Monday, August 5, 2013

Top 10 Former Child Actors That Turned Out Just Fine

While we always hear about Lindsay Lohan getting in and out of jail and becoming the poster child for child stars gone wrong and Amanda Bynes and her strange tweets and arrests, here is a list of former child actors who are living proof that not all child stars end up behind bars or are photographed stumbling out of clubs.

10. Ryan Gosling: A former member of the New Mickey Mouse Club, Ryan Gosling started out by working on family-friendly TV fare, on shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Goosebumps, but as he got older, worked his way into grittier, dramatic films, including Murder by Numbers and Half Nelson which he got an Oscar nomination for, as well as romantic films, notably The Notebook. He still does dramatic films and even has his own band, and he also supports charitable causes.


9. Justin Timberlake: Another former member of the New Mickey Mouse Club, Justin Timberlake would eventually headline the pop band *NSYNC, then have his own solo career and prove he is a triple-threat performer by developing a career in film, and after watching a few of his films, I must say, he is a very good actor. Plus, he  supports various charitable causes, won four Emmys for his work on Saturday Night Live, and is even a minority owner of the Memphis Grizzlies. Safe to say, he's not doing too bad.

8. Mila Kunis: When she was young, Mila Kunis started doing guest roles on television shows before she got her big break as Jackie on That 70's Show at the age of 14. While she was still on that show, she still kept busy by voicing the role of Meg Griffin on the animated series Family Guy, which she still does. Now, she does a lot of successful film work, in films like Black Swan and Ted, more voice work on the show Robot Chicken, which was created by Family Guy co-star Seth Green, and she was just voted one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood.

7. Neil Patrick Harris: Back when NPH was a kid, he actually headlined his own called Doogie Howser, M.D.. But as he began to reach adulthood, he would take on supporting roles on film, including Undercover Brother, Starship Troopers, and the Harold and Kumar films where he plays himself. Plus, he went back to TV to star in the successful series How I Met Your Mother, and would even go on to host the Tony Awards four times.

6. Claire Danes: Danes' big break came when she was 15 when she starred on the short-lived TV series My So-Called Life. But after it was cancelled, she didn't stop there as she made her transition to film and took on a diverse array of roles, from Juliet in Romeo + Juliet to a battered wife in The Rainmaker. Eventually she would take a break from the biz to attend Yale for a short while before continuing her acting career on film, the stage, and on TV on the mini-series Temple Grandin and the show Homeland, which she currently stars in and has won accolades for.

5. Anna Paquin: At just 11 years old, Anna Paquin became the second youngest actress to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Piano. One would think that such success at such a young age would cause a lot of pressure on her, but surprisingly no because after her Oscar win, she took a small break from acting and when she went back, she took more supporting roles before she landed the role of Rogue in X-Men. Now, she is returning to that franchise in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past while she is also the lead in the hit HBO series True Blood, which she won a Golden Globe for, and she supports several charitable causes as well.

4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Much like other child actors, JGL started out by doing guest roles on several TV shows and had a supporting role in the Disney film Angels in the Outfield before he starred on the hit TV series 3rd Rock from the Sun. While he was on 3rd Rock, he was still doing film, such as 10 Things I Hate About You and Halloween H20, and still was transitioning his way into film after the show was cancelled by doing gritty, indie projects and even devoting his time to studying at Columbia University for a while before he geared his focus back on his acting career. Now, he goes on and off the radar by doing indie projects as well as major hit blockbusters, has his own collaborative production company known as HitRecord, and just made his directorial and screenwriting debut with the upcoming Don Jon.

3. Natalie Portman:  Natalie Portman got her very first role in the film Leon: The Professional where she plays a 12-year old girl who befriends a hitman. Afterwards, she would diversify her resume by starring in such films as Heat, Everyone Says I Love You, and Mars Attacks, and even played Anne Frank on the Broadway adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank the same year she was cast as one of her most famous roles to date, Queen Padme Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Eventually, she would move into the dorms of Harvard where she graduated, win an Oscar for her performance in Black Swan, and become an advocate for animal rights.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio: Leonardo DiCaprio first grabbed the attention of audiences when he had a recurring role as Luke Brower on the TV series Growing Pains, and then make his breakthrough into film when he was chosen by Robert De Niro to star in This Boy's Life and starred in his Oscar-nominated role as a mentally challenged boy in What's Eating Gilbert Grape?. DiCaprio would then continue to star in more dramatic fare in such films as The Quick and The Dead, Marvin's Room, The Man in The Iron Mask, his most commercially-successful film to date, Titanic, and even had a self-parodying cameo in the Woody Allen satire Celebrity. Now, he is one of Martin Scorsese's regulars and has worked with other prolific directors including Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino, is an environmental activist and philanthropist, and is one of Hollywood's most successful movie stars.

1. Jodie Foster: The oldest performer on this list, Jodie Foster is an actress that has been working since the age of three and has worked steadily ever since. But the year of 1976 is when she had her big breakthrough at the age of 12, when she received a Golden Globe nod for Best Actress for her performance in Freaky Friday, two BAFTA awards for Best Supporting Actress and Best Newcomer for her performance in Bugsy Malone, and an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actress for Taxi Driver. She would then devote her time to studying at Yale University where she received her degree in literature, and while she received unwanted publicity when she was stalked by John Hinckley, Jr. while she was still at school, she courageously continued to act due to her love for it. She would then go on to win two Best Actress Oscars for The Accused and Silence of the Lambs, take her talents to the director's chair and not just in front of it, and become a positive role model for all child actors. Plus, at the age of 50, she looks gorgeous!

So, that was my list of the top 10 former child actors who turned out just fine, and if there is anybody you would add to the list, feel free to write in the comments section, and thanks for reading!