

  • beckymonster

    Ron Howard is a great example of child stars who didn’t get screwed up by Hollywood..but the list is missing LEO DICAPRIO! and, if you’re going to Dakota Fanning, who is still a child, you might as well add the 3 Potter leads: Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint..they’re still young but they are all adults, at least.

  • MeMe

    Jodie Foster, Anna Paquin, Tom Felton & Neil Patrick Harris

  • Tammy

    What about Keisha Knight Pulliam, Raven Symone, Kellie Shanygne Williams,Malcom Jamal Warner, Jaleel White.

  • Scoug

    @tammy its supposed 2 b a top 10 list ive never heard of any if those people….who r they?

  • Yance

    Hilary Duff?

  • Joe

    No Jodie Foster? This is a ridiculous list. No Elijah wood? Some of these names I’ve never heard of. I ‘m not surprised a guy who makes this list always puts a male actor #1. In my opinion Jodie Foster is #1.

  • Jamie Simmons

    no jonathan lipnicki in the list seriously, hes grwon up untarnished and lookiing amazing

  • ray

    What about Megan Good? she was in Friday, a LOT of nickelodeon shows and these days… a LOT of bet movies

  • Mark

    How about Alyssa Milano?

  • eric

    I agree totally about Hilary Duff! Only tween singer of her era who didn’t go off the rails.

  • daddyostjames

    I really don’t count anyone that started over age 10 years old 🙁 man

  • Sally J

    Where is Elijah Wood???? Amazing actor as a child and an adult. Lead as well as character actor. Lord of the Rings would not have been nearly as good without those impossibly big blue eyes. And now in the most hysterical TV show “Wlifred”.

  • Sh

    Shirley Temple is head and shoulders above all these people, and by far the most important, beloved, talented, influential and enduring of any of them. Nobody watches those other child actors anymore, except for Opie, who didn’t carry his show the way Shirley did her movies. She was also good in some very well made movies in her teens, directed by the likes of John Ford. Kids still watch, like and understand her old b&w movies today. Christian Bale can’t be regarded as a child actor if he was 13 and he made 1 sort of somewhat well known movie as a teen, though he turned out to be a great actor. I took your article to also be a ranking of their work and importance as a child actor, not so much as their subsequent adult success. Shirley Temple Black very quietly went about her diplomatic career, unlike Ron Howard who we have to hear about a fair bit but when you see his movies they leave alot to be desired. You left off alot of great child actors of the classic film era also.

    • Daphne

      Shirley Temple destroyed so many other young female child stars careers. One example is Sybil Jason who played Becky in ‘The Little Princess’. Sybil Jason was to rise to stardom, but thanks to the two ******* (Shirley Temple and her mother, Gertrude Temple) they made it a point to destroy Sybil’s career and other girls. They were both a couple of greedy bitches. Gertrude Temple made it a point on the set to have Sybil nowhere near Shirley as Gertrude Temple was paranoid that Sybil Jason would pick up some of Shirley’s acting habits. Shirley joined in with her mother and made it a point to treat Sybil and other girls as if they were nothings. They were nobodies, which was very incorrect and highly inappropriate. So now what does everyone think of Shirley Temple? Shirley’s parents only used Shirley as a tool to make them big money. There is evidence by this when her parents took every bit of Shirley’s hard-earned dollar and spent her millions on a home in California. It has been said that Shirley only made out with a total of $35,000.00 in income, but that is not so. She made millions and her parents stole it from her to buy their fancy materialistic home. So, yes, Shirley your mommy and daddy used you to get only what they desired. Another point I must mention is the use and abuse upon Shirley Temple by Fox. Fox was drowning in debt and was ready to close its doors. Nevertheless, they discovered Shirley’s talents and kept her under contract so that she would make Fox millions and get them out of the red.
      No, Shirley was and still is no angel. She was evil and unsophisticated. What goes around comes around as Miss Temple lost her career after losing her childish little girl looks. Nothing lasts forever Miss Temple. How gracious of you to take away other talented girls careers and you know darn well you destroyed a lot of little girls dreams, but you surely got yours, didn’t you?

  • gnolan

    Hayley Mills comes to mind. I know of no scandal with her. Also, I don’t think any of the “Leave It to Beaver” child stars had big problems. I think it has to do with the people around you–the parents, in particular, and the grounding they provide.

  • gnolan

    I can’t think of any of the recent crop of stars, including those in music, who haven’t at least been involved in questionable activities. It’s a sign of the times, I suppose. Let’s hope it doesn’t get even worse!

  • gnolan

    I have to correct my last post…I think that Beverley McKenzie from Seventh Heaven has transitioned into womanhood without becoming an embarrassment to herself…If indeed she is considered “recent.”

  • Sally MJ

    Christian Bale? Seriously? The guy who assaulted and cussed out his own mother and sister, and then trashed his hotel room? That is not a normal person.

  • Absurdist

    Hold up!

    Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn ARE NOT MARRIED, and further DON’T INTEND TO GET MARRIED. “Met his wife” is pulling facts out of somebody’s butt.

  • Joshua

    What about Tia & Tamera Mowery??? and not mention why aren’t there any black child stars on this list?? Now that’s racists