Child Actors

When we talk of child actors, Jodie Foster’s name is probably among the first ones that come to mind. From appearing as a little girl in the 1976 film ‘Taxi Driver’ to evolving to more mature roles as a successful young actress, she has achieved the dream every child actor harbors. Similarly, actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, who began their careers as children in the ‘Harry Potter’ film series, have all now moved on to play more mature roles in mainstream films. While there are numerous child actors like Lindsay Lohan and Macaulay Culkin who achieve much popularity as children, it’s only a few who are able to transition to an equally successful entertainment career as adults. While many struggle as teenagers and twenty-somethings to re-establish themselves in the acting field, a few like Peter Gardner Ostrum—a child actor turned veterinarian—go on to build successful careers in entirely different arenas! Regardless of what the future holds for them, child actors do lead extremely fascinating lives while working in the show business. Interested in learning more about child actors? Read on for more information on the lives and works of child actors from across the globe.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Kiernan Shipka

Kiernan Shipka.
31
Famous As: Voice Actress
Birthdate: November 10, 1999
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Kiernan Shipka is best known as Sally Draper from Mad Men, a role that earned her multiple awards, such as the Young Artist Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award. She also amazed fans with her portrayal of Sabrina in a 2018 remake of the series Sabrina the Teenage Witch

 2 Jacob Tremblay

Jacob Tremblay.
15
Famous As: Child Actor
Birthdate: October 5, 2006
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia

Jacob Tremblay has gained considerable fame as a child actor for his award-winning performance as Jack Newsome in the Academy Award-nominated film Room. He has also appeared in in Before I Wake, Wonder, and Good Boys. He voiced Flounder in The Little Mermaid and Blue Winslow in The Smurfs 2.

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 3 Millie Bobby Brown

Millie Bobby Brown.
20
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 19, 2004
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marbella, Spain

Millie Bobby Brown, the English actress and model, rose to prominence after acting in the TV series Stranger Things and then in the film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, in 2019. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in April 2018, making her the youngest person ever to be so.

 4 Finn Wolfhard

Finn Wolfhard.
12
Famous As: Actor, Musician
Birthdate: December 23, 2002
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vancouver

Best known as Mike Wheeler from Stranger Things, SAG Award-winner Finn Wolfhard has also appeared in It and its sequel. He was a vocalist and guitarist for the band Calpurnia and formed the indie-pop duo The Aubreys. Named to Forbes 30 under 30, he has also directed a short film.

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 5 Noah Jupe

Noah Jupe.
16
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 25, 2005
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Islington

Noah Jupe is a British actor best known for portraying Young Otis Lort in the 2019 American drama film Honey Boy. He also appeared alongside Christian Bale, playing Bale's on-screen son, in the popular sports drama film Ford v Ferrari. Son of actress Katy Cavanagh and filmmaker Chris Jupe, Noah Jupe has followed in the footsteps of his parents.          

 6 Atticus Shaffer

Atticus Shaffer
10
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 19, 1998
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Santa Clarita, California, USA
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 7 Anna Friel

Anna Friel.
15
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 12, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rochdale, Lancashire, England, UK

Anna Friel is a British actress who gained international recognition after portraying Charlotte "Chuck" Charles on the popular American fantasy mystery TV series Pushing Daisies. After starting her professional acting career at the age of 13, Friel went on to establish herself as a successful adult actress. Friel also serves as an ambassador for The World Wide Fund for Nature.

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 8 Aubrey Anderson-Emmons

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons.
9
Famous As: Child Actor
Birthdate: June 6, 2007
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons is an American actress known for portraying Lily Tucker-Pritchett in the television mockumentary family sitcom, Modern Family. Her role, which was praised for creating awareness about cultural diversity, earned her the Screen Actors Guild Award at the age of four, making her the youngest person ever to win the award. She is also known for her charity work.

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 9 Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas.
10
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 3, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Richard Thomas is best known for his Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of John-Boy Walton in The Waltons. He also played significant roles in the 1990s’ miniseries It and the spy thriller series The Americans. A talented stage actor, he played Ebenezer Scrooge in A Musical Christmas Carol.

