9 Former Child Stars Who Successfully Transitioned Into Adulthood


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They say that child stars carry a certain curse, a price they have to pay for becoming famous so young in their lives. The price for fame? A life of drug addiction, disappointment and (somewhat) insanity later on in their adult life.

Perhaps it isn’t much of a curse but a life of fame and money during an immature age, top it all off with the pressure of being perfect, easy access to drugs and partying that drive these child stars crazy.

While most child stars do grow up rather disgracefully, there are some who have escaped this “curse” and maintained their star power all the way through adulthood. Here are some child stars who have successfully transitioned into adulthood.

Emma Watson

Child Star 1

We’ve watched her grow up on screen, playing the role of Hermione Granger in the phenomenal “Harry Potter” movie franchise. Since the film series wrapped up, Emma Watson has taken on major roles in other projects like “The Perks of Being A Wallflower”, “The Bling Ring” and “Noah” and is set to star in the upcoming Disney classic remake, “Beauty and the Beast.” Today, she is one of the most influential actors of her age, being an Ambassador for the United Nations’ HeForShe campaign.

Drew Barrymoore

Child Star 2

She may have experienced her fair share of drug addiction and rehab admissions but today, Drew Barrymoore is on top of the Hollywood A-List. In 1982, she starred in her first break-out role in Stephen Spielberg’s “E.T. (Extra-Terrestrial).” Since breaking away from a life of alcoholism and drug addiction, Barrymoore has starred in several blockbuster hits like “The Wedding Singer”, “50 First Dates” and “Charlie’s Angels.”

Elijah Wood

Child Star 3

Elijah Wood is best known for his role as Frodo Baggins in the phenomenal film franchise, “The Lord of The Rings.” Long before that, however, Wood has been acting in a series of successful movie projects, starting from his minor debut in “Back To The Future Part II”. His roles as a child made him one of the most critically-acclaimed child actors of his age.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Child Star 4

You might not have noticed it but before Joseph Gordon-Levitt became known for his roles in “Inception”, “The Dark Knight” and “500 Days of Summer”, he played an adorable role as a child in “Angels in the Outfield.” He was also with Heath Ledger in “10 Things I Hate About You”. Today, he is an A-List actor, musician and writer who had recently attended the prestigious Columbia University.

Hilary Duff

Child Star 5

Unlike her fellow Disney star, Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff has no known history of criminal offense nor drug and alcohol addiction. She first became known to us in the successful Disney series, “The Lizzie McGuire Show.” After which, she has taken on major teeny bopper roles and released music albums. Today, Hilary Duff is still visible in the Hollywood scene and has a happy family of her own.

Neil Patrick Harris

Child Star 6

Back in the 80s, Neil Patrick Harris was known as “Doogie Houser, M.D.” the young, genius child doctor. Since then, he has taken on different roles both on-screen and on stage – his most iconic one is when he played the role of Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother”. Today, Harris is still very much involved in acting, directing, producing and writing in Hollywood and is happily married to his long-time partner, David Burtka. Through a surrogate mother, Harris and Burtka had their twins (a girl and a boy) in 2010.

Justin Timberlake

Child Star 7

Before Justin Timberlake became a multi-awarded international singer, he was a child actor. He started his acting career in Disney’s “The All-New Mickey Mouse Club” along with his fellow singers and Disney alumni, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. But his luck was on music as he joined the phenomenal boyband, “N-Sync” all throughout the 90s and early 2000s. After the brand broke up, he pursued a solo music career, which turned out to be very successful and paved opportunities for him to try acting. He has since starred in films like “The Social Network”, “In Time”, “Bad Teacher” and “Friends With Benefits.”

Leonardo DiCaprio

Child Star 8

Leo DiCaprio first starred in sitcoms and soap operas when he was younger before he became known as Jack Dawson in the highest-grossing film in the 90s, “Titanic.” After that, DiCaprio starred in many successful and critically-acclaimed films such as “Blood Diamond”, “The Great Gatsby”, “Inception”, “The Wolf of Wall Street” and more recently, “The Revenant” by which he won his first Oscar Award.

Robert Downey, Jr.

Child Star 9

Robert Downey, Jr. started a promising career as a child actor, making his screen debut at the age of five in films like “Pound.” However, the limelight became his after he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the 1992 film, “Chaplin”. After which, Downey was involved in different substance abuse and other law-breaking issues. He later on became sober and fixed his life, after which, he took made a come-back with his first mega-blockbuster film in years – “Iron Man” and “Tropic Thunder.”


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