Tragedy sells. Every year we hear about more and more child actors who couldn’t hack the rise to fame, had no parental or quality peer support, and finally succumbed to their demons. But not every child star’s career ends in tragedy. Whether they’re an example of universal balance or just got lucky in making better decisions than some of their on-camera peers, there are a handful of child actors who moved on from playing roles as kids to achieving the pinnacle of entertainment industry success. Fortunately for everyone (especially themselves), the following 10 actors managed to avoid the pitfalls of early stardom.
10. Peter Billingsley
“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” Peter Billingsley could have lived off A Christmas Story residuals for the rest of his life, supported a drug habit that so many former child stars seem to have, and still made occasional appearances at weird conventions to sign autographs… but he had his eye on the prize. Peter had a great career as a child actor. He was The Dirt Bike Kid, for crying out loud! Peter continued to work through his adolescence and always kept his head on his shoulders, taking work when it came. Moving into adulthood, he also began to transition into work on the other side of the camera. Along the way, he became good friends with Jon Favreau, and the two collaborate frequently as producers on projects that Jon directs. Peter has appeared in several films over the past decade, but his focus now is producing big budget film and television.