 10 Dean-Charles Chapman

Dean-Charles Chapman.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 7, 1997
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Essex, United Kingdom

Dean-Charles Chapman has delivered stellar performances as Billy Elliot in Billy Elliot the Musical, as Tom Blake in 1917, and as Tommen Baratheon in Game of Thrones. He also played the titular character in the sitcom The Revolting World of Stanley Brown, and Castor in Into the Badlands.

 11 Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett.
17
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 21, 1982
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Santa Rosa, California, United States

American actor, Jussie Smollett is known for his work in television series, Empire, and science fiction film Alien: Covenant. He debuted as a child artist and worked in commercials, television shows like On Our Own and films like The Mighty Ducks before taking a break. He returned after years and proved his talent as an actor and also a singer.

 12 Max Thieriot

Max Thieriot.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 14, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Altos Hills, California
Max Thieriot is best known as Dylan Massett from Bates Motel and as Clay Spenser from SEAL Team. Fans also loved him in movies such as Catch That Kid and House at the End of the Street. He also co-owns a vineyard and distributes wine through the brand Senses.

 13 Jack Gleeson

Jack Gleeson.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 20, 1992
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cork, Ireland
Irish actor Jack Gleeson soared to fame with his portrayal of Joffrey Baratheon in the iconic series Game of Thrones. He later switched to independent theater and appeared in the BBC miniseries Out of Her Mind. The Trinity College alumnus later also co-established the Collapsing Horse Theatre Company.

 14 Anthony Rapp

Anthony Rapp
21
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois, USA

 15 Lali Espósito

Lali Espósito.
6
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: October 10, 1991
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentine actor-singer Lali Espósito initially soared to fame as a child actor with the telenovela Rincón de Luz and then played a lead role in the teen series Casi Angeles. She is best known for her gold-certified album Brava. She supports abortion rights and is also associated with children’s charities.

 16 Mackenzie Phillips

Mackenzie Phillips.
24
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 10, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Alexandria, Virginia
Mackenzie Phillips made her acting debut at 12, with American Graffiti. Fans loved her in the series One Day at a Time and So Weird. She has struggled with drug issues and has appeared on Celebrity Rehab. She also confessed to being raped by her father, in her memoir.

 17 Julia Butters

Julia Butters.
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 15, 2009
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Child actor Julia Butters is best known for her roles as Trudi Fraser in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and as Anna-Kat Otto in the sitcom American Housewife. She has also appeared in series such as Transparent and movies such as 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

 18 Liberty Phoenix

Liberty Phoenix.
12
Famous As: Child Actor, Businesswoman
Birthdate: July 5, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Caracas, Venezuela
Liberty Phoenix, younger sister of River, Rain, and Joaquin Phoenix, and older sister of Summer Phoenix, has appeared in several TV projects, such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Kate's Secret. She had a punk band, too. After quitting acting, she taught midwifery and also became a designer.
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 19 Samantha Mathis

Samantha Mathis.
12
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 12, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Williamsburg, New York, United States
Samantha Mathis, VP of SAG-AFTRA, is best known for Young Artist Award-nominated role in This Is My Life and her Saturn Award-nominated performance in Salem's Lot. Fans also loved her in Broken Arrow and American Psycho. She dated actor River Phoenix before he died of a drug overdose.

 20 Matthew Lawrence

Matthew Lawrence
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 11, 1980
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Abington, Pennsylvania, USA

 21 Jackie Coogan

Jackie Coogan
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 26, 1914
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: March 1, 1984

 22 Amanda Fuller

Amanda Fuller.
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 27, 1984
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

Amanda Fuller is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Kristin Baxter in the popular sitcom, Last Man Standing. Also known for her skills as a director, Amanda Fuller is credited with helming the Los Angeles production of This is our Youth, a theatrical play written by Kenneth Lonergan.

