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Who is the greatest Child Star of all time???


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If your on this site, then chances are that you like movies a lot more then the average Joe out there. Furthermore, it was probably the films you saw as a child that have made you what you are today. I am no different. I look back on many of the films from my childhood and laugh at how much I respected and admired some of the worst films I've ever seen. However, all the films I have watched in my life have tuned my likes and dislikes today, and I have no regrets for any film that I have watched. These movies, good and bad, have certainly left a week spot in me for movies with kids in them. Classic and modern. Childish and adult, many of the greatest performances of all time have been given by actors who have never been given their proper due because of their age or the studio's inability to find work for them when they grow up. There are so many, its a tragedy I can't list them all but here is a list of my favorite Child Actors of all time. Please leave the same.


1. Freddie Bartholomew- Captains Courages, The Devil is a Sissy, Listen Darling, Lloyds of London, David Copperfield, Little Lord Fauntleroy


2. Jackie Coogan- The Kid, The Rag Man, Oliver Twist


3. Bobby Driscoll- The Window, The Fighting Sullivans, So Dear To My Heart, Treasure Island, Peter Pan


4. Peggy Ann Garner- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


5. Jodie Foster- Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Freaky Friday, Candleshoe, Taxi Driver


6. Scotty Beckett- Listen Darling, The Pursuit, The Boy From Stalingrad, Kings Row, Anthony Adverse, The Vanishing Virginian


7. Darryl Hickman- Men of Boys Town, Boys Ranch, The Grapes of Wrath, Leave Her to Heaven


8. Skippy Homier- Tomorrow The World, Boys Ranch, Arthur Takes Over, The Gunfighter


9. Haley Joel Osment- The 6th Sense, A.I., Pay It Forward,


10. Mickey Rooney- Boys Town, Andy Hardy and many many more


11. Jamie Bell- Billy Elliot, Nicholas Nickleby, Undertow, King Kong


12. Nikolai Burlyayev- Ivan's Childhood, Andrei Rublev, Hero of Our Time, Two Comrades Were Serving


13. Freddie Highmore- Two Brothers, Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate

Factory, Women Talking Dirty


14. Clemant van den Bergh- Class Trip, Fire That Burns, Like An Airplane


15. Jean Pierre- Leaud- The 400 Blows, Testament of Orpheus, Antoine et Colette,


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Hiya XBerg . . .

Neat post! I really like lists.

Yours is a good one.


Don't know what cutoff point we're talking about vis-?-vis age, so I'm just going to go with the child years; otherwise I would've included , for example, Judy Garland when she was an adolescent.


So here goes . . .

No particular order within the categories.


Absolute Favourites

Margaret O'Brien (the secret garden; meet me in st. louis)

Virginia Weidler (the women; out west with the hardy's)

Mickey Rooney (the life of jimmy dolan; a midsummer night's dream)

Dean Stockwell (the secret garden; kim)

Shirley Temple (little miss marker; bright eyes)

Christina Ricci (the addams family; casper)

Rachel Hurd-Wood (peter pan)


Really Like

Scarlett Johansson (manny & lo)

Thora Birch (hocus pocus)

Omri Katz (hocus pocus)

Freddie Bartholomew

Jackie Coogan (who would think such a cutie would be perfect as Uncle Fester!)

Danny Lloyd (the shining)

Dickie Moore (blonde venus)

Jodie Foster (alice doesn't live here anymore) (though I dislike her as an adult actor)

Natalie Wood (miracle on 34th street)

Ann Carter (curse of the cat people)

Haley Joel Osment (secondhand lions)

Mary Badham (to kill a mockingbird)

Philip Alford (to kill a mockingbird)

Lucas Black (sling blade)

Macaulay Culkin (uncle buck)

Leonado DiCaprio (this boy's life) (though I am indifferent to him as an adult actor)

River Phoenix (stand by me)

Natalie Portman (leon)

Jeremy Sumpter (peter pan)

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer (our gang/little rascals films)

George "Spanky" MacFarland (our gang/little rascals films)

Eugene "Porky" Lee (our gang/little rascals films)



Jackie Cooper (and I dislike him as an adult actor)

Ricky Schroder

Delmar Watson

Tatum O'Neal

Kristy McNichol

Kurt Russell (and I dislike him as an adult actor)

Drew Barrymore (though I like her as an adult actor)

Gary Coleman (and I dislike him as an adult actor)

Matt Dillon (though I like him as a adult actor)

Ke Huy Quan

Darla Hood

Billy "Froggy" Laughlin

Robert Blake (and I dislike him as an adult actor)

Judy Garland (yet I adore her as an adolescent and adult actor)


Positively Abhor

Butch Jenkins

Johnny Whitaker


Here's a related website which you might feature:


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I agree with the whole Judy Garland thing. Annoying at times, inspiring at others.


