It is no secret that many child stars usually end up in some sort of legal trouble. In this day and age, it has become sort of the stereotype of young stars. Stardom gets to them, the tough environment wears them down, and they want to let loose as soon as possible. However, there are several child stars who managed to stay out of trouble, even despite controversies surrounding them.
1. Abigail Breslin
Actress Abigail Breslin appeared in commercials at age 3 and was in her first film at age 5. Since then, she has appeared in a number of movies and television shows, many of these appearances being starring roles. She continues to act to this day, with her most notable recent role being Baby in the revamp of Dirty Dancing.
2. Jamie Lynn Spears
Jamie Lynn Spears became famous as Zoey on Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101. The show went off the air after she became pregnant and this caused a mild amount of controversy about having someone who is pregnant being a role model for young girls. However, she went on to have a successful country music career.
3. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus rose to fame when she took on the title role of Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana. While she did go through a bit of a rebellious phase after the show ended, it was more of a period of time that she used to redefine her image from a young girl into a woman who is separate from Hannah and Disney.
4. Nick Cannon
As a teenage rapper, Nick Cannon formed a group that opened for acts such as Will Smith, 98 Degrees, and Montell Jordan. Since then, he has gone on to become a successful rapper, actor, and host. He is even involved with activism, joining forces with DoSomething, a website dedicated to helping young people find service projects they can do and lead.
5. Melissa Joan Hart
Melissa Joan Hart got her big break when she starred on Clarissa Explains It All when she was just 15. After that, she went on to star on Sabrina the Teenage Witch. She has continued to act and has taken on business and political ventures but started as one of the most famed child stars.
6. Mayim Bialik
Before she was Amy on Big Bang Theory, she was the title character on the sitcom, Blossom. Like Amy, she holds a degree in neuroscience, and she also oversees the content-based website, Groknation. She has written a book about what it is like to grow up as a female, from stereotypes to dealing with a changing body.
7. Emma Watson
Emma Watson is most known for her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise, which was her big break. Since her Harry Potter days, she has gone on to appear on other movies, including her most recent starring role as Belle in the live-action Beauty and the Beast. She got her Bachelor’s degree and a certification to teach yoga. Emma is also heavily involved in activism and runs a feminist book club.
8. Hilary Duff
Hilary Duff is most known for her role the title character on Lizzie McGuire. This role launched her movie and television career. She has also dabbled in singing, writing, and business. She was married to a professional hockey player until their divorce in 2016. She continues to appear in the public eye through talk shows and business ventures.
9. Will Smith
A few years prior to starring in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith formed a rap duo at the age of 17. They won awards for their music, which brought Smith to the attention of the producers of Fresh Prince. Since then, he has starred in a variety of movies and television shows.
10. Leonardo DiCaprio
Before making it big, Leonardo DiCaprio was in commercials before taking a supporting role in the sitcom Growing Pains and the horror movie, Critters 3. He has gone onto star in Titanic and a modern take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. He is still involved in acting, with recent starring roles including The Great Gatsby.
11. Candace Cameron
Candace Cameron grew up on television screens as DJ Tanner on Full House and has since reprised the role of DJ on Fuller House. She has done work with the Hallmark Channel and has been a panelist on various talk shows. She has written three books and continues to act.
12. Danielle Fishel
Danielle Fishel is known for playing Topanga on Boy Meets World and its spinoff, Girl Meets World. Through the years, she has continued to act in movies and on television, and she has also been a resident reporter for PopSugar.
13. Kenan Thompson
As a teen, Kenan Thompson starred on shows such as Good Burger, All That, and Kenan and Kel. Those shows may have ended, but since 2003, he has continued to make audiences laugh as a cast member of Saturday Night Live.
14. Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling began his acting career as a star on Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club as one of the child stars. He then went on to appear in other family programs such as Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark? His first starring role was in The Believer, and he has since starred in The Notebook and La La Land. He also has a band that toured in 2009 and has a restaurant in Beverly Hills.
15. Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris started his career as a teen doctor on Doogie Howser M.D as one of the many child stars in Hollywood. He then starred as Barney on How I Met Your Mother. He has since starred in a variety of movies and appeared in a number of television shows.
Which of these child stars’ stories did you like most? Let us know in the comments.
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Ashley is a recent graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA with her Bachelor's in journalism. She love writing articles about music and Philadelphia. Ashley would love to pursue a career in journalism in New York City.