 23 Ethan Embry

Ethan Embry.
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 13, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Huntington Beach, California

Ethan Embry is an American actor known for playing important roles in TV series like Sneaky Pete, Once Upon a Time, and Brotherhood. After starting his acting career at the age of 12, Ethan Embry went on to establish himself as a successful adult actor, appearing in films like Sweet Home Alabama and Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.

 24 Perdita Weeks

Perdita Weeks.
9
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 25, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cardiff, United Kingdom

British actress Perdita Weeks is known for her role in the CBS reboot series Magnum P.I. An alumnus of the Courtauld Institute of Art, she always knew she wanted to be an actress. She began acting as a child and her passion for the profession only intensified with time. She primarily acts on TV and a done a few films.

 25 Emily Alyn Lind

Emily Alyn Lind.
20
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 6, 2002
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Emily Alyn Lind, daughter of producer John Lind and actor Barbara Alyn Woods, started off as a child actor, with The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia. She won a Young Artist Award for her role in the series Revenge and also appeared as Snakebite Andi in Doctor Sleep.

 26 Summer Phoenix

Summer Phoenix
23
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 10, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Winter Park, Florida, USA
American actress Summer Phoenix is also an active supporter of numerous charities and activist groups. Summer is a member of The Paper Cranes, an alternative band that plays the New York City club. She appeared in the movies Kate's Secret and in Russkies and later appeared in movies Wasted, Dinner Rush, and The Faculty. Summer played lead roles in the movies Esther Kahn and Suzie Gold

 27 Will Estes

Will Estes.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 21, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Will Estes began his career as a child actor and appeared in quite a few commercials. His roles in Kirk and The New Lassie earned him Young Artist Award nominations. He later gained fame as Jameson "Jamie" Reagan in Blue Bloods and as JJ Pryor in American Dreams.

 28 John Francis Daley

John Francis Daley.
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 20, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wheeling, Illinois
John Francis Daley is best known as Sam Weir from Freaks and Geeks and as Dr. Lance Sweets from Bones. He is also part of the band Dayplayer. He has teamed up with Jonathan Goldstein to co-write films such as Spider-Man: Homecoming and co-direct/write the fifth National Lampoon's movie Vacation.

 29 Johnny Lewis

Johnny Lewis
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 29, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: September 26, 2012

 30 Charlie Plummer

Charlie Plummer
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 24, 1999
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Poughkeepsie, New York, United States

 31 Peter Billingsley

Peter Billingsley.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 16, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Peter Billingsley was a popular child actor, famous for his portrayal of Messy Marvin in Hershey's chocolate syrup ads. He also delivered a Young Artist Award-winning performance as Jack Simmons in The Dirt Bike Kid. He later directed and produced shows such as Sullivan & Son and played minor roles.

 32 Russ Tamblyn

Russ Tamblyn.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 30, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Russ Tamblyn is an American actor and dancer who received an Academy Award nomination for his work in the 1957 drama film, Peyton Place. Trained as a gymnast, Tamblyn's acrobatic skills were put to use in films, such as West Side Story. Apart from acting in films and TV series, Russ Tamblyn also worked as a choreographer during the 1980s.

 33 Henry Thomas

Henry Thomas
19
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, United States

 34 Douglas Booth

Douglas Booth
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 9, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Greenwich, London, England, UK

 35 Kristy McNichol

Kristy McNichol.
22
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 11, 1962
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Kristy McNichol is a retired American comedian, singer, and actress. After being born into a middle-class family, McNichol started acting at a young age and went on to become one of the most popular teen stars of her generation. After her retirement, Kristy McNichol devoted her time to charity work and taught acting in Los Angeles.

 36 Harry Melling

Harry Melling
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 13, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England

 37 Sawyer Sweeten

Sawyer Sweeten.
11
Famous As: Child Actor
Birthdate: May 12, 1995
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brownwood, Texas
Died: April 23, 2015

Sawyer Sweeten gained prominence with his performance in Everybody Loves Raymond. He took his own life from a self-inflicted gunshot a fortnight before his 20th birthday. The news of his death left his fans and co-stars shocked.

