Being a child actor is not easy. It’s not just the pressure of being famous at a young age, but also the difficulty of establishing yourself as an adult in the film industry.

Growing up helps, and some of the child stars of decades past have changed so much there’s no trace left in them of the cute kids we remember.

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10 Abigail Breslin

Whatever happened to Little Miss Sunshine? If you were charmed by the talented little girl who played Olive Hoover in the movie and got an Academy Award nomination for her outstanding performance, you’d be hard-pressed to recognize her in Scream Queens.

Abigail Breslin still has those golden locks, but she’s turned into a scorching young woman. 

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9 AnnaSophia Robb

Admit it; you hated her in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In 2005, AnnaSophia Robb landed Violet Beauregarde, and everybody hated the obnoxious blonde girl in Tim Burton’s iconic movie based on Roald Dahl’s book.

Look at her now, so sweet and sexy. Robb is quite a successful actress today, receiving much praise for her part in Soul Surfer (2011).

In recent years, AnnaSophia Robb got another big break with The Carrie Diaries’ leading role, a prequel to the hit series Sex and the City. Wow, such a change from the insufferable Violet to the lovely Carrie Bradshaw. Well done!

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8 Taylor Momsen

Who doesn’t remember little Cindy Lou Who from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Taylor Momsen ditched the braided hair, the ribbons, and the nice little girl dresses for the goth image much more suitable for a rocker. She hasn’t quit acting altogether, but she’s more interested in her career as a musician.

Momsen is the lead singer for the rock band The Pretty Reckless, and she’s not trying for sweet these days. But she is fascinating!

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7 Harry Melling

Harry Melling became a child actor at the age of 12, playing Dudley’s role, Harry Potter’s spoilt cousin in the Harry Potter franchise.

He’s had a stable career after the series ended, and he’s lost that insufferable smirk. The 31-year old has appeared in many movies and TV shows.

You’ve probably seen him in the recent hit The Queen’s Gambit, where he played Harry Beltik. I bet you didn’t recognize old Dudley!



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6 Georgie Henley

Georgie was 10 when she made her screen debut as Lucy Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the adorable little girl caught up in an adventure beyond her wildest dreams.

After the Narnia franchise came to an end in 2010, Georgie Henley got some small parts in low-budget movies, but she focused more on her theatre career, and there she was involved in some spectacular projects.

The 25-year old Henley grew up into a real beauty and got to play a Tudor princess in Starz’s recent show The Spanish Princess.

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5 Alexa Vega

As a young girl, Alexa Vega became famous worldwide as the brave Carmen Cortez from Spy Kids. She was very talented even then, but not much of a looker.

Who would have guessed she’d grow up so hot? If you don’t know what we’re talking about, watch a couple of episodes of Nashville. Trust us; she’s gorgeous.

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4 Daveigh Chase

Daveigh Chase was not as adorable as a child, with no on-screen where she got to play disturbed characters. She got her big break at the age of 11, playing Samantha Darko in the cult movie Donnie Darko, a very dark and weird film.

Later on, she got to be Samara in The Ring, another very successful film, but Daveigh wasn’t precisely a cute girl in that either. Things are different today.

The child star has blossomed into a beautiful young actress, and she even got to play in romantic movies! Who would’ve thought?

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3 Jaleel White

Remember Steve Urkel and how he made us laugh with his antics in Family Matters? He’s left that teenage goofiness behind and has made quite a career for himself.

Back in the day, you would have said he was a natural at comedy, but White is into drama and thrillers.

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2 Mackenzie Rosman

Where do you go after seven seasons as the adorable young Ruthie Camden in the hit series 7th Heaven? When the show ended, Mackenzie Rosman was a teenager, and it took her a bit to shake off the Ruthie image. She did it, and she is now a sexy 30-year older woman with quite a full life.

Besides acting, she spends a lot of time around horses, being a competitive equestrienne showjumper. She is also an activist for several charitable organizations.

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1 Miko Hughes

No doubt about it, Miko Hughes was a creepy little boy. Well, not him as such, but he did star in some pretty scary movies, like Pet Sematary or Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.

That was back in the 1980s, and since then, he grew up to be quite a handsome guy. Somehow, he’s still into horror movies. Check out his 2020 project Dylan’s New Nightmare: An Elm Street Fan Film. Talk about typecasting!

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