Some child actors quickly vanish into obscurity and some go on to have long, healthy careers in the business. There a wide variety of circumstances that can act either to personally deter children from a career in acting or, as brutal as it seems- force them out of the industry. Here’s a list of particularly notable child actors- some of which who are still active today and others who…aren’t.
10. Nicholas Hoult
Starring alongside Nicholas Cage in 2005’s ‘The Weatherman’ as well as Hugh Grant in the unforgettable ‘About a Boy’ back in 2002- Nicholas Hoult was poised for very big things. The Englishman is now 22-years-old and still does well when it comes to landing the odd part. Starring in cult British teen series ‘Skins’ for the first 2 seasons, Hoult has also appeared in the recent remake of Clash of the Titans as well as portraying Hank McCoy/Beast in 2011’s X-Men: First Class. Although he enjoys a successful modelling career aside from his acting, it doesn’t look as though Hoult intends to step away from the big screen anytime soon- with upcoming parts in next year’s Mad Max movie as well as the next X-Men, which is due in 2014.
9. Sean Astin
Far from vanishing into obscurity since his beginnings as a child actor, Sean Austin has made a real name for himself as Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jacksons epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. Before this, probably career defining, role however- all the way back in 1985- Austin made his debut as brace adorned tweener Mikey Walsh in Steven Spielbergs classic adventure movie- ‘The Goonies’. Since LOTR, Austin has continued to secure many parts in a whole variety of movies- my personal favourite being ’50 First Dates’ in which he plays Drew Barrymore’s muscle dummy brother, classic stuff…
8. Molly Ringwald
Enjoying a brief yet sure tenure as one of the world’s biggest movie stars following the release of seminal high school flick ‘The Breakfast Club’ in 1985, Molly Ringwald was one of the earliest teen icons. Also appearing in ‘Sixteen Candles’ and ‘Pretty in Pink’ around the same time, it seemed impossible that Molly would go anywhere but to the top. Destiny, it would appear, had different things in mind however, with a string of minor parts and an eventual family life waiting for her.
7. Ralph Macchio
Ralph Macchio was already several years into his 20’s before making his break as Daniel LaRusso in 1984’s ‘The Karate Kid’, however since he was playing a Karate ‘Kid’- I’m going to let him off. After this bout of fame in the mid 80’s, Macchio has continued to act- starring in Jonathan Lynns’ classic mob comedy ‘My Cousin Vinny’ alongside Joe Pesci in 1992, as well as having a stint on ABC sitcom ‘Ugly Betty’. Macchio, now 50, has also made a number of cameo appearances in various other productions.
6. Juliette Lewis
It’s sometimes easy to forget that rocker Juiliette Lewis started her career in the film industry. As a child actor- Lewis made a name for herself with appearances in the likes of ‘Cape Fear’, ‘Christmas Vacation’ and later in ‘Natural Born Killers’ as well as early DiCaprio feature ‘The Basketball Diaries’. Though making the transition to music in her later years, fronting art-punk band ‘Juliette and the Licks’- she has continued to appear on screen, most recently as a weed dealer in Todd Phillips comedy ‘Due Date’.