Growing up in the spotlight can be hard on some, both emotionally and physically. There are many problems that come along with the shock and pressure of fame when you’re young; demanding and overwhelming schedules, no normalcy to your life, drug and alcohol addictions, being scrutinized and self-conscious about your body, and the fear that once you grow up your looks will change and your career will suffer because of it.
Luckily for these stars, they were able to keep the child-like looks that gained them celebrity status in the first place. For some, it has even helped their careers. Whether these stars have discovered the fountain of youth, or they’ve secretly paid big bucks to keep themselves looking young (although we doubt any plastic surgeon could do this good of a job), there’s no denying that they’re aging well.
When your parents can recognize celebrities, then you know they haven’t changed much since they first appeared on our television screens and in our theaters. Even though these 10 actors have been working hard throughout the years, they haven’t lost that youthful glow. Here are 10 former child stars that still look the exact same that they did when they arrived in Hollywood.
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10 Will Smith
In 1990, Will Smith, a young rapper that went by the name The Fresh Prince, produced and starred in the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After the show’s six-year run, Smith went on to be the blockbuster actor we all know today. He’s ranked the most bankable star in the world, as most of the films in which he plays the leading role have gross earnings of over $100 million each, and he's been nominated for the Best Actor Oscar twice, for Ali (2001) and The Pursuit of Happyness (2006). The star has been in the spotlight since he was just 17 years old, and throughout the years and his busy career, he still looks like he did back when he was starting out in West Philadelphia. Smith isn’t slowing down anytime soon either, with numerous big budget and star studded films in the works, including Bad Boys 3.
9 Elijah Wood
Elijah Wood was a critically acclaimed actor by the age of 9, having started his career when he was only 7 years old! Because of his roles in films such as The Good Son (1993), alongside fellow child star Macaulay Culkin, and North (1994), he was nominated for several Young Artist Awards. He continued to act as a teenager, one of the movies he starred in being the well-known film Deep Impact (1998), but it was his now famous role as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003) that put him on the map as an adult actor. Even so, it was his boyish looks that helped land him the role, seeing as how he had to play a naïve young hobbit. Wood has had lots of success post-Frodo Baggins as well, choosing many different roles, in animated musical films like Happy Feet (2006) and dark thrillers like Sin City (2005). Wood is now 34, with enough film credits to happily retire, and still looks like he did back in 1989.
8 Christina Ricci
At 13 years old, relatively unknown child-actress Christina Ricci landed the role of Wednesday Addams in the film The Addams Family (1991). She soon after became a teen icon, being cast in films that producers wanted to market to a younger audience, like Casper (1995). Her acting resume has only gotten longer and more impressive since, receiving praise for her performance in Monster (2003) alongside Charlize Theron, and an Emmy Award in 2006 for her role as a paramedic in the television drama Grey’s Anatomy. Ricci is still continuing to act, but has slowed down since giving birth to a baby boy in August 2014. It’s funny to think of adorable delinquent Wednesday Addams as a mother, especially because Ricci still looks like the young star that America fell in love with in the early 1990s.
7 Haley Joel Osment
Back in 1999, Osment freaked out audiences everywhere with four words, “I see dead people.” The Sixth Sense starred the young actor, who was only 11 years old at the time, alongside screen veteran Bruce Willis. Osment was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, which subsequently landed him several other roles, such as Pay It Forward (2000) with Kevin Spacey, and Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), also starring Jude Law. The child-star later turned to acting in Broadway productions and lending his voice to video games. Lately, Osment has been trying to make his way back into the spotlight. In 2013 he starred in the comedic miniseries The Spoils of Babylon, produced by Will Ferrell and starring big stars Kristen Wiig, Jessica Alba, Tobey Mcguire, and many others. He’s also signed on to star in comedy-horror film Yoga Hosers with Johnny Depp. Haley Joel Osment and his baby face, poorly hidden with a beard, will be gracing our televisions and theaters a lot in the upcoming years.
