No matter who you are, you went through some sort of awkward phase in your life as you approached adolescence and experienced the so-called five stages of puberty. Hopefully, it happened in late elementary school or early middle school, rather than in high school. Those were the tough years.
Even though they were in the spotlight, child stars who starred in television shows and mainstream movies have experienced the same thing. But like the rest of us, they do grow out of those painfully weird years. In addition, they wiggle out of it more easily, thanks to the positive effects of cold hard cash. Moreover, they blossom into some of the hottest, steamiest, and dreamiest actors and actresses around.
The majority of today's millennials—including myself—can easily recall the heyday of television programs for tweens and teens alike. Let's not forget that Hilary Duff was the relatable Lizzie McGuire before becoming the songstress and actress she is today, and Selena Gomez made an adorable debut as Gianna on Barney & Friends before showcasing her musical talent through dance-pop albums.
Thankfully, most of our childhood idols from the past are still doing what they love today. Not all of these child stars look like what they used to when they were just kids, though. Aside from family and friends, we're grateful for the satisfaction that we feel after seeing how smokin' hot our childhood favorites turned out to be.
Have you ever wondered what happened to your favorite child actors? Take a trip down memory lane as we show you 15 child stars who grew up to be hotties. Enjoy!
15 Danica McKellar
Danica McKellar is an actress, mathematics scholar, and education advocate who was born in La Jolla, California and was raised in Los Angeles. She played Winnie Cooper, Kevin Arnold's on-and-off awkward, geeky teenage girlfriend in the sitcom The Wonder Years. After the sitcom ended, she went back to school and graduated summa cum laude at UCLA with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She later wrote five non-fiction books—Math Doesn't Suck, Kiss My Math, Hot X: Algebra Exposed, Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape, and Goodnight, numbers.
Danica's career in showbiz continued to thrive after the conclusion of The Wonder Years and her college years. This brunette beauty appeared on the shows The West Wing, The Secret Life of an American Teenager, and How I Met Your Mother. In 2015, she was cast in the Netflix original series Project Mc2.
Danica tied the knot with her boyfriend, Scott Sveslosky, a partner in the Los Angeles-based legal firm Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton in Kauai, Hawaii on November 12, 2014.
14 Tania Raymonde
Tania Raymonde is an actress who was born and raised in Los Angeles. She attended the Lycée Français de Los Angeles, where she obtained her French baccalauréate. She's best known for playing Cynthia Sanders in the sitcom Malcolm in the Middle. Moreover, she outgrew her geeky phase and never looked back.
Tania continued to wow her fans with roles in several television series. After Malcolm in the Middle ended, she played Alex Rousseau in the ABC series Lost from 2006 to 2010. She also starred as Carla Rinaldi on the MTV horror black comedy series Death Valley, Nikki in the horror film Texas Chainsaw 3D, and portrayed Jodi Arias in the television movie Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret. In 2015, she joined the cast of the TNT series The Last Ship. She currently stars in the Amazon series Goliath.
Tania seems to continue to get better with age as her acting career and pretty looks remain intact.
13 Daniel Curtis Lee
Daniel Curtis Lee is an actor, comedian, and rapper from Jackson, Mississippi. He's a member of the celebrity basketball team Hollywood Knights. He's best known for playing Simon "Cookie" Nelson-Cook on the Nickelodeon series Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide and Kornelius "Kojo" Jonesworth on the Disney XD sitcom Zeke & Luther. He appeared in the shows First Monday and The Shield. He has also starred in the stoner comedy film Friday After Next.
Daniel also dipped in the music industry. He released four tracks—"Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide Theme Song" in 2004, "Zeke and Luther Theme Song" in 2009, "U Can't Touch This" in 2009, and "In the Summertime" featuring Zeke and Luther costar Adam Hicks in 2010.
Many people once loved and adored Simon in Ned's Declassified Survival Guide, but he grew up to become a hunk on the musical comedy-drama series Glee as Phillip "Phil" Lipoff. He definitely teaches both men and women the meaning of "Transformation Tuesday."
12 Amber Scott
Amber Scott is a former American actress. She's best known for playing Maggie Banning, the daughter of Robin Williams' Peter Pan, in the Steven Spielberg-directed Peter Pan family fantasy film, Hook, in 1991. She received the Young Artist Award for Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture.
Hook was the only credited role for Amber. She also did some voice acting for an episode of the documentary series The American Experience in 1995. She later graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she was a member of the Delta Psi Epsilon sorority.
