Neil Patrick Harris 1 of 11Neil Patrick Harris first gained fame by playing 16-year-old doctor Doogie Howser who saved lives with his brilliant medical skills while dealing with normal issues of growing up. Playing kid genius launched NPH into a life of stardom, but he says he’d rather his own kids, twins Harper and Gideon, have as normal a childhood as possible. Neil jokes about how he gets the twins to sleep at night »
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Sarah Jessica Parker 2 of 11SJP burst into stardom as a Broadway baby touring at the age of 12 alongside four of her siblings in The Sound of Music, and at 13, she played the spunky, loveable orphan lead in Annie. Now, at age 46, SJP is happily married to fellow child star Matthew Broderick. We wonder if their kids — James Wilke, Tabitha Loretta, and Marion — will be bitten by the acting bug as well.
Sarah Jessica Parker explains why she doesn’t hire nannies »
Alyssa Milano 3 of 11Alyssa also got her start as a Broadway kid, performing in the national tour of Annie at age 7. At 10, she played Samantha Micelli on the TV show Who’s the Boss?. Alyssa’s native Brooklyn accent and charisma stole the show, and she soon made a name for herself. Though she's continued to act in many TV roles, these days much of her energy goes to preparing for her first child (due in September) with husband, David Bugliari.
Alyssa Milano tweets about pregnancy etiquette »
Christian Bale 4 of 11You may know the intense Welsh actor best by his rough and gruff performances in The Dark Knight and The Fighter, but rewind to a couple decades ago and you can see Christian in his first major film role at age 13 in 1987’s Empire of the Sun. And don’t forget his endearing role in the 1992 musical Newsies. We can only wonder if he ever shares these flicks with his 6-year-old daughter, Emmeline (and if she thinks daddy is as cool as we do!).
Christian Bale forgets his wife’s name in Oscar acceptance speech?! »
Melissa Joan Hart 5 of 11At the age of 14, Melissa landed the lead role of Clarissa on Nickelodeon’s Clarissa Explains it All. After a four-year run, she attended NYU before quitting to star in the movie-turned-TV series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Now, Melissa is a proud mommy of two young boys and is getting back into the acting scene with a new sitcom, Melissa & Joey, costarring fellow child star Joey Lawrence.
Is Melissa Joan Hart ready to adopt? »
Ron Howard 6 of 11Born into a theatrical family, Ron appeared in his first movie, Frontier Woman, at just 18 months old! He gained national fame at 6 years old for his role as Andy Griffith’s son, Opie, in the Andy Griffith Show. In 1974, as a teen, Ron went on to play Richie Cunningham in the beloved ’50s TV series Happy Days. Now a father of four, Ron has opted for the life of directing, most notably for the Academy Award-winning film Cocoon as well as TV series projects 24 and Arrested Development.
Ron Howard remembers his Happy Days TV dad »
Jodie Foster 7 of 11Though Jodie appeared in various commercials, TV shows, and film roles as a youngster, it was her hard-hitting role as a teenage prostitute in Taxi Driver that really put her on the map as a serious child star, especially considering she was only 12 when she began filming! Jodie went on to graduate Yale with a degree in literature, lead a successful career as an adult actress, and raise two sons.
Jodie Foster also made the list of top 10 smartest celebrity moms »
Christina Aguilera 8 of 11Christina made her public debut at 10 years old as a big-voiced contestant on the TV talent show Star Search. She then starred in Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Club from age 12-14 and released her first album at age 18 (with hits like “Genie in a Bottle”). Though Christina had a rough time growing into adulthood and still hits some bumps in the road, she seems like a very loving mom
to 3-year-old son, Max.
Christina also made our list of the 50 most beautiful pregnant celebs »
Britney Spears 9 of 11This pop sensation also got her start on the Mickey Mouse Club. She went solo at age 16, battling it out with former co-star Christina Aguilera for the spot as top popstar. As most know, Brit had her own struggles growing up — including head shaving, baby dropping, and rehab, to name a few. She seems to be back on the right track though; she regained custody of her two sons, Sean Preston and Jayden James, earlier this year and is currently in the middle of her new world tour.
See why Britney made our list of celebrity parents in trouble with the law! »
Jennifer Connelly 10 of 11After a brief stint as a child model, Jennifer got her acting start at the age of 12 in the film Once Upon a Time in America. A few years later she acted alongside David Bowie in Labyrinth. Today, Jennifer continues to appear regularly on the big screen — in 2001 she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in A Beautiful Mind — while raising her kids with husband and co-star, Paul Bettany.
Jennifer Connelly and 5 other celebrity moms who had home water births »
Brooke Shields 11 of 11Brooke started modeling at age three but really made a name for herself at age 12 by playing the role of a child prostitute in Pretty Baby. Soon after, she followed with another hit, Blue Lagoon. At 14, Brooke became the youngest fashion model ever to appear on the cover of Vogue and launched controversial ads for Calvin Klein. Despite her success, Brooke says she wants to keep her own young daughters, Rowan and Grier, out of the spotlight.