6 Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated for ten Golden Globe Awards (winning two), and four Academy Awards. He owns a production company called Appian Way Productions, is an environmentalist, and has dated some of the best looking women in the world. The star is now 40, but other than a receding hairline and some attempts at facial hair, he still looks like he did when he came into the scene in 1989. After appearing in television commercials and small recurring roles in soap operas and sitcoms, he landed critical acclaim in films such as This Boy’s Life (1993) and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), the latter earning him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. It was in 1997 that he achieved international fame and heartthrob status as Jack Dawson in Titanic, arguably one of the best films of all time, with fourteen Academy Award Nominations, of which it won eleven. DiCaprio is now one of the biggest names in Hollywood, and continues to charm audiences everywhere with his immense talent and boyish good looks.
5 Rob Lowe
Actor Rob Lowe turned 50 in 2014, and yet he still looks like he did as Tony Flanagan on the sitcom A New Kind of Family, when he was only 15! Lowe became a famous film actor after starring in such movies as The Outsiders (1983), Oxford Blues (1984), and St-Elmo’s Fire (1985). He also acted in some great comedies, like Wayne’s World (1992) and Tommy Boy (1995). Returning back to television, Lowe had recurring roles on both The West Wing and Brothers and Sisters. His latest television role was on the award-winning comedy Parks and Recreation, alongside Amy Poehler, as Chris Traeger, an upbeat and positive city manager. Critics have called Lowe’s time on Parks and Rec as the funniest performance of his career.
4 Reese Witherspoon
At only 15, Reese Witherspoon landed her first leading role in the film The Man in the Moon (1991). If you look at the movie posters from back then, they could pass as posters for films coming out this year, that’s how little Witherspoon’s looks have changed. Even after two marriages and three kids, she’s still kept her girl-next-door cuteness, which has helped her acquire many roles over the years. Films Legally Blonde (2001) and Sweet Home Alabama (2002) made Witherspoon a household name, but it was her role as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line that blew away audiences everywhere, and helped critics take her more seriously as an actress. She won the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, Screen Actor’s Guild Award, and the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actress. 2014 was a big year for the star, she produced the thriller Gone Girl and earned the Best Actress nomination at the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards for her role as Cheryl Strayed in the film Wild.
3 Joseph-Gordon Levitt
When one thinks of child stars, Joseph-Gordon Levitt always comes to mind. He starred in his first film when he was 11 years old, A River Runs Through (1992), and in the following years starred in other popular movies such as Angels in the Outfield (1994), and 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) alongside Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger. He was most known, though, for his role as Tommy Solomon in the television show 3rd Rock from the Sun. The show ran from 1996-2001, and was about a family of aliens that pose as humans in order to observe the behavior and actions of human beings. After Levitt’s time on the show ended, he attempted to study at Columbia University, but the actor couldn’t stay away from the spotlight and returned to find immediate success in big-budget films alongside big-name actors. Some of these films include 2009’s (500) Days of Summer, Inception (2010), The Dark Night Rises (2012), and Lincoln (2012). Levitt continues to act and also directs and is a screenwriter, but even though his name is getting bigger and bigger, his youthful appearance stays the same.
2 Mario Lopez
There must have been something in the water at Bayside, the fictional high school that was the setting of the sitcom Saved by the Bell, which ran from 1989 to 1993. Mario Lopez, as well as his old co-stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen, and Elizabeth Berkley, all kept their youthful looks. Lopez was a somewhat unknown child-star until he landed the role of A.C. Slater. He quickly became a teen heartthrob, and his charm and good looks landed him the role of Dr. Christian Ramirez on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful in 2006. He later became a television host, a reality television star, and an author. Lopez will be 42 this year, and yet he still looks like the high school student every teenage girl fell in love with.
1 Drew Barrymore
It comes as a surprise to find out that Drew Barrymore will be turning 40 this year. Coming from a talented family of stage and cinema actors, Barrymore started her career younger than any other actor on this list, at only eleven months old. Her first memorable role is when she played Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s E.T the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), when she was just 7 years old. What’s remarkable is that Barrymore still has those childlike features; when you watch the film you immediately recognize her. After some turbulent years dealing with drug and alcohol addictions and a couple stints in rehab, Barrymore claimed her spot in Hollywood again becoming one of Charlie’s Angels (2000) and starring in numerous romantic comedies, such as The Wedding Singer (1998), Never Been Kissed (1999), 50 First Dates (2004), Fever Pitch (2005), Music and Lyrics (2007) He’s Just Not That Into You (2009), Going the Distance (2010), and Blended (2014). Barrymore has been playing the love interest in movies since she was a teenager, thanks to her youthful looks.
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