10 Best Child Actors

Thursday, August 25 by Lee Grayson

The 10 best child actors cover decades of films. The bad thing about child actors is they grow up. The good thing about film is we can capture the child actor for posterity on celluloid, or safety film, depending on the decade the film was made. While some child actors do their work and grow up to obscurity, others continue to act and expand their fame and fortune in films.

  1. Shirley Temple. Ms. Temple left acting and perused a career in foreign service, but as a tiny tot she danced her way across the silver screen in a series of shorts. Her first feature-length film was "Little Miss Marker" released in 1934. She was an immediate hit and ended up in starring in at least one film a year, including, "Bright Eyes" in 1934 and "The Little Colonel" in 1935. Her teen films included "The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxers" co-starring Myrna Loy and Cary Grant.
  2. Jody Foster. Ms. Foster did voice overs for the film "The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan" at ten years of age. She also appeared in her first movie "Napoleon and Samantha," although she had stared in commercials for several years prior to both.
  3. Drew Barrymore. The young Ms. Barrymore got her start in "Altered States" in 1980 and was a hit in 1982 as Gertie in "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." Drew comes from a family of actors, including her distant grandparent Lionel Barrymore.
  4. Robert Blake. Before his late-life dust up with the law, Robert Blake was a film star who began his career as a child. The young Blake was in the "Our Gang" series of films, released beginning in 1939 and continuing until nearly the end of World War II. These were shorts with a humorous story line and Blake was one of the tiny stars.
  5. Macaulay Culkin. Introduced in 1988 "Rocket Gibraltar" fame "Home Alone"in 1990 and "My Girl" in 1991. As a child, Culkin als hung out with singer Michael Jackson at his Neverland Ranch in California. 
  6. Patty Duke. "The Goddess" in 1958 was Patty Duke's first film released when Duke was only 12. Duke was well known for her appearance on "The Patty Duke Show," a popular show in the early 1960s.
  7. Judy Garland. The young Judy Garland was introduced to film audiences in 1937, after touring the country as a singing group with her sisters, The Gums. Her first film, "Broadway Melody," was released when she was just entering her teens. Garland went on to star in the famous "Wizard of Oz."
  8. Mickey Rooney. Mr. Rooney's first film was "A Midsummer Night's Dream" released in 1935. Rooney joined Garland in a series of popular films released during the late 1930s and early 1940s featuring their singing and dancing talents. 
  9. Kurt Russell. Russell appeared in the film "Sugarfoot' at only six years old. The young actor also stared on television as Corky, the Circus Boy. Russell was a popular young actor in a series of Disney-made films during the late 1950s. 
  10. Elizabeth Taylor. Although modern audiences recognize the late, great Ms. Taylor from her perfume advertising campaign, she earned her early fame from acting, beginning as a ten year old in "Lassie Come Home." The young Ms. Taylor mesmerized audiences of teens with her violet colored eyes and dark black hair, although critics were divided on her youthful acting skills. The actress later developed into a dramatic actress and, as an adult, was nominated for several Academy Awards
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