10+ Child Stars We Watched Grow Up Into Fantastic People

Being a child actor in Hollywood isn't easy. You're forced to grow up incredibly fast and many, sadly, end up falling victim to the many temptations that come with fame.

On the other hand, there are those that defy expectations and rise to the occasion. See what I mean and check out these 10+ child actors we watched grow up into great people!

Chloë Grace Moretz.

From the very first moment that Chloë made her big-screen debut, you could tell right away that this little girl had talent.

Since then, Chloë has followed in the footsteps of Jamie Lee Curtis and Nev Campbell, becoming a scream-queen for her generation.


Zendaya is a former Disney alum who's taking the world by storm. She's carving out a name for herself as a formidable actress and advocate for change.

Recently, Zendaya has been a driving force behind the #BlackLivesMatter movements across the United States.

Nolan Gould.

Nolan has come a long way from the cute kid on the couch in Modern Family. By this point, most people are already aware that Nolan is a real-life genius.

But did you know that he also recently wrote an essay titled "6 Tips for Being a White Ally"?

Jake Gyllenhaal.

One of Jake's earliest films is actually one of my all-time favorites — City Slickers.

He's worn many hats over the course of his illustrious career and has aligned himself with causes ranging from socio-political to mental health.

Jerry O'Connell.

Most people wouldn't be able to recognize Jerry O'Connell from his younger years on the set of Stand By Me.

In 2017, he was awarded the Key to the City to North Bay, ON; an honor never bestowed on any citizen during Mayor Al McDonald's tenure.

Hayden Panettiere.

To me, Hayden will always be the little girl coaching from the sidelines in Remember the Titans. She's also a world-renowned animal rights activist.

Since the time she was fifteen, Hayden has taken an active role in the preservation of marine life.

Millie Bobby Brown.

They grow up fast, don't they? It seems like only yesterday we were watching Millie in Once Upon a Time.

Millie has also become a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF, working to help improve living conditions for children around the world.

Finn Wolfhard.

Another alumni of the Stranger Things cast makes the list! Finn has used his platform to help create positive change at home and abroad.

Just last year, Finn gave a speech at the inaugural Youth Activism Summit in Toronto, ON alongside Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

Neil Patrick Harris.

At the risk of dating myself, I have to ask — does anyone still remember Doogie Howser? What a show.

It not only launched Neil's career but it put him on the path to becoming one of the most visible advocates for the gay community in Hollywood.

Zac Efron.

Zac Efron was able to escape the halls of his Highschool Musical days. His new series Down To Earth is all about cultivating a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle.

It's one of the better travel-series currently streaming on Netflix.

Freddie Highmore.

Freddie is hardly recognizable as little Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Ever since he began his work on the series The Good Doctor, Freddie has been embraced by the autistic community. He's been partnered with Autism Speaks ever since.

Tobey Maguire.

Take me back to the days of The Wizard because Tobey's mullet is just too incredible for words!

With the help of PETA, he's been petitioning school boards to go vegan since 2009 and is one of the most diligent animal rights activists in Tinsel Town.

Ryan Gosling.

I know that Halloween has just passed, but if you've never seen any of Ryan's work in Are You Afraid of the Dark — YouTube it immediately!

Ryan has been working tirelessly for years to help bring equitable trade to the Congo and improve human rights throughout Africa and the world.

Emma Watson.

Emma Watson has become an unstoppable force in Hollywood. Her acting talent is only surpassed by her activism.

In 2014, Emma was made a UN Goodwill Women Ambassador, dedicating her efforts to helping improve women's rights around the globe.

Leonardo DiCaprio.

It should go without saying that Leo is one of the great child actors of our generation. By the time he was 18-years-old, he'd already received his first Oscar nomination.

These days, as well as being one of Hollywood's leading men, Leo is also a climate activist.