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Actors We Saw In Kids' Movies Before We Knew They Were Legends
Legendary actors are usually associated with the highbrow movies that made them famous, but at some point, many of these performers find their way into kids' movies, whether for easy cash , a public relations boost, or a genuine love of the genre or project. For many kids, these appearances are the first time they see famous actors on the screen. While adults probably associate James Caan with The Godfather , for example, few kids will have been exposed to Coppola’s bloody masterpiece. Instead, they’re more likely to remember the actor from the holiday movie Elf . These first glimpses of famous performers are powerful. For a generation of kids, legendary actor Michael Caine will always be associated with The Muppets Christmas Carol no matter how many times they see The Last King of Scotland or The Italian Job later in life. This is particularly true when famous actors create surprisingly excellent performances in kids' movies .
There are a lot of great performances from prestigious actors in lighthearted family films, but which is most inextricably linked to its actor? Vote up the kid-friendly performances that will always spring to mind first when you think of the famous actors behind them.
Danny DeVito In 'Matilda'
It’s hard not to smile when Danny DeVito enters the frame. In movies such as Get Shorty , Romancing the Stone , LA Confidential , and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest , he often plays jovial sidekicks who never fail to inject some pep and chuckles into even the most serious drama. His recurring role in the viciously dark TV comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has cemented his status as a beloved performer . In addition to his onscreen work, DeVito has also directed movies such as The War of the Roses and Hoffa , and produced many others, including Pulp Fiction , Erin Brockovich , and A Walk Among the Tombstones . He’s even found success on the stage, receiving a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut in Arthur Miller’s The Price in 2017.
As far as many kids are concerned, however, DeVito is inextricably linked to his 1996 performance as Mr. Wormwood in Matilda , an adaptation of the Roald Dahl book of the same name that DeVito also directed and produced. Matilda (Mara Wilson) is a kind-hearted child with a nasty family. When she discovers that her extraordinary intelligence extends to telekinesis, she uses her powers to make her life at home more bearable. As Matilda’s dad, DeVito is all bluster and slapstick, an unscrupulous car salesman whose intelligence is limited to a conniving instinct for scamming his customers. Even though Mr. Wormwood is verbally abusive toward his daughter, DeVito’s colorfully sleazy, silly performance is undeniably endearing.
Joe Pesci In 'Home Alone'
Oscar winner Joe Pesci is one of Hollywood’s most reliable supporting actors. This may sound like damning with faint praise, but one look at his filmography will dispel any doubts about his skill as a performer. His roles in Goodfellas , My Cousin Vinny , the Lethal Weapon franchise, and Casino distinguished him as one of the best working character actors whose performances elevate every movie he's in. Throughout his career, he’s specialized in characters who are short-tempered and volatile, constantly on the lookout for a pretense to make things nasty. His “Funny how?” scene in Goodfellas in which he confronts Ray Liotta for calling him a “funny guy” may have single-handedly won him the Oscar that year, and showcases the lightning-fast agility as an actor to go from playful to deadly serious within seconds that makes him such a compelling screen presence.
In Home Alone , he plays another tough guy, but this time for laughs. As one of the only movies he’s appeared in that isn’t rated R, it’s the first exposure many kids have of him. Pesci plays Harry, half of a burgling duo known as the Wet Bandits who are on a break-in spree in a suburban neighborhood. He and his buddy Marv (Daniel Stern) run out of luck when the next house on their list is occupied by eight-year-old Kevin (McCauley Culkin), who has been inadvertently left at home by his vacationing family. While Pesci may have gone out of his way to terrify Culkin both onscreen and off , he won over generations of kids who felt that maybe burglars aren’t so scary after all.
James Earl Jones In 'The Sandlot'
Even if you can’t picture James Earl Jones, you can almost certainly conjure a memory of his voice. From Darth Vader intoning “I am your father” in Star Wars to Mufasa reminding his young cub that he will someday become a ruler in The Lion King , his velvety baritone has given life to some of the most famous movie characters in a generation. For someone who is so well known for his voice, however, Jones has had an illustrious career outside the recording studio. He got his start in the late '50s as an acclaimed Shakespearean actor on Broadway before making his big screen debut in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove . His filmography is vast, including appearances in Conan the Barbarian , The Hunt for Red October , and Coming to America . He’s won two Emmys, two Tonys, a Grammy, and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars. With this body of work, he’s a bona fide legend of show business if ever there was one.
Despite this prestigious resumé, however, the first time many kids saw Jones was in The Sandlot , David Mickey Evans’s 1993 coming-of-age movie about friendship and baseball. As Mr. Mertle, a mysterious neighbor who turns out to have been close friends with Babe Ruth, Jones plays a small but memorable role. Although the boys are at first terrified of his dog and unsure of what to expect, he turns out to be warm, generous, and downright awe-inspiring once the kids learn about his past.
Tim Curry In 'Muppet Treasure Island'
Tim Curry was worried he would be typecast when he landed the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, the “sweet transvestite from Transylvania” in The Rocky Horror Picture Show . Far from being pigeon-holed, however, Curry became one of the most versatile character actors in show business. His movie appearances include playing a stuffily eccentric butler in Clue , an evil overlord in Legend , and Pennywise the clown in the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel, It . Added to his live-action appearances are scores of voiceover performances, from Scooby-Doo to Barbie , that highlight his vocal range and agility, along with several theater interludes .
One of Curry’s most prominent movie roles outside of Rocky Horror is Brian Henson’s Muppet Treasure Island, which is loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel. Curry, as one of the few live-action actors in the movie, plays Long John Silver, a one-legged pirate hell-bent on snatching a treasure map from the teenager Jim Hawkins (Kevin Bishop). Posing as a benevolent father figure, Silver oozes smarmy charm while plotting against Jim and the ship’s captain, Smollett (Kermit the Frog). Curry pulls out all the stops for the role, returning to the glorious excess that made Frank-N-Furter such an indelible role. He purrs, cackles, and belts a show-stopping musical number that succeeds in sidelining the Muppets. Legendary actors such as Orson Welles and Michael Caine made memorable live-action appearances in Muppets movies as well, but no other performance upstages the puppets like Curry’s.
James Cromwell In 'Babe'
At 6’7”, James Cromwell is known for playing imposing, occasionally hostile characters who command respect in movies such as LA Confidential and The Green Mile . His television work is arguably more prominent, including multiple guest appearances in Star Trek , a memorably sinister performance as a Nazi doctor in American Horror Story , and the austere black sheep of the Roy family in Succession .
Out of his hundreds of screen credits, Cromwell is known to many children as Farmer Hoggett, a kindly man of few words who adopts a young pig with extraordinary talents in Chris Noonan’s 1995 family movie, Babe . The sight of such a staid, towering figure dancing a jig and bottle-feeding a sickly pig is so incongruously delightful that the performance stands out amidst the more showy, dramatic farm animal characters. Babe received seven Oscar nominations (a rare feat for a live-action family movie), including for Cromwell’s performance. The experience had a profound effect on the actor, who credits the experience with his turn to veganism and animal rights activism.
Maggie Smith In 'Hook'
Dame Maggie Smith came to the attention of many Americans through her irascible yet witty performances as Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies and the Dowager Countess in the soapy period series Downton Abbey . Long before these roles, however, Smith was a luminary of the stage and screen on both sides of the Atlantic. Beginning her career in the London theater in the late 1950s, she performed opposite dramatic greats such as Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Williams, and broke into movies in Olivier’s screen adaptation of Othello in 1965. Since then, she’s gained a mind-numbing number of awards and nominations for playing emotionally nuanced, challenging women. Her career is so vast and prestigious that the two Oscars, four Emmys. and seven BAFTAs she’s won hardly begin to scratch the surface of her accomplishments.
One of the first roles many kids saw her in is Granny Wendy in Steven Spielberg’s 1991 Peter Pan sequel, Hook . Although she isn’t a main character, her portrayal of a 92-year-old Wendy Darling is both playful and poignant. For some, she is the best thing about the movie, with one critic writing that her performance has “ the regal, otherworldly air of the perfect fairy-tale enchantress .”
Peter Falk In 'The Princess Bride'
For 32 years, Peter Falk ruled the small screen as Columbo, the titular homicide detective in one of television’s most successful mystery shows. With his disheveled trench coat and gravelly voice, he emanated unselfconscious charisma and cigarette smoke. Falk won four Emmys for the role, but his work was not confined to television. He started his career onstage doing off-Broadway productions, and later appeared in several movies helmed by the groundbreaking indie director John Cassevetes.
For kids growing up during or after the late '80s, however, Falk is forever remembered as the grandfather in Rob Reiner’s beloved adventure romance The Princess Bride . Reading a bedtime story to his grandson (Fred Savage), Falk’s voice may be soothing, but the sardonic twinkle in his eye suggests he isn’t the fairytale-peddling cliché the kid fears. Undeterred by his grandson’s lack of enthusiasm, he knows the story he’s about to read is thrilling and scary enough to win over even the most unromantic, video game-obsessed modern-day kid. As the grandson becomes deeply engrossed in the story, it’s hard not to wish Peter Falk was your grandfather, too.
James Caan In 'Elf'
For decades, James Caan was the consummate tough guy. In movies such as El Dorado , Thief , and Flesh and Bone , he played career criminals with a volatile streak who would rather break your arm than have a civil conversation. Nowhere were these character traits more apparent than in his most well-known role in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather . As Sonny Corleone, the eldest son of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), Caan is an aggressive hothead for whom violence is a hobby as much as it is a job. His death is so spectacularly gory in the movie that it required 147 squibs to achieve. While most kids probably didn’t see him terrorizing his way through The Godfather until they were a little older, many have seen his threatening persona in a much more kid-friendly movie.
In Elf , Jon Favreau’s 2003 Christmas comedy, Caan plays Walter Hobbs, the biological father of an overgrown elf named Buddy (Will Ferrell). Hobbs falls squarely within Caan’s stereotypical role. He is tough, humorless, and utterly immune to Buddy’s irrepressible optimism and infectious charm. Even the crew of the movie confessed to being “ a little scared of [him] ” throughout filming. Ferrell steals the show as the titular elf, but Caan’s menacing presence pervades the movie and is instrumental in preventing Buddy’s maniacal cheerfulness from becoming sickly sweet. Of all the characters in Elf , Caan has the most satisfying and convincing emotional arc.
Jamie Lee Curtis In 'Freaky Friday'
Born to '50s movie stars Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis shot to fame in 1978 as the quintessential “final girl” in John Carpenter’s landmark slasher, Halloween . She went on to play sultry characters in movies such as A Fish Called Wanda and Perfect , and earned a Golden Globe Award for her performance in James Cameron’s action thriller, True Lies . Later appearances in movies such as Knives Out , Everything Everywhere All At Once , and the reboot of the Halloween franchise have proven her commitment to timely, unconventional roles despite her already unassailable status as an icon.
Curtis has written more than a dozen children’s books in addition to her acting career, but has largely stuck to adult fare for her work onscreen. For many kids, Freaky Friday is their first exposure to her, and it’s a memorable performance. Curtis plays an uptight, exhausted single mom whose life is turned upside down when she and her teenage daughter (Lindsay Lohan) mysteriously swap bodies. It’s a premise that could easily have fallen flat, but Curtis’s commitment to the role sells it. As a teenager trapped in her mother’s body, she is sarcastic, irresponsible, and self-obsessed. Watching her melt down as she looks in the mirror, tries to disguise her disgust for her mother’s fiancé, and pretend to be a parent to her brother is what makes Freaky Friday such a beloved film despite its occasionally dated fashion choices. According to Curtis, it was an “amazing, amazing, amazing” experience for her creatively and the “freest” she’s ever felt as an actor.
Eric Idle In 'Casper'
When it comes to comedy legends, Eric Idle is practically royalty. A member of the trailblazing comedy troupe Monty Python , he has influenced generations of comedians, from Tina Fey to the creators of The Simpsons . Monty Python’s Flying Circus is widely regarded as one of the most revolutionary TV shows of all time, while Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Life of Brian remain heavily quoted movies that are frequently referenced by other filmmakers . Idle played a singular role in the group, supplying much of the songwriting for each project, including “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
As with every other member of Python , Idle has never fully emerged from under the group’s shadow, but he has continued to make sporadic appearances in movies and TV. One of the most well-loved of these performances is in Brad Silberling’s 1995 supernatural family movie Casper . Based on the Harvey Comic Casper the Friendly Ghost , the movie centers on the attempts of a wealthy heiress, Carrigan Crittenden (Cathy Moriarty), to rid her mansion of ghosts with the help of an afterlife therapist (Bill Pullman). Idle plays Carrigan’s lawyer, Dibs, a meekly comedic foil for his boss’s tyrannical greed. He spends most of his time onscreen mustering a veneer of dignity despite Carrigan’s contempt, and when he finally summons the courage to double-cross her, his delight is short-lived but maniacal in its intensity. Although he only plays a supporting role, Idle provides a performance that is memorably hilarious because it doesn’t resort to the usual slapstick theatrics many actors employ for children’s movies.
Kenneth Branagh In 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'
Sir Kenneth Branagh is a multi-hyphenate talent who has defied the odds by becoming just as respected as a director as he is as an actor. Classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he has moved seamlessly between performing in, writing, and directing movies and theater across genres. From Shakespeare to Marvel, he’s proven his range on both sides of the camera, picking up eight cross-category Oscar nominations along the way.
Despite this impressive resume, many kids remember him as Gilderoy Lockhart, the flamboyantly narcissistic and fraudulent Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets . The author of Magical Me , Lockhart is more obsessed with his own charms than he is with magical ones, which is just as well, because he is an embarrassingly inept wizard. The Potter movies are packed with cleverly cast supporting players, but Branagh still stands out, clearly relishing the chance to play such a splashy, self-obsessed airhead of a character after decades of tackling Shakespearean verse.
Steve Buscemi In 'Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams'
Steve Buscemi plays supporting characters more often than protagonists, but it’s hard to imagine any of the movies he’s in without him. From Reservoir Dogs to The Big Lebowski to Monsters Inc. , he brings offbeat energy to each of his characters, a quality that can be comedic, menacing, charming, or a combination of all three. He’s teamed with the Coen brothers for no fewer than six movies, and impressed Tarantino so much that the director cast him as Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs despite originally planning to play the role himself . Buscemi has received eight Emmy nominations for his work on the small screen, including for his starring role in Boardwalk Empire . He won for his low-key interview web series in which he interviews celebrities and strangers on a park bench, which is indicative of his appeal: Steve Buscemi is so well-liked that a lot of people would watch him hang out on a park bench with just about anyone, no questions asked.
While his filmography is littered with award-winning films, a generation of kids was first introduced to Buscemi through his role in the Spy Kids sequel, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams . As the genetic scientist Romero, Buscemi is in comfortable, oddball territory playing an outcast who whiles away the hours on an empty island trying to make miniature zoo animals. His experiments have the opposite effect, populating the island with deadly monsters that Carmen and Joni (the titular spy kids) have to wrangle. Wallowing in self-doubt about the beings he’s created, Romero gets existential, wondering aloud, “Do you think God lives in heaven because he too lives in fear of what he’s created?” Neither the spy kids nor probably any kids watching the scene have an answer to this angsty question, but Buscemi, as usual, pulls it off and leaves his young audience with a taste of nihilism they can mull over for the next decade or two.
Glenn Close In '101 Dalmatians'
Glenn Close made a name for herself in the 1980s playing terrifying women. In movies such as Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons , she portrayed a range of female villains, at times psychotic and violent, at others chilly and imperious. Close’s breadth as an actor has landed her major awards since the beginning of her career, including multiple Tonys, Emmys, and Golden Globes. With eight Oscar nominations, she is the most nominated living performer without a win , but her extensive work on stage and screen has gained her a reputation for being one of the most skilled and versatile actors of her generation.
Despite her considerable range, Close rarely appears in family movies, making 101 Dalmatians the first opportunity many kids had of seeing the legendary actor. As Cruella de Vil in Disney’s 1996 live-action remake of its classic animated film, Close is in lock-step with the dangerous women she played in movies and shows like Fatal Attraction and Damages . The puppy-poaching fashionista is a cackling tour-de-force of sadistic glee, a character so terrifying that even the dogs were afraid of her .
Frances McDormand In 'Madeline'
Frances McDormand is one of the few actors whose influence and stardom only seem to grow with age. She won three of her four Oscars after the age of 60, including for her role in Chloé Zhao’s 2020 movie Nomadland which at least one critic suggested was “ the best of her career so far .” From an affable, pregnant policewoman in Fargo to an irritable, often unlikable school teacher in Olive Kitteridge , McDormand has a knack for imbuing vastly different characters with realism and humanity, no matter how eccentric or unsympathetic.
