Child Actors Who Are Completely Unrecognizable Today
Getting into acting can be hard for anyone. Many families get their children into the profession at a young age, and many kids have to confront different hardships than what actors go through when they're older.
These child actors had the time of their lives soaking in knowledge from the biggest names in the game. But what happened to these once-familiar faces? They're still out there, doing what they love today — even if you might no longer recognize them.
In Taliesin Jaffe's acting debut, he portrayed Kenny Butler in the hit 1983 film Mr. Mom. Four years later, he landed on the cast of She's the Sheriff, which was Suzanne Somers' first show since Three's Company. After the show's cancellation following season two, Jaffe focused more on school.
Soleil Moon Frye
Soleil Moon Frye competed against 3,000 young girls to land the title role of Punky Brewster. The show's popularity helped the actress land movie roles in The St. Tammany Miracle and You Ruined My Life. In 1986, Frye won a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress Starring in a Television Series.
At the age of five, Abigail Breslin starred in her first film, Signs. Five years later, she earned an Oscar nomination for her work in Little Miss Sunshine. With the nomination, she became the fourth-youngest actress to get nominated in the category.
Fans of all things 1980s will always remember Raven-Symoné as Olivia Kendall on the hit The Cosby Show. After the show's conclusion, the actress earned another sitcom stint on Hangin' With Mr. Cooper. Following two big series, Raven-Symoné landed her own sitcom — That's So Raven.
Before the global success of Twilight, Kristen Stewart gained buzz with her Young Artist Award-nominated work in 2002's Panic Room. After the movie, the Los Angeles native landed noticeable roles in Zathura: A Space Adventure, In the Land of Women and Speak.
At 10 years old, Daniel Radcliffe made his acting debut playing a young David Copperfield in BBC One's David Copperfield. The following year, he landed the role of Harry Potter for 2001's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The film's success turned the London native into an overnight celebrity.
Haley Joel Osment
In 1994, Haley Joel Osment grabbed audiences' attention in Forrest Gump as the title character's son. Five years later, things went from cute to chilling with his performance in The Sixth Sense. His work landed him Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor.
Jonathan Lipnicki couldn't have had a bigger film debut than 1996's Jerry Maguire. Following the movie, the actor gained recurring roles on The Jeff Foxworthy Show and Dawson's Creek. Lipnicki continued having film success with 1999's Stuart Little and its 2002 sequel.
At the age of four, Macaulay Culkin began acting in commercials and films. Following 1989's Uncle Buck, Culkin became a hero to kids around the world in Home Alone and then dominated the box office with performances in My Girl, The Pagemaster and Richie Rich.
In 1960, Ron Howard got his foot in the door with his portrayal of Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. Years after the show, he struck sitcom gold as a lead in Happy Days which, in 1978, earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series — Musical or Comedy.
Mayim Bialik was a staple in the late '80s with recurring roles on MacGyver and Webster. In 1990, she landed the title role on the NBC sitcom Blossom. The show became a runaway hit for NBC and helped the network solidify its sitcom dominance.
Frankie Muniz delivered huge ratings for Fox with Malcolm in the Middle. The New Jersey native gained two Golden Globe nominations for his performance as the title character. Muniz's talent also earned him box office dollars with Agent Cody Banks and its 2004 sequel.
At age six, Thora Birch won the Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress Under Nine Years of Age for Purple People Eater. The Los Angeles native continued making moves with Patriot Games, Hocus Pocus and Clear and Present Danger. On TV, Birch was on the cast of Day by Day and Parenthood.
Jason Bateman drew attention with his portrayal of Derek Taylor in Silver Spoons. His growing popularity resulted in his own sitcom titled It's Your Move. Towards the end of the 1980s, Bateman became a teen idol with appearances in The Hogan Family and Teen Wolf Too.
Christina Ricci brought Wednesday Addams to the big screen with 1991's The Addams Family and its 1993 sequel. The actress kept the ghoulish fun going with a role in 1995's Casper. Towards the end of the decade, Ricci gained fame for adult roles in The Ice Storm and Buffalo '66.
At the age of 11, Anna Chlumsky's entire world changed with My Girl. The film's success led to the Chicago native starring in My Girl 2, Trading Mom and Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain. In 1999, she put her acting career on the side to attend the University of Chicago.
Tiffani Thiessen's modeling career helped land her the role of Kelly Kapowski on teen comedy Saved by the Bell. Since being on one teen series wasn't enough, the actress made her way to Beverly Hills, 90210 as Valerie Malone. Thiessen easily became one of the biggest teen idols of the decade.
Anna Paquin had little acting experience before starring in The Piano. Her portrayal of Flora McGrath earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. As the second-youngest Oscar winner ever, Paquin landed roles in Amistad and Hurlyburly before becoming Rogue in the X-Men film series.
Coming from a family of actors, Drew Barrymore had her career path written out for her. With 1982's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Barrymore became one of the most profitable child actors of all time. The '80s also found the actress starring in Babes in Toyland and Firestarter.
Danica McKellar had to face off against her sister Crystal for the role of Winnie Cooper on The Wonder Years. When the show ended, McKellar gained minor roles on Babylon 5 and Walker, Texas Ranger.
In the '80s, every boy wanted to be Fred Savage. From The Princess Bride to The Wizard, the Chicago actor was a hot commodity. Most people remember him for his portrayal of Kevin Arnold on the hit TV show The Wonder Years.
Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa Joan Hart was a trailblazer for the popular cable network Nickelodeon. Her work on the show Clarissa Explains It All paved the way for other popular series like The Amanda Show and The Secret World of Alex Mack. Before landing the role, Hart also auditioned for the role of Six on Blossom.
Andrea Barber will probably always be known as Kimmy Gibbler from Full House, but she got her start in the early '80s. From 1982 to 1986, she portrayed Carrie Brady on the hit soap opera Days of Our Lives. Her time on the show earned her two Soap Opera Digest Awards for Outstanding Youth Actress in a Daytime Soap Opera.
Jennette McCurdy had minor roles on Malcolm in the Middle and Judging Amy before appearing on Nickelodeon's iCarly. As Sam Puckett, McCurdy earned two Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite TV Sidekick. She reprised the role for the 2013 spinoff Sam & Cat.
Mara Wilson impressed everyone with her film debut in Mrs. Doubtfire. After 1994's Miracle on 34th Street, Wilson was given her biggest role as the title character in 1996's Matilda. While the film didn't make tons of money at the box office, it garnered a cult following.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt cut his teeth on TV shows such as The Powers That Be and Dark Shadows before 3rd Rock From the Sun. The popular NBC series earned Gordon-Levitt his fourth Young Artist Awards nomination. During the last season, Gordon-Levitt appeared in only a few episodes because of college.
Alisan Porter is best known by many as the title character of 1991's Curly Sue. Starring alongside Jim Belushi, Porter was loved by many on set. Before landing Curly Sue, Porter starred in the short-lived ABC sitcom Chicken Soup in 1989.
At eight years old, Dakota Fanning became the youngest SAG Award nominee ever with her work in I Am Sam. Her work in film continued with roles in Man on Fire and the Twilight series. While her work schedule was growing, school was just as important. In 2011, she graduated from Campbell Hall School.
In 2001, actress/singer Hilary Duff became an instant teen idol with Disney's Lizzie McGuire. Branded Lizzie McGuire merchandise accumulated over $100 million during the show’s run. Duff was able to bring the character to the big screen with 2003's The Lizzie McGuire Movie.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen got their start as infants on the hit comedy Full House. The twin sisters learned a lot about the business from their seasoned co-stars. After the show, they embarked on a million-dollar franchise with their video series and fan club.