Celebrities, of course, are our nation’s greatest resource, and each year hundreds of new ones are unveiled to a grateful world. What’s weird is that they don’t always emerge from obscurity as fully formed perfect people. Some started as child actors—they weren’t child stars per say, they just started working when they were kids.
1. Alicia Keys.
She was on The Cosby Show as one of Rudy’s friends. And here she is in a scene that, knowing what we now know about Bill Cosby, is truly disturbing.
2. Jake Gyllenhaal.
City Slickers is a Boomer fantasy about Boomers becoming cowboys and leaving behind city life and their families. Jake Gyllenhaal played one of the kids Billy Crystal’s character leaves behind to go rope steers or whatever with Jack Palance.
3. Elisabeth Moss.
She played the iconic Peggy Olson on Mad Men, and had a recurring role on The West Wing as First Daughter Zoey Bartlet, but Moss’s first major part was in a 1992 horror movie called Midnight’s Child. An evil nanny tried to sacrifice her to the devil.
4. Laurence Fishburne.
His breakout role came in Apocalypse Now in 1979, and his best role was as Jack Crawford on the sorely missed Hannibal, but he got his first part at age 12 in 1973, on the soap opera One Life to Live.
Before she was Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, she was a child actor named Stacy Ferguson. She had a role on Kids, Incorporated, a bizarre Disney channel show about a nightclub staffed entirely by children who would perform the hits of the day.
6. Anthony Kiedis.
At age 12, the future Chili Pepper moved to California to live with his father, an actor with the terrible stage name Blackie Dammett, who had landed some bit parts on ‘70s TV shows and in action movies. In 1978, 14-year-old Kiedis went into acting, too, under the similarly terrible name Cole Dammett. He played Sylvester Stallone’s son in the 1978 movie F.I.S.T., and appeared in a raunchy sketch movie called Jokes My Folks Never Told Me.
7. Jeff Bridges.
Before he played the Dude in The Big Lebowski, as well as other roles that are basically just variations of the Dude from The Big Lebowski, Bridges was the son of beloved actor Lloyd Bridges. In the ‘50s, Lloyd starred in an action show called Sea Hunt. The younger Bridges showed up in various roles on Sea Hunt, starting in 1958.