Not a lot of child stars can make the transition to adult fame. These three did…in a very big way.
Child: Ron Howard starred in two classic TV series in the 1960s and 1970s. At age 6, he was cast as Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show. Alongside some small roles in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis and The Twilight Zone, he led the cast of Happy Days from 1974 to 1980. Reason for leaving the long-running hit show? He wanted to be a film director.
Adult: It worked out. He became one of the most prominent directors of the 1980s and 1990s, with Splash, Cocoon, Parenthood, and Apollo 13. In 2001, he won the Best Director Oscar for his work on A Beautiful Mind.
Child: Jeff Bridges grew up in Hollywood—his father was Sea Hunt star Lloyd Bridges. Both Jeff and his brother, Beau Bridges, made appearances on his father’s show
Adult: Today, Jeff Bridges is known for his laid-back, hippie nature—he’s currently promoting a collection of relaxing noises that he’s collected and curated, to help people fall asleep). In 2010 he won an Oscar for Best Actor for Crazy Heart, where he portrayed a grizzled, washed up country singer.
Child: Jodie Foster appeared in a Coppertone commercial and dozens of 1960s and 1970s TV shows including Mayberry R.F.D, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and The Partridge Family. She starred in an unsuccessful TV adaptation of Paper Moon, the movie that won an Oscar for 10-year-old Tatum O’Neal. In 1976, 14-year-old Foster would become one of the youngest Oscar nominees herself, for her role as a child prostitute in Taxi Driver.
Adult: Foster has won two Oscars for Best Actress: in 1989 for The Accused, and three years later for The Silence of the Lambs.