 38 Juno Temple

Juno Temple
19
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 21, 1989
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 39 Mena Suvari

Mena Suvari.
15
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 13, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Mena Suvari soared to fame with her SAG Award-winning role of Angela Hayes in American Beauty. Fans also loved her in the American Pie movies and the horror anthology American Horror Story. She also appeared as Edie in Six Feet Under. Mena endorses Lancôme cosmetics and uses cruelty-free products only.

 40 Robby Benson

Robby Benson.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 21, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dallas, Texas, United States

Robby Benson is an American actor, filmmaker, composer, singer, and teacher. He gained popularity in the late-1970s when he established himself as a teen idol, appearing in films like Ice Castles and One on One. Apart from being an entertainer, Robby Benson is also a fundraiser and activist for heart research.

 41 Brett Dier

Brett Dier.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 14, 1990
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, Ontario, Canada
Canadian actor Brett Dier is best known as Michael Cordero Jr. from the popular series Jane the Virgin. Fans also loved him in the Canadian series The L.A. Complex and Bomb Girls, and as C.B. in the sitcom Schooled. He has appeared in several TV movies, too.

 42 Anna Cathcart

Anna Cathcart.
9
Famous As: Child Actor
Birthdate: June 16, 2003
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia

Anna Cathcart is a Canadian actress best known for her portrayal of Agent Olympia in the children's live-action TV series Odd Squad, for which she won an award at the seventh annual Canadian Screen Awards. Despite not attending acting classes, Cathcart has managed to establish herself in both the TV and film industry and cites Disney Channel as an inspiration.

 43 Shawnee Smith

Shawnee Smith.
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 3, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Orangeburg, South Carolina, United States

Actress and singer, Shawnee Smith, is best known for her role of Amanda Young in the Saw horror franchise. She began acting as a child and joined the Screen Actors Guild when she was just nine. Making her feature film debut as a young teenager, she went on to establish herself as a popular character actress in the ensuing years. 

 44 Marsai Martin

Marsai Martin.
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 14, 2004
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Plano, Texas
Marsai Martin is best known as Diane Johnson from the series Black-ish. She also starred in and produced the film Little at 14, earning a Guinness record for being the youngest Hollywood executive producer. She has won multiple NAACP Image Awards and was featured on Time 100 Next in 2019.

 45 Jill St. John

Jill St. John.
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 19, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Jill St. John is an American actress best known for portraying the first American Bond girl Tiffany Case in the 1971 film Diamonds Are Forever. Jill St. John is also credited with founding the Aunts Club, a group of women who provide financial support for children.

 46 Matt Prokop

Matt Prokop
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 29, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Victoria, Texas, USA

 47 Quvenzhané Wallis

Quvenzhané Wallis.
7
Famous As: Child Actor
Birthdate: August 28, 2003
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Louisiana, USA
Quvenzhané Wallis became the youngest nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actress with her role as Hushpuppy in the film Beasts of the Southern Wild. She also earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the 2014 version of Annie. She has also published several children’s books. 

 48 Isaac Hempstead Wright

Isaac Hempstead Wright
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 9, 1999
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Surrey, England, UK

 49 Philip McKeon

Philip McKeon.
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 11, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Westbury, New York
Died: December 10, 2019

Former child actor and teen idol Philip McKeon is best known as Tommy Hyatt from the long-running sitcom Alice. He has also appeared in film such as Ghoulies 4 and in series such as The Love Boat. He is the older brother of actor Nancy McKeon.

 50 Jaimee Foxworth

Jaimee Foxworth.
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 17, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Scott Air Force Base, Illinois

Jaimee Foxworth is an American model, actress, and former pornographic actress. Foxworth is best known for playing Judy Winslow in the popular TV series, Family Matters. Also a musician, Foxworth is credited with forming S.H.E., an R&B musical group, with her two sisters. Over the years, Jaimee Foxworth has also battled depression and substance abuse.

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