- Abigail Breslin earned an Oscar nomination for her role in “Little Miss Sunshine” at the tender age of 10.
- Eight-year-old Dakota Fanning was the youngest nominee in the history of the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
- Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson grew up onscreen throughout filming eight “Harry Potter” movies.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
When young actors become famous early on in life, some decide to stick with show business and go on to even bigger success. Others quit Hollywood for good.
Here’s what 25 child actors are up to now.
Dylan and Cole Sprouse played Zack and Cody Martin on Disney Channel’s “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.”
Their acting careers started out even earlier, playing Ross’ son Ben on “Friends.”
After a brief break from acting to attend New York University, the Sprouse twins are back to acting in TV shows and films.
Cole currently plays Jughead Jones on The CW’s hit drama “Riverdale.”
Dylan returned to acting with 2017’s indie “Carte Blanche” and has appeared in two music videos: Camila Cabello’s “Consequences” and Ygo’s “Think About You.” He also opened the brewery All-Wise Meadery with two business partners in 2018.
Raven Symone played Olivia Kendall on “The Cosby Show” from 1989 to 1992.
She went on to star in “Doctor Doolittle” and “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.”
After rising to fame in “That’s So Raven” on Disney Channel, Symone returned to the network in a spinoff called “Raven’s Home.”
Symone left her gig as a cohost on “The View” to star in and executive produce “Raven’s Home,” which premiered in 2017.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson played the beloved trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the “Harry Potter” movies.
Radcliffe was 11 years old when he filmed “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” – the same age as the titular character in the book. The first film was released in 2001.
They grew up onscreen throughout filming eight “Harry Potter” movies.
Daniel Radcliffe has experimented with different movie genres and appeared on Broadway in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” and “The Lifespan of a Fact.”
Emma Watson has become a real-life Hermione with her feminist book club and advocacy for gender equality. Among other acting roles, she played Belle in Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast” and Meg in 2019’s “Little Women.”
Mayim Bialik became famous playing Blossom Russo in the ’90s TV show “Blossom.”
Bialik landed the role when she was 12 years old and played Blossom for six seasons.
Bialik earned a doctorate in neuroscience and returned to Hollywood playing Amy Farrah Fowler in “The Big Bang Theory.”
“The Big Bang Theory” aired its series finale on May 16, 2019. Bialik uses her platform to speak out about parenting and the pressure new mothers often face.
Abigail Breslin earned an Oscar nomination for her role in “Little Miss Sunshine” in 2006.
At 10 years old, she was one of the youngest actors ever to be nominated for an Academy Award.
Breslin played “Baby” in a 2017 remake of “Dirty Dancing” and appeared in the TV show “Scream Queens.”
Her latest role was Little Rock in “Zombieland: Double Tap” in 2019.
Frankie Muniz is best known as Malcom from “Malcom in the Middle” in the early 2000s.
The role earned him both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
Muniz competed on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2017 and hosted “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.”
Muniz won third place on season 25 of “Dancing with the Stars.” He married longtime girlfriend Paige Price in February.
Shannen Doherty played Jenny Wilder in “Little House on the Prairie” at age 11.
The television series was based on the “Little House on the Prairie” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It aired from 1974 to 1983.
She later became known for her roles on “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Charmed.”
Doherty was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and entered remission, but she announced that the cancer had returned in February.
Tia and Tamera Mowry played long-lost twins on the sitcom “Sister Sister.”
They also played long-lost twins in the Disney Channel original movies “Twitches” and “Twitches Too” about twin witches.
They continue to work together on a “Twintuition” book series.
They took a break from acting to attend Pepperdine University and both majored in psychology.
Tamera hosted the daytime talk show, “The Real,” for seven years, and announced her departure in July. She also acted in “A Christmas Miracle” in 2019.
Tia has also continued acting, with movie credits include roles in “Baggage Claim” and “Indivisible,” and a role on the TV show “Family Reunion.”
Another famous set of twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, got their start on “Full House.”
The Olsen twins were babies when they began starring on “Full House” in 1987, and were 9 years old when it ended. They went on to star in their own TV series, “The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley” and “Two of a Kind,” as well as a slew of movies, including “Passport to Paris” and “Our Lips Are Sealed.”
The twins retired from acting to focus on their fashion line, Elizabeth and James, which they launched in 2007.
Hilary Duff landed small parts in TV shows and made-for-TV movies before becoming known as Lizzie McGuire on the Disney Channel series of the same name.
After 65 episodes of “Lizzie McGuire” aired on Disney Channel, the 2003 “The Lizzie McGuire Movie” served as the series finale. The show made Duff a teen idol.
Duff has continued acting and is also working as a designer.
Dakota Fanning’s performance in the 2001 movie “I Am Sam” put her on the map.
She was the youngest nominee in the history of the Screen Actors Guild Awards at age 8.
Fanning hasn’t slowed down, appearing in the “Twilight” saga movies and “Ocean’s Eight.”
She most recently appeared in the 2019 Quentin Tarantino movie “Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood.” She and her sister Elle are set to star as siblings in “The Nightingale” in 2021.
Jodie Foster got her start on TV shows such as “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” and “The Doris Day Show.”
Her real name is Alicia Christian Foster.
She has been nominated for four Oscars, and has won two — both for best actress.
Foster won best actress for “The Accused” and “Silence of the Lambs.” She most recently appeared in “Hotel Artemis,” and is set to star in “The Mauritanian” in 2021.
Macaulay Culkin is best known as the mischief-making protagonist in the “Home Alone” movies.
