82 Responses

  1. vigilante at |

    thought natalie portman would be in top ten

    Reply
    1. TopTenz Master at |

      Yes, she would have been a great addition.

      Reply
    2. Chris at |

      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.

      Reply
  2. Camilla belle at |

    Camilla belle?

    Reply
  3. Kyle McAfee at |

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

    Reply
  4. Bittu Ahlawat at |

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

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  5. Jason at |

    No Jodi Foster? really

    Reply
  6. teendetectivekc at |

    where is raven symone?

    Reply
    1. Stephen at |

      Everyone’s been asking that for years.

      Reply
      1. TopTenz Master at |

        Ouch.

        Reply
  7. Catrina at |

    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.

    Reply
    1. stephwoo286 at |

      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.

      Reply
      1. Jen at |

        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.

        Reply
        1. kristi at |

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

          Reply
  8. Bryan at |

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

    Reply
    1. Dyllan at |

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

      Reply
    2. c at |

      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.

      Reply
      1. Rayne at |

        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).

        Reply
  9. ballsack at |

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Drew Barrymore cam to mind

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    1. coolie at |

      Drew Barrymore? Really?

      Reply
      1. Ted at |

        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.

        Reply
        1. Rayne at |

          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.

          Reply
  10. DJ Maniak at |

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

    Reply
  11. So Racist at |

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

    Reply
    1. Softpaw at |

      Black is her married name.

      Reply
    2. kristi at |

      lol wooow too funny :P

      Reply
    3. wutmaster at |

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

      Reply
  12. evolutionairy at |

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

    Reply
    1. Curious at |

      Really? How old was she though?

      Reply
      1. Michael at |

        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?

        Reply
        1. evolutionairy at |

          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.

          Reply
          1. polly at |

            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?

            Reply
    2. Jen at |

      Good one, definately Anna Paquin!

      Reply
  13. Shiny Things at |

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

    Reply
    1. polly at |

      i think elijah wood screwed up some time?

      Reply
  14. MJ at |

    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.

    Reply
  15. DW at |

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

    Reply
    1. Michael at |

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

      Reply
    2. Michael at |

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

      Reply
  16. jason stone at |

    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.

    Reply
    1. Rayne at |

      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.

      Reply
      1. polly at |

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

        Reply
        1. polly at |

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

          Reply
        2. Rayne at |

          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. :)

          Reply
  17. Michael at |

    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.

    Reply
  18. Get the facts straight at |

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

    Reply
    1. Moonrunner at |

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

      Reply
      1. Steve at |

        He was also in angels in the ourfield!!

        Reply
  19. Vapor Eyes at |

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

    Reply
    1. Bill at |

      not sure. sorry.

      Reply
  20. Paul at |

    What about Ann Hathaway?

    Reply
  21. coolie at |

    Jason Bateman people!

    Reply
  22. Moonrunner at |

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

    Reply
  23. Jen at |

    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.

    Reply
  24. timmy the dying boy at |

    Gary Coleman? No. . . wait. . .

    Reply
  25. dean at |

    where is Ryan Gosling

    Reply
  26. Jersey Dave at |

    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.”

    Reply
  27. Vander Konig at |

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

    Reply
  28. bo at |

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

    Reply
  29. george at |

    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)

    Reply
  30. Liza at |

    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.

    Reply
  31. polly at |

    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.

    Reply
  32. polly at |

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

    Reply
  33. Gabbie at |

    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.

    Reply
  34. beckymonster at |

    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.

    Reply
  35. MeMe at |

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

    Reply
  36. Tammy at |

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

    Reply
  37. Scoug at |

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

    Reply
  38. Yance at |

    Hilary Duff?

    Reply
  39. Joe at |

    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.

    Reply
  40. Jamie Simmons at |

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

    Reply
  41. ray at |

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

    Reply
  42. Mark at |

    How about Alyssa Milano?

    Reply
  43. eric at |

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

    Reply
  44. daddyostjames at |

    I really don’t count anyone that started over age 10 years old :-( man

    Reply
  45. Sally J at |

    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”.

    Reply
  46. Sh at |

    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.

    Reply
    1. Daphne at |

      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?

      Reply
  47. gnolan at |

    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.

    Reply
  48. gnolan at |

    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!

    Reply
  49. gnolan at |

    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.”

    Reply
  50. Sally MJ at |

    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.

    Reply

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