10 Celebrities Who Became Stars Before They Were 18

Many celebrities in Hollywood today started their careers well before they hit adulthood. Some stars had their moment in the spotlight when they were young but fizzled out after a short time. Others have experienced continued success even as they moved on from their breakthrough roles. Whether they’re still young or are all grown up by now, here’s a look at some celebs that became famous before they were 18 years old. [If you want to see a cool list of successful entrepreneurs who made a fortune before they turned 18, check out this post.]

Emma Watson

21-year-old Emma was cast as Hermoine Granger in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the age of 9. She went on to star in all 8 films of the series. She sang, danced, and acted in school plays throughout her childhood, but had no professional experience before Harry Potter.

Dakota Fanning

17-year-old Dakota started acting at age 5 with appearances in commercials and on TV shows including ER, CSI, and Spin City. Her breakthrough role came at age 7 when she starred opposite Sean Penn in I Am Sam. She became the youngest person ever to be nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role.

Taylor Momsen

Taylor, now 18 years old, began acting professionally at the age of 3 when she starred in a commercial for Shake ‘n Bake. Her first major role came at the age of 7 when she was cast as Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The young star recently decided to quit her acting career to pursue music.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Now 25 years old, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen started their acting careers as babies. They began filming episodes of the TV series Full House at just 9 months old and took turns playing Michelle Tanner on the series. The Olsen twins have since built up an empire worth millions.

Macaulay Culkin

30-year-old Macaulay began acting at the age of 4. His breakthrough role was playing Kevin McCallister in Home Alone in 1990. He had other successful roles in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Uncle Buck, and My Girl. Since then, he’s appeared in numerous commercials, plays, television shows, and independent films.

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay, now 25 years old, started modeling and starring in TV commercials at the age of 3. Her first major role came at age 11 when she starred in The Parent Trap. She starred in several more films and attempted a singing career before running into trouble with the law.

Britney Spears

Britney, who recently turned 30, started singing and performing at a very young age. She appeared on the TV show Star Search, in several commercials, and as a member of The Mickey Mouse Club. She was signed to a record label at the age of 16 and released her first hit album soon after. Aside from a few slip-ups in her personal life, she’s had a successful career since then.

Drew Barrymore

36-year-old Drew Barrymore landed her first appearance in a TV commercial at just 11 months old. Her breakthrough role came at age 6 when she was cast as Gertie in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. By the age of 13, she was caught up in partying, drinking, and smoking. Barrymore cleaned up her act and went on to focus on her acting career instead.

Michael Jackson

Michael first started performing as part of the The Jackson 5 when he was just 8 years old. He eventually struck out on his own and became one of the most successful entertainers of all time. Jackson’s life ended tragically in 2009.

Claire Danes

32-year-old Claire got her start at the age of 15 by starring in the TV series My So-Called Life. She won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy for the role. The show developed a cult following after its cancellation. Other than a short break from acting to study at Yale, Danes has experienced success in her career since then.