One of her most lovable roles came in Daisy von Scherler Meyer’s 1998 family movie, Madeline , based on the children’s book series of the same name. McDormand plays Miss Clavel, a nun who teaches at an all-girls boarding school in Paris. She is the type of teacher every child wishes for: kind, attentive, and prepared to dish up tough love when she needs to. Another actor might make the character a stereotype of virtuosity, but McDormand gives her a hint of mischievousness and warmth that cuts through the sappier moments of the script. Miss Clavel is nowhere near the level of complexity that many of McDormand’s other characters are, but the actor makes her so human that any child watching Madeline would believe she really is a teacher, and one they wish was theirs.
Sigourney Weaver In 'Holes'
Sigourney Weaver rose to fame playing steely, no-nonsense heroines whose formidable power is tempered with carefully suppressed vulnerability. In movies such as the Alien franchise, Working Girl , and Gorillas in the Mist , her strength and intelligence radiate through her characters, whether she’s playing an action hero, corporate boss, or scientist. She’s received three Oscar nominations, including two in the same year, and four Emmy nominations. With a career that spans decades and has never lost momentum, she is a consistently powerful onscreen presence who brings gravitas to every performance.
Most of Weaver’s movies are on the intense side of the spectrum, so many children got their first glimpse of her in Holes , Andrew Davis’s 2003 adaptation of Louis Sachar’s popular YA novel of the same name. As the warden of a mysterious detention camp in the middle of a harsh desert, Weaver is merciless, cutting, and without a shred of warmth despite the scorching temperatures. Forcing kids to dig holes in deathly heat is one thing, but The Warden’s casual dismissal of her youthful detainees’ humanity is downright chilling. Her snake venom-infused nail polish and savage takedowns of her henchmen (played by Jon Voight and Tim Blake Nelson) are the stuff of nightmares for any kid who has seen the movie.
Charles Grodin In 'Beethoven'
Comedian Charles Grodin was a master of deadpan humor. With his benign news anchor looks and flat delivery of punchlines, he was the antithesis of larger-than-life actors/comedians of the era like Robin Williams and Steve Martin. He achieved fame in movies such as The Heartbreak Kid and Midnight Run , an odd couple buddy comedy costarring Robert De Niro. His many appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Late Night with David Letterman made him a TV fixture, and he eventually got his own talk show. Though few kids could detect his bone-dry humor, one of his most enduring roles came in a family film.
Beethoven is a 1992 comedy about a family who adopts a St. Bernard puppy and names him after the famous composer. Grodin plays the dad, George, who is the only member of the family who wants nothing to do with the dog. Straight-laced, strict, and humorless, George is the perfect role for Grodin. He is in a constant state of outraged disbelief about his lot in life, forced to cohabitate with a monstrous, furry creature for whom he feels no warmth. When he finally lets his guard down and opens his heart a fraction of an inch, he discovers what everyone has known all along: for all his indignation and bluster, he’s a big softy. For any kid watching the movie, Grodin is the typical “uncool” dad who turns out to be pretty awesome after all.
- Pop Culture
Lists that dissect and analyze (and possibly ruin) some of the movies and TV you watched over and over and over and over when you were a kid.
20 Best Child Actors of All Time
Among artists of the industry, child artists probably pack the most veracity in their performances. Their age definitely plays a part, wherein all the emotions come from heart. Usually, a film not only improves by their acting, but also their screen presence. I mean who doesn’t love kids, right? Their innocent faces and pristine souls often move audiences and evokes the most gentlest of emotions. Over the years, as the industry has come to terms with many things, transcending boundaries of color, cast, religion and gender, there also has been a meteoric rise in the number of coming-of age films, often resting squarely on the shoulders of child artists. Not only have the performances been absolutely magnificent, the films have seen critical and commercial success as well.
A number of those children have gone on to become established entities in the industry, and now enjoy the status of superstars. With age, they have gotten better. Stars like Chloe Moretz, Hailee Steinfeld, Anna Paquin, and Freddie Highmore have gradually but surely, have cemented their place in the heart of the industry. Here’s the list of top child actors — male and female — ever. We ranked the list based on actor’s performances.
20. Corey Haim (‘Lucas’)
Corey Haim makes it to the list owing to his moving performance in ‘Lucas’. The tragic-comedy saw a plethora of child artists take to the screen, but none could match this guy’s level. Playing the titular character Lucas Bly, an intelligent and nerdy 14-year-old high school student, Haim was able to encapsulate one of the most original teenager character essence on screen. His infuriating and often lovable moments on the screen, filigree by his authenticity made the film a realistic experience. The one scene in the hospital, where he lies know-pined for Maggie, stands out. His unfortunate demise at 39 robbed us off more scintillating performances like this one.
19. Kirsten Dunst (‘Interview with The Vampire’)
Sharing screen space with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise can be an intimidating task for any actor. And for a 10 year old, making her film debut, it can be a living nightmare. But fortunately, that wasn’t the case with Kirsten Dunst’s first performance in a morion picture in Neil Jordan’s ‘Interview with The Vampire’. Showing nerves of steel, Dunst not only managed to deliver a tangible sense of world-weariness in her character, but out shined her superstar compatriots with much aplomb in majority of her scenes. The shadow of the two greats didn’t loom over her as a burgeoning cloud, but inspired her to deliver a once in a life-time performance.
18. Macaulay Culkin (‘Home Alone’)
It is very difficult to shoulder a film all alone. The task augments in become daunting and downright petrifying when you are a mere 10 years old. Well, tell that to this guy! Culkin starred as one of the most iconic movies and roles in child acting history portraying Kevin McCallister as the beleaguered home alone kid. Even though the critics took the film apart for its shoddy plot and implausible story-line, Culkin shined like a night star and sucked all the highlights. His nuanced and adorable performance earned plaudits left and right, and also spring boarded him into the global limelight.
17. River Phoenix (‘Stand by Me’)
‘Stand by Me’ is one of the most prominent coming-of age dramas of the 20th Century. Only fledgling concept back then, Rob Reiner gambled with an all-children cast with an unconventional plot, and boy did it pay off. A 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t do enough justice to the thought-provoking tenet of the film, and to that of its talented cast, led by the shining River Phoenix. Though already a teen idol owing to ‘Seven Brides to Seven Brother’, he reoriented his career trend with this adult-formulated concept film. His matured portrayal not only made us stand and take notice, but also made us rethink our upbringing and behavior towards our children. The scene where he bids adieu to his obsequious group of trouble-makers, reminisces nostalgic memories of our youthful shenanigans and the camaraderie with our friends.
16. Chloe Grace Moretz (‘Kick-Ass’)
Such is the ferocity of the performances in the list, that Chloe Moretz’s best career performance finds itself at sixteen. Only 14 at the time, Moretz’s career changing role came in this 2010 R-Rated comedy, which saw her play a brazen assassin and ruthless vigilante hit-girl. The film has a cult following today and has developed into a franchise. It managed to conjure up jaw-dropping numbers at the box-office, almost doing a $100 mil globally. The film launched the career of the blond actress, though she had done some good work prior to the flick.
15. Abigal Breslin (‘Little Miss Sunshine’)
Abigail Breslin is easily one of the most recognizable faces in the industry. Over the years she has successfully appeared in substantial role in movies, and shared screen space with some of the biggest stars of the industry. But her stand-out performance came in this comedy-drama. Playing a 7-year old in a family of interesting personalities, Breslin shined like the morning star and even bagged an Academy nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Despite having superstars like Steve Carrel, Alan Arkin, Toni Colette, and Greg Kinnear, Breslin managed to hold her own, and announce her arrival in adult territory with the film.
14. Freddie Highmore (‘August Rush’)
Highmore is a veteran amongst the child artists if the industry. He has featured heavily in commercially and critically acclaimed films in the past decade. He has specially been praised for his beyond-the years maturity and adorable looks. His most prominent lead role came in ‘August Rush’, involving an 11 year-old musical prodigy living in an orphanage who runs away to New York City. He begins to unravel the mystery of who he is, all while his mother is searching for him and his father is searching for her. ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Finding Neverland’ are two of his other most eminent performances. Truly a star!
13. Linda Blair (‘The Exorcist’)
One of the greatest horror films of all time featured one of the greatest performances by a child artist as well. Linda Blair, only 13 at the time of the shooting, showed immense composure and valor in portryaing a possessed girl, who is overwhelmed by the sadist and evil parasitic energies around her. The performance prompted some of the most positive reactions to an artist, let alone a child artist. It also fetched her an Academy Award nomination, and a Golden Globe as well. It ignited a series of remakes and sequels, where she reprised her role as Regan.
12. Christian Bale (‘Empire of the Sun’)
Even at the age of 13, Bale was a dedicated and intense actor. He solidified his credentials, headlining the Spielberg helmed WWII era epic, ‘Empire of the Sun’. The tale follows a young boy who is separated from his parents and ends up in a Japanese internment camp. When you have Steven Spielberg as a director for your debut film, you tend to relax and rest a bit on his expertise and good prudence. But that wasn’t the case here. Bale read books, watched video tapes of interviews if the survivors and carved a charming spell over us with his performance, which was easily the most noticeable feature of the film.
11. Hugh O’Connor (in ‘My Left Foot’)
When an actor as great as Daniel Day Lewis mentions you and salutes you in his Oscar speech, you know you are special. Playing a real-life cerebral palsy patient Christy Brown, this engrossing tale featured him for a mere 20 minutes on screen as the younger Brown. His lending of tangibility and uneasiness to the character made us swoon and helpless in applauding his performance. His authentic approach was obviously a result of working with Lewis, but at 12 years old, this performance remains a bench mark for child artists or any artist to emulate.
10. Dakota Fanning (‘I am Sam’)
Dakota Fanning is one of the most loved stars in the industry. The lesser illustrious of the two sisters, Dakota made leeways into the industry with Spielberg’s sci-fi epic ‘War of Worlds’. But her most prolific and substantial performance comes in this 2005 film, co-starring Sean Penn. And when you make Penn co-star in a film, you know you have done good! As the six-year old daughter of Sam Dawson, an autistic and disabled savant, she’s a genuine miracle- realistic, endearing and completely and utterly heartbreaking. You just can’t keep your tears intact, and stop yourself from crying rivers viewing this father-daughter duo fighting and surviving the world that is.
9. Isabel Fuhrmann (‘Orphan’)
One of the most harrowing and petrifying performances in a motion picture by a child artist comes in the 2009 horror-thriller ‘Orphan’. Isabel Fuhrmann assumed the titular character of a supposedly 9-year old orphan, who is adopted by a troubled couple, to cope with the loss of a baby girl. Soon enough, through a series of cleverly crafted tricks and acts, her true character begins to unravel. Her performance is so good, that you’ll actually start hating her, even more than Cersei Lannister. The sadist and down-right evil portrayal took our breaths away, and prompted the most fearsome emotions a human can possibly experience.
8. Natalie Portman (‘The Professional’)
This French thriller was the mercurial Portman’s debut film. She assumed the character of Mathilda Lando, a lonely twelve-year-old girl. Mathilda lives with her dysfunctional family in an apartment down the hall. Her abusive father and self-absorbed stepmother have not noticed that Mathilda stopped attending class at her school for troubled girls. Until one day she gets noticed by a vigilante hit-man, who takes an egregious liking to her. You’ll never be able to guess the 12-year old’s age in the movie. A singular viewing of the film will solidify her claims as one of the most talented actresses of her generation.
7. Jacob Tremblay (‘Room’)
In her Oscar acceptance speech, an emotional Brie Larson credited the 9-year old Jacob Tremblay for her win. Without his innocence and enthusiasm on set, the sort of performance that Larson delivered, wouldn’t have been possible. Tremblay is the youngest actor on the list. He portrayed Jack Newsome, a 6-year old trapped with his mother in a room since his inception. Until one day, the mother-son duo decide to break free and plan an escape. The film sent shock-waves in the industry with its moving plot-line and unorthodox setting. The clever use of basic first-time experiences and curiosity of a six-year old, seeing the blue sky or green trees for the first time in his life is inexplicable. The performance prompted major acclaim for his performance, and garnered him a torrential influx of award nominations.
6. Saorise Ronan (‘Hanna’)
Ronan is probably one of the oldest actors working in the industry. Her performances have been varied and see her take up a range of roles. Probably one of the most blissful performances of her career comes in the shape of Hanna, in the film of the same name. Sixteen at the time, Ronan played Hanna, a girl raised in the wilderness of northern Finland by her father, an ex-CIA operative (Eric Bana), who trains her as an assassin. She must find the perpetrator who killed her mother, and salvage her life. The redemption filled drama required her to learn martial arts, and three different languages, which she pulled off effortlessly. Even though her role in the 2007 film ‘Atonement’ earned her a first Academy nomination, it was this film that truly made her a complete star.
5. Jodie Foster (‘Taxi Driver’)
The adorable Jodie Foster made her debut with this Scorcese directed movie and won her first Academy nomination as well. It made her the youngest to achieve the nomination then. The movie, known better for De Niro’s spring to stardom and ‘You talkin’ to me?’, also acted as a precursor of fame and name that was to come for Foster. Her portrayal as Iris “Easy” Steensma, a 13-year old child prostitute, looking to dissuade her pursuance, flabbergasted critics and audiences alike and sent shock-waves through the industry. Her stubborn and adamant character drew praise and importance from many aspects of the society for the egregious wrong. The star we know today is but an incarnation of Iris from ‘Taxi Driver’. Her unique way of delivering dialogues got much attention, something she says has now become a habit, which she inculcated while preparing for the role.
4. Anna Paquin (‘The Piano’)
Paquin became the second youngest actress to win the Best Supporting award for the film, at the age of 12. The film is about a mute piano player and her daughter. Set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater town on the west coast of New Zealand, it revolves around the piano player’s passion for playing the piano and her efforts to regain her piano after it is sold. The film warranted explosive reactions from the critics, who were let in awe of the scintillating performance of the lead cast, especially that of Paquin. Her blank stares at the camera and maturity ensconced an ever-lasting image in our minds, that will keep reminding us of her unprecedented role.
3. Tatum O’Neal (‘Paper Moon’)
The youngest artist ever to win an Oscar, Tatum delivered her career best in this one. Starring in the movie with real-life father Ryan O’Neal, she portrayed the role of Addie Loggins, a priceless grifter-in-training daughter of a bludgeoning con man. The gradual build-up of their relationship, and Tatum’s realization of the existence of her father is truly endearing. The film features some of the best written and performed scenes in the history of cinema. The innocent eyes, the taciturn personality and the sneering visage that could convalesce the greatest if diseases, she simply was amazing. A must watch if you want to have a good cry!
2. Haley Joel Osment (‘The Sixth Sense’)
“I see dead people.” is one of the most iconic lines in the history of modern cinema. We have this privilege courtesy Hailey Joel Osment, who was cast over 5000 children in M. Night Shyamlan’s ‘The Sixth Sense’. The harrowing performances fetched him an Academy nomination, and brought him into the global limelight. The movie also boasts of one of the greatest twist endings, which has been the subject of many reprisals. His effortless conjuring of tears and flowing in a low-toned voice caught the people’s eye and made him a revered jewel in the crown of Hollywood.
1. Hailee Steinfeld (‘True Grit’)
Topping the list is Hailee Steinfeld’s portrayal of a 13-year old girl, seeking redemption for his deceased father, chasing the perpetrator through the salty and vast plains of the West. Her nuanced role as Mattie Ross earned rave reviews and bagged her an Academy nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Despite the presence of stalwarts like Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin, she delivers an eye-grabbing performance, that will forever remain the highlight of the movie.
Read More: Best Acting Performances
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18 of the best performances by child actors in movie history
The best young stars to have graced the cinema screen, article bookmarked.
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In cinema, it's always a risky bet when casting children in key roles. Pick incorrectly and it could derail the whole enterprise.
Find the right person, though – someone with the right blend of confidence, naivety and unselfconsciousness – and the results can be breathtaking.
This week sees Jacob Tremblay continue his run of impressive roles with Good Boys , which follows three sixth grade boys who ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs. Before that, he starred in the 2015 drama Room, giving a performance that was as deserving of an Oscar as his co-star Brie Larson , who took home Best Actress. And he’s still only 12.
In celebration, we've counted down the 18 most memorable performances by children in cinema. Click through the gallery below to see who made the cut.
18 best child performances in film history
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10 Best Child Actors In Movies
Child actors often have a hard time performing in a convincing way, but these young stars managed to play fantastic roles in their films.
Young actors are not usually known for their award-winning performances but there are several iconic young actors who stole the show despite their age. Whether as protagonists or side characters, young actors have the unique opportunity to portray several underrepresented types of characters — specifically young or childish characters — that are unavailable to older actors.
RELATED: The 10 Best Child Actors On TV
Some of the current biggest stars and actors in Hollywood had early starts to their acting careers, but some moved on to other professions after their time in the spotlight. Regardless of how or where they got their start, there are several iconic cinematic performances from young actors who managed to surpass expectations and outshine even their adult costars.
