20 Oscar winners who were child stars
Oscar dreams that started small for these stars
There are not many careers where people get hands-on experience at a young age, and even fewer where artists learn the technical side of the craft while developing their own talents. For some of these stars, Oscar gold came early in their careers, while others waited decades for recognition. Here are 20 child stars who went on to win Oscars.
The daughter of Jon Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, Angelina Jolie was introduced to Hollywood at an early age. Pictured here in 1982's Lookin' to Get Out, the actress made her on-screen debut when she was 7. She picked up her first Oscar 18 years later, winning the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Girl, Interrupted.
Not many actors can say one of their first gigs was working on a Steven Spielberg film, but a young Christian Bale earned the first Best Performance by a Juvenile Actor award from the National Board of Review for his work in Empire of the Sun (pictured here) before winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2011 for The Fighter.
A young Leonardo DiCaprio filled his childhood with acting projects, making early appearances in The New Lassie, The Outsiders, Parenthood, Growing Pains, and Critters 3. Decades later and after four previous nominations, DiCaprio finally won his first Oscar in 2016, nabbing the Best Actor statuette for The Revenant.
Many actors have an early drive to make it in Hollywood, but few make a PowerPoint presentation to convince their parents they should allow them move to Los Angeles to do exactly that. Emma Stone’s gambit paid off, but before dancing to a Best Actress Oscar for 2016’s La La Land, she appeared on VH1’s In Search of the Partridge Family, Malcolm in the Middle, and Medium (pictured here).
Casey Affleck fans might know of his early appearances in quintessential ‘90s films To Die For and Chasing Amy, but before earning an Academy Award for Best Actor for 2016’s Manchester by the Sea, Affleck made his first appearance on the small screen in a PBS adaption of the play Lemon Sky in 1988, which was soon followed by an appearance as a young Bobby Kennedy in the 1990 ABC miniseries The Kennedys of Massachusetts (pictured here).
Before her breakout role as Shalika in John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood in 1991, Regina King starred in the highly-rated sitcom 227, part of the NBC Thursday night juggernaut that dominated the 1980s (pictured here). Speaking about the show ahead of her 2019 Best Supporting Actress win for If Beale Street Could Talk, King said, “227 was priceless for me. It was my foundation. Just being with Marla Gibbs, Hal Williams, Alaina Reed, Jackée — it was school.”