Six Female Child Stars’ Odd Journeys Through the Teenage Years

By Matt Prigge
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 4 | Posted Mar. 16, 2010

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Shirley Temple: As the myth goes, America was brought out of—or at least sufficiently coddled during—the Great Depression by Shirley Temple. Audiences were less interested in such frivolity as WWII loomed—good timing, since Temple had by then gone into double digits. The 1940s featured sporadic appearances, most notably (and uneasily) as a teen in love with Cary Grant in 1947’s The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer . By 1950 she was retired; today she is 81.

Jodie Foster: The poster child for career success at all ages, Foster began acting in commercials and innocuous kiddie fare at age 3. At 14—the same year as Bugsy Malone and Freaky Friday —she reteamed with her Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore director to believably play a teen prostitute in Taxi Driver . The next year it was back to Disney movies opposite David Niven.

Tatum O’Neal: Foster didn’t get her (first) Oscar till she was 26. O’Neal had hers at 10. Alas, her post- Paper Moon career— Bad News Bears aside—is the opposite of Foster’s, with more tabloid work than acting. Too bad: Her performance in Paper Moon is almost surreally good.

Drew Barrymore: She turned out all right. Eventually.

The Olsens: Upon becoming legal—and after a decade in harmless tween DTV purgatory—the former Full House babies made their mainstream crossover volley with New York Minute , which PW ’s Sean Burns described as “so dirty and creepy I might’ve guessed that Roman Polanski or Brian De Palma had directed—if only the fool thing were more competently framed.” It tanked, and then Mary-Kate got to make out with Ben Kingsley in The Wackness .

Dakota Fanning: When she joined the Runaways, Cherie Currie was not yet 16. And the same goes for the former precocious pixie who plays her in the band’s official hagiographic movie—one of the many ways in which this indie treats young teenage sexuality with disarming and refreshing candor.

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1. causaubon said... on Mar 17, 2010 at 10:16PM

“"hagiographic movie"

you're saying that "The Runaways" is a movie about saints??”

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2. shotime369 said... on Mar 17, 2010 at 10:18PM

“If I see one more Drew Barrymore "Happy Ending" movie, I'll vomit. However, given that you describe Roman Polanski movies as "dirty and creepy" shows the depth of your appreciation of film making. You should keep your movie reviews limited to Disney movies. Your Jodie Foster remark indicates you can't get past Disney anyway.”

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3. Someguy said... on Mar 19, 2010 at 10:46PM

“He did not call Roman Polanski dirty and creepy, he's quoting Sean Burns who says New York Minute is so dirty and creepy it might be directed by Roman Polanski, which is not quite the same thing as saying that Polanski movies are dirty and creepy. You should learn to read...”

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4. Comeof said... on Mar 20, 2010 at 08:54PM

“Someguys have a way with words.”

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