10 Lewis MacDougall Captured The Grief Of Children Dealing With Loss
A monster calls (2016).
A Monster Calls is a powerful and heartbreaking film about the impact of death in a child's life, and the importance of emotional honesty. The film's protagonist, Conor O'Malley, is forced to confront tragedy at an early age when his mother contracts cancer. He is confronted by a large "monster" and told three tales that thematically reflect Conor's own emotional journey throughout the film.
Lewis MacDougall's portrayal of Conor and his story is overwhelmingly powerful and heartbreaking. The subject of A Monster Calls is incredibly delicate and sensitive, but his performance manages to convey all the right emotions and reflects the vulnerability of real-life children in similar situations.
9 River Phoenix Perfectly Portrayed Boyhood & Childhood Friendships
Stand by me (1986).
Based on Stephen King's novel "The Body" , Stand By Me is a charming and compelling coming-of-age story about four small-town friends searching for the body of a missing boy. The film does a fantastic job of capturing the unique perspective of boyhood, and how friendships in that particular stage of life are both an independent and universal experience.
All four boys provide incredible performances during Stand By Me , but River Phoenix's portrayal of Chris Chambers takes the stage. His character is the pseudo-leader of the group, but struggles with his home life and imagining a future for himself. He and his co-star, Wil Wheaton, have fantastic chemistry, and their performances take the film's stellar script to even bigger heights.
8 Asa Butterfield Reflected Ender's Emotional Journey Through A Powerful Performance
Ender's game (2013).
Ender's Game , based on the book and series by Orson Scott Card, is a unique sci-fi film about an intergalactic war between humans and an insectoid alien race. To proactively prevent the aliens from returning to Earth and destroying it, the most intelligent and promising children are tested and recruited into the military to pilot ships, command fleets, and save the world.
The protagonist, Ender, struggles with the moral implications of his duties throughout the film, finding himself isolated and abused for his opinions. Asa Butterfield's captivating performance reflects Ender's complicated emotions and brings a powerful perspective to the topic of war itself.
7 Millicent Simmonds Brought Her Own Life Experiences To The Role
A quiet place (2018).
A Quiet Place redefined apocalyptic horror with its unique premise and outstanding performances by John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, and Noah Jupe, but one of the film's most iconic characters, Regan, took the spotlight. In a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by monsters with ultra-sensitive hearing, Regan's deafness became a significant obstacle to overcome, but also the reason for her and her family's survival.
RELATED: 10 Best Horror Movies Created In The Last 5 Years
Millicent Simmonds, who is also deaf, brought a phenomenal performance to the screen in her portrayal of Regan. The success of the film's atmosphere relied heavily on her interpretation of the character, based on her own real-life experiences. Millicent and her family had a hand in the script itself and were consulted at various stages about their own lives.
6 Jack Dylan Grazer Was The Most Entertaining Actor On Screen
Stephen King's popular horror novel "It" has been adapted to the screen several times , but its most recent version, It and It: Chapter Two , had some fantastic performances throughout. Of the 2017 film's phenomenal child actors who all brought something unique to the characters, Jack Dylan Grazer's portrayal of Eddie was its best.
Eddie's character — an anxious kid with an overprotective mother — was brought to life by Grazer's energetic and hilarious performance. His character is easily one of the most entertaining to watch, and the dynamic between him and his co-stars led to the widespread success of the film as a whole.
5 Haley Joel Osment Brought Life To The Boy Who Could See Ghosts
The sixth sense (1999).
Haley Joel Osment's performance in M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense earned several awards and solidified Haley as one of the most prolific young actors of his time. His iconic line, "I see dead people," is arguably more famous than the film itself, and his portrayal of his character, Cole Sear, is unique and memorable.
Cole's strange ability to speak to ghosts isolates him from others but allows him to help lost souls find peace in the afterlife. His journey of acceptance throughout the film is heartwarming and emotional, and Haley's interpretation of Cole's unique personality is iconic to Shyamalan's famous film.
4 Emma Watson Made The Character Hermione Her Own
Harry potter & the sorcerer's stone (2001).
While nearly every performance from the early Harry Potter films is worth mentioning, Emma Watson's portrayal of Hermione Granger is arguably the series' best casting and performance. Throughout all eight films, Watson embodied all the best parts of Hermione's iconic personality, including her intelligence, her wit, and her passion.
RELATED: 10 Best Actors The Harry Potter Movies Wasted
Alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, Emma Watson brought a stellar performance and interpretation of the beloved book character to the big screen. Watson made the character her own, and although she's performed well in several other iconic roles since her childhood debut, her impact on the Harry Potter franchise remains one of its most prolific.
3 Alan Kim's Performance Was Adorable & Captivating
Alan Kim was seven years old when he was cast for the award-winning film Minari and eight when he won the 2021 Critics' Choice Award for Best Young Actor/Actress. His portrayal of David Yi, a young Korean-American boy living in rural Arkansas, is captivating and powerful, especially considering that the film is an auto-biographical interpretation of Lee Isaac Chung's own upbringing.
Throughout Minari , David and his family struggle to adapt to the rural American culture. Alan Kim brings adorable innocence to his character, and while the adult performances were beyond incredible, Alan's presence on screen was one of the most enjoyable and iconic parts of the film.
2 Riley Griffiths Made His Supporting Role Iconic & Memorable
Super 8 (2011).
While most well-known child actors are usually protagonists or main characters, there are a few that stand out even in supporting roles. Riley Griffiths' portrayal of Charles Kaznyk in Spielberg's film Super 8 is entertaining and enjoyable, and perfectly captures the over-the-top perspective of childhood and adolescence.
Griffiths' character, Riley, is the talkative and bossy director of a group of young filmmakers, who find themselves at the center of a government conspiracy after witnessing a sabotaged train wreck. Utilizing a phenomenal script, Griffiths brought life and humor to the film and created an enjoyable character that was easily one of the most entertaining performances on screen.
1 Mackenzie Foy Was The Heart & Soul Of Murph's Character
Murph, Cooper's genius daughter from Christopher Nolan's Interstellar , plays a large role in the fate of the world and the survival of humanity during the film. While much of her role is performed by her adult actress Jessica Chastain, her child actress Mackenzie Foy brought incredible personality and emotion to the character during her time on screen.
It's because of Murph that Cooper is able to succeed in saving humanity during Interstellar . His love for and bond with his daughter is strong enough to transcend space and time , allowing him to contact her in a metaphysical way. Foy's portrayal of Murph, of her emotions and pain and vulnerabilities, gave life to the character and to the film as a whole.
NEXT: 10 Movie Actors Who Are Great In Both Comedies And Dramas
30 best movie child stars of all time, ranked
- Susan Pennington , Chris Beachum , Misty Holland
- March 17, 2021 5:35PM
“Old Yeller.” “Home Alone.” “The Wizard of Oz.” Odds are, even you’ve never seen these films, certain images pop into your head when you hear the titles: a young boy with his faithful dog, a little scamp’s stunned reaction to slapping his cheeks with aftershave, a young girl in a gingham dress tapping her ruby slippers together. These are just a few of the child performers who have captured our hearts, bringing smiles to our lips or tears to our eyes, since the earliest days of cinema. Our new photo gallery features the 30 best child stars from decades of movies.
In the 1920s and 1930s, film shorts were commonly packaged with feature films, and kids were a big draw, most especially the “Our Gang” series that is still popular almost 100 years later. Jackie Cooper was one of those “little rascals,” and was also the first juvenile to have a performance recognized by the Academy with an Oscar nomination. Two of the top box office draws of the 1930s were children: Shirley Temple and Mickey Rooney . During this time, the Academy realized that these youngsters were performing on the same level as their adult counterparts, and from 1934 to 1960 they issued a dozen special Juvenile Awards to performers under the age of 18. The miniature Oscar was about half the size of the regular statue, and well-loved child stars including Judy Garland and Margaret O’Brien received this honor – until 1962, when 16-year-old Patty Duke proved that a child could win a competitive Oscar.
In the almost 60 years since Duke won for Best Supporting Actress, more than 20 children have been nominated for Academy Awards, with the youngest winner of a competitive Oscar being 10-year-old Tatum O’Neal , who won for Best Supporting Actress in 1974. She, Duke and 11-year-old Anna Paquin are the only individuals under the age of 18 to win competitive Oscars – and they were all three in the supporting category.
Awards or no, these kids have proven that they are just as competent as their adult counterparts, with several such as Jodie Foster , Freddie Highmore , Dakota Fanning , Elle Fanning and the “Harry Potter” kids displaying maturity and intelligence that not only made them high-demand actors in their youth, but also well into adulthood.
There have been so many memorable child performers, it was difficult to narrow the list down to 30. This list includes performers who had impressive careers before the age of 18 mainly in feature films. You can also visit our recent gallery featuring our ranking of child stars known more for their television roles. But for this list, we have the kids who made an indelible impact on popular culture, who had careers just as impressive as any adult in the profession, or who the Academy recognized for an incredible performance. So memorable are these performances, it’s hard to believe that the Home Alone kid recently turned 40, the Harry Potter kids are now in their 30s, Gertie from “E.T.” is 46. . .
30. Lindsay Lohan
Lohan has been in the entertainment industry since she began modeling at the age of three. In 1998, at just 12 years-old, she became one of the hottest child actors of her time when she played twins in the Disney remake of “The Parent Trap.” The adorable freckle-faced redhead followed that up with a series of hit films, including “Freaky Friday”(2003), “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen” (2004) and the cult classic “Mean Girls” (2004), as well as a couple of successful albums. Although personal dramas have plagued her, Lohan has continued to find work as an actress, celebrity judge and businesswoman.
29. Haley Joel Osment
He was already a seasoned actor when, at age 11, he whispered four of the most memorable words in film history: “I see dead people.” For this role in “The Sixth Sense” (1999), he became the second-youngest nominee ever for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and became one of the most sought-after child actors of the early 2000s, landing roles in such films as “Pay It Forward” (2000), “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” (2001) and “Secondhand Lions” (2003). He also contributed his voice to both animated TV series and video games, which he continues to do today. He is still acting as well, appearing in such roles as Mesmer on the Amazon series “The Boys.”
28. Tommy Kirk
One of Walt Disney’s biggest teen stars from the 1950s, Kirk has a permanent place in film history as Travis Coates from the classic “Old Yeller” (1957). Kirk had begun his long association with Disney the year before, as Joe Hardy in the TV serial “The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure,” and would later star in such beloved films such as “The Shaggy Dog” (1959), “Swiss Family Robinson” (1960) and “The Absent Minded Professor” (1961). Although he maintained a fairly steady career throughout the 1960s, issues with drugs and alcohol hurt his career. He chose to retire, clean himself up and eventually went into the carpet cleaning business. Now 79 years-old, he still acts occasionally and appears at conventions, and was rightfully inducted as a Disney Legend in 2006.
27. Chloë Grace Moretz
One of the hardest-working child actresses in the industry, 24-year-old Moretz has racked up over 70 credits in 17 years, after first gaining recognition in “The Amityville Horror” (2005). Her film work includes “500 Days of Summer” (2009), “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” (2010), “Hugo” (2011) and the title role in the remake of the horror classic “Carrie.” She has appeared on several TV series, including “Desperate Housewives” and “30 Rock” and provided her voice for animated projects such as “My Friends Tigger & Pooh” (2007-2009) and “The Addams Family” (2019). She can currently be seen in the film “Tom and Jerry” and has many other projects in the works.
26. Christina Ricci
She was only ten-years-old when she made her film debut alongside Cher and Winona Ryder in “Mermaids” in 1990, and she’s been delighting us with quirky characters since. She was perfectly cast as Wednesday in “The Addams Family” (1991) and “Addams Family Values” (1993), and appeared in a number of other films throughout her teen years, such as “Casper” and “Now and Then” (1995), before maturing into more dramatic roles, such as Wendy in “The Ice Storm” (1997). The now 41-year-old actress has not slowed down, and spreads her talents between film and TV, earning a Golden nomination for “The Opposite Sex” (1997), an Emmy nomination for a guest appearance on “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2006 and a Screen Actors Guild nomination for “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles” (2015), which she also coproduced.
25. Brandon deWilde
DeWilde had quite an impressive career in his short life. He was only seven-years-old when he made his acting debut in the Broadway play “The Member of the Wedding,” and became the youngest actor to receive the Donaldson Award. In 1953, he cemented his place in film history with his role as Joey Starrett in “Shane,” with the final scene of his character calling, “Shane, come back!” one of the most poignant ever put on film. Not quite 12 years-old, deWilde was nominated for Best Supporting Actor by the Academy, becoming the youngest person nominated for a competitive Oscar up to that time, a record he held for 20 years. He continued to work both in film and on television until his untimely death in a car accident in 1972 at the age of 30.
24. Elizabeth Taylor
This violet-eyed beauty was only 12 years-old when she captivated audiences with her starring role in “National Velvet” (1944), and would go on to appear alongside some of MGM’s biggest stars in such classics as “Courage of Lassie” (1946), “Life with Father” (1947) and “Little Women” (1949). When she was just 18 years-old, she married her first husband, shortly before the release of the classic “Father of the Bride,” in which she transitioned to more mature roles. She is considered the last of the great stars from the Golden Era of Hollywood, and although she continued to act well into her adulthood, winning two Academy Awards, she also became famous for her personal life, including numerous marriages and health issues. However, she was just as well known for her class and kindness, becoming a successful business woman and beloved humanitarian before her death from congestive heart failure on March 23, 2011 at the age of 79.
23. Brooke Shields
Shields started modeling when she was just a baby, and after appearing in some minor roles, caused a sensation when she starred in “Pretty Baby” at the age of 12. Her role as a child prostitute stirred up controversy, as did “The Blue Lagoon” (1980) and “Endless Love” (1981), both of which included nudity and love scenes between teen characters. At the age of 14, she famously began modeling for Calvin Klein jeans, with the tagline, “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” By the age of 16, she was the youngest fashion model to ever appear on the cover of “Vogue” magazine, was the youngest guest star ever on “The Muppet Show” and was the youngest person to host “Fridays” on ABC. Shields has continued to act, including her own TV series “Suddenly Susan” from 1996-2000 and as Rizzo in a Broadway revival of “Grease” in 1994.
22. Kirsten Dunst
Dunst was already a professional model and actress when she earned a Golden Globe nomination at the age of 13 for her role as the angelic-looking child vampire in “Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles” (1994). She went on to be one of the busiest and most popular child actresses of her time, appearing in such films as “Little Women” (1994), “Jumanji” (1995), “The Virgin Suicides” (1999) and “Bring It On” (2000). She hasn’t slowed down since, appearing in dozens of films and TV series, earning two more Golden Globe nominations as well as a Primetime Emmy nomination for her television work.
21. Quvenzhané Wallis
At the age of nine, this little dynamo received a Best Actress nomination for her film debut in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (2012). She is the youngest nominee ever in this category, and the third-youngest nominee in any category. She went on to appear in Best Picture winner “12 Years a Slave” (2013) and to star in “Annie” (2014). Now 17-years-old, she has also written 4 children’s books and is currently filming the series “Swagger.”
20. Anna Paquin
In 1994, at the age of 11, Paquin became the second-youngest Oscar winner ever, taking home the Best Supporting Actress statue for her debut performance in “The Piano.” Although she had not planned to become an actress long term, the critical acclaim she received from this performance led to roles in such films as “Fly Away Home,” “She’s All That” and “Almost Famous.” At the age of 18, she appeared for the first time as Rogue in the “X-Men” series, and has not slowed down since. Among her many accomplishments, she starred in the popular series “True Blood,” earning a Golden Globe in 2009, and has most recently appeared in the series “Flack” and “The Affair.”
19. Elijah Wood
Wood was one of the most popular child actors of the 1990s, scoring roles alongside Hollywood elite in such films as “Avalon” (1990), “Radio Flyer” and “Forever Young” (1992), “The Adventures of Huck Finn” and “The Good Son” (1993), “North” (1994) and “The Ice Storm” (1997). He continues to be a much sought-after actor as an adult, starring in “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy from 2001 to 2003, and acting both on film and television, as well as doing voiceover work.
18. Molly Ringwald
Ringwald has been performing since she was five-years-old, both acting on stage and singing with her father’s jazz band. She appeared in the first season of “The Facts of Life,” and received a Golden Globe nomination for her film debut “Tempest” (1982) when she was 15. But it was her role in the John Hughes classic “Sixteen Candles” in 1984 that established her as a teen icon, which was strengthened with two more John Hughes films, “The Breakfast Club” (1985) and “Pretty in Pink” (1986). Ringwald has continued to act throughout the years, and can currently be seen as the mother to another iconic teenager, Archie Andrews, on the TV series “Riverdale.”
