Child Actors

Child performers have had important roles in cinema history, from the baby daughter of Auguste Lumière being fed by her pioneering father in an 1895 actuality film to eleven-year-old Haley Joel Osment earning an Oscar ® nomination for his dynamic acting in The Sixth Sense (1999). Sometimes children are showcased in films that are directed toward child audiences, but their most notable appearances tend to be in films for adults—films that reflect on childhood from an older and wiser view or that explore the relationships between children and adults. Curiously, however, very few child actors are able to maintain their success and visibility as they grow into adulthood, quite possibly because audiences have difficulty accepting child stars' physical and mental changes when they grow into adults themselves. This has resulted in many child actors gaining fame at a young age, only to fade into obscurity as they mature.

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