The “Home Alone” movies, which came out in the 1990s, are holiday classics.
He took a break from acting in 1994, but returned with a few small roles in 2003.
Culkin wrote an autobiography, co-founded a pizza-themed Velvet Underground tribute band called The Pizza Underground with which he toured before they split up in 2018, and hosted a podcast called Bunny Ears. He has continued acting as well – he did voiceover work for “Robot Chicken” and is slated to appear in a 2021 episode of “American Horror Story.”
Ross Bagley worked with Will Smith on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in the ’90s.
Bagley has since appeared in several horror movies.
He was in “Dead Ringer” and “Gnome Alone.” His most recent movie was “Dead Ringer” in 2015.
Alisan Porter rose to fame as Curly Sue in the 1991 movie of the same name.
Porter won “Star Search” when she was 5 years old. In addition to “Curly Sue,” she appeared on “The Golden Girls” and in a TV movie called “When You Remember Me.”
Porter won season 10 of “The Voice” after years away from the spotlight.
Porter headlined a show in Las Vegas called “The Voice: Neon Dreams” after her victory on Christina Aguilera’s team.
She also runs a blog with her partner Celia Behar called Lil’ Mamas.
Amanda Bynes’ comedy skills helped her land her own show when she was 13 years old.
She won a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award for “The Amanda Show” when she was 15.
Bynes has been on a hiatus from acting since 2010.
After a slew of successful movies including “What A Girl Wants,” “Hairspray,” “She’s the Man,” and “Easy A,” Bynes took a break from acting due to struggles with substance abuse.
She earned an associate degree in Merchandise Product Development from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2018 and told Paper magazine that she wants to return to acting.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt got his start on shows such as “Family Ties” and “Quantum Leap” before his breakout role in “10 Things I Hate About You.”
He took a brief break from acting to attend Columbia University, but later dropped out to return to show business.
He continues to act and runs hitRECord, an online production company.
In recent years, Gordon-Levitt played the titular role of Edward Snowden in “Snowden,” and appeared in the comedy “The Night Before.” He most recently played Richard Schultz in “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
Carrie Henn played Newt in the 1986 movie “Aliens.”
Henn was 9 years old when she was cast as space orphan Newt in “Aliens,” and had no prior acting experience. She won a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor.
Henn left acting and became a teacher.
She made an appearance at the Comic Con 30th Anniversary panel for “Aliens” in 2016, with fellow cast members Sigourney Weaver and Bill Paxton, but has otherwise stayed out of the limelight.
Mara Wilson played the titular character in “Matilda” in 1996.
Wilson was just 6 years old when she made her on-screen debut in “Mrs. Doubtfire” in 1993.
Wilson took a break from acting to focus on a career as an author and journalist, but continues to do voiceover work and make small cameos.
She has also lent her voice to characters in “BoJack Horseman” and “Big Hero 6: The Series.”
Cali and Noelle Sheldon took turns playing Ross and Rachel’s baby, Emma, on “Friends.”
One twin would appear on camera while the other napped.
“All of the cast were super nice to us, they treated us all like little princesses and when we had holidays and stuff, they’d give us little Christmas gifts,” Cali previously told Insider.
They most recently played twins named Becca and Lindsey in Jordan Peele’s movie “Us.”
“‘Us’ was an awesome experience for us because we go to meet all really influential people and obviously you can actually really remember that, so it was cool to be on the set of a real movie,” Cali previously told Insider.
Lindsay Lohan’s performance in “The Parent Trap” cemented her as a Hollywood mainstay.
She went on to star in favourites such as “Life Size,” “Freaky Friday,” and “Mean Girls.”
Lohan opened two nightclubs in Greece and starred on the British show “Sick Note.”
Scarlett Johansson booked her first acting job at 9 years old.
In 1994, she played Laura Nelson in “North” alongside Elijah Wood.
Johansson will star in her own Avengers spin-off, “Black Widow.”
The release date for “Black Widow” was moved from April 2020 to May 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After a few small television parts, Kirsten Dunst landed roles alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names.
She played Claudia in “Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles” in 1994 with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise when she was 11 years old. A year later, she played Judy Shepherd in “Jumanji” with Robin Williams.
She’s since appeared in iconic movies such as “Spider-Man,” “Bring It On,” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”
She’s currently filming “The Power of the Dog,” a thriller based on a book by Thomas Savage to be released in 2021.
Alyson and Amanda Michalka were known as “Aly & AJ” on the Disney Channel in the mid-2000s.
Aly & AJ released their albums “Into the Rush” in 2005 and “Insomniatic” in 2007. They starred together in the Disney Channel original movie “Cow Belles” as well as “Super Sweet 16: The Movie.”
Aly also acted in the Disney Channel series “Phil of the Future” from 2004 to 2006.
Both continue to enjoy acting careers, and they still make music together.
Aly most recently starred in “iZombie” and “Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television.” AJ is currently voicing Catra in “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” as well as holding roles in “Schooled” and “The Goldbergs.”
After briefly changing their band name and releasing music as 78Violet, they returned to their roots as Aly & AJ in 2017 with their EP “Ten Years,” and their 2019 EP “Sanctuary.”
Elijah Wood starred in “North” in 1994.
His first movie role was “Video Game Boy” in “Back to the Future II.”
He’s best known for portraying Frodo Baggins in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
He and Daniel Radcliffe are often mistaken for each other. His recent acting work includes roles in “Star Wars Resistance,” “Drunk History,” and “Come to Daddy.”
- Read more:
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