17. Roddy McDowall
He had already made over a dozen films before appearing in Best Picture winner “How Green Was My Valley” (1941), which made him one of the most sought after child actors during Hollywood’s Golden Age. He went on to star in classics such as “My Friend Flicka” and Lassie Come Home (1943) before transitioning to more mature roles. Over the next half century, he would become one of the most prolific character actors in the industry, acting in or lending his voice to over 200 productions on both the small and big screens, as well as a successful writer and photographer, before his death at age 70 in 1998.
16. Elle Fanning
Fanning made her film debut at the age of two playing the younger version of her sister Dakota’s character in the 2001 film “I Am Sam,” and hasn’t stopped working since. At just 22 years-old, Fanning has over 50 acting credits to her name, including films such as “Daddy Day Care” (2003), “Because of Winn-Dixie” (2005), “Super 8” (2011) and “Maleficent” (2014) – just to name a few. Her work extends to television, including appearances on “CSI:Miami,” “House,” “Criminal Minds.” She is currently starring in the series “The Great,” for which she earned Golden Globe nominations, both for acting and producing.
15. Margaret O’Brien
One of the few remaining stars from Hollywood’s Golden Era and one of its most prolific child stars, O’Brien gained famed at the age of five in the film “Journey for Margaret” in 1942. She was known for her ability to cry on command, and appeared alongside many legendary stars in such films as “The Canterville Ghost” in 1944 and “The Secret Garden” and “Little Women,” both in 1949. Her most memorable role is as Tootie opposite Judy Garland in “Meet Me In St. Louis,” for which O’Brien won a special Juvenile Oscar in 1945. As an adult, O’Brien has continued to act, mainly on television, and frequently gives interviews about her experiences as a child actress.
14. Freddie Bartholomew
British-born Bartholomew was one of the most popular child actors of the 1930s, famous for his ability to recite dialogue eloquently from a very young age. His American film debut was in the 1935 film “David Copperfield,” which launched a short but impressive career. He acted alongside Hollywood elite in such classic films as “Anna Karenina” (1935), “Little Lord Fauntleroy” (1936), “Captains Courageous” (1937), “Kidnapped” (1938) and “Swiss Family Robinson” (1940), and was the second-highest paid child star after Shirley Temple. Unfortunately, battles for control of his money between his birth parents and guardian, as well as a break in his career for military service during WWII, affected his acting career as an adult. However, in 1949, he turned to the new medium of television, and found success in directing and producing several programs, especially daytime soap operas such as “Search for Tomorrow.” He died from heart failure and emphysema on January 23, 1992, at the age of 67.
13. Natalie Wood
Wood made her acting debut at the age of four, but gained fame at the age of nine as the costar of the classic Christmas film “Miracle on 34th Street” in 1947. The success of this film and her reputation as a talented and mature child actress led to roles in dozens of films, often playing the child of such legends as Bette Davis, James Stewart and Fred MacMurray. As a teenager, she found work both in film and on television, and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 17 for “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955). She successfully transitioned to adult roles, earning two more Oscar nominations, both times for Best Actress, while in her 20s. She likely would have continued her successful career for many more years, but unfortunately, she died in a tragic drowning accident under controversial circumstances at the age of 43 in 1981.
12. Macaulay Culkin
One of the most successful child actors of the 1990s, Culkin was already an acting veteran when he gained everlasting fame as the kid left “Home Alone” in 1990. For this role, he earned a Golden Globe nomination at the age of 11, as well as roles in more than a dozen films over the next four years, including “My Girl” (1991), “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (1992), “The Good Son” (1993) and “Richie Rich” (1994). In 1994, at the age of 14, he retired from acting to continue his education, but has since returned to acting, appearing on stage, film and television, and will appear in the next season of “American Horror Story.”
11. Freddie Highmore
Highmore made his film debut in “Women Talking Dirty” (1999) when he was seven-years-old, and has gained critical acclaim for his work in film and on television in the years since. His breakout role in “Finding Neverland” (2004) reportedly led costar Johnny Depp to recommend him for the title role in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005). He was praised for his work in movies such as “August Rush” (2007) and “The Spiderwick Chronicles” (2008), and has been a popular choice for voiceover work. He is just as successful as an adult, receiving acclaim for his roles on the TV series “Bates Motel,” in which he portrayed iconic character Norman Bates from 2013-2017, and as the title character on “The Good Doctor,” which he also produces, since 2017.
10. Tatum O’Neal
In 1974, at the age of ten, O’Neal won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her film debut in “Paper Moon,” which costarred her father Ryan. She remains the youngest person to ever win a competitive Oscar, and also won a Golden Globe for Most Promising Female Newcomer. She made only a few more films, including “The Bad News Bears” (1976), “International Velvet” (1978) and “Little Darlings” (1980), and largely fell out of acting for several years, although a tempestuous relationship with her first husband and struggles with substance abuse kept her in the headlines. However, over the past 20 years, she has revived her career, including a recurring role on “Rescue Me” from 2004-2011.
9. Drew Barrymore
Barrymore has led one of the most high-profile lives of any celebrity. As part of the acclaimed Barrymore family of actors, it’s not surprising that she was impressive at a very young age, gaining acclaim for her role as Gertie in “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) at the age of seven. In 1984, she gave a memorable performance in “Firestarter” and received her first Golden Globe nomination for “Irreconcilable Differences” at the age of ten. By the time she was 13, she was also making headlines for her troubled personal life, including stints in rehab and her successful petition for emancipation at age 15. At 16, she wrote her autobiography “Little Girl Lost,” and revived her acting career. Now a successful actress, businesswoman, producer and host of her own talk show, Barrymore has received many accolades over her career, including a Golden Globe for her performance in “Grey Gardens.” Her quirky personality, business savvy and openness about her struggles have endeared her to audiences, making her one of the most popular actresses of all time.
8. Hayley Mills
In 1959, 13-year-old Mills made her film debut alongside her father, renowned British actor Sir John Mills, in “Tiger Bay,” which earned her a BAFTA for Most Promising Newcomer to Film and caught the eye of Walt Disney. The following year, she starred in her first of several Disney films, “Pollyanna,” which catapulted her to fame and earned her a special Juvenile Oscar (the last time this award was ever given). She was one of the most popular actress, child or adult, of the 1960s, with her most popular film being “The Parent Trap” (1960) in which she plays the dual roles of identical twins. She has continued acting over the years, including three TV movie sequels to “The Parent Trap” and a season of the TV series “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” in the late 1980s that was later retooled as “Saved By the Bell.”
7. Jackie Cooper
Between the ages of seven and 18, Cooper appeared in over 50 shorts and feature films. Beginning in 1929, he appeared as one of the main characters in the Hal Roach “Our Gang” shorts (later known as “The Little Rascals”), as the little boy with a crush on his teacher Miss Crabtree. In 1931, he starred in his first feature length film, “Skippy,” and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor at the age of nine, becoming the first child performer to earn such an honor. Almost 90 years later, he still holds the record for youngest nominee in the Best Actor category, and held the record for youngest nominee in any category for almost 50 years. Other notable films include “The Champ” (1931), “The Bowery” (1933) and “Treasure Island” (1934). During WWII, Cooper served in the Navy, and remained active in the Reserve for several years, eventually obtaining the rank of captain. After the war, he found success on TV, as an actor, director and producer, as well as some film work, most memorably as Perry White opposite Christopher Reeve in the “Superman” movies from 1978-1987. He died at the age of 88 on May 3, 2011.
6. The Harry Potter Kids
Emma Watson and Rupert Grint made their professional debuts in “Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone,” and Daniel Radcliffe only had a couple of acting credits to his name. But this group of unseasoned actors took on the monumental task of bringing a wildly popular book series to life on the big screen, and the talented youngsters made the eight films just as immensely successful as the books. A decade after the release of the final installment of the franchise, all three continue to find success on film, stage and television: Radcliffe has received acclaim for his stage work and is currently starring in the TV series “Miracle Workers;” Watson has starred as Belle in the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” (2017) and in the Oscar-nominated “Little Women” (2019) and Grint has found success starring in several TV series, including “Snatch” (2017-2018), which he also produced, and “Servant” (2019-Present).
5. Dakota Fanning
At the age of six, Fanning landed her first professional acting job, as a guest on “ER,” and hasn’t stopped working in the 20 years since. At the age of seven, she became the youngest person nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, for her starring role opposite Sean Penn in “I Am Sam” (2001). The following year, Steven Spielberg chose her as the lead child role in the TV miniseries “Taken.” Quickly becoming known as a mature and intelligent child actress, Fanning appeared in dozens of films and TV series throughout her childhood and teen years, receiving critical acclaim for many of her performances, including “Man on Fire” (2004), “War of the Worlds” (2005), “Charlotte’s Web” (2006) and “The Secret Life of Bees” (2008). She remains in demand as an adult, appearing on both limited series based on “The Alienist” novels, and will soon be seen in the film “The Nightingale” alongside her sister Elle.
4. Jodie Foster
Foster’s long and impressive career began in 1965 with a Coppertone TV ad when she was just three-years-old. For the next decade, she appeared in dozens of TV programs and films before she landed the role that would skyrocket her to stardom. Her performance as a child prostitute in Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” (1976) earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress when she was just 14-years-old and she became one of the most in-demand child actresses of her time. In 1976 alone, she made four other films, including “Bugsy Malone,” “The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane” and Disney’s “Freaky Friday.” She successfully transitioned to adult roles, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including two Best Actress Oscar wins, as well as venturing in directing, receiving an Emmy nomination for her work on “Orange Is the New Black.” This year, she won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting actress in the film “The Mauritanian.”
3. Mickey Rooney
At 17-months-old, Rooney made his stage debut in his parent’s vaudeville act, and by the age of seven he was starring in the first of 78 short films in the “Mickey Maguire” series, and as a teen began receiving favorable notices in films such as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (1935). In 1937, he made “A Family Affair,” the first of 16 films in which he played the popular character Andy Hardy, the teenager who romanced such MGM starlets as Lana Turner, Ann Rutherford and, most famously, Judy Garland, with whom he made ten films. The best of these is “Babes in Arms,” (1939) for which Rooney became the first teenager to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor (he remains the second-youngest nominee in the Best Actor category), one year after receiving the special Juvenile Oscar. From 1939-1941, Rooney was the top box-office star -beating out the likes of Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, James Cagney and Errol Flynn. Rooney was one of the most versatile actors in that generation, with his ability to sing and dance and play musical instruments, his dead-on comedic timing and his ability to transition to more dramatic roles. When he died at the age of 93 on April 6, 2014, he had made more than 300 films, with an acting credit almost every year between 1926 and 2014, whether it be in film or television, or on stage.
2. Judy Garland
A born entertainer, Garland began performing in vaudeville at the age of two before finding movie stardom in her teen years. A true triple threat, the little girl with the big voice found success in a series of films alongside her good friend Mickey Rooney, both in the Andy Hardy films and in “backyard musicals” such as “Babes in Arms” (1939). But it’s as the iconic Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) that she gained immortality, singing what would become her signature song, “Over the Rainbow.” That same year, at the age of 17, Garland received the special Juvenile Oscar. Garland was able to successfully transition to adult roles, singing, dancing and acting alongside the most talented actors of the day, but struggled with substance abuse and self-image problems. Throughout her adult life, she received numerous accolades, including Oscar and Emmy nominations and Golden Globe and Grammy wins, but sadly passed away much too soon from an accidental overdose at the age of 47 on June 22, 1969.
1. Shirley Temple
It is quite possible that no other child star will ever be able to top this curly-headed dynamo. Throughout the Great Depression years, Temple brought cheer and optimism to audiences, with her sunny smile and upbeat songs. Beginning at the age of three in 1931, Temple appeared in numerous shorts and features, until her breakthrough film “Stand Up and Cheer!” in 1934. Over the next six years, Temple starred in more than 20 films, many of which are considered classics, such as “Little Miss Marker” and “Bright Eyes” (1934), “The Little Colonel” and “Curly Top” (1935), “Poor Little Rich Girl” and “Stowaway” (1936). She was the number one box office draw from 1934 to 1938, and is the youngest recipient of an Oscar, becoming the first child performer to earn the Juvenile Oscar in 1934 when she was six-years-old. Her immense popularity led to merchandising that included clothing and dolls, as well as the “Shirley Temple” cocktail. Her popularity waned as she got older, and she retired from films at the young age of 22, but went on to become an American diplomat and business woman. She died on February 10, 2014 at the age of 85.
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Celebrities Who Starred With Their Kids in Movies and TV Shows
Andie and Margaret! Sean and Dylan! Meryl and Mamie! The apple certainly doesn't fall far from the tree when it comes to these famous actors and their children
Chris, Tristan & India Hemsworth
Two of Chris Hemsworth's three kids enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe with their cameos in Thor: Love amd Thunder .
One of his twins, son Tristan, plays a younger version of Hemsworth's starring character. Meanwhile, the actor told entertainment reporter Kevin McCarthy that his daughter, India, "plays the character of Love."
"It's really cool. They really wanted to be in it," said Hemsworth.
Taika, Matewa Kiritapu & Te Kainga O'Te Hinekahu Waititi
Hemsworth also noted that costars Christian Bale and Natalie Portman's kids appear in the film , as well as director Taika Waititi's children.
"It felt like a one-off fun family experience. I don't want them to now go and be child stars and actors. It was just a special experience we all had," Hemsworth told McCarthy . "They loved it, they had a great time."
(Fun fact: All of their kids inspired the "cool" monsters in the film!)
Ralph & Julia Macchio
In the latest season of Cobra Kai , Julia Macchio appears in episode 8 alongside her father, Ralph Macchio, marking their first time sharing the screen together.
While Ralph is well-known for playing Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kid films and Netflix's sequel series Cobra Kai , Julia joins the franchise as Daniel's cousin Vanessa LaRusso, who gives him and his wife Amanda (Courtney Henggeler) a quick lesson in parenting.
"She knocked it out of the park," Ralph told PEOPLE . "I was the proud father on set that day. As soon as she ran our first take, everybody was like, 'Holy crap, she's got this character.'"
Andie MacDowell & Margaret Qualley
Margaret Qualley got the opportunity to act alongside her mom, actress Andie MacDowell, in Netflix's Maid — and as Qualley told Collider, the casting was her idea.
"It was one of the more surreal experiences of my life," she said of their shared time onscreen. "Across the board, there's the comfort of having your mom in the same place when you're in the middle of a pandemic and you're away from home for nine months, then there's my mom's whole body of work, which I'm complete awe of and couldn't look up to her more, and then there's this thing where you walk into the room and your mom is playing your mom and that definitely shifts the situation. It's the biggest cheat I've ever managed to pull off."
George & Mayan Lopez
The father-daughter duo will appear on screen together in their new show, Lopez Vs. Lopez !
Deadline reported in Oct. 2021 that the pair would be starring in and producing the project together.
Sean & Dylan Penn
Sean Penn and his daughter, Dylan Frances Penn (whom he shares with actress Robin Wright ), acted alongside one another in the 2021 film Flag Day. Dylan told Vogue of the experience, "...from the first day [on set], I knew things were going to go well. It just felt right." She added that her dad "was just really fun to act with and gave me so much to work with."
Noah Wyle & Auden
Wyle's daughter made a cameo on his series, Leverage: Redemption — and so did her mom, Sara Wells . Wyles raved about the experience to TV Insider, saying, "That to me was one of the highlights of the season: I got to work with my own daughter."
Thandiwe Newton & Nico Parker
Thandiwe Newton and her daughter Nico Parker got to act together in the 2021 film Reminiscence. But Parker — who made her debut in the live-action remake of Dumbo — says that she doesn't turn to her famous parents (her dad is writer-director Ol Parker) for acting advice.
The young actress told Variety in Oct. 2020, "They do give me advice like, 'Learn everybody's name and always be nice' and things like that, but when it comes to acting, they kind of steer clear of it because I think they want it to be my own experience for me to learn about things in my own way."
Kurt Russell & Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson has never acted alongside her famous mom, Goldie Hawn, but she has done so with her "Pa," Kurt Russell. The duo appeared in 2016's Deepwater Horizon.
She told Ellen DeGeneres that even though their time together in the film is short, she loved working with Russell. "I was back on set with my dad and it reminded me of being a little kid and where I fell in love with movies, and how much time I spent on movie sets with him," Hudson said. "There was something really beautifully wistful about being on that set with my dad."
Angelina Jolie & Vivienne Jolie-Pitt
When Jolie took on the role of the villainous titular character of Disney's Maleficent, she wasn't planning on having any of her children make a cameo in the film.
However, daughter Vivienne ended up playing baby Princess Aurora, because "the other three- and four-year-old [performers] wouldn't come near me," Jolie told Entertainment Weekly . "It had to be a child that liked me and wasn't afraid of my horns and my eyes and my claws. So it had to be Viv."