Now, there's not a lot of buzz about Amber in the media, but she definitely grew up to be quite the hottie. Her blonde locks, blue eyes, and tan skin certainly make her look younger than her years. Amber once shone as the daughter of Peter Pan, but she continues to shine as a blonde stunner.
11 Alyson Stoner
Alyson Stoner is an actress, singer, singer-songwriter, choreographer, dancer, and model from Toledo, Ohio. She's best known for her roles as Sarah Baker in Cheaper by the Dozen, Max in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and Camille Gage in the Step Up series.
Alyson worked as a backup dancer for several musical artists such as Missy Elliott, Eminem, Kumbia Kings, Outkast, and Will Smith. She also hosted the Disney Channel series Mike's Super Short Show from 2001 to 2007 and voiced Isabella Garcia-Shapiro in the animated musical comedy television series Phineas and Ferb from 2007 to 2015.
Apparently, Alyson is one of the Cheaper by the Dozen stars who turned out to be a head-to-toe stunner. She's the girl next door who's all grown up now, but she's still doing her thing on the dance floor. In addition, she worked with a vocal coach to change her voice from kiddie-pop to a more soulful pop vibe with an alternative edge for her first studio album Mirrorball.
10 Josh Peck
Josh Peck is an actor, voice actor, and comedian from New York City. He has never met his biological father. He grew up with his Jewish mother, Barbara, who works as a career coach. He attended the P.S. 40 and The Professional Performing Arts School in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. He dealt with asthma during his childhood. As a result, he often stayed indoors watching old-school sitcoms. He started getting involved in stand-up comedy when he was eight years old.
Josh is best known for playing Josh Nichols in the Nickelodeon live-action sitcom Drake & Josh. If someone told you years ago that the successful yet anxious boy who worked for the school newspaper was a cutie, you would be like "yeah, sure." Now, things have changed, and the 30-year-old has grown to be quite a handsome man. Just look at him. You could see stars in his eyes.
9 Nicola Peltz
Nicola Peltz is an actress from Westchester, New York. She starred in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Blackbird, alongside Jeff Daniels, at 13 years old. Her big break came when she played Katara in the fantasy film The Last Airbender in 2010. She has also played Bradley Martin in the A&E horror drama series Bates Motel from 2013 to 2015 and Tessa Yeager in the science-fiction film Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Nicola has emerged as a force to be reckoned with, on both the big and small screens. The awkward-looking Katara from The Last Airbender turned into a blonde beauty. Also, who didn't drool at the sight of Bradley on Bates Motel?
There's no doubt that Nicola is extremely attractive and this before-and-after photo collage is just one of the many proofs. She has been in the public eye since 2008. Since then, she has built up a large following for both her talents and appearances.
8 Michelle Trachtenberg
Michelle Trachtenberg is an actress from New York City. Her mother worked as a bank manager while her father worked as a fiber optics engineer. Her family didn't have any connections to the industry, but that didn't stop her parents from noticing their youngest daughter's talent. She made her acting debut in a commercial for Wisk detergent. She then went on to star in more than 100 commercials before landing her first major television role in the Nickelodeon comedy-drama series, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, as Nona F. Mecklenberg.
Michelle also played Dawn Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Celeste in Six Feet Under, and Georgina Sparks in Gossip Girl. She appeared in various films such as Harriet the Spy, Inspector Gadget, EuroTrip, Ice Princess, Black Christmas, 17 Again, Cop Out, Weeds, and Killing Kennedy.
We all need to bow down to Michelle. Not only does she have quite the resume, but she definitely grew up into a beautiful woman.
7 Freddie Highmore
Freddie Highmore is an English actor who was born in the Camden Town district of London, England to a showbiz family. His mother, Sue Latimer, is a talent agent, and his father, Edward Highmore, is an actor. He graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge with a Double First in Spanish and Arabic in 2014.
Freddie rose to fame with his acting skills. He was a silly little boy who starred in films such as Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Arthur and the Invisibles. He got people's gears going on a weekly basis when he played Norman Bates on the A&E horror drama series, Bates Motel, from 2013 to 2017. He was nominated twice for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. He also won a People's Choice Award for his performance.
Norman is defined as a serial killer, but Freddie is good-looking enough to make people have a crush on him.
6 Candace Cameron Bure
Candace Cameron Bure is a Los Angeles-born actress who's a bit on the older side, but she was an integral part of the popular sitcom Full House and its sequel, Fuller House, as D.J. Tanner. Aside from acting, she took on a new stint as a co-host for the daytime talk show The View. She also participated in the 18th season of Dancing with the Stars.
