10 Child Stars Who Didn’t Trainwreck

1. Neil Patrick Harris

NPH started out as everyone’s favorite child doctor on Doogie Howser, M.D. at age 16 and has skyrocketed ever since. He’s best known for his role in How I Met Your Mother but really anywhere he shows up, he steals the show.

2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The little orphan boy on Angels In The Outfield turned out well, didn’t he? He’s starred in huge blockbusters such as Inception and The Dark Knight Rises as well as venturing into directing with his 2013 film Don Jon. There’s no doubt that he’ll be a huge star for years to come.

3. Natalie Portman

Portman made an immediate impact in Hollywood at age 13 when she starred in Leon: The Professional. Since then she’s won an Oscar for her performance in Black Swan and continues to be one of the most bankable actresses working today.

4. Ron Howard

Who would have expected that 6-year old Opie Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show would turn out to be one of the most powerful directors in Hollywood? He’s won two Oscars and directed some of the biggest blockbusters in recent memory, but more importantly he’s the narrator on Arrested Development.

5. Drew Barrymore

Barrymore was the adorable little girl on E.T. at age seven and had several more successful childhood roles. She hit a rough patch in her early ’20s and it appeared as though fame had become too much for her. She recovered in full and continues to not only be a successful actress, but director as well.

6. Fred Savage

At age 12 Savage starred on the highly popular show The Wonder Years and seemed as though he was going down the path of every other child star. Savage transitioned from actor to director where he’s worked on just about every popular sitcom you can think of including It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Modern Family, Two Broke Girls, and Party Down.

7. Christian Bale

Bale was fortunate and talented enough to be cast in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun in 1987. Of course he became a mega star as Batman in The Dark Knight, but his unbelievable resume includes incredible performances in The Prestige, American Psycho, The Machinist, and the criminally underrated Equilibrium.

8. Leonardo DiCaprio

At age 17 DiCaprio got a role on the sitcom Growing Pains and since then I’m pretty sure he’s done fairly well for himself. He’s one of the biggest movie stars in the world and rarely makes a bad film.

9. Elijah Wood

Most people remember his early role in Forever Young, but he also appeared in the Back to the Future sequel at age 8. Since then he’s done all sorts of work but is probably best known for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which didn’t do that bad at the box office.

10. Ryan Gosling

At age 12 Gosling joined the cast of The Mickey Mouse Club that was already loaded with future superstars including Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. While they’ve gone on to successful music careers, Gosling has solidified himself as a Hollywood powerhouse with numerous hit movies and the starring role in every girl’s dreams.


Rob Fee is a writer and comedian best known for writing and telling jokes. You can follow him on Twitter @RobFee to read more of these jokes or go to Del Taco. He’s probably there.

Rob recently interviewed Golden Gods-winning musician Stevic Mackay of Twelve Foot Ninja.

Okay, the ninja part checks out, but we only count ten feet.

Okay, the ninja part checks out, but we only count ten feet.

More from Rob Fee
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