Meryl Streep & Mamie Gummer
The Academy Award-winning actress got to star Ricki and the Flash with her daughter, Mamie Gummer. In the film, the duo play a mother-daughter pair with a strained relationship.
It's not the first time Mamie appeared onscreen with her mom: She also played Meryl's baby in the 1986 film Heartburn.
Will & Jaden Smith
Will Smith got to act alongside his own son Jaden (who was only 8 years old!) when they starred in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness.
Jaden said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show , "It was hard, but fun" to work with his dad, adding, "My dad gave me advice ... You have to be in the moment."
Robin Williams & Zelda Williams
The late actor — who died in 2014 — shared the screen with his daughter Zelda in the 2004 film House of D.
Billy Ray Cyrus & Miley Cyrus
When it comes to being a dad onscreen and off, Billy Ray Cyrus has got the job down pat! The country singer acted alongside his daughter Miley Cyrus in the Disney Channel series, Hannah Montana , where he plays a character aptly named Robby Ray.
Johnny Depp & Lily-Rose Depp
Lily-Rose Depp got one of her first acting credits in 2014's Tusk , which featured her famous dad. In 2016, she got a more substantial role alongside him in Yoga Hosers.
When asked if she would ever act with her father again, she told Entertainment Tonight , "Never say never," but added that making it a family affair isn't her first priority when auditioning.
"What's interesting to me is the particular character that I may or may not be playing and then the story that it's telling and everything," she said. "I think when the cast then starts to fill that story out and everything, those are other things to consider. But yeah, I mean, I love to work with great actors."
Domhnall Gleeson & Brendan Gleeson
Would these two say working together is magic? Domhnall and Brendan Gleeson both had parts in Harry Potter: Brandon played Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, while his son played Bill Weasley. They finally shared a scene in Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows, Part I.
Eugene & Dan Levy
Eugene and Dan Levy played the hilarious father-son pairing of Johnny and David Rose in their Emmy-winning series, Schitt's Creek .
Dan told Today of working with his father, who is the series' co-creator, "You have to really respect the person you're working with and I think when you do, it makes for a very easy go of things. I have so long admired what my dad had done and … I think he really let me have space to find my own footing."
He added that he learned a very important lesson from his dad: "I think what I learned from him, just from a comedy standpoint, is that … there's so much generosity, I think, to great comedy. You have to just give people space. There's just such a joy in knowing that you have each other's back."
Demi Moore & Rumer Willis
In 1996, Demi Moore acted with her daughter, Rumer Willis, in Striptease, a movie about a mother who turns to dancing to pay her bills.
"Well, she asked to have the opportunity to audition so after much discussion with my husband, I went and asked them if they would be willing to let her try because she wanted it so badly," Moore said at the time .
She added that there was no shame in her daughter watching her portray a stripper: "We don't shame the body, we encourage the body as something beautiful and natural, and my children bathe with me, and I walk around naked."
Rumer would also go on to act alongside her father, Bruce Willis, in the 2005 movie Hostage.
Henry & Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda was able to act alongside her famous dad, Henry Fonda, in the 1981 film On Golden Pond.
Fonda said on CNN , "I feel so blessed to have been able to have that experience. He died five months later. I bought the play and made the movie because I wanted to work with him — we knew he was dying. To have found a play in which the father/daughter characters so mirrored our own real-life relationship was amazing. To have been able to say those words to him and to have the resolution at the end of the movie ... I just feel so lucky. I miss him so much."
The pair became the first father/daughter duo to be nominated for Academy Awards, with Henry winning for Best Actor. Jane accepted the Oscar on his behalf .
Tina Fey & Alice Richmond
Alice Richmond was a dead ringer for her mom, Tina Fey when she played her character, 30 Rock character Liz Lemon in a flashback scene. (And though she didn't share a scene with her due to only having a cameo herself, Fey also cast daughter Penelope as a child influencer on her latest sitcom, Girls5Eva.)
Sylvester & Sage Stallone
Stallone was able to share the screen with his real-life son, Sage, when he appeared in Rocky V as Stallone's onscreen kiddo, Rocky Jr. Sage tragically passed away in 2012.
Charlie & Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen and his son Charlie have shared the screen together on multiple occasions, acting together in movies like Wall Street and No Code of Conduct and on the TV series Spin City.
Martin Sheen & Emilio Estevez
Sheen also acted alongside his other son, Emilio Estevez, in the 2010 film The Way — which Estevez wrote. In the film, Sheen plays the familiar role of Estevez' dad, who is grieving the loss of his son while walking the Camino de Santiago.
Leslie Mann & Iris and Maude Apatow
Judd Apatow believes in mixing family with business. His daughters, Maude and Iris, have appeared in both Knocked Up and This Is 40 with their mom, Leslie Mann.
Clint & Scott Eastwood
When your dad is Clint Eastwood, movies are practically embedded into your DNA. Scott has appeared in a few of his dad's films, including Flags of Our Fathers , Gran Torino , Invictus , and Trouble with the Curve .
He told GQ of his dad, "I've tried to take every opportunity I can to learn from him.... Every chance I get, I'm trying to be on set with him."
Donald & Kiefer Sutherland
In 2016, Kiefer Sutherland told Good Morning America of working with his dad, Donald Sutherland on Forsaken, "We'd been in one movie together, A Time to Kill , but we had never actually exchanged a line of dialogue together. I've watched him my whole life and to have the opportunity to work with him was something I've wanted my whole career."
He added, "The experience is something I will never forget. It was the most time I've actually spent with my father at one time in my life. It's a memory and an experience I'll treasure the rest of my life."
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‘Kids,’ Then and Now
By Ben Detrick
- July 21, 2015
For cultural alarmists of the 1990s Clinton era, the film “Kids” represented a culmination of fears.
Released 20 years ago this month, the film centers on a cabal of broken New York teenagers who spend 24 hours boozing, rolling blunts, fighting and indulging in unsafe, emotionally vacant sex. It is “Lord of the Flies” with skateboards, nitrous oxide and hip-hop.
Unflinching in its quasi-vérité realism, “Kids” opens with Telly, a pale and rawboned Lothario, deflowering an adolescent girl and ends with a drug-fueled rape at a house party. There is no thunderous moral reckoning, only observational detachment.
“It makes almost any other portrait of American adolescence look like the picture of Dorian Gray,” Janet Maslin wrote of the unrated film in her review for The New York Times .
Harvey Weinstein, who purchased and distributed the movie, wrote in an email: “ ‘Kids’ was the most controversial film I’ve ever been associated with.” His company, he said, was threatened by state courts that asserted that the film violated certain nonfederal laws. “The vitriolic reactions only reinforced its importance and further affirmed how special the film was,” Mr. Weinstein said.
Two decades later, “Kids” has become an art house classic and a cultural touchstone, celebrated by a screening last month at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which reunited the cast for the first time, and a commemorative skate-wear collection at Supreme .
“Somehow it’s just become this timeless thing,” said Chloë Sevigny, who played Jennie, the protagonist who learns she is H.I.V. positive. “It endures because kids love coming-of-age movies. There’s something captivating about rebels, and it’s shocking, appalling, titillating.”
Larry Clark’s Archival ‘Kids’ Photos
View Slide Show ›
The film’s power to horrify has been diminished not by time, but by the recognizability of its cast, not one of whom was a professional actor in 1995.
Rosario Dawson is now a Hollywood star; Ms. Sevigny is accomplished in film and fashion; Leo Fitzpatrick bounces between acting and art; Larry Clark, the director, has continued to make films focused on youth counterculture. And Harmony Korine, who was 19 when he wrote the screenplay in his grandmother’s basement in Queens, has directed films including 2012’s “Spring Breakers.”
But on a darker note, two of the actors in “Kids,” Justin Pierce and Harold Hunter, died young.
“It’s weird, the paths a lot of us have taken,” said Mr. Fitzpatrick, who played Telly. “As a skater, you throw yourself down a lot of stairs, all day, every day, to roll away from a trick once. The older you get, you find other things to fill that weird masochistic voice. My friends don’t go see therapists.”
Ruby, the ringleader of a group of teenage girls who regale one another with graphic accounts of their sexual exploits.
“I was a straight-A student,” said Ms. Dawson, who was 15 when Mr. Clark and Mr. Korine spotted her sitting on a stoop outside the Avenue A tenement where her family lived. “I was a tutor. I was a virgin. I was boyfriend-less. I didn’t have sex until I was 20.”
At the health clinic where she gets an H.I.V. test , Ruby recounts her carnal escapades, sometimes unsure of how many times she engaged in certain acts. “I was playing a character that was really sexually promiscuous, but I was making a movie that was about the perils of childhood, when you think you’re going to live forever,” Ms. Dawson said. “The other kids movies, like ‘Ferris Bueller,’ they were hokey and silly and fun, but played by adults. This was kids being kids.” Still, some relatives were caught off guard by the film’s graphic sex. “My grandmother was like, ‘You could have warned us before we told all of our church friends.’ ”
Ms. Dawson, now 36, has emerged as the movie’s most visible alumna. Her long list of film credits includes “He Got Game,” “Sin City,” “Rent” and last year’s “ Top Five ,” in which she starred opposite Chris Rock. She is also known for her political activism and philanthropy, and she recently started a sustainable fashion line, Studio One Eighty Nine , with pieces like kimonos that are hand-dyed in Ghana and Mali.
Telly, the self-proclaimed “virgin surgeon,” who spends much of the film trying to seduce pubescent girls. “Man, I was so bad with girls before the movie,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said. “And it sure didn’t help my cause any. People attached me to the character a lot more than I attached myself to it.”
As a teenager in West Orange, N.J., Mr. Fitzpatrick would ride the bus to New York and skateboard in Washington Square Park. There, he befriended Mr. Clark, whose proclamations about making a film were initially dismissed as idle chatter. The decision to cast Mr. Fitzpatrick (16 at the time) was initially met with resistance from the film’s producers. “They wanted Ricky Schroder or something, whoever the hot kid was,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said. “They wanted somebody who was probably more charismatic, better looking, that you could understand what he was saying. But Larry knew that wasn’t authentic.”
For Mr. Fitzpatrick, it took place at the Carmine Street swimming pool, where the teenagers had sneaked in and splashed beneath a 1987 mural by Keith Haring. The setting was also featured in “Raging Bull,” by Martin Scorsese. “The idea of being part of the fabric of New York is really nice,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said.
Mr. Fitzpatrick exiled himself to London after the film’s release, but he returned to New York and acting several years later. After appearing in Mr. Clark’s “Bully” in 2001, he spent three seasons on “The Wire” on HBO and had a role on “Sons of Anarchy.”
More recently, Mr. Fitzpatrick appeared in an episode of “Broad City,” and he has a part in “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” scheduled for release in 2016. Mr. Fitzpatrick is also a D.J. and art gallerist. Along with the artists Nate Lowman and Hanna Liden, he founded a pop-up gallery, Home Alone , that produces art shows in TriBeCa storefronts and other tiny spaces. He recently joined the Marlborough Chelsea gallery as a creative consultant.
Casper, a reckless goon who spends his day huffing nitrous oxide, swilling beer and starting fights in the park. He is an antihero who exudes chaotic charm. “He’s really riveting,” Ms. Dawson said. “I had such a crush on Justin when we did the movie. He was such a mess.”
Mr. Pierce grew up in the Marble Hill section of northern Manhattan. In his teens, he dropped out of school and moved into a basement apartment on 176th Street known as “the dungeon” that was teeming with fellow skaters. His self-destructive streak was not fabricated for the screen; the role of Casper was written specifically with him in mind.
“His style, his swagger, his whole thing was kind of unprecedented,” said Mr. Korine, who met Mr. Pierce skating in Washington Square Park. “He was supermagnetic, and there was something really beautiful about him. At the same time, he was completely uncontrollable. He went for it all of the time, and that’s part of what got him into trouble.”
As the climactic house party winds down, Casper lies in a bathtub with a 40-ounce bottle of Olde English 800 and drunkenly sings the theme to “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” with improvised lyrics about “the dopest ghost in town” as an ode to himself. Moments later, he commits a sexual assault.
Mr. Pierce moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. His credits included a role in the 2000 comedy “Next Friday,” with Ice Cube and Mike Epps. But in 2000, he hanged himself at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. “He didn’t really mean to do it, I don’t think,” Mr. Clark said. “But nobody was with him.”
The funeral was held at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Little Italy, followed by a gathering near Supreme , the streetwear label founded by Mr. Pierce’s friends. “Justin was great looking, he was charismatic, he was the one everyone wanted to be in the movie,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said. “But maybe Justin wasn’t that comfortable in his own skin.”
Harold, one of the skaters perched like gargoyles in Washington Square Park, smoking marijuana, shouting anti-gay slurs and participating in a mob beating.
Raised in the East Village, Mr. Hunter was well known in the skating world when he was cast. As with Mr. Pierce, his character was written for him. “A lot of the feel and essence of that movie is him,” Mr. Korine said. “He was just completely fearless. He worked the street, performing, trying to pick up girls or get clothes.”
One night, the gang breaks into a closed swimming pool, and Harold, clad only in sagging briefs , hushes the group and gyrates so that his private parts make fleshy slapping noises. “Harold stole that scene,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said. “I’m almost positive that it was written into the script that he did that, but those sound effects aren’t fake.” The scene also broke the ice among the young, nervous actors. “That was when we started gelling,” he added.
In 2006, Mr. Hunter died of a heart attack at 31, reportedly caused by drug use. “Harold told me on the L train that we were going to get married,” Ms. Dawson said. “He lived right down the block from me, and he died in the same place. It’s very sad. But legends never die.”
Jennie, the film’s tragic heroine, who learns that she contracted H.I.V. from Telly. In the film’s final scene, after she tracks him down at a house party, Jennie passes out on a couch and is raped by Casper.
Although Ms. Sevigny now describes herself as a “superskinny, dorky blond girl from Connecticut” when cast, she was already a burgeoning “it” girl. By 1994, she had appeared in a Sonic Youth video and as a model in Sassy and Paper magazines. A New Yorker profile that year noted that “downtown style-chieftains and scenesters” were comparing her to Twiggy, Audrey Hepburn and Edie Sedgwick.
The realism of her role brought a different kind of attention. “I remember people hugging me and thinking it really happened,” she said. “Kids crying, ‘Oh, my God, I feel this way, too,’ or ‘I have H.I.V.’ I was happy that it was resonating with kids. It also made me wary of being a public figure and giving over your anonymity.”
In one of the film’s few tranquil moments, Jennie rides in a yellow taxi driven by a crusty cabby who expresses concern that she looks troubled. After she concedes that “everything is wrong,” he cheers her up with life-affirming wisdom. “The cabdriver wasn’t an actor, he was a rug salesman that the production designer knew,” Mr. Clark said. “He had this incredible voice. When he came in and started reading, I thought I was listening to Moses.”
Ms. Sevigny went on to star in “Boys Don’t Cry,” which earned her an Oscar nomination, and on five seasons of “Big Love” on HBO. She has also designed several clothing collections for Opening Ceremony. “Chloë’s style has always been something that fashion people have followed,” said Humberto Leon, a founder of Opening Ceremony. “I feel like her collections have a playfulness from her teenage years up to now.” Ms. Sevigny’s eclectic style is the subject of a new book published by Rizzoli, “Chloë Sevigny,” that documents her looks over the last 25 years.
Director. “Kids” was Mr. Clark’s directorial debut. “My idea was to make a film that had never been made,” he said. “By hanging out with these kids so long, they finally let me into a world where no adults were allowed.” Other than the story line about Jennie, nearly everything in the film was based on events that he and Mr. Korine had witnessed.
A documentarian of youth culture, Mr. Clark first provoked controversy in 1971 when he published “Tulsa,” a harrowing photography book revealing sex, violence and drug use in his Oklahoma hometown. His next book, “Teenage Lust,” attracted the same kind of outrage that later surrounded “Kids.”
“If you look at all my work, I’m always about three years early,” Mr. Clark said. “So the kids who saw the film said: ‘Gee, man, this gets what’s happening. This is real.’ Whereas a lot of parents said, ‘It’s a dirty old man’s fantasy.’ All you had to do was read the newspapers over the next few years, and everything was true.”
Telly and Casper arrive at Washington Square Park , which spurs a montage of ritualistic handshakes, dice rolling and marijuana smoking. It faithfully evoked the world in which Mr. Clark had immersed himself on a daily basis; he even learned to skate in order to keep up. “I broke my shoulder,” he said. “My knees are messed up like crazy today. I paid the price, but I really, really wanted to do it. Finally they accepted me. I was like one of the kids, even though I was almost 50.”
