Kelly Jackson (honeynutcherri) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
Kelly Jackson

Split Screen: Most Successful Child Stars

We've all heard the child star horror stories: parents stealing all their earnings, criminal charges, and rehab stints. Or more often than not they simply fade into obscurity. But occasionally these show biz kids are able to make the transition into adulthood and become Hollywood powerhouses. Come inside to see some of the most successful former child stars working today.

Age: 34
Years in Show Business: 33

The fourth generation in an acting family, Drew appeared in a commercial when she was eleven months old. After winning over audiences at age six in "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," Drew had some tough teenage years. But she came back as a grown-up star, and now she has her first movie as a director, "Whip It."

Age: 35
Years in Show Business: 23

Though he appeared in some TV movies beforehand, Bale's first major role was as the lead in Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun." Since then, his star has steadily risen. Last year, he played the Caped Crusader in "The Dark Knight," one of the highest-grossing movies ever. This year, he starred in a pair of summer blockbusters: "Terminator Salvation" and "Public Enemies."

Age: 46
Years in Show Business: 43

A Coppertone Girl at age three, Jodie was doing guest spots on TV by six. While shooting her first movie, Disney's "Napoleon and Samantha," 10-year-old Jodie was picked up and mauled by her lion costar. It left her with scars, but didn't diminish her drive. She went on to win two Best Actress Oscars, continues to star in hits like "The Brave One," and is currently directing her third feature.

Age: 28
Years in Show Business: 21

After appearing in a Paula Abdul video in 1988, Elijah got a one-line part in "Back to the Future Part II." He got critical attention for 1990's "Avalon," and in his review for 1994's "The War," Roger Ebert called him, "the most talented actor in his age group in Hollywood history." He lobbied hard to earn the role of Frodo Baggins in "The Lord of the Rings," and the enormous popularity of the three films made him famous worldwide.

Age: 29
Years in Show Business: 23

Like many others, Christina was a child model until she got her first acting gig in the 1990 movie "Mermaids" with Cher. After the success of "The Addams Family," she became known for quirky and sometimes dark roles. She started taking on more adult roles with the bawdy "The Opposite of Sex," and got great reviews starring with Samuel L. Jackson in "Black Snake Moan."

Age: 34
Years in Show Business: 19

Leo is a late-comer compared to some, getting his first break at 15 on the short-lived TV version of "Parenthood" in 1990. He appeared on the last season of "Growing Pains," but really got attention starring with Robert De Niro in 1993's "This Boy's Life." The next year he was Oscar nominated for "What's Eating Gilbert Grape." And then he was in the biggest movie of all-time. Next up: his fourth movie with Martin Scorsese, "Shutter Island."

Age: 24
Years in Show Business: 15

Johansson got her start at the tender age of nine with a bit part in Rob Reiner's box-office dud "North." Now she's a bona-fide A-lister. Next year, she will star as the duplicitous Black Widow opposite Robert Downey Jr. in "Iron Man 2."

Age: 36
Years in Show Businesses: 21

Harris' first big role was in 1988's "Clara's Heart" with Whoopi Goldberg, but he really hit the limelight when he landed the lead in the TV series "Doogie Howser, M.D." Now, he stars in another top-rated series, "How I Met Your Mother," along with playing a twisted version of himself in two "Harold & Kumar" movies.

Age: 33
Years in Show Business: 19

Reese auditioned for a bit part in "The Man in the Moon" on a lark and wound up with the lead. She's since gone on to win an Oscar for her turn as June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line." This year, she could be heard in "Monsters vs. Aliens."

Age: 35
Years in Show Business: 25

Green first major role was in the 1984 Jodie Foster movie "The Hotel New Hampshire," and he played Woody Allen's younger self in "Radio Days." He's since gone on to play memorable parts in "Austin Powers," "The Italian Job," and most recently "Sex Drive," along with creating the stop-motion animated series "Robot Chicken."

Age: 28
Years in Show Business: 15

Portman first role was in Luc Besson's "The Professional" (aka "Leon") in 1994. After she took a brief hiatus to go to Harvard, Portman went on to star in Oscar-nominated movies and crowd-pleasing blockbusters. She costarred with fellow former child star Scarlett Johannson in "The Other Boleyn Girl," and watch for her in the 2011 Marvel flick "Thor."

Age: 40
Years in Show Business: 28

Jason's first job was in 1981 on TV's "Little House on the Prairie," starting at age 12. He tried unsuccessfully to break out into movies with 1987's "Teen Wolf Too." After some lean years in the '90s, he bounced back with a Golden Globe win for "Arrested Development," and this year he's in five movies, including the lead role in "Extract."

Age: 27
Years in Show Business: 24

At three years old, Kirsten was a child model in commercials, and at eight made her film debut in Woody Allen's section of "New York Stories." She made a big impression kissing Brad Pitt when she was only 10 in "Interview with a Vampire." Since then she had huge hits with the "Spider-Man" movies and showed of her majestic side as "Marie Antoinette."

Age: 58
Years in Show Business: 46

At age 12, Kurt appeared in the 1963 movie "It Happened at the World's Fair" starring Elvis Presley. 16 years later, he played Elvis in the TV movie about his life. That was his first film with director John Carpenter, who then turned Kurt into an action star with "Escape From New York." Kurt was still doing action -- and his own stunt driving -- in 2007's "Grindhouse."

Age: 38
Years in Show Business: 27

Jennifer got her start in the biz at age 14 when she landed a role in Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America," but her career took off two years later when she was cast as the lead in "Labyrinth" opposite David Bowie. In 2001, Connelly won an Oscar for her performance in "A Beautiful Mind," and this past year she starred in "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

RON HOWARD (best one, in my opinion)
Age: 55
Years in Show Business: 50

Ron Howard has had three stages of his career: as a child actor, starting at age five on "The Andy Griffith Show" and then in movies like "The Music Man"; then as a young adult star in "American Graffiti" and "Happy Days"; and his current incarnation as the Oscar-winning director of "A Beautiful Mind" and hit-making film and TV producer.

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