03/05/14 by Krystin Olinski
Who didn't fall in love with little Macaulay Culkin in "Home Alone," doing his own grocery shopping and staving off an attempted burglary?
And what about the tiny tyke from "Jerry Maguire," with his spiky hair and glasses getting cute and cozy, and sharing time with Tom Cruise.
Those kids stole the show with performances that instantly became iconic, but also placed them in a category of actors that is hard to shake: child stars. The reason that moniker carries such a negative connotation because most children included in that group fail to garner much success once they hit puberty.
Culkin has been quiet for years, and most people don't even knows the real name of the kid from "Jerry Maguire." Those two hardly are the only ones that turned fame as a child into a rudimentary lifestyle as a teenager and adult.
But for every Culkin or Corey Feldman, there's a Drew Barrymore, who turned success and a raucous and tumultuous childhood career into success as an adult actor, writer, producer and director.
The spotlight often follows around the trials and tribulations of the child stars that flounder, rather than chatter centering on the ones that actually flourish and survive those awkward teen years within the movie and television business, and emerge as seasoned, well respected actors.
Here's another six that pushed through the proverbial glass ceiling that is acting as a child and managed to maintain a career that can be deemed worthy.
1. Jason Bateman -- The kid from the television show "The Hogan Family" and "Silver Spoons" shot to fame as an adult thanks to the iconic "Arrested Development" and turned that amazing role into movie stardom as an adult with hits like "Juno," "Identity Thief," "Horrible Bosses" and "The Breakup." He is directing an upcoming film "Bad Words" and will star in the sequel to "Horrible Bosses."
2. Sarah Jessica Parker -- Yes, she married Ferris Bueller but Parker gets put on this list since she shot from "Square Pegs" stardom to the "Sex and the City" superstar. As a kid, she also starred in "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and the original "Footloose." She stumbled a bit in the 1990s with forgettable movie roles in "Striking Distance" and "Honeymoon in Vegas," but that all changed when she transformed in Carrie Bradshaw.
3. The Mickey Mouse Club (most of them) -- This is the only group of sorts to make the list, since it includes Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling. Timberlake and Gosling especially have been making more than just a few waves with their movie careers (and Timberlake with his music as well). Gosling starred in "The Notebook," "Crazy, Stupid Love" and "Drive." Timberlake flashed more than just some serious dance moves, and also has show some serious acting chops and a comedic side to his repertoire (most notably with his best friend and new "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon).
4. Leonardo Dicaprio -- Dicaprio did wonders as a kid in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and on television's hit show "Growing Pains." Dicaprio ironically didn't experience any real life pains from child to adult actor. He's an renowned actor and leading man in such blockbusters as "Blood Diamond," "The Departed," "Wolf of Wall Street" and "Inception." Oh yeah, and that billion dollar movie about that boat.
5. Neil Patrick Harris -- NPH never missed a beat as a child, combining brainy and adorable in one package on "Doogie Howser, M.D." Harris played the title role as a prodigy who graduates from medical school as a kid. The role didn't pigeon hole Harris, who is currently wrapping up his Emmy nominated role on "How I Met Your Mother." He starred in the "Smurfs" movie and often is called upon as a host for the Tony Awards.
6. Ron Howard -- Howard is the perfect example of child star turned adult who didn't really have a place in Hollywood in front of the camera. Instead, Howard did an about face and took a seat in the director's chair and hasn't moved since. He's one of most renowned and respected director's in Hollywood, and his career started as the rambunctious red head on "The Andy Griffith Show."
Not every star of television, stage and the silver screen turn their golden opportunity as child into a career that centers more on failure or trouble with the law, rather than ongoing success. About half the time, talent trumps all and those quirky, cute kids grow up into talented adults.
The stories of success just get the kind of headlines they should.
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