Mr. Clark followed “Kids” with other films that depicted wayward youth subculture, including “Bully,” “Ken Park” and “Wassup Rockers.” In 2014, he revisited skate culture, this time adding modernities like online pornography, in the film “The Smell of Us.” “I don’t know if any other adults give kids the same respect that Larry does,” said Mr. Fitzpatrick, who organized a 2014 gallery show of Mr. Clark’s snapshots, which sold for $100 each. “Larry is a kid at heart. He just happens to be a lot older than them.”
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50 Essential Movies For Kids
Looking to enrich your kid’s viewing habits? Or if you’re under 13 yourself, love movies, and you want to watch some of the best ever made, take it from us when we list 50 Essential Movies For Kids!
These are not just great children’s movies, but movies that play well for the curious and growing mind. While all these movies are classics and can be seen at any age, some have stronger themes than others that would play better during upper years. So, we separated the movies in suggested age categories:
Ages 1-5: Kids may not actively recall everything from this age, but a good baseline is fundamental in developing a healthy appetite for movies. Here we feature colorful classics ( The Wizard of Oz ), fun adventures ( Chicken Run ), and tales as old as time ( Beauty and the Beast ).
Ages 6-9: As more time is devoted to school and outside life, movies become more of an escape, and their power to transport starts to become apparent. Don’t miss out on epic quests ( Star Wars ), wish fulfillment ( Home Alone ), and dazzling fantasies ( Spirited Away ).
Ages 10-12: The magic window, the time in life when movies can move and change tweens, and stick for the rest of time. A good era for the classic portrayals of youth ( The 400 Blows ), face-melting action ( Raiders of the Lost Ark ), and romance ( Romeo & Juliet ).
Whether you’re a parent looking for a moral, entertaining movie night with your kids, or you’re a young student of movies making the leap on your own, check out these 50 Essential Movies For Kids! — Alex Vo
Beauty and the Beast (1991) 93%
Chicken Run (2000) 97%
Frozen (2013) 90%
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) 98%
A Little Princess (1995) 97%
The Muppet Movie (1979) 88%
My Neighbor Totoro (1988) 93%
The Red Balloon (1956) 96%
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) 97%
Toy Story (1995) 100%
WALL-E (2008) 95%
The Wizard of Oz (1939) 98%
Babe (1995) 97%
Back to the Future (1985) 93%
Coco (2017) 97%
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) 99%
Elf (2003) 85%
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) 93%
The Goonies (1985) 77%
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) 81%
Home Alone (1990) 66%
How to Train Your Dragon (2010) 99%
Inside Out (2015) 98%
The Karate Kid (1984) 89%
The Iron Giant (1999) 96%
The LEGO Movie (2014) 96%
Little Manhattan (2005) 77%
Matilda (1996) 92%
The Neverending Story (1984) 83%
Paddington 2 (2017) 99%
The Princess Bride (1987) 98%
The Sandlot (1993) 65%
Spirited Away (2001) 96%
Spy Kids (2001) 93%
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) 93%
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) 91%
The 400 Blows (1959) 99%
Akeelah and the Bee (2006) 86%
Au Revoir, les enfants (1987) 97%
Hugo (2011) 93%
Napoleon Dynamite (2004) 72%
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) 88%
Queen of Katwe (2016) 94%
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 93%
Romeo and Juliet (1968) 95%
Rudy (1993) 78%
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) 97%
Time Bandits (1981) 91%
West Side Story (1961) 92%
The Witches (1990) 94%
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10 brilliant performances by child actors 18 or younger.
Child actors can often steal a scene or a whole movie if the right actor is cast. These under-18 kid actors surprised everyone with their skills.
Talent can appear early in life and come in small packages. What young aspiring artist hasn’t been told, “You are too inexperienced to make it / You’ll just be buried under the big-name leads / You will peak too soon?” Well, these brilliant child actors (many of whom had/have successful careers as adults, too ) proved them wrong.
RELATED: 10 Child Stars To Look Out For In The 2020s
From comedy and horror to drama and Western, and from old to recent films, child actors have shone in every genre and era imaginable. Here are 10 that are considered exceptional and even outshined their adult co-stars.
Heather O’Rourke - Poltergeist (1982)
Starting on a sad note, O’Rourke died very young, in 1988, at the age of 12. Nevertheless, she reprised the role of Carol Anne Freeling in Poltergeist three times - the first one when she was just six years old and the last time being in the same year as her death.
Heather portrayed the youngest child of the Freeling family. One night, she starts “talking” with the TV set that is inexplicably transmitting static. A series of bizarre events follows, as a hand emerges from the TV the following night and Carol Anne offers a chilling announcement: “They’re here.”
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit (2010)
Although she was not a household name like the other actors in this Western film at the time, she was definitely the center of attention. Steinfeld played 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Steinfeld was also 14 at the time). With her co-stars being Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges, and Matt Damon, she could have been outshone, but her raw talent and devotion captured critics and audiences.
RELATED: True Grit: 10 Quotes From The Coen Brothers Movie
The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, among them Best Supporting Actress for Steinfeld. She also won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Young Performer.
Christina Ricci - The Addams Family (1991)
One of the lighter entries on the list, Christina Ricci played the acerbic, sarcastic, but humorous character of Wednesday Addams to a brilliant comedic effect. The Addams family is comprised of a collection of eccentric individuals , to say the least. Ricci was only 11 when she successfully delivered the complex and dark brilliance that is Wednesday Addams in her second-ever performance.
She is the perfect definition of the mischievous and creepy child here, perfectly exemplified in some of her lines: “This is my costume. I'm a homicidal maniac. They look just like everybody else.”
Haley Joel Osment - The Sixth Sense (1999)
The now-iconic film that was, to many, the early peak of M. Knight Shyamalan’s career featured Osment as young Cole Sear, a traumatized young boy who is helped by child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). Osment was great in delivering both the lines and the emotions of the terrified boy who can see and hear the dead, but cannot understand why he has been burdened with this gift (or curse).
RELATED: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Haley Joel Osment
Malcolm helps him see his ability from a different perspective and use it for the better. Osment was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Ahn Seo-Hyun - Okja (2017)
Ahn Seo-Hyun portrays Mija, a young South Korean girl who finds herself and her pet “super pig,” Okja, in the midst of a battle between the conglomerate Mirando Corporation and the Animal Liberation Front. Mirando created super pigs through genetic modification and sent them to farms around the world to see who would raise the best pig. Now, years later they have come to reclaim Okja and proclaim her the best super pig, but she has become an irreplaceable friend for Mija.
Mirando’s plans are intercepted by the AFL, but they too have their own agenda. Okja was the movie Bong Joon-Ho directed right before Parasite that made history by being the first non-English-speaking film to win Best Picture. It is also one of the best Netflix Originals out there.
Saoirse Ronan - Atonement (2007)
Atonement , a milestone of a period drama, was based on Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name and Saoirse Ronan shone in it. Most people will be familiar with her from her roles in Little Women and Lady Bird , but this film is often considered her breakthrough role and got her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
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She plays Briony, a young girl whose misguided lies and decisions in her late childhood will affect the trajectory of the lives of three people she holds dear in catastrophic ways.
Isabelle Fuhrman - Orphan (2009)
Fuhrman definitely stole the show in this one. In Orphan , she portrays Esther, an orphan girl from Russia, whose first adoptive family died in a mysterious fire. The Colemans are immediately captivated by her kindness, talent, and charm and, motivated by the tragedy of their lost baby, decide to adopt her.
However, she very quickly starts shedding parts of her charming persona and revealing the anger and evil she’s been hiding underneath. The Colemans start having the same bad luck as others that crossed Esther’s path.
Ellen Page - Hard Candy (2005)
Ellen Page was 18 when she played 14-year-old Hayley in Hard Candy . Page hadn't had any major roles up until this point and this was her time to shine, and her performance was simply captivating. The movie basically has only two characters and a cameo by Sandra Oh.
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In the film, Page plays a girl that goes out for a date with quite an older man that she met online. She appears fascinated by him and eager to go back to his place, but a while after they arrive, her true motives are revealed. As the line blurs when it comes to who trapped whom and who is dominant in the situation, more and more disturbing details come to light.
Alex Hibbert - Moonlight (2016)
This movie was a first in many aspects and broke a lot of barriers. It was the first movie with an all Black cast and the first LGBTQ+-centered movie to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film follows the protagonist Chiron, from childhood to adulthood , as he faces obstacles and discrimination in life, due to his race, sexuality, and class.
The movie starts out pessimistic but invites hope and healing, as Chiron fixes the broken relationships in his life and moves on to a better future. Hibbert played Chiron in his childhood when everyone called him “Little.” He was nominated for a Critics Choice Award for Best Young Actor (among others).
Linda Blair - The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist is an iconic film, in part, due to Linda Blair’s performance as the possessed 12-year-old girl, Regan MacNeil. Blair was 14 at the time and her performance was simply top-notch, a brilliant study into the demonic and the sinister, so much that certain detractors called it blasphemous.
For this role, she received a Golden Globe and a People's Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress, as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
NEXT: 15 Actors You Had No Idea Were Child Stars
Hear The Boy and The Heron's Star-Studded English-Language Cast in New Dubbed Trailer
The cast includes mark hamill, christian bale, robert pattinson, and a whole lot more..
GKIDS just dropped an official dubbed trailer for Studio Ghibli's latest animated feature, The Boy and The Heron.
It's the first listen at the absolutely stacked English-language voice cast that was announced last month , led by Christian Bale as Shoichi Maki, the father of Mahito. The rest of the cast includes Dave Bautista, Gemma Chan, Willem Dafoe, Karen Fukuhara, Mark Hamill, Robert Pattinson, and Florence Pugh.
It's difficult to envision a reality where storied filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki can supercede the caliber of his past works, which include award-winning animated films like Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. But after watching today's latest look, it seems like that possibility isn't far out of reach.
"I know it's a lie. But I have to see." Here is your first look at the new English version of Hayao Miyazaki's THE BOY AND THE HERON. Watch it in theatres starting December 8. pic.twitter.com/O2DgA0uNRa — Studio Ghibli (@GhibliUSA) November 2, 2023
The trailer opens to Mahito, the film's titular "boy," trekking up a grassy hill to reach a dazzling golden gate. When he reaches it, the camera reverses to reveal an army of birds following closely behind.
Set during World War II, The Boy and the Heron sees Mahito embark on a treacherous journey to find his deceased mother in an alternate world filled with the dead. Along the way, Mahito seeks guidance from a talking grey heron with magical powers.
"A lot of strange things happen in this place," a voiceover utters ominously as viewers are introduced to the unsettling imagery of Miyazaki's post-mortem world.
The new trailer features plenty of nods to past Studio Ghibli films. A little over a minute in, viewers meet a character whose face is enshrouded in flames, which looks particularly Calcifer-esque. Then, the trailer's closing moments reveal a sneak peek of what we can presume is the heron's human form, and all we can say is that there's some eerie similarities to Yubaba's bird-humanoid features in Spirited Away.
However, it truly wouldn't be a Studio Ghibli film without an abundance of adorable creatures, like the soot sprites in My Neighbor Totoro or Princess Mononoke's signature tree spirits. But don't worry! It looks like fans won't be disappointed. Small, bumbling white sprites that look like chunky marshmallows also make an appearance in the trailer, and they are as cute as they sound.
"It's Studio Ghibli's most visually complex film to date, while also contemplating the legacy of a legendary filmmaker and the world he is leaving behind. It serves as an ultimate statement from Miyazaki, and the perfect coda to his career," IGN wrote of the film in a Sept. 8 review.
To learn more about The Boy and the Heron, check out the official teaser trailer from Sept. 7 or read about how Hayao Miyazaki is already working on his next film .
The Boy and the Heron will be released in U.S. theaters Dec. 8. The movie was already theatrically released in Japan July 14.
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Actors Who Have Acted Alongside Their Kids
Posted: October 27, 2023 | Last updated: October 27, 2023
Movie lovers seldom see actors and their children play roles in the same movie. But sometimes, when it happens, it makes for an interesting watch. Many actors see it as a way to bond with their children by sharing screen time with them. That real-life chemistry sometimes flows into their movie personas as well. In some movies, the two relatives play different people. In others, they take the role of parent and child. Find here a list of films and TV shows featuring actors who have acted alongside their kids.
Andy MacDowell and Margaret Qualley, Maid
Andy MacDowell got a pleasant surprise when her daughter, Margaret Qualley, landed the role of Alex in the Netflix series, Maid. Before then, MacDowell had wished to someday act beside Margaret, and the opportunity came when Margaret not only landed the role but invited MacDowell to join her in production.
MacDowell thinks of it as a special thing to have a child trust her mother so much to want to act alongside them. The complex role that MacDowell played allowed her to explore elements of her own childhood and upbringing, too.
Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer, Ricky and the Flash
Meryl Streep and her daughter Mamie Gummer have shared the screen twice, so viewers have become familiar with seeing them together. In the 2015 movie Ricky and the Flash , they do something different; their characters play central roles in the story. Meryl plays a woman (Ricky) who abandons her family to chase her dreams as a rock star. She gets a chance to make things right when she returns to help her estranged daughter Julie (Gummer). But the rift between both women has become so vast bridging it seems impossible.
The mother-daughter duo seemed to enjoy themselves while playing their roles. At no point did the younger actor, Gummer, feel pressure acting alongside her multiple Oscar-winning mom.
Tom Hanks and Truman Hanks, A Man Called Otto
Tom Hanks’ son, Truman, saved director Marc Forster much time when he chose to star in the movie A Man Called Otto . Finding an actor to play a younger version of someone with a recognizable face, like veteran actor Tom Hanks, can pose a challenge. Getting it wrong can cause distraction in the movie. But Truman Hanks, even though he barely had any movie credit to his name, fit the role. He resembled his father, fit the right age, and could pull off Tom’s mannerisms. The effort resulted in a fascinating film centered on both actors in a series of flashbacks that told a strong story.
Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow, Sylvia
The mother-daughter duo featured in the same production: the Sylvia Plath biopic Sylvia. The two hadn’t enjoyed the smoothest of relationships. Danner admitted to going hard on her daughter Paltrow in their previous collaborations. But in Sylvia, their relationship became a bit more fluid.
The story touched on the real-life romance between poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.
Will Smith and Jaden Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
Will Smith first starred alongside his son in the 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness . Jaden also got his first feature film credit playing Christopher Jr., the five-year-old son of Christopher Gardner (Will Smith). The film follows the life of Christopher and his son after they get evicted from their house, living on the street and seeking shelter. It has emotional weight, and the actors put in great performances. Will and his son would later feature in After Earth , the 2013 post-apocalyptic movie.
Jerry Stiller and Ben Stiller, Zoolander
Ben Stiller co-stars with his dad in Zoolander, the 2001 comedy film directed by Ben himself. Ben Stiller’s dad had a long history in the industry, mostly performing together as the comedy duo Stiller and Meara. Their influence rubbed off on Ben, and it only seemed fitting that they both work together. Zoolander satirized the ills of the American fashion industry.
Leslie Mann and Her Daughters, This Is 40
The close-knit family comes together in This Is 40 , the sequel to Knocked Up . Maude Apatow and Iris Apatow play Leslie’s children in the movie. The chemistry between them on screen remains obvious. They complement each other in every project they work on. Leslie doesn’t fail to praise her daughters whenever she gets the chance, whether in an interview or talk show. Maude seems to have found her way in Hollywood too, and fans would love to see her team up with her family again for another comedic act.
Denzel Washington and John David Washington, Malcolm X
Denzel Washington’s son, John David Washington, began his acting career in some of his father’s films. In one of them, Malcolm X , Denzel plays the iconic Black activist while John plays a school student from Harlem. Just eight years old at the time, he didn’t have much involvement in the movie compared to his father. But a feature in such a big movie helped him build experience and portfolio, and growth.
Johnny Depp and Lily-Rose Depp, Yoga Hosers
Lily-Rose Depp and her dad teamed up in the comic-book film Yoga Hosers . Besides the 15-year-old Lily-Rose, who plays a major role in the film, director Kevin Smith’s daughter also features. The two teenagers combine to fight against an ancient evil that rises beneath Canada’s crust. They also enlist a legendary man-hunter, Guy Lapointe (Depp), to help them battle against the evil that has risen. Director Smith told The Hollywood Reporter that he wanted “the most formidable and feared creatures man has ever encountered: two fifteen-year-old girls” to take center stage in the movie.
Jada Pinkett-Smith and Willow Smith, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
The Smith women don’t just sit back and watch the men do the acting. They also play active roles in the animated film Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa . While Jada voices Gloria the Hippo in the film, Willow does the same for a younger version of Gloria in the sequel.
Ernie Lively and Blake Lively, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2
Blake Lively took a lot of inspiration from her father’s acting career, and in the movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its sequel, they got to work together. While Blake plays Bridget, one of four best friends who spend their first summer apart, Ernie plays her father.