Like many blondes, Candace has dated (and married) an NHL player. Her Full House costar, Dave Coulier, first introduced her to Russian NHL player Valeri Bure at a charity hockey game. The couple tied the knot on June 22, 1996. They have three children—Natasha, Lev, and Maksim.
Candace struggled with bulimia in her early 20's. However, she overcame the eating disorder and won the battle. She dedicated herself to healthy eating and exercise, which paid off in the long run as she now has a bikini body that many women her age would kill for.
5 Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez is a singer and actress who was born in Grand Prairie, Texas. She got her start in the acting industry as a child actor who played Gianna in the children's television series Barney & Friends, and later gained fame as Alex Russo in the fantasy teen sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place on the Disney Channel from 2007 to 2012. The sitcom was very successful, and it gave her valuable opportunities to work on other films, television shows, and musical collaborations.
Selena has changed so much since her Barney & Friends days. The world is her oyster as she has a promising singing career, stunning looks, and a high-profile boyfriend (The Weeknd). She had flawless skin then, and she has flawless skin now. She apparently makes good use of her bronzer and tan-enhancing products, which kicks up her olive skin a notch. On top of that, her hair remains long, thick, and healthy. She definitely shows that "strong is beautiful" on and off the Pantene commercials.
4 Hilary Duff
Hilary Duff is an actress and singer from Houston, Texas. She enrolled in acting, singing, and ballet classes with her older sister, Haylie, at a young age and then began to work her way up the ladder in showbiz. Many people labeled her as a "teen idol" during her teenage years. In 2001, she got her first major role as Lizzie McGuire on the titular Disney Channel teen sitcom Lizzie McGuire. Since then, she has created merchandise, produced music, and starred in movies.
Hilary once played the gifted Lizzie who made many people feel like they weren't alone in navigating the world of adolescence, but a lot has changed in 16 years. Compared to Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus, she managed to transition into a more mature adult. She married former NHL player Mike Comrie in 2010. The couple got divorced last year, but they agreed to co-parent their five-year-old son, Luca. She's got a new beau, Ely Sandvik, but she still has the same hot beach body.
3 Jonathan Lipnicki
Jonathan Lipnicki is an actor from Westlake Village, California. He made his film debut in the 1996 sports film Jerry Maguire as Ray Boyd, the son of Renée Zellweger's character, Dorothy Boyd. He was also known for his roles in the films Stuart Little, Stuart Little 2, The Little Vampire, and Like Mike.
Aside from Tom Cruise, Jonathan was the adorable little boy who stole the hearts of many fans. Now, the former child star will turn 27 on October 22, and it's a reasonable time for everyone to note how cute he still is. He certainly left his "child star" moniker behind, resumed a normal life, but continued to take advice from Tom. The second wave of his acting career began when he played Young Yoni in the crime story, For the Love of Money, in 2012.
Jonathan also practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu and has earned a purple belt. Martial arts gave him a muscular physique, but he reportedly said that he wasn't ready to take on an MMA fight in the ring yet.
2 Abigail Breslin
Abigail Breslin is an actress and singer from New York City. Here's a fun fact: Her parents named her Abigail after the second First Lady of the United States, Abigail Adams.
Abigail appeared in her first commercial at age three, starred in her first film Signs at age five, and went on to play roles in various movies. She won the hearts of many fans as Olive Hoover, a wannabe child pageant star, in the 2006 road film Little Miss Sunshine.
Abigail was one of the most sought-after child actors of her generation, but now, she has become a beautiful young woman with a pale complexion, gorgeous blond locks, and a drool-worthy wardrobe. She's no longer a child as she recently turned 21 on April 14.
Abigail landed her first regular role in a television series in September 2015 through the FOX horror comedy, Scream Queens, in September 2015. She apparently wanted to let the world know that she isn't a little girl anymore.
1 Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Milano is an actress, producer, singer, and activist who was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Staten Island. She's best known for her roles in Who's the Boss?, Melrose Place, Charmed, Mistresses, and Project Runway All Stars. She will be starring in the upcoming Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later.
Alyssa got her big break at age nine when her babysitter took her to audition for the national touring company, Annie, and walked away with a role. She used her native Brooklyn accent to play a plethora of characters. She eventually outgrew her awkward years and blossomed into a veritable hottie, who went on to star in hot dramas such as Melrose Place, Charmed, and Mistresses.
Alyssa is a former teen idol who was probably your favorite Charmed one. She has basically been on television her entire life and has showed us time and time again how much she has matured as a woman.
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