15 Stars Who Made More Money As Kids Than As Adults

It’s already crazy enough to think that these celebrities were pulling in millions before they were even 10 years old, but to then find out that they’ve either blown all of that money or struggle to follow that success in their adult years seems rather bizarre, right? Hollywood can do wonders for one’s career, but it also gives off the idea that when you have it all, you get caught up in the fame and either lose it all or will eventually struggle in finding jobs. Of course, the situations varies between people, but this seems to be the case for the majority of people in the list. Find out the 15 celebs who made more cash in their younger years than they do now. You might be surprised.


15 Angus T. Jones

Everybody remembers Angus. T Jones, right? The child star, who made a name for himself for his role on Two And a Half Men was believed to have made up to $400,000 per episode by the time the program hit its fourth season. Angus was named one of the highest-paid child stars in Hollywood at the time, pulling in more than $9 million per season. All that came to and end, however, after Angus made some not-so-nice comments regarding the show’s producers, evidently leading to his departure. He hasn’t been able to find a job in Hollywood since.

14 Mara Wilson


Matilda, anyone? Mara Wilson instantly became one of the most beloved child stars of the ‘90s, starring in some of our favorite movies. But unfortunately for her, it seemed as if the older she got, the fewer movie roles she was getting. While Mara still tends to get a couple of acting gigs here and there, she’s certainly not pulling in the big numbers that she did when she was just a minor.

13 Emily Osment

Another great child star named Emily Osment has most certainly seen a decrease in her annual earnings, compared to the paychecks she was pulling in before her teens. Having starred in several Spy Kids movies, along with many popular television shows including Hannah Montana, Osment seemed settled with all the income she had rolling in. But after Hannah Montana came to an end, so did her popularity. Emily is supposedly hustling in the hopes of becoming a big singer now.

12 Josh Peck


Josh Peck, most famous for his role on Drake & Josh, hasn’t been heard much as of late — well, for several years actually. Peck, who lost an incredible amount of weight following the cancellation of the show that made him a child star, hasn’t been able to book as many jobs as he did back in the mid-2000s. Josh was said to have been pulling in more than $50,000 per episode on the Nickelodeon show, so it must be hard to all of a sudden have that disappear, especially when you grow accustomed to it.

11 Drake Bell

And his co-star, Drake Bell, is no different. In fact, it’s been several years since Bell has done anything related to movies and television. They say that he is now relying on his music career to cover his bills, which doesn’t really seem to be going that well considering the endless run-ins he’s had with Uncle Sam. Somebody needs to keep up with their taxes, that’s for sure.

10 Frankie Muniz


Who can forget Malcolm in the Middle? Probably one of the best shows ever, right? Well, did you know that the lead actors including Frankie Muniz were pulling in a stunning $1 million per episode for the final two seasons? The cast certainly couldn’t complain when it came to their salaries, particularly Frankie, who was landing movie roles after movie roles. Nobody knows exactly what he’s doing these days, but we should hope he still has some money left over because he sure made a lot of it during his peak years in the acting business.

9 Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes became quite the breakthrough act when she landed her own Nickelodeon show titled The Amanda Show. The program, which ran for several seasons and was incredibly popular amongst the younger demographic, evidently turned Bynes into the newest childhood star. Unfortunately for Amanda, the actress announced her retirement from acting in 2011 followed by endless weird antics that led to her needing therapeutic treatment. She was never a huge spender, so she’s probably got a lot of dough left, it’s just that there’s not much coming in since she’s no longer working.


8 Bow Wow


Bow Wow is probably one of the best-selling childhood rappers of all time. Having signed a deal with music producer Jermaine Dupri before he was even 10, this rapper had several Billboard hits under his belt by the time he turned 13. Several appearances on TV shows, endorsement deals, sold-out tours and platinum-selling albums — Bow Wow was on fire. But for some reason, people stopped caring for him by the time he got to his early adult years. These days, the rapper can be seen posting fake photos of his supposed stack of 100 bills, totaling to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Fans know it’s fake because they are usually taken from other Instagram accounts. Besides, his net worth only stands at $600,000.

7 Brandy

Brandy was certainly making a lot of money as a youngster, starring in television shows and launching a successful music career. But things turned upside down following the horrific car crash she was involved in back in 2006, killing a mother of two. She went on to release a follow-up album to Afrodisiac titled Human’ but nobody really bought it. She is said to be launching her own talk show on FOX later this year, so we’ll see how that project turns out.

6 Dustin Diamond


Dustin Diamond, best known for his role on Saved By the Bell certainly doesn’t see the same paychecks as he was getting back in the ‘90s. Dustin has had so many problems over the years, it’s hard to keep up with his life. In fact, he’ll probably make a perfect fit on reality television. He’s currently getting into fights, police constantly restrain him, arrest him, and place him in front of a judge where he makes absurd excuses for his crazy behavior. So sad.

5 Vanessa Hudgens

The ever-so-stunning Vanessa Hudgens has sort of faded into the background after High School Musical 3. But don’t get it twisted, because Vanessa has been working since she was a child, so I’m sure she’s saved a huge chunk of what she’s made throughout her career. She’s certainly not making as much as she did during her child/teen years, but judging by her IMDb list, she’ll still get booked for acting roles, and that’s better than not having a job at all. Go Vanessa!

4 Raven Symone


Raven Symone was said to have been one of the best-paid teen stars on the Disney Channel during her years filming That’s So Raven, which ended up running for multiple seasons. The program was very successful in its teen-targeted demographic and hilariously funny, might I add. Prior to that, Raven made a name for herself on The Cosby Show, so she was already loaded with cash. But these days, Ms. Symone is only known for being a co-host on The View, I’m sure that job doesn’t pay as much as an actress.

3 Cole, Dylan Sprouse


Cole Sprouse — what happened? Again, another huge Disney Channel, pulling in six figures per episode alongside his twin brother, Dylan. Their show, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody was actually so popular, they were offered a spin-off program to spice things up a little. But once producers wanted to move onto something new, Cole and Dylan both ended up falling off from the Hollywood scene; one going on to study at a local university, and the other enjoying the money he’s made throughout his time with Disney.

2 Macaulay Culkin


Macaulay Culkin was making millions before the age of 13, while most of were still playing at a nearby playground park. With the ever-so-successful Home Alone franchise, Macaulay is believed to have made well over $15 million, and that’s without the endorsement deals that came following his success with the movies. But, as explained by Macaulay himself, his family problems, particular with his chaotic parents, his desire for acting quickly faded and he hasn’t really done anything since. He’s been touring the country for some small gigs with his rock band, but clearly that’s not going to pull in the same numbers he made as a 10-year-old.

1 Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan impressed movie critics with her performance in The Parent Trap, which many consider her breakout role, leading her to star in some of our favorite movies. Did anybody say Mean Girls? By 2005, Lohan was reportedly making up to $6 million per movie, but all of that came crashing down when LiLo started mixing in with the wrong crowd. Her partying ways had her showing up late to work and ignoring the instructions by directors, who branded her as “very difficult to work with.” That’s someone who clearly didn’t appreciate what she had until it was gone, because these days, Lindsay is lucky to make $100,000 for a role. Yikes.


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