Clint Eastwood and Scott Eastwood, Gran Torino
Clint Eastwood and his son have featured in a couple of films together. Gran Torino and Trouble with the Curve stand out from the list. Both father and son demonstrate a level of professionalism on screen that proves their dedication to craft off-screen. Scott doesn’t hide behind Clint’s illustrious career, and Clint too, doesn’t seek to outshine. Both men give their best in each movie.
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, These Old Broads
Carrie Fisher only has a cameo in the film These Old Broads, which starred her mother, but it speaks to the closeness of both women. People knew the mother-daughter duo as one of the closest in Hollywood, even though they had their fair share of ups and downs. The love they had for each other endured even till their final days, both of them dying within days of each other. Their loved ones and family can always look at the movie they both starred in as an iconic moment when the two women immortalized themselves on the screen together.
Diane Ladd and Laura Dern, Rambling Rose
In the movie Rambling Rose , Diane Ladd and her daughter work together for the second time. They first worked on David Lynch’s Wild at Heart , where they established their on-screen relationship. In their second movie together, they both put in performances strong enough to earn them Oscar nominations.
LeVar Burton and Mica Burton
LeVar Burton and his daughter share screen time on season three of Star Trek: Picard . LeVar returns on the last season of the show, playing Geordi La Forge, the Enterprise’s former Chief Engineer. Mica makes her debut playing ensign Alandra LA Forge, one of Geordi’s two daughters. Both father and daughter expressed excitement to feature in the Paramount + series for the last season, especially as they get to enact their father and daughter roles on the screen.
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While some films from the 80s have become iconic, etching themselves into our collective memories, a treasure trove of lesser-known films has gradually faded into obscurity. Not to worry, we've compiled a list of 25 gems, based on IMDb, that graced our screens with their offbeat charm, eccentric characters, and captivating narratives that defy convention.
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Cailee Spaeny’s Elvis-Obsessed Family Gave the Priscilla Actor a Leg Up for Her Lead Role
Spaeny, who has already won an award for the new biopic, became familiar with the Presley family at an early age thanks to her superfan parents.
In her biggest role yet, 25-year-old Spaeny stars alongside Jacob Elordi as Elvis in the new movie directed by Sofia Coppola. Priscilla offers a fresh take on Elvis and Priscilla’s turbulent relationship , from their first meeting in 1959 to their marriage eight years later and eventual divorce.
However, it turns out Spaeny already knew quite a bit about the famous couple thanks to her family—specifically her Elvis-obsessed parents, Mark and Reja. Here’s a look at how their fandom foreshadowed Spaeny’s breakout role.
Spaeny’s mother had a shrine to Elvis
Originally born in Tennessee, Spaeny grew up in a large family—she’s one of nine siblings, according to Vanity Fair —in Springfield, Missouri. She has always been drawn to acting, taking classes and voice lessons at her hometown’s Springfield Little Theater as well as performing at nearby theme park Silver Dollar City in Branson.
It’s also clear her parents’ Elvis fandom was a memorable part of her childhood. She went so far as telling Vogue in a September interview her mother was “obsessed” with the famous crooner. “She was an avid collector of his memorabilia and had what seemed like a shrine to him in our house growing up,” she explained to the magazine.
The family even took a road trip to Memphis, Tennessee, to visit the famed Presley family estate, Graceland . Spaeny has a vivid memory of her father walking around the city with tears in his eyes singing Elvis’ 1968 song “If I Can Dream.”
“Growing up, there always seemed to be an Elvis Greatest Hits CD playing in the house and in the car,” said Spaeny , who spent plenty of time on the road. She, her mother, and her two younger siblings drove multiple times from Missouri all the way to Los Angeles so the aspiring actor could appear for theatrical auditions.
However, Spaeny knew little of Priscilla’s story and the behind-the-scenes drama that led to her divorce from the music icon in 1973. “We were raised on Elvis—and I obviously knew Priscilla and Elvis go hand-in-hand,” she told Empire magazine . “I knew the iconic moments and photos, but I didn’t know her story. I thought that was sort of astonishing, that her story wasn’t as well known as it should be.”
Spaeny had a key reference in getting the role
Although Spaeny likely stood out with her background knowledge of Elvis’ music and the Presley family, Coppola cast her primarily because of a referral—from a really good source.
Before she became known for her role as Mary Jane Watson in the Spider-Man movie trilogy starring Tobey Maguire , actor Kirsten Dunst had a featured role in Coppola’s 1999 film The Virgin Suicides . The two have become close friends since and collaborated again for the 2006 biopic Marie Antoinette .
So when Dunst heard Coppola was looking for someone to play Priscilla Presley, she personally endorsed Spaeny, with whom she worked on the upcoming action film Civil War . “Kirsten is like a sister to me,” Coppola told W magazine , “and when she recommended Cailee, I paid attention.”
Elvis and Me by Priscilla Presley
Coppola and Spaeny met for breakfast in New York soon after, and the director quickly offered her the role. “Sofia pulled out her iPad and showed me some photos of Priscilla. She said, ‘I think you could do it!’” Spaeny said . “I felt like Kirsten had passed the torch to me.” To begin preparing for the role, Spaeny spoke with Priscilla for four hours and pored through her 1985 memoir Elvis and Me , which serves as the primary inspiration for Coppola’s film.
In the end, Spaeny hopes the already polarizing movie—which doesn’t shy away from the uglier aspects of Priscilla and Elvis’ relationship—gives fans a better understanding of the famous couple. “On top of being her own woman, and a wife, and a mother, Priscilla also had to serve as a representative of Elvis,” she told Vogue . “He was essentially American royalty at the time. That’s a kind of pressure, that’s hard to wrap your head around.”
Priscilla Is Now in Theaters
Coppola and Spaeny are starting to find out how mass audiences react to the movie, as Priscilla is now playing in theaters. So far, the actor’s performance has received acclaim, with Spaeny winning Best Actress at the Venice International Film Festival, where the film debuted in September. Critics have dolled out their own praise as Rolling Stone calls her “an absolute marvel” and Variety declares “the force of her performance is how she enacts Priscilla’s slow-motion melancholy.”
Here’s the official trailer for the A24 film:
Tyler Piccotti joined the Biography.com staff in 2023, and before that had worked almost eight years as a newspaper reporter and copy editor. He is a graduate of Syracuse University, an avid sports fan, a frequent moviegoer, and trivia buff.
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Peter white, ‘boys in the band’ and ‘all my children’ actor, dies at 86.
After starring as the sexually ambiguous Alan on stage and in the William Friedkin film, he played Linc Tyler on the ABC soap opera for years.
By Mike Barnes
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Peter White, who portrayed Linc Tyler on the ABC soap opera All My Children over four decades and starred in the original stage production and film adaptation of The Boys in the Band , has died. He was 86.
White died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles of melanoma, his All My Children castmate Kathleen Noone (Ellen Shepherd Dalton on the show) told The Hollywood Reporter .
Shannon wilcox, actress in 'songwriter,' 'six weeks' and 'dallas,' dies at 80, peter s. fischer, 'murder, she wrote' co-creator and 'columbo' writer, dies at 88.
White first portrayed Lincoln Tyler, son of stern Pine Valley matriarch Phoebe Tyler (Ruth Warrick), from 1974-80 — he was the third actor in the role, starting with James Karen — then returned for stints in ’81, ’84, ’86, ‘95 and 2005.
White starred as Alan McCarthy in Mart Crowley ’s The Boys in the Band , which opened off-Broadway at Theater Four in April 1968. The drama revolves around a group of gay men attending a birthday party in a Manhattan apartment for their friend Harold (Leonard Frey), though it’s left unclear whether Alan was/is gay.
Until then, most gay characters in American theater had been veiled or demonized.
“Opening night, none of us knew what we had,” White recalled in a 2008 interview . “We all just thought, ‘It’s a play, it’s something new, it’s different and it’s good.’ It was a 100 percent gay audience — and then the next day, it went crazy!
“We got a call to come to the theater early, because there was such a crowd around the theater, you couldn’t get near it. Everyone at the time wanted to call it a gay play — [I always thought] it wasn’t [so much] a gay play [as] it was a play with gay characters.”
When Crowley produced and adapted his drama for the landmark 1970 film that was directed by William Friedkin and released through National General Pictures, White and his co-stars came along for the ride.
He was working alongside Myrna Loy in a touring production of Barefoot in the Park when he was offered the Boys in the Band opportunity.
“Things were sort of really moving for me; I was doing so well, and I thought, ‘I don’t need this kind of risk,’” he recalled. “I talked to Myrna — she became my mentor — and she said, ‘Peter, if you are going to be an actor, you are going to have to take some risks in your life.’”
The play would run for more than 1,000 performances.
White returned to the soap world in 1971 with a turn as Dr. Sanford Hiller on CBS’ Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing , and he also appeared in the Robert Mulligan-directed film The Pursuit of Happiness that year.
He made it to Broadway in 1975 in P.S. Your Cat Is Dead , though that play lasted just 16 performances.
White guest-starred on dozens of TV shows over the years, from Cannon , Hill Street Blues , The Jeffersons , Dynasty and Knots Landing to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine , Mad About You , The X-Files , The West Wing and Cold Case .
His film résumé also included Dave (1993), Mother (1996), Flubber (1997), Armageddon (1998), Thirteen Days (2000) and First Daughter (2004). In recent years, he served as an acting coach for those preparing to audition.
Noone said White was not married and had no children. His death was first reported by the SoapHub website.
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Box office: ‘five nights at freddy’s’ leads slow frame with $19.4m, ‘priscilla’ opens nationwide, sofia coppola says she wanted lana del rey on the ‘priscilla’ soundtrack: “didn’t work out with the timing”, afm: despite strike slowdown, market boasts new projects with james mcavoy, naomie harris, guy pearce, nicolas cage says he “didn’t get into movies to be a meme”, shannon wilcox, actress in ‘songwriter,’ ‘six weeks’ and ‘dallas,’ dies at 80, scad savannah film fest: directors of 2023 ‘docs to watch’ on films’ origins, challenges and impact (video).
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2023 Hallmark Christmas movies: How to watch all 40 new Hallmark holiday movies, full calendar and more
Christmas in … November? The Hallmark Channel has already bid farewell to Thanksgiving and is officially leaning into the holiday season with its Countdown to Christmas movie series in full swing. This year, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 17, Hallmark is giving us three new holiday movies. Plus, in addition to Countdown to Christmas weekends, fans will also be getting holiday movies every Thursday with Hallmark Movies and Mysteries' Miracles of Christmas series and Hallmark Movies Now's Movies & Mistletoe series. All together, we’re getting 40 new Christmas movies from Hallmark in 2023.
This weekend in Hallmark holiday movies: On Friday, we get Flipping for Christmas starring Ashley Newbrough and Marcus Rosner. Saturday night is Never Been Chris'd with Janel Parrish, Pascal Lamothe-Kipnes and Tyler Hynes. The Santa Summit, starring Hunter King and Benjamin Hollingsworth, will close out the weekend Sunday night.
It’s like the 12 Days of Christmas, but so much longer! Keep reading to check out the full Hallmark Christmas movie schedule, find out where to watch Hallmark movies without cable and more.
How to watch Hallmark Christmas movies in 2023
If you’re already a cable subscriber and are looking for more ways to watch the Hallmark Channel, you should be able to login with your cable credentials on WatchHallmarkTV.com and tune into a free livestream of the new Christmas movies as they premiere. Don’t have cable? Here’s what we recommend subscribing to if you want the Hallmark Channel:
Watch the Hallmark Channel
Watch hallmark channel, sling tv orange + lifestyle extra, watch hallmark channel with sling tv orange + lifestyle extra, directv entertainment, hulu + live tv, fubo tv pro, where to stream hallmark christmas movies in 2023:, stream hallmark movies.
Starting at just $6 a month, a Peacock subscription includes live sports and events airing on NBC, like NFL games, college football and WWE, plus you’ll get thousands of hours of shows and movies, including beloved sitcoms Parks and Recreation and The Office , Bravo shows like The Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules and even recent theatrical releases like The Super Mario Movie and Five Nights at Freddy's . For $12 monthly you can upgrade to an ad-free subscription which includes live access to your local NBC Channel (not just during designated sports and events) and the ability to download select titles to watch offline.
Hallmark Movies Now
If you want to just subscribe straight to the source, Hallmark Movies Now will have all the new Hallmark Christmas movies available to stream. You can subscribe monthly for $5.99 per month, or annually for $59.99.
2023 Hallmark Christmas movie Countdown to Christmas schedule and previews:
Premieres are 8 p.m. ET/PT unless otherwise noted
Friday, Oct. 20
Checkin' It Twice Cast: Kim Matula, Kevin McGarry Plot: A journeyman hockey player (McGarry) falls for a real estate agent (Matula) in a career crisis when he's traded to her hometown and moves into the cottage in her hockey-loving family's backyard.
Saturday, Oct. 21
Where Are You, Christmas? Cast: Lyndsy Fonseca, Michael Rady, Jim O'Heir, Julie Warner Plot: When Addy (Fonseca) wishes for a year without Christmas, she wakes up in a world of black and white. She must work together with the town mechanic (Rady) to restore Christmas.
Sunday, Oct. 22
Under the Christmas Sky Cast : Jessica Parker Kennedy, Ryan Paevey Plot: Kat (Kennedy) is an esteemed astrophysicist scheduled for her first trip into space until an accident grounds her. While on leave, coming to terms with the reality that her dream of being an astronaut is over, she volunteers at the local planetarium. There, she is paired up with by-the-book David (Paevey) to work on an exhibit opening right before Christmas. Will the stars align to bring these two together at the holidays?
Friday, Oct. 27
Christmas by Design Cast: Rebecca Dalton, Jonathan Keltz Plot: A fashion designer (Dalton) gets accepted into a Christmas challenge to create a new holiday-themed collection and not only finds the inspiration for her next line but decides to redesign her approach to what's most important in life.
Saturday, Oct. 28
Mystic Christmas Cast: Jessy Schram, Chandler Massey, Patti Murin, William R. Moses Plot: Juniper (Schram) travels to Mystic, Conn., during the holidays to work at the rehabilitation center and aquarium. She reconnects with Sawyer (Massey), the owner of the pizza shop.
Sunday, Oct. 29
Joyeux Noel Cast: Jaicy Elliot, Brant Daugherty Plot: When a romantic painting of a Christmas market captures the imagination of copy editor Lea (Elliot), she is sent to France with pragmatic reporter Mark (Daugherty) to uncover the mystery behind the artist.
Friday, Nov. 3
Flipping for Christmas Cast: Ashley Newbrough, Marcus Rosner Plot : It's almost Christmas when busy Realtor Abigail (Newbrough) agrees to help her sister with the "simple flip" of a recently inherited home. Unfortunately, co-beneficiary Bo (Rosner) has other plans in mind.
Saturday, Nov. 4
Never Been Chris'd Cast: Janel Parrish, Pascal Lamothe-Kipnes, Tyler Hynes Plot: Home for the holidays, BFFs Naomi (Parrish) and Liz (Lamothe-Kipnes) reconnect with high school crush Chris Silver (Hynes). A complex love triangle forms, forcing them to take stock of their lives and find the value of friendship.
Sunday, Nov. 5
The Santa Summit Cast : Hunter King, Benjamin Hollingsworth Plot: It's time for the annual Santa Summit, in which revelers put on Santa suits and hop around designated locations in town to eat, drink and be merry. Three best friends decide to go together: Jordin (King), a recently dumped art teacher looking to cut loose; Ava, a shy woman hoping to run into her crush; and Stella, a Christmas cynic with no interest in the Santa Summit whatsoever. At the start of the night, Jordin meets and bonds with Liam (Hollingsworth), but doesn't get his name before getting separated and lost in a sea of Santas. As the night progresses and hijinks ensue, amid the chaos, celebration and a sea of Santas, they all find what they're looking for: Christmas spirit, potential romance and a strengthened bond of friendship.
Friday, Nov. 10
Everything Christmas Cast: Katherine Barrell, Cindy Busby, Corey Sevier, Matt Wells Plot: Lori Jo's (Busby) love for Christmas takes her on a road trip with her roommate Tori (Barrell) to Yuletide Springs, where Christmas is celebrated year-round, to participate in a longstanding town tradition to honor Lori Jo's late grandmother. Along the way, the friends meet Carl (Sevier) and Jason (Wells), and the foursome make stops during their journey to enjoy more small-town Christmas attractions. But when a series of events puts a damper on their plans, a little Christmas magic may put this trip back on the right path.
Saturday, Nov. 11
Christmas Island Cast: Rachel Skarsten, Andrew Walker Plot: When a snowstorm diverts Kate's (Skarsten) first private flight en route to Switzerland to Christmas Island, she must team up with an air traffic controller (Walker) to secure her dream job as the family's pilot.
