Movies

These Famous Actors Were Unrecognizable When They Were Child Stars

It can be surprising to see a well-known actor pop up in a bit part from their younger days when you’re watching a show or a film. Happened to me on my approximately 104th time watching Can’t Buy Me Love when I realized that Ronald Miller’s little brother was Seth Green. Previously, we’ve reminded you about the kid-star days of Fergie and Jenny Lewis. I’m sure you’ve had your own experience with this phenomena, so in celebration of this shared moment and in the name of exposing these roles to you so that you will never have to deal with that breathtaking shock ever again, here’s a look at some actors in their early, lesser-known roles.

Seth Green – Can’t Buy Me Love

Years after Can’t Buy Me Love, Green would go on to play Kenny Fisher in Can’t Hardly Wait, as well as Dr. Evil’s son, Scott in the Austin Powers movies. But in 1987, he was co-starring with Patrick Dempsey in this classic tale of a high school boy who, seemingly unbeknownst to either of them, essentially turns a good-looking coed into a prostitute. I may or may not have missed the theme of this movie.

Tyler Posey- Maid In Manhattan

Before he starred in Teen Wolf for MTV, Posey worked beside J-Lo as her kid in Maid In Manhattan. He also worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Collateral Damage and co-starred in Doc.


Jerry O’Connell – Stand By Me

Before he was getting Cush-lash in Jerry Maguire, and doling out advice to envious high schoolers like Mike Dexter, O’Connell was palling around as the chubby fourth wheel in Stand By Me.

Jake Gyllenhaal – City Slickers

Gyllenhaal is currently getting Oscar buzz for his role in Southpaw, but 24 years ago, he was learning the ropes (pun intended) from Billy Crystal in City Slickers. Playing Crystal’s character’s son, Danny, Gyllenhaal didn’t get a whole lot of screen time, but he did get that scene at the end when he couldn’t stop staring at his mom and dad kissing at the airport arrivals terminal. That was odd, wasn’t it?

Elijah Wood – Back To The Future Part II

If you blinked, you may have missed him. But when Marty McFly takes the DeLorean ahead in time to 2015, he meets two young children in a 1980’s-themed cafe, where he teaches them how to play the arcade game, Wild Gunman. “You mean you have to use your hands?” Indeed, young Elijah. I agree with you that the ’80s were horrible.

Sidebar: Billy Zane also popped up in this film as one of Biff’s sh*thead flunkees. Later, he would go on to play a sh*thead in Titanic.

Johnny Galecki – Christmas Vacation

You may know him now as Leonard on The Big Bang Theory. Before that, you probably knew him as Darlene’s live-in boyfriend on Roseanne. But in 1989, Galecki played Rusty Griswold in Christmas Vacation.

Jane Krakowski – National Lampoon’s Vacation

As an adult, Krakowski would make a name for herself peddling Herbal Essence shampoo as a possible aphrodisiac, as well as everyone’s favorite self-centered glamour-girl, Jenna Maroney, on 30 Rock. But when she was only 14 years old, did you know she was cast as Cousin Vicki in National Lampoon’s Vacation? She was the marijuana-smoking, teeter totter-riding, oldest daughter of Eddie’s who had a gift for French kissing. Well, Daddy said she was the best, anyway.

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