It is not simple or easy for a child actor to break through the rest of the crowd and become a superstar in Hollywood; it not only requires significant determination and perseverance, but also a certain amount of good looks. The following actors (in no particular order) have managed to cement themselves as the 50 cutest child stars of all time.
50. Sean Astin: After playing the role of Mikey in the hit 1985 adventure “The Goonies,” Sean would eventually be immortalized as Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
49. Natalie Portman: In 1994, Natalie landed her first major role in Luc Besson’s film “Léon.”
48. Lindsay Lohan: Lindsay studies films of her idol, Marilyn Monroe.
47. Jessica Biel: Jessica got her big break when she landed a role in WB’s highest rated show “7th Heaven.”
46. Kirsten Dunst: Kirsten’s breakthrough performance came when she played the defenseless child vampire in “Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles,” co-starring legendary actors Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.
45. Danny Bonaduce: For 20 years, Danny practiced martial arts with Chuck Norris.
44. Sara Gilbert: Sara will always be best remembered for her role as Darlene in the hit sitcom “Roseanne.”
43. Jason Bateman: Jason is best known for his role on “Silver Spoons.”
42. Dakota Fanning: Young Dakota has already starred in many famous hit movies, including “I Am Sam,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “The Cat in the Hat.”
41. Jennifer Love Hewitt: Jennifer acted in a number of commercials before making it big in “Party of Five.”
40. Alfonso Ribeiro: Alfonso is most recognized for his role as Carlton Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” starring superstar Will Smith.
39. Rick Schroder: With fellow child star Jason Bateman, Rick found fame for his work on the sitcom “Silver Spoons.”
38. Neil Patrick Harris: Neil became famous for his role as Doogie Howser in the hit show “Doogie Howser, M.D.”
37. Tatyana Ali: Most people recognize Tatyana as Ashley Banks, the cousin of Will Smith, in “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.”
36. Kirk Cameron: Kirk is best known for the role of Mike Seaver on “Growing Pains.”
35. Tatum O’Neal: In 1976, Tatum was the highest paid child star in history for her work in “The Bad News Bears.”
34. Leonardo DiCaprio: Leo’s favorite actress of all time is Meryl Streep.
33. Jaleel White: Jaleel is best known for his role as Urkel on the 1990’s sitcom “Family Matters.”
32. Britney Spears: Britney is the first woman artist to have 4 albums go to number 1 on the U.S. charts.
31. Justin Timberlake: When unable to fall asleep, Justin tries to sing himself to sleep.
30. Alyson Hannigan: From “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” to the “American Pie” movies, Alyson is currently starring in the hit series “How I Met Your Mother” with fellow child star, Neil Patrick Harris.
29. Amanda Bynes: In 1994, Amanda made her official acting debut on the television show “All That.”
28. Raven-Symoné: As Olivia Kendall on “The Crosby Show,” Raven managed to capture the attention of audiences everywhere.
27. Melissa Joan Hart: Melissa will be forever associated with the character of Sabrina from “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch.”
26. Fred and Ben Savage: Fred was cast as the lead role in “The Wonder Years” at age 12 while his brother Ben was cast in the lead role in “Boy Meets World.”
25. Candace Cameron Bure: Candace appeared as a guest star on various television shows before landing the role of Donna Jo “D.J.” Tanner on the hit series “Full House.”
24. Jonathan Taylor Thomas: After doing a few commercials and small projects, Jonathan made it big when he earned the role of Randy Taylor in “Home Improvement.”
23. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen: These identical twins were able to display their talent to the world when they both received roles on the hit show “Full House.”
22. Thora Birch: When auditioning for a role in her breakout film “Paradise,” Thora competed with 4,000 other young actors before winning the part.
21. Christina Ricci: Despite having a tremendous acting career as a child, Christina never officially studied acting.
20. Macaulay Culkin: Out of the 50 cutest child stars, almost no other child actor can compare to the talent of Macaulay, who holds a place in our hearts for his role as Kevin McCallister in the “Home Alone” films.
19. Melissa Gilbert: Melissa played the lead role on the popular television series “The Little House on the Prairie.”
18. Emmanuel Lewis: Emmanuel has acted in approximately 60 commercials for various companies and products such as Colgate, Campbell’s Soup, and Burger King.
17. Michael Jackson: Following the success of the Jackson 5, Michael broke free of his brothers and soon became one of the greatest entertainers of all time.
16. Jonathan Lipnicki: One of the cutest child stars of his generation, Jonathan’s first role was Ray Boyd on the hit movie “Jerry Maguire,” starring Tom Cruise.
15. Frankie Muniz: Frankie will always be remembered for his role as Malcolm in the 6-year running hit series “Malcolm in the Middle.”
14. Elijah Wood: Elijah had the biggest break of his career when he received the role of Frodo Baggins in the epic “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
13. Kurt Russell: In 1960, Kurt signed a 10-year deal with Disney.
12. Henry Thomas: Following the success of “E.T. the Extra- Terrestrial,” Henry would go on to star in a wide array of television shows and films.
11. Jerry Mathers: Jerry is embraced by audiences around the globe for his work in “Leave It to Beaver.”
10. Will Smith: One of Hollywood’s true blockbuster actors, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” star is one of the most sought after actors today for action films.
9. Mara Wilson: Despite starring in only a couple of movies such as “Matilda,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” and “Mrs. Doubtfire,” Mara is considered one of the cutest child stars of the 1990’s.
8. Haley Joel Osment: After playing Tom Hank’s son in “Forrest Gump,” Haley would go on to star in the smash hit “The Sixth Sense.”
7. Drew Barrymore: Since Drew’s big breakout performance in “E.T. the Extra- Terrestrial,” she has become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.
6. Gary Coleman: Gary warmed the hearts of audiences everywhere as Arnold Jackson on “Diff’rent Strokes.”
5. Jodie Foster: Jodie’s acting career began at age 2 in an ad for Coppertone.
4. Ron Howard: Since becoming a prominent child star as Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show,” Ron is now considered one of the greatest directors of our time.
3. Mickey Rooney: At only 15 months old, Mickey made his debut on stage!
2. Elizabeth Taylor: Elizabeth was the first actress in history to ever earn 1 million dollars in a movie role.
1. Shirley Temple: The greatest of the 50 cutest child stars of all time, Shirley starred in countless films and paved the way for child stars of future generations.