In a world where going downhill in life is sensationalized by the media, it seems that if you enter into Hollywood as a child actor, you’re destined for a life of drugs, rehab, fast cars, prostitutes, alcohol, and life failures in general. But in the midst of the Lindsay Lohans, Amanda Bynes, and Britney Spears, a childhood spent in the spotlight also has the capability for preparing youngsters for a life of stability and success. But we don’t hear about those child stars that grew up and managed not to go crazy or royally screw up in life.
With the recent passing of the late Shirley Temple, the world is reminded that there is indeed child stars that grow up to lead fulfilling and successful lives long after the cameras are shut off in their childhood. One of the best-known child actors who grew up to be awesome is “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris. After his “Doogie Houser” years, Harris spent time in the theatre and eventually made a huge comeback in television. Anna Paquin was one of the youngest people to win an Oscar for her supporting role in “The Pianist” and is still going strong in the world of Hollywood with “True Blood”, a marriage, and babies. Or, you may remember Mayim Bialik from “Blossom”, well after her child star days concluded, she went to school and earned her PhD in neuroscience and is now starring in “The Big Bang Theory” as a doctor as well. For many child stars, they used their previous fame to make big strides like “Wonder Years” actress Danica McKellar who became a math wiz and now has a few books under her belt and inspiring young girls to excel at math.
Below is a list of the top ten child stars whose lives didn’t go downhill once they grew up. In fact, they became quite successful in their careers, some still being in front of the camera while a few moved away from the camera. Some of these names you’ll probably recognize and some that you didn’t even know were child stars. Get ready to visit the past!
10 Brooke Shields - $20 Million
Brooke Shields is known for having one of the most notorious stage mothers of all time, who was willing to let her daughter take it all off for films such as “Pretty Baby” and “The Blue Lagoon”. For being an iconic and controversial child star, Shields has kept it together and has since become a mother. She hasn't pressured her own children into the career that was pushed upon her. Shields even took a break from her career to attend Princeton and remains one of the most respected stars in the industry.
9 Kirsten Dunst - $25 Million
8 Joseph Gordon-Levitt - $25 Million
7 Alyssa Milano - $45 Million
6 Christian Bale - $60 Million
5 Jodie Foster - $100 Million
4 Drew Barrymore - $125 Million
3 Ron Howard - $140 Million
2 Leonardo DiCaprio - $200 Million
1 Elizabeth Taylor - $600 Million
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