Sunday, Nov. 12
A Heidelberg Holiday Cast: Ginna Claire Mason, Frédéric Brossier Plot: Heidi Heidelberg (Mason) gets the dream opportunity to sell her beautiful, handmade glass ornaments at the prestigious Heidelberg Christmas Market in Germany. While there, she meets Lukas (Brossier), a local artisan who helps her reconnect with her lost heritage.
Friday, Nov. 17
Navigating Christmas Cast: Chelsea Hobbs, Stephen Huszar Plot: Recently divorced Melanie (Hobbs) and son Jason visit a remote island for Christmas, only to find themselves running a real working lighthouse where she connects with the curt but cute owner (Huszar).
Saturday, Nov. 18
A Merry Scottish Christmas Cast: Lacey Chabert, Scott Wolf Plot : Whenm estranged siblings, Lindsay (Chabert) and Brad (Wolf) Morgan travel to Scotland at Christmas to reunite with their mother Jo, a big family secret is revealed.
Sunday, Nov. 19
Holiday Hotline Cast: Emily Tennant, Niall Matter Plot: After leaving London, Abby (Tennant) connects with an anonymous caller while working at a cooking hotline. The caller is single dad "John" (Matter) whom Abby unknowingly has become smitten with in real life.
Thursday, Nov. 23
Catch Me If You Claus Cast : Italia Ricci, Luke Macfarlane Plot : Avery Quinn (Ricci) is an aspiring news anchor who's finally getting her big break on her station's Christmas morning newscast. But that's put in jeopardy when she captures an intruder in her home wearing a red suit claiming to be Chris (Macfarlane), Santa's son, who is on his first mission. A night of adventure ensues as they find themselves being pursued by the police as well as some shady characters. Along the way, they connect over living in the shadow of their parents and inspire each other to go after their dreams.
Friday, Nov. 24
Letters to Santa Time: Premieres 6 p.m. ET/PT Cast: Katie Leclerc, Rafael de la Fuente Plot: When young siblings receive a magic pen from Santa that appears to be granting wishes, they request the Christmas gift they want more than anything — for their separated parents (Leclerc, de la Fuente) to reunite.
Holiday Road Cast: Sara Canning, Warren Christie Plot: When bad weather leaves each of them stranded at the airport for the holidays, a tech entrepreneur (Christie), a travel writer (Canning), a devoted mother (Enid-Raye Adams) and her son (Kiefer O'Reilly), a stubborn senior (Trevor Lerner), an enigmatic woman with a hint of mystery (Brittany Willacy), a couple traveling from Hong Kong (Sharon Crandall, Ryan Mah) and a social media influencer (Princess Davis) all agree to rent a shared van to embark on a road trip to Denver. When their unexpected journey brings them into uncharted territory, they navigate a series of misadventures together and form a deeper bond that just might change the trajectories of each of their lives. Inspired by true events.
Saturday, Nov. 25
Christmas in Notting Hill Time: Premieres 6 p.m. ET/PT Cast: Sarah Ramos, William Moseley Plot: Famous soccer star, Graham Savoy (Moseley), has always been too busy for love, but when he comes home to Notting Hill for Christmas, he changes his mind after meeting Georgia (Ramos) — a visiting American and the one person who has no idea who he is.
Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up Cast: Lacey Chabert, Wes Brown, Stephen Tobolowsky, Melissa Peterman, Ellen Travolta, Seth Morris, Jennifer Aspen Plot: As the holidays approach, Emily (Chabert) and Jared (Brown) are looking forward to celebrating the holidays together again, this time as a couple. Emily, now embracing Evergreen Lane's uniquely festive spirit, is ready to work with Jared, Ned (Tobolowsky), Mary Louise (Travolta), and Pamela (Peterman) to make this year's Christmas celebrations the best yet — even if being the HOA president's girlfriend doesn't stop those dreaded decorating citations. When a house on the block goes up for sale, it causes quite a stir with residents. When the soon-to-be neighbors turn out to be holiday royalty (Morris, Aspen), it looks like this year's competition is about to heat up. As the welcoming committee prepares for the new arrivals, only one thing is certain — this Christmas, Evergreen Lane is going to sleigh!
Sunday, Nov. 26
Our Christmas Mural Time: Premieres 6 p.m. ET/PT Cast : Alex Paxton-Beesley, Dan Jeannotte Plot: Olivia (Paxton-Beesley) is a single mom who returns home for Christmas. Her mom secretly enters her into a mural contest; she wins but partners with teacher Will (Jeannotte) to create a Christmas masterpiece.
A Biltmore Christmas Cast: Bethany Joy Lenz, Kristoffer Polaha, Jonathan Frakes, Robert Picardo ("Star Trek: Voyager") Plot : Lucy Hardgrove (Lenz) is a screenwriter who lands the job of a lifetime when she's hired to pen the script for a remake of the beloved holiday movie classic His Merry Wife! , which was filmed in 1947 at the beautiful, historic Biltmore House. When the head of the studio isn't satisfied with the ending Lucy wrote because it deviates from the original's feel-good conclusion, he sends Lucy to Biltmore Estate for research and inspiration. While there, she unwittingly discovers the ability to travel to the 1947 set of His Merry Wife! through the help of an hourglass. While on set, she and Jack Huston (Polaha), one of the film's stars, spend time together and become close. But her sudden appearance has set off a chain of events that put the production in jeopardy. Before she can return to the present, Lucy must make things right or threaten to alter the future forever.
Friday, Dec. 1
My Norwegian Holiday Cast: Rhiannon Fish, David Elsendoorn Plot: J.J. (Fish), grieving the loss of her grandmother and seeking dissertation inspiration, stumbles upon an unexpected holiday destiny. Meeting Henrik (Elsendoorn), a Norwegian from Bergen, their connection deepens when he discovers she has a troll figurine from his hometown. To explore the troll's history and her grandmother's ties, J.J. agrees to join Henrik on a journey to Norway. In Bergen, they're drawn into Henrik's family Christmas and wedding traditions, with his sister's wedding the day before Christmas Eve. J.J. embarks on a holiday adventure, uncovering the troll's origins and finding her own path to healing, love and family.
Saturday, Dec. 2
A Not So Royal Christmas Cast: Brooke D'Orsay, Will Kemp Plot: Tabloid journalist Charlotte (D'Orsay) attempts to land an interview with a reclusive Count. In response, the royal family has a groundskeeper (Kemp) pose as the Count since the real one fled years ago.
Sunday, Dec. 3
Christmas with a Kiss (working title) Cast: Mishael Morgan, Ronnie Rowe Jr., Jaime M. Callica Plot: A Mahogany Presentation. A woman (Morgan) returns home to help with her family's Christmas Carnival and romance ignites. A photojournalist (Rowe) curates a surprise reunion.
Friday, Dec. 8
Magic in Mistletoe Cast: Lyndie Greenwood, Paul Campbell Plot: Harrington (Campbell) is the author of a popular book series but commercial success has left him a bitter recluse. As he returns to his hometown for an annual Christmas festival celebrating his books, he's joined by April (Greenwood), a publicist for the major publishing house he works with. April is there for damage control after Harrington's recent comments on social media have ruffled some feathers. But as she gets to know him better, hope springs that April can unlock Harrington's guarded heart and help him rediscover the spirit of the holiday.
Saturday, Dec. 9
Christmas on Cherry Lane Cast: Catherine Bell, Jonathan Bennett, John Brotherton, Erin Cahill, James Denton, Vincent Rodriguez III Plot: A young couple preparing to welcome their first child (Brotherton, Cahill); an empty-nester (Bell) and her fiancé (Denton) ready to start a new chapter; and a couple (Bennett, Rodriguez III) who unexpectedly have the chance to expand their family on Christmas Eve celebrate the holiday as they navigate these turning points in their lives.
Sunday, Dec. 10
Round and Round Cast: Vic Michaelis, Bryan Greenberg, Rick Hoffman Plot : Rachel's (Michaelis) stuck in a time loop, reliving the night of her parents' Hanukkah party. Can Zach (Greenberg), the "nice boy" grandma's trying to set her up with, help her make it to tomorrow?
Friday, Dec. 15
The Secret Gift of Christmas (working title) Cast: Meghan Ory, Christopher Russell Plot: Bonnie (Ory) is a personal shopper who helps her new, widowed client Patrick (Russell) reconnect with his young daughter. Though Bonnie and Patrick's ideas of shopping couldn't be more different, she is determined to get Patrick and his daughter everything on their wish list.
Saturday, Dec. 16
Sealed With a List Cast: Katie Findlay, Evan Roderick Plot: This holiday season, festive Carley (Findlay) sets out to conquer her list of abandoned resolutions from last year. Aided by coworker Wyatt (Roderick), she finds love and the confidence to chase her dreams.
Sunday, Dec. 17
Friends & Family Christmas Cast: Humberly Gonzalez, Ali Liebert Plot : Daniella (Gonzalez) has recently moved to New York to pursue an art career and decides to stay in town to share the holidays with her circle of artist friends, instead of going home to see her sweet, if overbearing parents. Amelia (Liebert) is a talented entertainment lawyer trying to stay focused on her work after a broken engagement. When Daniella and Amelia are set up by their parents, they agree to pretend that they are dating, to appease them for the holidays. However, as they spend time in each other's worlds, they soon build a connection that is deeper than either of them could have hoped for.
Hallmark Movies and Mysteries' Miracles of Christmas Schedule
Premieres at 8 p.m. ET/PT unless otherwise noted
Thursday, Oct. 26
Ms. Christmas Comes to Town Cast: Erica Durance, Brennan Elliott, Barbara Niven Plot: A shopping channel host known as Ms. Christmas (Niven) receives a terminal diagnosis, which inspires a multi-city excursion set to spread Christmas cheer before her farewell broadcast.
Thursday, Nov. 2
My Christmas Guide Cast: Amber Marshall, Ben Mehl Plot: After losing his eyesight, a college professor (Mehl) adopts a seeing eye dog from a guide dog trainer (Marshall). As they all begin to spend time together, his confidence returns and his heart begins to open.
Thursday, Nov. 9
Mystery on Mistletoe Lane Cast: Erica Cerra, Victor Webster Plot: New to town, Heidi Wicks (Cerra) and her kids discover a Christmas mystery in their historic home. Local handyman and historian David (Webster) helps along the way, finding his own surprising connection.
Thursday, Nov. 16
A World Record Christmas Cast: Nikki DeLoach, Lucas Bryant, Aias Dalman Plot: Charlie (Dalman) is an autistic boy determined to set a Guinness World Record by stacking 1,400 Jenga blocks. His mother Marissa (DeLoach) and stepfather Eric (Bryant) encourage him to reach for his dream and they all celebrate when he gets the good news that he'll get his chance on Christmas Eve. In the spirit of the holiday, they organize a fundraiser giving the townspeople an opportunity to donate and decorate a Jenga block, with the proceeds going to benefit kids with autism. Charlie's journey to setting the Jenga world record gives them all the chance to learn more not just about themselves, but about what family really means.
Wednesday, Nov. 22
A Season for Family Cast: Brendan Penny, Stacey Farber, Benjamin Jacobson, Azriel Dalman Plot: Maddy's (Farber) adopted son Wesley (Jacobson) has just one Christmas wish — to meet his brother Cody (Dalman), who was adopted into a different family. Cody's father Paul (Penny) is a widower who is not ready to have this conversation with his son, so he turns down a meeting. However, circumstances bring the two brothers unknowingly together and they become fast friends, while sparks fly between Maddy and Paul.
Thursday, Nov. 30
Time for Her to Come Home for Christmas Cast: Shenae Grimes-Beech, Chris Carmack, Grace Leer Plot: Facing her first Christmas without her mother and looking to avoid loneliness, Carly (Grimes-Beech) heads to a quaint town to lead the church choir at Christmas. Once there, Carly meets Matthew (Carmack), a man back in town after serving in the army. As she gets to know Matthew, the choir and townspeople, she stumbles across clues that suggest she may have been brought here for a life changing reason. As the mystery unravels one thing is clear, this journey will teach Carly about true love, learning to trust, and that forgiveness is needed to finally heal.
Thursday, Dec. 7
To All a Good Night Cast: Kimberley Sustad, Mark Ghanimé Plot: A small-town photographer (Sustad) saves the life of a mysterious man (Ghanimé), who may just be in town to buy her family's parkland — which is also the location of the annual Christmas celebration.
Thursday, Dec. 14
Heaven Down Here Cast: Krystal Joy Brown, Tina Lifford, Juan Riedinger, Richard Harmon, Phylicia Rashad Plot: Inspired by Mickey Guyton's song of the same name, "Heaven Down Here" tells the story of four disparate people who find themselves stranded in a local diner on Christmas Eve when a snowstorm hits the town. Imami (Brown) is a widowed mother of two who's having trouble making ends meet and reluctantly agrees to work the Christmas Eve shift, where she clashes with her boss Dan (Harmon), who doesn't exactly embody the Christmas spirit. Felix (Riedinger) is a local pastor desperately trying to secure food for parishioners while his faith is challenged by his alienation by his son. Clara (Lifford) is a hospice nurse with an obstinate patient (Rashad) and whose daughter is moving away, causing her to question her place in this world. Throughout the evening, these four bicker, bond and unwittingly provide each other with the answer to their respective prayers.
Thursday, Dec. 21
Miracle in Bethlehem, PA Cast: Laura Vandervoort, Benjamin Ayres Plot : A New DaySpring Movie. Successful and fiercely independent, Mary Ann Brubeck (Vandervoort) adopts a baby girl to raise on her own just before Christmas. Due to weather, she and the baby get stuck in Bethlehem, Pa., for the holidays. When there is no room at the inn, her only option is to stay with the innkeeper's brother Joe (Ayres), a quintessential bachelor who lives in a house that he treats like a barn. As Mary Ann learns the value of community by spending time with Joe's family and participating in the local church's Christmas events, Joe starts getting his act together with new motivation… and the two begin to see each other in a new light.
Hallmark Movies Now's Movies & Mistletoe Schedule
A World Record Christmas Cast : Nikki DeLoach, Lucas Bryant, Aias Dalman Early access before the Nov. 16 premiere on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
Time for Her to Come Home for Christmas Cast: Shenae Grimes-Beech, Chris Carmack, Grace Leer Early access before the Nov. 30 premiere on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
Monday, Nov. 27
Three Wise Men and a Baby (extended cut) Cast: Paul Campbell, Tyler Hynes, Andrew Walker, Margaret Colin A never-before-seen extended cut exclusive to Hallmark Movies Now. Plot: Three brothers (Campbell, Hynes, Walker) get the surprise of their lives when they are forced to work together to care for a baby over the holidays. As they slowly get the hang of things, they find themselves on unexpected journeys of self-discovery and begin to rebuild their relationships as brothers, as well as the damaged romantic and professional relationships in their respective lives… all while rediscovering their love of Christmas.
Rescuing Christmas (working title) Cast: Rachael Leigh Cook, Sam Page Plot: In a world where Santa (T. Mychael Rambo) is real and wants to drum up some holiday spirit, two of Santa's elves, Chuck (Patrick Thomas O'Brien) and Debbie (Bailey Stender), devise a plan to grant one human on Earth three wishes to kickstart the holidays. Unfortunately, that human is Erin (Cook), who has lost all affection for the season. Even a blind date set up by her sister, with the affable and charming Sam (Page), won't change her mind about Christmas. But when she makes the mistake of wishing Christmas would "just disappear," Erin wakes up to a world where the holiday never existed! Horrified, she realizes that she's taken away everyone's joy, so she enlists Sam to help her reinvent the festivities from scratch. In the process, Erin learns just how much this holiday and its traditions have meant to everyone around her — and how much Sam has come to mean to her.
An Ice Palace Romance Cast: Celeste Desjardins, Marcus Rosner Plot: A journalist (Desjardins) faces old fears when she returns to her hometown ice rink to cover a story. With the help of the owner (Rosner) and his young daughter, she begins to reevaluate her life's purpose.
A Holiday Spectacular (extended cut) Cast: Ginna Claire Mason, Derek Klena, Eve Plumb, Ann-Margret, the Radio City Rockettes Plot: In 1958, Maggie (Mason) is an heiress from Philadelphia who puts her high-society wedding plans on hold in order to sneak up to New York City and make her secret dream come true: dancing live on stage in the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.
Yahoo picks: horror movies aren't just for halloween. from christmas to valentine's day, here are the best scary flicks for every holiday..
Filmmakers have embraced year-round scares, specifically tailoring their terror to other major holidays.
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Extra-sharp price drop! This No. 1 bestselling Henckels knife set is down to $101 (over 70% off)
An all-time low: The $244 discount on this 15-piece slice-and-dice collection won't last long, so chop-chop!
We spotted a Solo Stove firepit for $100 off — and more Black Friday deals
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Deshaun Watson gets big assist from Cardinals defender's helmet on TD pass to Amari Cooper
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