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Top 10 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Child Actors

VO: RB WRITTEN BY: Laura Keating

Script written by Laura Keating

We bet you had no idea these stars are all former child actors! Watch Mojo is counting down big-name actors who got their start before turning 15-years-old. We’ve included surprising child stars like Ben Affleck, Kurt Russell and Elisabeth Moss.

Special thanks to our users CHEESY124 Ugorji, ninou78 and Michael Flinn for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Celebrities%20You%20Didn%E2%80%99t%20Know%20Were%20Child%20Actors

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Transcript
Script written by Laura Keating

Top 10 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Child Actors


They’ve been in the business even longer than you realize. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Child Actors.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the big-name actors who got their start before turning 15-years-old.

#10: Ben Affleck


This Oscar-winner got his big break as Chuckie Sullivan in “Good Will Hunting,” a movie that he co-wrote with Matt Damon. However, Affleck got started in show business at the age of seven in the movie, “The Dark End of the Street,” which was directed by a friend of the family. Later he would star in “The Voyage of the Mimi,” an educational children’s television program. While he started early, Affleck has made it clear that he did not have a Hollywood kid lifestyle, and that there was never pressure from his parents; it was just sort of thing he wanted to try.


#9: Kurt Russell


While he was branching off into film at an early age, it was TV where he placed some of his first breakthrough performances. At the age of eleven, Russell got his start on television, starring first in an uncredited role on “Dennis the Menace,” and eventually getting parts in such shows as “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “The Fugitive,” “Gunsmoke,” “Gilligan's Island,” and “Lost in Space.” Russell’s most regular TV work was on the western program, “The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters,” for which he played the title character of Jaimie.


#8: Elisabeth Moss


Well before she was rocking it as Peggy Olson or winning Emmys for her work on “The Handmaid’s Tale,” she was getting her start on the NBC miniseries “Lucky Chances.” And to think, Moss was just eight at the time. She later starred in the made-for-TV 1995 remake of “Escape to Witch Mountain,” along with various other small film and television roles. Moss also cut her teeth on a fair amount of voice acting in films like “Once Upon a Forest,” specials like “Frosty Returns,” and animated shows like “Batman: The Animated Series.”


#7: Paul Walker


While he passed tragically young, it might surprise you to know that Walker also got started in acting at an extremely young age. As a baby, Walker starred in his first commercial for Pampers diapers, after which he began modeling at just two years old. From there, he branched out into acting, getting parts on “Who’s the Boss?,” “Touched by an Angel,” and “The Young and the Restless.” His first film credit was at 13, with the horror/comedy “Monster in the Closet.” Walker packed more into a short life than most do on average.


#6: Laurence Fishburne


Known now for playing complex characters and intense mentors with their own agendas, it might be strange to think that Fishburne got his start at twelve playing series regular Joshua Hall on long-running ABC soap opera, “One Life to Live.” At age fourteen, Fishburne scored a supporting role as Tyrone Miller in “Apocalypse Now.” Although the character was actually seventeen, Fishburne lied about his age in order to get the gig. Ironically, however, it took so long to finish the film that Fishburne had turned seventeen by the time it hit theaters.


#5: Milla Jovovich


After leaving the USSR with her family at the age of five, Jovovich had a more challenging start than others on this list. After moving to L.A., her mother – a famous actress when they lived in Moscow – originally tried to get into acting, but found the language barrier too hard. The focus was turned to young Milla – who had become fluent in English in just a few months. At the age of ten, she was enrolled in acting lessons, and three years later she landed her first professional role in the TV film, “The Night Train to Kathmandu.” After that, more gigs were quick to follow.


#4: Jeff Bridges


This dude did not abide; in fact he jumped right in with both feet. At the age of nine, in 1958, he – along with his father Lloyd, who was the star, and his brother Beau – appeared in several episodes of the adventure television program “Sea Hunt.” However, he had made his first screen appearance years earlier, at not quite two years old, in the movie “The Company She Keeps.” He also made several appearances on his father’s anthology series “The Lloyd Bridges Show.” When acting is a family business, getting started must just come naturally.


#3: Jake Gyllenhaal


While only twenty-one when he broke out with the science fiction mind-bender, “Donnie Darko,” in which he co-starred and played brother to his real-life sister Maggie Gyllenhaal, he was no newcomer. Thanks to family ties, he landed the role of Billy Crystal’s son ten years earlier in “City Slickers.” He often appeared alongside his sister, or worked under the direction of his father, Stephen Gyllenhaal. Despite an early interest in acting, his parents were reluctant to let him take on any roles that would remove him from the family for long stretches at a time. That’s why we never got to see him in “The Mighty Ducks.”


#2: Scarlett Johansson


This versatile actress is best known for her parts in such films as “Lost in Translation,” “The Prestige,” and the MCU. But with all her years of acting experience, perhaps it is no surprise she is so easily able to assume new roles. As a child, she auditioned for commercials, and then moved on to film by the age of nine. By twelve, she had been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female for her role as Manny in the dramedy “Manny & Lo.” Already getting attention, her standout role came in 1998, at age 14, when she landed one of the leads in “The Horse Whisperer.” It was up from there.


Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Jason Bateman


Fergie


Jessica Alba


#1: Bruce Lee


Lee Jun-fan, but known better by his stage name Bruce Lee, got a start in theatre at a young age thanks to his father, Lee Hoi-chuen. A famous opera singer, he introduced his son to the acting world very early – as a baby! By the time the young Lee was 18, he had already landed roles in twenty films. One of his best-known early roles is that of the titular kid in “The Kid,” which he led at age ten. Based on a comic book character, the film also starred his father. He worked regularly in the Hong Kong (and later American) film industry, becoming the martial arts legend we know today.
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