I way agree with Lucas Black. He's always been an awesome actor in Crazy in Alabama, Ghosts of Mississippi, Sling Blade.


Also I remembered Ivan Jandl in Zinnemann's "The Search". One of the great child performances.


And Bertil Guve in "Fanny och Alexander".


And I love Salvatore Cascio in "Cinema Paradiso and Everybody's Fine"


And all the boys in Agnes Varda's masterpiece "Jacquot de Nantes"


I'm usually pretty annoyed by Jackie Jenkins

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When was Judy G. ever a "child" onscreen as opposed to an adolescent? Even with all the doctoring MGM did to conceal her burgeoning "womanhood" in THE WIZARD OF OZ it seems to me that she was always an adolescent onscreen, though admittedly, in her earliest roles, a very young adolescent.


And since the list has included some adolescents, I'll add a few more:


Deanna Durbin (Pop Culture's First "Teen Idol" Like Judy G., a very young adolescent in her earliest films)

Gloria Jean

Jane Powell

Elizabeth Taylor

Roddy McDowall

Virginia Weidler (like Taylor, I believe she began as a pre-adolescent)

Dianna Lynn

Donald O'Connor

Peggy Ryan

Jackie Moran

Dickie Moore

Bonita Granville

Edith Fellows

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I agree that Shirley Temple is probably the greatest example of a child star. She was known all over the world. A real star!!

For male child star I'd pick Mickey Rooney. He was the number one box office star in the world in the 30's and early 40's.

Personally, I didn't really care for either one of them, but you have to give the devil his due...



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markus ---


Thanks for reminding me that I wanted to edit my original list after seeing Judy Garland - All By Myself. But now that you've referenced my list, I won't edit it cause then it will look like you're commenting on something non-existent. :-)


The change: taking Judy off the dislike-as-a-child-actor list, for having seen the footage of her as such in the documentary (footage that expanded on what I'd seen previously) . . . well, intelligence allows for change, so I realise that I was premature in my assessment. She was just as wonderful to behold at that period as she was, for different reasons, in successive periods.

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I always wondered if those "Child Stars" ever had a childhood. For example, Shirley Temple could not even play with the children in her movies. For fear that she would catch something and not be able to make movies. For what it is worth,

Shirley Temple would be the most famos, Margret O'Brian would be no 2 .

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Shirley Temple, I would say, is the most beloved and famous child actor of all time. However, I think that Dakota Fanning is the *greatest* child actor of all time. Even though she's really only made a few movies I find her absolutely gripping. I think of her not as a kid in movies but as a legitimate actress who has tons and tons of ability. I just love her and I hope that she continues to do fine work.

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Child stars......being only 14 i can't say i'm much past childhood myself! but these are my top favorites it no particular order


Shirley Temple

Margaret O'Brien

Mickey Rooney

McCauley Caulkin

Elijah Wood

Dakota Fanning

Freddie Highmore

Haley Joel Osment

Judy Garland

Hayley Mills

Lindsay Lohan (The Parent Trap only!)

Elizabeth Taylor

Mara Wilson

Sean Astin

Jake Lloyd

Danny Lloyd

Veronica Cartwright

The Olsen Twins (annoying but cute when they were young)

Kirk Cameron

Kurt Russell

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I am definitely a girl!! I think it would be funny for a boy to be in love with Fred Astaire! Lol anyway, how old are you and are you male or female?


I almost forgot to say the two little boys from the movie "Zathura." I think their names are Josh Hutchinson and Jonah Bobo. They are SO CUTE!!

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LOL, that would be pretty funny. Im male. 25. I thought cause of your age you were talking about Highmore.


I also thought the boys in Kingdom of Heavan did an amzing job. And Joseph- Gordon Levitt and the other kids in in Mysterious Skin.


I dunno. There have been an amazing range of films this year with a lot of rich complex rolls for these youth. Oh, Heath Ledger's daughter in Brokeback Mountain was brilliant too.


And Jamie Bell in Kong. He's good in everything, Billy Elliot, Undertow, Nicholas Nickleby.

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I don't think I'm going to see Brokeback Mountain because I can't even look at Jake Gyllenhall seriously with that moustache!!! And I'm not really into that stuff...no offense or anything. I have never seen Mysterious Skin but I'll be sure to keep an eye out for it. What about the Dead End Kids? I have never seen a movie with them but I know they did something with Bogart who I also love. Jamie Bell in Kong...old or new?

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Poor Bobs Watson....completely forsaken in this thread. TCM was running a little promotion about him just a couple of months ago.


My personal favorite my very well be the baby girl in 2001, A Space Odyssey. A close runner up is a baby that never even appears on the screen nor is it heard, but is spoken of in "The Show Off" from 1926.

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