Often ugly ducklings turn into beautiful swans and people come from rags to riches due to their talent and perseverance. But sometimes it happens the other way around. Cute kids grow into bad-looking, messy adults and their talents seem to be either buried in a glass or just wasted.
There are quite a few examples of the latter among child stars. They get their big break at a very young age and they just can't keep up with all the pressures of fame. They lose their good looks over day-to-day issues and addictive habits. They struggle to get even minor roles. They throw their talents down the drain and the only way they make headlines is by being arrested.
Let's look at 15 cute and famous child stars who turned into... something else...
15 Edward Furlong – John Connor Went Straight Into Oblivion
He was the biggest celebrity crush of many teenage girls after the premiere of Terminator 2. He was supposed to become even hotter with age, but something went wrong. Entirely wrong. And now, when we see the new photos of Edward Furlong, we can't stop crying.
His current appearance is the result of drinking issues, multiple arrests, and, on top of it, career failures.
14 Taylor Momsen – She Just Didn't Age Well
This is what tons of black eyeliner and hair bleach do to people. They turn cute little girls into weirdly looking young women. Taylor Momsen, the star of How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Gossip Girl, is living proof.
Maybe it's because fame came to her too soon (Momsen landed her first commercial at the age of three), or maybe she's always dreamed of having this kind of look. Let's just hope she's happy with it.
13 Lindsay Lohan – Don't You Just Stay Up At Night And Cry About Her?
When we saw this sweet innocent child in The Parent Trap we were sure that she was destined to become an A-lister. But... Lindsay blew it all away pretty quickly through drinking, clubbing, shoplifting, and rehabbing. Now she seems to go on the surface only to show us her new look or apologize for something she did wrong.
Poor girl, so much wasted potential...
12 Shia LaBeouf – Not Famous Anymore
The former Disney star and crush of multiple teenage girls, Shia LaBeouf isn't doing so well these days. He understands it too, so he even wore a carton bag with "I'm not famous anymore" written on it to one of the Hollywood events.
On top of the lack of good roles, LaBeouf was also arrested at least twice for "disorderly conduct and criminal trespass." Not exactly the future we wanted for him...
11 Macaulay Culkin – Dad Made Him Take Role After Role
The sweet child from Home Alone had a huge acting potential. But Macaulay Culkin didn't only age poorly and became not-so-cute, but he also burnt down at work. The thing is, his Stage Dad was desperate for his fame and made the boy take role after role with no breaks. Too tired of everything, Culkin retired from acting at the age of 15. Years of substance abuse followed, but now he seems to be doing better.
10 Amanda Bynes – From Limelight To Mental Issues
A former Nickelodeon darling, Amanda Bynes used to tell everyone that she wasn't a drinking and clubbing type and she'd prefer spending time with her family at home over partying. But then everything suddenly changed and Bynes became reckless. She had the whole package, from drinking to mental issues, and she even quit acting to get some rest.
Reportedly, Bynes is sober these days and plans to become a fashion designer. Let's hope that things will get better for her!
9 Tina Yothers – No Success After Her Show Ended
The acting career of Tina Yothers began early. She appeared in commercials when she was only three, then she landed a few TV roles. And after it, her big break came when she got the part of Jennifer Keaton in the hit TV show Family Ties. Yothers was only 9 at the time and her career was promising.
But as the show ended, so did her career. Yothers never received any successful roles and we could only see her in a few reality shows.
8 Jake Lloyd – Just Because No One Liked 'The Phantom Menace'
If you ask almost any diehard Star Wars fan, they'll probably tell you that they hated the prequel trilogy and especially The Phantom Menace. Jake Lloyd, who played young Anakin Skywalker in this movie, knows it for sure. Even his classmates in high school and college teased him about his role and many people accused him of ruining the franchise. So it's easy to understand why Lloyd's career failed so hard after his big break.
7 Alana Thompson – Honey Boo Boo Is Going Through A Hard Time
America's little sweetheart, Alana Thompson (aka Honey Boo Boo) was so genuine and authentic. It was impossible not to love her. But the love of fans can be cruel. Often it just disappears as soon as you take one step out of the limelight.
When Honey Boo Boo's show was canceled, the interest in her faded and now she has to deal with these drastic changes in her life, which, we must say, isn't so easy.
6 Henry Thomas – "That Kid From E.T."
Probably, looking at adult Henry Thomas you're thinking, "Is this guy even famous?" Actually, he used to be, a long time ago, when he was a star of E.T. Yes, that's right – he's "that kid" from E.T., who befriended the alien and stole our hearts in childhood.
Now Thomas isn't an actor anymore but, luckily, he's also not in jail or rehab. He's just a normal dude who has a wife and kids and lives a normal, quiet life. Phew.
5 Olsen Twins – Not So Cute, But Still Rich
We adored Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in It Takes Two and many, many other comedies where they starred, as well as in their hit TV show Full House. They were so cute and nice, and sweet – we just couldn't take our eyes from them!
But now the twins aren't acting anymore (unlike their other sis, Elizabeth Olsen, who became an MCU star) and they look *a bit* differently. Nevertheless, they're still rich and successful as fashion starts, so we should be happy for them.
4 Jonathan Lipnicki – Seems Like A Completely Different Guy
The peak of Jonathan Lipnicki's career came when he was only 5 but it didn't last. When he was a teen, he quit the acting career to live like a typical kid. Later Lipnicki attempted to regain his success, but he only landed a few minor roles in TV shows.
The former child star is surely not a train wreck like many others on this list, but it still seems that the days of fame are over for him.
3 Haley Joel Osment – His Sixth Sense Didn't Work
The star of The Sixth Sense, Pay It Forward, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Haley Joel Osment demonstrated his awesome talent and seemed destined to have a long and fulfilling acting career.
But then the reality kicked in and it turned out that this sweet boy was destined to get bigger, but not in terms of fame but only in terms of his body.
2 Quvenzhane Wallis – Even An Oscar Nomination Didn't Help
Beasts of the Southern Wild was a critically acclaimed film and its star Quvenzhane Wallis was wonderful in it. For her role, the girl was nominated for an Oscar and, for playing Annie in a same-name movie she received a Golden Globe nomination. It seemed that new great roles would be offered to her all over the place, but it didn't happen. Since then, Wallis only played a few small roles and her prospects don't look promising at the moment.
1 Jamie Waylett – Crabbe Was The Role Of His Life
Vincent Crabbe was one of the henchmen of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series. He was played by Jamie Waylett, who seems to have got into character a bit too much because he's not a "good boy" in reality, too.
In 2009 Waylett was "charged with possession of cannabis" and in 2011 he got a 2-year prison sentence for participation in London riots.
Sources: Ranker, TV Tropes, Baby Gaga, Twenty Two Words, House Diver